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Egypt, home of the Pharaohs, the pyramids and the great Nile Delta, sits at the top of Africa. It shares borders with Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, Israel and the Gaza Strip to the east. The country is over 386,000 square miles and home to 80million people, making it one of Africa's most populous.

Egypt has a Mediterranean coastline to the north and on the east borders the Red Sea which is a popular scuba diving destination. Most of the country is desert, part of the vast Sahara that dominates North Africa. As a result, most of the population resides in the coastal regions and in the fertile Nile valley.

With vast deserts, mountains over 2500m and long coastlines, Egypt experiences many different types of weather from arid heat to snow.

The months of June, July and August are generally the hottest and December to January is classed as winter, though its never cold in the sense that we are used to in most of Europe. The country experiences very low rainfall with any rain sticking to the winter months.

Nile Valley and Delta

Despite making up only 5.5% of Egypt's land mass, this massive oasis is home to 99% of the country's population. It provides the only non-desert region of the country and the only land fertile enough to support agriculture.

Cairo sits where the mighty Nile fans into its enormous Delta where the waters split into hundreds of rivulets to make the final length of their long journey to the Mediterranean Sea.

Cairo's climate is basically hot and dry. You can find a detailed description of the city's climate here and weather averages here. Average temperatures range from 14oC in January to 28oC in July and August. October to May is the best time to visit as it is coolest. During the summer months it can get very hot-into the high 30s and beyond. The coldest it gets is around 8oC or 9oC at night time during the winter months. In winter daytime highs are mild at around 20oC, much more pleasant for sightseeing.

Rainfall is extremely low-around 30mm per year C and occurs between November and March. December and January are the most precipitous months, but with an average of around 7mm you can hardly call them wet.

Cairo's desert climate is seen across the Nile Valley and Delta, and popular destinations such as Luxor and Aswan experience similar weather.

Maps of Egypt