When traffic has been quite congested for some time and sandstorms have swept the city, it’s time to pack up the good old BBQ, coolboxes, and equipment for a good day and set out for Wadi Degla.
Situated just outside Maadi, south Cairo, the valley is a little hidden gem of Cairo. With its reputation as one of the closest nature escapes of the city, you will not be alone there, but still have the possibility to actually feel the breeze of the desert.
We all meet at the second entrance to Maadi on the Corniche. We are a good group of 4 4X4 cars and decide to go down through the wadi to get the real feel of being away from the city. The wadi is organized with ticket booth for the entrance (5 L.E per person and 10 L.E per car) and other than that, it’s pretty much up to you what you want to do with your time there. Some have it as their favorite running track, where others use it to bring out their children for some fresh air. Then there are people like me, bringing out 13 of my best friends, and enjoying a BBQ, in this nearly perfect time of the year in Egypt. With stable 25 – 28 degrees, it’s a pleasure to soak up the always present sun.
After 20 minutes the cars are unloaded and the BBQ is already warming up. We are using the waiting time (for the BBQ) to explore the nearby hills and surroundings, before the smell of shrimp and burgers and fill the empty valley.
We are having a great time in the late afternoon sun, with drinks and good company, before we have to pack up the cars, and make the half hour trip back to the entrance point. Everyone is shaking hands and reassuring that we should definitely do this again. Cairo has a lot to offer, cultural and entertainment wise, but sometimes the best afternoon is the one you spend in nature and with good people.
In case you are entering the wadi without 4×4′s, it’s still very possible to have a great outdoor day, since the nature starts immediately when you have entered the wadi. It’s only a short walk till you get past the people, and you can soak up the formations of rocks and tranquility, you most likely will appreciate after some days in Cairo.
Everyone will know how to direct you to Maadi, and will definitely make your Cairo trip feel different and have you leave with a refreshing feeling.