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Last updated : Nov 2009
Egypt Sports
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Diving

The Red Sea coast and the Gulf of Aqaba are deservedly popular among divers, owing to their affluent marine life and many shipwrecks. A good variety of giant turtles, tiny florescent fish, coral, 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 can be hired and training is possible for all levels of ability. Close to Sharm el-Sheikh, there is a well known World War II wreck, the SS Thistlegorm and the nearby Straits of Tirian host spectacular offshore reefs, as well as 2 more wrecks and Live-aboard packages are available from some operators.

Conditions can vary according to the time of year: in February and March, the additional plankton in the water attracts manta rays and in November and December, the visibility is very good. A twice-weekly tour for E£5 can be taken to 4 islands in the Red Sea, namely The Emerald, Abou Kizan, The Rocky Island and The Two Brothers. For information, see the Resorts & Excursions section or contact:

Egyptian State Tourist Office - United Kingdom
Egyptian House,
3rd Floor,
170 Piccadilly,
London
W1V 9EJ,
UK

Telephone number: (020) 7493 5283 or (09001) 600 299 (24-hour brochure service, calls charged at 60p per minute).
Website: www.egypttreasures.gov.eg

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

Nile cruises

There are several cruise steamers on the river Nile, the majority of which provide a very high standard of service. Vessels generally carry between 50 and 100 passengers, with the facilities varying according to the mass of the vessel. Contacting a specialist operator is recommended for booking a Nile cruise and normally visitors can only book the complete package through a tour operator. Traditional feluccas can also be chartered. For further information, see Nile Cruises in the Resorts & Excursions section or contact the Egyptian State Tourist Office (see above).

Golf

There is a public golf club at the bottom of the Giza pyramids and there is a Gary Player course at Soma Bay on the Red Sea. The majority of golf courses either adjoin or are part of hotels, including:

• The Mena House , which is 15 minutes from Cairo.
• 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).

Other

Tennis, croquet and horseriding clubs are found in Alexandria and Cairo.