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Uncover the World Travel Ltd
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PYRAMIDS & DAHABIYA

Price from
On Request
(per person)
Duration
13
Days
Tour Type
Tailor-made

HIGHLIGHTS

Unmissable Pyramids & enigmatic Sphinx, eclectic Egyptian Museum, Luxury Dahabiya cruise, musty tombs in the Valley of the Kings, breath-taking Temple of Karnak, Abu Simbel option
COUNTRIES : Egypt

Sailing up the Nile on a Dahabiya is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Egypt. You enjoy the luxury and comfort a larger Nile cruise boat provides, but in a much more intimate and exclusive setting. The slower pace also gives you much more time sailing, allowing you to experience more of rural Egypt in-between the sightseeing stops. This tour combines a 7-night Dahabiya cruise from Luxor to Aswan, with time in Cairo to see the pyramids and sphinx and Egyptian Museum.

Note: 5-night cruises are also available, using an overland transfer for the final section from Komombo to Aswan. The boats also run from Aswan to Luxor, and this option can be more convenient if you would like to add a Red Sea extension after the cruise. Please contact us for details.

Your Egyptian holiday starts in Cairo staying in the famous Mena House hotel, right next to the pyramids. Spending two nights here after your arrival means that your tours of the pyramids and sphinx at Gisa and Saqqara aren't too rushed, and we have time to include a comprehensive city tour, taking in the huge Egyptian Museum, ancient churches in Coptic Cairo, great views from the Citadel and the bustling Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.

The overnight sleeper train (or optional flight upgrade) takes you south to Luxor, where your first tour is to the West Bank of the Nile, home to the many pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and the 3-tiered temple to Queen Hatchepsut. Other stops include the Colossi of Memnon, and the Medinat Habu temple, which houses some of the best preserved wall paintings and carved hieroglyphs in Egypt. While you arein Luxor, you will also visit the huge temple complex at Karnak, and visit Luxor temple in the evening, when it is lit up to great effect.

You board your Dahabiya in Luxor, and all your meals for the next 7 days are provided by the on board chef and his team. Most Dahabiyas have between 6 and 10 comfortable en-suite, air-conditioned twin or double cabins, with upgrades to larger suites available on some boats. This tour uses a high standard Dahabiya with a classical, elegant style. More contemporary styled boats are also available on request.

The boat features a dining room, lounge and bar, and a sun-deck from where you can relax and watch rural Egyptian life pass you by as you sail up river. The boat stops overnight at Esna and Edfu en-route to Aswan, as well as two small islands where can enjoy a peaceful night away from the noise and the crowds that are hard to avoid in the main cruise boat stops.

While sailing up-river to Aswan, you stop to see the important temples at Esna, Komombo and Edfu, and also see several other sites missed by the normal cruise boats, including the El Kab tombs and Silesia temple. In Aswan, you visit the beautiful Philae temple by boat, and have the option to tour the impressive temple to Ramses II at Abu Simbel.

You also have some free time to explore the markets, before returning to Cairo on the overnight sleeper train (or optional flight upgrade).

You can fly straight home from Aswan if you wish (you would change planes in Cairo en-route). Back in Cairo you have some free time to do some shopping or further sightseeing, or perhaps add a day trip to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, or to the spectacular desert scenery at Wadi Rayan and Wadi Hitan. This tour includes the 'Valley of the Whales' World Heritage Site where ancient whale fossils are found and displayed on the sand.

We meet you on your arrival in Cairo airport and transfer you to your hotel.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour, Single room supplement (EGTMND)

Your first tour provides an introduction to the history of pyramid building, with visits to Zoser's step pyramid at Saqqara and of course the 3 main pyramids and sphinx at Gisa.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Nile dinner cruise in Cairo

You head into central Cairo today to learn more about Pharaonic history in the Egyptian Museum. Other visits include the mosques and palaces in the Citadel, ancient churches in Coptic Cairo, and the busy shopping streets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. In the evening, you transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train to Luxor (flight upgrades available).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Sleeper train
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

After arriving in Luxor your first tour is to the huge temple complex at Karnak. After boarding your Dahabiya and settling in, your afternoon is free to relax and explore Luxor further. In the evening you visit Luxor temple before enjoying your first of many special meals on board.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

This morning's tour heads across the Nile and explores several sites on the West bank including the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatchepsut and Medinat Habu temples and the Colossi of Memnon. As a private tour, this and all your sightseeing is flexible, and you could also visit the Ramesseum, Workers village, Valley of the Queens and other sites on the west bank if you wish. You also have the option this morning of a very special early morning hot air balloon flight.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Hot air balloon in Luxor

After leaving Luxor our cruise begins sailing towards Esna which will be our first stop. Whilst here you will have time to visit Esna town and also the Temple Khnum. The evening is spent onboard in Esna.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continuing south along the Nile to Edfu, we pass the El Kab Tombs which date back to the 18th Dynasty and will be able to view them from the deck of the boat. After arriving into Edfu we have a guided tour of the Temple of Horus, which is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. The evening is spent on-board close to Edfu.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we head for Komombo Temple and along the way we will stop to enjoy a BBQ lunch beside Al Ramady Island. Whilst sailing we will pass the Silesia Temple and sandstone quarries which you will be able to view from the deck of the boat.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today begins with an extensive tour of Komombo Temple which was dedicated to the gods Sobek and Haroreris. As we continue sailing towards Aswan we have time for a BBQ lunch on Herdiab Island. Sail on to an island outside Aswan.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We continue sailing to Aswan this morning where we have a day of tours to visit the High Dam, Unfinished Obelisk and Philae temple. After lunch onboard we have an afternoon visit to the Nubian museum.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Dahabiya
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning you have the option of joining the early morning convoy to Abu Simbel, the amazing reclaimed temple of Ramses the Great. If you choose not to visit Abu Simbel this morning then you have some free time to explore Aswan. In the afternoon we include a Felucca trip to Elephantine Island. In the evening we board the overnight sleeper train to Cairo.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Sleeper train
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Abu Simbel overland

We arrive back in Cairo during the morning and the rest of the day is free for you to explore the city some more. We can also arrange an optional day trip to the nearby city of Alexandria or out into the deserts to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Wadi Rayan and the Valley of the Whales.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Alexandria day trip, Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)

Your tour comes to an end today. You have some free time in Cairo until we transfer you to the airport for departure.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in 5-star hotels & deluxe Dahabiya
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles
  • Overnight sleeper train in private twin-berth cabins (flight upgrades available)
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all the sightseeing tours
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (USD 25 available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tipping kitty (allow US$30)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tour guide tips
  • Hotel Gala Dinners (if charged by the hotels on 24 & 31 Dec, see Tour notes)
  • Any other items not mentioned above

Notes:

Hotel Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt's hotels and Nile cruise boats arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but may be compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.

Pyramids & Dahabiya accommodation
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
le-meridien-pyramids-cairo.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Le Meridien Pyramids
Cairo, Egypt

Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa boasts unparalleled views of the majestic Giza Pyramids, located just a short distance away. It features a la...


Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

Le Meridien Pyramids is a large, modern resort style hotel set in its own landscaped gardens with excellent views of the Pyramids. The hotel has a good outdoor swimming pool and a variety of excellent restaurants to choose from offering Oriental, Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines. Many of the rooms have been recently renovated and the pool area is family friendly.

Location:

The hotel is located in Gisa, 10 kilometers south west of Cairo on the outskirts of the city and is within walking distance of the Pyramids and Sphinx. There is a busy roundabout outside, but once inside the hotel you do feel cut off from this. It is only a 15-25 minute drive to the centre of Cairo and 35-45 minutes to Cairo International Airport.

Accommodation:

The 532 rooms and suites are all generously sized and  furnished with Egyptian ornaments and artwork. 218 rooms enjoy views of the Pyramids while many others overlook the swimming pool. Upgrades to Pyramid view rooms are available on request for a small supplement.

All rooms have deluxe marble bathrooms with bath and shower, hair dryer, mini-bar, individually controlled air conditioning, satellite TV, direct dial telephone, safety deposit boxes and 24-hr room service. There are electrical sockets in every room for charging cameras, telephones etc. Non-smoking rooms are also available.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a variety of international restaurants to choose from, including The Med which offers the finest Mediterranean dishes in elegant surroundings to Laredo which is a Tex-Mex restaurant with a fun and informal atmosphere. Al Shams is open 24 hours a day and offers a range of international dishes either buffet style or A la carte. The Nubian Village overlooks the Pyramids, has both indoor and outdoor dining and offers a selection of Oriental and Lebanese specialities with live entertainment every night. There is also The Harris Cafe, offering freshly prepared cakes, pastries and breads and the Shisha Cafe for a typical Egyptian evening with specially flavoured shisha (water pipe).

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large freeform swimming pool with waterfalls, swim up bar and a children's pool. Le Mirage Health Club boasts the very latest exercise equipment and also provides saunas, steam rooms, Jacuzzi and massage facilities. Within the hotel there is a shopping arcade, beauty salon, 24-hour exchange bank and a children's play area.

Other services include:

  • 24 hr concierge desk
  • Business Centre
  • Modified Rooms for Disabled Travellers
  • Doctor (on call)
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning
  • Baby Sitting (on request)
  • Tennis Courts
  • Golf Course (10-min)
  • Jogging (nearby)
egypt-sleeper-train.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Sleeper train
Cairo, Luxor & Aswan, Egypt

On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blan...


On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket; storage locker and wash basin. An airline style evening meal and breakfast are included. The carriage steward will make up and put away your beds in the evening and morning. All transfers between your hotel and the station are also included (these may well be separate to the main group if train times are very different on your dates). Single cabin supplements apply.

Note: We can arrange an internal flight upgrade for anyone not wishing to use the sleeper train.

dahabiya-luxor.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Dahabiya
Luxor, Egypt

Dahabiyas are beautifully crafted sailboats with all the luxuries that modern day tourists have come to expect including air-conditioned en-su...


Dahabiyas are beautifully crafted sailboats that have been used on the Nile since ancient times, and became very popular again during the British Colonisation of Egypt, which lasted from 1882 until 1952. During this period many British aristocrats, celebrities and royals travelled to Egypt and cruising the Nile by Dahabiya was the ultimate in luxury.

Dahabiyas have recently seen a revival for those wishing to travel on the Nile but looking for an alternative to the larger cruise ships. The Dahabiyas of today are still extremely well crafted ships but now come with all the luxuries that modern day tourists have come to expect including air-conditioned en-suite cabins and beautifully cooked meals. Travelling on the Nile under sail conjures up images of a bygone era and is an extremely romantic and relaxing experience. The smaller size of the boats also means you have a much more personal experience on the river with your fellow passengers, crew and Egyptologist guide.

There are several different styles of Dahabiya available, nearly all of which are more expensive than travelling on a conventional cruise boat. These include some with modern styling, and some with more traditional design inside. We can offer both types, to suit individual preferences. There are normally 6 to 8 deluxe cabins, all fitted with personal safe, individually controlled air conditioning, telephone, coffee and tea facilities, mini bar, satellite TV as well as many other features. The facilities on board include an elegant dining room, shaded dining area on the top deck, bar, reading lounge and also sometimes even a jacuzzi, work out and massage facilities.

Itineraries are generally available for either 5 or 7 nights, either running from Luxor to Aswan or vice versa. Private charters are also available.

Note: Nearly all Dahabiyas on the Nile also travel with a motorised tow-boat. This boat is needed for safety and manoeverability reasons when winds are both too low and also very high to provide the Dahabiya with guaranteed control on what is an extremely busy stretch of river. The only Dahabiyas that do not use a tow-boat are those that have their own engine fitted, which we feel rather takes away the atmosphere of being on a sailing boat. We always try to select Dahabiyas with quiet and clean engined tow-boats and whose captains realise the importance of using the boat as little as possible.

Nile Spirit Dahabiya - felucca upgrade

We have arranged a very special option available to travellers on our Small Group tours that include a Nile felucca cruise. This spends four nights travelling through the Nile Valley from Aswan to Luxor on the Nile Spirit Dahabiya, instead of staying in hotels and on the basic felucca sailboat. The Nile Spirit is a luxury Dahabiya designed to give the discerning traveller a combination of nostalgia with a twist of modern design. There are 2 suites with their own private balcony and 6 cabins, all of which boast an array of luxury features such as individually controlled climate control, hairdryers, mini-bars, plasma TV's, and in room movies. The facilities on board include a reception area, library with 2 LCD TV's and massage chairs. On the sundeck you will find a bar offering a selection of drinks and cocktails and also a BBQ area.

Sonesta Dahabiya

For the ultimate in luxury whilst sailing on the Nile, look no further than the Sonesta Dahabiya, which was launched in February 2009 and has set new standards for sailing on the Nile. The boat is beautifully designed and gives you a real taste of travel in a bygone era. Each of the ships 6 cabins and 2 suites are furnished to a high level, and in room features include direct dial telephone, individually controlled climate control, hairdryers, mini bar, safety deposit box, plasma TV's and for guests staying in one of the ships 2 suites, a private terrace. The on board facilities include an elegant dining area, a stylish lounge, an oriental style Jacuzzi and a partially shaded sun deck in addition to Sonesta's famous high standards of service and hospitality.

The Sonesta Dahabiya sails on various dates between Luxor and Aswan on 7 Night cruise durations or for passengers travelling with their extended families, up to a maximum of 16 passengers, we are able to arrange for private charters.

Pyramids & Dahabiya options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (EGTMND)
Price from
US$419
per person



Single room supplement (EGTMND)
Min numbers: 1 person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single..


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour
Price from
On
Request

per person



Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your air..


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
Price from
On
Request

per person



Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airpo..


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Price from
On
Request

per person



Nile dinner cruise in Cairo
Min numbers: 1 person

Egyptian entertainment and food while cruising the Nile...


This option offers an evening of cruising up and down the Nile through the centre of Cairo on a 5-star riverboat while enjoying some middle eastern cuisine as well as a traditional Egyptian Sufi and Belly Dancing show. A great way to spend a free evening in Cairo and see some more of the city. Transfers to and from your hotel are included.

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Price from
US$99
per person



Hot air balloon in Luxor
Min numbers: 1 person

A trully memorable, approx 1-hour, early morning flight over the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor...


This popular optional tour starts early in the morning so that you experience the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. We endeavour to use the earliest flights of the day as they are timed to fit with the rising sun, this means that times may vary. You get around 1 hour in the air.

Abu Simbel overland
Price from
US$99
per person



Abu Simbel overland
Min numbers: 1 person

This option takes you from Aswan to see the amazing temples built by Ramses II at Aswan. We travel overland and return to Aswan by midday...


The temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel are one of Egypt's highlights, and have a fascinating story behind them to go with their impressive size. When Lake Nasser was flooded, the final water level was going to submerge several temples, the most important of which being Abu Simbel. The temple was therefore dismantled completely and rebuilt further up the hillside where it sits today. The temple stands today as a testament to Ramses II and the great building prowess of the ancient Egyptians, as well as to modern engineering. We depart Aswan early in the morning to join an escorted convoy which departs Aswan at around 04.30. This gets us to Abu Simbel to see the temples in the light of the rising sun, and we then have a guided tour with one of our Egyptologists and some free time before we drive back to Aswan (approx. 3 hours drive each way, with around 2 hours at the temples). All transfers, guide, and entrance fees are included. The tour itinerary is designed so you will not miss any other activities if you choose this option. Note - we choose the overland route to get to Abu Simbel as the flight times there are unreliable and the journey using the flight is much more segmented (you get more rest on the coach), not to mention it is much more expensive to fly.

Alexandria day trip
Price from
US$119
per person



Alexandria day trip
Min numbers: 1 person

A comprehension fulll day tour to the Pearl of the Mediterranean, Alexandria...


Alexandria is about 2.5 hours north of Cairo on the Mediterranean coast of Egypt. This city is the second largest in Egypt and this full day tour will include the Roman amphitheatre with its twelve semi-circular marble tiers, the Catacombs of Kom al-Shoqafa which is the largest Roman cemetery in Alexandria, Pompey's Pillar, Fort Qaitbey (from outside), the famous modern library before returning to Cairo. If time allows you can tour inside Fort Qaitbey (entrance fee extra) and we may also visit the Montazah Palace gardens. Lunch at a seafood restaurant is included.

Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)
Price from
On
Request

per person



Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)
Min numbers: 1 person

A full day trip to Wadi Rayan and Wadi Hitan, see waterfalls and a fresh water lake to fossilised whales and mangroves sitting in the desert s..


This tour provides a great contrast to the Pharaonic sites you have visited on the rest of your tour. We leave Cairo and head to the Fayoum region where we head for the Wadi Rayan Protected Area, which surrounds a fresh-water lake in the middle of the desert, filled by the remaining irrigation water from the Fayoum area. There are several waterfalls here (popular in Egyptian pop music videos), and a bird hide which gives good views of the lakes birdlife, particularly in the winter months when the lake is an important stop for migrating water-birds. We also visit the Springs Oasis area, a rare example of an uninhabited Saharan oasis, and host to many different plants and animals, including Dorcas Gazelle, Ruppell's Sand Fox and Fennec Fox. After a stop for a packed lunch, we then drive into the stunning desert & mountain scenery of Wadi Hitan (Valley of the Whales). This World Heritage Site is accepted as the most significant site in the world to demonstrate the evolution of whales, and we take a 2-3km walk here to see several specimens of fossilised whales of different types sitting on the surface of the sand, as well as fossilised mangroves and the remains of crab holes.

This tour requires a full free day in Cairo, but can also be arranged straight after you arrive back in Cairo from Luxor/Aswan from the overnight sleeper train. We can also arrange it on any tour if you add extra days before and after your main tour. Prices shown are based on 2 or more people travelling, with an additional supplement due for solo travellers.

pyramids-dahabiya-map.jpg
Pyramids & Dahabiya tour notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

Our Egypt tours include a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Cairo airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers. Our representative will meet you in the immigration hall of Cairo airport before you get to passport control. They will assist with visa formalities before helping you collect your luggage and taking you to your hotel.

Your airport transfers are only included on the first and last day of the set tour itinerary, plus on any additional days if you book your hotel room with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, except on some Escorted Tours, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you. Our ATOL (UK flight sales license - No. 10467) protects all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.

Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from. Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour whether you book your flights independently or through us. Nearly all our Egyptian tours start and finish in Cairo airport (CAI).

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won’t ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead, we set our Egypt small-group departures to have a maximum of 18 travellers. On dedicated Nile Cruise tours you may join larger boat groups for the sightseeing trips, though a supplement is always available for a private Egyptologist guide for these tours (requires advance booking).

In Egypt we provide fully trained, local English-speaking graduate Egyptologist guides to run your tour and escort you during all of the sightseeing in Cairo and the Nile Valley. We also have permanent local reps in all the main towns/cities and Red Sea resorts who are also at your service, and will be handling all the practical arrangements for the tour. We use local Bedouin guides for tours through the desert.

On some departures we may use one guide in Cairo, and a second guide for the Aswan to Luxor section.

At Egypt Uncovered we only use local Egyptian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous Egyptian guides.

Our Small Group tours do not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. We do however normally include these in quotes for Tailor-Made and Escorted tours. Please check the Exclusions section below the tour itinerary for a details about your tour and the amount you may need to budget. This amount is subject to change and will be reconfirmed in Egypt at the start of your tour. A 50% discount for minors or ISIC card holders is often, but not always available. Your guide will be happy to collect payment for all the entrance fees at the start of the tour, and pay them for you as you go along if you wish.

Tipping is very much a part of Egyptian culture and customs. To make our prices more transparent and so it is easier for you to budget and less hassle while in Egypt, on our small group tours we organise a ‘Tipping Kitty’ which needs to be paid as a local payment and will be around US$25-45 depending on the length of yoru trip. This kitty provides tips for a wide range of people you’ll meet along the tour including hotel porters, train and station staff, drivers, site guards, local reps etc. Please check the Included/Excluded notes below the tour itinerary for more information on how much to budget for this kitty.

Your Egyptologist guide (and Bedouin guides in the desert) is not included in this kitty and you may tip them at the end of your tour subject to your satisfaction with and appreciation of the service they have provided.  You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. USD 3-8 per person per day would be appropriate.

On private/tailor-made tours we can also arrange a tipping kitty if you wish, or you can tip people as you go along the tour. Your guide will be happy to help advise either way.

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination.  You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis

Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel

Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using ‘black henna’ instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

We recommend that you contact your closest Egyptian consulate or embassy for current information for your nationality.

In general official advice is that all nationalities obtain their Egypt visas in advance, as we cannot guarantee that you can get them in the airport. In practice however, many nationalities (including British and European, Australian, New Zealand, USA, Canadian) can and do generally obtain their visas on arrival in Cairo airport. The cost is currently US$25 p/p and must be paid in hard currency (i.e. GBP, USD or EUR) – you’ll be given change in local currency if necessary. There are no forms to fill in and you don’t need to bring passport photos. Visas are issued at one of the bank desks in the immigration hall, before you get to passport control. Our representative will have met you by this stage and will assist with the process.

All African & Indian nationals, and some others, will need to obtain their visas in advance.

For further information on your visa requirements, please either contact us or your local Egyptian embassy/consulate.

The local currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound, often denoted ‘LE’. The Egyptian Pound can vary significantly in value against the British Pound, but sticks fairly close to the value of the US Dollar. You do not need to arrange to bring any Egyptian Pounds with you to Egypt, as change facilities are available in all the hotels, airports and banks. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

While in Egypt you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Egyptian Pounds. You may also need to pay for the tour Tipping Kitty and site Entrance Fees while you are in Egypt. Payments for these may be made to your tour guide in hard currency (USD, GBP, EUR) at the start of your tour. Please see your tour Included/Excluded details for more information and guideline amounts for these.

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.

The time in Egypt, Jordan and Israel is GMT plus 2 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.

Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Egypt. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips – you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Clothing: Most of your time in Egypt will be in a hot climate. However, at night, and especially in the deserts, the temperatures can drop quite dramatically. So you must pack for cool conditions. Formal dress (eg. suits & ties) is not required on the cruise boats or in 5-star hotel restaurants. Long sleeves are recommended to protect from mosquitoes if you are on the felucca. Modesty rates highly in Egypt, especially for women, so to respect the local culture & people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). In the centre of Cairo, and when visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.

Other items: If you will be travelling on a felucca then we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner all year round for comfort, and a light sleeping bag in the winter months (November to February). We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.

Most of our small group tours use comfortable, good quality hotels around the 4-star level. We do use locally rated 5-star hotels in some places, especially Luxor and by the Red Sea at Hurghada, when were feel the local 4-star options are not suitable. Some tours use higher level hotels throughout. Please check the Accommodation tab on the tour page for details of the normal hotels used. On our group and shoestring tours, these may change from time to time for other properties of a similar standard. If you would like to guarantee a particular hotel, please request a tailor-made tour.

Tours visiting the Western Desert Oases of Siwa, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Karga where there are limited options will stay in more basic hotels at around the 2-3 star level. All hotels at the 4-star level and higher have swimming pools and a choice of restaurants and bars.

Nile cruise tours are generally based on Egyptian 5-star deluxe level boats - please check the Accommodation section on the tour page for details.

Accommodation is based on twin, triple or double en-suite rooms/cabins with air conditioning. All couples will be given a private double room/cabin. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travellers of the same sex.

Single travellers
On most of our Egypt tours, if you are happy to share a room/cabin with another traveller of the same sex, then if you are travelling solo, you do not need to pay the single supplement cost, even if you end up with a single room during the tour. This does not apply to all tours - please check the single room supplement option on your tour for full details.

Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt's hotels and Nile cruise boats arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but may be compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through International Passenger Protection for passengers not booking flights.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don’t prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don’t expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don’t waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don’t litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It’s important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Egypt Uncovered shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/EgyptUncovered
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Know Before you Go' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Know Before you Go' campaign

Pyramids & Dahabiya dates & prices
Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
Season Start Date Season End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
No Tours Available
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PYRAMIDS & DAHABIYA Reviews
Service

Posted Sep 13, 2016
The staff were very helpful, incorporating all our wishes for extra nights and excursions. The actual booking process was very straightforward.