Incredibly, it’s been three years since the coronavirus (COVID-19) started making headlines in newspapers around the world. In most places however, life is pretty much back to normal, with lockdowns a distant memory for most of us and borders back open. Thanks to vaccines, we’ve managed to get our lives back to normal. And we’ve seen plenty of bookings as people start travelling once again. Although the crowds are returning, we still think now is a great time to visit Egypt, with crowds still below pre-pandemic levels. This is why we think the best time to visit Egypt EVER is in 2023.
At On The Go Tours, Egypt has long been our speciality, and has always ranked as our most popular destination. It was 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 we’re back! And Egypt’s ancient wonders haven’t gone anywhere. 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 sometime in 2023. 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 few years
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.
2022 continued this theme, with the discovery in October of the sarcophagus of Ptah-em-wia, who headed the Treasury under Ramses II. The tomb was discovered at Saqqara, and was captured as part of a documentary for National Geographic. And another incredible find was unearthed in Saqqara in January 2023, when a 4,300 year old gold leaf mummy was discovered alongside three other tombs.
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
Although traveller numbers to Egypt are on the up, it will take a little longer for global travel to reach pre-COVID levels. Airlines are struggling to get back to full capacity, and the hospitality sector is also still recovering. What this means is that the main attractions in Egypt are still significantly quieter than they would have been in 2019. This is better for queues, photo opportunities, and simply getting a good look at the country’s ancient attractions.
#4 You’ll be able to grab a bargain
Another potential upside to booking your trip in 2023 is that you can benefit from some great travel deals. Airlines, hotels, touring companies and more have been hard hit by COVID-19. They are keen to secure as many bookings as possible to begin their recovery. 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 Quieter 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 took 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 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?
Egypt is set for a great 2023, with travellers returning and the Grand Egyptian Museum finally opening its doors. But you’ve still got time to benefit from thinner crowds and lower prices, by securing your booking soon. Why not take a look at our range of Egypt tours? We’re ready and waiting whenever you feel comfortable. You can also check out our guide to the best time to visit Egypt.