Pyramids & Pharaohs in Egypt Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
Egypt
Programmes:
Exodus Edits
Trip Code:
EZE
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only

Trip Overview

Spend nine days on an Egyptian odyssey. You’ll check off all the can’t-miss landmarks (Pyramids of Giza, Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel - you get the idea), but there’s much more to this trip besides. You’ll kayak on the Nile. Sandboard across the dunes. Take a sleeper train cross-country. Spend a day exploring the islands around Aswan by felucca. Sleep in Nubian-style accommodation and feast on their home-cooked dishes. It’s an adrenaline-charged adventure for history-hunters who don’t want to scrimp on the thrills.

At a Glance

  • Four nights in premium hotels, three nights in a Nubian guesthouse, and one-night onboard a sleeper train

Trip Highlights

  • Sample authentic Egyptian flavours on a food tour of Cairo and a home-cooked Nubian meal
  • See the famous landmarks from a different perspective – quad biking near the pyramids and kayaking on the Nile
  • Stay in Nubian-style accommodation and board a sleeper train to Aswan

Is This Trip for You?

  • Early starts allow us to maximise the adventure (and avoid the hottest parts of the day)
  • Care should be taken to keep hydrated. From June to September, temperatures can go into the 40's in the south
  • A sense of adventure is needed for quad biking, kayaking and sandboarding, although no previous experience necessary

Sun Festival Departures

The festival is a bi-annual event at Abu Simbel that has been taking place for over 3200 years. During the celebrations the sun perfectly aligns with the usually dark interior and lights up the seated statues of Ramses II, the sun god, Ra and the king of the gods, Amun. Only the statue of Ptah, the god of darkness, remains in the shadows. There are traditional Nubian dances being performed, street food everywhere (save stomach space for some fresh koshari) and live music outside the temple.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Group

There will be a local leader and drivers throughout the trip and local guides where needed.

Min group size:
6
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Cairo
End City:
Luxor

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Welcome to Egypt

    Welcome to Cairo, the magnificent capital of Egypt. It’s a loud and proud place where raucous modern life meets an entrenched ancient history. You’ll check into the beautiful Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa, just outside of the city with views over to the pyramids. 

  • Day 2

    Check off the headline spectacles

    You’ve got nine days in Egypt, and there’s a lot to cram in. Your first full day has blockbuster attractions in store. After breakfast, you’ll head straight out to the Pyramids of Giza, spending an hour on a quad bike with the pyramids as your movie-like backdrop. Then there’s a tour to understand the secrets of these intriguing structures better.

    Later, in downtown Cairo, you’ll visit the Egyptian Museum to see the riches of Tutankhamun’s Tomb and other Egyptian treasures. The day continues at the architecturally beautiful Al Azhar Mosque, one of the oldest examples in the city. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Kayak the Nile then get lost in the souks

    You’ll board a kayak this morning and paddle the Nile for around two hours. Then it’s back to downtown Cairo for a food tour and the chance to sample koshary, molokhia, ful and falafel traditional Egyptian dishes. There’s an afternoon tour of Old Cairo to wander the narrow lanes of the Khan El-Khalili bazaar.

    Tonight, you’ll be rocked to sleep aboard a sleeper train bound for Aswan, the southern frontier of ancient Egypt.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Wake up in Aswan

    There’s a full day on the Nile today. You’ll board a traditional felucca and get to know this famous waterway a little better. As the boat’s lateen sails unfurl, there’s time to relax and enjoy the scenery as you pass rocky islets and glimpse the golden dunes beyond the west bank.  Later, you’ll check into Anakato Hotel, traditional Nubian-style accommodation.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Marvel at the enigmatic Temples of Abu Simbel

    You’ll rise before the sun this morning to travel through the desert to Abu Simbel.  It’s renowned for its colossal temples -- spectacular examples of ancient Egyptian art and engineering overlooking Lake Nasser.  After, there’s some downtime back at the Anakato Hotel before your adventure continues in the late afternoon when you’ll take a desert walk with a Nubian guide. You’ll feast on a home-cooked Nubian meal and learn about the culture and history of this region. 

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 6

    Board the dunes

    This morning, you’ll be sandboarding across the dunes. It’s an extreme sport that’s sure to get your heart pumping. Buzzing with adrenaline, the rest of the day is yours to swim and kayak in the Nile, explore Aswan’s bazaar or take an optional tour of Philae Temple, the High Dam or a nearby Nubian village.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Explore Luxor

    It’s on to Luxor today, taking the four-hour transfer to this one-of-a-kind destination. You’ll tour the ancient Karnak Temple and marvel at the sheer grandeur of the monuments that have survived here.  After sunset, you’ll visit the Luxor Temple, built between 1390 and 1352 BC. Tonight, you’ll stay at the excellent Mercure Luxor Karnak on the Nile’s east bank.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Visit the Valley of the Kings

    An early transfer this morning takes you to the Valley of the Kings, the site of 63 royal tombs.  It was part of the ancient city of Thebes and the burial site of almost all the pharaohs of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties.  Then it’s onto the Colossi of Memnon, two giant and faceless stone statues guarding the entrance to the temple of Amenophis III.

    There’s lunch at the El Marsam restaurant and then a visit to ACE Luxor animal hospital, a charity dedicated to treating animals in the most impoverished communities of Luxor.

    Tonight, there’s a farewell dinner at El Sofra restaurant, dining on traditional Egyptian dishes.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Adventure complete

    And, just like that, a whirlwind exploration is complete. Today you’ll head to Luxor’s airport for your return flight home.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotels

Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel & Spa
A large, modern resort hotel overlooking the Pyramids of Giza. There are two swimming pools with feature waterfalls and a choice of dining options.

Anakato Hotel
Authentic Nubian-style accommodation with views of the Nile. Rooms are brightly coloured and furnished in the local style.

Mercure Luxor Karnak
A large and contemporary hotel with an abundance of facilities on the Nile’s east bank.

Please note that if the listed accommodation is not available then an alternative of a similar standard will be used.

Where a solo room is available, paying for a solo room only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for solo occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a solo room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a solo room.

Solo supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

  • All breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners are included
  • Vegetarians and gluten-free diets can be catered for, although options may be limited

Joining Instructions

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Included transfers Exodus Edits provide one airport arrival transfer to the start hotel and one departure transfer to Luxor International Airport.

Transfer arrival time – please contact the Exodus Edits team to confirm details.  The arrival transfer is usually scheduled for flight MS778 arriving at 20.40. The departure transfer is usually scheduled for flight MS061 departing at 05.50 (April to October) or flight MS069 departing at 05.50 (November to March).

Arrive at Cairo International Airport in the evening in time for your transfer to the start hotel. If you do not take the group transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions. Private transfer are also available to book (please note that these may be shared with other members of your group who have the same or similar flight times).

We know that the unexpected can happen. Your plane may get delayed, or things just don’t go to plan. If you miss your tour departure, check with the hotel to see if your tour leader has left you a message with details of how to catch up with your group. If not, call our emergency number (you will find it on the final joining instructions) and our team will help you. Don’t forget that you are responsible for any extra travelling expenses incurred if you miss your tour departure.

 

Final joining instructions

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers, will be sent to you at least 2 weeks before departure. If you don’t receive them or need them earlier, please contact our team who will be happy to help.

Flights

Remember, flights aren’t automatically included in your trip. If you’d like the Exodus Edits team to help you find some good options, give us a call on 020 8772 3837.

Location start:
Cairo
Location end:
Luxor

What to Take

Essential Equipment

  • Trousers or long dresses for women
  • Daypack/soft holdall
  • Water bottle
  • Lightweight walking shoes
  • Sun cream and sunglasses
  • Swimwear

Please note that if you're travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate from your GP confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition. The Egyptian Embassy website states that this should be in the form of an official letter from your GP, specifying details of your condition, the quantity of medication you will be carrying and that the medication is for your personal use only. Otherwise, the medication will not be allowed into the country and you may be prosecuted under Egyptian law.

For further information and specific queries, contact the Egyptian Medical Office in London on 020 7370 6944.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Optional Equipment

  • Torch (useful in the temples)

Practical Information

Passport

Egypt

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Egypt

Visas are required by all non-Arab nationalities and currently cost approximately GBP20. It is recommended that you obtain your visa before you travel (although it’s still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival). You can get a visa online at Visa2Egypt or alternatively, the address of the Egyptian Embassy in London is 2 Lowndes Street, SW1. Tel: 020 7235 9777. Visas are now generally available for same day collection, although this should NOT be relied upon. Opening hours are 09.30 to 12.30 for applications, 14.15 to 16.00 for collection of passports after the visa has been issued. Postal applications direct to the embassy for visas are not recommended as the service takes 15 to 20 days.

If you are obtaining your visa online then please ensure you have a scan of your passport ready. The file size should be small and ideally saved as a JPEG or PDF otherwise you might not be able to load it on the visa application.

You will need to provide your host’s information on the application – please use the following details:

South Sinai Travel
79 Merghany Street
Cairo
Egypt
Tel: +20 22418 7310
www.southsinai.com

[email protected]

Please note that recently Egyptian officials have requested tourists carry a copy of their passport with them whilst in the country.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Egypt

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Although not usually advised, other vaccinations to consider include rabies and Hepatitis B.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Exodus Edits

Local Time

Egypt's Timezone:
Africa/Cairo EET (GMT +02:00)

Electricity

Egypt's Electricity:

220 Volts and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. Plug types C & F.

Money

Egypt's Currency

The national currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 23.16 to the UK£ and 17.65 to the US$.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

In the itinerary we state which meals are included on which days. For meals not included, we suggest you budget $100-120. A beer in a hotel or restaurant can cost approximately $7 and a glass of wine approximately $10.

Some sites have a camera charge that means you will have to pay extra to take pictures, around $16 for each site.

Optional Excursions
Prices are in US$ being the most stable currency used in Egypt to provide the most accurate reflection of the cost but excursions can be paid in any hard currency (e.g. UK£, US$. Euro etc.). The below prices are subject to change.

Cairo (pre tour only)
Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque $30
Coptic Cairo including Coptic Museum $40
Entrance fee for Sakkara, Memphis and Dahshour $59
Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque $30
Extra entrance fee for Great Pyramids $20
Camel ride (please arrange through leader) $12 approx
Entrance fee for Mummies room at Egyptian Museum $11

Aswan
High Dam and Philae Temple $45-50 
Aswan markets $25-35
Nubian Village $25 (min 4 clients)
Swimming (beach entrance fee) $3
Camel ride $8
Kayaking (no guide) $3
Kayaking (guided) $6-12

Luxor
Hatshepsut Temple $15
Additional west bank sights $19

Tipping

  • Our local staff are paid well and fairly for their work with Exodus. However, if you wish to tip your drivers and hotel staff etc (but excluding restaurants), we recommend a group kitty of a $55-65 per person
  • To show appreciation for your tour leader, we recommend a tip of around $36 per person

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

Learn more about what sustainable travel means to Exodus Edits here…

Live Adventure, Give Adventure.

Each time you book an adventure with Edits, we’ll contribute £15 to the Inspiration Project. That’s enough money to fund a day trip for a local child. Since 2017, our guides have been taking disadvantaged children to see their country’s famous sights and you’ll help us do this more in 2020.

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

This trip includes time by a lake, river or sea, where there may be opportunities to swim. Swimming results in more tourists deaths than any other activity. All customers should always seek local advice before deciding whether to swim, and are requested to treat the sea with extreme caution if they choose to enter the water. Details on how to keep yourself safe while swimming are shown here.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

Please note, although this trip doesn’t visit any FCO no-go areas, it does visit a region close to an area where the advice is not to travel. If joining this trip, or if planning any additional travel pre or post tour in the area, you should ensure you visit their website to familiarise yourself with the advice. Any independent travel to these areas is entirely at your own risk and is likely not to be covered by your insurance.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.