If you are in Egypt right now, you should count yourself lucky to be walking the path that some great men walked. However, it is not enough just to be in Egypt, perfect your trip by treating yourself to some incredible sightseeing in this nation of ancient Pharaohs. Here are some of the incredible sites to visit—some of these sites are already listed on the seven wonders of Africa list. Here, Afro Tourism presents – the Twelve Wonders of Egypt.
#12 Temple of Hatshepsut
Occupying the number 12 spot is the Temple of Hatshepsut. Located below Deir el Bahari’s cliffs, this temple is found on Nile’s west bank. Senemut, the royal architect of Hatshepsut, designed and implemented the temple. It was originally built to honour Amun’s glory and for posthumous worship as well. Hatshepsut’s Temple is composed of terraces that are three layers that reach up to 97 feet (30 m).
#11 Temple of Karnak
The Temple of Karnak is the world’s largest ancient religious site and is also an open-air museum. The Karnak Temple is Egypt’s second most visited historical site, with the Giza Pyramids being the first. The temple has four main parts. The largest of those four is the Precinct of Amon-Re.
#10 Luxor Temple
Located on the Nile River’s east bank, the Luxor Temple, which was built for the Theban Triad of Amun-re and his family: Mut, his wife and son, Khonsu, is another impressive Egyptian site. Its sheer size, historical relevance and the great festivals—especially the festival of Opet, that hold here make it distinct among Egypt’s Temples.
#9 Valley of Kings
The Valley of the Kings is one of Egypt’s most iconic ancient sites. It features 63 tombs and compartments that had sizes ranging from simple to complex tombs that have more than 120 chambers. These tombs were originally built between 11th to 16th BC for the kings and privileged nobles.
#8 Bent Pyramid
How Egyptians were able to build massive pyramid is still a wonder to many. The Bent Pyramid, which was the second pyramid that Pharaoh Sneferu’s built, rises from the desert at a 55-degree angle, and then quickly changes to 43 degrees. The pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids. This is the real wonder that defines the monument. The Bent Pyramid is at Dahshur.
#7 Sahara Desert
The world’s hottest desert, the Sahara is the third largest desert in the world the Antarctic and The Arctic. Nonetheless, the Sahara is pretty enormous, covering most of North Africa. Temperatures here regularly exceed the 50 degree mark, and in the coldest regions at night the mercury drops to near freezing. The dunes here are enormous too, some of them reach up to 180 meters high!
#6 The Red Sea Reef
Wondering where the real divers go when they visit Egypt? Ask no further, with more than 2,900km of coastline, you can’t leave Egypt without spending as much time as possible by the sea, but if you are looking for the best diving site—I mean one of the best spots to go diving in the world, then go to the Red Sea Reef. It stretches over 1240 miles along the coast of Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea. The Red Sea Reef’s diversity and charm simply qualifies it as a wonder of Egypt. Nearly 1100 species of fish call the reef home, and nearly 10% of these are only found in this region. The reef is also one of the most beautiful diving places on earth where visibility is excellent, with opportunity to see some of the most exotic seascapes in the world.
#5 Abu Simbel
Talk of Egyptian temples and Abu Simbel literarily leads the pack. It is composed of two massive rock temples built from two massive rocks which were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC during Pharaoh Ramesses II reign. It took 20 years to complete the Great Temple at Abu Simpbel, and the complex is today part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments,” which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan).
#4 Step Pyramid of Djoser
This is the first Egyptian pyramid, it consisted of six mastabas (of decreasing size) built atop one another. A revision of its original plan, the 27th centure BC built Step Pyramid originally stood 62 metres (203 ft) tall, with a base of 109 m × 125 m (358 ft × 410 ft) and was clad in polished white limestone. It is considered to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction in Egypt.
#3 The Great Sphinx
About 2,500 years ago (i.e. 5th century BC), Herodotus listed the Great Sphinx on his list of wonders. Today, the monument is still a striking site! This massive monolith statue is not only the world’s oldest and largest monuments, it is also one of the most impressive sights in the world that leaves anyone looking at it marvelling! It is simply in its own class!
#2 The River Nile
You can’t talk about Egypt without the Nile. A mere check of this natural wonder on the map will leave you amazed by its sheer size, beholding and experiencing its power and beauty gives an out-of-this-world experience. At 6650 km long, the Nile is the world’s longest river, flowing through 11 countries and serving as a water source for millions of people in Africa. It is the backbone of Egypt and most of the country’s major cities are built on its banks.
#1 Great Pyramid of Giza
Nobody contests its status as one of the 7 Wonders of Africa. The Great Pyramids, located at Giza on the west bank of the Nile River north of Cairo, is the only wonder of the ancient world that has survived to the present day. It is made up of three pyramids–Khufu (Cheops), Khafra (Chephren) and Menkaura (Mycerimus) which were built between 2700 B.C. and 2500 B.C. Khufu, which reigned as the tallest building in the world for more than 4,000 years, is the largest and most impressive among the trio. It covers 13 acres and is believed to contain more than 2 million stone blocks that weigh from two to 30 tons each.
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with a knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for www.afrotourism.com