Kitchener’s Island

Kitchener’s Island

Kitchener’s Island is a small, oval-shaped island in the Nile at Aswan, Egypt. The Aswan Botanical Garden is located on the entire island.

Kitchener’s Island is one of two major islands on the Nile in vicinity of Aswan, the other one being Elephantine. Elephantine is much larger than Kitchener’s Island and located between Kitchener’s Island and the city of Aswan (east bank). Thus, it is hard to see the smaller Kitchener’s Island from the city.

The island was given to Lord Kitchener as a reward for his services in the Sudan Campaign (1896-1898).

With the aid of the Ministry of Irrigation, Kitchener rapidly transformed the small 750 metres (2,460 ft) long island into a paradise of exotic trees and plants in carefully gardens with view walkways. It later passed into the property of the Egyptian government and was used as a research station for examining different food and cash crops. Today a biological research station is located at the southern tip, which is closed to botanical garden visitors.

Aswan Botanical Garden

The island as a whole constitutes a botanical garden – the Aswan Botanical Garden. One can view the many types of subtropical, exotic, and rare plantings – a collection begun by Lord Kitchener and expanded since.

The gardens are particularly popular among the local people and tourists as a park for a quiet afternoon away from the noise of the city and weekend picnics. The island and gardens can be reached by felucca, motorboat or one of local ferries