Tour d’Afrique, 90-day Cycling Tour, Kicks off in Cairo

 

Cairo, Egypt; 26 January 2016 – The Egypt Tourism Authority (ETA) has announced today that Tour d’Afrique, the trans-continental cycling tour, kicked off in Egypt on January 15, 2016. Covering almost 12,000 km in four months, this is the 14th edition of the Tour d’Afrique – a test of mind, body, and bicycle. Starting at the Pyramids,

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under the watchful eyes of the immortal Sphinx,

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the cyclists are heading south along the Red Sea and the Nile River in Egypt, visiting the famous sites of Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel, before entering Sudan via a new land crossing.

“Entering its 14th year, Tour d’Afrique has been a pivotal touristic event for Africa,” said Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou. “All participants will gain an unforgettable, scenic experience – starting at the oldest and most iconic place in the world – all while challenging themselves to cycle across our diverse continent. We are honored to kick off the event in Egypt, and look forward to welcoming the participants as they pass through our sites in Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel.”

The trans-African crossing from Cairo to Cape Town has been one of the world’s ambitious journeys ever since Cecil Rhodes’ 19th century dream of connecting South Africa and Egypt by rail. Since then, the route has become an iconic goal for global adventurers. Cyclists will travel along the Nile past ancient temples, through the Sudanese desert, and up and down the biblical landscapes of Ethiopia’s rugged Simian Mountains. After crossing the Equator in Kenya, they will pedal past legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, to Lake Malawi, Victoria Falls, and along the edges of the Kalahari and Namib deserts, en route to the finish of their epic journey in Cape Town, South Africa.Untitled3333

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Egypt Tourism Authority Launches New #thisisegypt Campaign

ETPA-January1 (18)

The Egyptian Tourist Authority (ETA) has announced today the launch of a new campaign titled “This is Egypt” (#thisisegypt), to kick-start a major domestic campaign to drive growth in the tourism sector.

♦In a departure from previous ETA campaigns, #thisisegypt will be adigital-first, focusing on peer-to-peer advocacy and digital media.

In addition to the traditional advertising methods that will be undertaken by the ETA, #thisisegypt will be the first new campaign for the tourism sector since 2012.
This Is Egypt focuses on personalizing the Egyptian experience by encouraging Egyptians to celebrate and share what theyvalue most about their country on all social media platforms – and play a positive role in retelling the nation’s narrative.
The hashtag, #thisisegypt, originally began as a grass-roots movement developed by Egyptians, and was adopted by the ETA as the campaign to give all Egyptians a chance to play a role in boosting tourism by portraying an experiential and authentic image about the country to the world.
♦The three-year campaign will focus on attracting and engaging diverse audiences, with a focus on millennials who are driven by personal experience, passion and adventure. Recent studies have shown that millennials take a higher number of trips annually compared to other age groups, driven by the aforementioned factors.

♦Millennials also have the highest level of influence in their respective communities, which indirectly affects the travel decisions of their peers – upon which this campaign heavily relies.
♦The campaign will highlight Egypt’s touristic destinations into four main geographic attractions: the Nile Valley, the Red Sea Riviera, the White Mediterranean and the Western Desert. The four destinations will be promoted across different audiences and seasons based on each of the targeted markets’ unique attraction points.
♦“The #thisisegypt campaign is built for Egyptians, by Egyptians,” said Egypt’s Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou. “Now more than ever we want all Egyptians to explore our country and share their positive visuals, and help reshape Egypt’s image to the world.”
The campaign comes as Egypt continues to work around the clock to enhance safety and security procedures to ensure the well-being of all travelers.

♦The country recently passed an assessment by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with inspectors from Russian, Dutch, Emirati and Italian airlines, and is also collaborating with delegations from the United Kingdom, Germany and Russia to implement the strongest security measures possible. As it launches the #thisisegypt campaign, Egypt has pledged to do all that is possible to provide all visitors – internal and external – with a safe and enjoyable experience in the country.
♦The domestic campaign will be followed with another extensive GCC and international campaign at a later stage.

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About The Egyptian Tourist Authority
Egyptian Tourist Authority was established in March 1981, by presidential decree No. 134 endorsing a recommendation by the Minister of Tourism.

♦ The Authority is dedicated to promoting Egypt as a first class tourist destination, in line with the rise of tourism marketing as an independent discipline and the emergence of new tourism promotion tools.

♦ The Authority responded to the increasing competition in the travel and tourism industry, by adopting an advanced structure capable of dynamically dealing with the situation.

♦The completion is due to the rising number of new attractive destinations, budget airlines and the huge progress made by the airlines industry.

facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamen installed in Luxor – official opening on 30th April 2014

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Exact facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamen installed in Luxor  official  opening on 30th April 2014

The exact facsimile of the tomb of Tutankhamun has been installed underground in a building  next to Carters house, at the entrance to the valley of the kings and is due to be officially opened on 30th April 2014.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor

The facsimile , made by Factum Arte, Madrid is the most accurate large -scale  facsimile to be made to date .This is the culmination of many years work and is an important milestone in the approach to responsible heritage management and the use of advanced technology in the promotion of sustainable tourism . it has been made with the full support of Mr.Hisham Zaazou  the Egyptian  Minister of  tourism , the minister of state for Antiquities and with the backing of the European Union . The facsimile is a gift to the people of Egypt from Factum Foundation . Its housed in an underground building designed by the tarek waly center : Heritage and Architecture , Cairo .The Public opening will be 1st may 2014

The work has involved the development of advanced 3D technologies  for recording the tombs and perfecting the method to replicate them. Its the first stage of a larger project that involves the creation of Facsimiles of the tombs of Seti I and Nefertari – both currently closed to the general public .

The Need for a facsimile :

The Tomb of Tutankhamun was hidden for over 3000 years , but since its discovery in 1922 it has rapidly deteriorated – not due to neglect but rather because it was not built to accommodate the vast numbers of people who visit each day ; in 2011it was announced by the Supreme council of Antiquities that the original tomb must be closed for conservation reasons .The original tomb is currently open giving visitors a unique opportunity to visit both of it and the facsimile and compare the experience. the facsimile is part of an initiative to safeguard the tombs of the Theeban Necropolis that are either closed to the public for for conservation reasons or are in need of closure to preserve them for future generations.

The facsimile of the Tomb of Tutankhamun will give visitors an opportunity to understand history of the tomb since its discovery, encourage conservation of the original site and establish Egypts Ministry of Antiquities as a world leader supporting the use of high – resolution documentation to monitor the condition of the Tombs.

The Gift and Installation of the facsimile has very specific objects:

1. To promote a positive and Sustainable approach to tourism – and to encourage an awareness that sustainable tourism can be a positive force in the conservation of Egypt s cultural heritage.

2. To facilitate the transfer of technology and skills to set up workshops on Luxors west bank to carry out the recording and production of facsimiles of tombs of Seti I and Queen Nefertari to create long term skilled jobs in Luxor .

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Umm Kulthum Museum

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The preparation for founding the Umm Kulthum Museum began in 1998, and the museum was open to the public in Dec.2001. Umm Kulthum’s role as a pop singer, cultural icon in both the Egyptian community and the Arabic world contributed enormously to the creative phase of Egyptian modern history.
Therefore, it is important to preserve this legendary tradition through collecting Umm Kuhlthum’s music, personal belongings, and related artifacts and to house them in a well established archive center.
In this process, CDF is proud to take the leadership role in supervising and funding the museum. Moreover, in order to enrich the museum collection, CDF is also responsible for collecting lesser -known personal traits and artifacts through countless direct contacts with Umm Kulthum’s family members, hoping to provide with the public a more comprehensive view of Egyptian music during the 20th century.
Located on the Roda island, the Museum, a destination to display and store Umm Kulthum’s items, shares the 250m2 building attached to the Minsterley Palace. Another reason for choosing this location is that it contains the Nile-meter, the second oldest Islamic monument in Cairo and that it is adjacent to the 161 year-old Minsterley Palace (1000m2). The significant importance of this historical area reinforces Umm Kulthum’s
cultural status in Egypt.

The Umm Kulthum Museum
consists of four halls:
The Main Hall:
It displays the collection of her dresses, awards and pendants, five collages of her photos, as well as correspondences and letters.

The Cinema Hall:
It displays a documentary movie commissioned for the opening of
the museum about Umm Kulthum, and the hall seats a maximum of 30 people

The Multimedia Hall:
It consists of a digital archival system with bilingual notes (Arabic and English?) about her life, a complete list of her songs in audio and video formats, as well as a collection of her photos. In addition, there is a collection of archive of newspaper clippings about her from 19242000- and the most important written biography about her.

The Panorama Hall:
It features a 10-minute documentary photos in an artistic way accompanied by well-known
Egyptian composer “Ragh Daood.” Since Sep. 2011, and there is a monthly Saloon held in the museum, beside a bunch of music outreach programs to reach various audience; especially students. In addition, the museum is adapting a new topic in reaching out to the
world by presenting Umm Kulthum Open Daily from 9 am – 4 pm (except for National Days)
Tickets: Ordinary LE 2
Students LE 1
Foreigners LE 6
1 El-Malek El-Saleh street, Manyal, Telfax: 23631467
http://www.facebook.com/museum.ummkulthumcdf@cdf-eg.org

Danny Glover to be honoured at Luxor film festival and he is today in Cairo

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The Luxor African Film Festival begins on Tuesday with a screening of Guinea-Bissau’s The Children’s Republic, starring Danny Glover

The third Luxor African Film Festival will begin on Tuesday.

The festival will open with a screening of Flora Gomes’s The Children’s Republic, a joint production between Portugal and Guinea-Bissau, about a small, fictional country in Africa where children rule after every adult abandons the place. The country prospers, but the children can no longer grow.

The film’s director, as well as its star, Danny Glover, will be present at the opening ceremony in Luxor’s famous temple. He will be receiving an honourary award for his long and fruitful career in film.

In the Long Narratives competition, Egypt is taking part with The Mice Room, while in the Short Narratives and Short Documentaries competition, Egypt’s contenders are El-Bostan El-Said Street, Sidhom and Erkie. In the Freedom Films competition, Egypt’s entry is Logical Revolt, while I Am the Film Director, another Egyptian film, will be screened in the out-of-competition selection.

Forty-one African countries are participating in the festival with more than 55 films, in addition to nine non-African countries taking part in the Freedom Films competition.

@Ahram online

The historical expedition of Prince Kamal El Din Hussein

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Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism This is a historic event taking place from the 14th to 26th of March 2014.
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Who is the Prince?
The Prince  Kamal El Din Hussain (son of Sultan Hussain) who was heading out into the deep desert with Citroen Kegresse Autochinelles in the years 1923 – 1926.  Massive camel caravans of up to 500 animals were carrying his fuel supply as the logistical backbone of his ventures. He was the one who found and named the Gilf Kebir Plateau.A memorial plaque was laid down by Count Lazlo Almasy – better known as – The English Patient. This plaque was placed in honor of the Prince at the southern tip of the Gilf Kebir Plateau in 1933 after his death. The Hollywood film “The English Patient”, won nine Oscars in 1996. The Prince was the first to introduce the automobile into deep desert explorations.After 1 year of the construction of the memorial Almasy returned with tourists to revisit the site. That expedition was sponsored by the Royal Automobile Club of Egypt which was represented by Prince Muhammed Abdel Moneim and by the Ahram Newspaper represented by Hassan Sobhi.
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The preliminary agenda for passengers

13 March 2014 – Arriving Cairo
Overseas participants arrive in Cairo. We will assist with hotel bookings and we will be delighted to assist and organize transfers to the hotels (only hotels listed as participating in Kamal Expedition).

14 March 2014 – Opening ceremony – Flight – Drive heading to Gilf Kebir
We will have a transfer organized from the hotels of our choice to the Kamal Expedition Opening Ceremony which will be held at the Automobile & Touring Club of Egypt in Cairo. You also have the choice of joining us independently at the Club if you wish. After a brunch and the ceremony we will be heading to the Cairo International Airport to catch a charter flight to Dakhla Oasis.
At the airport of Dakhla the packed 4×4 cars will be waiting for us and will bring us to have lunch. Meanwhile the last formalities will be finished with the government to have
a fast start to the desert after lunch. Divided into several groups, the participants will be leaving the Oasis heading south on the Asphalt Road. Leaving the road, our first visit will be the Balise of Saviem Trucks which traversed the entire Sahara from West to East in 1977 (from the Atlantic ocean to the Nile). In the area of G-Hills we will be looking for a camping place. In the evening we will have the chance to listen to an interesting lecture on a chosen topic related to the desert by one of our top speakers.

15 March 2014 – Wadi Eight Bells
After breakfast, we will be continuing in groups crossing different desert landscapes to approach the Gilf El Kebir plateau. We will find some relics from the Second World War: broken down Cars which were used by the British Special Forces, the Long Range Desert Group. We will also cross some dunes to reach the landing ground of 8 Bells where we will set up camps nearby. Like every night we will have the chance to listen to an interesting lecture on the desert by one of our top speakers.

16 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir Wadi WassaKamal El DIn Monument
We will be traveling through the Wadi Eight Bells to reach the Wadi Wassa and the Rock paintings of the Mararet el Qantara which was found in 1935 by a British explorer group under the leadership of Shaw. From here we will be heading south to the southern tip of the Gilf el Kebir Plateau where Almasy erected the Kamal El Din Monument 81 years ago. Nearby, we will find a set up prepared for the group. It will be on that occasion were all the groups will be gathered together and we would have a longer entertaining program for you that evening including the screening of a documentary film. If you do not feel like attending the screening, you could enjoy the calm evening weather some hundred metres away.

17 March 2014 – Camil Crater
After a late evening, the starting of the groups will be delayed. They will be heading to the south to reach the meteorite crater of Gebel Kamil, where they will be camping nearby. The evening will once again be filled with an interesting topic of one of the speakers.

18 March 2014 – Gebel Uweinat Karkur Talh
The groups will be heading towards Gebel Uweinat to arrive there after a few kilometers looking for camping places in the Karkur Talh area and will be exploring the different sites of the Gebel Uweinat. In the evening there will be a chance of attending another interesting lecture.

19 March 2014 – Rock cave near Peter & Paul
There will be a chance to have a short hike in the mountain in the morning before heading back north to reach some interesting rock art caves near the mountain of Peter & Paul. In the evening another interesting lecture will be organized.

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20 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir – Wadi Sura
We will be reaching the area of Wadi Sura (the Cave of Swimmers) which became famous through the 1997 film The English Patient. We will be visiting the Clayton Cave and the Chinati Camp site exploring some rock paintings nearby. Before that, we will have a second gathering in front of the Cave of the Beast. Here all the groups will unite for a second time to watch a short film about the life of the late Egyptian Father of Environment, Prof. Mohammed el Kassas, who died on that day (March 21st) one year ago in Cairo. Through different presentations and a film we will have a second longer night in that area.

21 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir Aqaba Pass
The groups will split up again to move over the Three Castles to the Aqaba Pass to drive on top of the Gilf Kebir Plateau and to cross some dunes which are on top of the plateau. Here we will be looking for different camping areas and have the chance to another interesting lecture.

22 March 2014 – Gilf Kebir – Wadi Hamra
We will reach the higher level of the Plateau and have a nice view at Belle Vue
onto the southern plane. Driving along the edge of the plateau we will reach a passage which will get us to the southern tip of Wadi Hamra. Here, we will be visiting different engraving sites and have a special look at the different Fauna of the Gilf el Kebir area. We will be camping at the northern exit of the Wadi Hamra where each group will get a chance to listen to an interesting lecture.

23 March and 24 March 2014 – Crossing Great Sand Sea
These 2 days we will be crossing the dunes of the Great Sand Sea having exciting passages crossing the dunes from west to east.

25 March 2014 – White Desert
We will be back near the Wadi Obaid and we will be entering the National Park of the White desert. Here a buffet will be waiting for all the participants. The groups will be spread in the National Park and a last evening with lectures will end our evenings in the desert.

26 March 2014 – Cairo – Closing Ceremony in Mena Hous
We will be leaving the White Desert National Park heading back to the road in a northerly direction reaching Baharya Oasis where a lunch will be prepared for everyone. After lunch, a 300 kilometre drive to Gizeh will bring us to the Mena House Hotel at the foot of the Pyramids. After a welcome coffee and cakes, the closing ceremony will be held in the hotel and will include a dinner. The anniversary of the Prince Kamal el Din monument will come to the end of its journey.

for more info visit : http://www.kamalexpedition.com

under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism This is a historic event taking place from the 14th to 26th of March 2014. – See more at: http://en.egypt.travel/events/id/371#sthash.aYWVe1KJ.dpuf

Replica Tutankhamun tomb set to open in Luxor

A painstakingly accurate replica of King Tut’s tomb is set to open in EgyptLuxor

Its existence will present visitors with the moral dilemma of paying to see the original tomb or helping to preserve its future existence by visiting the facsimile version instead. 

The Supreme Council of Antiquities commissioned carefully-crafted replicas of the tombs of Seti I, Nefertari and Tutankhamun back in 2009.

The move was a bid to stave off further irreparable damage caused by decades of tourists flocking to see the boy king’s burial chamber and other ancient tombs.

Wall painting of Tutankhamun flanked by Anubis and Hathor
Changes in temperature and humidity, say experts, is causing the intricately painted plaster to crumble away from the walls. Visitors could soon be completely banned from entering them

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A Madrid-based company, Factum Arte, which has worked with museums all over the world to produce facsimiles of endangered art, used high-tech 3D scanners to create the replica of King Tut’s tomb in a process that has taken several years to complete.

November will see the new version of the tomb of Tutankhamun installed just outside Howard Carter’s house, around half a mile from where the original lays in Luxor‘s Valley of the Kings.

Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon at Opening of King Tutankhamun's Tomb

On November 4th 1922, after years of toiling away in the Valley of the Kings, British archaeologist Howard Carter sensationally discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb and revealed one of the most significant Egyptian excavations of all time.

The fascination with Carter’s story and the perpetual promise of more discoveries has seen tourists pouring into the sun-drenched site although there has been a significant dip in tourism this year as the country has suffered from ongoing political protests.

One of the Factum Arte team, Briton Adam Lowe, is hopeful that the replica will become as popular as the orginal as visitors ‘become part of the force that protects it [the original] rather than a force that is leading to its destruction.’

He told the BBC: ‘They will have the thrill of visiting something they know is 3,000 years old and they have the guilt of knowing, as they look at it, that their presence is part of the reason why it won’t be there in another 100 years’ time.’

Source: dailymail

Classic Egypt back on map as FCO relaxes advice for tourists visiting Luxor and Aswan

British tourists wishing to visit the Valley of the Kings, home to Tutankhamun’s famous tomb, can once again do so safe in the knowledge that they will be covered by travel insurance after the British government relaxed long-standing advisories.

The FCO is still warning against all but essential travel to a large part of the country including Cairo and the North Sinai but destinations such as Luxor, Aswan and the Abu Simbel temples in Nubia are back on the map.

A spokesperson for the FCO said: ‘We continue to urge British nationals already in Egypt to follow the instructions of the local authorities and obey curfews where they are in place. There remains a high threat from terrorism throughout Egypt. This has not changed.’

They continued: ‘As always, the safety of British nationals is a priority. We continue to follow developments carefully, and keep our travel advice under continuous review.

‘British nationals should continue to monitor FCO travel advice closely for any updates and stay away from any demonstrations or protests.’

Speaking at a holiday industry conference in London last week, Egypt’s minister of tourism Hisham Zaazou told journalists: ‘More than 18 countries have lifted the travel advisory on Luxor and Aswan. As soon as the FCO revises its travel advice for the UK, we will work tirelessly with our valued media, travel agent and tour operator partners to communicate that the whole of Egypt is open.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2500039/Egypt-map-FCO-relaxes-advice-tourists-Luxor-Aswan.html#ixzz2kdoGTpIN

A message From the Minister of tourism in Egypt

The official message of H.E. HISHAM ZAAZOU, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism. The Message is addressed to the tour operators (Egypt’s professional partners).
on the official YouTube Channel hisham Zaazou

No photography: Why camera bans might make us smarter tourists

King Tut

By Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays

I’ve just returned from a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo where I spent three hours utterly enthralled by the treasures of King Tutankhamen. I don’t think I’ve seen a more impressive collection of artefacts anywhere in the world, brilliantly brought to life by our expert guide, Akram “Aki” Allam.

The museum is cavernous, dusty, unkempt and in many places badly lit. But it’s a wonderful experience, and sufficient reason alone to visit this baffling and exciting city.

It’s also unusual in enforcing a strict ban on photography. No snaps are allowed anywhere in the museum building.

In an age when most people pack a camera in their handbag or hip pocket, this seems almost like an infringement of human rights. If I want to whip out my iPhone and quietly peel off a few snaps, why shouldn’t I? After all, it’s all good publicity for the museum, isn’t it? Sharing on Facebook and Twitter is only going to encourage more tourists.

But the Egyptians seem immune to these arguments, something for which I find myself feeling immensely grateful.I admit that when I first saw the “No photography” sign I felt mildly irritated, but once I started to view the astonishing exhibits and get sucked into the amazing story of Tutankhamen, I was relieved to be freed from the urge to take pictures.

What’s more, I didn’t have other tourists with cameras pushing in front of me for a shot, apparently feeling that holding a camera or a phone gives them carte blanche to barge others out of the way.

The treasures of the teenage Pharaoh – including his iconic death mask, pictured above – are so extraordinary that the only proper response is to stand and gaze. Which is what I did.While other tourists strolled past and made small talk, I enjoyed a long period silently staring into the eyes of King Tut, soaking up the majesty of this most intimate of art works.

It is said that in some regions of the world, people believe that cameras can steal their soul. But maybe the truth is that they are stealing ours.Just as our ability to read is being corroded by Twitter feeds and 24-hour rolling news, perhaps the constant photographing of everything around us is affecting our very ability to see.

Maybe the way to enhance our experience as tourists is to put away the cameras and open our eyes instead. And if we can’t, then perhaps more museums should ban photography all together?

After all, it’s likely that the photos on your phone will be quickly forgotten, replaced by the next batch of shiny new digital images. Memories, on the other hand, will burn themselves into your soul, and shape who you are.

* I am in Egypt as a guest of Abercrombie & Kent with a small group of travel bloggers including Jayne Gorman of 40 Before 30 and Abigail King of Inside the Travel Lab.  The photos on this page were – of course – supplied by the Egypt Tourist Authority.

the source of this essay is : http://www.101holidays.co.uk