Winter in Egypt: pack appropriately

I was just going to send a quick email to the guests booked into Mara House from now (mid-Dec) to the end of January.  But then I decided to just write a post on it.

When we think of Egypt we think of sunshine and hot weather, even I do after 20 years.  However, we do have a short cold spell from about mid-Dec to end of January.

Weather temperature is relative to each person individually and what we consider hot/cold as well as what climate we live in most of the time.  When at home in Ireland I almost always wear something warm indoors while my grand-children are running around the house barefoot and in T-Shirts.  I have always been more sensitive to the cold than the heat, and at the same time I can’t take too much sunshine or heat either!  I’m one of those people who need to ‘layer’ clothes all year round.

For the last week I have been wearing a sweatshirt both inside and outside Mara House during the day because once the sun stops shining on the balcony or through the windows, I feel the chill.  I have to wear a warm, fluffy dressing gown over my pyjamas at night.  So, when out walking, once you move from direct sunshine into the shady, you are probably going to feel the chill – the air is cold.

What is ‘cold’?  Today it is 26 Celsius = 78 Fahrenheit and tonight it will be 8 Celsius = 46 Fahrenheit.  If I were in Ireland in those temperatures it would not be quite so noticeable to me.  I thing it is the constant changing from feeling the warmth of the sun one minute to the chill of the absence of the sun on my skin two minutes later.  If it is constant is ok, it’s the changing that makes it uncomfortable.

The daytime temp should be at its lowest about the beginning of January and by the end of Jan it will begin to rise by a degree or so every couple of days.  Mostly those of us who live here will notice the end of what we call the “winter” around the last week of January and our jacket will disappear into the back of our wardrobes.

If coming to Egypt in Dec/Jan please bring suitable clothes

  • check the temp forecast for the regions of Egypt you are coming to before you pack.  I find to be a reliable one.
  • Cairo is 5 degrees celsius colder than Luxor
  • Aswan is 5 degrees celsius warmer than Luxor
  • You don’t want to be out sightseeing in the lovely warm sunshine during the day, then get caught out, when the sun goes down, outside without a good warm jacket.  If you are coming from a colder climate, you will probably need to wear a warm jacket or coat when traveling to the airport anyway.
  • Only the big hotels have room heating.  For the rest of us, such as at Mara House and private houses/apts, we have no source of indoor heating.  (Don’t panic, we do have hot water heaters).  So bring warm nightwear.  We just don’t have a long enough cold spell to warrant heating.
  • Dec and Jan it is much more important to bring clothes you can ‘layer’ on top of each other as you feel the heat/cold relative to you.
  • If you intend walking out at night, you might even like to pack a warm cap for night time as well as your sun-hat and sun-glasses for the daytime.
  • At places like the Pyramids in Cairo, even if the sun is shining you may find it very chilly – when going there take your jacket with you, just in case.
  • On top of cruise boats at night time will also be cold, but enjoyable if you have your jacket.
  • I know you are not going to believe this but…some hotels and boats (because their staff are always wearing suits) tend to have the air-con on even during the winter – which can make it really chilly for guests in the dining rooms and in the bar – so you might like to consider bringing cardigans or warm wraps for indoor wear also.
  • It’s highly unlikely you will need rain-wear – definitely not in Luxor – check the forecast for Cairo.  We have not had rain in Luxor for about 5 years but did have a big rainstorm in Cairo a few months ago.

Winter clothes tend to be heavier and more bulky than summer clothes, regardless of what country you are coming from, so do also remember that all hotels and boats do have laundry facilities and most of the time what you give them in the morning is back in your room by night time.  So don’t panic about having to take too much extra clothes for the cold.

Related Posts