Sports in Egypt

Near Sharm el-Sheikh, there is a famous World War II wreck, the SS Thistlegorm and the nearby Straits of Tirian host spectacular offshore reefs, as well as two more wrecks. Live-aboard packages are available from some operators. Conditions vary according to the time of year: in February and March, the extra plankton in the water attracts manta rays and in November and December, the visibility is particularly good. A twice-weekly tour for E£5 can be taken to four islands in the Red Sea, namely Abou Kizan, The Emerald, The Rocky Island and The Two Brothers. For further information, see the Resorts & Excursions section or contact the Egyptian State Tourist Office (see Contact Addresses section).

Note: The Red Sea coral reefs are all protected by law and persons removing ‘souvenirs’ will incur heavy fines.

Nile cruises: There are numerous cruise steamers on the Nile, the majority of which provide a very high standard of service. Vessels usually carry between 50 and 100 passengers, with the facilities varying according to the size of the individual vessel. Contacting a specialist operator is recommended for choosing a Nile cruise. Normally visitors can only book the complete package through a tour operator. Traditional feluccas may also be chartered. For further information, see Nile Cruises in the Resorts & Excursions section or contact the Egyptian State Tourist Office (see Contact Addresses section).

Other: Tennis, croquet and horseriding clubs are found in both Alexandria and Cairo. For details, ask at the hotel. There is a public golf club at the foot of the Giza pyramids and there is a Gary Player course at Soma Bay on the Red Sea. Most courses either adjoin or are part of hotels, for instance the Mena House which is 15 minutes from Cairo. Other courses include the Alexandria Sporting Club (30 minutes from Alexandria); Jolie Ville (5 minutes from Sharm el-Sheikh); Royal Valley Golf Course (25 minutes from Luxor); The Steigenberger Golf Club (30 minutes from Hurghada). The Egyptian State Tourist Office can provide further information (see Contact Addresses section).

Diving: The Red Sea coast and the Gulf of Aqaba are deservedly popular among divers, owing to their rich marine life and shipwrecks. A large variety of coral, tiny florescent fish, giant turtles, Napoleon wrasse and nurse sharks are just some of the species inhabiting the area. The main dive centres are on the Sinai Peninsular at Sharm el-Sheikh and Ras Muhammad, a national park since 1983. Equipment may be hired and training is available for all levels of ability.