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SIWA EXPLORER

Price from
On Request
(per person)
Duration
8
Days
Tour Type
Tailor-made

HIGHLIGHTS

WWII cemeteries of El Alamein, colourful markets & souks of Siwa, Mediterranean swimming at Marsa Matrouh, beautiful Montazah Palace and Pompeii's Pillar in Alexandria
COUNTRIES : Egypt

Siwa Oasis has drawn adventurous travellers from around the world for many years, yet it still manages to retain its unique atmosphere and culture. Our Alexandria and Siwa is ideal for those who love the desert, or are considering a second visit to Egypt - this tour combines time in Siwa with sightseeing tours in Cairo and Alexandria and a visit to the WWII commonwealth cemeteries at El Alamein.

The tour begins with one night in Cairo, but we can easily add more time here if you’d like to visit the pyramids, sphinx and museum during your trip.

Leaving Cairo behind our journey takes along the coast via El Alamein and Marsa Matrouh and into the desert to the Siwa Oasis itself. Siwa remains one of Egypt’s more remote and least accessible Oasis towns and it wasn't even governed by Egypt until the middle of the 20th century. The people of Siwa still speak their own language Siwi and their unique culture continues to flourish, despite the influx of tourists passing through. The town has a rich history which includes a visit from Alexander the Great who came to the oasis in 331 to consult with the Oracle of Amun. This visit has led many archaeologists to believe that Siwa may be the final resting place of Alexander the Great, though there is no solid proof to support this theory.

Whilst in Siwa you will explore the ancient and mysterious centre - Shali, visit the Hill of the Dead and enjoy an exciting jeep safari out into the Great Sand Sea.

After plenty of time to explore Siwa we drive back north to the Mediterranean, stopping first at Marsa Matrouh and then on to Alexandria. Named after Alexander the Great, you will visit the Roman ruins, Catacombs, the modern Library and the Qaitbay Citadel which is perched on the site of the ancient Pharos Lighthouse.

Your journey ends with a drive back to Cairo where you will spend your final evening. Extensions can be added to this tour to explore more of the Egyptian deserts, the Red Sea or to tour the iconic Pharaonic sites along the Nile Valley.

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle into the hotel and relax after your journey.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo Hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour, Single room supplement (EGTMSE)

Our trip begins with an early morning drive from Cairo to El Alamein. The battle of El Alamein is often described as the most decisive victory of WWII. Whilst here you will have time to visit one of the commonwealth cemeteries. Continuing along the coastal road we pass through Marsa Matrouh where we have time for lunch before heading into the Egyptian deserts to Siwa Oasis. You have the remainder of the evening free to begin exploring intriguing Siwa.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Siwa Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch

Today we take a bicycle tour of Siwa. The tour is flexible but one of the main highlights is a visit to the Temple of Oracle, where Alexander the Great is said to have once visited. The afternoon is free for you to continue exploring on your own.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Siwa Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

One of the most iconic images of Siwa is the almost otherworldly 'Hill of the Dead', which looms over Siwa. Today we visit the Hill of the Dead aswell as Old Shali with its labyrinthine streets. In the afternoon we take a jeep safari out into the Great Sand Sea.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Siwa Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

We leave Siwa Oasis this morning and drive back to the coast to Marsa Matrouh. This interesting seaport is home to a large Libyan/Berber population, and the town has a unique feel to it. There is time for a dip in the Mediterranean before taking a stroll around the colourful markets including the Libyan souk. In the afternoon we continue on to Alexandria, where the evening is free to enjoy this historically important city.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Alexandria Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch

This morning is free for you to relax and explore Alexandria at your leisure. In the afternoon we enjoy a visit to the beautiful Montazah Palace. Later in the evening we jump on board the tram for a ride into town to visit some of the local shops and take a stroll along the cornice, before sampling Alexandrian Fateer for dinner.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Alexandria Hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Today we take a tour of Alexandria. The city still has some classic colonial architecture and Roman remains. Pompey’s pillar, and the Catacombs of Kom al-Shoqafa, Fort Qaitbey (built on the site of the ancient Pharos lighthouse) and the impressive new library. Later this afternoon we travel back to Cairo.

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

Your time is free today until we transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales), Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport in private vehicles with a local driver
  • All transfers, including 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Entrance fees
  • Services of a local escort throughout the tour
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Tipping kitty

Excluded:
  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tour guide tips
  • Hotel Gala Dinners (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 in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but 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. Gala Dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, and will be added to your booking if required. More information is available on request.

Siwa Explorer 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.
oasis-hotel-cairo.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Oasis Hotel
Cairo, Egypt

The Oasis hotel is located just a few minutes drive from the Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx, and is set within 9 acres of beautiful landsca...


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

Introduction:

The Oasis Hotel really is, as its name suggests, an oasis in the immense city of Cairo. The hotel is located just a few minutes drive from the Great Pyramids of Giza, and is set within 9 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. It is one of the few good 4-star rated hotels in Cairo, and we use it on many of our tours with a 'standard' comfort rating.

Location:

The Oasis hotel is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the Great Pyramids (too far to walk), 1 hour from Cairo International Airport and 30 minutes from Downtown Cairo and the Egyptian Museum. As there aren't many bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, a complementary shuttle bus service operates throughout the day - although many guests chose to stay within the hotel complex as there are plenty of facilities and different bars & dining options there.

Accommodation:

The Oasis has a total of 300 guest rooms including 6 executive Suites and 1 royal suite. Most are single storey chalet-style rooms, though there is a new 2-storey extension (no children are allowed in the new section though). Connecting rooms and extra beds are available for family parties.

All guest rooms are furnished to a high standard and overlook the perfectly maintained gardens. The rooms also all feature Satellite TV, Air-Conditioning, Direct Dial Telephone, Mini-Bar, Wireless Internet and Music Channels.

Bars & Restaurants:

The resort features several dining outlets, mainly located around the pool area, making dining at this hotel a relaxing experience.
Bedouin - This modern restaurant serves mixed international cuisine with influences from Lebanese, Syrian and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day and provides both buffet and a la carte options.
La Terrazza - This restaurant is one of the hotel's a la carte options and offers cuisine from various parts of Italy. The restaurant is open daily for dinner.
Palmyra - This buffet style restaurant offers a large variety of international cuisines.
Palm Garden - Palm Garden is a Syrian and Lebanese restaurant and nightclub open daily from 10pm. You can enjoy a meal next to the waterfall whilst taking in one of the live shows.
The hotel also offers a section of coffee shops and bars that serve an extensive menu of western snacks in addition to ice creams & western snacks ideal for children and cocktails for the adults.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large free-form swimming pool available to guests featuring both shallow and deep areas with easy access steps in the shallow end, in addition to the swimming pool, the hotel has many other services available such as a health club and spa, fully equipped gymnasium, children's playground, free shuttle bus to Downtown Cairo and 24 hour room service.

Other services include:

  • Basketball and Tennis Courts
  • Free Parking
  • Bank
  • ATM Machine
  • Valet and Laundry Services
  • Luggage Store
  • Gift Shop
  • Massage, Sauna and Jacuzzi
shali-lodge-siwa.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Shali Lodge
Siwa, Egypt

The Siwa Shali Lodge is built in the traditional Kershef design and blends seamlessly into the surrounding desert landscape, close to the myst...


Set within the incomparable scenery of the Sahara desert, a rare combination of wilderness and comfort, the resort is arranged as an archipelago of small one-storey constructions delicately placed within the dunes.

The restaurant, reception and spa each occupy one of three independent buildings and the guest rooms, each with its own en-suite, sit in groups of three. Built using local construction techniques and materials, the mud rendering of the walls makes the structures aesthetically similar to the old houses of Siwa while constituting an efficient barrier against the external temperature.

Guest rooms have generous space with large (120 cm) twin beds. Suites have a queen size bed in the main area and twin beds in an adjoining room. Each room is fitted with air conditioning, ceiling fan, mini-bar, satellite TV and telephone.

The tasteful decor of all rooms and their amenities is in keeping with the traditional style of Berber dwellings so as not to interfere with the magical atmosphere of the desert by introducing elements foreign to its culture.

The Resort is blessed with an outstanding 200m sinuous swimming pool unravelling through the length of the village.

steigenberger-cecil-alexandria.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Steigenberger Cecil Hotel
Alexandria, Egypt

Colonial style hotel perfectly located in the centre of Alexandria. Rooms are spacious and full of character but a little dated....


Conveniently located in Alexandria's business district and overlooking the bay and yacht club, this hotel features an elegant setting influenced by the architecture and interior design of early modernism. Free Wi-Fi is available in public areas.

Steigenberger Cecil Hotel Alexandria has spacious rooms with French beds, chandeliers and carpeted floors and furnishing that match in patterns and colours to create an artistically refreshing setting.

As can be expected, the hotel’s restaurants have a historical reputation to keep up to. You can also enjoy a drink at the Monty Bar, named after the famous Marshall Montogomery.

Steigenberger Cecil Hotel Alexandria is a hotel for connoisseurs who can appreciate the impeccable service & attention to detail.

The hotel is situated in a convenient location in the heart of Alexandria. Wired internet is available in rooms at an added fee.

Siwa Explorer 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 (EGTMSE)
Price from
US$279
per person



Single room supplement (EGTMSE)
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
US$49
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
US$49
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
US$59
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.

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.

siwa-explorer-map.jpg
Siwa Explorer 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Siwa Explorer dates & prices

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EGYPT Reviews
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Posted Oct 24, 2016
Very informative and smooth transaction with booking!
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Posted Oct 14, 2016
Service rating : I had a wonderful time on my encounters adventure. I felt safe and the tour guides did their best to accommodate us on the tour. The trip was above my expectations.

Product : Discover Egypt was very educational. I learned so much about Egypt that left me yearning for more. I would love to visit again. Thank you Encounters
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Service rating : Excellent service

Product : Wonderful holiday
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Great time in Egypt, thanks especially to Waleed
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
I had an amazing time on the trip. Everything was incredibly well organized and planned out to a tee. Our tour guide, Big Mo, was amazing and super knowledgeable. I couldn't have imagined a better trip to Egypt!
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
Service rating : I've traveled extensively and never had a better trip. They met my son and I at the gate coming off the plane and stayed with us til we were at our gate leaving and everything in between. Completely satisfied! Egypt is a safe place to travel now and your crazy not to book this trip. You will thoroughly enjoy it. Egypt Uncovered is a very professional company and so easy to deal with. We are already looking for another trip and doing it with Encounters. Thanks for a great experience!!

Product : I've traveled extensively and never had a better trip. They met my son and I at the gate coming off the plane and stayed with us til we were at our gate leaving and everything in between. Sheriff was an excellent guide and much fun. I can say I will never go back to Egypt because I was shown everything I wanted to see and more, and I was expecting a lot. Completely satisfied! Egypt is a safe place to travel now and your crazy not to book this trip. The Egyptian people are friendly and fun. You will thoroughly enjoy it.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
The customer service agents have been responsive to my emails and questions. But last time I contacted them about the Egypt trip and was told the deal will end in 9 days (back on Sep 20th) and they will be able to provide confirmation, now it's been 17 days and I haven't heard from them. It would be helpful to be informed of the status of the tour. Overall everyone was competent and pleasant.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
This was one of the best experiences that I have ever had working with a travel group! I would quickly recommend Egypt Uncovered to friends and family.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
Service rating : Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. My only issue was, it seemed like staff members were trying to prevent us from being taken advantage of by merchants, however, they would take us to stores, who they clearly had a personal relationship with, and expect us to spend money there.

Product : The time spent with the locals was the most enjoyable portion of the trip. I feel there was entirely too much packed into a short amount of time. The vacation felt more like a school trip as opposed to a vacation. I did not enjoy the 4-5am wake-up calls and obligations during vacation.
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Posted Sep 18, 2016
The alternative dates I needed were provided. Payment and booking was straight forward and filled with ease.
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Posted Sep 18, 2016
Help with sorting out a flight at competitive rate
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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.