01/10/2004 Issue 103 Past Issues

Red Sea Newsletter

Packed full of information, articles, advertisements, jobs and tips for easy living in The Red Sea!
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Feature Article

Bird Watching in Egypt

For the past 150 years, people have been visiting Egypt to bird watch, as a number of habitats in Egypt are especially suitable for bird populations including the lush Nile River Valley.

There are about 150 resident breeding bird in Egypt. These resident birds of Egypt belong mainly to two zoogeographical regions consisting of Palaearctic and Ethiopian. They are mostly song and water birds confined to the Nile Vsalley, the Delta and to some of the western Oases.

However, Egypt is a migration corridor which attracts some 280 additional species of birds.

Egypt occupies a unique geographical location as a bridge between the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa and therefore millions of birds pass through the country on their way from Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, the Balkens, Siberia and Central Asia to eastern and southern Africa each autumn, and on their way back each spring. 

Major Birding Areas in Egypt

Migration begins in the Winter months, when from about mid February, the first wave of storks and raptors can be seen. Summer migration begins in early August when water bird migration begins at Zaranik in North Sinai and White Stork migration begins in the southern Gulf of Suez. 

Traditionally, there are a number of areas that are well suited for bird spotting in Egypt. Some more exotic locations, such as Lake Burullus, may however require special permits to visit.




Around the Red Sea and surrounding areas

King Tut's Mummy Scanned

A team of researchers briefly removed King Tut's mummy from its tomb recently and laid bare his bones for a CT scan that could solve an enduring mystery: Was it murder or natural causes that killed Egypt 's boy pharaoh 3,000 years ago?

Tut's toes and fingers and an eerie outline of his face could be seen as the mummy, resting in a box to protect it, was placed inside the machine in a specially equipped van parked near his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings.

The 1,700 images taken during the 15-minute CT scan could answer many of the mysteries that shroud King Tutankhamun's life and death including his royal lineage, his exact age at the time of his death now estimated at 17 and the reason he died.

A simpler X-ray done 36 years ago showed bone fragments inside the skull of Tut, but this test wasn't sophisticated enough to determine if the bone fragments signified a blow to the head. Archaeologists have long wondered if Tut was murdered - one factor was that the conditions of his burial in the tomb seemed "hurried."  The CT scan will provide a far more detailed, three-dimensional view of the scattered bones.

The mummy had not left the tomb since the British archaeologist Howard Carter excavated the tomb 82 years ago.


Egypt Aims to Double Tourists over 10 years

Egypt wants to double the number of tourists that visit the country to 16 million during the next 10 years, an increase of 7.2 % a year.  Egypt received 8 million tourists in 2004, a 32 per cent increase on 2003 ,and spent 88 million nights in Egypt in 2004, generating revenues of $6.5 billion.

Plans to expand the tourism industry included developing Egypt 's northern Mediterranean coast which has traditionally tended to draw Egyptian tourism rather than foreigners. The plans also include boosting tourism in areas along the Nile neglected by visitors, such as Sohag, south of Cairo , and developing river ports along the Nile south of Cairo.


David Shaw Lost on Cave Dive to Recover Body

Australian rebreather diver David Shaw was revisiting Boesmansgat , South Africa , with a team of technical divers to try to recover the body of Deon Dreyer from 271m. He did not return from depth.

Shaw, who broke the world depth record for a rebreather dive with his earlier dive in Boesmansgat, was attempting the dive for the Dreyer family.

Outside of a commercial diving environment, nobody had ever attempted to perform work at such an extreme depth, the only other divers to achieve such depths - on open circuit - had dropped quickly down a line and immediately ascended, expending as little effort as possible. Dreyer's body was embedded in silt on the sloping bottom of Boesmansgat cave and may well have required a considerable effort to work it free.

Shaw was diving on a Mk 15 rebreather with enhanced electronics which had served him well on previous dives.

The deepest support diver descended to look for Shaw when he realised that the run-time had been exceeded. From 250m he could not see Shaw's lights and realised that he was lost, most likely having blacked out and fallen further down the slope. However, it is highly unlikely that anybody will be able to determine exactly what happened to prevent Shaw from completing the dive.


What's on ... in Germany

36th boot Düsseldorf - 15 to 23 January 2005

Düsseldorf looks forward with optimism to boot 2005 to be staged from 15 to 23 January. The stream of exhibitor registrations from the international yachting and watersports industry for the 36th edition of the International Boat Show indicate that the newly extended fairgrounds will be used to full capacity. Thanks to the construction of a new hall in the north of the fairgrounds and the expansion of Hall 13, 230,000 square metres of gross exhibition space - 15,000 more than in previous years - will be available.

Mall 8 -
Sharm El Sheikh
Dry Suits Available NOW!!!NEW this year: DIVEX will market MOBBY's Dry Suits exclusively in Egypt. Starting from NOW!! In time for the winter season, DIVEX will launch its amazing promotional offers to all Diving professionals.
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Parents & Kids

Kite Flying

Take advantage of the winter wind and learn to fly a kite properly!

The first thing you need to do is pick a kite. Deltas, Diamonds and Dragon kites fly well in light to medium winds (approximately 6-15 mph) while Box Kites and stickless Parafoil kites fly better when the winds get a little stronger (approximately 8-25 mph). Wind that is too strong or too light is difficult to fly in. About 5-25 mph is best for most kites (when leaves and bushes start to move, but before it really starts to blow). Flying is most fun when the wind is medium so you can do more than just hold on. You can make your kite dance across the sky by pulling in and letting out the line.

Flying Space should be a clear, open area. Stay away from roads, power lines or airports. Beaches are great for flying kites. The more room you have, the more line you can let out.


Single Line Kites

Stand with your back to the wind. Hold your kite up and let the line out. If there is sufficient wind, your kite will go right up. Let the kite fly away from you a little, then pull in on the line as the kite points up so it will climb. If there is light wind have a helper take the kite downwind and hold it up. On command, the helper releases the kite and the flier pulls the line hand-over-hand while the kite gains altitude. If you have no helper, place the kite up against a bush, post, or wall. Reel out enough line for altitude and pull the kite up.

Acrobatic Kites

Step backwards and pull both handles to your side. Be sure to check behind you for obstructions or hazards before backing up. Pull the left line to make the kite turn left and right line to turn right. Hold them even to fly straight. Try not to over-control. Learn to "fly loops" instead of just spinning tight circles.

Practice makes perfect!

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