Founded by friends Laila Hassaballa and Mariam Nezar, Bellies en Route is the Egyptian tourism company taking tourists far and wide on a delicious adventure.
There’s a bunch of ways you can experience a country’s heritage and history. You can stare at a bunch of statues (and come to realise how they were basically ancient Photoshop), maybe go to a museum and gaze upon the butter knives of a civilization long lost, or maybe just take a scenic walk down a culture-rich road. But one of the best and most satisfying ways to experience any culture remains to be its cuisine. From harvesting the ingredients, to learning about the preparation, all the way up to the actual eating experience, food has always been a deliciously authentic and immersive way to dive into the history of our little third rock from the sun.
It is this concept of culinary culture that brought Bellies En Route into happy existence (you can tell I’m happy about this). Conceptualized by well-traveled and humble foodie friends Laila Hassaballa and Mariam Nezar, a pair of graphic designers with a passion for flavours, Bellies En Route is a 100% Egyptian food tourism company that specialises in curating the myriad varieties of culinary experiences in both Egypt and the world. “It all started when I was on my last day in Bologna. I went to have some nice lasagna before I left and ended up having one of worst lasagnas I’ve had in my life. Since then, I’ve taken it upon myself to show people where truly delicious food lies on their travels.” As harrowing an experience as that may have been (bad lasagna is pretty terrible yo), the fruits of its labor seem to been worth it though. The Bellies’ local tours takes you through Downtown Cairo’s charm and rich historical landmarks, all while making six tasty stops at different locations, sampling foods from a variety of cultures and backgrounds.
Laila and Mariam’s delicious detours have seen plenty of happy reviews from around the world; folks from Australia, Canada, the US and more have given them some pretty neat ratings on TripAdvisor, giving them a name as Egypt's premier food tourism aficionados. And when you think about the bang for buck factor of it all, you end up getting way more for way less; authentic local food from seasoned, storied locales, your own pace of tour with two delightfully passionate foodies and a down to earth trip through the real Cairo.
It's not all Downtown though; they also offer farm tours where you can plant and harvest your own ingredients from the earth all the way to the pot, a pretty dandy change of pace from your bog-standard tourism experience (which isn't bad at all by the by), and if you have any leftover food that you don’t feel like having, the Bellies make it a mission to give to those who need it more around town.
if you feel like exploring the rich culinary heritage of Egypt with some sightseeing and history on the side, head over to their website, Facebook page and Instagram to find out more and book your own tour.)