Our head office
Egypt Uncovered
Uncover the World Travel Ltd
Leigh House
Varley Street
Leeds, LS28 6AN
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom
+44 203 725 8921
tours@utwtravel.com
Agent log in

NEWS


Welcome to our new website

Posted: 30 Mar ,2017 | Updated: 30 Mar ,2017

We are delighted to share our new Egypt Uncovered website with you. You'll find all our existing Small-group and Shoestring tours as before. Plus we are also gradually adding our full range of Family and Tailor-made tours here too. This means you'll be able to find everything we offer all in one place, rather than having to check our other websites as well. There is just a small sample of this tailor-made range live on the site so far, but many more tours will be added over the next few months. We'll post updates here as they go up. All our group tour itineraries can also be run privately if required, just ask us for a quote.

We hope you like the new site and find it user friendly and helpful. We've tried hard to display more information, clearer maps and better images for each tour, including details on the normal hotels used.

With any new website there are going to be a few teething issues but hopefully we've fixed the vast majority of these already. If you do spot anything broken or that doesn't seem to be working right, then any feedback or constructive criticism will be very thankfully received!

Finally, our thanks go to Martin and Bhupendra in particular for all their hard work over the last few months getting the site this far.

Transport changes on Egypt tours

Posted: 06 Jan ,2016 | Updated: 06 Jan ,2016

For 2016 we have upgraded the train transport that many of our Egypt tours use between Cairo and Aswan/Luxor from the overnight ‘sitting train’ with reclining seats, to the full sleeper train. Here you get your own private lockable twin berth cabin with two large seats, fold down beds, storage locker and sink. An airline-style tray meal is included for dinner and breakfast.

The background to this change is that throughout the last year the local authorities in Egypt have not been allowing tour operators like us to book tourists onto the 'sitting train'. We have been waiting for this restriction to be lifted and also for a long awaited new sitting train to start operating. This finally started running in October, but unfortunately is not running every day and the same restrictions against agents booking foreign tourists onto it remains in place. We don't feel we can wait any longer and therefore are changing these tours to be based on the sleeper train as standard. This does increase the cost quite significantly, but it also means our travellers will no longer need to budget for a possible transport upgrade for these journeys. We are also still offering the option to upgrade to internal flights instead of the sleeper train for people who want to avoid train travel altogether.

Should the new 'sitting train' become properly available for us to book our travellers onto in the future we will do a full assessment of its operation and then reconsider whether to start using it.

Please visit Watania sleeping train company for more information on these sleeper trains.

Archaeologists Find Tomb Dating Back To 1100 B.C. In Egypt

Posted: 12 May ,2014 | Updated: 25 Nov ,2015

CAIRO (AP) - Archeologists have found a tomb dating back to around 1100 B.C. south of Cairo, Egypt's Antiquities Ministry said Thursday.

Antiquities Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said that the tomb belongs to a guard of the army archives and royal messenger to foreign countries. Ibrahim said the Cairo University Faculty of Archaeology's discovery at Saqqara adds "a chapter to our knowledge about the history of Saqqara."

Ola el-Egeizy of Cairo University said the tomb contains "very nice inscriptions" of the funerary procession and the afterlife of the deceased.

The tomb was found near another one dating back to the same period belonging to the head of the army that was discovered in the previous excavation season. That tomb was larger but much of what remains is mud bricks as "most of its stone blocks were stolen and many of them are in museums all over the world," said el-Egeizy. Because of the blocks, archaeologists had long known that the tomb existed though it was not uncovered until recently.

Saqqara was the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis and site of the oldest known pyramid in Egypt.

Another Part of Egypt...

Posted: 29 Jun ,2012 | Updated: 26 Nov ,2015

by Lauren Razavi

I reach Dahab in the early afternoon after an eight-hour road journey from Cairo. Although the route goes through bumpy terrain and involves a lot of winding roads, it's a surprisingly pleasant experience. Soaking in the views from the minibus windows provides a unique insight into this fascinating Egyptian region.

Dahab has much to offer visitors, and its expatriate community makes for a unique experience compared with Egypt's main tourist cities such as Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. This seafront town is recognisably Egyptian, but with a quintessentially European twist. This is demonstrated well by the shopping culture of the town, striking a distinctive balance between the in-your-face chaos present in most of Egypt and the Western tendency towards helpfulness with no pressure. With a population of just 14,000, the community consists of 6,000 Bedouin people, 4,000 Egyptians and 4,000 European expatriates.

Located in the picturesque Sinai region of Egypt, Dahab is well positioned to allow a full exploration of sights and history both within Egypt and its neighbouring countries. The Sinai region mainly consists of desert and sandy cliffs; this combined with the bluest of skies and a colourful, mesmerising coral beneath its waters creates an atmosphere of serenity in the area.

Sinai is of great historical significance, playing host to the infamous Mount Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God - a scene prominently depicted in the books of Jewish, Christian and Islamic religious traditions. It's possible to arrange an overnight visit to Mount Sinai, which entails watching the sun rise from near the top, and exploring Saint Catherine's Monastery on your way up or down the mountain. Guides are available to accompany your climb up Mount Sinai, or an alternative option is to take a camel ride for most of the journey upwards.

Daytrips are also available to visit Jordan's capital of Petra, various parts of Saudi Arabia and nearby Israel during your stay in Dahab, though there's little chance of not being able to occupy yourself by staying local either.

During my stay, the Dahab International Festival of Watersports, Culture and Desert Adventure is in mid-swing. Organised by members of the local community and, in particular, expatriates living in the area, the festival happens in April of each year and includes activities for children, teenagers and adults throughout the day and night. Every event involves a local organisation, business or individual, and activities focus on celebrating and sharing culture, skills and talents from anybody who wants to take part. Cooking classes, camel races, meditation and yoga, poetry readings and live music are just some of the events of this annual gathering, and almost all of the festival's activities are offered free of charge.

The locals are laid-back and friendly, many of them working as artists and writers, while others are involved full-time in the local scene through community work. Dahab is incredibly bohemian, but without any of the pretention of London's hipster suburbs. Our tour guide, the kind and knowledgeable Ahmed, beguiles us with tales of Egyptian culture and stories from his own life, at least half of which might be true.

Dahab has a fantastic food culture, particularly as a result of its prominent fishing location on the Red Sea. Most of the restaurants along the seafront offer a 'catch of the day' dish, including a scrumptious sea bass mixed grill at El Fannar during my stay. Other recommended restaurants include the Ali Baba restaurant offering traditional Egyptian and Bedouin food, and The Kitchen Restaurant which offers Chinese, Indian and Thai food. Every cafe, bar and restaurant I visit in Dahab is elaborately decorated and boasts a fantastic welcoming atmosphere.

Each night, freshly baked flat breads and an array of dips grace our table before we've even ordered - hummus, beans, aubergine, yoghurt and cucumber, and a strange orange dish that is supposedly (doubtfully) cheese. At the end of the meal, fresh sliced fruit or a traditional pastry dish is offered, such as a cake garnished with desiccated coconut. There doesn't appear to be a charge for these bookends of our meal, because we're with tour guide Ahmed who is known well at all of the local haunts.

As you enjoy a meal at one of Dahab's many restaurants, almost all of which look out over the town's stretch of the Red Sea, you'll be greeted by a series of faint glimmering lights from the other side: Saudi Arabia. This part of Egypt is so close to other Middle Eastern countries, that Saudi Arabia is visible just a short distance across the water, and the sight of it is wonderful.

Kite-surfing and windsurfing is popular along the Sinai coast, as well as diving, snorkelling, sailing and quad-biking. After a few jokes about taking a swim across the water to visit Saudi, Ahmed tells us about a tourist who took a windsurf all the way across the Red Sea, and reached the shore over in Saudi Arabia. Without a passport and visa, he was arrested and then deported back to Egypt by bus. This story serves as a jovial warning to us, and the idea of travelling over to Saudi Arabia unannounced is quickly abandoned in favour of a cup of a Bedouin tea.

RECOMMENDED
Lauren visited Dahab with Egypt Uncovered as part of their 14-day Nubians and Beaches tour in April 2012. Egypt Uncovered have been operating tours in Egypt for more than 15 years and offer a range of different trips, varying in length, activities and Prices start from just £339. More information on everything Egypt Uncovered offer is available from their website: www.egyptuncovered.co.uk.

Egypt Air offer direct flights from London Heathrow to Cairo eleven times per week as well as flight options to Luxor and Sharm El Sheikh. To book flights or find out more, please visit www.egyptair.com.

A Nubian Adventure

Posted: 11 Jun ,2012 | Updated: 26 Nov ,2015

by Lauren Razavi

Felucca sailboat at Aswan, EgyptI am sat on the smallest of beaches beside the River Nile, a roaring bonfire in front of me and the sound of tribal drums still ringing in my ears.

It's long after midnight by now and I am the solitary tourist left among a handful of Nubians, the rest of my tour group having retired to bed. Rum and cigarettes rotate freely around the circle. I've known my companions less than a day, but already we are at ease with each other.

"Everyone smokes in Egypt," the tour guide had explained the day before. "In our culture, it is a problem if you do not smoke, rather than if you do."

And he's right; there's definitely no taboo over smoking in Egypt. The cigarettes we're smoking around the fire are Egyptian - the aptly named Cleopatra brand - and the locals call them "camel shit" for their distinctive taste. At 70p a packet though, taste is a sacrifice I'm all too willing to make. Marijuana is widely used; despite its classification as an illegal drug, authorities will look the other way for locals, but tourists can face fines if they're caught.

An hour before, the now tranquil fire was the centre of inexhaustible merriment. Dancing, frolicking, shrieking and raucous laughter has dissipated into rhythmic chatter by this late hour, the conversation spanning several languages and hand motions acting as a defining characteristic in the cool night air.

This particular bonfire is located on the Nile's West Bank, somewhere between Aswan and our destination of Edfu. It's the first of two nights spent on a felucca, a traditional Egyptian sailboat. For a little over two days, we're sailing the breadth of the River Nile on a boat with no engine, moving - quite literally - wherever the wind takes us.

Our sailors are Nubian, part of a unique sub culture who have played an important role in parts of Ancient Egyptian history. Nubians have their own culture, dress and even language, which the majority of Arabic-speaking people in modern Egypt don't understand. Though most Nubians also speak Arabic these days, they differentiate themselves as a unique civilisation by still referring to themselves as Nubian as oppose to Egyptian or Sudanese.

Nubia is a territory located in today's Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan, and exists as an expanse of desert divided by the River Nile. In ancient times, the sophisticated inhabitants of Egypt and Greece knew it as the 'land of Gods', with Egypt being controlled by Nubians for 75 years in a time known as rule under 'The Black Pharaohs'. The Ancient Egyptians adopted many Nubian customs and traditions over the years, with Nubia believed to have been the home of Africa's earliest black culture. The civilisation's fascinating history can be traced back to 3100 BC.

On our second night aboard the felucca, we anchor up on the West Bank and disembark the boat to visit a traditional Nubian village. A short walk along the embankment leads us to a series of mud-brick houses, and as we duck inside one of the dwellings we are greeted by the smiling faces of village children, all of them eager to practice the English they've been learning at school. We enter a sandy open courtyard, the central point separating a collection of rooms, and our tour guide distributes sweets to the children as they shake our hands and shyly rehearse their English phrases.

The Nubian way of life is connected to the natural environment round them, traditionally staying close to the Nile to ensure a consistent water supply. Every wall in the courtyard is festooned with a variety of colourful patterns on a background of mud-brick painted a perfect white, each pattern a symbol of approval and admiration for the world around them. While Nubian dwellings may be basic by modern Western standards, the sense of community and respect for life in this village is truly transcendent.

After a few moments gazing around the courtyards, several young women emerge from one of the rooms, all dressed in decorated hijab.We stay and chat over tea for a while, our tour guide acting as an interpreter. The way the locals welcome us into their home and their community is incredibly heart-warming, and it's done without question or thought. We are invited to remain in the courtyard until well after the sun goes down.

Later, we wander the sandy streets of the village, taking in the beautiful views over the Nile and the impressive set of mud-brick dwelling that make up this truly welcoming community.As I fall asleep aboard the felucca later that night, staring up at the stars in the clear night sky, I truly feel like I've experienced a taste of the real Egypt.

RECOMMENDED

Lauren visited Egypt with Egypt Uncovered as part of their 14-day Nubians and Beaches tour in April 2012. Egypt Uncovered has been operating tours in Egypt for more than 15 years and offer a range of different trips, varying in length and activities, and prices start from just £339. More information is available from their website.

Egypt Air offer direct flights from London Heathrow to Cairo eleven times per week as well as flight options to Luxor and Sharm El Sheikh.

Why choose us?

  • Financial security for your peace of mind througn ATOL & financial failure insurance
  • Members of ABTA (Y4447)
  • Airport transfers included
  • Uncover local cultures with like-minded travellers
  • No local payment as part of tour price
  • Tours designed by experts
  • Itineraries that don't cut corners or costs at your expense
  • Clear info provided on entrance fees & local costs
  • The best industry renowned guides
  • Every booking contributes to local projects
  • Great value for money!