We came to realise that when looking for things to do in Cairo, most of our outings inevitably involve restaurants, cafés and ultimately eating; what happened to exploring the great outdoors? As you know, the winter months signal the start of couch potato season, thus leading to unwanted weight gain. So in wanting to move our butts and release a little energy, we have compiled a variety of activities that are family friendly, reasonably affordable and ridiculously fun.
Africa Safari Park:
Located at the 65km mark on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, Africa Safari Park offers you the chance to experience a true safari excursion – wild animals in a natural habitat and all. The park is one of a kind in Cairo and was the first of its type to open in Egypt. There is a motel on the grounds that looks like it belongs in a tropical forest and its restaurant provides the option of having a meal while you're there.
There are several activities available to visitors; the 'Zambezi' river trip takes you out to see crocodiles, monkeys and a variety of birds, a cave showcases a collection of more birds, reptiles, and rare species – the most dangerous of them safely are kept in glass cases. Africa Safari Park also offers some sports including table tennis, shooting, football, billiards and more.
The entry fee is 250LE per car and includes the safari, the river trip and visiting the cave. Entry for groups of 28 people and above is 40LE per person and you can rent a bus for 350LE. For more information, visit their official Africa Safari Park website.
Inside the Dream Land compound in 6th of October City, you will find Dream Park, considered to be the most important and famous amusement parks in Cairo. Maintaining its standards over the years, the park always has new and exciting additions to its rides and attractions. Of its most cherished rides are 'the rocket', the death rollercoaster, the eastern rollercoaster, the dark rollercoaster and many others not for the fainthearted. However, there are also a variety of calmer rides such as the ship and bumper carsm, making Dream Park suitable for all tastes, and levels of adventure.
Ticket prices vary, starting at 59.99LE up to 129.99LE. Visit the Dream Park website for more.
There's nothing quite as therapeutic as horseback riding, and Arabian Nights provides excactly that. Located at the 48km mark of the Cairo-Fayoum desert road, the club does offer more, though, with safaris on quad-bikes out into the beautiful Fayoum desert, nearby Lake Qarun.
Offering a special way to spend your a day with friends or family, between horseback riding and desert safaris, Arabian Nights is not an outing to be missed. For more information, check the Arabian Nights website.
Located on the always busy Bahr El Aazam Street, the Pharaonic Village is a main attraction in Giza. Complete with kitsch Pharaonic design, the village offers Cairenes a chance to witness ancient life as it was; which includes daily routines such as farming, mummifying, and such.
Recreational activities are also available, such as a trip on the Nile on their designated boat, as well as the occasional colour festival and Pharaonic sculpture and drawing workshops, suitable for all ages.
The Pharaonic Village organises different programmes for groups, individuals, Egyptians and foreigners, you can get the full rundown on their website.
Summer is upon us and along with it comes restlessness and the need for some serious cooling down. Located at the 31km mark of the Cairo-Ismaileya desert road, next to Future Academy, Aqua offers a range of water activities and rides, perfect for the stifling season.
For more information, check out the Aqua Park website.
Located at 11 Osman Towers in Maadi, Family Land is a recreational mini-city that is filled with activities such as bowling, ice-skating, as well as having a cinema, for visitors' utmost entertainment. Whatever way you're looking to spend your weekend, Family Land will surely deliver.
Call 02-25243200, 02-25243400, 02-25243300 for more information and queries.
Al Azhar Park:
Another great way to spend your day is to visit Al Azhar Park. Situated on Salah Salem Road, close to the Citadel, the park covers 74 acres of green land and over the year it hosts a variety of events; from concerts and theatre plays to workshops and lectures, the majority of which take place at El Genaina Theatre or on the open grass.
Remember the games Counter Strike and Call of Duty? The ones all about war and fighting and such? Well now you can play the game in real life – minus the actual killings – at C.O.D.E Paintball. Located in New Maadi, in front of Carrefour, the experience comes complete with all the equipment, including some kick-ass army outfits. The idea is two teams play against each other and the aim is for one team member from either side to reach the big flag first. Apart from the lovely colourful mess, paintballing is actually a great workout and is good way to release energy.
Despite the fact that we continually fail to take advantage of its resources or correctly employ them, Egypt is a blessed country; for example, three quarters of the world's antiquities are found here, yet other countries excel further than us in tourism. But it's not just about the antiquities; we also have beautiful landscapes across vast deserts to the east and the west, as well as in Sinai.
Things may be changing, though. Local travel agencies have begun organising excursions within the country to take advantage of our beautiful landscapes. Because of the amount of agencies who specialise in these sorts of trips, we couldn't narrow it down to one. However, a camping trip will cost anywhere between 300LE and 1000LE depending on the time and destination.
To organise your own trip, click here.