If you want to experience a unique magical view of the Nile River on your next visit to Egypt, then you should add Sehel Island to your plan, which is one of our Aswan tours. Sehel Island is situated in the south of Aswan close to the Nile. The Sehel Island is connected and dedicated to the goddess Anuket. Anuket was worshipped as the goddess of the Nile during the reign of Amenemhet II in the 12th Dynasty and it is believed that she is responsible for the prosperity of the island.
In the past, the island was a natural defense against the floods of the Nile River. This gave it the reputation of a sacred island and many pilgrims who traveled along the river sought refuge on the island.
The Sehel Island is host to some of Egypt’s richest archaeology. On its rocks, you will find inscription carvings that convey the meaning of prayer, help, gratitude, among others to the gods. It is said that this inscription was carved by Egyptian soldiers, traders, and travelers who wanted to tell the stories of their journeys permanently. One of the most outstanding stories carved on the rocks and inscribed on a large granite boulder is the story of the Third Dynasty. This particular story stands out because of the large boulder on which it was carved and the uniqueness of its story. At some point in time, the Egyptians collected granite from the island and used those granites to build the great Giza Pyramids.
Why You Should Visit Sehel Island?
If you fancy an island where you can watch the Nile River flow as you sip some Egyptian tea or have some henna drawn on your body, then you should visit Sehel Island. The island presents a serene environment especially for people who appreciate the quiet beauty of nature.
The island is a hub for various archaeological sites which include the temple of the Egyptian river goddess, Anuket, among others, and stone carvings that tell about the wonderful experiences of many travelers. Most of these travelers were messengers on the King’s business and so carved out their gratitude or help to Anuket for the safety of their journey.
Also on Sehel Island, you will find the Nobles Tombs. The Nobel Tombs is home to the tombs of many ancient Egyptian nobles of the Middle and Old Kingdom. Also at this site is the tomb of a Muslim prophet. Now this tomb which is built like a dome distinguishes itself among others. As a result of this, the hill atop which it is placed is called Qubbet el-Hawa or Dome of the Winds. Other famous tombs on the Nobel Tombs site include Sarenput II, Khunes, Sabni and Mekhu, Pepynakht (also known as Heqa-ib), Harkhuf, and Sarenput I.
What to Expect and What to Do?
To get to Sehel Island independently, you need to first pass Elephantine Island. On the Elephantine Island are two villages with bright wall paintings that catch the eye. This island is just as peaceful as Sehel Island so if you want to stop for a quick tour before proceeding to Sehel Island, then you have made a good choice.
From Elephantine Island, you will take a sailboat to Sehel Island. Because this is a tourist attraction, you will have to pay for a ticket. Now, as a tourist in Egypt, it is important for you to carry your passport with you at all times. This is because you may run into police checkpoints and they may ask you to prove your identity. Do not be afraid. The police in Egypt are helpful and if you need directions to the island itself or anywhere else, you can ask a police officer.
However, if you want to visit the island with a tourist company or a tour guide, you will not need to ask the police for directions. Using a tourist company allows you to get picked up and dropped off at your hotel. Furthermore, the company will provide you with an English-speaking tour guide who will give you an in-depth explanation of the meanings of the carved inscriptions.
If you were going independently, you may not fully grasp the meaning behind the rock inscriptions. The tour company will also cover your basic needs such as paying all your entrance fees and treating you to some hearty Egyptian delicacies after the tour. You should also take lots of pictures or video recordings as this is an experience you will love to remember even after you may have left.
Visiting Sehel Island should definitely be on your checklist when you travel to Egypt; you will not regret this.