El-Hammra Ecolodge: Wadi-Natron, Egypt

Got a budding Egyptologist in the family? The El-Hammra Ecolodge makes a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Cairo sightseeing. The owner, retired General Hany El-Kamouny, is an Indiana Jones-type character who makes you feel like a long-lost relative. The cozy, two-bedroom bungalows here are perfect for families. The vibe is rustic, comfortable, and spacious. Beds are crafted out of local trees (limb by limb, it would seem). Meals are served in the main building, and are tasty–especially the General’s chicken (prepared in an underground oven).

Midway between Cairo and Alexandria. The adjacent saltwater El-Hammra Lake is said to be mentioned in the Bible (Mary and Joseph allegedly stopped here on their famous trip to partake of a fresh water spring). Don’t miss the nearby Coptic Monasteries–they date back to the 4th century AD, and openly welcome visitors of all faiths. My children were encouraged to explore the beautiful old buildings.

4 to 6.

My children loved fishing and collecting the sea monkeys and salt crystals from the lake. Also, swimming in the lake is great fun because its high salt content makes you so buoyant.

Good to Know
Bathrooms here are merely adequate.

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