Article originally published at www.egyptianstreets.com
Not just sand and palm trees, Egypt’s turquoise beaches, vast terrains, and Mediterranean weather have made the nation an up-and-coming hotspot for extreme sports and other adrenaline-pumping activities. We delve into the variety of exhilarating adventures available.
Some of the most enticing aspects about Egypt’s top destinations like Sharm El Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula, or Hurghada to the south, are the sandy shores and kilometers of colorful coral reef. While snorkeling and beach lounging are almost a given in a country with two seas, thrill-seekers have instigated a greater demand for new and adrenaline-charged sports. Some commit to learning kite surfing, rock-climbing, desert cycling, and the like, while others opt for the once-in-a-lifetime safari trekking experience. Adventure tourism is on the rise in Egypt, and word has spread to sports aficionados all over the world. The following are some of the best extreme activities available in Egypt.
No extreme sports list is complete without Bungee jumping. This activity came to Egypt in its traditional form in 2013 at Porto Marina, located on the North Coast. Bordering the Mediterranean Sea, Bungy Egypt is the highest water touch Bungee jumping site in the world and the only in the entirety of Africa and the Middle East, making it an absolute must for anyone seeking an adrenaline rush.
A water touch Bungee jump is unique in that it allows the jumper to touch the water below when nearing the bottom, without being fully immersed in it. With Bungy Egypt, one can feel the breath-taking sensation of jumping off of a tower 45 meters high only to graze the top of the clear blue Mediterranean. Just four hours away from Cairo, the North Coast is known for its crystal waters and white beaches, making it the perfect backdrop for a Bungee jump. While Bungy Egypt runs seasonally, the best way to find out more information or to arrange a trip is by calling the number on their website or Facebook Page.
If you are interested in taking the plunge with friends, GMAX Reverse Bungee Jump Egypt offers groups of three to do what can best be described as a seated bungee jump. Those daring enough are buckled into a pod that is connected to two towers by Bungee rope, and is then released into the air like a slingshot, reaching speeds of an incredible 200 km/hour! This type of bungee jump is sure to get your heart pumping, and is one extreme activity that can only be done in 6th of October City at the Mall of Arabia Cairo. Straight from New Zealand, this branch has the original GMAX Reverse Bungee Jump equipment installed in Egypt directly by the manufacturers. Sporting sleek seats and plenty of seatbelts, the safety of this type of Bungee jump allows all levels of risk-takers to enjoy it- if they think they can handle it.
On a real safari trek, explorers can visit uninhabited deserts completely untainted by man, or explore ancient ruins and caves where humankind once flourished. While not consisting of one specific sport, safari trips through Egypt can be as extreme as the adventurer wants it to be. Options such as a two-week long journey from Cairo to the Siwa Oasis and back, during which one can view the wonders of the White Desert and gain rare first-hand glimpses at ancient cave art, allows for the most extreme Egypt experience. Voyagers will be pushed to their physical limits and have their endurance tested on challenging ventures like this, however, there are less demanding options available. You can design your safari expedition to include climbing, hiking, fishing, desert biking, and even diving.
Before embarking on this or any overnight excursion, you should take some time and pick a trip that is right for you amongst the multitude of routes available. The most efficient way to plan for a safari adventure in Egypt is through one of the many organizers that can be found through a simple Internet search. These coordinators provide crucial aspects such as off-road vehicles, food, camp-site contacts, guides, and the like, so researching the trek and company you will be going with is very important. Once the technical details are arranged, you can start preparing for the trip of a lifetime.
Deep Water Diving- “Blue Hole” and Shipwreck Exploration
Egypt is home to some of the most fascinating underwater sights: the Blue Hole of Dahab and various explorable shipwrecks off the Red Sea. The Blue Hole is considered one of the most dangerous dive sites in the world, making it perhaps one of the more extreme sports on this list. Divers be warned- this is not a typical deep-sea dive. Many have perished attempting to delve deeper and explore the Blue Hole’s infamous Arch. Nonetheless, the sense of danger, the marvellous landscape, and the impending feeling of accomplishment attracts skilled divers with the same magnetism that makes climbers want to scale risky mountainsides. Divers must be exceptionally well trained and PADI certified for deep water diving before they can even consider tackling the depths of the Blue Hole, and even then should always consider training with divers who have scaled it before. For those who are not quite there yet, there are several other diving ventures in Egypt that provide the adrenaline rush without the risk, such as shipwreck exploration.
Whether you are a history buff or a recreational diver, experiencing the aftermath of a shipwreck frozen in time is always a breathtaking adventure. Egypt’s Red Sea coast offers many fascinating shipwrecks that are available for exploration, dating as far back as 1869. One of the top sites includes the SS Thistlegorm, a WWII British vessel that sank in 1941 after an air attack, which was rated one of the Top Ten Dives in the World by Scuba Travel. Its cargo included war supplies such as motorcycles, rifles, trucks, and more, some of which can still be observed during your dive. The Thistlegorm can be accessed just north of Ras Mohammed in the Red Sea, and while its shallowest point is at 13m, its deepest is at 30m and can be quite the challenging dive. It is always best to embark on these excursions with a group or guide, and like many of the more popular activities in Egypt, shipwreck diving can be easily arranged through travel offices locally or by contacting diving facilities at your destination.
Picture this: zooming through glistening waters with wind blowing through your hair, golden sun brushing your skin when suddenly, you are soaring through the sky. Kiteboarding, or kite surfing, is one sport that does not disappoint- you can get the best of both water and air if you know what you are doing. Consisting of a special board connected to a kite, this sport has recently been climbing up the rankings of the extreme sports scene in Egypt. Discovery News rated the shores of Nabq number four on its list of the World’s Top Kiteboarding Destinations in 2011, boosting interest in Egypt’s surf-perfect beaches.
Today, there is an emerging kite surfing culture consisting of events hosted throughout Egypt, including organized surf hangouts and contests sponsored by Red Bull. Although it requires a learning experience at first, many destinations such as Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, El Gouna, and more are fully equipped with multiple training facilities, and almost all of them provide a beginners training course that will get you on the water right away. While many believe you have to travel hours from Cairo to find any real beach sports, there are kite surfing establishments as close as Ain Sokhna, only an hour and a half away. This is one extreme sport that is both accessible and safe.
With all that sand, endless dunes, and magnificent scenery, adventurers have found a way to take on Egypt’s deserts in the best way possible: fast and furious! All forms of motor biking are available in Egypt, and organizations often hold rallies and events such as the annual Cross Egypt Challenge, where participants ride motorcycles or scooters from Alexandria to Marsa Allam, ending at the Pyramids of Giza. In this event, the route driven is around 3,000 km! This event occurs only once a year for about nine days, but anyone can get their biking fix in Egypt during any season. Companies like Bike-Egypt in Hurghada were established for those seeking a heart-pounding, fast-paced quest into the many vast landscapes the country has to offer. Recreational bikers can embark on short quad-bike trips through a designated path, often called a “safari” for tourists who want a bit of adventure, but thrill-seekers opt for the more extreme version: going off-road on a two-wheeler.
In order to join this type of trip, you may need to be willing to take practice lessons at first if you have never been on a bike before, however the ultimate freedom to explore vast golden deserts at wild speeds is well worth the effort. It is hard to surpass the excitement of zipping through the sand while breathing in scenes of the sun setting behind rock mountains, or glistening on the sea. This sport is open to all skill levels from beginner to advanced, and motorbikes are always available to rent, making it easy for group trips. In Egypt, you are almost guaranteed to be able to book various biking options almost everywhere there are tourists, as it is one of the most popular activities in the country.
*Image of dunes of the desert Sahara via Shutterstock
*Image of a man riding quad bike in desert via Shutterstock