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Surf’s Up
Come on Safari Red
Egypt’s climate, sea and wind conditions (many places experience there are boat safaris offering trips up to a week long. Much like a
at least 00 windy days a year) make it an ideal holiday destination diving safari, boats travel to all the best riding areas overnight, giving
for kite and windsurfers. But the attraction is not all about wind and guests the chance to surf all day. All meals are prepared for you, so
sea, as now Egypt’s watersports operations are leading the way in you can completely relax between kitesurfs.
adventure kitesurfing trips. Charlotte Boan reports.
one of the most established centres in hurghada says its boat safaris
A rapidly increasing number of centres in Egypt’s wind sport hotspots are proving really popular among experienced kitesurfers, as it is
are offering specially tailored adventure trips aimed at taking kiters bringing back the passion and spirit of kitesurfing of the very early
where few have surfed before. days.
For many years divers have been heading out on safari boats and ‘We were about the first kitesurfers in Egypt,’ says Maude des Abbayes
camels to get to some of the secluded dive sites to avoid crowds and of Fun-kite in hurghada. ‘six years ago we had this idea of finding
experience more of the unique and less widely explored parts of the an alternative to hotel beaches that were getting more and more
Egyptian red sea. Now kitesurfers are packing their boards and kites crowded. We wanted a product that enabled kitesurfers to share their
in their travel packs and venturing into the desert or heading on passion with the same spirit as was there when the sport began: no
excluded island-hopping safari boat trips. crowds and unlimited spots in beautiful landscape. The boat cruise
‘Why not combine the sport with travel? You don’t have to stay in
was a fantastic alternative.’
one area,’ says Gunnar Palmer, an experienced kitesurfing teacher in heading out on a wooden ketch boat, kitesurfers are taken to a
dahab who offers camel desert and surf trips. ‘kitesurfers have small variety of places, including nearby islands where the wind conditions
equipment, which can be carried by backpack, so it’s easy to move are best. however, they always stay clear of the coral reefs to prevent
around. This gives you a chance to kitesurf in some great places away any damage to the environment.
from the crowds and to see more of the desert. It’s perfect, unless you
have a family and want to stay in one spot.’
‘The best thing about this kind of holiday is that people can share
their passion during a week and kite as much as possible,’ she says.
Gunnar is one of a few to have started tailored trips south and north ‘We also get the best wind of the red sea in extraordinary and safe
of dahab, from one day to three-day excursions. kitesurfers usually spots far away from all kind of constructions perturbations.’
travel by camel to certain desert areas, where they can stay overnight
and kite back to dahab the next day depending on the wind
To head out on a kitesurfing safari boat, the general minimum
conditions. All luggage is carried on land by camel.
experience level required is competent upwind rider.
‘doing a trip like this you can enjoy the full experience of being on
Kitesurf gear travel tip
holiday in the sinai,’ he says. ‘You can even bring your snorkels and
check out the reefs when not kitesurfing.’
There are many kitesurf rental centres throughout the sinai and
mainland red sea coast where you can hire up-to-date equipment.
Although he says basic trips can be created for beginners, it is best to
however, if you plan to travel to a number of destinations, it is worth
have at least enough experience to be able to turn in both directions
bringing your own gear, such as two kites, one board, wetsuit or rash
on the board. ‘some of the trips are not easy,’ he says. ‘For the longer
vest depending on temperature and sunscreen. If you are planning
excursions, you could be kitesurfing for a few hours at a time.’
topside trips through the desert, it is worth noting that the summer
With the availability of reasonably priced transport and high-standard
months of July and August experience very high temperatures not
kitesurfing centres peppered across the region, it is possible to visit
suited to heavy exertion on land.
a number of destinations within Egypt on one holiday trip. And for
For more information about the various kitesurfing destinations
those who really want to get away from the crowds and be different,
throughout Egypt, see the CDWS website
Issue  october / November 2009
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