Touring Egypt on the Verge of the Pandemic: Part 1

Note: I started to write this blog in March, shortly after I returned from Egypt, and then life changed. Many (healthy) months later, I finally returned to my writing desk.

Egypt – with its mysterious ancient religion, iconic giant structures, and the longest river in the world – has continuously fascinated people all over the globe.

Map of EgyptEgypt has the longest history of any country, going back to six thousand years B.C. (give or take a thousand), and it’s an exotic melting pot of culture: an Arab Republic on the African continent bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Like many, I  first learned about Egypt in elementary school as the “cradle of civilization” and was mesmerized by the colorful symbolic representation of the people – the hair, the clothes, the poses, the rituals!  I renewed this enchantment in my art history classes at Vassar College. So, when I had the opportunity to join a small group who were going to spend 8 days touring many of the famous places, I jumped on it. I had no idea how fortunate I was to just barely avoid the coronavirus pandemic.

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African Safari: Glamping Across Kenya

As I mentioned in my previous post, our two-week Kenya safari was truly wonderful.  We went to three national parks, each with a different ecosystems, and “glamped”,  staying  in comfy furnished tents or huts at four different upscale camps.

We booked through Go2Africa and chose the 15-hour direct flight from NYC to Nairobi on Kenya Air rather than risk the problems that connections can cause.  Our package included all the air or ground transportation between camps. This was our full itinerary.

Getting ready

We booked many months in advance giving us lots of time to get our immunizations (this is not a trip for anti-vaxxers), do our research, fret, and over-prepare.  There were several points of confusion.
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Nairobi Tented Camp

Nairobi giraffesThe excitement of landing in Africa wiped out all the stress and pain of the 15-hour flight. Well, most of it. Nairobi Tented Camp was our first stay.  It is part of Nairobi National Park, in the world’s only wildlife capital city, and just minutes from the airport.

We were picked up right outside the terminal and driven through Nariobi, a large city with high-rise buildings, lots of traffic in cars, trucks, buses, on bikes and on foot. We drove through a section called “Karen” with the Karen Blixen Museum (the “Out of Africa” Karen Bixen) and past Kibera, Africa’s largest slum. There are tours available of both; neither was in our plans.
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