The tour continues as we venture into North Africa, and our first destination is the ancient royal capital city of Fez, Morocco. In the heart of Fez's medina (an ancient walled city, without streets) you can find the stunning Chouara Tannery, one of Africa's most unique wonders. For nearly a thousand years, the locals have been tanning and dying their hides here - if you can get past the pungent odor (its suggested to hold mint leaves near your nose while visiting) it's a destination that you won't want to miss.
After an extended trek through the Sahara Desert - we find ourselves at the shores of one of Africa's disappearing wonders, the once great Lake Chad. Climate change and overuse by the locals have turned much of the lake bone dry, and its estimated that the lake is only about 1/20 of the size it once was back in the 1960's. While much of the lake is long gone - there's still a number of small communities dotting the receding shorelines, with the locals adapting to the changes and making the best of what they have.
We venture back out into the Sahara - and for anyone traveling in these parts, its vital to know where the closest oasis is. Water is a precious resource here - and it could be hundreds of miles before you find the next closest source.
After traveling east through the seemingly endless Sahara Desert - we finally reach the Red Sea. This salty, hot sea is some to some of the most unique animals and underwater flora in the world, and the coral reefs here are quite amazing. While other coral reefs around the world are slowly dying due to climate change - the ones here are unique in the fact that they don't bleach and are extraordinarily resistant to rising temperatures.
We travel into Egypt - and no visit is complete without a trip to the legendary Nile River. The world's longest river runs through the heart of the country, providing farmers much needed water and making this one of the most populated regions in all of North Africa. Riverboats run for much of the rivers length here, making it an excellent way to get up close views of the surrounding villages and archeological sites.
The tour wraps up with one of the most famous landmarks in world and the only remaining wonder of the ancient world - The Pyramids of Giza. These unmistakable structures were built by the rulers of ancient Egypt back in 3000 BCE - primarily as tombs for pharaohs and queens. Despite the fact that their sparkling white limestone exterior is long gone, as well as many of the surrounding structures - they've stood the test of time like few structures on the face of the planet. Be sure to visit at night - the entire complex comes to life as the pyramids are lit up - an unforgettable sight.
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