It’s been about a year since the coronavirus (COVID-19) started making headlines in newspapers around the world. A year on, much of the world is still in lockdown. However, there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel. Vaccines offer hope, with many countries starting to vaccinate their populations and global agreements being put in place to help poorer countries across the world to inoculate their own. Travel too, is beginning to show glimmers of recovery. Many people desperate to get a holiday under their belts are beginning to make tentative enquiries and bookings for later in 2021 and into 2022. And this is why we think the best time to visit Egypt EVER is just around the corner.
At On The Go Tours, Egypt has long been our specialty, and has always ranked as our most popular destination. It’s been heartbreaking for us to not be able to show our travellers the Pyramids of Giza, mighty Karnak, the River Nile and so much more that Egypt has to offer, but it won’t be long now. And when we can get back to exploring Egypt, it promises to be incredible. Here are five reasons why the best time to visit Egypt ever is just around the corner.
#1 The Grand Egyptian Museum is FINALLY going to open
Boy have they made us wait. The brand spanking new Grand Egyptian Museum promises to revolutionize the Egyptian museum experience. Collections from across Egypt and around the world are returning to Cairo. They are to be displayed in an ultra-modern, eye-wateringly expensive facility within sight of the Pyramids of Giza. The new museum is expected to display never-before seen artefacts, as well as famous classics such as Tutankhamun’s gold burial mask. In total, around 50,000 exhibits are going to be on display. The facility will also make use of modern technology such as virtual reality, to further enhance the experience for visitors.
The Grand Egyptian Museum has been beset by delays. It was first slated to open in 2013, but the date has repeatedly been pushed back, and COVID-19 only delayed things further. However, at long last the museum is nearly ready. It is expected to open fully with much pomp and grandeur as soon as travel restrictions allow crowds to gather. This means that any traveller to Egypt in the second half of 2021, or into 2022 should be able to pay a visit to what is sure to become one of the best places to visit in Egypt. All of our Egypt group tours will visit the museum as soon as it opens to the public.
#2 There have been loads of amazing new discoveries in the last year
Whilst the rest of us were locked down, home schooling the kids and baking our own sourdough, archaeologists remained hard at work in Egypt. 2020 turned out to be a pretty good year for new discoveries in the country. In April, some truly ancient rock art depicting animals was discovered in the northern Sinai. In September, authorities announced that 27 sealed wooden sarcophagi had been uncovered in the necropolis of Saqqara. And in October, 59 further coffins of the priests and clerks of Saqqara were added to the list of discoveries. In total, more than eight major archaeological finds were declared in the country, making it a truly excellent year.
Many of these new discoveries will soon be on display for the first time. Many will be housed in the Grand Egyptian Museum and other facilities across the country. This means travellers in the next few months and years will have access to the largest collection of antiquities in the history of travel to Egypt. Surely this makes it the best time to visit Egypt ever?
#3 The crowds will be thinner
It is inevitable that it will take some time for global travel to reach pre-COVID levels. Airlines are running reduced capacity and many hotels and tourist businesses have unfortunately gone bankrupt. As indeed have several large travel companies. Whilst this is a devastating blow, it does have some upsides for travellers looking forward.
Travel will not resume properly in Egypt until it is safe to do so. When it is fully safe, if you make it onto one of the first flights then you are surely going to have the run of the place. No more queues to venture into the Pyramids. No 6am dash to reserve a pool sunbed on your free days. And social distancing in the museums will mean smaller crowds and better access to the exhibits. Whilst we expect demand to come back pretty quickly, the first few months of tentative travel offer the chance to explore in relative tranquillity.
#4 You’ll be able to grab a bargain
Another potential upside to booking your trip as soon as it is safe to do so, is that you are likely to benefit from some great travel deals. Airlines, hotels, touring companies and more have been hard hit by COVID-19. They will be keen to secure as many bookings as possible. So you can certainly expect some great deals, helping you to secure a cheaper trip to Egypt. If you’d like to have a look at our latest travel deals then you can visit our website.
#5 Quiet seas mean better dolphin and whale watching
The popular beachside resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada are both known for their dolphin and whale watching opportunities. Majestic species including Risso’s dolphins and Bryde’s whales inhabit the waters off the coast of Egypt. Other species such as humpback whales are also known to occasionally pass through on their annual migrations. The reefs of Hurghada are also great for snorkelling and scuba diving, with colourful tropical fish, turtles and more known to inhabit the waters.
As has been seen in many countries around the world, nature and wildlife has taken the opportunity of reduced human presence on the streets to come back to places normally off limits to them. In Hong Kong, sightings of endangered pink dolphins rose by 30% during lockdown. Flamingos descended on the parks of Mumbai, India and in the town of Llandudno, Wales, herds of mountain goats were seen rampaging through the streets.
For the normally busy Egyptian coastal resorts, the smaller number of boats and the quieter beaches have also led to more sightings of whales and dolphins. This is because the animals can currently swim closer to shore without fear of being disturbed. It will take a while for vessel numbers to recover to pre-COVID levels. As a result, the next few months and into 2022 are likely going to be the best time to visit Egypt in years if you want to get a glimpse of some of these incredible creatures.
So, are you ready?
It’s been a rough year for us all, since those first reports of a mysterious virus emerging in Wuhan, China. Thankfully, the pandemic does seem to be in its final stages. The fantastic work of scientists around the world has led to the production of numerous vaccines, and miracle working healthcare professionals have begun a mammoth effort to vaccinate the elderly and vulnerable. All this means that travel to Egypt should soon be back on the cards. As we can see, there will be many benefits to getting in there early. From bargains and better whale watching opportunities, to fewer crowds at attractions. And Egypt itself is set for a great few months. The long awaited opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the display of some of the countless new discoveries made in 2020 are sure to be attracting travellers for years to come.