The island of Gezira dominates the waterfront from Garden City to Bulaq, nearly 4km long and connected to either bank of the Nile by three sets of bridges. The southern half is Gezira proper (literally “island”), and includes the Gezira Sporting Club, laid out by the British Army on land given by Khedive Tewfiq and occupying almost a third of the island. The northern half, Zamalek, is full of apartments, villas, offices and embassies, with a Westernized ambience and nightlife. Both seem so integral to Cairo that it’s hard to envisage their absence, yet the island itself only coalesced out of mudbanks in the river in the early 1800s, and remained unstable until the first Aswan Dam regulated the Nile’s flood in the 1900s. For more on the history and architecture of Gezira and Zamalek, check out Samir Raafat’s website at w egy.com/zamalek.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Egypt features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
12 captivating pictures of Egypt

12 captivating pictures of Egypt

Rough Guides author and photographer Anthon Jackson has travelled to over eighty countries, from Morocco to Indonesia and Ethiopia to India, capturing many of h…

16 Mar 2015 • Anthon Jackson insert_drive_file Article
Video: things not to miss in Egypt

Video: things not to miss in Egypt

The oldest tourist destination on Earth, Egypt has a multitude of things to see and do. There are ancient pyramids, crumbling temples and vast deserts to explor…

13 Jan 2015 • Site Editor videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month