Egypt is a fantastic place to visit for the whole family. We could tell you what the big attractions are, but you already know. The pyramids! The sphinx! The Nile! And so much sun!
However, even here it can be a challenge trying to come up with cool things to do as a family. After all, small children, no matter how excited they are about mummies, may not think that touring a museum of antiquities is the most thrilling afternoon.
With that in mind, here are some exciting Egyptian activities for the whole family.
Egypt Dune diving
This is a pretty simple one, but worth mentioning all the same. If there’s one thing Egypt has in abundance, it’s sand – loads and loads of sand stretching from one horizon to the other. Often it will pile up into great big dunes.
This is important, because hurling yourself head first down a massive sand dune, taking great big leaps out into the open air and then tumbling down through the sand, is one of the best things—well, ever, whether you’re three or 30.
You may choose to play around dusk, or during a cooler season, so that you won’t be completely cooked by the desert sun while leaping off the top of a dune and trying to make a superman pose before you hit the ground.
Pyramid exploring in Egypt
Well, obviously. Were you going to come to Egypt and not visit the pyramids? To get inside you need to get tickets from the tourist office at the Giza Plateau, which will sell the first 150 tickets for each pyramid early in the morning when they open, and then another 150 early in the afternoon. As can be expected, the price for entry to the Great Pyramid is more expensive than entry to the other Pyramids.
Crouching through the sloping tunnels into the pyramid can be a mild challenge for adults, but children will be able to scamper through just fine. You won’t see many treasures inside, as these have been taken away to museums in places like London and Berlin, but you will see some fantastic architecture and feel a real sense of adventure as you journey inside the ancient tomb.
See papyrus being made
The process of watching papyrus being made is a pretty mesmerising one whatever age you are you. There are plenty of papyrus shops that will allow you to watch the process and even buy some souvenirs afterwards (of course). With the plant papyrus is made from becoming increasingly rare, many of the products sold to customers are actually made from banana leaves, which may spoil it for you if you’re a stickler for authenticity. But either way the process is cool to watch—and rest assured, there’s no obligation to purchase anything, though it can be a nice way to support this craft’s survival.
Sail the Nile when in Egypt
If you fancy getting away from all the sand for a little bit, a ride down the Nile may be just the thing. We recommend a ride in a felucca, a flat bottomed sailing boat that is traditionally a common sight going up and down the Nile. Whether you want to take a boat out for an hour or two, or go on a cruise for a few days. Often the captains will be happy to show kids how to sail, and if they’re lucky, they may even get to have a go at the rudder!
Meet a camel in Egypt
Camel rides are easy enough to find, and the odds are that you’ll be approached by someone offering you a go at some point during your stay. From a camel’s back, you’ll feel very tall—so just be aware that your kid will want to be a bit adventurous for this one. For most visitors, though, a jaunt on camel-back is one of the most memorable parts of their Egyptian journey. Be wary of middlemen, who will offer inflated prices, and aim to ride a camel only if you’re directly paying the person providing the ride, and the camel looks healthy and well cared-for.
If you need even more ideas for a family trip to Egypt, this travel guide from Holiday Hypermarket offers an overview of the country’s main attractions, while the Egyptian tourism board’s website has articles about all sorts of activities for different regions.
There’s plenty to keep young ones entertained, as well as adults—Egyptians are very welcoming towards families. So long as you keep a balance of activity and rest, there’s no reason why you can’t all enjoy a desert getaway, together.