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Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated: August 30, 2013
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Introduction

Ancient wonders, bustling markets and rugged mountain views—experience the best of Egypt's history and culture on this budget adventure. Sail the Nile and wander through the temples and tombs of the Valley of the Kings. Of course, you'll witness the magnificence of the pyramids, but you can also climb Mt Sinai and relax at the beachside village of Dahab along the Red Sea. While you're free to choose your own adventure, your accommodation and transportation are included and our expert CEOs will help you make the most of your time spent in this ancient region.

  • Shopping in bazaars
  • Taking an overnight felucca journey with support boat
  • Exploring ancient temples and city streets
  • Relaxing at the Red Sea
  • Dining with the locals in a Nubian village.
Duration: 15 days
Start/Finish City: Cairo to Cairo
Service Level: Basic
  • Excellent value, amazing prices, quality experiences
  • Simple and clean hotels, guesthouses and hostels chosen for location and character
  • Affordable public and private transport for maximum cultural interaction
  • Plenty of optional activities tailored to your interests and budget
Physical Grading: 3
Trips may include activities like hiking, biking, rafting or kayaking. No sweat, right?
Travel Style: Yolo
Adventures for 18 to thirty somethings

Designed for young, budget-minded travellers, Yolo trips maximize time and money by squeezing the most out of a destination. This ain't your typical big-bus tour, though. Small groups, insider access and personal freedom to follow the whim of the moment are the order of the day, every day.

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 Egypt on a Shoestring (DPRE)

Day 1 Cairo

You are welcome to arrive in Cairo at any time, as today is a designated arrival day with no planned activities. Please note that there will be an important welcome meeting this evening at our joining hotel. Please check the hotel notice board for more information on the location of this meeting or ask at reception. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to this meeting, as you will be required to fill out some important pre-trip admin documents. Your tipping kitty will be collected as this time (please refer to the "tipping" section of these notes for more information).After learning more about our tour and plans for the following day, you are welcome to join our leader and your travelling companions for an optional dinner nearby.

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.

If this is your first visit to Cairo, we highly recommend that you book an airport transfer (please refer to the joining instructions section of tour dossier for more information).

Day 2-3 Cairo (2B)

Begin the day with one of the real highlights of any visit to Egypt, a visit to the three pyramids of Giza. Please note that while transport and the services of your tour leader are included, entrance fees are not. While once located in remote desert, they now touch the suburbs of modern Cairo. No matter how many photos or documentaries you have seen, your first glimpse of these marvels of the ancient world will take your breath away. As a qualified Egyptologist, your tour leader is able to expertly explain the facts and myths behind these three mammoth works of art. You will also visit the mysterious Sphinx with its lion’s body and man’s face.

Time permitting there might be the chance to see inside one of the two smaller pyramids, take a ride around the pyramids on camel back or visit the fascinating Solar Boat Museum with displays on one of the pharaoh’s funerary barges - it may just be the oldest boat in existence! (NB. Extra entrance fees apply to all of these sites/activities)

There will be time to grab a quick lunch before our afternoon visit to the 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. Your Tour Leader will direct you to the most important and magnificent items. There is also plenty of free time for you to explore on your own, including a chance to visit the famed Mummy Room where you can view the ancient remains of some of Egypt’s most important rulers (NB extra entrance charges apply).

On Day 3, explore Islamic Cairo on foot. Let your CEO take you down bustling alleyways where life has changed little and streets are still named after their ancient crafts. Take the chance to wander inside a mosque and learn more about Egypt's principal religion. Take the chance to try a local lunch - Egyptian pizza is always a favourite! In the afternoon, wander the alleyways of Khan El Khalili Bazaar, legendary for fine brass ware, copper, perfumes, leather, silver, gold, antiques and more. You are sure to find a little something to take home!

In the evening of Day 3, transfer to the railway station to board our overnight train to Aswan. Accommodation on the sleeper train is in comfortable twin-share bunk-bed compartments with lockable doors. The beds convert into seats when not in use and luggage is stored under the bottom bunk. Bedding is provided and there is a small wash basin with soap and a towel provided. Shared toilet facilities are at the end of each carriage. A simple “airline style” dinner is provided, but most guests prefer to eat before boarding the train. Non-alcoholic drinks are available to purchase and there is a bar car for socialising. In the morning you will be brought a simple continental style breakfast around two hours before arrival.

Estimated Travel Time:
Cairo to Aswan, 12hrs (overnight train)

Day 4-5 Aswan (1B,1D)

Our train is due to arrive in Aswan early in the morning, but as ever we should be prepared for "Egypt time"! Beautiful Aswan has a distinctively African feel to it. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting right on the banks of the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing.

This evening we head over to Elephantine Island where our local friend will take us on a walk around his village before enjoying a traditional dinner at a local home. This is an unmissable experience - a great chance to find out more about life in this fascinating culture, as well as partaking in a delicious home cooked meal.

In the meantime there is much to keep you occupied in Aswan. Explore the souk, full of the scent and colour of spices, perfumes, scarves and baskets or perhaps visit the modern Nubian Museum to learn more about Aswan's local people. Hire a local captain and take a ride to 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, and which continue to flourish today. Cross by local ferry to the opposite shore (west bank), where the cliffs are peppered with tombs of the local Pharaonic-era nobles and dignitaries. There are usually camel owners waiting here who will be only too happy to take you on a tour to the ruins of the sixth century Coptic monastery of St. Simeon. Upriver the hilltop is crowned with the beautiful tomb of Mohammed Shah Aga Khan, who died in 1957. It is known locally as the Tomb of the Aga Khan.

Aswan was the source of marble extraction for much of ancient Egypt's grand buildings. Close to town, in one of these ancient quarries lies a gigantic unfinished Obelisk half cut out of the local stone. Just to the south of this, two Graco-Roman sarcophagi and an unfinished colossus remain half buried in the sand. It is possible to take a half-day tour to visit the Unfinished Obelisk, the High Dam and the island Temple of Philae. Ask your tour leader for more details.

If you have purchased the Temple of Abu Simbel Overland Theme Pack, you will visit the temple on Day 4. Leaving Aswan at around 4am you travel deep into the desert to the site of these enormous temples, on the shores of Lake Nasser. You can spend around two hours at the temples and then return to Aswan by about 12pm. The round trip drive is around 5-6 hours.

Overnight in Aswan (2 nights).

Day 6-7 Nile River (2B,2L,2D)

This is truly the life as we board our feluccas to spend the next two days out on the river and nights under the stars. All meals are provided by our Nubian crew. Drinks, including beer, wine, water and soft drinks are available for you to purchase.

Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and blankets are provided, but if you prefer something between you and the blankets, you will need a sleep sheet/sleeping bag liner of your own). Please note that the Felucca itself does not have toilets or showers, however we will have access to a private support boat, travelling in close proximity to our Felucca. This support boat is equipped with toilets and a shower (please bring a towel) and an area to eat your meals, leaving you stress free to enjoy this tranquil and traditional experience on the Nile.

Overnight on board our felucca (2 nights).

Day 8-10 Luxor (3B)

Our felucca journey concludes at the town of Kom Ombo where there is the chance to visit its temple (entry fee not included). In a scenic location, right on the banks of the Nile, Kom Ombo was dedicated to the Crocodile God and you can still view the remains of an ancient mummified crocodile, which was worshipped here thousands of years ago.

We continue on travelling by private bus towards Luxor, stopping en route at the town of Edfu. In the middle of a bustling village, Edfu Temple is the most completely preserved temple in all of Egypt and thus fascinating to wander through (entrance fee not included). Then we will have the possibility to visit the Planeterra Foundation community library. Supported by G Adventures, this project provides affordable early childhood education for local people, as well as adult literacy classes. Feel free to bring along a donation, such as books in both English and Arabic to help grow their library resources.

On arrival in Luxor this afternoon, we check-in to our hotel and the remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore. Why not hire a horse and carriage (calèche) and take yourself off for an orientation tour. Perhaps take a wander through the bazaar or just relax at a cafe with a small, strong local coffee.

Day 9 is free to explore all that Luxor has to offer.

Why not cross to the West Bank and travel by "Egyptian Mercedes", otherwise known as a donkey! Be amazed at the mammoth eighteen-metre high Colossi of Memnon, which are all that remain of an ancient temple. Descend down the narrow rock-hewn corridors and experience the magnificent decoration and design of the tombs of the Pharaohs at the Valley of the Kings . Testament to the power of the queens in ancient Egypt, the impressive Funerary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut seems to rise out of the surrounding limestone outcrops.

Perhaps ride a bike or catch one of the numerous taxis to the impressive Temple of Karnak, the centre of all religious life in ancient Egypt. Built and extended by successive generations of rulers, you can't help but be awed by the massive columns and painted hieroglyphs.

You can’t miss Luxor temple, located near the Nile and right in the centre of downtown Luxor, it is beautifully lit up at night. Why not find out all there is to know about the ancient art of embalming with a visit to the world's only Mummification Museum or head into Luxor’s bustling bazaar to search out a bargain. The Luxor Museum is a small but beautifully presented exhibition of some of this region’s treasures. In the evening, why not head out to a restaurant for a local dinner and finish up with a coffee and sheesha pipe at one of the many cafes.

Please refer to the optional activities section of these notes for more approximate costs for these optional activities during your time in Luxor.

*If you have pre-booked the Valley of the Kings Hot Air Balloon Ride you will be flying on Day 9.

Overnight in Luxor (2 nights).

Estimated Travel Time: Kom Ombo to Luxor, 4 hrs (including temple visits)

Day 11-13 Hurghada (3B)

After all of our travels, it is time for a bit of rest and relaxation by the beach. The chilled out town of Hurghada provides the perfect location, with plenty of time for snorkelling in the Red Sea, swimming, or just relaxing at one of the many beach side cafes.

*Note: We previously visited Dahab, Mt Sinai and St Catherine's Monastery as part of this itinerary but have now removed these places from the itinerary due to safety reasons.

Estimated Travel Time: Luxor to Hurghada, 6 hrs

Day 14 Cairo (1B)

Today we make our way back to the capital. Celebrate your wonderful journey with a drink at one of Cairo's atmospheric old hotels and afterwards, perhaps enjoy dinner and a show while floating down the Nile.

Estimated Travel Time: Hurghada to Cairo, 5.5 hrs

Day 15 Cairo (1B)

You are free to depart at any time today. Please note that check-out time from the hotel is normally mid-morning, but luggage storage facilities are available. We are able to organise extra post-trip accommodation if you wish to extend your stay for a few more days. Please ask at the time of booking.

What's Included

Transport and guide for Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza, Transport and guide for Egyptian Museum, Nubian dinner, Felucca sailing trip (with support boat), Kom Ombo and Edfu temples, Walking tour in Islamic Cairo, .
Please notes that no entrance fees are included. Please see optional activities section of these notes for more information on prices.

Highlights

Shopping in bazaars, taking an overnight felucca journey with support boat, exploring ancient temples and city streets, relaxing at the Red Sea, dining with the locals in a Nubian village.

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. No entrance fees are included on this tour. Please refer to the Optional Activities section of these notes for more information on costs.

2. If you arrive a day or two early in Cairo and wish to do some excursions, we recommend that you wait until you get to the joining hotel and contact our local staff for more information on available tours and excursions. Tourists are frequently over-charged for excursions bought from vendors on the street or at the airport.

3. Please be aware that there are some long driving days on this tour. You can refer to the detailed trip itinerary for more information on estimated travel times. Please note that any times mentioned are approximations only to give you an idea of the journey lengths and the actual time taken will depend on factors such as public transport timetables and road conditions. A mix of private and public transport is used throughout this trip.

4. 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.

5. Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and blankets are provided, but if you prefer something between you and the blankets, you will need a sleep sheet/sleeping bag liner of your own). Please note that the Felucca itself does not have toilets or showers, however we will have access to a private support boat, travelling in close proximity to our Felucca. This support boat is equipped with toilets and a shower (please bring a towel) and an area to eat your meals, leaving you stress free to enjoy this tranquil and traditional experience on the Nile. Feluccas are traditional wind-driven sailing craft, and therefore subject to the unpredictability of wind, weather and river traffic conditions on the Nile. We will do our best to follow published itineraries, but they must be considered tentative in all cases. We reserve the right to modify or cancel any sailing itinerary as conditions warrant. In case of insufficient wind, weather danger or difficult river traffic conditions on the Nile or through the Nile locks, we reserve the right to transport passengers between some sites by motor vehicle on land, in order to be able to keep up with the itinerary.

6. Looking to add to your experience? Check out our 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, please see details in our optional activities field and ask you sales CEO.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group 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. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local 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.

Group Size Notes

Max 16, avg 10.

Meals Included

12 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners.

Meals

Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD240-315 for meals not included

Transport

Private van, train, felucca

About our Transportation

The means of transportation mentioned in the itinerary might change en route due to availability or other unexpected events leading to possible delays or slight itinerary changes (rare).

Please note that accommodation on the sleeper train is in comfortable twin-share bunk-bed compartments with lockable doors. The beds convert into seats when not in use and luggage is stored under the bottom bunk. Bedding is provided and there is a small wash basin with soap and a towel provided. Shared toilet facilities are at the end of each carriage. A simple “airline style” dinner is provided, but most guests prefer to eat before boarding the train. Non Alcoholic Drinks are available to purchase and there is a bar car for socialising.

On this trip we will use local buses and trains for intercity transport and some private vehicles. Please be prepared to carry your own bags short distances (15-20mins max) between hotels and transport, as well as to lift your bags on and off buses and trains. Please note that there is often limited luggage storage space on public transport.

Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and blankets are provided, but if you prefer something between you and the blankets, you will need a sleep sheet/sleeping bag liner of your own). Please note that the Felucca itself does not have toilets or showers, however we will have access to a private support boat, travelling in close proximity to our Felucca. This support boat is equipped with toilets and a shower (please bring a towel) and an area to eat your meals, leaving you stress free to enjoy this tranquil and traditional experience on the Nile.

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

Simple hotels (11 nts), overnight sleeper train (1 nt), felucca with support boat for toilet/showers (2 nts)

My Own Room Exceptions

Nights 2 and 9 Overnight train; Nights 5-6, Felucca sail

About Accommodation

This trip has a "Basic" Service Level grading. The accommodation is clean and centrally located but very, very simple. Your room will have an en suite bathroom, air conditioning and a simple breakfast will be provided.

Please note that accommodation on the sleeper train is in comfortable twin-share bunk-bed compartments with lockable doors. The beds convert into seats when not in use and luggage is stored under the bottom bunk. Bedding is provided and there is a small wash basin with soap and a towel provided. Shared toilet facilities are at the end of each carriage. A simple “airline style” dinner is provided, but most guests prefer to eat before boarding the train. Non Alcoholic Drinks are available to purchase and there is a bar car for socialising.

Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and make for an extremely relaxing and enjoyable way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and blankets are provided, but if you prefer something between you and the blankets, you will need a sleep sheet/sleeping bag liner of your own). Please note that the Felucca itself does not have toilets or showers, however we will have access to a private support boat, travelling in close proximity to our Felucca. This support boat is equipped with toilets and a shower (please bring a towel) and an area to eat your meals, leaving you stress free to enjoy this tranquil and traditional experience on the Nile.

Joining Hotel

Happy City Hotel فندق هابى سيتى
92 C, Mohamed Farid Street رقم 92 ج شارع محمد فريد - وسط البلد
Down Town, Cairo
Tel: +20 2-3959222

Joining Instructions

If this is your first visit to Cairo, we highly recommend that you book an airport transfer. Unfortunately there are quite a number of scams and rackets waiting to greet new arrivals, and they begin at the airport.

Upon arrival, please make your way to the joining hotel. We recommend that you exit the airport before finding a taxi and negotiate directly with the driver. Official airport taxis cost 120 EGP but you should be able to find a regular taxi to take you for between 100 to 120 EGP (approx USD 17-20). The drive can take anywhere between 20 minutes and 1 hour depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions. Taxis do not have meters and you should expect to bargain with the driver and make sure you fix a price before you get into the car and set off. Do not pay more than the agreed price (unless it is a small tip for good service).

There will also be "limosine" service available which will inevitably cost more.

If you have a pre-booked transfer, please look for the G Adventures representative, who will be holding a G Adventures sign at the arrival halls.
Unfortunately there have been cases of people mis representing themselves as G Adventures representatives. Please check that your driver knows your name and the hotel you are going to. If in doubt ask them to ring their manager to confirm your transfer.
If you are unable to locate our G Adventures representative, please wait up to 30 minutes call our local staff on our emergency number, or take a taxi to the joining point hotel.

IMPORTANT: If your flight is delayed arriving into Cairo by more than 1 hour, please call the 24 hour emergency number to update us with your new arrival time. If you are unable to contact us and your flight is delayed by more than 1 hour, please follow the instructions below and take a taxi to your joining point hotel. Please bargain for your taxi and do not pay more than 120 EGP (approx USD 17-20).

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. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.

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 Instructions

We are able to organise extra accommodation post-trip should you require it. Please enquire at the time of booking.

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Suggested Items:
•Sleeping sheet(most of the year) or sleeping bag (winter departures) Blankets are provided o the felucca and at the beach camp, but may not provide enough warmth in winter for some clients
•Eye mask and ear plugs (for overnight trains)
•Light fleece top
•Light windproof/waterproof jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•Sun hat
•Personal clothing for mild to hot weather. Ladies may wish to pack a sports bra for your donkey ride.
(See also "What to Take" and "Local Dress" sections of this dossier)
•Hiking boots/sturdy walking shoes
•Flashlight/headlamp
•Sport sandals
•Sunblock
•Sunglasses
•Toiletries (biodegradable)
•Watch or alarm clock
•Water bottle
•Purification tablets or filter
•Pocketknife
•Money belt
•First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, bandaids, anti-histamine,
Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, insect
repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)

**Please note: Unfortunately there is no sleeping bag hire available in Egypt**

Optional Items:
•Camera and film
•Reading/writing material
•Binoculars
•Cover for backpacks

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

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. 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

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.

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 (follow directions to the visa payment desk on arrival at the terminal and have your cash ready) or at the Egyptian land border. 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.

Detailed Trip Notes

REGIONAL INFORMATION

Important Note on US Dollars
US Dollars that are series 1996 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in regions of East and Southern Africa, as there are a lot of forgeries in circulation.

Climate
The winter months are from October to March and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from April to September and is characterized by an increasing dry heat and dust. It rains generally only in short bursts in the period from the beginning of November until March.

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

Electricity
Egypt uses 220V, 50Hz and plugs are two-pronged rounded.

Language
Arabic (in Egyptian dialect) is the official language of Egypt.

Ramadan 2012:
Depending on the lunar cycles, around 20th July 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

Departure tax is usually included in your air tickets. If you depart Egypt via Nuweiba Port, there is a departure tax of approximately 9 USD.

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, G Adventures has 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 G 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 G 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 brochure. 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.

TEMPLE OF ABU SIMBEL OVERLAND
Aswan, Half-day tour
Witness the Imperial Majesty of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, one of Egypt’s grandest temples and most treasured monuments.
When travelling, perspective is everything. Get a god’s-eye view of ancient civilizations and rugged lanscapes with this unique bus-based tour.

Other optional activities:

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

Saqqara & Memphis
Including guided tour by CEO, private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 515 EGP /86 USD
2 -4 clients: 365 EGP per person/61 USD
5-8 clients: 320 EGP per person/53 USD
9-15 clients: 300 EGP per person/50 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


Dahshur and Maidum
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


Alexandria over day trip
Including entrance fees to (National museum, Catacombs, Pompay’s Pillar, Fort Qauitbey) , guided tour by CEO ,private air-conditioned transport from and back to Cairo and tipping.
1 client: 950 EGP /160 USD
2 -4 clients: 560 EGP per person/95 USD
5-8 clients: 480 EGP per person/80 USD
9-15 clients: 450 EGP per person/75 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
Including guided tour by CEO , private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 335 EGP /57 USD
2 -4 clients: 235 EGP per person/40 USD
5-8 clients: 215 EGP per person/36 USD
9-15 clients: 200 EGP per person/33 USD


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


Aswan day tour ( Philae temple, Unfinished Obelisk, High Dam)
Including guided tour by CEO , private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 450 EGP /75 USD
2 -4 clients: 300 EGP per person/50 USD
5-8 clients: 270 EGP per person/45 USD
9-15 clients: 255 EGP per person/42 USD

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

Luxor

Karnak Temple
Including guided tour by CEO , private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 320EGP /54 USD
2 -4 clients: 210 EGP per person/35 USD
5-8 clients: 190 EGP per person/32 USD
9-15 clients: 180 EGP per person/30 USD

East bank tour ( Karnak temple & Luxor temple)
Including guided tour by CEO ,private air-conditioned transport, entrance fees and tipping
1 client: 370 EGP /62 USD
2 -4 clients: 260 EGP per person/43 USD
5-8 clients: 240 EGP per person/40 USD
9-15 clients: 230 EGP per person/38 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 Aslsah 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.

DRINKING WATER: It is advisable to drink bottled water in Egypt.

There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, 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 travel information before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes, as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.

Please note that your adventure travels to high altitude. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000ft (2,440m). Most people can travel to 8,000ft with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are affected on your adventure, please consult your physician.

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 areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your 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

While visiting mosques and other religious monuments you should dress modestly, cover your shoulders and you shouldn't wear short shorts or skirts. Outside of capital cities and the more touristic centres, local dress is often more conservative and as a matter of respect we ask that both men and women are aware of this and recommend loose-fitting clothes with your shoulders covered. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and 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. Please visit http://www.gadventures.com/evaluations

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.