Egyptian National Parks
Egypt is located in the northeast corner of Africa and the southwest corner of Asia; bordered by Libya to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the southeast and Sudan to the south. Egypt’s occupies a strategic geographic position within the world. Egypt controls the Isthmus of Suez, the only land bridge between Asia and Africa. Egypt also controls the Suez Canal, the only navigable waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea. This created an important role for Egypt in geopolitics.
Egypt is one of the driest and the sunniest countries in the world. As a result Egypt is mostly a desert land. The temperature in most of Egypt is extremely high during summer. The Khamaseen, a hot, dry wind that originates in the south, blows in the spring and the early summer, bringing daytime temperatures that exceed 100 °F, sometimes reaching 122 °F. The relative humidity in most of Egypt can drop below five percent. Most of Egypt’s rainfall occurs in the winter months. South of Cairo, rainfall averages less than half an inch per year. In sharp contrast to the rest of the country, there is a thin strip of Northern Egypt along Mediterranean coast that can receive over 16 inches of annual rainfall, mostly between the months of October and March. The cooler winds from the Mediterranean Sea consistently blow over this coastal region bringing both rain and moderate temperatures.
In terms of total land area Egypt is the world’s 30th largest country. However, Egypt is the fifteenth-most populous in the world and the third most populous country in Africa. However, the great majority of its nearly 90 million people are concentrated along the narrow valley and delta of the Nile River, the world’s longest river. About half of Egypt’s residents live in urban areas. Cairo and Alexandria are Egypt’s two largest cities and like most major cities in Egypt, they are located in the Nile Delta. However, the majority of Egypt’s land area lies within the Sahara and Libyan Deserts, and these areas are only sparsely inhabited. Thus more than 90 percent of Egypt’s population lives and works the arable land near the banks of the Nile River, which is less than five percent of Egypt’s total land area of nearly 400,000 square miles.
Considered a cradle of civilization, Egypt has one of the longest histories of any modern country. There is evidence of an Egyptian culture dating back to the tenth millennium BC. However, a unified kingdom was not founded until around the third millennium BC. Egyptian culture flourished for the next three millennia and remained distinctively Egyptian in its arts, language, religion and customs. Historically, Egypt’s deserts have protected the country from western threats and were referred to as the “red land” in ancient Egypt. Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments in writing, agriculture, urbanization, organized religion and central government in history. Today, Egypt’s rich cultural heritage remains an integral part of its national identity. From the Great pyramids to the Great Sphinx, Egypt’s historic legacy remain popular worldwide and still are of significant archaeological interest.
Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional power, with significant cultural, political, and military influence throughout North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypt’s economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, made up of tourism, agriculture, industry and services. Egypt’s economy also relies heavy on remittances from the more than three million Egyptians working abroad, revenues from the Suez Canal and foreign aid. Egypt has received an average of over $2 billion per year from the United States since 1979. Modern Egypt faces serious problems, many resulting from growing demographic pressures. A rapidly growing population, limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overtax resources and stress Egypt’s economy. Although farm and industry output has expanded, the economy has not been able to keep pace with the Egypt’s growing population. Mass poverty and unemployment has caused rural families to stream into large urban cities like Cairo and Alexandria, where they ended up in crowded slums, barely managing to make a living. This in turn has breed discontentment among much of Egypt’s population, leading to several violent changes in the government during the last two decades.
About 15,000 animal species and nearly 2,500 species of plants have been recorded from Egypt. Around 500 species of birds and about 100 species mammals are found in Egypt. Egypt has more than 100 species of reptiles and amphibians, including nearly 50 species of lizards, 36 species of snake, five species of sea turtles, five species of toads, a number of frog species, and the Nile crocodile. More than 10,000 species of insects, including more than 60 species of butterflies, are also found in Egypt.
National Parks of Egypt
Elba National Park
St Catherine National Park
Wadi el Gamal National Park