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Lake Nasser (Lake Nubia)
Lake Nasser (Lake Nubia)

Lake Nasser (Lake Nubia)

Aswan, Egypt

The Basics

There’s no charge to visit Lake Nasser, and many travelers encounter it on an overland trip to lakeside attractions, usually out of Aswan. Get a sense of the lake’s scope by scaling the Aswan High Dam, or tour some of the ancient temples relocated when the dam was built, such as the Abu Simbel temples or the less-visited Kalabsha Temple. Alternatively, experience Lake Nasser on a fishing safari, a bird-watching excursion, or a multi-day cruise.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Lake Nasser is a must-see for history buffs, bird-watchers, fishing enthusiasts, and fans of Nubian culture.

  • If visiting during the Egyptian summer (late June to early September), wear a hat, sunscreen, and sturdy shoes.

  • Travelers from most countries need to prearrange visas to visit Sudan.

  • There is wheelchair access to the Aswan High Dam, but sand makes most Lake Nasser attractions challenging for travelers who use wheelchairs.

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How to Get There

Lake Nasser sprawls from the Nubian city of Aswan in southern Egypt down across the Sudan border, and most travelers start their journey from Aswan. Reach Aswan by plane, train, or bus from Cairo or Luxor, or on a Nile cruise from Luxor. The Aswan High Dam, most travelers’ first encounter with Lake Nasser, is a standard stop on Aswan city tours.

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When to Get There

Although desert nights can be quite cool, Aswan has reached temperatures as high as 124°F (51°C) in summer, so consider visiting Lake Nasser during spring, fall, or winter. The Aswan High Dam and Abu Simbel temples can get very busy, but there are rarely many visitors at Lake Nasser itself.

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Saving the Temples from Lake Nasser

When the Aswan High Dam was built, Lake Nasser flooded many Nubian villages and threatened a number of ancient Egyptian temples. A massive UNESCO project, running between 1960 and 1980, relocated key temples piece by piece to higher ground. Some of the best-known are Philae Temple, now on an island in Aswan, and the Abu Simbel temples, on the shores of Lake Nasser in Egypt’s far south.

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