The usual touristy Cairo experience revolves around sightseeing. However, if you feel overwhelmed by the city, wanna escape the hustle, congestion and pollution for a day, and enjoy nature, the sun, the clean air and maybe come across a fox or a deer all without having to travel for hours, then Wadi Degla protectorate or the Egyptian Grand Canyon is your perfect getaway.
About Wadi Degla Natural Reserve
In 1999 Wadi Degla area [Literally Degla’s Valley] was designated a protectorate. It’s stretched over 60 square km (23 square miles). The Wadi runs through limestones formations, which makes it rich in fossils from when the valley was covered with water 50 to 60 million years ago. The Valley is home to Dorcas Gazelle and Nubian Ibex which have been reported in recent years. However, you’ll have to go deeper into the valley and be very lucky to see them. Similarly, You might stumble upon mountain rabbits and red foxes, which are very shy. In addition, there’re 12 recorded Eastern Desert bird species and around 20 reptiles species.
What can you do in Wadi Degla
- Overnight camping
- Hiking & Jogging
- Rock climbing
- Explore the caves
- Mountain Biking
- Bird watching
- Swimming in the canyon pools
- picnics and BBQ parties
Best time to Visit Wadi Degla
The weather is best in the Fall and the Winter from September to February. However, you should never go on rany days, and you should leave if it started raining while you’re already there.
Location & How to get there
The valley rises in the mountains of the Egyptian Eastern Desert south of Cairo only 15 minutes from the Cairo subereb of Maadi.
The recommended way to go is by an SUV (ask your travel agency if they provide day trips they will probably handle the transportation ). If you’re going on your own then take the metro to Maadi station and order an Uber or Careem from there.
Quick Tips & Facts
- SimilarlyBring your ID or passport.
- There’s no place to rent gear. So, bring your own gear ( tents, BBQ tools, bikes etc.).
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
- Unless you are very experienced, stick to the trail that leads through the valley.
- Network coverage is nonexistent after the first kilometre (0.6 Mile).
- You can bring your pets but you can’t leave them unattended.
- You can drive your car inside. However, the roads are super tough so an SUV is preferable. Also, driving off the marked tracks is prohibited.
- The only toilets available are close to the entrance gates.
- Professional photography is for an additional, and much more expensive, ticket.
Wadi Degla is open every day from 7 am to 5 pm (Which makes it a good activity for the weekends to avoid the super crowded tourists attractions). If you want to stay until after 5 pm you’ll need to get a camping permit and book an overnight ticket