Most of Egypt is covered by the low-lying sand dunes and depressions of the Western and Libyan Deserts. East of the Nile River, the semi-arid Arabian Desert extends to the edges of the Red Sea.
In the far southwest, the land rises into the Gilf Kebir Plateau, with elevations near 2,000 ft. (609 m) Sandstone plateaus front the Nile and the Red Sea, with cliffs as high as 1,800 ft. (548 m). In the far southeast, the Red Sea Mountains, an extension of the Ethiopian Highlands, continue on into Sudan.
The country is dissected by the amazing Nile River, as it flows north to the Mediterranean Sea from it source in central Africa. The surrounding Nile Valley, 5-10 miles (8-16 km) wide, is the country's only fertile land. and home to 98% of the population.
The Red Sea is extended into the Mediterranean by the man-made Suez Canal. The Sinai Peninsula lies east of the canal, and this limestone plateau rises to Mt Catherine in the south, the highest point of the country at 8,652 ft (2,637 m).
Lake Nassar, the largest lake, is man-made, and created when the Aswan dam was constructed, then finished in 1970.
The lowest point of Egypt is the Qattara Depression at -436 ft (-133 m).