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Ancient Egyptian Secrets

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Feel that familiar pull of adventure returning? There they are—the Great Pyramids of Giza. From Cairo’s ghostly monuments to a seaside paradise on the Red Sea, our expert guides will descend into the pages of history and join you in the exploration of Egypt’s ancient secrets and its legendary pharaohs. From the grandeur of Abu Simbel and a cruise down the Nile to a dinner with a local Nubian family, the mysteries of Egypt will etch themselves into your memory.

  • Partaking in daily on-site lectures with your local Egyptologist
  • Exploring some of the most famous archaeological sites in the world
  • Learning about Islamic and Christian beliefs in the Middle East
  • Snorkelling at the blue hole
  • Experiencing colourful local markets and restaurants
Duration: 15 days
Start/Finish City: Cairo to Cairo
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Discovery Adventures
Say hello to your world.

Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Ancient Egyptian Secrets (DPESD)

Day 1 Cairo

Arrive in Cairo at any time. An airport transfer is included. There are no planned activities, so check in and enjoy the city. In the evening meet our fellow group members and go over the details of the trip with the tour leader.Your tipping kitty will be collected as this time (please refer to the "tipping" section of these notes for more information) . Check the notice board to see the exact time and location of this group meeting. For late arrivals, your tour leader will leave a message for you at the front desk.

If you arrive early there are plenty of things to see and do in this amazing city. Visit the Saladin Citadel of Cairo, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, or to really get a feel for the place, get lost in the bazaars and join the locals for a coffee in a local cafe.

Day 2 Cairo (B)

Enjoy a full day learning all there is to know about Egypt's mysterious marvel - the pyramids. Aside from the well known "big three", many people are not aware that Egypt is littered with hundreds of pyramids. We begin our morning exploring some of the lesser-known, but equally fascinating sites on the outskirts of modern Cairo.

Our first stop is Saqqara, the fascinating city of the dead and home to the oldest pyramid in Egypt, Dsojer, which is a step pyramid. Pharaohs, their families and even pets were laid to rest here. We continue on to the Pyramids of Dahshur, where we get the chance to enter the red pyramid, and find out why it is one of the most mysterious and interesting pyramids in Egypt. All of this before the jewel in the crown, a visit to the famous Pyramids of Giza (with entrance into the Khafre pyramid) and the famed Sphinx.

While once located in remote desert, the Pyramids of Giza now touch the suburbs of modern Cairo. No matter how many photos or documentaries we have seen, our first glimpse of these marvels of the ancient world will take our breath away. As a qualified Egyptologist, our tour leader is able to expertly explain the facts and myths behind these three mammoth works of art. We also visit the mysterious Sphinx, with its lion’s body and man’s face. Time permitting, there may be the chance for optional activities such as: entrance to one of the two smaller pyramids, a camel ride around the pyramids or visit the fascinating Solar Boat Museum, which displays one of the pharaoh’s funerary barges.

Day 3 Alexandria (B)

After breakfast we depart Cairo and travel to the monasteries of Wadi Natrun. The history of the Wadi and its importance to Coptic Christians dates back to the fourth century AD and they constitute some of the earliest Christian monasteries in the world. We are extremely fortunate to be guided through Wadi Natrun by one of the monks who will explain the history and describe daily life for the men who call these monasteries their home. Please note that we should be modestly dressed this morning with shoulders and knees covered for our visit to the monastery.

After, we continue on to absorb some of Alexandria's charming old-world grandeur. Egypt's only Mediterranean city has a European feel and refreshing sea breezes. The afternoon is at our leisure to take a walk along the corniche, perhaps enjoying an optional seafood dinner at one of the city's many outdoor seaside restaurants before retiring to our hotel for the evening.

Estimated Travel Time:
Cairo to Alexandria, 4 hrs (plus time at the monastery)
Approximate distance: 135 Miles (215 km)

Day 4 Alexandria/Cairo (1B)

After breakfast, we check out of the hotel and visit the key historic and archeological sites in Alexandria including: Pompey’s Pillar, the Roman catacombs and amphitheatre, the Citadel of Qait Bay, the Montazah Palace and the modern Bibliotheca Alexandrina (library). We then drive back to Cairo for the night.

Estimated Travel Time:
Alexandria to Cairo, 3 hrs
Approximate distance: 135 Miles (215 km)

Day 5 Aswan (1B,1D)

Flight to Aswan. Upon arrival we check into our hotel and the morning is free to explore the riverside, city and local market. Aswan has a distinctive African feel to it. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing. Spend time strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish.

Late in the afternoon, we board a local boat, known as a felucca, to take a trip along the Nile with views of the Agha Khan Mausoleum and Kitchener Island. Named after the British general Horatio Kitchener, the island is known for its botanical garden and the exotic plants he planted there 100 years ago, which continue to flourish today. Our final stop is the home of our felucca captain on Elephantine Island, the largest of the Nile islands in this area. We take a walk through the village and fields to learn more about the life of the Nubian people, before enjoying a traditional dinner at a local families home.

Day 6 Abu Simbel/Aswan (1B,1L,1D)

We take a short early-morning flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel. Not only are the two temples located at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world, but their removal and reconstruction was also an historic event in itself. Threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser, the temples were rescued from their plight and rebuilt with the support of UNESCO. After touring the temples we transfer back to Aswan by plane.

In the afternoon, check-in to our Nile cruise boat, our floating home for the next three days and nights. We then take a tour of the ancient granite quarries where you will see the famous unfinished obelisk, and then visit the High Dam. After, return to the Nile where we take a boat ride to the Temple of Philae. This delicate temple of Isis was moved stone by stone from its ancient site (now submerged) to its present location on a Nile Island.

Our cruise ship is modern and comes with everything we need for an enjoyable few nights on the Nile. The cabins are twin-share and comfortably equipped with air-conditioning and a full ensuite bathroom. There is a dining room and bar/lounge and the entire top deck of the boat is for relaxing, swimming in the rooftop pool or just watching life on the Nile go by. The ship actually covers remarkably little distance as all ships must, by law, dock each evening. It is more in line with a "floating hotel" than a traditional cruise.

Estimated travel time:
Flight Aswan to Abu Simbel and Abu Simbel to Aswan, 30 min O/W.

Approximate distance: 175 Miles (280 km) O/W.

Day 7 Nile River Cruise (1B,1L,1D)

We continue our relaxing journey along the Nile. Today, make a shore excursion to the temple of Kom Ombo. In a scenic location, right on the banks of the Nile, Kom Ombo was dedicated to the Crocodile God and we can still view the remains of an ancient mummified crocodile, which was worshiped here thousands of years ago.

Day 8 Nile River Cruise/Luxor (1B,1L,1D)

Following breakfast, the day starts with an excursion to the temple of Edfu. In the middle of a bustling village, Edfu is the most completely preserved temple in all of Egypt and thus fascinating to wander through. We continue sailing to the town of Esna where we cross the locks before sailing on to Luxor. We overnight onboard the boat in Luxor.

Day 9 Luxor (1B)

This morning, after checking out of the ship and settling into our Luxor hotel, we take a tour of Karnak - the center of all religious life in ancient Egypt. Built and extended by successive generations of rulers, one can't help but be awed by the massive columns and painted hieroglyphs. We follow this with a tour of Luxor temple, located near the Nile and right in the center of downtown Luxor. Later, learn all there is to know about the ancient art of embalming with a visit to the world's only Mummification Museum.

Day 10 Valley of Kings/Luxor (1B,1D)

Our day starts with a visit to the exciting ancient sites located on Luxor's West Bank. We begin with the two mammoth statues of Amenophis II at the Colossi of Memnon. These statues stood at the front of a temple, which is no longer in existence. They have been famous since Greek times as they were said to have made a unique singing noise. We can even see ancient graffiti discussing this on the statues, from travelers of days past. Next stop is the famous Valley of the Kings. While the treasure is now gone, the tombs contain the most incredible paintings of the life of their encumbent and stories from the Book of the Dead. We also observe archeologists and workers, continuing in the search for new Tombs. There is also the option to visit the the Tomb of Tutankhamun, whose treasures we will see at the Egyptian Museum. We finish our day with the spectacular temple of Queen Hatshepsut, a reminder of the power women held in the Ancient Kingdom.

*If you have pre-booked the Valley of the Kings Hot Air Balloon Ride you will be flying today.

This evening we enjoy a fun dinner in a local family's home.

Day 11-13 Dahab (3B)

Today, we transfer to Luxor airport for our flight to Sharm el Sheikh. Please note, on some days there are no direct flights, in which case we will connect in Cairo. Once in Sharm el Sheikh, we transfer to the resort area of Dahab. While here we take a guided snorkel trip to the blue hole and enjoy lunch in a local cafe. Option to do a desert excursion, swim and snorkel, shop in Dahab and relax by the sea.

After all of our travels, it is time for a bit of rest and relaxation by the sea. Our resort on the outskirts of Dahab provides the perfect place, with plenty of time for snorkeling in the Red Sea, right on the resort grounds (snorkel equipment can be rented from the dive shop), swimming or just relaxing on the beach or around one of the three pools. There are regular shuttle buses into town for those who want to explore the nearby village of Dahab.

Day 14 Cairo (1B,1L)

This morning we catch our flight back to Cairo and visit the world famous Egyptian Museum. With over 10,000 pieces from every period of Egyptian history, including the treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun, the display can be a bit daunting. Our tour leader will direct us to the most important and magnificent items and there is free time for us to explore on our own. There is also the option to visit the famed Mummy Room where we can view the ancient remains of some of Egypt’s most important rulers.

After the Museum, we lunch local style at a Kusharia restaurant which features a popular Egyptian meal, mixing rice, pasta and lentils, topped with a tomato salsa and fried shallots.

In the afternoon, wander the alleyways of Khan El Khalili Bazaar, legendary for fine brassware, copper, perfumes, leather, silver, gold, antiques and more. We are sure to find a little something to take home.

Estimated Travel Time:
Dahab to Sharm el Sheikh, 2 hr
Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo, 1 hr (approx. flight time)

Approximate distance:
Dahab to Sharm el Sheikh: 65 Miles (100 km)
Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo: 365 Miles (585 km)

Day 15 Cairo (1B)

We are free to depart at any time today. Check-out time from the hotel is normally mid-morning, but luggage storage facilities are available. Our tour leader can easily assist with booking a transfer to the airport if required.

What's Included

Arrival transfer - Welcome gift - Tour the Pyramids of Giza, Sakkara and Dahshur - Entrance into Khafre pyramid - Visit to the Sphinx and Memphis - Walking tour at Wadi Naturn Monasteries - Tour of the Bibliotheca of Alexandria, Catacombs and Pompey’s Pillar - Felucca ride on the Nile - Visit a Nubian village and dinner with a local family - Tour of Abu Simbel with flight - Tour the High Dam, Philae Temple and Unfinished Obelisk quarry - Three night Nile Cruise - Tour of Kom Ombo and Edfu Temples - Walking tour of Karnak and Luxor Temples and visit to the Mummification museum - Tour the Valley of the Kings and Hatshepsut Temple - Visit the Colossi of Memnon - Dinner in a local family's home - Snorkel trip - Egyptian Museum tour - Walking tour of Khan El Khalili Bazaars.

Highlights

Partaking in daily on-site lectures with your local Egyptologist, Exploring some of the most famous archaeological sites in the world, Learning about Islamic and Christian beliefs in the Middle East, Snorkelling at the blue hole, Experiencing colourful local markets and restaurants

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.

2. A valid passport for at least 6 months is required for entry into Egypt. For most nationalities, the visa can be easily arranged at Cairo airport upon arrival - please check the visa section of these trip notes for more details.

3. As your fellow travellers are arriving from all corners of the world throughout Day 1, there are no arranged activities. Please arrange to arrive at our starting point hotel by 18:00h, for an important group meeting.

4. In Egypt, it is advisable to drink bottled water.

5. Depending on the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between July 10 to August 10, 2013. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-muslims throughout the day.

6. If you arrive a day or two early to Cairo, and wish to do some excursions, we recommend you wait until you get to the start hotel and contact our local staff/ CEO to organize any excursions you wish to do. Tourists are often over-charged for excursions bought from vendors on the street or at the airport.

7. While the trek to Mount Sinai summit is in no way technical and can be achieved by anyone of average fitness, it is a long and steady uphill walk of around 2-3 hours, depending on speed and concluding with around 500 stone stairs to the actual summit. In order to gain maximum enjoyment from your climb, you may wish to do some training before you depart. You will need to carry a daypack with water, a flash-light and lots of cold weather gear as the temperature at the summit varies starkly from that on the ground. It is possible to hire a camel to take you most of the way, but stairs to the summit must be completed by foot.

8. Looking to add to your experience? Check out our Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales agent.

Group Leader Description

All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our expert group tour leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Group leaders are experts in their region with a broad, general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local expert guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.

Please note that all of our Discovery Adventures trip leaders in Egypt are trained Egyptologists.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 12

Meals Included

14 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

Meals

Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD200-250 for meals not included

Transport

Van, minibus, plane, felucca, Nile cruise boat, walking.

About our Transportation

Our Nile cruise boat is a modern, with many of the amenities similar to a comfortable hotel. All cabins are twin/double share, with air-conditioning and private bathrooms. Services on board include large single-sitting restaurant, lounge with bar, and sun deck with small pool. Often our cruise ships are referred to as "floating hotels"as the actual distance covered sailing is small and all boats are required to dock each evening.

Our main form of on ground transportation will be comfortable A/C mini buses. While this trip is not classified as active, there is a lot of walking.

Local Flights

All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
There is only one domestic carrier in Egypt - Egypt Air.
The domestic flight maximum weight allowance for Egypt Air is 20 kg.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Comfort hotels (11 nights), Nile cruise boat (3 nights)

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

The accommodation level for most Discovery Adventure tours are comfortable, in mid-range hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses, etc. You'll often enjoy air-conditioned rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms and some amenities. Accommodation and amenities can vary by Country and region and please remember that standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Some trips may include camping, permanent tented camps or more rustic lodges, depending on the remoteness of where you are visiting. Please see your trip details for more information, specific to your tour. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.

Joining Hotel

Mercure Le Sphinx Hotel
1 , Alexandria Desert Road, Giza
Tel.:+20(0)2 33776444
Fax. :+20(0)2 33774930

Joining Instructions

An arrival transfer is included, please look for the Discovery Adventures representative, who will be holding a Discovery Adventures sign. They will meet you after you pass through customs in the arrival hall.
Unfortunately there have been cases of people mis representing themselves as Discovery Adventures representatives. For this reason we do not put individuals names on this sign. Please check that the person meeting you knows your name and the hotel you are going to.
If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.

If the Discovery Adventures representative is not there at first, please wait up to 30 minutes, and then proceed to take a taxi, or call our local staff on the below emergency number for further assistance.

A taxi should cost no more than 100-120EGP (USD17-20) and you will need to bargain with the driver to get this price. There is no need to pay any other tip/payment at the end of your taxi journey even if the driver asks for one.

Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, so you may arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day in which no activities are planned.

Your CEO will contact you at the hotel on Day 1 and make sure you are settled comfortably. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning. Your Leader will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip.

**Please note, the arrival transfer included occurs on Day 1 of the tour. If you plan to arrive prior to Day 1, you will be required to arrange pre-tour accommodation through G Adventures to be eligible for the transport from the airport. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.

AIRPORT TRANSFER 
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:

Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. 

EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Cairo, Egypt)
During office hours (Sun-Thu,10am to 6pm local time): +20 233 77 88 30 or +20 233 77 88 31
After hours Emergency number: +20 122 221 16 99 (Mohammed)

G Adventures Middle East Manager
Emergency number: : +20 122 221 16 99 -Mohammed (Cairo, Egypt)

If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.

Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Finishing Point Hotel

Mercure Le Sphinx Hotel
1 , Alexandria Desert Road, Giza
Tel.:+20(0)2 33776444
Fax. :+20(0)2 33774930

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, or sports bag, maximum 33 pounds (15kg), plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced and space on vehicles is limited. Porters are not often available, so be prepared to carry your own bags. It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings.

Checklist

Documents
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD cash
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required

Suggested
•Day pack for daily personal items
•Watch or Alarm clock
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Sun hat, Sun block, Sunglasses
•Insect Repellent
•Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
•Small towel and swim wear
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Sturdy walking shoes/Sport sandals
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Money belt
•Long Shorts or skirt
•Long trousers
•Hiking pants/track pants
•Shirts/T-shirts
•Fleece or sweater
•jacket
•Ear plugs for train journeys or light sleepers
•Pocketknife
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
• Personal female hygiene products (as they are difficult to purchase locally)
• Local Dress
•First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin, malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There is laundry available on the Nile cruiser for a fee. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

Many nationalities including all Western European and Arab countries, USA, Australia and New Zealand are able to obtain a one-month single entry visa on arrival at Cairo International airport or at the Egyptian land border.
Look for windows (marked "banks") selling these visas in the area where you line up to have your passport stamped. You need to get the visa before entering the passport line. The visa is a sticker which you need to stick into your passport before handing it to the authorities for stamping.
The cost is USD15 or equivalent in EUR/GBP. All change will be given to you in Egyptian Pounds.
Please note that for other nationalities it is necessary to organise your visa before you travel. It is vital that you check the conditions attached to your particular passport and make the necessary arrangements in advance.


All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provide the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.

Detailed Trip Notes

REGIONAL INFORMATION

Climate
The winter months in Egypt are from October to March and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from April to September and starts off with increasing dry heat and dust. It rains generally only in short downpours during the period between the beginning of November and March.

Local Currency
The official unit of currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).

Electricity
220V, 50Hz. Electric plug types come in two sizes and are standard throughout the countries. The two square pin standard plugs are acceptable in most parts of these countries.

Language
Arabic (in Egyptian dialect) is the only official language of Egypt. Many locals in tourist areas and hotel speak English.

Ramadan 2012:
Depending on the lunar cycles, around July 20th for a month. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The currency used in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).

ATMs are found within main cities in Egypt and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note, your bank will change a fee for overseas withdrawals.

Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are all easy to exchange to the Local currency. Please note that you should bring some cash with you for emergency situations but carrying only cash is a high safety risk. ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.

If you are bringing US Dollars, please make sure that the notes are new and in good condition. Notes older than 1996, or with any tears or blemishes may not be accepted. Be fussy with your bank when buying cash!

As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

No Departure tax

Tipping

Tipping ( Baksheesh )

Tipping (also widely refered to by its Arabic term as “baksheesh”) is a way of life in the Middle East. Locals themselves will usually tip anyone who provides them with services. In many cases, people depend on the tips they receive to supplement the incredibly low salary and wages of the Middle East region.

While on tour in the Middle East, it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, taxis and van drivers. Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry.

In order to make things as easy as possible, and avoid embarrassing situations, We have developed a tipping Kitty system where your CEO will collect a contribution from everybody on tour and use this kitty to tip anybody who has provided services to the group as a whole. The CEO will keep an accurate account of what was spent and any money left over, will be handed back to the group.
If at any time, you felt that any service provider failed in maintaining or delivering good service, please bring it immediately to the attention of your CEO, so a deduction of tips can take place.

A guideline for tipping is about 3-5 USD per day, depending on the quality of the service (this does not include your Discovery Adventures CEO).
On Day 1 of your tour, your CEO will be able to advise on the amount required from everybody to form the tipping kitty for your trip.

This should be paid to the CEO in day 1 of the tour. You can pay in USD or the equivalent Egyptian pound (preferably Egyptian pounds). The CEO will be able to advise you on the exchange rate and the total required in either currency.

Also at the end of your trip if you felt that your Discovery Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference, however 20-25 USD per person per week can be used as a general guideline.

Optional Activities

CUSTOMIZE YOUR ADVENTURE
Our trip designers work very hard to assemble the life-altering experiences that fill this adventure. That said, our travellers are a diverse group driven by all sorts of different tastes, motivations and interests. What’s a trip designer to do? The solution? Theme Packs! Specially designed for travellers with unique interests, theme packs are optional add-ons to your G adventures trip that make your adventure more you-centric. Theme Packs must be booked prior to departure.

Theme Packs available on this trip:

VALLEY OF THE KINGS HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
When travelling, perspective is everything. Get a god’s-eye view of ancient civilizations and rugged lanscapes with this unique balloon-based tour.

Valley of the Kings Balloon Ride
Luxor, 1-hour
Glide over the tombs and monuments of ancient Egypt aboard a hot air balloon. The wind dictates where you go and what you see, so no trip is ever the same.


Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.

It is best to pay for all activities in Egypt with Egyptian pounds. We have listed USD here only to give you a better comparative idea of prices, relative to the EGP.

Cairo

Islamic Cairo ( Sultan Hassan Mosque, Citadel & Khan El Khlaili Bazzars)
Including guided tour by CEO, private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 500 EGP /84 USD
2 -4 clients: 350 EGP per person/59 USD
5-8 clients: 305 EGP per person/51 USD
9-15 clients: 285 EGP per person/48 USD

Coptic Cairo ( Hanging Church, Abu Serga and Synagogue )
Including guided tour by CEO, private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 400 EGP /67 USD
2 -4 clients: 235 EGP per person/39 USD
5-8 clients: 190 EGP per person/31 USD
9-15 clients: 285 EGP per person/28 USD

Islamic Cairo & Coptic Cairo ( Sultan Hassan Mosque, Citadel , Khan El Khlaili Bazzars Hanging Church, Abu Serga and Synagogue)
Including guided tour by CEO, private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 650 EGP /110 USD
2 -4 clients: 400 EGP per person/67 USD
5-8 clients: 350 EGP per person/59 USD
9-15 clients: 320 EGP per person/53 USD


Sound and Light Show at the Pyramids
Including Representative , private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 380 EGP /64 USD
2 -4 clients: 240 EGP per person/40 USD
5-8 clients: 210 EGP per person/35 USD
9-15 clients: 195 EGP per person/32 USD

Dinner Cruise
Including Representative, private air-conditioned transport, cruise dinner, belly dancing and Whirling Dervish show
1 client: 450 EGP /75 USD
2 -4 clients: 350 EGP per person/59 USD
5-8 clients: 320 EGP per person/54 USD
9-15 clients: 310 EGP per person/52 USD

Camel Ride at the Pyramids
Including Camels and tipping
100 EGP per person/17 USD


Aswan

Abu Simbel Flight option - $165 USD Per person

Includes Flight between Aswan and Abu Simbel, shuttle in Abu Simbel. Passengers are responsible for their own transfer to/from the Airport in Aswan (CEO can help to arrange this), cost of ticket at the temple.

The flight is about 45 minutes - the flight option only allows for an hour of exploration of the temple, and is not escorted. The ground based trip tends to be received better by passengers, because it's fully escorted by the CEO and allows two hours in the temple.

Philae temple Sound and Light Show
Including guided tour by CEO , private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 360 EGP /60 USD
2 -4 clients: 260 EGP per person/44 USD
5-8 clients: 240 EGP per person/40 USD
9-15 clients: 225 EGP per person/37 USD


Camel Ride at the West Bank
Including Camels and tipping
100 EGP per person/17 USD

Luxor

Hot Air Balloon
Including private air conditioned transport, balloon flight , tipping
750 EGP per person/125 USD

Camel Ride at the West Bank
Including Camels and tipping
100 EGP per person/17 USD

Dahab

Camel Trek to Abu Galum & snorkeling
Including Camels , Bedouin escort , snorkeling gear , Bedouin Lunch and tipping
360 EGP per person/60 USD ( minimum 4 clients)

Dinner in Bedouin village
Including transport, dinner with Bedouins at their homes in Asslah village, tipping
200 EGP per person/35 USD ( minimum 4 clients)

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

Nothing compulsory but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, infectious hepatitis and polio. Though malaria does exist in Egypt it is not normally found in the areas where we travel.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical information pertaining to the country you are traveling to well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as a full supply of any personal medical requirements. In Asia, you will not find the same drugs as you get at home. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities. Also note that for legal reasons our Leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. For travellers over 70 years a completed Medical Form is required. Discovery Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if, in the reasonable opinion of the CEO, they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.

We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:


www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Like anywhere in the world, major cities have some areas that are safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on personal belongings.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at:

www.gadventures.com/medical-form
.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org

Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Associated Planeterra Project

Planeterra Foundation established the Planeterra Foundation Community Library and youth program in the village of El Tod, just outside of Luxor, Egypt. While El Tod is very close to the hustle and bustle of Luxor’s busy tourism trade, its residents were not benefitting from tourism. This project provides early childhood education at a very low cost for local people, as well as adult literacy classes. The Planeterra Foundation Community Library is open for G Adventures passengers to visit during their trips. If you are visiting and would like to bring a donation, this project is always accepting books in both English and Arabic for their library.

Local Dress

No short shorts/skirts. Shoulders should be covered (both men and women).

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.