At 1,001,450 square kilometers (386,660 sq mi), Egypt is the world's 30th-largest country. In land area, it is about the same size as all Central America,twice the size of Spain,four times the size of the United Kingdom,and the combined size of the US states of Texas and California.It lies between latitudes 22o and 32oN, and longitudes 24oand 36oE.
Nevertheless, due to the aridity of Egypt's climate, population centres are concentrated along the narrow Nile Valley and Delta, meaning that about 99% of the population uses only about 5.5% of the total land area.Egypt is bordered by Libya to the west, Sudan to the south, and by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the east. Egypt's important role in geopolitics stems from its strategic position: a transcontinental nation, it possesses a land bridge (the Isthmus of Suez) between Africa and Asia, traversed by a navigable waterway (the Suez Canal) that connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Indian Ocean by way of the Red Sea.
Apart from the Nile Valley, the majority of Egypt's landscape is desert. Winds create prolific sand dunes that peak at more than 100 feet (30 m) high. Egypt includes parts of the Sahara Desert and of the Libyan Desert. These deserts that protected the Kingdom of the Pharaohs from western threats were referred to as the "red land" in ancient Egypt.
Towns and cities include Alexandria, the second largest city; Aswan; Asyut; Cairo, the modern Egyptian capital and largest city; El-Mahalla El-Kubra; Giza, the site of the Pyramid of Khufu; Hurghada; Luxor; Kom Ombo; Port Safaga; Port Said; Sharm el Sheikh; Suez, where the Suez Canal is located; Zagazig; and Al-Minya. Oases include Bahariya, el Dakhla, Farafra, el Kharga and Siwa. Protectorates include Ras Mohamed National Park, Zaranik Protectorate and Siwa.