This is a small but charming museum run by Mohamed Sobhi, a Nubian guide, and his family, who have dedicated part of their large house to the traditions, flora, fauna and history of Nubia. It has a collection of stuffed animals endemic to Nubia, samples of sedimentary rocks and great pictures of Nubia before it was flooded by Lake Nasser.

There is a small shop selling Nubian crafts at fixed prices, and a lovely roof terrace where drinks and lunch are served overlooking the gardens. Mohamed Sobhi is passionate and knowledgeable about Nubian culture and the natural world. He also takes people around Elephantine Island, and on early morning bird-watching trips. His daughter Fatma is also an excellent English-speaking guide.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Aswan attractions

1. Elephantine Island

0.21 MILES

Elephantine Island's southern end comprises the site of ancient Abu. Its name meant both 'elephant' and 'ivory' in ancient Egyptian, a reminder of the…

2. Aswan Botanical Gardens

0.29 MILES

Kitchener’s Island, to the west of Elephantine Island, was given to Lord Horatio Kitchener in the 1890s when he was commander of the Egyptian army…

3. Corniche

0.35 MILES

Walking along the Corniche and watching the sunset over the islands and desert across the Nile is a favourite pastime in Aswan. The view from riverside…

4. Aswan Museum

0.54 MILES

The modern annexe of the museum has reopened with a delightful collection of objects, from weapons, pottery and utensils to statues, encased mummies and…

5. Nilometer of Satet

0.55 MILES

Descending to the river’s edge from beneath a sycamore tree near the Aswan Museum is the Nilometer of the Satet Temple (plaque number 10). Built in late…

6. Nilometer of Khnum

0.57 MILES

The Nilometer of the Temple of Khnum (plaque number 7) is below the southern balustrade of the temple. Built in the 26th dynasty, the Nilometer's stone…

7. Ruins of Abu

0.63 MILES

The evocative ruins of ancient Abu and the Aswan Museum (partially closed for renovation) lie at Elephantine Island's southern tip. Numbered plaques and…

8. Tombs of the Nobles

0.63 MILES

The high cliffs opposite Aswan, just north of Kitchener’s Island, are honeycombed with the tombs of the governors, the Keepers of the Gate of the South,…