Pyramids of Giza, Sphinx, Nile Delta, Michael Palin DVDs, Suez Canal, Abdelghani precision penalties and the recent exploits of Champions League winner Mohammed Salah. That is some kind of generic overview I had of Egypt. When your filthy backpack has galloped its way through 181 real countries, you would half expect tourist puller Egypt to be on that list. Maybe even in my first 30 countries. That was not the case, nor was it personally craved.
No. Sorry Egypt, brimful of countries, you were 182. But well earned and better late than never (BLTN). Was it that I always felt Egypt was too mainstream and over hyped? Not really. Was it as if I wanted to hate it as much as Thailand or the USA? Not really. Egypt never really shot out at me as a must see!
In 2018, I shared a flat with a guy (Momen) from Egypt, and a guy from Albania (Shpetim) whilst living in the Praga district of Warszawa. It felt weird for me, and them that I had never visited their countries despite claiming to be a global whackpacker. Normally my flatmates were asking me about travel information. Now, it was turn and turn about. I became curious as to why I had really omitted Egypt (Libya and Sudan too, but they both are less touristic).
My curiosity peaked when I gave English lessons to a Polish lady who had visited Egypt over 10 times. Polish people tend to be good at judging. It was time. Then I became friends with an Egyptian guy, Harvey, a photographer based in Warszawa. Time was finally right to visit Egypt.
So I booked my flight to Egypt. Then my evisa was rejected. Oops. I thought that would be an easy one, but no. They were being strict about my accommodation and they kept rejecting my passport page photos (too big, then too small, too blurred etc…). After 6hours on my laptop resizing and retaking hundreds of photos of my passport, they finally accepted my evisa application, just a few hours shy of the deadline. Better late than never.
But I don’t really do hardcore anymore. I am in my late thirties now. Hardcore overland whackpacking feels like a young man’s game. A game I probably milked for too long. So how about this for a visit to a country – no overland backpacking, tourist tours, textbook hostels and an airport pick up. Simply all I craved now on this trip to Africa’s north eastern gem.
I landed in Cairo International Airport with my evisa ready and an airport pick up awaiting. The claustrophobic mayhem was still noticeably apparent by the time the smoke and markets of downtown Cairo wafted their way into my brain. Here I was. Better late than never.
As I said on repeat, better late than never.
As a backpacker to Cairo, Egypt you should stay in the Australian Backpackers Hostel in Cairo if you want a cosy, friendly central place to meet people. Here are some reasons why…
1.Excellent Tour Options
Life is made easy for you here. Tours are daily, from outside the hostel. Whether its Luxor, the Nile, the pyramids of Giza, Memphis, or an overland whackpacking adventure intill Sudan, life begins here. I was on a limited time frame (made even worse due to missing my initial flight in and so I organised tours to Giza and Sphinz, Saqqara, Memphis and a night cruise on the Nile River).
2.Pumping Heart of Cairo City
You might want to be central like me and the Australian Backpackers Hostel is certainly that – in amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life in this 20 million people pumper.
3.Very Sociable Vibe
I was in a 4 bed dorm where I met Henna and Marjolein. In the common room, you can chill out on the lazy low sofas and mingle with staff and fellow tourists alike. It’s the type of hostel I always loved staying in during my glory days of my backpacking.
4.Safe and Relaxed Vibe
Crime, scams and cheating all occurs on the streets of cities as humungous as Cairo. Therefore it is nice to have a safe, relaxed and peaceful vibe here. Chill out from that madness, honey.
5.Friendly, English Speaking Staff
Arabic doesn’t work for me. Salam Aleykoum and Shoukra (probably both spelt wrong) are my limits. But all staff here speak good English, making your time in Cairo easier. Maps can be explained, the Metro system made easy and good information as well as friendly chatty staff.
Overall, this was an excellent option for me and for any hostel-loving backpacker. Cairo is a chaotic city at the best of times, and life chills to a reflective halt here, on the third floor of the Australian backpackers Hostel.
I will write about my tours in and around Cairo soon. It was my first time in Egypt, country 182 on the list and another dot on my globe…
Here are the details for booking a night at the Australian Backpackers Hostel in Cairo, Egypt :
Tel +202 23958892
Mob & Whats app +2012 290 293 86
Address 23 Abd El khaleq Sarwat Downtown Cairo – Egypt
Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AustralianHostel/
Here are some videos I made while backpacking in Cairo, Egypt :