Known as the city of a thousand minarets, Cairo (whose name means "the Victorious" in Arabic) is the bustling capital of Egypt and the largest city in Africa. Although it was founded just over 2000 years ago, its site has played host to one of the world's greatest civilizations for more than 6000 years.
Cairo straddles the Nile, the longest river in the world and the backbone of Egypt. The city is bordered by desert on the east, south, and west, while to the north lies the fertile Nile Delta. This sprawling capital serves as the nation's primary administrative, industrial, commercial and tourist centre.
The city is home to many businesses, souks, cultural institutions, mosques and government offices, alongside hotels and universities (one of which is the oldest in the Islamic world). It is also home to the Arab League and the famous Al Azhar University. The sound of car horns constantly fills the air as donkeys, taxis, buses and cars wage they daily battle on the streets.
Downtown Cairo is a noisy, crowded place whose skyline is dominated by luxury hotels and the Cairo Tower, the visual centre of the skyline. The district is focused on the Corniche, which runs along the eastern bank of the Nile, and the island of Zamalek, and contains many of Cairo's tallest buildings. Old Cairo and Islamic Cairo portray a far more traditional face of the city, with ancient mosques and bazaars crammed into tiny alleys and streets, all overseen by the imposing Citadel complex.
But for all the landmarks in Cairo itself, the skyline is still ruled from a distance by The Great Pyramids of Giza, the last remaining Wonder of the Ancient World and still visible through the Cairo smog.