A massive dam was built on the Nile close to Aswan in the 1960's and the resulting lake flooded some 5,250 sq kilometres of the Nile valley creating one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. It’s hard to comprehend how big Lake Nasser really is, an example comes to mind. The flying distance between London Heathrow airport and Cairo airport in Egypt is 3,511km – the shoreline of Lake Nasser is 7,844km twice that distance!
Lake Nasser is a vast body of water located in the middle of the largest and driest desert on our planet; a magical wilderness of stunning desert scenery, the shoreline a variety of desert landscapes, hilly and rugged, or desert dunes and sandy freshwater beaches creating an atmosphere of tranquillity, vastness and adventure
The West bank of the lake has vast stretches of shallow shore line which attracts wild birds. In contrast, the East bank is scenically different, made up of wild and rugged desert landscapes where the Nile has pushed up against a range of mountains on its way north to the Mediterranean Sea.
Over 100 species of birds have been recorded on the lake which is also an important staging point for migrant and over-wintering birds. During the autumn and spring months millions of birds pass across the lake following the Nile River on their annual migrations between the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. These bird populations have created a food chain with an impressive variety of mammals and reptiles. In many areas, crocodiles and monitor lizards make their home; other types of wildlife include Dorcas gazelle, jackals, desert fox, and various smaller desert mammals.
There are also several important Nubian archaeological sites which have been dismantled block by block and moved to higher ground when the lake inundated the Nile Valley. The most notable are the temples of Abu Simbel, built by the Pharaoh Ramses II in 1200 BC; four immense statues of Ramses address the lake, designed as a show of strength, an awesome sentinel watching over any boats sailing into the Pharaoh’s lands.
The fish populations of the original Nile River system were presented with a huge lake to live in and have thrived in their new habitat, especially the Tilapia and their predators, Nile perch, Tiger fish and species of big catfish; all of which provide anglers with some of the best fresh water fishing in the world.
A small population of transient peasant fishermen commercially fish the lake using old methods, simple wooden boats with gill nets and living in ramshackle temporary camps. The residents are Bedouin camel and sheep herdsmen, who are seen grazing their flocks on the sparse vegetation growing on the shoreline.
The weather is always sunny; most areas will not see any rain for five, ten or more years. Spectacular desert sunset are followed by a dazzling night sky full of brilliantly bright stars; in this part of the world there is no light pollution from our civilization something few people have ever experienced.
The best way to experience the lake is to come on a boat safari which is as close to the traditional meaning of the Swahili word safari as you are likely to find.
Our boat safaris are designed to be included as part of your holiday in Egypt.
When planning your itinerary include a boat safari; send us an email with your preferred dates and how long you would like to spend on the lake and we will let you know what availability we have. Or, ask your travel agent to contact us and together we will make the necessary arrangements for you.
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