Egypt - Nature
Travel pictures from Egypt
by Günther Eichhorn
The Nile itself has changed considerably after the Aswan High Dam was built. Before the dam, the Nile would flood the area along the river every year. These floods were essential for the ancient Egyptians, since it was their only source of fertile land along the Nile. Since there are no more floods, the fertility of the soil is decreasing continually. Another effect of the High Dam is the accumulation of salt in the irrigated areas, since there is no water to wash the salt away. Even the minute traces of salt in the freshwater accumulate with time to significant levels. This increasing salinity of the soil causes considerable problems.
The most common tree in Egypt is the Date Palm by far. You can see these palms everywhere along the Nile.
The only animals I saw were birds, but there were a lot of them, mostly shore birds, wading birds, and waterfowl. If you can identify any of the birds in my pictures, please let me know, I would like to tag them with their names.
All pictures are © Günther Eichhorn.
|Reed grasses along the Nile. Some areas had large low lying parts that were growing reeds for quite a distance inland. (590k)||Reeds in the Nile. (865k)||Date Palms along the Nile. The Date Palm is the most common tree in Egypt by far. (649k)||Going after his chores, a man on the bank of the Nile. (749k)||A Date Palm grove with a village in the distance. (768k)|
|A local village on the bank of the Nile. (583k)||The minaret of a mosque shining through a Date Palm grove. (597k)||There are plenty of Ancient Egyptian ruins along the Nile. (506k)||You can see the thick layer of fertile soil. The soil is deposited by the annual flood of the Nile. Without these floods there would be no fertile land along the Nile. (678k)||A full moon over the bank of the Nile. You can see that the fertile area along the Nile is very narrow in some places. The desert starts immediately where the terrain rises and the Nile flood cannot deposit the fertile soil. (358k)|
|Another example of the narrow strip of vegetation along the Nile. (540k)||The First Cataracts. There were six cataract areas along the Nile in ancient times. Cataracts two through four are now flooded by Lake Nasser, the reservoir behind the Aswan High Dam. (487k)||The Aswan Low Dam and its reservoir. This is the one that flooded the Island where the Philae Temple of Isis used to be. (310k)||View from the Aswan High Dam towards the reservoir behind the Aswan Low dam. You can see the very shallow slope of the High Dam. (447k)||View from the Aswan High Dam over Lake Nasser, the reservoir behind the High Dam. (347k)|
|View of Lake Nasser from the air. Notice the narrow band of vegetation around the dam, beyond which is only desert. (346k)||Another view of Lake Nasser from the air. (258k)|
|A full moon over the bank of the Nile. You can see that the fertile area along the Nile is very narrow in some places. The desert starts immediately where the terrain rises and the Nile flood cannot deposit the fertile soil. (358k)||Aerial view of the desert next to Lake Nasser. (406k)||View over the the desert with Lake Nasser in the background. (322k)||Aerial view of the desert and Lake Nasser, with the small band of vegetation around the water. (379k)|
|Reed grasses along the Nile. Some areas had large low lying parts that were growing reeds for quite a distance inland. (590k)||A tall reed grass towering over the low bushes, with a bird perched on the reed. (514k)||Date Palms along the Nile. The Date Palm is the most common tree in Egypt by far. (649k)||Bank of the Nile with a faint full moon over the mountains. (585k)||A Date Palm grove with a village in the distance. (768k)|
|A flowering vine climbing through the grasses and bushes. We didn't see many flowers that were not cultivated. (965k)||Papyrus, the plant of Lower Egypt for the ancient Egyptians. It was used to make paper in ancient times. (980k)||A flowering bush in the botanical garden on the island near Aswan. (705k)||A palm tree in the botanical garden on the island near Aswan. (572k)||Another palm tree in the botanical garden on the island near Aswan. (826k)|
|I don't remember what kind of tree this was. (880k)||Various types of palms in the botanical garden on the island near Aswan. (977k)|
|Unknown bird. (373k)||Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix). (463k)||A Little Green Bee Eater (Merops orientalis). (361k)||Two of the Bee Eaters. (410k)||A raptor in flight. (199k)|
|This raptor was coming very close. (737k)||Some shore bird. (257k)||Some shore bird. (467k)||Sea Gulls. (532k)||This bird is called a Hoopoe. The German name for this bird is Wiedehopf (Upupa epops). I have seen this bird in many countries. (530k)|
|A flock of waterfowl. (169k)||Waterfowl in flight. (419k)||Waterfowl on a small sand bank in the Nile. (516k)||A small flock of Coots (Fulica atra) in the Nile. (625k)||This is a Coot (Fulica atra). In German this bird is called Blesshuhn. (460k)|
|A Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus). (259k)||Another kind of waterfowl? (490k)|
|A Cormorant in the Nile. (543k)||A Cormorant on a rock in a shallow part of the Nile near Aswan. (458k)||Two Cormorants (?) in flight. (396k)|
|A Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis), posing on a boat in the Nile. (256k)||A Pied Kingfisher hunting. They hang in the air, flapping their wings to stay in place. When they see a fish, they dive for it. They dart back and forth to look for fish, never staying in one place long enough for me to focus the camera, so I didn't get a sharp picture. (199k)||Another hunting Pied Kingfisher. (200k)||This Pied Kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) was much more accommodating and let me focus well. (515k)|
|A couple of Herons. (873k)||A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). (709k)||A flock of Little Egrets (Egretta garzetta). (322k)||A couple of Little Egrets. (290k)||A wading Little Egret. (208k)|
|A Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis). (343k)||A Little Egret. (277k)||A Little Egret. This one was visiting us on our cruise boat. (233k)||He gave me plenty of time to get close. (484k)||A Little Egret landing. (513k)|
|A Little Egret fishing, trying to keep his balance. (622k)||A Great Blue Heron. (723k)||The Egrets congregate in the evenings on this islands in the Nile to spend the night. (594k)||A flock of Cattle Egret on their way to roost for the night. (569k)||A Great Blue Heron in flight. (657k)|
|A Cattle Egret in flight. (212k)|
|The full moon rising over the banks of the Nile. (299k)||The full moon with the sun still up is still very dim. (335k)||Sunset over the banks of the Nile. (981k)||Sunset twilight over the banks of the Nile. (1148k)||Sunset twilight over the banks of the Nile. (332k)|
|Sunset over a Felucca on the Nile. (282k)|
|Today's Egypt||Ancient Egypt|
All pictures are © Günther Eichhorn
Egypt - Nature on guenther-eichhorn.com
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