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Egypt is one of the most distinctive countries of the African continent as well as the Middle East, with an impressive civilization stretching back more than 5,000 years. From its pyramids and palaces to its art, artifacts to its bustling cities, desert expanses, and beautiful beaches, it's a place that dazzles the senses and seizes the imagination. An excursion to Egypt will be the trip of a lifetime - and likely still leave much to explore on a second and even third visit. But for first-timers, here are seven musts that encapsulate the best of the country's exotic allure.