This spring, stay at an ecolodge and treat yourself and your family to a vacation that is both fun and environmentally friendly. Below, eniGma’s Shereen Kamal brings you five of Egypt’s top ecolodges and the interesting activities around them.
Adrere Amellal Desert Ecolodge – Siwa Oasis
This world renowned ecolodge is built in the typical style of houses in the Siwa oasis and goes to the extreme of “eco friendly”, totally dispensing with electricity and utilising candle light throughout.You will revel in the peace and quiet of the beautiful desert surroundings, and also enjoy its salt lake known for its therapeutic mud. While you’re there, you won’t want to miss a desert excursion to the amazing Great Sand Sea, where you can enjoy the most amazing sunset ever. The heavenly sand dunes of the oasis are also ideal for sandboarding. If you’re into history, there are also several historic sites in the area, the most important of which is the Shali fortress, which dates back to the 13th century.
Marsa Nakari Eco-diving Lodge – Marsa Alam
If you’re a person who enjoys peace and quiet, and loves being in, around and under the water, then this is the place for you. You’ll sleep in a tent that’s a minute’s walk to the sea and you will be able to enjoy the sunrise from your pristine location. Marsa Nakari is a great eco-village in the middle of nowhere, with no local shops, restaurants, or bars, except those in the village. This place is all about the sea, especially scuba diving, with guided dives available. So if you’re into diving and exploring the wildlife and gorgeous scenery of the Red Sea, then you’re going to want to pay this ecolodge a visit.
Mount Sinai Ecolodge – Sinai
Experience the calm beauty surrounding this special ecolodge situated below the famous Mount Sinai, which you will be able to see from the comfort of your room. Built from rocks in the area, and constructed by local Bedouin workers, this ecolodge is the perfect place to learn about Bedouin culture, enjoy Bedouin food, and discover the rugged nature of the area. You will be able to enjoy the beauty of Sinai in a completely new way in this idyllic location. The ecolodge is also a perfect start or finish point for a good hike or safari across Sinai. And while you’re there, don’t miss the chance to watch the sunrise from the top of the mountain where Prophet Moses Received the Ten Commandments.
Anakato Hotel – Aswan
This has got to be the best time of year (weather-wise) to visit Aswan. Located in the Nubian Village of Gharb Soheil on the west bank of the Nile River near Aswan, is the one and only Nubian Anakato hotel. The hotel, designed in the form of separate Nubian houses, is only a one-hour flight from Cairo and a fifteen-minute drive from Aswan International Airport. The colourful walls of the houses tell a wonderful story of authentic Nubian culture and civilization. You will be transported away from your everyday troubles, and be able to live a simpler life for a few days. You will also experience the Nubian language and learn the area’s history, which seems mysterious to outsiders. While you are there, take advantage of the most beautiful spot on Egypt’s Nile River and enjoy a romantic felucca ride at sunset. And don’t forget to visit the Pharaonic Temple of Philae that lies on an island in the middle of the river. If you have time, it’s well worth your while to visit the magnificent temple of Abu Simbel, the Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser.
Al Tarfa Desert Sanctuary – Dakhla Oasis
If you’re looking for luxurious accommodation, mixed with a unique oasis environment, then this place is another top contender that is frequented by celebrities from all over the world. Set in the peaceful Oasis of Dakhla, Al Tarfa is an eco-friendly lodge with twenty beautiful suites and rooms, a pool and spa , all set in a large private desert reserve. Al Tarfa is a true haven away from the bustling city and typical tourist attractions. It will definitely be a completely new experience for you. So for relaxation this spring, go to Al Tarfa to enjoy the breathtaking desert landscapes, historical relics, Saharan fortresses, and the joys of the simple life. While you’re there, be sure to go on a desert excursion and visit the exquisite Monastery of Stone (or Deir El Hagar), an ancient Roman monument on the Western edge of the oasis.