The Giza Pyramids
The Giza Pyramids, built to endure an eternity. Egypt’s pharaohs expected to become gods in the afterlife. To prepare for the next world they erected temples to the gods and massive pyramid tombs for themselves, filled with all the things each ruler would need to guide and sustain himself in the next world.
The first Giza pyramid, 2550 BC, is the largest in Giza, rises 147 meters above the plateau. Its estimated 2.3 million stone blocks each weigh an average of 2.5 to 15 tons.
We visited Giza Pyramids in 2012 as part of our 17-day G Adventures Egypt & Jordan, followed by an independent visit to Israel.
The Abu Simbel
The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples at Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia, southern Egypt. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king and his queen Nefertari, and commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh.
We visited Abu Simbel in 2012.
Karnak is an ancient Egyptian temple precinct located on the east bank of the Nile River in Thebes (Luxor). It covers more than 100 hectares. It is a city of temples built over 2,000 years and dedicated to the Theban triad of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu.
We visited Karnak temple in 2012.
A Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan
The Nile was the lifeline of ancient Egyptian civilisation. Lying 420 miles south of Cairo, Luxor is the most dramatic historical site in Egypt, often referred to as the world’s greatest open air museum. Aswan is the “Jewel of the Nile”. Pink and grey granite thrusts upward through the Nubian sandstone, forming mountains, cliffs and jagged outcrops. There are many options to cruise the Nile between Luxor and Aswan, from luxury cruise ships, yachts, to traditional felucca (traditional wooden sailing boats).
We did the Nile cruise in 2012.
Valley of the King
The Valley of the Kings, also known as the Valley of the Gates of the Kings, is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, rock cut tombs were excavated for the pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom. The valley stands on the west bank of the Nile, opposite Thebes (Luxor), within the heart of the Theban Necropolis.
We took the balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings in 2012.
Sand dunes of the Sahara
The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres is comparable to the area of China or the United States.
We visited the Sahara desert in 2013 as part of our 8-day G Adventures tour, followed by our independent tour of southern Spain, Portugal and Wales.
The Hassan II mosque in Casablanca
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, is the largest mosque in Africa, and the 5th largest in the world. Its minarets are the world’s tallest minaret at 210 metres. The walls are of hand-crafted marble and the roof is retractable. The mosque stands on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. A maximum of 105,000 worshippers can gather together for prayer: 25,000 inside the mosque hall and another 80,000 on the mosque’s outside grounds.
We visited Casablanca independently in 2013 prior to joining our 8-day G Adventures Morocco tour.
Nightlife on the Djemaa el-Fna square
We visited Marrakech in 2013 independently after our 8-day G Adventures Morocco tour.
Medina of Fez
The medina of Fez was founded in the 9th century at around the same time that Islam arrived in Morocco and the imperial rule that would create the country began. It grew in the 12th and 13th centuries to about the size that it is today.
The tight-knit buildings of the Medina is an intricate web of alleys, passages and tiny squares where people bake bread, dye leather, weave cloth and hammer metals as they have done for centuries. Ancient mosques and madrasas, street-side water fountains, souks offering every conceivable product, palaces, hammams and traditional inns provide points of reference among the bewildering maze of streets.
We visited Fez in 2013 as part of our 8-day G Adventures Morocco tour.
The Okavango Delta is a unique wetland area in the northern part of Botswana, and contains 95% of all Botswana’s surface water. It is the largest inland delta in the world. It is home to a large variety of animals and bird life. Elephants and buffaloes roam the area, often in large herds, while hippos navigate their way through the existing channels, or create new ones.
We visited Okavango delta in 2010 as part of our 20-day G Adventures Cape Town to Victoria Falls trip.
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia. The Sossusvlei is more than 300 kilometers long and 140 kilometers wide and consists of seemingly endless sand dunes. Sossusvlei is a perfect specimen of Nambia’s unspoilt desert beauty.
We visited Namibia in 2010.
Table Mountain is a flat-topped mountain forming a prominent landmark overlooking the city of Cape Town in South Africa. It is a popular tourist attraction, with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top. The mountain forms part of the Table Mountain National Park. Table Mountain is home to a large variety of fauna and flora, most of which is endemic.
We visited Cape Town and Table Mountain independently in 2010 prior to our 20-day G Adventures Cape Town to Victoria Falls trip.
Victoria Falls is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. The majority of trails occur on the Zambian side of the falls, however the Zimbabwean side of the falls provides visitors with the greater panoramic view of the falls. Sightseers and photographers can see approximately 80% of the falls as compared to about 25 to 30% from the Zambian side.
We visited Victoria Falls in 2010.
Amphitheatre of El Jem
The impressive ruins of the largest colosseum in North Africa, a huge amphitheatre which could hold up to 35,000 spectators, are found in the small village of El Jem. This 3rd-century monument illustrates the grandeur and extent of Imperial Rome. El Jem is a short day trip from Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.
We visited Tunis in 2017 as part of our trip to southern Italy and Sicily.
See next: Western Europe Wonders