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Open map of SudanFlag of SudanSudan / Geography /
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Eastern desert



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Eastern desert

Mountains of Egypt's Eastern Desert.
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Mountains of Egypt's Eastern Desert.

Mountains of Egypt's Eastern Desert.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Mountains of Egypt's Eastern Desert.

In Egypt and Sudan, the desert region east of the river Nile, reaching the Red Sea.
The desert is defined to begin with the Nile Delta in the north, ending where the mountains of Eritrea rises, thereby including all of coastal Sudan.
The mountains of the Eastern desert are considered among the oldest geological formation in the world, made from granite, porphyry and breccia. The highest mountain on the Egyptian side is Shaiyb al-Banat at 2,187 metres, in Sudan the Oda mountain at 2,259 metres.
The Eastern desert has no oases, but there are many wells, and then in particular in the mountains.
The Eastern desert is home to about 300,000, virtually all living along the Red Sea coast. The largest city is Hurghada (160,000). Other major towns are Qusayr (36,000); Safaga (34,000); Ras Gharib (32,000). In from the coast, there are no larger settlement.
The dominant people in the region are the Beja. In Egypt they live in the southern part of the desert, but the majority lives on the Sudanese side of the border. A few Bedouin tribes live in the mountain range that runs along the Red Sea coast, and in the desert flatlands further west, living from scattered vegetation. The population in the major resorts are Arab Egyptians, national immigrants from the Nile valley.
The Eastern Desert has since ancient times had important quarries. The ancient Kingdom of Kerma thrived between 2500 and 1500 BCE on gold excavated in the Eastern desert.




By Tore Kjeilen