The city of Cairo is situated on the banks of river Nile. It stretches 25 miles from north to south and is Africa’s largest city. There are highways linking Cairo to Alexandria, Port Said, Luxor and Aswan. There is also an extensive transportation network and a busy international airport. It is possible to travel by ferry to Saudi Arabia, but services are not regular, nor are they recommended.
Foreign drivers must be over 25 years old to drive in Egypt and they must possess an International Driving license. With the exception of the main highways, the majority of roads are of very poor standard, filled with potholes and bumps. Egyptian drivers overtake in dangerous situations and headlights at night appear to be optional.
Egyptian State Railway operates Egypt’s railway service. The network is efficient, though somewhat limited. Regular services run to Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan, with first-class or second-class superior being the most comfortable. First-class sleeper trains run to Luxor and Aswan. If you are travelling south from Cairo through the Nile Valley, you are advised to use the guarded trains for security. Foreign students are entitled to a 50 per cent discount if they are in possession of a valid student card.
It is possible to travel to Cairo on buses or coaches. There is a regular and inexpensive coach service that runs to Cairo from other major Egyptian cities. Many of the coaches are air conditioned and comfortable. However, older buses can be uncomfortable and a long journey on one of them can be a fairly unpleasant experience. Generally, the comfort of the journey is reflected in the price of the ticket. There are five long-distance coach stations throughout Cairo, which although they can get very congested, do have reasonable facilities in them.