Birqash Camel Market, Egypt

Half-day Independent Travel to Birqash Camel Market from Cairo

Tour Code: TEG220
In Egypt, Camel Markets are great places for tourists to learn the daily life of the locals. In Cairo, we recommend you its largest Camel Market, the Birqash Camel Market located about 35 km (22 mi) northwest to downtown.

Regularly, the market opens from 07:00 to 13:00. But its busiest time, when one can see the most animals, is before 11:00, so you'd better get there before that.

Overseas travelers are advised to take a taxi or book a tour with a local travel agency to travel here. If by taxi, it takes about EGP200 for a round trip between Cairo downtown and the market and a single trip needs about 1.5 hours if the driver is familiar with the road conditions and there is no traffic jam. If you are an adventurer and know some Arabic, you may choose to take the microbus from Midan Abdel Moniem Riad in town to Birqash Camel Market. The bus fare is only EGP5 per person. But there is one thing you need to know beforehand. The microbus only stops nearby the Birqash Camel Market. After getting off, you need to ask the way to the market from the locals.

Overseas tourists need to buy a ticket to enter the market. The ticket office is in a mosque by the entrance of the market. Ticket fare is EGP100 per person. Usually, one hour is enough to visit inside.

Birqash Camel Market is set in a big courtyard as big as several football courts, circled by red brick walls. The most frequently seen commodities here are camels. Maybe you think the way the locals treat these camels are cruel, but please give a tolerant attitude towards locals' traditions. You will see one of the camels' legs are tied high to avoid them running away. When move, they can only jump rather than walk, like kangaroos. In peak times, as many as several thousand camels are gathered here; and some are driven here from as far as Sudan. Male traders in long robes are crying out loudly, with a stick about 1 meter long in hands. Buyer can bargain with them about the price. So the market is always full of camels' crying, traders and buyers shouting and vehicles' honking. Some buyers purchase the camels as transport tools, while some buy them for their meat, skin or fur.

► Useful Tips to Visit Birqash Camel Market
• Some taxi drivers are not very clear about the exact location of the Birqash Camel Market. So you'd better confirm whether he know it or not before getting on in case of wasting time on the way.  
• Traders in the market are traditional Muslim males. If you are a female visitor, please dress properly. A big and wide scarf is a nice choice. 
• The market is open every day. But it is more prosperous every Friday, so you may try to make the visit on a Friday. 
• There are also other camel markets around Cairo downtown, but they are more like animal market with camels as the leading roles.
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