Egypt's history stretches back over 5000 years to the time of the Pharaohs, one of the most exciting and fascinating periods in world history. Today, an incredible amount still remains visible of this ancient time, with a wealth of temples, monuments and excavations available to visit, not least the immense pyramids and sphinx at Gisa on the outskirts of Cairo. Combined with its unique history, Egypt's friendly people, beautiful desert scenery, the mighty River Nile and the marine wonders of the Red Sea, make Egypt a fabulous holiday destination, and one that we love sharing with our travellers.
Our tours to Egypt cover the whole country from desert jeep safaris to Nile cruises and sightseeing in the Nile Valley, and time relaxing and enjoying some snorkelling and scuba-diving by the Red Sea. We offer a range of accommodation options and levels, and also different tour types. We run regular small group departures on a range of itineraries, including some specially geared towards families, and can also offer a full private and tailor-made tour service throughout Egypt and the surrounding countries. We have our own team of Egyptologist guides and local reps in Egypt which we are very proud of, as we know how important a good guide is to your enjoyment of your holiday.
If you'd like to see more of Egypt than just a beach resort, then Egypt Uncovered is the place to start.
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The climate in Egypt is heavily dependent on where you are in the country, although in summer the climate can be quite hot and dry whereas in winter its quite moderate. The best times to travel to Egypt would be from November to March, and there is almost never rain at the Nile Valley.
Many of the main tourist attractions in Egypt can be found in the Nile Valley such as the Pyramids and Great Sphinx at Giza, the Abu Simbel temples south of Aswan and the Karnak Temple Complex and Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Other attractions in include the Cairo Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, as well as Hurghada on the Red Sea coast.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound E£ and can be abbreviated as EGP and sometimes, LE or L.E. The 1/100th unit of EGP is the Piastre. The Central Bank of Egypt controls the circulation of currency. You should not change your money before you go to Egypt, as you will get a better rate there. Euros, sterling and dollars are accepted (notes not coins) but your money will go further if you change it into Egyptian pounds.
We offer Nile cruises on a felucca, a traditional sailboat, on which an overnight journey may require passengers to sleep in the open air on deck, and the sailors sometimes double as cooks - giving you the perfect opportunity to experience rural Egyptian life on the banks of the Nile River.
The official language of Egypt is Standard Arabic. It is taught in schools and is spoken by nearly everyone, and is used in most official documents. Arabic easily became integrated with other Semitic languages such as Syriac, Berber, and Assyrian to form other variants of Arabic spoken in the country today.
It is common to tip between 10-15% if you are pleased with your service. If the service was exceptional, then tip closer towards the 15% mark and if you were not pleased with your service then tip closer to the 10% mark.
The official currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. However, it is perfectly fine to take dollars, euros or pound sterling notes with you to Egypt.
Travellers tend to get a better rate of exchange in Egypt.
The US dollar is accepted as well as other currencies such as thee Euro, Pound and Canadian dollar.
It is best to exchange your foreign currency into Egyptian pounds – your money will go further. There are several places to exchange money in Egypt, from currency exchange shops to banks, as well as Cairo International airport.
The CDC and WHO recommend that travellers ensure that they are fully vaccinated for the following: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
The most important vaccines are for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. These specific vaccines are important as they offer protection against food and water-borne diseases.
There have been no reported cases of locally-transmitted malaria in Egypt for the past 6 years. There are mosquitos in Egypt, particularly as you stray closer to the Nile, however, these are harmless – some long sleeve clothing and mosquito repellent should do the trick in keeping them away.
The tap water in Cairo is safe to drink however tends to have foul taste due to the chlorinated it contains. In general, it is recommended to stick to drinking boiled or bottled water in order to avoid an upset stomach.
A meal at a high-end establishment will cost around 120LE per person. An average lunch in Egypt such as a sandwich and a coffee/soft drink or a pizza is around 40-45LE per person.
The rate of exchange is generally 15LE for 1 US dollar.
Yes, you can - once you land, you need to go to the visa on arrival window. Keep in mind that when you pay for your Egypt visa on arrival, you need to pay in US dollars - you aren't allowed to use any other currency. Also, not that you need to pay in cash, no credit or debit cards are accepted.
Egypt prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places and shops except in hotels, restaurants, and tourist facilities. While the law in Egypt doesn't succeed in limiting the sale of alcohol exclusively to hotels, it does slow down the growth of the alcohol industry.
Any form of public displays of affection is usually heavily frowned upon – it is best to save it for the privacy of your hotel room. While things may seem more relaxed in tourist resorts, it’s good to be mindful of local customs and traditions.
Cairo is definitely at the top of the list – it is a truly charming place with world-class sights to see.
The city sits on the insubstantial River Nile and is the location of the medieval Islamic city and Coptic architecture in the old city.
Egyptians dress rather smartly and are rather conservative. You will see that most men in shirts, long trousers, and leather shoes and the women are usually fully veiled. In mosques, women are required to cover their shoulders & wear a veil, while men should be mostly covered as well.
Jeans okay to wear as long as you have a longer top to pair it with. You will find that many young local women pair their skinny jeans with longer sleeved tops that covered their bottoms.
Feluccas are traditional wooden sailing boats that have been used on the River Nile for centuries. The boats feature one or two triangular sails with no motor means you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful journey, watching traditional rural Egyptian life pass you by.
Some prescribed and over the counter medicines can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from Egypt’s Ministry of Health. If you arrive in Egypt without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the country and you may be prosecuted under Egyptian law.
Like much of the Middle East, Egypt is still a conservative country, which unfortunately condemns homosexuality. Whilst being Gay in Egypt is not technically a crime, public acts of affection between same sex couples can lead to prosecution.
Nobody knows how the pyramids were built, but I'm sure they had some divine help!
My contact with Encounters representative was a pleasure, she answered my questions promptly, provided a quotation and changed it quickly when different flights were preferred. Both by e-mail and phone the response was very timely.
Trip booked through Groupon at a Great offer price - Encounters was nothing but professional from the start. I even purchased insurance - extra days and got the best flights from my local airport- Great experience
Anthony has been amazing throughout my planning of my tour. He has been very quick in replying to my emails and always answering with everything I wanted to know.
I look forward to hopefully planning my next trip through him next year!
Ant provided excellent service. He always responded as quickly as he could, attending to the questions I had for him. He was also very patient and pleasant. I depended on his knowledge and service to make the trip.
I liked the service and the tour guide & driver on the tour. They were professional and provided very good service. I thought 1-2 hotels on the trip were not quite 4-star. It also happened that this group of people was always late for schedule and our walk pace was too slow. It really needs the guide to make people on schedule and be punctual for the activity. Overall I think the time management of this tour needs improvement.
There was a lot of communication from the beginning. The encounters staff was very responsive and the tour guide was great and very accommodating. Encounters was also able to help me with last minute changes to my itinerary while I was on the trip.
Time: GMT+2 Coronavirus
Dial Code: 00 20
Area: 1,001,450 km²
Elevation: Lowest point: Qattara Depression -133m | Highest point: Mount Sinai 2,629m
Population: 98,423,598 (2018)
Language: Arabic (official), English and French widely understood by educated classes
Officially known as the Arab Republic of Egypt, this transcontinental country covers the northeast corner of Africa and the southwest corner of Asia. It is a Mediterranean country boarded by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Libya to the west and Sudan to the south.
Egypt has a heritage dating back to the 6-4th millennia BCE, one of the longest histories in the world. It is also considered a cradle of civilisation and it was in Ancient Egypt that writing, organised religion and urbanisation began to develop.
The country is filled with iconic landmarks including the Giza Necropolis and the Sphinx, the ruins of Memphis and the Valley of the Kings. The culture of Egypt was influenced by a variety of foreign countries and Egypt was an early and vital centre of Christianity. During the 7th century, Egypt was Islamised and today Islam is the official religion and Arabic is the official language.
Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, as it has over 95 million inhabitants. It is the third-most populous country in Africa and the 15th-most populous in the world. Most of its people reside near the Nile River, where the most fertile land is.
The economy of Egypt is the largest and most diversified in the Middle East. In 2016, Egypt overtook South Africa and became the second largest economy in Africa, after Nigeria.
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