The allure of tourism is one of Africa's most endearing features that brings it closer to the rest of the world. As an enclave of historical landmarks and wildlife biodiversity that it is, a tour of its major cities is one of the money-can't-buy experiences one must have at some point in one's lifetime.
Our tourist site pick for the day would see us navigating into the territories of one of Africa's powerhouse countries on its north east side – Egypt. Egypt has one of the longest histories of any country, tracing its heritage along the Nile Delta back to the 6th–4th millennia BCE. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt saw some of the earliest developments of writing, agriculture, urbanisation, organized religion and central government. The long and rich cultural heritage of Egypt is an integral part of its national identity, which reflects its unique transcontinental location being simultaneously Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African.
One of Egypt's iconic monuments of immense tourist appeal are the pyramids of Giza erected on a rocky plateau on the west bank of the Nile River near Al-Jizah (Giza) in the north of Egypt. Giza is the third-largest Egyptian city, behind Cairo and Alexandria, and its strategic location near the former, ancient capital of Memphis has made it an important city throughout Egyptian history.
These pyramids are nine (9) in number on a site commonly referred to as the Giza Necropolis. Each of the pyramids houses the remains of members of some of the rulers of ancient Egypt, especially those of the Fourth Dynasty. This dynasty reigned from around 2613–2494 BC and all of the pyramids were built during their time in power. The Giza Necropolis is also where you’ll find the enigmatic Great Sphinx, the largest monolith statue in the world.
The three primary pyramids on the Giza plateau were built over the span of three generations by the rulers Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. Each pyramid was part of a royal mortuary complex that also included a temple at its base and a long stone causeway (some nearly 1 kilometer in length) leading east from the plateau to a valley temple on the edge of the floodplain. Because the Egyptians have a strong belief in the afterlife and a thought that the dead would continue to live as they had on earth, they built these pyramids to house the tombs of their pharaohs and most of their very eminent traditional rulers.
Watching the sun rise or set over the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt from the back of a camel is an experience you’ll never forget. The pyramids are easy to access from Egypt’s capital and largest city, Cairo, which is equally fascinating to visit.
To have a wholesome experience, one can book one of the higher floor rooms at the Fairmont Nile City for sweeping views of the river and the Pyramids of Giza in the distance. This luxe hotel also has a rooftop swimming pool and restaurant with more mesmerizing vistas, and a spa for post-flight pampering.