Africa Travel News

Exploring the lesser known ancient highlights of Egypt tours

For the ancient history buff, few trips are more appealing than a tour of Egypt. The North African enclave draws travelers from the world over thanks in large part to its extensive collection of historic buildings and artifacts, many of which date back thousands of years. While most people are familiar with the iconic buildings, such as the Great Pyramids at Giza and the Valley of the Kings, there are many other destinations that fly somewhat under the radar.

Saqqara
Like Giza, Saqqara is home to an impressive stone temple, but its unique location helps set it apart. While the Giza pyramids sit surprisingly close to the bustling Cairo cityscape - so much so that you can see it in the distance - this is not the case with the ruins at Saqqara. The site is much more removed from modern society, which gives travelers a better opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the experience.

There are many ancient buildings spread throughout the Saqqara complex, but some of the most impressive include the Pyramid of Djoser, which dates as far back as 2700 B.C. Some other highlights include the Pyramid Complex of Unas and the Pyramid complex of Userkaf.

Medinet Habu
The mortuary temple of Ramesses III, this sprawling complex can often get overlooked among the other, more prominent ancient highlights, but it shouldn't. While it may not have the iconic appearance of a pyramid, the temple does have plenty else to offer. For instance, if you walk through its peristyle hall, you'll likely be struck by the immense pillars and intricately decorated walls that have stood up shockingly well over the last 3,000 years. 

Temple of Edfu
Many of the well-known temples of ancient Egypt are from between 1,000 and 2,000 B.C., but one of the more recent structures is just as impressive. The Temple of Edfu was completed around 57 B.C., and is one of the most striking examples of the Greco-Roman period of Egyptian culture. Located on the Nile's west bank, the temple includes some impressive works of art, whether it is the painstakingly decorated relief on the walls or the statues of Horus, one of the most significant gods in Ancient Egyptian culture to whom the temple is dedicated. 

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