- Type: Markets
NileGuide Expert tip:
Standards of animal care in Egypt are different to the West, so be prepared
The Birqash camel market, about an hour's drive from town, is best visited on early Friday morning (try to get there before 9am), which is when the business of buying and selling camels takes place. There is a constant stream of photo opportunities, with men yelling and waving their long shooma walking sticks and camels bellowing and jostling for space. Most of the animals have arrived via the ancient dar al arbayeen (the 40-Day Road) from Sudan. Though there is less action during the week, a stroll amongst the pens looking at the animals, most bearing elaborate brands identifying their owners, and chatting with dealers is also an atmospheric and interesting experience. Plan on taking half a day to venture out and back, and be sure to take the time to enjoy the view of the countryside along the way. The taxi ride there should cost about LE100 ($18/£9.25).
For years, entrance to the market was free, despite what the enterprising lads around the entrance might have said to scam a few LE from you, but recently the ramshackle compound has acquired a uniformed guard with a ticket book. I paid LE5 (90¢/[45p) to get in.
- © Frommer's 2013
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