Lower Nubia

Upon seeing the mighty statues of Abu Simbel, it's difficult to believe that they were buried for centuries by desert sands. Johann Burckhardt finally happened upon them in 1813. Their grandiosity is surely the ultimate testimony to Ramses II's sense of self. The giant pharaonic statues are absolutely spectacular and well worth the detour south to the largest man-made lake in the world that surrounds Abu Simbel. The juxtaposition of crystalline blue water teeming with life and the harsh dry desert outlining it is striking and makes Lake Nasser a treat to explore. Besides the wide variety of migrating birds, there are fox, gazelle and huge crocodiles that live off the shallows and shores of the lake. Fishermen travel from afar to partake in extraordinary fishing (the rich silt that once nourished the riverbank of the Nile now nourishes the bellies of the lake's inhabitants). There is also a magnificent collection of Nubian temples scattered around Lake Nasser's shores and the Lake Nasser cruise, while expensive, is incredibly rewarding.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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