Cairo is Africa's biggest city. Its bustling souks and historic landmarks make it a popular stop-off on a tailor-made tour of Egypt. The Nile runs like a vein through the city and the sails of feluccas are a familiar feature on the river, as they have been for centuries. Historical buildings are other prominent sights on the Cairo skyline and the 14th-century Mosque of Sultan Hassan, a masterpiece of Islamic art close to the Citadel, is well worth a visit.
Also recommended is the Egyptian Museum, whose enormous collection of antiquities numbers more than 130,000 items. Many of these are on display, while others are stacked in wooden crates. Because of this, a new purpose-built museum in Giza has been planned and hundreds of priceless monuments will, in future, be on show there.
At the Egyptian Museum be sure to visit the Mummy Room and to see the golden mask of Tutankhamun, inlaid with lapis lazuli and with a gold vulture head above the brow. The boy pharaoh's treasure trove also included canopic chests, shawabti funerary statues, gold thrones and jewels - and many of these incredible artefacts can be seen in the Tutankhamun galleries.
While in Cairo, it's also worth heading to the Khan El-Khalili souk, whose criss-crossing alleyways are crammed with shops and stalls. Gold and silver jewellery, rose and musk-scented perfumes, shisha pipes, papyrus, hand-woven rugs, Egyptian cotton and spices in burlap sacks are among the products to haggle for in the souk.