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Your Words - We tell it like it is! Holiday Reviews by previous Exodus travellers  

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9 Reviews

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Phillip Pomeroy

    Egypt Ancient and Modern

    A fascinating, informative, and very enjoyable tour with the chance to dress up thrown in for good measure! As with all Exodus trips we had some early starts and long days with now wasted time in between. If you want to see a lot of Egypt and experience its history from ancient times through to the modern day then this is the trip to take.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the pyramids without crowds (not at Giza, for this head out to Saqqarah). Being inside the tomb of Ramses VI in the Valley of the Kings and admiring 3000 year old carvings and paintings everywhere you look, again without crowds (extra payment needed - not a lot and well worth it!). Wouldn't describe them as inspiring but certainly unforgettable and at times jaw dropping in their grandeur.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed must rate as one of the best group leaders. He is knowledgeable on all aspects of his countries history and had the ability to tell a story and hold his audience throughout. His knack of bringing out members of the group to play the roles of the characters in the story (no acting ability needed) brought the tales to life. I was pleased to play the part of Pharaoh Thutmose III Egypt's most successful ruler. As well as being a font of information he looked after the needs of the group when they suffered from "Pharaoh's Curse" and ensured that we all knew where to be and when. If you read this and are fortunate enough to have him as a group leader you will not be disappointed.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take the usual health precautions, stick to bottled water and avoid salads except in hotels and restaurants recommended by your group leader. Have some small notes / coins for toilets. Cash is better than credit card as you avoid the 3% service charge. Changing money is easy but all traders and shops will take sterling, euros or dollars and give you a fair exchange rate. Optional tours will add up (£450 ish for two) but they are all worthwhile. We did everything on the trip note lists apart from the sound and light show. Abu Simbel is an expensive trip but is worth every penny. Go by road, have the excitement(?) of a pre-dawn start and see the sunrise over the Sahara desert on the way. As a bonus you will be able to admire genuine desert mirages on the trip back. You will miss so much if you fly (and pay a lot more). Go inside the pyramids for the experience. The Red Pyramid at Saqqara is far less crowded that the Great Pyramid at Giza.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Egypt is a poor country, though you wouldn't think it with some of the prices they ask for souvenirs!. The locals need you to spend money, but haggling is expected and can be very intense. Sellers will look broken hearted as you knock the price down but don't be fooled they want to make a sale and, as with everything, some you win and some you will lose. Be prepared to be spoken to as if you are a long lost friend but beware all acts of kindness (except directions) have a price. If some one offers to take a picture for you it costs, if they offer to carry your bags it costs. Be wary of the item offered for "one dollar", that is the price to look at it not buy! Expect a friendly welcome wherever you visit and have a great time. Thanks to everyone in our group for making this such a memorable tour.
  • Reviewed November 2019
    derek crosbee

    Successful holiday

    Egypt is a fascinating country and we covered so much of it and some 4,000 years of its history most of which was new to me. A land of many contrasts from the great cities of Cairo and Alexandria to the great Pyramids to the El Alamein battlefields down to beautiful Aswan the Nubian desert to Abu Simbel and to the treasures of Luxor everything bound together by the Nile river - Egypts lifeblood. The different modes of transport we used helped to bring out the contrasts.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Quite an hard question probably Abu Simbel not only for its beauty but also for the incredible efforts of the Egyptian people in moving it from its original site and re-building it in its current surroundings

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed was a fine guide with an exceptional depth of knowledge - he always described himself as an Eygptologist rather than a tour leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare yourself for taking onboard an amazing amount of information. Take plenty of deet - flies everywhere
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Maggie Murfitt

    Hurry Up and go to Egypt!

    This was one of the best trips I have done. The guide Ahmed is fantastic, he knows EVERYTHING about his country He explained everything really well with just enough detail. He was also great fun, a really nice man. The trip is physically easy, however, there are some very early starts but Ahmed organised wake up calls for us. The monuments will take your breath away, I can’t pic a favourite place. The hotels are good and the level of service is excellent. The first and last hotels are really good and the cruise ship was stunning. I stayed an extra couple of nights and I’m glad I did. What a fantastic experience!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Probably the Valley of the Kings, or the Museum in Cairo, or Abu Simbel, or the Temple at Karnak, or the Coptic monastery..........

    What did you think of your group leader?

    One of the best tour guides I have ever had, Ahmed was enthusiastic and inspirational.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    There was only one Temple that we had to cover up but they give you stuff to put on over your clothes. The rest of the time scrappy t shirts and shorts are fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just book it and go. Don’t be afraid, security is very high, there are X-ray scanners at the entrance of almost every building you go in. Security guards are everywhere and the security at Luxor airport is massive. The people are really lovely and friendly and they don’t even have pick pockets in the markets. Also, there is a fixed exchange rate which applies everywhere including hotels and ATMs. Just go!
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Sue Clark

    Amazing, inspiring trip!

    This trip is not for those who are looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday. Lots of early starts made the most of the opportunities we had to get under the skin of this brilliant country. There is a lot to see and while some of the trips are optional, it's worth trying to add several to your itinery, so budget accordingly! We had a great group of travellers and a brilliant tour guide who was funny, patient (I had lots of questions) and always kind - thank you Ahmed! When you make short stops, particularly early on on the tour, leave everything except your camera (and maybe a small amount of money) in the tour bus - there are often crowds and there are hawkers everywhere - there's always an opportunity to buy souvenirs in Egypt! The vegetarian food is adequate, but not always super interesting - the food tour of Cairo, the Nile boat and the Nubian fellucca ride were hi-lights! Take the tour leader's advice - he was usually right!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The fellucca ride on the Nile, together with lunch on the boat - the food was amazing and the boat ride was magical! I was very keen to see inside the tombs in the Valley of the Kings - King Ramses VI tomb was brilliant! Hatshepsut's temple was just as impressive as it looked on TV - definitely a must! The sleeper train ride was great fun! The one that surprised me (in a good way) was the war cemetry at El-Alamein: it's beautiful, peaceful and quiet.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ahmed was great! He was kind, helpful, knowledgeable and funny! He kept us going, looked after everyone (we had a group from 23 to 76!) and tried to answer our numerous questions!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take lots of £ or $ (make sure it's all notes - particularly small values) you will get good exchange rates with the local traders! Take an extra bag - there's a lot you can buy and will want to buy! Go with an open mind and a willingness to learn. If you are blond and female you will get lots of attention!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The people are friendly, the traders are pushy but will give up if you make it clear that you are not interested. Be prepared to barter - it's part of the fun! There's so much to see and do - you might need a holiday at the end to recover (in a good way!).
  • Reviewed November 2019
    Tanya Howes

    Great trip but tough country to enjoy

    I've done alot of travel in my time, mostly on my own, as I dislike the tour group mentality. This trip had the good, the bad, and the ugly. I picked it because Egypt isn't a country that I feel safe travelling in and can be a logistical nightmare. For this, I am so grateful to our tour leader Nadia, who had to manage tough logistics, an action packed list of activities and a group of people that spanned the spectrum of seasoned, adaptable traveller, to completely dependent and self absorbed holiday seeker. For the most part the tour was good value, but beware the amount of extra money needed for tips, people shaking you down for more money, and truly aggressive and unpleasant taxi drivers, horse carriage drivers and market merchants. The hotel in Cairo was very bad but all other accomodations were great. My take away is that while I am so grateful that I saw the sites I had dreamed about and researched for years, for me and they were everything I ever imagined, Egypt is a tough country to navigate. It's really hard to just wander down a street or go shopping. You will be accosted by people wanting to take you to their shop, get in their cab or horse carriage. They will pester you for blocks. And negotiations are hard core, not light hearted. Don't lose your cool.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing the sun set on the Nile. Having a beautiful lunch on one of the sailboats, again on the Nile. Having an early morning Turkish coffee in Luxor before the market opened and watching the world wake up. Getting a kiss on the cheek from a little girl who was fixated with my earrings and her mother and I laughing about how focussed the little one was. Seeing the new library in Alexandria, and seeing an amazing dedication to learning and hope for the future.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above, I found our group leader to be very informed, adaptable to the group's requests, patient with all the different attitudes, caring and solicitous even when tour participants were ungracious. She managed it all with grace and professionalism. I saw amazing sites and got explanations I never would have on my own. She went above and beyond to create an interesting experience and provide fulsome explanations of what we were seeing. I found Nadia to be extremely knowledgeable about heiroglyphics and Egyptian history and generally a joy to be with.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring lots of Egyptian pounds in small denominations (10s and 20s). Recognize that while you may agree to pricing when shopping or taking a cab, you will likely be asked aggressively for more. Stand your ground and get out of the cab/shop quickly. Be aware that air and ground pollution is extreme and bring wipes. Be aware that climbing in and out of pyramids is for people in shape and if you attempt it, the space is very small and you will be holding up hundreds of people if you can't move quickly. And please respect the culture. Look around you. Neither men nor women are wearing shorts or skimpy tops. Cover up.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Trip was great. Here are some suggestions to make it better: - save the pyramids of Giza to the end. Doing them the first day is hard for people who arrived the night before - don't put people into hotels that are in the middle of nothing and nowhere and force us to use cabs to get anywhere. That first hotel (pyramid park in Cairo) is far past it's peak. It is tired, has failing facilities, rude and ill informed staff, spotty wifi, a thing for serving everything in plastic and uninspiring, poorly prepared food. Keep up with the cruise line for the Nile Cruise. Rooms, facilities, service and food were exceptional. This is also true for the hotel in Alexandria. Such a pleasure to stay there.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Bob Christie

    Seeing more of Egypt

    I had visited Egypt before, but wanted the opportunity to see Alexandria, more of Cairo, and aspects of Aswan which I had missed due to gut problems. Plus Luxor is always worth seeing. So the trip worked well for me.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Old Cairo, Al Moaz street and Al Azhar park are a welcome contrast to the vast and dusty city. The food tour is fun, and gives a chance to walk the downtown streets. And the people really are genuinely friendly and welcoming. The (old) Egyptian and (new) Nubian museums are excellent. The Nile cruise is a great experience, seeing landscapes and lifestyles which seem not to have changed for thousands of years. The tombs in the Valley of the Kings now have much better lighting and footing than before, making them more interesting and revealing to visit. The temples of Luxor and Karnak are awe inspiring sites. And the hotels in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor are good, with great swimming pools!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sayed is knowledgeable, professional and very helpful. He is as informative about modern Egypt as he is about ancient Egypt, while constantly fixing things for us behind the scenes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Days 6 and 7 are very (maybe too) full, with no chance to shower or change until after dinner on Day 7, before a very early start on day 8. The sleeper train has 2 berth compartments and is a better experience than in most countries. Take food and hand hygiene seriously and you'll be fine - none of our group had any real stomach problems. Alcohol is rarely available outside the hotels and boat. Wifi is usually unavailable, and unreliable even when paid for. Upgrade in Luxor - for $24 you can get a balcony and views over the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, plus watching the hot air balloons rising in the dawn. Even in March you may need warm clothes for Egypt!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is an opportunity to see more of Egypt, as well as the incredible highlights. Day 7 needs a rethink though, especially the mass tourism experience of joining other groups being processed through the Nubian 'village' and souvenir stalls. Maybe more time on the felucca and time at the hotel for people to refresh and maybe swim?
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Ivan and Sue Godfrey

    A totally memorable experience

    We normally organise our own visits but for a destination such as Egypt we felt it important to put our trust in professionals ... and our faith In Exodus was well-rewarded. The itinerary was full-on but packed with such variety and richness that it left us quite overwhelmed. By the end we felt we had not only visited a huge number of outstanding sites of world importance but also come to know and understand a country that has played and continues to play a major role within the world.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Impossible to choose one but amongst them - experiencing the thrill of witnessing the rising sun shining on the innermost statues at Abu Simbel just as ancient Egyptians had thousands of years ago ... a sense of shared experience across millennia - cruising down the Nile and watching ordinary lives unfold in the timeless riverside scenery - being overwhelmed by the scale and magnitude of the temples and their art

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding. Not only did Sayed demonstrate a huge depth of knowledge based on his study of Egyptology but he gave us daily insight into the lives of ordinary Egyptians and the culture of the country of which he was so rightly proud. In today's often divided world he gave us all an example of how meaningful communication can lead to a far greater understanding of different cultures and religions and promote world harmony. He also tended to individual needs, was patient and empathetic and made us all feel valued within the group. . A wonderful ambassador for his country, his culture and his religion.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    When applying for a visa make sure you use the correct website (Visa2Egypt) as there are numerous other ones that look authentic but charge a huge commission (about 300%!!). Check arrangements for obtaining money carefully. We would suggest budgeting for at least £250 - £300 per person to cover cost of general tips / tip to leader, optional visits (irresistible!), additional meals and purchases. Egyptian currency can be obtained from ATMs (with a charge) or you can take £s and exchange them in banks. When in banks try to get small coins to avoid embarrassment in loos (when you have nothing for the person handing out the paper!!). Be very clear about what is covered by the tipping kitty proposed by Exodus and when additional tips might be necessary.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We would not hesitate to recommend this trip to others and, in fact, have already done so! We are already considering our next trip with Exodus as a result of our good experiences.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Diana Carter

    Monumental Egyptian Odyssey

    Another excellent Exodus adventure. I was pleasantly surprised that we were fully occupied every day with tours and activities. Temples, tombs, mosques, monastery, local baths, perfumery, pottery, animal sanctuary, papyrus institute, museums, war graves and souqs. We used all forms of transport (luxury coach, horse and carriage, felucca, cruise boat, sleeper train, camel, power boat, plane). Truly a memorable trip, so much fascinating history, colossal architecture and lovely weather too!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    We had the privilege of enjoying the moment when the sunrise reaches far inside the temple at Abu Simbel and lights up the statues of Ramses II (pharaoh), Ra (sun god) and Amun (king of the gods). Only the statue of Ptah (god of darkness), remains in shadow. This only happens twice each year. We had to wild-camp (many thanks to our tour guide for organising blankets, pillows and breakfast boxes for us all) just outside the temple for 4 hours to wait for the moment but it was well worth the wait.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sayed Mansour is a true legend, Egyptologist, organiser, friend of many and has the patience of a saint.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for full days, never a dull moment and a surprise round every corner. If you are travelling in February then take warm clothes for the north and lighter clothes for the south. Be firm but polite with street vendors. Eat like a local, their food is amazing. Take a Steripen and your own water bottle so you can sterilise tap water instead of buying plastic bottles of water.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Gitta Small

    Sun festival at Abu Simbel

    The tour was very well thought out and organised. We had a full programme of seeing temples, tombs and the way Egyptian people lived. There was never a spare moment.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sunrise at Abu Simbel.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Sayed Matour, was excellent. We could not have asked for more. He spoke excellent English, had an amazing knowledge of Ancient Egypt, was charming and coped with every situation in the nicest, calm manor. He organised everything brilliantly even procuring thick blankets for everybody who was queuing for hours to be the first to see the sunrise in the temple of Abu Simbel. And we were there in time to see it.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are fit enough to climb into and out of all the tombs .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would have liked a meal waiting for us at the first hotel, the Pyramid Parks resort, when we arrived at 11 pm, not having had anything to eat since the flight. And the restaurant itself was closed by now.