New and Old Highdam

High dam volume equals 17 times Giza Pyramid.
Maxi. Height 111 m. Dam Length at the Crest: 3.830 m. Dam Width at the base: 980 m. Dam width at the top: 40 m. No. of main tunnels: 6. No. of tunnel branches: 24. No. of Turbines: 12. Max. Power of Turbine: 175.000 kw. Max. discharge of turbine 346 m/sec. Lengh of storage lake: 500 km, reservoir area: 6000 km. Total capacity of the reservoir: 169.000 million m. Amount of Rock / filling is about 43 mill. cubic meter.
The visit of Highdam is offered as a package with Obelisk and Philae (see left).

Already in 1898 building the Old Highdam had begun: Under supervision of British Engineer 800 Italian stonemasons as well as thousands of Nubians and Egyptians worked day and night, until – 4 years later – „the Pyramid of the 19th century“ was finished.

The installation sufficed, to water land in Egypt until winter. In summer all 180 gates were opened for the annual tidal waves, to swamp farmland and to get fertile mud on the fields.
After the flood – still within the months of much of water – the gates were closed and the lake refilled. During january the dam has been closed for repairs, and from february on the water was drained with control within few gates.

During the 1950th the New Highdam (Sadd-El-Ali) was planned. January 1956 the new constitution had been announced, in June Nasser has won the elections of Presidency.
The USA, England and the World bank, which had offered to help finance the Highdam with bonds, cancelled their promise.

Egypt was shocked: An Economy based on agriculture only was not possible anymore. To get on with the process of industrialisation, it was necessary to get energy with the Highdam. The fellachs (farmers) hoped to get more harvests because of a regular irrigation. Moreover the dam was supposed to give electricity to villagers, which lived and worked through centuries with the light of oil lamps.

President Nasser turned to the Sowjet Union who confirmed help.

On 26th of july 1956 Nasser nationalized Suez Canal. During a speech in the radio he declared, the income of Suez Canal – 35 Million Dollar each year – would not be transferred to the Anglo-French Company of Suez Canal, but to its rightful owner which is Egypt. With this money the Highdam of Aswan could be built and the sacrifices of 120.000 Egyptians, which had died during the building of the Canal, would not have been in vain.

On October 9th the first springing was celebrated, on January 15th 1971 the highdam – 3.6 km long and 110 meters high, had been inaugurated. A tower made of concrete, built like a lotus, was made as a memorial place to remember Egyptian-Sowjet cooperation.

During the Eighies the Highdam saved Egyptian farmers from drought: Between 1979 and 1987 there was hardly no rain in Ethiopia, and the content of Lake Nasser bisected almost. 1988 came very much rain from Ethiopia, which would have brought fatal floodings without the New Highdam.

Philae, Highdam, Obelisk
including guide:

Pick up with car or microbus (air condition) from your hotel,transfer and boat for you to bring you to the island, visit at Philae. boat back, drive with the car to visit Highdam and Obelisk,all with guide

78 USD with car
(1 or 2 persons)

93 USD with microbus (3 or more persons)

Tickets not included:


Option: Add
Kalabsha Temple, Beit Al-Wali and Kertassi

please see:
Philae, Highdam, Obelisk plus Kalabsha Temple



Sound and Light Show at Philae: Representative and driver to pick you up from your hotel, representative to negotiate and pay boat and captain for you at Philae. The captain, boat and driver will wait for you to bring you back to Aswan after the show:

With Limousine
(1-2 persons):
45 USD

With Microbus
(3 persons & more):
55 USD