|Most popular in||August||High demand for flights, 5% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||March||Best time to find cheap flights, 2% potential price drop|
|Average price||$2,343||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||$2,016||From Auckland to Cairo|
Millions of tourists seek cheap flights to Cairo each year. This is the teeming metropolis of almost 18 million people, Africa’s largest city, where the history stretches back 5,000 years.
Cairo is described as the City of a Thousand Minarets, although visitors may remember it as the City of a Million Screeching Horns. While it is undeniably crowded and dirty, few cities are as atmospheric and exciting.
It is the place to immerse oneself in the colourful and highly scented souks (the Khan al-Khalili alone is 600 years old), to fight one’s way past the touts and papyrus sellers to enter the Egyptian Museum and gaze upon the golden face of Tutankhamen. It’s also the place to view the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, smoke a water pipe (known by the locals as a shisha) enjoy a Turkish coffee and play a game of backgammon.
One of the most memorable ways of experiencing Cairo is by taking a trip on a felucca along the Nile at sunset, just as Cairenes have done for millennia.
Cairo’s climate is desert, but, due to the city’s proximity to the Nile, humidity is often a factor. The range of temperatures during winter months is 13-19 degrees. Summer temps range between 20 and 40 degrees. Wind storms occur in March and April.
Mid October to May is high season when most visitors arrive on cheap flights to Cairo. Temperatures at this time of year generally stay below 25 degrees and night-time temps are about 10 degrees.
The summer months (June-August) are low season. The combination of high temperatures – up to 38 degrees – and smog can be unpleasant. During Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting (approximately mid-September to mid-October), many museums and tourist sites close early and many restaurants open only after sundown.
September is a pleasant time to visit. The crowds are not so great and the weather is cooling down slightly.
It’s not advisable to drive in Cairo. Lots of the city is walkable and taxis are cheap and plentiful. Ensure that you choose the taxi, don’t let it choose you. Don’t select one of the taxis parked outside expensive hotels or restaurants. It’s like having “tourist” written on your forehead and you’ll pay more than you need to.
The metro train system is efficient, punctual and clean. The flat fare is just one Egyptian Pound (about 20 cents) a ride. There are women-only carriages. You’ll see the “Women” signs above the platforms; the train carriage for women will be beside the signs.
Locals use microbuses to get around. This is a option best left to those who speak Arabic and those with a good knowledge of Cairo.