Population: 80.4 million
Language: Arabic. English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
Time: GMT + 2.
International dialling code: + 20
Visas: Required by UK citizens.
Country Representative in UK: Egyptian Consulate, 2 Lowndes Street, London SW1X 9ET. Tel: 0207 235 9719. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Voltage: 220 AC, 50 Hz in most areas
Money: Egyptian Pound (LE) divided into 100 piastre. For the up-to-date exchange rate please visit the OANDA Currency Converter website
Vaccinations: There are no mandatory vaccinations required. Recommended: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Malaria, Polio, Rabies, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. For up-to-date information please consult your local G.P. or visit the MASTA website
Guidebook: The Rough Guide to Egypt
Food and Drink: In Egypt the basic diet centres on pulses such as fava beans, chick peas and lentils. Meat dishes will usually be served with rice or pasta and a garnish of green salad. Bread (usually of the flat, Middle Eastern variety) is ideal for the great variety of dips featured in Egyptian cuisine. You will also find many dishes influenced by Lebanese cuisine, with meals supplemented by a number of appetisers, such as tahina (sesame seed puree) or moutabbal (grilled mashed eggplant with pomegranate juice and sesame seed oil). Snacks such as felafel (deep fried ball of ground beans or chick peas mostly in bread with salad) and shawarma (lamb, salad, garlic sauce and tahina wrapped in flat bread) are common.
Drinking tea is very popular in Egypt, as elsewhere in the Middle East, especially if you are shopping or meeting people for the first time. Coffee is also widely drunk, usually served Turkish style - very strong and sweet. Freshly squeezed fruit juice is readily available from street stalls and kiosks. The hotels used by World Discovery all serve alcoholic drinks (although during Ramadan, some hotels will close their bars). Wine is usually available (Egypt produces its own range of reasonable quality red and white wines) and local beer is of a good quality.