The Nile River is the greatest river in the world. Beginning in central Africa, in and around Lake Victoria, the ancient river slithers between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo until it eventually finds its way to the Mediterranean, forming the Nile Delta. The Nile is perhaps the most storied river in history, spawning epics and influencing many great moments in the course of civilization. Just think of Augustus and Mark Anthony as they battled on the banks of the great river, determining the fate of the Roman Empire. The Nile River is not just a diverse, unique and powerful geographic specimen. It is one of the greatest wonders of the human experience.
Though there are many ways to explore the Nile River, the most popular method is to take a riverboat cruise. Currently, the Nile is host to more than 240 riverboats. Some riverboats offer leisurely day cruises, while others can provide eight-day adventures. Choosing a riverboat is fairly simple. The Egyptian Ministry of Tourism ranks riverboat companies with a five star system, five being the highest and zero being the lowest. Once you check the ratings, your decision is simply a matter of price. Do not test the ranking system! You get what you pay for!
The riverboat cruises do a great job of providing the comprehensive Nile experience. Though the riverboat industry’s itineraries are certainly not universal, most riverboat trips will stop at famous temples along the way. You will have a chance to stretch your legs among some of the oldest relics on the planet. Imagine going for a stroll along the same riverbanks that marvelled the pharaohs! On a riverboat cruise, you get the luxury of being on a boat with the adventure of winding deeper and deeper into the Nile’s beautiful world.
Expect to spend some time in a couple cities during your cruise. The Egyptian riverboat cruises usually begin in Luxor and end in Aswan, so there are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing along the way. Normal stops include Edfu and Kom-Ombo, both of which house a wide range of fascinating monuments to the Ancient Egyptian Empire. In Edfu, you can explore the city’s temple, an incredibly well-preserved dedication to Horus, the falcon-headed god. It is in great condition, a must-see for anyone on holiday in northern Africa. In Kom-Ombo, you can see a temple dedicated to Haroeris and Sobek, the gods of medicine and crocodiles, respectively. At this temple, you can find marvellous reliefs depicting the tools and procedures of ancient doctors, providing a glimpse into the incredible achievements of the Ancient Egyptian culture. A riverboat cruise down the Nile is full of excitement and history.
There is more to the Nile than its relevance to the Ancient Egyptians. It is also home to astonishing wildlife and natural wonders. From the riverboat, you can spy Nile crocodiles and other creatures living in the river. At an average depth of 10 meters, the Nile’s waters are as mysterious as they are inspiring.