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Splendours of the Nile Tour

Had a worry free amazing experience from the time we booked the trip till we arrived back home. Definitely recommend using them.

David, Jan 2018

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Splendours of the Nile OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

9 days

Cairo to Cairo

From

$2165 (p/p)

Country(ies): Egypt

Tour type: Private

Group size: Min: 1 | Max: Any

Accommodation: 4 to 5-star hotels & 5-star Nile cruise boat

Meals:

Transport: A/C minibus, 5-star Nile cruise boat & flights

Highlights: Famous Pyramids & Sphinx, vast Egyptian Museum, Luxury Nile Cruise, tombs in the Valley of the Kings, monumental Temple of Karnak, option to visit Abu Simbel

Combining the pyramids, sphinx and Egyptian Museum in Cairo with a luxury Nile Cruise is one of the world's classic holidays, and one of our most popular. You will see and learn about some fascinating ancient history while enjoying some of Cairo's very best hotels and watching rural Egyptian life pass by as you sail up-river on a 5-star deluxe level cruise boat.

We begin in Cairo with an introduction to Egyptian Pharaonic history at the pyramids and Sphinx at Gisa. In the afternoon we explore the huge Egyptian Museum with its famous Tutankhamun exhibit, and vast collection of statues and artefacts.

We leave Cairo and fly south to Luxor, commonly described as the world's largest open air museum. After a night in a 5-star hotel and a visit to the huge temple complex at Karnak we board your 5-star-deluxe level Nile cruise boat to check in. The afternoon is free to explore Luxor's markets, or perhaps visit the Mummification Museum. In the evening we visit Luxor temple in the centre of town when it is beautifully lit up. We start early the next morning to explore the West Bank of the Nile before the big crowds and the extreme heat of the middle of the day arrive. Our tours here take in the Valley of the Kings, where many Pharaohs were buried, the unique temple to Queen Hatchepsut, and also the less visited Medinat Habu temple which has some of Egypt's deepest carved hieroglyphs and colourful wall paintings, really giving a sense of how these temples used to look at their peak. Our final stop is at the Colossi of Memnon before we head back to the cruise boat.

The cruise boat then departs and heads south, up-river and through the locks on the Nile at Esna, before arriving at Edfu where we overnight. After visiting Edfu temple, we sail further up-river, stopping at Komombo, before reaching the laid-back town of Aswan, which sits beside the cascading waters of the Nile.

Here you can relax and watch myriad feluccas sail lazily around the many small islands or experience traditional Egyptian life with a stroll along the mazy streets of the town’s colourful bazaar. Our tours in Aswan include a boat trip to the lovely island Philae temple, the Aswan Dam, and a felucca sailboat trip on the river to some of the islands. You can also take the opportunity to visit the temples to Ramses II at Abu Simbel, which were dismantled and rebuilt when Lake Nasser was flooded.

From Aswan you return to Cairo by air and our last tour takes in the Citadel with great views over the city, several beautiful mosques, the ancient churches of Coptic Cairo, and the bustling Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. Your tour ends in Cairo with a transfer to the airport for your flight home.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Cairo, transfer to hotel

Our rep will meet you at Cairo airport, help you to obtain your Egyptian visa and collect your luggage, and then transfer you to your 5-star hotel close to the Pyramids for the start of your trip. They will help you settle in, introduce you to the local area, and explain tomorrow's arrangements.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 5-star hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - pre-tour
Single room supplement (EGTMSN)


Day 2 Cairo, Pyramids, Sphinx & Museum tour

We enjoy a full day tour today to the majestic Pyramids and Sphinx at Gisa, and also to the huge Egyptian Museum, home to the famous Tutankhamun display. Your are accompanied by one of our professional Egyptologist guides who will explain the history of pyramid building, and more about the ancient Egyptian empire and its different Pharaonic dynasties.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 5-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Fly to Luxor, board cruise boat, Karnak & Luxor temples

We fly to Luxor this morning and board our luxury Nile cruise boat before heading out with one of our Egyptologisit guides to visit the huge temple complex at Karnak. You'll then have some time to relax before we head out again in the evening to visit Luxor temple in the centre of town while it is beautifully lit up. You spend the night on board the cruise boat moored up in Luxor.

OVERNIGHT:

Nile cruiseboat

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Luxor, west bank tour then sail to Edfu

This morning we tour the West Bank of the Nile and explore the Pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatchepsut Temple and the Valley of the Artisans, Deir el-Medina. We'll also see the huge Colossi of Memnon. In the afternoon we sail up-river and cross through the lock on the Nile at Esna before continuing to Edfu. Depending on the queue to get through the lock there may also be time to visit the temple at Esna. Before the tour starts this morning, you also have the option of a spectacular hot air balloon flight to see the sun rise over the West Bank of the Nile.

Note: Nile cruise boat itineraries and the timing of visits is subject to slight alterations while en-route.

OVERNIGHT:

Nile cruiseboat

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor


Day 5 Edfu & Komombo temples then sail to Aswan

After breakfast we visit the nearby Edfu Temple, which is dedicated to the god Horus, before continuing to sail up the Nile to Aswan, breaking the journey at the temple at Kom Ombo en-route. At Kom Ombo we explore the temple, which is home to mummified crocodiles amongst other ancient artefacts. The rest of the day you can spend watching typical Egyptian rural life pass you by on the banks of the Nile. You may see farmers with their donkeys in the fields, water buffalo, egrets and other water birds in the shallows on the banks of the river, and fishermen in their rowing boats.

OVERNIGHT:

Nile cruiseboat

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Aswan, free time, island felucca trip, Abu Simbel option

The Nile is at its most picturesque in Aswan, and we have this morning free to explore the town, its markets, and to walk along the Corniche or visit the Nubian Museum. In the afternoon we take a felucca sailboat trip around Kitchener and Elephantine islands.

You also have the option this morning to visit the spectacular temple built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel. This huge temple is cut into a rocky hillside and was moved completely and rebuilt when Lake Nasser was flooded.

OVERNIGHT:

Nile cruiseboat

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland


Day 7 Aswan, Philae temple, Fly to Cairo

You check out of your cabins this morning and then we finish our tours in Aswan with a a boat tripto the beautiful island temple of Philae. The Philae temple, built to honour the Goddess Isis is one of Egypt's most romantic and beautiful sites, and was dismantled and relocated as a result of constucting the Aswan Dam. In the afternoon we take an internal flight with Egypt Air back to Cairo and check into a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Old Cairo. The mainly pedestrian streets around the hotel are quiet and peaceful during the day but teem with life in the evenings as local Egyptians come out for a stroll with their friends and family, and to eat and drink. The busy markets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar are also only a 15 minute walk away.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Cairo, Citadel, Coptic Cairo and the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar

Our tour of Cairo today includes the Citadel overlooking the city, some important and beautiful mosques and the tiny streets and churches of Coptic Cairo. In the afternoon we take a walking tour out from our hotel to explore and shop for souvenirs in the various markets and back streets of the busy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. This evening you could take a dinner cruise on the Nile, re-visit the pyramids for a spectacular sound and light show, or enjoy a final taste of Egyptian food in your hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo boutique hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:


Day 9 Cairo, tour ends with airport transfer

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

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Cairo post-tour - Le Riad


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Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in 4 & 5-star hotels
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles
  • Domestic flights from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan to Cairo
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all the sightseeing tours
  • Entrance fees to sites visited
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (USD 25 available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Travel Insurance (mandatory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tipping kitty (allow US$45)
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tour guide tips
  • Hotel Gala Dinners (if charged by the hotels on 24 & 31 Dec, see Tour notes)
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

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

Gallery


Dates and Prices

Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

28th of Oct 2020

16th of Dec 2020

US$2235

-


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17th of Dec 2020

7th of Jan 2021

US$2445

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8th of Jan 2021

31st of Mar 2021

US$2235

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1st of Apr 2021

18th of Apr 2021

US$2445

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19th of Apr 2021

30th of Apr 2021

US$2235

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1st of May 2021

13th of Jul 2021

US$2165

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Accommodation

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.

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel

Cairo


It features two pools, several restaurants and bars, free WiFi, a spa and fitness centre, and both classic and family rooms. The rooms overlook the gardens and feature air-conditioning, TVs, safes, and minibars. The hotel offers an airport shuttle.

Local rating

Our rating

 Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel

Steigenberger Cairo Pyramids Hotel is a 5-star establishment located on the doorstep of one of the most famous landmarks in the world: the Great Pyramids of Giza. Modern yet classic, the hotel is set amongst leafy gardens. It has been recently taken over and upgraded by Steigenberger, and now offers improved service and standards. Free WiFi is offered throughout the hotel, and there are two swimming pools. Several bars and restaurants are situated on site, serving a variety of flavours from around the world, as well as offering a taste of local cuisine. A wellness centre features modern fitness equipment and machines, while the spa offers a variety of treatments to help you relax after a day of touring.

Accommodation is offered in the form of classic rooms, as well as family suites. The classic rooms are available with either double or twin beds, and look out onto the gardens. The family rooms can accommodate 2 adults and 2 children. Amenities in all rooms include en-suite bathrooms, TVs, minibars, safes, and air-conditioning. There are also several bungalow-style rooms set within the gardens.

The hotel’s location is ideal, just 3km from the Pyramids and the Sphinx and directly opposite the New Egyptian Grand Museum. Two international airports are within driving distance, and a shuttle service is available on request. Choose from a variety of landmarks and sites to visit in the surrounding regions.

Nile Cruiseboat

Nile Cruiseboat

Luxor


A luxury Nile Cruise boat is a superbly appointed, floating, 5-star hotel. The cruise boat has many of the facilities of a normal hotel, including restaurants, bars, shops, a relaxing sun deck and swimming.

Local rating

Our rating

 Nile Cruiseboat Nile Cruiseboat

Nile Cruise boats are superbly appointed, floating, 5-star hotels featuring a restaurant, bars, shops, a relaxing sun deck and small swimming pool. Buffet breakfasts, lunches and evening meals featuring different cuisines are all included (though beverages and bottled water are not). You will have your own en-suite, AC cabin with large, panoramic opening windows to enjoy the view of the river while you sail. Single cabin supplements apply.

Our Egyptologist guides travel on board with you. This means you do the sightseeing tours in a small group with travellers and a guide you know, rather than joining one of the large boat groups. The guide can also help with any problems with your cabin, dietary requirements, or just to sit and talk about Egypt with you. They will often volunteer to give short lectures about both ancient and modern Egypt in the evenings to those interested.

Nile cruise itineraries are slightly flexible, mainly depending on the time passing through the lock at Esna. Some sailing may be done after dark, and boats may need to moor alongside each other at night. Gala dinner supplements may be added to our prices if you are on board on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.

Le Riad Hotel de Charme

Le Riad Hotel de Charme

Egypt


This lovely small boutique all-suite hotel is situated in the heart of bustling Old Cairo within walking distance of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. All suites are individually designed and decorated and the hotel also features a roof terrace restaurant.

Local rating

Our rating

 Le Riad Hotel de Charme Le Riad Hotel de Charme

Le Riad Hotel de Charme is a small luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of Old Cairo facing the famous Beit el Sehemy with its exceptional old Ottoman houses. The hotel itself has been designed to celebrate and reflect the history and style of Old Cairo.

All 17 suites have individual furnishings with rich warm colours, Fatimid fabrics, antique wooden furniture and paintings from local talented artists. The suites are large and comfortable with spacious marble bathrooms, separate lounge and study areas and a variety of different arts and crafts displayed.

The hotel has a 24-hour front desk, a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views over the surrounding streets and alleyways of Old Cairo, and a relaxed tea lounge for breakfast and informal dining. No alcohol is served.

Overall we love using this hotel because of the size and character of the suites, and its location which is perfect for second stays in Cairo when you can walk around the surrounding streets and explore Old Cairo on foot.

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.

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Hot air balloon in Luxor

Min numbers: 1 person


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

Price from
$120
per person

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

Abu Simbel overland

Abu Simbel overland

Min numbers: 1 person


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

Price from
$120
per person

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

Single room supplement (EGTMSN)

Single room supplement (EGTMSN)

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 traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

Price from
On Request
per 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 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.

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.

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  1. Accommodation
This tour uses a 5-star hotel close to the Pyramids for your first stay in Cairo, a 5-star deluxe Nile Cruiseboat, and then the luxury boutique hotel Le Riad Hotel de Charme in the heart of Old Cairo for your second stay in the city.

Please check the Accommodation tab on the tour page or download these Tour Notes for details of the normal hotels used. The hotels mentioned are subject to availability and confirmation at the time of booking. If you would like to request any other hotels, please ask our travel consultant team and we will be happy to quote accordingly.

Accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms/cabins with air conditioning. All couples will be given a private double room/cabin. Single travellers will need to pay the single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour.

Single travellers
Pricing for this tour is based on a minimum of 2 people travelling on a private basis. An additional supplement will be payable if you are solo traveller. If your party has any single travellers who will need their own room then you will need to add the single room supplement option to your booking to provide them with a single room throughout the tour.

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, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.

  2. Transport
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 safari options may not always have air conditioning where they are only used for short periods.

This tour also avoids any overnight train journeys, featuring domestic flights with Egypt Air between Cairo-Luxor and Aswan-Cairo.

Nile cruise boat itineraries are subject to alterations depending on local conditions at the time of travel. Some sailing may be done after dark. Boats may moor up alongside each other at night, requiring you to cross through other boats to reach the shore. On Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve the cruise boats normally run a special Gala Dinner. The cost of this is normally compulsory, whether you attend or not, and is included in our group tour prices, and will be added to private and tailor-made tour quotes as required.

  3. Health and Vaccinations

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.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon

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.


  4. Passports and Visas - Egypt

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.


  5. Time

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.


  6. Voltage

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.


  7. Money - Egypt

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.


  8. Dates & Prices

This tour is designed as a sample tailor-made tour itinerary. As such we do not offer set group departure dates that you can join. Rather, the tour is available for you to do privately starting on any date of the year (subject to fitting in with Nile Cruise schedules which do not operate every day). Guideline seasonal prices are given on our website, based on 2 people travelling. If you would like to adjust the tour itinerary, or there will be more or less people travelling, please contact us and we will customise a price for you.


  9. Booking & Payment

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.


  10. Travel Insurance

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.


  11. Financial Security

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.


  12. Responsible Tourism

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).


  13. Follow Us Online

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')


  14. Before you travel

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.

'Travel Aware' campaign


  15. Tipping

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.


  16. International Flights

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).


  17. Transfers

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.


  18. Entrance Fees
Our Small Group tours do not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. We do however normally include these in prices for Tailor-Made and Escorted tours. Please check the Inclusions and 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. This payment is normally collected in US Dollars cash together with payment for any Tipping Kitty used on the tour, though you may also pay with Egyptian Pounds or other currencies, converted to USD. Local exchange rates are set on a monthly basis and based on local bank rates so may not match the exact rates you may find online on the day.

  19. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

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.


  20. What to take

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.


  21. Accommodation

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.

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.

Reviews

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Splendours of the Nile & Country Reviews

Product Review


Posted 29th of Mar 2019

Important Egyptian sites were available to visit. They were visited.

Product Review


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!

Product Review


Posted 27th of Mar 2019

Excellent value—I purchased it initially on Groupon and Egypt Uncovered allowed us to make additions.

Product Review


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.

Product Review


Posted 26th of Mar 2019

Perfect adventure! Food, Tours, Service, Guides, even transportation!

Product Review


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.

Product Review


Posted 17th of Jan 2019

Great value for the price!

Product Review


Posted 17th of Jan 2019

Great value for the price!

Product Review


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!!!

Product Review


Posted 6th of Jan 2019

All the sights were great and our tour guide explained and told History on all we saw.

Product Review


Posted 5th of Jan 2019

Worth every penny! Go to Egypt with Egypt Uncovered!

Product Review


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

Product Review


Posted 3rd of Jan 2019

The tour for the price was EXCELLENT!

Product Review


Posted 2nd of Jan 2019

The price was great and the people wonderful!

Product Review


Posted 2nd of Jan 2019

Bucket list experience. A must.

Product Review


Posted 4th of Dec 2017

Amazing value for the price. We loved our guide, Big Mo!

Product Review


Posted 21st of Nov 2017

See above review for more details.

Product Review


Posted 15th of Sep 2017

We really got to see a lot for the time we spent in Egypt and Egypt Uncovered made sure no time was wasted in waiting for transportation and rooms and things like that. We had a great group, a great guide, and really learned a lot. All accommodations were exceptional and we couldn't believe how we did everything for such a good price

Product Review


Posted 12th of Jun 2017

There was a time many years ago that I wanted to travel to Egypt and didn't because of the cost. This trip was, to me, very affordable. I think everyone should experience this trip. The tour guide was alos excellent, Sherif Mohammad.

Product Review


Posted 8th of Jun 2017

Incredible trip; our guide was really knowledgeable and answered all questions regarding history.

Product Review


Posted 7th of Jun 2017

Great tour! Safe, comfortable, and fascinating. It was a joy to travel to so many wonderful places and always know I was in good hands.

Product Review


Posted 7th of Jun 2017

As stated before it was a great trip

Product Review


Posted 6th of Jun 2017

The whole experience was wonderful.

Product Review


Posted 6th of Jun 2017

Amazing trip. It was well layed out and guided. We also we're lucky to have a great group in which we all got along really well.

Product Review


Posted 6th of Jun 2017

Exceed expectations and very professional.

Product Review


Posted 10th of Apr 2017

excellent value on all aspects - tours, transportation, accommodations and included fees

Product Review


Posted 9th of Apr 2017

Price was excellent! Very affordable for 2 people.

Product Review


Posted 6th of Apr 2017

The tour was exceptional for the price I paid. Really saw and did so much.

Product Review


Posted 5th of Apr 2017

Prices were great. Our US dollar went a long way.

Product Review


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.

Product Review


Posted 18th of Mar 2017

Very well organized with knowlegable guide.

Product Review


Posted 16th of Mar 2017

This tour is incredible - we saw all the major sights in Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor, and enjoyed several days at the Jaz Makadi Resort in Hurghada. The tour is arranged more or less chronologically and you have the same guide the entire time, so you really get a great experience following the cultural/religious/political development of ancient Egypt over several thousand years.

Product Review


Posted 16th of Mar 2017

Sights coverd and seen breath taking. Total enchament.

Product Review


Posted 16th of Mar 2017

Good value for price just be aware of additional tours.

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