Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and one of its fastest growing economic sectors. It has a multitude of impacts, both positive and negative, on people’s lives and on the environment. Therefore, the impact that tourism has on the earth’s natural environment is of great concern to everyone.
Here at Egypt Uncovered we actively seek ways to reduce the impact our tours have on the places they visit. A minimum of 2 GBP for every tour we sell goes toward various social and environmental charities and project. One initiative that we have started is regular desert clean ups at the Al Fayoum oasis, with the aim of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area.
The Al Fayoum oasis is situated approximately 60 miles southwest of Cairo and is the largest in Egypt. This lush green oasis stretches over a 692 square km basin and is dominated by the 215 square km Lake Qaroun, popular for fishing, swimming and boating. The oasis has been a popular retreat and trading centre dating back to the 13th dynasty and there are also hot springs and waterfalls close by. It is also an archaeological treasure trove and in particular glossy ceramics and pottery. The nearby Wadi Al Hitan (Whale Valley) is the only place in the world where the skeletons prehistoric whales can be seen in their original geological and geographic setting – a shallow nutrient-rich bay of a sea dating back some 40 million years ago.
We have noticed over time, an increase in rubbish accumulating in the areas most frequented by tourists, and a lack of facilities provided to help manage this. Using money generated by the tours we sell in Egypt, we have now installed waste bins by the lakeside beach and the main picnic area at Wadi Rayan in the hope they will help people not to just throw litter on the ground.
We have also organised a team of enthusiastic locals to pick up litter on a regular basis. You can see some photos of the latest clean-up session below. If you happen to be visiting Egypt during one of these clean-up sessions and would like to join in, you would be very welcome. Just let us know that you are interested when you make your booking and we will be more than happy to arrange it.