NileGuide Expert Says:
If you have an interest in the bizarre and the slightly grotesque, then the Hunting Museum in Manyal Palace Museum is the most fascinating place in Cairo. If you don’t, then steer well clear!
1 Saray Street
tel: +20 2 368 7495
Manyal Palace Museum was set up by Prince Mohammed Ali Tawfiq, father of King Farouk, in 1899. It was intended to commemorate Islamic Art, as well as to act as living quarters for the Prince and his family.
The architecture, decorations and furniture cover a range of Islamic styles, including Moroccan, Persian and Syrian. The sheer opulence of the dwelling is overwhelming. The Manyal Palace Museum is set in a large garden, populated by rare trees and plants from all over the world. It's a nice place to catch some shade, and perhaps have a bite to eat.
The most interesting part of the Manyal Palace Museum is the Hunting Museum, which exhibits possessions and conquests of King Farouk. This museum is totally bizarre, and not for animal lovers or the politically correct. It includes over 100 stuffed and mounted Ibex heads, lots of very pretty insects and butterflies, a diorama of a lobster attacking a crab, and even some huge elephant tusks. Pride of place must go to the photograph of the hermaphroditic goat, or to the ostrich head – complete with feet, but no body!
The Manyal Palace Museum is situated on Rhoda Island, and so is just about within walking distance of Sayeda Zeinab Metro station; as always, however, taking a taxi is the safest bet.