At last, Dayma is offering the kind of eco-tour we’ve long dreamed of. The same people who showed students what scorpions and camels can teach us about sustainable design have now developed two new, affordable tours that put nature at the heart of the Egyptian experience.
Since ecotourism is the latest buzz word, a lot of companies throughout Egypt profess to offer a sustainable holiday. And to some extent, many of them do.
There are beautiful getaways built from natural materials in the traditional manner, and other off grid travel options – in Sinai, for example, where life is by nature still sustainable since civilization hasn’t completely suffocated the region.
But we haven’t yet seen, until now, a tour offered by people who genuinely know and understand nature – one that offers more than a cursory glance at the birds, the bees, and the country’s numerous natural wonders.
Come 2014, Dayma will be offering two new immersive tours.
One is a four day trip to Sinai’s St. Katherine, a destination people usually visit in order to say they have climbed the highest point of Egypt. But there is so much more to see in and understand about the area’s desert, mountains and oases, a message Dayma has solicited the help and wisdom of local Bedouin people to convey.
In addition to demonstrating how it is possible for the local people to survive among what appears to be a barren, unforgiving landscape, the local people will teach visitors about the myriad medicinal plants that occur naturally – the mainstay of an enduring, self-sufficient culture.
They’ll even have a chance to tinker with their own natural remedies, under careful supervision of course.
Dayma is also offering a four day trip to Nubia and Lake Nasser in Aswan, an entirely different environment that boasts lush vegetation and great biodiversity, where the local Nubian people have developed a rich and storied tradition reflecting their unique circumstances.
This tour involves an in depth exploration of Nubian culture, history, song and food. The first day ends with a group meal prepared by group leaders and participants.
On the last two days of this trip, Dayma’s experienced leaders will teach visitors about Lake Nasser’s unique freshwater ecosystem, along with the birds, crocodiles and aquatic creates who make it home.
No doubt visitors will also catch a glimpse of what ails these two vastly different ecosystems. Climate change, poaching, pollution and general neglect have had a serious impact on all of Egypt’s natural systems, as is the case of just about everywhere on the planet.
But through Dayma, both local Egyptians and foreigners have an opportunity to experience nature as it should be. Without barriers and without walls, in order to better understand what is at stake if we continue to act as though human beings are something apart from the land, the rivers, and the sea.
Both trips are just 2,800 EGP or $400, which is very reasonable for people who want a genuine eco tour. Contact Dayma’s Noor Noor for the details.