Geography of Egypt

world's thirtieth-largest country after Mauritania , is comparable in size to Tanzania , twice the size of France , four times the size of the UK , and is more than half the size of the US state of Alaska. The longest distance from north to south is 1,024 km, and from east to west it's 1,240 km .

Location- Situated in the extreme north-east corner of the continent of Africa and a small area of south-west Asia , it borders the Mediterranean Sea, Sudan, Red Sea , the Gaza Strip, Israel, Libya and also the Asian Sinai Peninsula . Its geographical location is 27 00 N and 30 00 E.

Land Boundaries- Egypt borders a total of 2,665 km of land and covers more than 2,450 km in coastline. Gaza Strip covers 11 km, Israel 266 km in the east, Libya with 1,115 km in the west and Sudan in the south with 1,273 km. Along the coastline Egypt has the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the Red Sea in the east.

Area- Total area covered: 1,001,450 sq km

  • Land: 995,450 sq km
  • Water: 6,000 sq km

Egypt can be divided into 4 main parts, The Nile Valley, The Arabian Desert, The Libyan Desert , and The Sinai . Of the total land, 95 % is covered with desert, mainly the Sahara Desert covering two thirds of Egypt.

Land Topography- Egypt is a land of deserts, rivers, lakes and seas and even mountains. The Nile Valley area is made up of two separate land areas- the Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. It refers to the flow of the Nile River, with the Upper Egypt being the land upstream or to the south and the Lower Egypt is the land downstream or to the north. The Nile River , the world's longest, flows from the south to north and empties in the Mediterranean Sea . It is the only river in Egypt with two brunches , the Rosetta and Damietta Rivers and also the only source fertile enriched soil needed in farming. The only delta in Egypt, the Nile Delta in the shape of a triangle is 100 miles long and 155 miles wide . Other source of water is the inland sea, the Red Sea and Lake Nasser . There are also five important oasis located in the Libyan Desert . They are the Farafirah, Kharijah, Bahriah, Dakhilia, and the Siwah oases.

Besides the Nile Valley, 95% of Egypt's landscape is a big, sandy desert. The Sahara Desert , one of the biggest in the north-west, covers more than two thirds of Egypt. It has rocks, sands and gravels and is almost the size of the U.S., extending 3,000 miles from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea . Another, the Libyan Desert is mostly dunes and in ancient Egypt, the Sahara Desert and the Libyan Desert were referred to as the ‘red land' , and they protected the Kingdom of the Pharaohs from western threats. The Western Desert is one of the driest in the whole world with an elevation of 3,300 ft in the south-west of Egypt. The winds blowing can form sand dunes over one hundred feet high. The other deserts are the Arabian Desert, and the Nubian Desert.

Egypt has its share of mountains also with Mount Shayib being 7,718 ft tall above sea level. Jebel Katherina , the highest peak in Egypt in Mount Musa is located in Southern Sinai. Other mountains include the Jebel Gharib, Jebel Yelleq, and Jebel Hamada.

With no forests in Egypt but there are only date palms and citrus groves . The Papyrus plants grow only near the Nile.

Land Usage- Egypt's natural resources include petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, phosphates, gypsum, talc, asbestos, lead, zinc, manganese and limestone.

  • Arable land: 2.92%
  • Permanent crops: 0.5%
  • Other: 96.58%

Climate- Egypt is one of the driest countries in the world in terms of average rainfall. The average rainfall in the south of Cairo is round 2 to 5 mm per year. Again on the northern coast covering a thin strip the rainfall can be as high as 170 mm between November and March . Snowfall occurs on the Sinai Mountains and also on some coastal cities such as the Damiatta, Baltim, Ras Barrani and rarely in Alexandria.

The summers are hot with temperatures averaging between 80 and 90°F (27 - 32°C), and up to 109°F (42°C) on the Red Sea coast while winters are as cold during days and chilly during night, with temperatures averaging between 55 and 70°F (-12 to 21°C). Sometimes the Khamaseen , a wind that blows from the south in Egypt, usually in spring or summer, brings sand and dust, and raises the temperature in the desert to more than 100°F (38°C).

Natural Hazards- Periodic droughts, frequent earthquakes, flash floods and landslides are quite a regular in Egypt besides dust storms, sandstorms and hot, driving windstorm called khamsin occurs in spring.


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