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Travel Guide Africa Egypt Siwa



Great sand sea, Siwa

Great sand sea, Siwa

© kiwi in oz

Siwa, or Siwa Oasis, is an oasis and town in the central western deserts of Egypt. The modern town has about 23,000 inhabitants. The Siwa Oasis is a major oasis 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of the Libyan border and 560 kilometres (348 miles) from Cairo This stunning oasis has been a hot spot of human activity since the 10th millennium BC. Today it is a center for a Berber population of 20,000 people. With their natural diet and clean living, Siwans have the best lifespan of all Egyptians, with many Siwans living upwards of 95 years. There is also no crime in this area; the last one was over ten years ago, both committed by and against outsiders. Be aware that the area is far more conservative than Cairo. It is impossible to obtain alchohol, and visitors, especially women, will want to cover up as much as possible. The towns are built in amazing ways and this hard to get place is worth the trek.



Getting There

By Car

By car it takes 6 hours from Alexandria.

By Bus

The only option is taking a bus from Cairo which takes around 12 hours or taking a bus from Alexandria taking around 8 hours.
In summer you can take a flight from Cairo to Marsa Matruh and take a bus from there which is about 4 hours.





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Keep Connected


Internet access is easy to find and cheap. Most cities, such as Greater Cairo and Luxor, and even smaller tourist sites, such as Edfu, boast a plethora of small internet caf├ęs. The price per hour is usually EGP 2-10 depending on the location/speed. In addition, an increasing number of coffee shops, restaurants, hotel lobbies and other locations now provide free wireless internet access. Free wi-fi (Mobilnil) is also available at modern coffee shops such as Cilantro and Costa Coffee, where you obtain access by getting a 2-hour "promotional" card from the waiter, and if you go into almost any McDonald's, you will have access to a free WiFi connection.


See also International Telephone Calls

The international telephone code for Egypt is 20.

Egypt has a reasonably modern telephone service including three GSM mobile service providers. The three mobile phone providers are Mobinil, Vodafone and Etisalat. Principal centers are located at Alexandria, Cairo, Al Mansurah, Ismailia, Suez, and Tanta. Roaming services are provided, although you should check with your service provider. Be aware that using your home SIM card can be very expensive, especially when using internet services but also calling is much more expensive. Try to get a local SIM card for your cell phone instead. Also, it is possible to purchase tourist mobile phone lines for the duration of your stay, which usually costs around EGP 30.


Egypt Post is the national postal service in Egypt. Services are generally reliable, affordable though pretty slow, even if you send post domestically. International letters and postcards take days, if not weeks if send to the US or Australia. They do have express mail services though, but these are relatively expensive. Opening hours of post officies are mostly from 8:30am to 2:00pm or 3:00pm daily except Friday, when all of them are closed. The central ones might keep longer hours, generally until 8:00pm. You can buy stamps here, or at certain newspaper kiosks. In touristic areas, these are available at many shops as well. For parcels, it's much better to use international courier services such as DHL, TNT, FedEx or UPS.


Accommodation in Siwa

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Siwa searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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