Muhammed Ibrahim is a freelance cinematographer from Egypt who has always enjoyed travel photography. Traveling to faraway untouched places–especially remote landscapes–allow him to trace his roots as a human being. He and his friends recently went on a trip to Sinai, a sparsely populated desert region between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt. After Muhammed shared some of his photos from his trip, we had to know more about his experience first hand.
How long were you in Sinai for and why did you decide to go?
We were in Sinai for 5 days. The trip was totally unplanned as we just wanted to get away from the city and experience a new destination. Sinai, specifically Nuweiba is 6-7 hours away from Cairo. It was my first time traveling there, but I had always heard of how beautiful Sinai is. A part of me assumed it was similar to other parts of Egypt I’ve traveled to, but I was totally surprised! Everything here is different in a special way. The landscapes and mountains look like beautiful unreal paintings–it feels like falling into a canvas with the Red Sea on your right and huge mountains on your left. The food is also very different, as it represents so many styles of bedouin meals and recipes. Most of the recipes can be made while camping with basic utilities adapted from the lifestyle of the locals that live in the desert.
You ended up camping while your stayed there, what was that experience like?
What I liked the most about Nuweiba was that it mostly consisted of many camps side by side arranged beautifully right on the beach along the road. If your trip was unplanned like ours, you just can go and ask at each camp for a place to stay. They were all very friendly. We were lucky that the weather was hot so we found a place easily and ended up being the only ones at the camp. The owners and people working there are so kind and friendly, and it had a very home like atmosphere. One of my favorite moments of the trip was when I woke up early to watch the sun quietly rise above the sea horizon. It was a moment of pure serenity even though it only lasted about 20 seconds.
What suggestions would you give to someone who’s never been to Sinai see?
Just go. It’s just out of this world. You can go scuba diving, visit canyons, have a bedouin dinner in the mountains, go safar-ing or even chill by the beach. I feel like this place is really underrated. It should be globally known like the pyramids! It’s totally worth visiting.
My friend that was on the trip actually did a whole series of 360 virtual tours, you can see those here.
What are some Egyptian customs we wouldn’t know about?
I only discovered certain customs recently when I travel away from the city, since Egypt has so many tribes with different customs. I found it interesting that in Sinai (East), they make bedouin tea with common sage leaves and lots of sugar in small cups on a wood fire. But in Siwa Oasis (West) they also make bedouin tea in small cups with mint instead of sage. In the South, they make small strong coffee shots with cinnamon and ginger on a wood fire. In the cities (North) they are more westernized–they drink normal or English tea.
What are some other beautiful destinations in your country worth seeing?
In the west of Egypt, you can visit Siwa Oasis and Farafra Oasis where the black and white desert exist and Matrouh for beaches similar to the Maldives. In the South you can visit Heissa Island in Aswan, which is a beautiful Nubian African Island. And finally in the East, you can visit Dahab, St. Catherine, Ras Mohammed, Nuweiba. Most definitely not the pyramids.