Egypt's land area is approximately 1,001,450 sq km in northeastern
Africa. To the north of Egypt is the Mediterranean while Sudan is
to the south of its border. Libya shares its western border while
the Red Sea and Israel shares its eastern border.
Egypt is mainly a desert country, with the River Nile dividing
the country unevenly in two, and the Suez Canal together with the
Sinai Peninsula provide a third division. The landscape is mainly
made up of flat desert, without any vegetation apart from the few
oases that have survived in the Western Desert. Over 90% of the
land area is covered by deserts - the Libyan Desert to the west,
the Sahara and Nubian Deserts to the south and the Arabian Desert
to the east. More than 90% of the population is centered around
the River Nile. It is only the Nile valley and the Nile Delta that
is both habitable and arable. Narrow strips are also inhabited on
the Mediterranean coast and on the African Red Sea coast.
Egypt is mostly hot and dry throughout the year. Milder weather
is experienced by places such as Alexandria and the Mediterranean
coast whereas the heat in Cairo and other inland areas is unbearable
with temperatures rising to as high as 50ēC in some parts of the
country. Temperature in the desert is dramatic and can fluctuate
up to a difference of 37ēC in a day.
During winter, temperatures can fall to freezing and heavy winter,
rain can be expected along the Mediterranean coast. Spring in Egypt
is often surrounded by khamsin, a predictable hot and
bitter wind which brings blinding sand and dust storms. In the desert,
the wind can lift sand up to 2 meters from the ground, creating
a shifting, billowing layer above the land.