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Egypt birding adventure.

Summary and recommendation: A two-weeks birding adventure to the premier birding spots of Egypt to see all the available specialities and to enjoy the timeless sansdscape of the country.


Destination country: Egypt. Start and finish in Cairo.

Next schedule: TBA

Duration: 14 days. If you are interested in a shorter 8-9 days version, please let us know!

to southern egyptian pelagic trip and to the remote Gebel Elba also available.

Photos: To enjoy some tour photos please click here and here! To read Steve's Gebel Elba report, please click here!

Price: ... GBP + ... GBP single supplement. Price includes: accommodations and meals (lunch is typically picnic!), drinking water, vehicle hire with fuel and driver guide, park entrance fees and ranger guides. The price exclude: bank transfer loss, international flight, visa, tips, drinks, personal travel insurance and any other activities of personal request e.g. laundry, toalet fees, phone calls, etc.

Accommodation: Three-star hotels with all rooms en suite.

Numbers: Min. 6, max. 12 people with 2 guides.

Transport: Minivans.

Description: "...Egypt, the „Land of Pharaohs”, since late antiquity had a lot to offer for his visitors, whatever for which proposes they came here. The Roman Emperor Traianus has even built a “winter palace” for himself at Philae Island, to spend here the mild winters, where the temperature never drops below 10C, even at the coldest night in winter. Among the fabulous archeological sites, Egypt hosts two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: The Great Pyramids of Giza and the Lighthouse from Alexandria. Moreover Egypt has even more to offer for the nature lovers, especially for birders. All of us, the very few Westerner ornithologists which has spend here several years or even decades in Egypt, can easily say that Egypt is much more then the Great Pyramids, Nile Valley, and Tutankhamen’s treasures. Zoogeographical, Egypt lays at the southern boundary of the Western Palearctic so it is the perfect place to see some of the avian mega-rarities of the Western Palearctic..."

Top birds: African Skimmer, Brown Bobby, Yellow Billed Stork, Red-rumped Wheatear, Painted–Snipe, African Wagtail, Kittlitz’s Plover, Red Billed Tropicbird, Striated Heron, Bridled Tern, White-checked Terns, White Eyed Gulls, Red Avadavat, Streaked Weavers. Three-banded Plover, Crested Honey Buzzard, Pale Scops Owl, Hume's Owl, Sinai Rosefinch, Oriental Skylark, Black Bush Robin, Rosy-patched Shrike, Fulvous Bubbler.


Day 1: Cairo. Arrival at Cairo International Airport, meet and assist by our representative who will assist you through the immigration and custom formalities. Transfer to our hotel for check-in. Overnight in Cairo.

Day 2: Cairo/ Sakkara / Dashur. After visiting the only still-standing of the Seven Wonders of the World, the colossal pyramids of Giza and their guardian, the outstanding Sphinx, which has never-ever missed to witnessed a sunrise since was build more than 4600 years ago! After the visit we will travel 26km south to the oldest pyramid of the world, the famous Steppe Pyramid at Sakkara. Here, while admiring this 64 m tall burial place, we have the chance to see a pair of Pharaoh`s Eagle Owl (Bubo ascalaphus) which is split from the Eagle Owl. Heading down south further 6 km, we’ll look for the White-breasted Kingfisher and the circling Black Kites and Marsh Harriers. Around the Dashur lakes and of course a chance to take a look at the two pyramids of Dashur: The Red and the Bent Pyramid. The first one can be visited, and we can get a few photos in the mortuary chamber of the famous IV dynasty founder, pharaoh Snefru. In the afternoon we will have a guided tour at the Egyptian Museum where an extraordinary amount of antiquities including the treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamen can be seen. Among other we will see the massive, pure gold sarcophagus (122 kg) of the boy king Tutankhamen and the famous wall painting from the tomb of Nakht, the Red-Necked Geese and White fronted Geese. Dinner and overnight at the Oasis Hotel, Cairo. Optional: Enjoy the sound and light show at the Pyramids of Giza

Day 3: Abassa Fishponds. After breakfast we will drive to Bilbeis area to the Abassa fish-ponds, aiming to see the most wanted species of the area: Senegal Cuckoal, Senegal Thick-knee, Streaked Weaver, Painted Snipe, Greater Snipe, Kitlitz Plover, White-breasted Kingfisher, Black Kite, Spur Winged Plover, Squacco and Grey Herons, Cattle and Little Egrets, Common Bulbuls, European and Clamorous Reed Warbler, Spanish Sparrows and Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola). Optional: Afternoon/early evening visit to the biggest bazaar of North Africa, the medieval Khan El Khalili.

Day 4: Sinai Peninsula. After breakfast, check out from the hotel and we begin the journey from Africa to Asia, which will be shorter than anyone could expect ! Sinai Peninsula, is just 120 km E of Cairo, which can be reach in 1.5 hours by bus. We'll arrive at the beautiful holiday resort of Sharm El Sheich around lunch time. We visit to the outskirts of the city, which can bring us some of the restricted-range species of the region: Bonelli's Eagle, Balckstart, Fan-Tailed Raven, Southern Grey Shrike,Gracefull Prinia, Scrub Warbler. Hundreds of raptors and White Storks are roosting at this site, and one of the most sought species of the region will arrive at a drinking place, just a few moments before it gets dark: Lichteinstein Sandgrouse.

Day 5: Sinai Peninsula. An early wake up and departure for the hotel with our breakfast boxes, is excusable due to the reward: Sandpartridges,Chukars, Tristam's Grackle, Sinai Rosefinch, Spectacled Bulbul's, Palestine Sunbird, Trumpeter Finch, Buff-.bellied Pipits, Scrub Warblers, Crownwd and Spotted Sandgrouse and even Hume's Tawny Owl ! When the weather is turning to hot, we'll visit the St. Katherine monastery, admiring the ancient icons and take a look even to the Burning Bush, where is believed that God has spoken to Moses. The afternoon is about birding in the surroundings of the monastery, than after dark falls, we'll attempt to tape luring the Hume's Tawny Owl.

Day 6: Ain Sokhna-Hurghada. Early morning check out from the hotel and begin our travel back to the mainland along the Red Sea Coast, with a few hour stop at Ain Sokhna (Gulf of Suez), to watch the formidable biannual raptor migration( March-April-May), and sip a hot, cardamom blended Turkish coffee made by our generous Nubian host, Fawzi. During our coffee break we just laid back and watch the raptors above the mountains escarpment: Steppe Eagles, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzards, Steppe Buzzards, Egyptian Vultures, Honey Buzzards, Sparrowhowks, Levant Sparowhawks, Harriers and Black Kites. With some luck Griffon Vultures, Bonelli’s Eagle and even Lammergeier can be observed. The coastline between Suez and Ain Sukhna should turn up our first White-eyed Gulls, Slender-billed Gulls, Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Caspian Gulls, and Caspian, Greater Crested and Lesser Crested Terns. Heuglin`s Gull and Sandwich Tern are also possible. Bottle Nose Dolphins usually are seen from the bus, swimming near the shore along the winding road on the way to Hurghada for overnight.

Day 7: Giftun Island. Full day pelagic- and snorkeling-trip around Giftun Island in Hurghada Archipelago. The White-eyed Gulls are following our boat, hoping for any food remains, and sometimes even a Sooty Gull is among the flock. Slender-Billed Gulls, Armenian, Steppe and Heuglin’s Gulls can be seen here until early May. The Osprey is a common breeding bird here, a well known nest been in the middle of a hotel’s beach. Our aim is to see the Brown Bobbies, White checked and Bridled Terns. The eagle-eyed birders can try to twitch the Saunder’s Tern from the dozens of almost similar Little Terns. Of course, the Red-billed Tropicbird is the most wanted species, but rarely can be seen, usually flying far offshore. Early arriving Sooty Falcons are hunting around the archipelagos Islands, and they can be seen at early evening even from our hotel’s beach, hunting around the coastline. Snorkel equipment will be available on the board for free use, so we will enjoy as well the underwater life, which is breathtaking at the coral reefs. Hurghada archipelago was “discovered” as a formidable diving place by the famous Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau, who stated that the Red Sea coral reefs are more beautiful than even the Australian Great Coral Reef! He does not exaggerated if we know the facts: over 1000 species of fishes and about 230 species of hard corals are known from the Red Sea! At least 15% of the fishes and a similar proportion of other marine are endemic, found nowhere else in the world. Dinner and overnight at Hurghada.

Day 8: Hurghada, Shams Alam. After breakfast, check out from the hotel and than we’ll visit a Pharaoh’s Eagle Owl breeding place , than a visit to a near by ringing camp can bring us several wanted rarities: Oriental Warbler, Namaqua Dove, Bimaculated Lark, Red-throated Pipit, Tawny and Richard’s Pipit, Desert Wheatear, Lesser Kestrel, Pallid Harrier, Isabeline and Masked Shrike. After lunch at one of the most charming local restaurant, located at the sea shore, we drive down South to Wadi Gamal. On the way, Mourning, Desert and Hooded Wheatears can pop up, species which are always welcomed by the WP enthusiasts. After check in to our hotel (Shams Alam), and looking around for migrating passerines around the hotel’s garden, we can try to locate a Hume’s Tawny Owl with a sound trap in the neighboring National Park. If we found it, nothing else left just to celebrate at the Beach Bar!

Day 9: Bir Shalatein, Wadi Lahami. Early morning we continue our trip down south to the Sudanese border, hoping on the way to see the Crowned and the Spotted Sand Grouse. The target species of the day will be the biggest vulture of the WP: Lapped –faced Vulture. Egyptian Vultures, Brown-necked Ravens and with some luck even Fan-tailed Ravens can be seen around the famous Sudanese camel market. After a visit to the local exotic “bazar” we will slowly return north. On the way back a short stop to a mangrove ”forest” can bring us one of the most wanted species of the WP: Goliath Heron. Sandpipers, Herons, Ospreys, Terns, Gulls are just around the mangroves. If there is a place on the Earth which can bring any avian surprise, than Wadi Lahami is the one! At late afternoon return to our hotel, dinner and free program around the swimming pool is an excellent relaxation after 6 full days of birding.

Day 10: To Assuan. Breakfast and birding around the garden until an organized bus convoy will lead us trough the waste and hyper arid Easter Desert of Egypt till the Nile Valley. We will drive south on the Nile Valley until we reach the gate of the real Black Africa: Aswan. Optional birding at Lord Kitchener’s Island (Botanical garden). Check in the hotel and leisure at the pools, than dinner. Overnight in Aswan.

Day 11: Assuan, Abu Simbel. Check out from the hotel at dawn, and visit the Old Cataract Natur Reserve, will delight us with Nile Valley Sunbirds, Striated, Purple and Grey Herons, Purple Gallinules, Painted Snipes and with some luck even African Skimmers. At 11 AM we will join the bus convoy to Abu Simbel, at Sudanese border. After check in the Nefertari Hotel, visit to the famous temple of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari. These temples were saved by an international (UNESCO) effort between 1961 and 1970, from the rising water level of Lake Nasser after the building of the High Dam in Aswan. African Rock Martin, White Crowned Wheatear and Graceful Prinias and Olivaceus Warblers are always present around the temple. In the afternoon we’ll scout the shores of Lake Nasser for the African rarities such as Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-Billed Stork, Afrikan Skimmer, Kittlitz’s Plover, Egyptian Goose, Pink Headed Dove, African Wegtails and the local House Sparrow which can turn out in the near future to be a distinct subspecies.
Optional: After the nightfall we can choose to enjoy the spectacular sound and light show at the temple and aiming to see the elusive Egyptian Nightjar which is often seen hunting around the midnight lamps. Dinner and overnight at Nefertari hotel.

Day 12: Lake Nasser, to Luxor. After breakfast, we will check again the shores of Lake Nasser, to complete our rarities list, with the species which eventually failed to shown the previous day. Than, we join the bus convoy to Aswan and Luxor. Late afternoon, arrival in Luxor. Check in at Mövenpick hotel in Luxor, and if not dark yet, we looking forward for a pleasant and comfortable early evening birding at the Nile Valley Crocodile Island, looking for Red Avadavats, Isabeline Shrike, Painted Snipe, Nile Valley Sunbirds, White Tailed Plovers, Little Green Bee-eaters and all the heron species. In the evening we can enjoy the loud calls of the Senegal Thick-knees, which are often nesting on the roof of our bungalows! The beautiful green-backed form of the Purple Gallinule is always present around the swamps.

Day 13: Luxor area. All day long birding around the Crocodile Island, checking the swamps, and the Nile sides. An extra visit can be made to the historical sites like Valley of the Kings. We can find there not only breath taking limestone walls and ancient tombs, but also, Trumpeter Finches, African Crag Martins and Mourning Wheatear. Last evening will be spent on the Nile river banks, discussing the observations made during the trip and enjoying cold Stella Bier.

Day 14: to Cairo, departure. Transfer to Luxor airport and flight back to Cairo.


Upcoming trips & Expeditions

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Bears and Butterflies o Transylvania. With Danube Clouded Yellow and High Carpathian extension; 30 July - 06, Aug. , 2022)

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2023' dates are coming in late August

Full tour calendar

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