Kite Surfing Egypt
Land of the pyramides and the desert – and land of wind and blue waters! Known as brilliant windsurfing spot for about 15 years, Egypt is now being rediscovered for the kitesurf, and new kite clubs appear every year on the Red Sea. The most beautiful steady winds blow from the north all along the Red Sea over nice turquoise flat or choppy water and make it a paradise for beginners as well as advanced riders – several kite brands test their gear regularly on the Red Sea.
Since the public land in Egypt is controlled by the army, it is impossible to come by car and go kiting anywhere you want. But there a lot of kite clubs on the best spots where you can spend your holidays and have the local knowledge and safety that goes along.
Kite Surfing Egypt: Best spot is Ras Sudr
The best spots are Ras Sudr on the Sinai peninsula and Safaga and El Gouna on the west coast. On the Sinai you have beautiful steady winds around 20 knots all summer long, and in winter it is windy too but less predictable. The Club Nathalie Simon in Ras Sudr for example is situated in a massive beautiful bay with side/cross-shore winds and shallow water for a kilometer or two off the coast – a huge lagoon all for yourself to try out new tricks! The wind is really steady and the water is flat to choppy, and you ride for a kilometer and the water is only up to your hips…
Kite Surfing Egypt: El Gouna West Coast
On the west coast the best kiting is in El Gouna and Safaga, where you have nice steady winds and a beautiful architectural set-up, and in Magawish Bay, where the Club Nathalie Simon Safaga teaches. You take the boat for about 45 minutes and arrive at kitesurfing paradise – water so clear you can see the coral a couple of meters underneath and as turquoise as if made with Photoshop, offshore wind (with safety boat in case you drift off) so even in 30 knots you have dead flat water and razing along the beach, you can safely jump one meter off the beach!! The return to the club in the afternoon is a 1 _ hour downwind followed by the boat, passing small islands, virgin sandbanks and some coral bits…
Kite surfing Egypt
Diving in Red Sea
The diving and snorkelling is awesome on the west coast, a good alternative on no wind days… On the Sinai there are less activities, but you are closer to Cairo and you can do one-day excursions to see the pyramides and the typical markets of Cairo. Excursions to the desert are possible pretty much everywhere.
Darhab on the South Sinai is famous for windsurfing, but because the wind is very gusty, it is not so good for kitesurfing, although there are some kite clubs. Same thing for Hurghada, it used to be a good spot before they built big buildings directly on the beach… the wind is quite gusty. There are some clubs though, and if you are looking for nightlife after kiting, it might be the place for you to go!
Egypt life style: winter is cold
Don’t be suprised if in winter it is cold, the wind seems to come straight from Poland and can be icy. Take a big jacket and a thick long wetsuit until march/april!
Don’t forget that you’re not only going to kitesurf paradise, but to a really different culture. Egypt doesn’t offer the same standards as in western countries! Lifestyle here is simple, and things work differently from anywhere else. Whatever you want to do, count at least twice the normal time. Restaurants usually have a ratio of 5 waiters : 1 client, plus kids and cats running around, but the food is good and cheap: a full village meal costs about 5 Egyptian pound (less then 1 Euro) and you can have, for example, delicious falafel (vegetarian coriander burger), kofta (lamb broschettes) and the best fresh potato chips of the world!
Kite Surfing Egypt: Friendly people
The Egyptians are one of the funniest and friendliest people I have ever met, they love to laugh and make jokes. Efficient work may not be their priority but they will make you have a good time! In the developed areas such as Kairo, Hurghada and Sharm el Sheik you will find a lot of businessmen trying by all means to make you buy, and negotiating the price is a must. But once you get out of the big tourist areas, you will meet really friendly and helpful people… If you are a girl, kids will come and giggle at your hair, and the guy in the village supermarket will take pictures of you because they don’t often see Europeans… Egyptian men wear the traditional galabeia (dress) and women cover their hair, sometimes also the face leaving open only eyes and nose. But once you’ve been in the desert in 35 knots of wind and the sand whipping your skin, you understand that actually covering yourself is not a bad idea!
Kite Surfing Egypt: Respect the religion
Anyway, especially as a girl, take long clothes with you, even though in the clubs you can walk around in bikini. It is not dangerous to visit Egypt in a 10 cm miniskirt and coconut shells as a top, as a lot of Russian tourists of Hurghada can confirm, but you will be treated with much more respect if you add some more tissue.
Liv Stolley, 15th april 2006