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Sudan & Egypt Uncovered Tour

Highly recommend Egypt Uncovered. Entire tour was conducted without a hiccup, tour guides were amazing - friendly, highly knowledgeable, courteous and nothing was too much trouble to ensure our trip was of a high standard.

Chook31, 23 Oct 2018

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Sudan & Egypt Uncovered OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

17 days

Khartoum to Cairo

From

£3599 (p/p)

Country(ies): Sudan , Egypt

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 18

Accommodation: 4 to 5-star hotels, tented camp, guesthouse, sleeper train & felucca sailboat

Meals:

Transport: A/C 4x4 vehicle, boat, A/C minibus, sleeper train, felucca sailboat & internal flight

Highlights: Khartoum, Whirling Dervishes, Omdurman souk, Naga & Mussawarat, Meroe Pyramids, Jebel Barkal, Karima Nubian house, Nuri Pyramids, Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum, Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Nile felucca cruise,

This adventure tour of Sudan and Egypt traces the footsteps of ancient civilisations, from the sprawling desert city of Khartoum to the stunning pyramids at Meroe, and from the iconic Pyramids & Sphinx at Gisa to the fertile Nile Valley. Travel along the Nile Valley and unearth the incredible ancient sites of Sudan and Egypt, whilst sampling the unique Nubian culture and the majesty of the Pharaohs, finishing with some relaxing time by the Red Sea.

We start this incredible tour in the sprawling capital city of Khartoum, with its many museums, tombs and markets. There is time to explore the intriguing souks in Omdurman, before we cross the Nubian Desert seeking out the lost pyramids and temples of the Nile Valley. We explore the famous Meroe Pyramids, which are the most concentrated pyramid complex in the Nile valley. We'll experience a real dessert camp with the luxury of a private veranda to enjoy the wonderful views of the pyramids. We'll also visit the ancient remains at Mussawarat and Naga. Continuing along the Nile Valley to Karima to explore the many temples, tombs and pyramids around Jebel Barkal. We also visit Old Dongola to see the Coptic Christian churches, and take a boat ride to the Pyramids of Nuri. Returning to Khartoum, we next take a flight to Cairo, the capital of Egypt.

Leaving Cairo behind, we board an overnight sleeper train and head south along the Nile Valley into Upper Egypt, arriving in Aswan the next morning. Aswan boast one of the most beautiful stretches of the Nile and we'll enjoy a boat trip to the tranquil island temple of Philae and see the enormous Aswan Dam. There is an early morning option to visit the amazing temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel, which were completely deconstructed and moved to higher ground when Lake Nasser was flooded.

Next, we board a traditional Nile felucca sailboat for a relaxing overnight river cruise on the Nile, accompanied by our friendly Nubian crew. A great way to break up your sightseeing, our felucca cruise offers some relaxation time and a chance to see rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the Nile. Our support boat will join with the group during the felucca cruise, providing welcome clean toilets, showers, and a hygienic kitchen. At the end of the cruise we'll visit Edfu and Komombo temples en-route to Luxor, which is one of the world's greatest open air museum. Whilst in Luxor, we'll visit both the east bank of the river to explore the huge temple complex at Karnak and Luxor temple, which is beautifully illuminated by night; and also the west bank of the Nile to descend into the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, see Queen Hatchepsut temple and the Valley of the Artisans, Deir-el-Medina and stop at the Colossi of Memnon. There is also an option to take a spectacular hot air balloon flight if you wish.

Finally we return to Cairo where you have some free time or optional tours before we take a final walk through the mazy back streets of Islamic Cairo and the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrive in Khartoum, transfer to hotel

Upon arrival at Khartoum airport, our staff will meet you and transfer you to your hotel, where they'll help you check in and give you an overview of the local area. If your flight arrives early enough, there is an option available to take a city tour.

OVERNIGHT:

Khartoum hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Khartoum - pre-tour
Single Room Supplement (SUSGSE)


Day 2 Khartoum to Karima

Today we leave Khartoum and move north to the outskirts of Omdurman to visit the animal market there. This popular and colourful market is the place to sell cattle, sheep and camels, brought from all over Sudan. We next traverse the barren Western Desert, arriving at Wadi Muqaddam, a dried up water course dotted with acacia trees. After a short stop in a local cafe/service station, we continue on to Merowe where we cross the Nile and arrive in the Nubian town of Karima. Here we spend the night.

OVERNIGHT:

Karima Nubian house

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Jebel Barkal & Necropolis of El Kurru

Today we visit Jebel Barkal, a range of red sandstone mountains that are visible across the desert for miles in all directions. They are a holy since ancient times and we wil visit a large temple dedicated to the god Amon. Known locally as Amon's 'Pure Mountain' it has been at the heart of Nubian religion for over 1000 years. The ruins here are a world heritage site and several sculptured granite rams, that are thought to have lined a long avenue leading to a pier on the River Nile, are a highlight of the temple.

After lunch, we travel south to the Nubian village of El Kurru to explore one of the necropolisis of Napata, the ancient capital of Nubia. We visit a tomb located under some partially collapsed pyramids, that is beautifully adorned with images of the gods, Pharaohs and colourful hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Our final stop of the day is to the intriguing site of an ancient forest of petrified tree trunks. After enjoying a striking sunset we'll return back to Karima for the night.

OVERNIGHT:

Karima Nubian house

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Boat trip on the Nile & Pyramids of Nuri

We start today with a visit to the market in Karima. Here we get a real taste of the daily life of the local Sudanese people. We'll next hop aboard a small motorboat for a scenic cruise along the Nile taking passing by stretches of sandy desert and cultivated islands. Continuing along the Nile to the 4th Cataract, a rocky granite formations that before the construction of Merowe Dan created unnavigable rapids, we stop for a picnic lunch. After lunch we visit the archaeological site of Nuri, a collection of pyramids, one of which was constructed by the great Pharaoh Taharqa, who reigned during the 25th Dynasty of Egypt.

OVERNIGHT:

Karima Nubian house

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 Karima, visit Old Dongola

We have a long day on the road today, but busy with various different and interesting visits and encounters. After an early start we'll visit a very local and traditional market, before following the Nile to the archaeological site of Old Dongola. The site here comprises Coptic Christian churches with marbles columns as well as other ruins situated on the bank of the Nile. We are in the heart of the Nubian region here, and the local population live in small villages and speak a different language to the Arabs in Sudan. Women are not required to cover their faces and speak readily with foreigners and tourists. Several houses in these villages are painted with patterns of flowers, but most are completely white. We'll have our picnic lunch in one of the village houses with tea and coffee prepared by our Nubian host family. In the afternoon we'll return to Karima.

OVERNIGHT:

Karima Nubian house

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Karima to Ghazali Monastery to Meroe

This morning we cross over the Nile and enter the Bayuda Desert, an area created by a loop in the Nile between the 4th and the 6th Cataract. The landscape is dominated by sharp black volcanic basalt mountains that are mostly cone-shaped. Whilst here we will take time to visit the Monastery of Ghazli. There is also a good chance we will encounter isolated groups of Bisharin Nomads. These desert nomads live in huts made of intertwined branches grouped together into small family groups. These villages are always close to the isolated water wells, which are vital for drinking water both for the nomads and their herds of camels and donkeys

From here we head back across the Nile using a local ferry boat or pontoon bridge. The ferry crossings can be very interesting as the boat is usually packed with people, vehicles, camels, goats and donkeys. After crossing the Nile, we'll catch site of the Royal Necropolis of Meroe. This amazing site housed more than 40 pyramids, some perfectly preserved, and is perched atop a hill. Tomorrow we will explore this highlight of any trip to Sudan.

Note: the Wadi Abu Dom track is only possible with a minimum of two vehicles - if the group is small with only one vehicle we will take an alternate route on tarmac roads.

OVERNIGHT:

Meroe Pyramids permanent tented camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 Full day exploring the Meroe Pyramids

Today we spend a full day exploring the amazing Meroe pyramids. We start with the the Royal Necropolis of Meroe, which lies amongst yellow sand dunes about 3km from the River Nile. Some of the pyramids here are remarkably well preserved, with clean, sharp edges and perfectly pointed tops. Each pyramid has an accompanying funerary chapel their walls adorned with bas-reliefs detailing the King’s life and offerings to the gods. We will also try to visit the Tarabil School, which we support as part of our responsible tourism activities, if it's open while we are there. After a short break at the nearby village of Kabushia, we will take time to explore the Western Necropolis, Sun Temple, and Quarries of the Meroitic civilization. Our final treat of the day will be to watch the sun set over the Pyramids before heading back to our camp.

Note: It may not be possible to visit the ruins of the Royal city, which was closed by UNESCO to evaluate damage caused by a flood of the Nile.

OVERNIGHT:

Meroe Pyramids permanent tented camp

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Return to Khartoum via Mussawarat & Naga, Dervishes ceremony

This morning we drive southwards back towards Khartoum. En route we stop at Mussawarat, situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by hills. Here we explore the ruins of a large and important temple. A notable feature of this 1st century A.D. temple is the 'Great Enclosure', a collection of walls and buildings that surround the temple.

Our next stop is Naga, one of two centres that flourished during the Meroitic period. Here we visit a temple dedicated to Apademak. This 1st century A.D. temple is situated amidst the typical Saharan rocky and sandy landscape. This impressive temple is adorned with various bas-relief decorations depicting the Pharaoh, a lion-headed god, and other ritual images. Nearby is a oddly unique construction called the 'kiosk'. This monument consists of columns and arches of various styles, including Egyptian, Roman and Greek. Next we visit a temple dedicated to the Egyptian god Amon. The site has many statues of rams and beautiful bas-relief decorated gates. Leaving Naga, we finish our tour through northern Sudan by returning to Khartoum.

Once back in Khrartoum, we will visit the tomb of the Sufi leader Ahmed al Nil where you can experience the fascinating and impressive Dervishes Ceremony (Note: The Dervish ceremony is only available on Fridays and is dependent on us arriving back into Khartoum in time).

OVERNIGHT:

Khartoum hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 Khartoum City Tour. Fly to Egypt

After a relaxing breakfast we start todays sightseeing by crossing the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers passing by the Presidential Palace. It was here that General Gordon was beheaded by the Mahdi's troops in 1885. We continue on to Omdurman, which was the old capital of Sudan to visit the tomb of the Mahdi and Khalifa's House, which is now a small museum about the Mahdi (closed for refurbishment in 2022). We next spend some time exploring Omdurman's colourful souk, before taking a boat ride to see the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers. After lunch we'll tour the National Museum, which houses a wealth of historical items along with two rescued temples in its gardens. These temples were saved by UNESCO and relocated to the museum when Lake Nasser was created. (Note: The inner part of the museum was closed for refurbishment in 2022, however the temples in the garden are still open to the public).

This evening we take you to the airport for a flight to Cairo (this is not included in the price of the tour but may be purchased either as part of your main international flight ticket or as a single flight ticket. You can depart at any time from 6pm onwards.) On arrival in Cairo we greet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

Depending on opening times and other local factors, the order of todays sightseeing may change for that above.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch

EXTRAS:


Day 10 Cairo, Pyramids, Sphinx & Museum tour

Your tour of Egypt begins with a visit to the Giza Plateau, site of Egypt's world famous Great Pyramids, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. We visit the great Pyramids of Giza and the ever enigmatic Sphinx, Memphis-first capital of the ancient kingdom to see the statue of Ramses II. Following on from the Pyramids we then head to the Egyptian Museum in central Cairo. Home to the fantastic Tutankhamun exhibit the museum hosts a huge number of other ancient Egyptian artefacts.

This evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train to Aswan (approx. 12 hours).

OVERNIGHT:

Sleeper train

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Internal flights upgrade


Day 11 Aswan, Philae Temple & Nubian Village

This morning we arrive in Aswan and transfer to our hotel overlooking the Nile which is at its most picturesque here, with cascading rapids, lush green islands, and feluccas sailing to and fro. Aswan itself is a melting pot of African and Middle Eastern cultures, most easily experienced by wandering through the busy markets. It's also part of the ancient region of Nubia, which comprised parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan around the Nile rivers. Many descendants of the Nubian people still live here and we'll visit a local Nubian village to see their colourful houses, simple way of life and to enjoy a traditional lunch.

We continue our tour this afternoon with a visit the Temple of Philae, a beautiful island complex dedicated to Isis and reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser, which we reach by a scenic boat ride. The evening is then free to look around Aswan's spice and general markets, and to walk up and down the popular Corniche, on the banks of the Nile. An option is also available to take a camel ride through the sands on the far bank of the Nile to St. Simeon's monastery. If you've chosen the Abu Simbel option then head to bed early this evening to be ready for a very early start tomorrow morning.

OVERNIGHT:

Aswan hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Nile cruise upgrade


Day 12 Abu Simbel option. Nile Felucca Cruise

Early this morning there is an option to drive to the World Heritage Site of Abu Simbel to view the fabulous temples to Ramses II, which, like Philae Temple, were dismantled, moved and reconstructed when Lake Nasser was flooded.

For anyone not visiting Abu Simbel, there is free time this morning to explore Aswan, including the markets, Corniche and Nubian Museum.

In the afternoon we take to the Nile onboard a traditional felucca boat for the start of our cruise along the Nile towards the temple at Kom Ombo. A Nile felucca cruise is a magical experience and you'll be able to see the local rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river. Our Nubian crew sail the boat and entertain you along the way, as well as preparing all your meals. We have a separate facilities boat that join with us from time to time during the cruise and stays with us throughout the night. The boat has a western toilet and showers on board, along with an hygienic kitchen for the crew to prepare you tasty meals. You'll sleep on the deck of the boat tonight (mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided).

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Nile cruise upgrade
Abu Simbel overland


Day 13 Edfu and Luxor temples

After breakfast on our felucca we visit the nearby temple at Edfu before continuing on north by road to Luxor. Luxor has built up around the ancient pharaonic site of Thebes, and has the largest concentration of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, and probably the world. On the west bank of the Nile lies the Valley of the Kings & Queens, with its mortuary temples and rock-hewn tombs, and on the east bank of the Nile sits the Temples of Luxor and Karnak.

Later in the evening we'll enjoy a walking tour of the smaller Luxor Temple, which is closer to the centre of Luxor and beautifully lit up at night.

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Nile cruise upgrade


Day 14 Luxor, West bank tour, free time

We cross the Nile early this morning to begin our tour of Luxor’s West Bank. Home to the Valley of the Kings, the dusty tombs in this ancient burial site are still revealing their secrets today and so it remains one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Our tour includes several of these Pharaonic tombs, as well as the temples of Queen Hatchepsut and Medinat Habu, and the huge Colossi of Memnon.

A spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is available this morning (expect an early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).

Your afternoon is then free to relax and enjoy the facilities of your 5-star hotel on the banks of the Nile. You can also explore Luxor further, do some shopping or browsing in the market, visit the mummification museum or enjoy a felucca trip to nearby Banana Island. Additional sightseeing is also available if you'd like an even more in depth exploration of Egyptian history. For example, the Rammesseum, Workers Village and Valley of the Queens on the west bank of the Nile are all worth a visit. Your tour guide will be happy to arrange any extra visits for you (an extra cost will apply to cover transport, entrances and the guide's services).

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor - 5-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor


Day 15 Karnak temple

Your morning is free today and you can enjoy a welcome lie in after several early starts. After lunch we'll tour the huge temple complex at Karnak , once the religious centre of Thebes and Upper Egypt. It was linked to Luxor by an extensive avenue, lined with sphinxes, and the whole complex was in turn linked to the Nile via a canal through which moved the sacred boats of the god Amun. Entering through a smaller sphinx-lined avenue, built by Ramesses II, you come to the immense pylon entrance. Inside the huge Courtyard are three chapels dedicated to the gods Amun, Khous and Mut. The remarkable Hypostyle Hall has 134 towering columns, each carved with scenes of gods and pharaohs, and hieroglyphic inscriptions adorn the walls.

Later this evening we transfer to the station for the overnight sleeper train back to Cairo (approx. 9 hours). An upgrade to a flight & hotel is available if you would like to skip the train journey.

OVERNIGHT:

Sleeper train

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Cairo city tour
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis


Day 16 Islamic Cairo and the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar

We arrive back into Cairo this morning and transfer to our hotel. Most of the day is then free to explore Cairo as you choose or you may take an optional tour. These include a city tour in Cairo which visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, or a half day tour to Saqqara, Dashour and Memphis to learn more about the history and evolution of pyramid building. Another full day option further afield includes a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.

In the late afternoon we take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in central Cairo. We'll walk through the huge Bab al-Futuh gateway and explore streets dedicated to metalwork, spices, pottery, fabric, jewelery and anything else you can imagine as we gradually enter the more touristy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We'll have time for a break to try some tea and a shisha pipe and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of Egypt's unofficial national dish, Kushari before returning to our hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 5-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Cairo city tour
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis


Day 17 Cairo, free time, departure airport transfer

Today is free for more last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. You can also extend the tour to take a day trip to the coastal city of Alexandria or head into the desert to the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Alexandria day trip
Cairo city tour
Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)
Extra day in Cairo - post-tour


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Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport and transfers in private AC vehicles
  • Overnight sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan
  • Overnight felucca cruise with support boat in Egypt
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Sightseeing tours as detailed in the itinerary
  • Boat excursion on the Nile in Sudan (life jackets will be provided)
  • Services of a local tour leader throughout Sudan
  • Services of a local Egyptologist guide for all the sightseeing tours in Egypt
  • Mineral water outside Khartoum in Sudan
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Sudan visa invitation letter for most nationalities

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Egypt visa fees (USD 25 available on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Sudan arrival taxes
  • Sudan visa fees (an invitation letter will be provided)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to sites visited (allow approx. US$345)
  • 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

Group dates and prices are based on the tour running with a minimum of 4 travellers. We can still run the tour for lower numbers, but a supplement will be due. Private tours are also available on request.

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

2nd of Dec 2022

18th of Dec 2022

£3699

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9th of Dec 2022

25th of Dec 2022

£3699

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30th of Dec 2022

15th of Jan 2023

£3799

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20th of Jan 2023

5th of Feb 2023

£3599

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17th of Feb 2023

5th of Mar 2023

£3799

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3rd of Mar 2023

19th of Mar 2023

£3799

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10th of Mar 2023

26th of Mar 2023

£3799

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31st of Mar 2023

16th of Apr 2023

£3799

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7th of Apr 2023

23rd of Apr 2023

£3699

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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use 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.

Acropole Hotel

Acropole Hotel

Khartoum


The Acropole Hotel is a friendly, family run hotel, run by the same Greek family for over 60 years. It is centrally located, very clean, with great food, and is very well known and regarded throughout Khartoum.

Local rating

Our rating

 Acropole Hotel Acropole Hotel

The Acropole Hotel is a friendly, family run hotel, run by the same Greek family for over 60 years. It is centrally located, very clean, with great food, and is very well known and regarded throughout Khartoum.

All rooms are air-conditioned with direct dial telphone and large balconies. The Acropole Hotel restaurant offers an international cuisine with Greek and Italian specialities.

Other facilities and services include a TV room with satellite TV, same day laundry service, internet and email, complimentary newspapers, taxi service, business centre, doctor on call, hair dryer and a wide selection of books in the library.

The Meroe Camp

The Meroe Camp

Meroe


The Meroe camp is located in Bagarwyia, about 230 km north of Khartoum, overlooking the amazing Royal Necropolis where there a large number of Pyramids.

Local rating

Our rating

 The Meroe Camp The Meroe Camp

The Meroe camp is located in Bagarwyia, about 230 km north of Khartoum, overlooking the amazing Royal Necropolis where there are a large number of Pyramids.

Meroe was the southern capital of the Kushite Kingdom, or Napata/Meroitic Kingdom, that spanned the period c. 800 BC. - c. 350 AD. The culture of Meroe developed from the XXV Dynasty of the Ancient Egypt, and its importance gradually increased starting the so called "Meroitic Period". The Kingdom of Meroe is also known for the role of the Queens called "Candaces" who were as strong as their royal husbands as we can well see in the inscriptions found in the many temples and Kiosks.

The Meroe Camp has 22 twin bedded tents set on a concrete base. The room size is 4 x 4 mt. and inside there are also small bedside tables with a reading light, drawers and mirror; outside there is shady veranda with 2 chairs for reading or simply relaxing overlooking the open desert before the pyramids.

Every tent has its own private restroom and shower which is located in a separate hut at the back of the tent. There is an indoor restaurant with a large paved area around to be able to eat outside in the pleasant spring evenings. There is also a veranda on the top of the restaurant to watch the sunset over the pyramids or to simply relax talking with the other guests of the camp before or after dinner.

The camp has a power generator that is working until 10.30-11 pm, after that we ensure peace and quite to the guests and if they need lights they must have their own electric torch.

The Camp is open from October to the end of April; it is supervised by an Italian manager and well trained Sudanese staff. With this permanent facility, this dry region of extraordinary archaeological interest and beautiful landscapes become accessible even to those reluctant to sacrifice their comfort.

Nubian Rest House

Nubian Rest House

Karima


At the foot of the Jebel Barkal, there is our Nubian Rest House, a charming boutique hotel with 22 A/C twin rooms (all with private facilities), a delicious restaurant and a pleasant veranda where to sit in the cool starry nights.

Local rating

Our rating

 Nubian Rest House Nubian Rest House

Karima is a small town located on the west bank of the Nile which developed at the foot of the holy mountain "Jebel Barkal" that in the ancient time was known as Napata, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush. The long history of Napata dates back to the 1.075 b.C. and it raised to glory ruling over the Lower and Upper Egypt, during the XXV Black Pharaohs Dynasty (750 - 653 b.C.); the many archaeological sites in the area are the physical remains of this rich history.

At the foot of the Jebel Barkal, there is our Nubian Rest House, a charming boutique hotel with 22 A/C twin rooms (all with private facilities), a delicious restaurant and a pleasant veranda where to sit in the cool starry nights. The rest house is tastefully decorated, starting from the original Nubian door where the guests enter the property, to the open air lobby, to the living room where to rest or read a book. The rooms have 2 large single beds all with private bathroom (with shower, sink, mirror, wc and a bidet) and a small veranda in front which opens up to a green grass area. Care for details is our passion, and it is easy to understand this when you see the Rest House. 

The hotel is opened all year round and it is supervised by an Italian manager (between October and April) together with well-trained Sudanese staff. 

50 km north of Karima there is the Merowe dam which was completed in April 2008 and now forms a very large artificial lake.

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.

Sleeper train

Sleeper train

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.

Local rating

Our rating

 Sleeper train Sleeper train

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.

Tolip Aswan Hotel

Tolip Aswan Hotel

Aswan


Tolip Aswan Hotel overlooks the Nile and sits close to several tourist sites. Rooms have en-suite bathrooms, TVs, minibars, WiFi, and balconies with river views. Facilities include a pool, bar, gym, and sauna.

Local rating

Our rating

 Tolip Aswan Hotel Tolip Aswan Hotel

The Tolip Aswan Hotel (formerly the Helnan) is located in downtown Aswan, on the banks of the Nile River. It comprises 195 air-conditioned rooms, each featuring en-suite bathrooms, satellite TVs, minibars, and furnished balconies with river views. In-room WiFi access is also available. An array of facilities is on offer, including a pool, bar, gym, sauna, massage treatments, children’s playground, and 24-hour front desk. The hotel is within close driving distance of several tourist sites including Philae Temple, the Unfinished Obelisk and the Nubian Museum, and is also a short drive from Aswan International Airport.

Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboat

Aswan


Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river.

Local rating

Our rating

 Felucca Sailboat Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboats

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.

Facility Boat

Our felucca suport boatOur 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

Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

Luxor


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.

Local rating

Our rating

 Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel

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

Introduction:

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).

Location:

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.

Accommodation:

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.

Bars & Restaurants:

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.

Facilities & Services:

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:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • 24hr Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Business centre
  • Porters
  • Games room
  • Library
  • Lifts
Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Cairo


The Sheraton Cairo is located in Cairo’s Dokki district, close to the Egyptian Museum. It consists of a casino, night club, and 5-star hotel. The hotel offers a full range of services and amenities, as well as fully-equipped luxury rooms.

Local rating

Our rating

 Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino Sheraton Cairo Hotel & Casino

Sheraton Cairo Hotel and Casino is a 5-star establishment found in the Dokki district of Cairo. A number of attractions are close by, including the Egyptian Museum. Included among the many facilities and amenities are a spa, fitness centre, sauna, library, and indoor and outdoor pools. Rooms are fully-equipped and feature mini bars, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary toiletries. The hotel offers several services, including 24-hour room service, a turndown service, and a paid airport shuttle.

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.

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Min numbers: 1 person


This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilisation. Our tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt.

Price from
£60
per person

This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilisation. Our tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt. First we'll visit Saqqara, a huge desert necropolis which was built for the kings and nobles of the Old Kingdom. Here we see Zoser's 'step' pyramid and the adjacent Imhotep museum where we learn more about Memphis and the history of the region. Next we head to Dashour to see one of the next attempts at pyramid building. Dashour's moniker of the 'bent pyramid' shows they still had a bit to learn, but this is a fascinating site and the pyramid still has much of its original limestone cladding. We'll then return you to your hotel.

Single Room Supplement (SUSGSE)

Single Room Supplement (SUSGSE)

Min numbers: 1 person


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.

Price from
£929
per person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will aim to pair you up with another traveller of the same sex. If a room share is available, you will not need to pay the supplement.

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

Extra day in Khartoum - pre-tour

Extra day in Khartoum - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


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

Price from
£55
per person

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

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour

Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - post-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


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

Price from
£90
per person

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

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

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
£125
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.

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
£125
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.

Cairo city tour

Cairo city tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This tour visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque as well as the bustling market streets of Khan El Khalili bazaar.

Price from
£60
per person

This half day guided tour of Cairo tour begins with Islamic areas including the Citadel of Saladdin, boasting the famous Alabaster Mosque of Mohammed Ali. Then we head onto the Coptic area of Cairo where the Romans constructed the fortress of Babylon. The church of St. Mary was built over the ruins of two towers of the fortress whilst it is more commonly known as the Hanging Church next stop is St. Sergius which is said to be the resting place of the Holy Family. The tour finishes with time exploring the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.

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

Sudan:
We use good quality hotels rated at the Sudanese 3-star level in Khartoum as well as Nubian houses and tented camps in the rest of Sudan. Upgrades to higher level hotels in Khartoum are available on request. All bedding is provided in the tented camps. Sleeping bags are provided at the Nubian house on the Soleb extension.

Hotel accommodation is based on twin or double en-suite rooms with air conditioning. We will endeavour to give all couples a private double room. Single travellers should budget to pay an additional single room supplement if a same-sex room share is not available.

Egypt:
This tour uses Egyptian 5-star level hotels in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor, all with swimming pools and a choice of restaurants and bars.
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.

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.

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.

  2. Felucca Sailboat

This tour features an overnight felucca cruise. Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and are a fun and relaxing way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and some blankets are provided, but we suggest that you bring a sleeping sheet, blanket or light sleeping bag during the winter months of November-February). There are no toilet facilities on board, but you will be joined several times each day and at night by our support boat where a toilet and warm showers will be available. Mosquito nets are provided for use while you are sleeping but you should bring mosquito repellent for the evenings and early mornings. Your Nubian boat crew will cook all your meals while on board and entertain you in the evenings.


  3. 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. Our routes in Sudan, available public transport options and the distances involved mean that we use private vehicles such as Toyota Landcruisers (max 4 passengers / vehicle) or Toyota Hilux (max 3 passengers / vehicle) hroughout this tour. 


  4. Transfers

This tour includes an airport meet and greet and transfer service on the first day of the tour. Our rep. will be holding an Encounters Travel signboard or have your name displayed for easy identification. If you can't find our representative, our emergency contact numbers will be provided on your tour confirmation voucher.

A departure transfer to the airport is also included at the end of the tour. Please check the tour itinerary and your flight times; most international flights leave Khartoum in the early hours of the morning, and as a result if you have upgraded the hotel in Khartoum to 4 or 5-star we normally only include a day-use room in the Khartoum hotel for your final day. A full night is included in the standard 3-star hotel If you will need a full night in the hotel and have upgraded the accommodation, a supplement will generally need to be added.

No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to incorrect flight details being provided or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.

If your flights arrive/depart before/after the tour starts/ends then we will be very happy to arrange additional accommodation and airport transfers for you. We will aim to book these in the same hotel as the main tour, though this will be subject to availability (upgraded hotels are also available on request). If you do not book your additional accommodation through us, then our arrival/departure service is not included and you will need to make your own airport transfer arrangements.

Arrival Procedure:
There are often long queues at the immigration desks, and there can be further delays if you are getting your “visa on arrival” (see Passports and Visas). After passport control proceed to baggage reclaim where there can be more long waits. After you have your luggage you will be asked to show your bag receipts (normall stuck to your boarding pass) and you may also have your bags manually checked by the airport officers. This is quite normal, and they will just be checking that you are not bringing anything illegal in Sudan into the country (eg. alcohol, pornographic magazines etc. (please note that some normal magazines you may carry may have some images of undressed public characters…and this may be considered inappropriate). If anything undesirable is found, it will be confiscated and not returned.

Our representative will then meet you just outside the glass door with an Encounters Travel signboard or your name displayed.


  5. 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. Our Sudan tours start and finish at Khartoum airport (KRT).


  6. 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 Sudan and Egypt group departures to have a maximum of 18 travellers.

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. You will have different guides in Sudan and Egypt.

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


  7. Entrance fees & permits

The tour price does not include permits and entrance fees to the National Museum and archaeological sites visited during the tour. To cover these, plus photo permits and local passport registration, a fee of US$250 per person will be collected in Khartoum at the start of the tour. Please ensure you have 250 US Dollars in new bills, ideally small denominations ($10/$20). Please also bring 2 passport photos with you which are needed to complete the permits.

Camera Fees & Permits:
Visitors are required to obtain a permit for photography of any kind, and we will obtain this for you. The permit will stipulate where you can or cannot take photos.  There are strict restrictions on taking photographs; photography of military areas or personnel, bridges, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas and beggars is strictly prohibited. Always ask prior to taking photos.
Video cameras incur an additional fee of US$20 for each archaelogical site and must be obtained in advance - please let us know several weeks before arrival if you wish to bring a video camera.


  8. Language and Customs

The official languages in Sudan are Arabic and English, according to the 2005 constitution. English is not widely spoken except by officials and hospitality workers. In contrast to many places in the world, it is the older generations that tend to speak the better English.

Sudan is an Islamic nation, and the government has imposed a form of Sharia law. Alcohol and drugs are forbidden, as is homosexuality. You should assume that any foreigner will be treated as a local, and dealt with accordingly; in many cases, given a jail sentence of several months and a whipping, the minimum being forty lashes. Do not in any circumstances, show images/statues/figures etc. of the prophet Muhammad.

Sudanese women tend to wear very conservative clothing and cover their heads, so out of respect, foreign women would be wise to do the same, even if they observe other tourists who do not respect this custom. Men should wear long trousers, not shorts. If in doubt, play it safe and cover up.

The Sudanese do not expect foreigners to adhere to Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, but it would be tactless to eat, drink or smoke in public.


  9. Tipping

Bahsis (bahk-sheesh) or tips are commonplace and customary in Sudan. Wages for service staff in Sudan are very low and tips are a necessary supplement to meagre incomes.

Having said that, tipping is always optional, and the amounts paid should reflect the service level provided, and your personal budget. We are often asked for advice on common amounts, and for assistance with tipping. Some suggested guidelines are given below.

Restaurants and taxis: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour guide. We suggest USD 2 per person per day for local guides.

Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however USD 2 per person per day is generally appropriate.

Tour Guides: To answer your next question. . . as a guideline we suggest for your tour guide between USD 25-40 per person for the entire tour, but ultimately, its up to your satisfaction with their service and your budget. You should not feel pressured to tip any particular amount.


  10. 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:

South Africa: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Namibia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Botswana: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted or travelled through an infected area.
Zimbabwe: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Zambia: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Malawi: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Tanzania: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area.
Kenya: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Uganda: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from an infected area.
Sudan: Additional vaccinations: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid, Yellow Fever. Malaria map. Yellow Fever certificate: Required if arriving from or having transitted through an infected area. A certificate may also be required for those departing Sudan.
Morocco: Additional vaccinations: Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Typhoid. Malaria not normally present. Yellow Fever certificate not required.

The above information can change at short notice. For up to date health information & vaccination requirements we recommend that you contact your medical practitioner or a travel clinic.

Malaria: Vaccinations are not available against Malaria, which is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes that can be very serious and sometimes fatal. You should avoid mosquito bites by covering up bare skin with clothing such as long sleeves and long trousers and applying insect repellents to exposed skin. When necessary, sleep under a mosquito net. Mosquitoes are most active during and after sunset. You should consult with your GP/medical practitioner/travel clinic about the most appropriate malaria prophylactic medication to take for the regions you are visiting.

Yellow Fever: This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes that bite during the day. A Yellow Fever Certificate of vacinnation may be required as a condition of entry depending on which country you are arriving from, or that you have travelled or transitted through recently (including connecting flights with stopovers of over 12 hours). You can view a World Health Organisation map of areas where the virus is present in monkeys and therefore a potential risk to humans. Please ensure you have this certificate with you and to hand if necessary.

Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disabilities that you may have.


  11. 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.


  12. Passports and Visas - Sudan

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country, have at least 2 clear pages, and no Israeli stamps. 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.

Obtaining Sudan visas is not always straightforward. There are two options:

  • Obtain your visa in advance
    This provides the most surety and peace of mind, but it is more expensive and time consuming as you will need to either visit your local Sudanese embassy or post your documents back and forth. 
    Most nationalities (including UK) now need both an invitation letter from our partners in Sudan, and also a letter from the Sudanese Ministry of Interior to accompany your application. 
    Please allow a minimum of 4 weeks for the whole process to complete. You may be asked to attend the embassy/consulate for a short interview to confirm you are genuine tourists. Sometimes visas are issued the same day, but often you will need to return a few days later to collect your passport. Most embassies/consulates also offer a postal option. You can also use a visa agency, but you will still need us to provide all the paperwork and cover the costs for it, as well as paying the visa agency. 
    There is then an additional visa fee, payable at the immigration desk in the airport. This fee is US$100 for most nationalities, and US$150 for US citizens.

  • Obtain your visa in Khartoum airport on arrival
    This is a little cheaper, less hassle and works fine. We will provide you with the invitation letter and other the paperwork from the Sudanese government that you will need.
    Once arranged we will send you an entry permit - you must print this out and take this with you, or you will not be allowed to board your flight to Khartoum.
    On arrival you will exchange this permit for a visa sticker in your passport (first show your passport and entry permit to one official, then proceed to the Counter Visa desk to pay the visa fee and get your visa sticker).
    The visa fee is US$100 or US$150 for US citizens, payable in cash to the customs officer in the airport (use one $100 bill and one $50 bill issued no earlier than 2009).

For both of these options you will need to make an additional payment in US Dollars cash to our local partners in Sudan after you arrive for the provision of the paperwork required to process your visa. Please check the Options section for details or speak to your travel consultant for more details. 

Please send us a scanned or photographed copy of the identity pages of your passport as soon as possible after you have booked so that we can obtain the necessary paperwork for you.


  13. 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.


  14. 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.


  15. Time
The time in Sudan is GMT plus 3 hours. Daylight saving adjustments are not applied.

  16. 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.


  17. Voltage
Sockets accept two round pronged plugs  (Type C / D) and the electicity supply is 230 volts. 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 you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

  18. 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.


  19. Money - Sudan

The Sudanese Pound (SDG) = 100 piasters. Notes are in denominations of SDG50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 piasters. The Sudanese Pound has replaced the Sudanese Dinar, which was phased out on 30 June 2007. 1 Sudanese Pound = 100 Sudanese Dinars = 1,000 old Sudanese Pounds.

Please note that credit cards and debit cards are NOT currently accepted in Sudan.

The best place to exchange money is at the airport, the rates are often much better than the rates at hotels. Currency should be exchanged only at official bureaux de change and banks, and receipts should be retained. There are severe penalties for changing money on the black market. Please note that only new US Dollar bills are accepted in Sudan - old or worn bills will not be accepted.


  20. What to take

Luggage: To facilitate easy transport of everyone luggage in the vehicles, we ask that you bring soft luggage with you, and not rigid suitcases. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in your accommodation during your sightseeing trips – you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: Again to ensure space and comfort in the vehicles you will be travelling in, we request that you bring no more than 15kg of main luggage on this tour. For hand-luggage most airlines allow between 5kg and 10kg and we ask that you try to restrict yours to 5kg max.

Clothing: Sudan’s climate ranges from hot and dry in the north to humid and tropical in the equatorial south. October to April is the best time to visit. Temperatures range from 30-38C during the day in October/November and March/April (12-18C at night), and 25-30C in December/January/February (5-10C at night). The summer months can go well over 40C though we don't generally run tours during this period. Dust storms (the haboob) blow occasionally from July to August and November to January. You will need clothing for very hot days but you also need warm clothes for the evenings and nights when the temperature can drop significantly, particularly in the deserts.
Sudan is largely Muslim and operates a version of Sharia law. Modesty rates highly in Sudan, especially for women, so please ensure clothes are loose fitting and not too revealing. Visiting women not expected to wear a veil or cover their heads but we suggest you bring a headscarf or sunhat with you anyway as it is often welcome in the desert and hot sun. Neither men or women should wear shorts.

Other items: Bedding (sheets, blankets, pillow) is provided in the Meroe desert camp but we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner for comfort all year round (even with the best efforts, sand can find its way pretty much everywhere). We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.

Nimitti: Between February and the end of April there may be lots of “nimitti” which are small, harmless, but extremely annoying flies in the north (Tombos, Soleb area) – these flies are the ones that make the pollination of the palms. We will provide fly nets to wear over the face, and the tour leader will recommend to wear long sleeved tops.


  21. Dates & Prices

We run regular small-group departures on this tour starting on Thursdays between October and April. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 4 travellers. If there are only 2 or 3 travellers per date we can still run the tour but an extra supplement will be due. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website and on a separate dates & prices sheet available on request.

Private and tailor-made tours are also available on any date; please contact us for details and prices.


  22. 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.


  23. 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.


  24. 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.


  25. 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).


  26. 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')


  27. 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

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