For years, River Nile cruises have attracted visitors wanted to see some of ancient Egypt’s finest treasures but in more recent times, an alternative cruise destination in Egypt is on offer. The lake was created between 1958 and 1970 when the Aswan High Dam was built across the River Nile as a hydro-electric project. The lake is more than 300km long and is 35km wide at it’s widest point. The rising waters also meant that a number of ancient temples had to be relocated as well as some villagers whose former homes were swallowed up.
Lake Nasser has turned into a real attraction for anglers with some excellent fishing for those in search of Perch, Catfish and Tiger Fish. These fish were all originally found in the River Nile before the Aswan High Dam was built and once the lake was formed, these species thrived on their new environment. The Perch fishing in here is considered to be the best in the world.
As an inland cruise destination, Lake Nasser is coming into it’s own. The format is similar to Nile cruises with cruises starting at Aswan and sailing the length of Lake Nasser south to Abu Simbel. There are various stops on the way for passenger to explore some of the lesser known ancient Egyptian sites but are nonetheless impressive.
Lake Nasser cruises last either 4 or 7 nights. Both cruises start at Aswan and head south for Abu Simbel at the far end of the lake. As the cruise heads south, it stops off at various points of interest including the temples at Kalabsha, Wadi El Seboua, Amada and of course, Abu Simbel. After 4 days, your cruise ship arrives at Abu Simbel at the far end of Lake Nasser and from there passengers can disembark and take the 3 hour road journey back to Aswan. Alternatively, the longer cruise returns passengers to Aswan by sailing back north back up Lake Nasser, this time without stopping on the way.
Its not just the ancient Egyptian sites that are impressive, the scenery around Lake Nasser is spectacular. The desert landscapes transform from rugged hills to flat, sandy beaches. A few local Bedouin and fisherman live near the lake and can occasionally be seen. There is also a variety of bird life living near the lake including ducks, geese, pelicans, heron as well as various birds of prey. Reptiles such as monitor lizards and crocodiles can also be seen as well as desert animals such as gazelle, jackals and foxes.
Although the popularity of cruising the River Nile is as strong as ever, Lake Nasser offers tourists an alternative cruise exploring ancient Egypt’s past in a spectacular setting.