Aswan University (Egypt) Botanical Garden on Kitchener Island
“The island is of oval shape and covers an area of 17 feddans: 650 meters long and 115 meters large. In the garden there are many different qualities of tropical and subtropical plants and for this reason it is considered one of the most important centers for botanic researches. (…) It has become an important touristic site and a place for promenades for the people of Aswan.
Originally the island was dewelled by the Nubian population who gave the island the name of the “Jet Narty”. A good agriculture system was developped with good reselts thanks to two water-mills, one on the eastern side of the island and the other on the western side.
In 1899, Lord Kitchener took possession of the island and made of it a place for rest and headquarters for leadership of his compaign; the island was named “Lords House”. After the kitchener departure the island became governement property and was made Gezire El-Malek (the island of the king) and was enrusted to the Ministry of Irrigation of Egypt.
In 1928 the island began to depend from the department of scientific researches of the Ministry of Agriculture who chose to change into a natural park of tropical and subtropical plants more suitable that the greenhouses used elsewhere. (…) Paths have been designed on the ground and paved with Aswan granite. The main one, in the center of the garden, is paved with pink granite, it is nice and shadowed by two long rows of royal palms white like marble.
There is available for visitors a cafeteria (…). Thanks to its position, the quietness the island is also a refuge for many species of birds like hupupa, doves, crows, ravens, sparrow owols … indian and white peacocks, ducks. A small zoo gives refuge and protection to some other animal like monkeys.
For children too there is a sutiable place where they can play and enjoy withoout spoiling the plants and off from the greens.
Dear Visitors, this garden is a natural treasure and the people who look after it make all possible efforts to preserve, implement and keep it with its immortal character so that you can always enjoy it anytime you come here.
The Garden Manager: Eng. Moddather Selim Ahmed
(Written from the book “Aswan Botanic Garden”, translated by Fr. Giuseppe Faraci, Sr. Hayat Naguib Mikail)