Tour type: Family
Group size: Min: 3 | Max: 16
Accommodation: 4 to 5-star hotels, sleeper train & felucca sailboat
Transport: A/C minibus, sleeper train & felucca sailboat
Highlights: Pyramids & Sphinx, Tutankhamun exhibit at the Egyptian Museum, Camel ride at the Pyramids, boat trip to Philae temple, overnight Felucca cruise, Luxor temples & tombs
This tour is carefully designed for families wishing to visit Egypt with their children. It mixes visits to the pyramids & sphinx, Cairo museums and Pharaonic temples and tombs with some more challenging activities including a short camel ride and a cruise along the Nile on a traditional felucca sailboat. We select our guides for their skills and experience with families & children, and group sizes are small to make sure you get as much as possible out of what we are sure will be a once in a lifetime holiday.
Starting in Cairo we head out to the mighty Pyramids and Sphinx followed by a trip to the vast Egyptian Museum, with its famous mummy room and Tutankhamun exhibition. Leaving Cairo we jump on board the sleeper train to Aswan where we visit the island Temple of Philae, enjoy a traditional Nubian meal and visit a local school. There is also the option to visit the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel. Next we take to the Nile for a cruise on a traditional felucca sailboat and enjoy watching rural Egypt pass by as we float down the river. Arriving into Luxor we take time to visit the pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings as well as the monumental Temple of Karnak. Its then back on board the overnight train to Cairo where we take a tour of the city, including the mazy Khan-el-Kalili bazaar, before we transfer you back to the airport for your flight home.
We greet you at Cairo airport and transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to settle into your hotel and relax after your journey.
Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour
Single room supplement (EGFANA)
We start today's tour with a bang, with a visit to the immense Pyramids & Sphinx at Gisa. We also include a camel ride at the pyramids, fun for all the family, and a great photo opportunity as well. We then head into the centre of town and visit the Egyptian Museum with its collection of mummies, and of course the familiar and famous Tutankhamun exhibit with the original golden mask on display. This evening we take an overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan (approx. 12 hours, private twin cabins).
On board train
Cairo to Aswan flight upgrade
The River Nile is at its most picturesque here in Aswan and we take advantage of this with a tour to the beautiful island temple of Philae by boat. During term times we'll also visit a local school where we arrange a fun and informal joint English/Arabic language class with children of a similar age to your group. A Nubian meal is also included today.
There is the option very early this morning for a tour to the temples to Ramses II at Abu Simbel, which have a fascinating story as they were completely dismantled and rebuilt piece by piece to escape the rising waters of Lake Nasser. If you don't do Abu Simbel, the morning is free to explore Aswan's busy and exotic bazaar, or relax in the hotel before we board our felucca sailboat for a few hours sailing on the Nile. We have a fun night's sleep on the deck of the boat and are looked after well by our Nubian crew (toilets and showers are available on a support boat that will join up with us from time to time, and an option to upgrade to a luxury Nile cruise boat is also available).
On board felucca
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Nile cruise upgrade
Abu Simbel overland
After breakfast, we enjoy some more sailing on the Nile today before driving to Luxor where we check into our hotel by the Nile.The rest of the afternoon is free.
There is the option today of a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile. Today's tour takes in the West bank of the Nile, visiting the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and the unique temple to Queen Hatchepsut where we learn about her fascinating story. The afternoon is free to relax in the hotel, explore Luxor town, take another felucca trip on the Nile to Banana island, or perhaps visit the Mummification museum.
Hot air balloon in Luxor
We tour one of Egypt's biggest and most impressive sites today, Karnak temple, with its huge temples, obelisks, statues and columned halls. The afternoon is free in Luxor before we head to the station to catch the sleeper train back to Cairo (approx. 9 hours). You can upgrade one or both train journeys to internal flights if you prefer.
On board train
After arriving back in Cairo and checking into our hotel, we have a short tour to explore the mosque and museum at the Citadel overlooking the city, and to wander around and possibly do some haggling and souvenir shopping in the busy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We'll visit a traditional local Koshari shop for a snack lunch and in the evening we include a farewell dinner to say goodbye to your Egyptologist guide and fellow travellers.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The tour ends today and your time is free until we transfer you to airport for your flight home.
Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
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 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. 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.
If you would like to do this tour privately just for your family or together with some other families you like to travel with, we can certainly arrange this for you. Please contact us for details and prices.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we 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.
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 landscaped gardens.
Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cairo, Luxor & Aswan
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.
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.
Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel
Situated on the banks of the River Nile close to the centre of Aswan, comfortable 4-star hotel offers a wide range of services and friendly staff.
Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.
The Pyramisa Isis Corniche Hotel is a medium sized hotel located right on the banks of the Nile in Aswan. It is rated in the Egyptian 4-star category. Overall however, hotel standards throughout Aswan don't live up to the rest of the country, but we are happy to use this hotel for tours with our Standard comfort rating.
Built in 1982, this hotel is under new ownership and therefore has a welcoming feel, with different types of rooms available and a good level of service, making it a friendly and relaxed hotel for your time in Aswan. Its location on the banks of the Nile means that all the feluccas used on our standard tours can simply pull right in and pick you up direct from the hotel.
This hotel has one of the best locations in Aswan, perched right at the edge of the Nile on the Corniche. It is only a 5 min drive from the train station and only a 30 minute drive to the Philae Temple and the Aswan Dam. The swimming pool and bar areas look out across the Nile and this is a great place to watch feluccas on the Nile basking in the setting sun. It is just over the road from the main bazaars and there are some good eating options nearby and ATM’s within easy walking distance.
The hotel has almost 100 rooms and many of these have either Nile views or pool views and are available as twin beds or doubles. All come complete with Satellite TV, en-suite, phone, mini-bar and Air-con. It is usually no problem for us to arrange triple rooms. There are also electrical sockets in each room for charging phones and cameras.
There is an Italian restaurant on-site as well as the main Hotel restaurant overlooking the Nile where a comprehensive buffet breakfast is served every morning. Egyptian and Western food is available. A fully licensed bar is also available to enjoy the perfect sun-downer looking out over the river after a full days tour.
The hotel has a great swimming pool that looks out on to the Nile as well as a well equipped health club with sauna, massage, Jacuzzi, steam bath and gymnasium all with very reasonable prices where you can unwind and relax. The hotel also has a business centre where you can access computer treminals with internet access or make use of the wireless connection.
Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river.
Feluccas are simple boats without cabins or electricity and you sleep on deck on mattresses with blankets and cushions provided. Canvas walls, mosquito netting and a roof are erected at night. You may want to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket during the winter months (November to February) when it can get cold a night. Mosquito repellent is recommended for the evenings and early mornings, and wearing long sleeves at night is a good idea. Life jackets are provided for non-swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the Nile is not recommended both for health reasons and due to the strong currents - there are pools to enjoy in your Aswan and Luxor hotels.
Our Nubian crew will man the boat and prepare & cook all your meals on board or on our facilities boat. The food is simple but varied and filling and they will also serve Egyptian tea and Nubian cake. Water, soft drinks and beer can also be purchased. You keep a tally of what you've had and then pay for them at the end of the trip. The crew will also entertain you in the evenings when we may sing songs or just sit and chat around a camp fire.
Feluccas are dependent on the wind, and occasionally if the winds are too light or strong we may need to adjust the itinerary slightly.
Our new facilities boat makes the whole felucca experience more enjoyable, with a clean toilet and hot showers on board, as well as massage beds and a hygienic kitchen.
The boat doesn't shadow the felucca all the way, as we don’t want to spoil the peaceful experience of sailing down the Nile. It will however join up with you as and when required through the day and moor with you at night.
As well as the toilet, showers and kitchen facilities, there is also a sun deck where traditional Nubian massages are available.
The boat also helps us ensure that we do our bit to protect the Nile and its surroundings. Over the years, some areas on the banks of the Nile have been somewhat spoiled by the number of people staying overnight on feluccas and not using proper toilet tents or being respectful to their local environment.
We've had some great feedback from travellers using the boat so far, and we feel it really improves the experience of what is already many people's highlight of their trip to Egypt.
Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel
This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001. It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor.
Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.
This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001. It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor. The hotel has views of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings on the opposite bank. The outdoor pool, restaurants, cafes and shops are all located in a central courtyard area.
The location and the high standards within the hotel make this one of our first choice hotels for stays in Luxor on our small-group tours, and for private & tailor-made trips (together with the Sonesta St. George hotel).
The hotel is centrally located next to the Nile in the heart of the tourist area of Luxor with shops and bazaars within a short walk. It is just 1.5 kilometres from the train station and 10 kilometres/15 minutes from Luxor International airport.
The hotel offers excellent standards of accommodation and the rooms are spacious and modern. The 302 rooms and suites are located on 6 floors built around the courtyard. The standard rooms overlook Luxor or the courtyard area and upgrades to Nile view rooms are available on request for a small supplement. There are also disabled and non-smoking rooms available.
All rooms have deluxe en-suite bathroom, private balcony, air-conditioning, Satellite TV, mini-bar, safety deposit box, telephone, hairdryer and electrical sockets.
The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. The main hotel restaurant is the Nubia which is open from 6.00-10.00 am for breakfast and then 6.00-10.00pm for dinner, serving local and international dishes. There are two other restaurants within the hotel which are open for both lunch and dinner. These are the Casa de Napoli Italian restaurant serving pizza and pasta and El Tarboush serving Lebanese dishes.
For light meals and snacks during the day there is the Tropicana poolside bar and the Cafe des Delices which is located in the courtyard.
In the evening there is the Nile bar & lounge, which is open until 2.00am, and you can enjoy views of the Nile while trying out the various cocktails on offer.
Pasha's Pub also has views of the Nile and has regular evening entertainment.
The freeform outdoor pool which is heated in winter has views of the River Nile and the Valley of the Kings and is the perfect place to relax after a day spent sightseeing or exploring Luxor. Guests also have free use of the leisure centre and gym within the hotel and other activities such as golf are available nearby. The are various shops within the hotel including gift and souvenir shops, a beauty salon and foreign exchange services.
Other services include:
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre 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.
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 trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you're travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. In Egypt we do not use any public tourist buses or overnight coach journeys as we know that people don't sleep on board and end up very tired for the following few days. All the vehicles we use are air-conditioned, many are fitted with speed limiters, and all are inspected and checked daily. Some 4WD vehicles used on desert safaris may not always have air conditioning where they are only used for short periods.
For the overnight train journey between Cairo and Aswan this tour uses the overnight sleeper train. You will have a private lockable twin cabin on board which holds two large seats and fold down beds which the carriage steward will make up for you in the evening. Sheets, blanket & pillows are provided. The cabin also contains a wash basin and storage cupboard. An airline tray-style evening meal and breakfast are provided. The Cairo-Aswan journey takes around 12 hours.
We take an internal flight with Egypt Air from Hurghada to Cairo at the end of the tour (this is more expensive but removes the need for a long drive of around 7 hours, and leaves more time available to spend in Cairo that afternoon).
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
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A
Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.
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. An online e-visa is available through https://visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/. Please do not use any other website as there are many scam sites offering Egypt e-visas.
In practice however, many nationalities (including British and European, Australian, New Zealand, USA, Canadian) can and do obtain their visas on arrival in Cairo airport. The process is much quicker and simpler, 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 and 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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. Financial failure insurance is provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of their tour.
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.
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.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
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 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.
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$25-50 depending on the length of your trip. Payment is collected in US Dollars cash or can also be paid with Egyptian Pounds or other currencies converted to US Dollars at our monthly exchange rate. 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.
On private/tailor-made tours this tipping kitty is included in your tour price.
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 10-15 per person per day would be appropriate.
Children under the age of 12 do not need to pay anything towards the tipping kitty.
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, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very provide suggestions for flights to go with your tour. 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. Nearly all our Egyptian tours start and finish in Cairo airport (CAI).
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 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. Shoestring tours may have a slightly larger maximum group size of 35 people but rarely run with more than 20.
On tours including Nile Cruises, we normally send our own Egyptologist guide on board with you and arrange private sightseeing tours along the way rather than joining the larger groups arranged by the cruise boat. On some Private/Tailor-made tours we may set the tour pricing to be based on using joining these boat groups, though a supplement is always available for a private Egyptologist guide for tours from the boat (requires advance booking). Please check the Inclusions/Exclusions section for details of the guiding arrangements on your tour.
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.
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 high quality hotels at the Egyptian 5-star level in Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada, all with swimming pools and a choice of restaurants and bars. Our private/tailor-made tour itineraries use a wider mix of hotels, from comfortable mid-range hotels at the 2-4 star level (generally the best available in some of the less visited places included in the particular itinerary) up to some of the very best deluxe 5-star properties in the country.
Please check the Accommodation tab on the tour page or download these Tour Notes for details of the normal hotels used. On our group and shoestring tours, these hotels 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.
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.
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.
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.
Nile Family Adventure & Country Reviews
Posted 29th of Mar 2019
Important Egyptian sites were available to visit. They were visited.
Posted 27th of Mar 2019
This was a great trip and worth every penny. Our Egyptologist tour guide was 'Big Mo' which made all the difference. He was knowledgeable, kind, and hospitable. He made sure we had a solid introduction to each tour site and then was available for more detailed information if we wanted. Book a tour with 'Big Mo' if at all possible!
Posted 26th of Mar 2019
Excellent tour. From the moment we landed in Cairo until we left, we were well taken care of. We experienced so much of Egypt -- from temples and pyramids and tombs to a bonfire dinner and sing-a-long on an island. Our guide (Waleed) was exceptional. His love and knowledge of Egypt was evident throughout the tour. He helped Egypt come alive for us. We were very pleased with the tour.
Posted 26th of Mar 2019
With all we did and the amount of travel, I was shocked at how cost effective the tour company made it. You get your money's worth after you think about busses, felucca sailboat, overnight train, hotel rooms, and the amazing tour guide.
Posted 7th of Jan 2019
My Egyptian tour was the trip of a lifetime, The Egyptian and Nubian people were friendly and welcoming. The food and hotels were fantastic and the country of Egypt was stunning!!!
Posted 5th of Jan 2019
Worth every penny! Go to Egypt with Egypt Uncovered!
Posted 4th of Jan 2019
Really enjoyed the various excursions especially the overnight felucca, hot air balloon, abu simbel and Camel ride against the pyramids
Posted 6th of Jun 2017
The whole experience was wonderful.
Posted 5th of Apr 2017
Did not like the overnight train, but enjoyed everything else. We did not spend the night on the sail boat, but enjoyed sailing in the afternoon and retuning to the hotel.