While the overland trek through the Sinai desert and wilderness might seem like a Biblical adventure, travelers with a bit of adventure and know how can take advantage of the affordable way to transit between the Egyptian capital and Red Sea resort town of Taba Heights.
Taba Heights is a complex made of of 6 well established hotels that includes golf facilities, desert adventures, an upscale shopping area, some vacation homes and apartments as well as a scuba center and plenty of restaurants. The beautiful beaches are home to a seabed full of coral reefs and this Northernmost section of the Red Sea allows visitors to look Northwards to the shores of Israel and Eastwards to the Shoreline of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Ways of Getting in:
Some tourists choose to take a chartered flight from Cairo or elsewhere directly to the seasonal and small Taba Heights airport, others choose to fly into the Sharm el Sheikh airport further down the coast and have a taxi or car company make the 2 hour transfer. There are buses which depart from a Cairo bus terminal and pick up or drop off visitors just across the street from the gates at Taba Heights.
How to use the buses:
It must first be stated that the bus system is quite basic. It is recommended to do so only if one is comfortable and familiar with informal bus culture, meaning smaller buses filled with 25 or so persons or even smaller vans. The roads are bumpy and the trip takes 7-10 hours in the large buses and 6-7 in the vans. The stops are set to random towns along the way and if you are unfamiliar with the Taba Heights stop make sure the driver will let you know when they are stopping there, as the buses and vans often continue down the coastal cities.
Be aware that at times when there is unrest or problems along the Cairo to Taba route, tourists will not be sold tickets and instead must opt for the Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh route, which isn’t all that bad, since buses leave from Cairo every hour for Sharm and vice versa. From Sharm simply take a bus to Taba Heights.
Getting the Buses in Cairo
The main buses operated in Cairo are from the East Delta Company (pictured below). The buses depart from Turgaman Station in Cairo and one heading to Taba heights must be sure to distinguish this from the Taba city bus station proper. The cost upon last inspection was somewhere between 70-90 Egyptian pounds one way depending on the regular or VIP bus.. There is no way to buy tickets online so go one day in advance to the station to buy your ticket or you can chance it by going the same day. The times of departure are 3 daily: 6:00am 9:30am 11:30pm VIP bus.
Getting the Buses in Taba Heights
The best way to hail a bus back to Cairo is to arrive to the gas station (pictured above) directly across the street from the main gate at Taba Heights. One will find that the major bus companies run on schedules and there are smaller vans which for an even smaller price offer a faster route to Cairo. It is up to the traveler in the moment, but we found the driver to be direct and the company pleasant so we took the van back to Cairo, it is a much faster ride that way. Buses back to Cairo leave Taba proper at 10:30am and 4:30pm so adjust the time to a half hour before to catch the buses coming past Taba heights proper. 10:00am and 4:00pm