When vacation season has been officially over for a while, the stress of city life starts to wear you down. Despair not, there is an idyllic spot with minimal noise nearby where you can unwind and recuperate for a couple of days. We caught up with Katherine Jones, Manager of The Nest to learn everything you need to know about this new holistic retreat and how to plan your next escape from the frantic pace of Cairo.
How did the idea of creating The Nest come about?
KJ: The idea for The Nest was inspired by a growing need to escape city life. The Nest was set up in a large botanical farm called Botanica, established by Khaled Shoukry almost 20 years ago. His vision was to create a space where people could come to get away from their stressful lives and reconnect with nature.
Where is The Nest located?
We are located on the Cairo-Alex Desert road at Exit 5; it takes about an hour to reach us from Maadi and Down Town Cairo.
What can we expect?
The Nest is essentially a botanical garden which covers roughly 100 feddans. The land is tucked away from the main road, so when you arrive you really feel like you’ve stepped away from the city and can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. We have many mature exotic trees and cacti which make the place feel like a real forest.
What are the accommodation options?
There is a variety of rooms to meet different needs and budgets. We have two double rooms with ensuite bathrooms, a guest house with two double rooms, a shared living room and kitchen, two huts with a star-gazing roof and we also allow camping.
What facilities and amenities does The Nest offer?
As well as the accommodation and botanical forest, there is a beautiful space for classes, built a tree-level and surrounded with netting so you really feel like you’re practicing among the trees but without any insects! We can also arrange for an indoor space to practice in if the weather requires it.
Are all meals provided?
Yes, for retreats and private bookings we provide two or three delicious vegetarian meals per day, served as a buffet. We also welcome guests who wish to rent the guest house, which has its own kitchen, and they can bring their own food.
Can people come as individuals or only in organised groups?
The Nest welcomes both so long as they share our views on a holistic lifestyle.
Is there a minimum age requirement?
We are open to all ages.
Can pets be accommodated?
No, as we have our own team of friendly dogs and any new additions can unbalance their hierarchy.
How can we book?
The Nest accepts reservations by email or through the Facebook Page.
Are there any rules or requirements in place that people should know about?
There is a strict policy against drugs and alcohol, and smoking is only permitted in outdoor spaces. We also ask that people avoid playing loud music unless it is part of a group exercise such as ecstatic dance. We do not have Wi-Fi and the phone signal can be erratic but we see this as a wonderful opportunity to disconnect from electronics and take time to be with nature. We also request that you take any plastic garbage away with you as we only recycle paper and organic waste.