Luxurious Destinations
Africa
Destinations Within Africa

Africa Trip Itineraries

Top 10 Things to do in Africa

Destination(s): Cape Town

Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour

Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour

  • Fangari Hindi st, Manshiyat Nasser, Mogamma Zabaleen
  • tel:+2 012 182 7315
  • Visit website
  • Cairo

Since 2005, the Solar CITIES project has been helping poor communities in Darb al-Ahmar and Manshiyat Nasser ("Garbage City") to build solar water heaters and biogas generators out of low cost, locally available materials. The project has received numerous grants, and has been recognised by National Geographic.

It is based on a participatory, bottom-up approach to development, which taps into the collective intelligence and expertise that is already embedded within the community.

On the Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour you will meet Hanna Fathy, a young man from the Zabaleen community of garbage collectors, who has been involved with the project since the beginning. He will guide you through the communities with which Solar CITIES works, where you can meet locals that have benefitted from the project, and witness first-hand the impact it is having.

The Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour is divided into two halves, reflecting the two communities the project works with.

The Darb al-Ahmar portion will begin at Bab Zwayla. You will be able to explore the Street of the Tentmakers, before walking through the streets of this fascinating area of Islamic Cairo, stopping to visit some of the houses that have solar water heaters and biogas generators installed. There will also be the chance to visit the Aga Khan Foundation, and see their rooftop garden. The tour will finish in al-Azhar Park – former rubbish tip and now one of Cairo's most inspiring green spaces – where you can grab some lunch. More specifically, Hussein El-Farag from Solar CITIES in Darb Al Ahmar, will give urban Eco-Tours of his family's historic Islamic neighborhood at the base of Al Azhar park. As Hanna Fathy's colleague on the other side of the City of the Dead, Hussein also shows the solar hot water and biogas systems that he and Hanna and Solar CITIES have built in his neighborhood, ending the tour with biogas heated tea on his roof in sight of the ancient mosque. Hussein's tour is the Islamic equivalent of the Coptic Christian Solar CITIES tour that Hanna gives outlined below.

The Manshiyat Nasser section of the Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour will explore Garbage City, where the Zabaleen live. The Zabaleen are a Christian community that are responsible for collecting and recycling, by hand, most of Cairo's rubbish. You will have the chance to learn more about this process, and visit families that are involved in this work. You will also visit Hanna's house, to see the solar water heater and biogas generator that he has installed. You can visit some of the other NGO's that are working with the community, such as the APE and Roh al-Shabab, and to visit the Coptic monastery, which offers spectacular views over the area.

The Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour is most suitable for people who have an interest in urban planning, development, or sustainable technology issues. A word of warning – you are visiting deprived areas of Cairo, and so may see things that you are not that comfortable with. Manshiyat Nasser, in particular, is a real eye-opener, with garbage literally everywhere. Having said that, seeing the inspirational work that Solar CITIES is doing is a real privilege, and could easily be the most memorable and meaningful part of your trip to Cairo.

Each tour will take around 4 hours, and costs 100 LE per person, or 150 LE if you do both tours. You can get a discount if you book as a group, but bear in mind Hanna can't take more than 5 people at once. To make sure he is available, you should book a week in advance.

Finally, these tours are very flexible, and you can get in touch with Hanna to discuss your own particular requirements. read more about Solar CITIES Urban Eco Tour

Camel Ride by the Pyramids

Camel Ride by the Pyramids

  • FB stables
  • Gamal Abdul Nasser St
  • tel:20 (0)16 5070288
  • Visit website
  • Cairo

Many people who visit the Pyramids choose to do a camel ride around the enclosure there. A better idea is to do a camel ride into the desert behind the Pyramids. You get fantastic views of the Pyramids, and can imagine you are part of an old trade caravan, travelling across the desert to sell your wares in far off, exotic locations.

There is nothing quite like a camel ride in the desert: you will really start to appreciate the power and beauty of these haughtily majestic creatures, as you sway from side to side on the camel's back, lulled both by the hypnotic motion and the monotonous beauty of the desert.

Many stables near the Sphinx can offer camel rides. FB Stables are highly recommended: they are used to dealing with tourists, are friendly and responsible, and their camels are in good shape. You can organise any sort of trip with them, from a one hour jaunt around the desert, to a multi-day safari.

One of the best times to do a camel ride is for sunset: as well as a magnificent view of the Pyramids, you will hear the beautifully mournful evening Call to Prayer from hundreds of mosques at the same time. Pure magic! read more about Camel Ride by the Pyramids

Table Mountain

Table Mountain

  • Table Mountain Rd
  • tel:+27 21 424 0015
  • Visit website
  • Cape Town, 8000

Standing guard over Cape Town, Table Mountain defines the city. For early seafarers, the Mountain signified arrival at this port of call. For the original inhabitants of the area, the Mountain was the source of myth and intrigue. For modern day Cape Tonians, Table Mountain is the heart of daily life. At 1086 meters and home to 1400 species of flora, Table Mountain is a spectacular nature reserve surrounded by a city. With hundreds of routes to ascend, the Mountain can keep an avid hiker and climber busy for years. read more about Table Mountain

World of Birds

World of Birds

  • Valley Road
  • Hout Bay
  • tel:+27 21 790 2730
  • Visit website
  • Cape Town, 8001
Souk des Teinturiers (Souk Sebbaghine)

Souk des Teinturiers (Souk Sebbaghine)

  • N8
  • tel:024 44 35 03
  • Marraquexe
Les Bains de Marrakech

Les Bains de Marrakech

  • 2, derb Sedra - Bab Agnaou
  • tel:024 38 14 28, 024 38 47 13
  • Visit website
  • Marrakech
Mosi-Oa-Tunya

Mosi-Oa-Tunya

  • Entrance off Livingstone Road
  • tel:No phone
Victoria Falls National Park

Victoria Falls National Park

  • Entrance off Livingstone Road
  • tel:No phone
Mwenge Makonde Market

Mwenge Makonde Market

  • Bagamoyo Rd
  • Dar es Salaam
Mafia Island

Mafia Island

  • Mafia, Tanzania