Egypt Holidays : Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel was formed when the High Dam was built above Aswan on the Nile. Built between 1960 and 1972 by Russian engineers, the High Dam has meant the end of Egypt's dependence on the annual flooding of the Nile, but has brought its own problems. The most pressing of these at the time of construction was the flooding of the Nile Valley in Nubia, which would cover both modern villages and many ancient Egyptian sites in deep water. Several important Nubian and Ancient Egyptian archaeological sites, most spectacularly the temples at Abu Simbel, were dismantled block by block and moved to higher ground. The Sudanese river port and railway terminal of Wadi Halfa was lost beneath the waters and Egypt's entire Nubian community from the upper reaches of the Nile saw their villages disappear and were forced to relocate. Named in honour of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the second President of Egypt who led the bloodless coup that toppled the monarchy of King Farouk, Abu Simbel is a now a vast reservoir straddling southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Strictly speaking, “Abu Simbel" refers only to the 83% of the man-made lake that is in Egyptian territory. The Sudanese prefer to call their smaller body of water Lake Nubia. Sport fishing among tourists, especially for Nile Perch, has become increasingly popular on the lake both on the shore and from boats.