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Encounters Travel
Uncover the World Travel Ltd
Leigh House
Varley Street
Leeds, LS28 6AN
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom
+44 203 725 8921
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Transport changes on Egypt tours

Posted: 06 Jan ,2016 | Updated: 06 Jan ,2016

For 2016 we have upgraded the train transport that many of our Egypt tours use between Cairo and Aswan/Luxor from the overnight ‘sitting train’ with reclining seats, to the full sleeper train. Here you get your own private lockable twin berth cabin with two large seats, fold down beds, storage locker and sink. An airline-style tray meal is included for dinner and breakfast.

The background to this change is that throughout the last year the local authorities in Egypt have not been allowing tour operators like us to book tourists onto the 'sitting train'. We have been waiting for this restriction to be lifted and also for a long awaited new sitting train to start operating. This finally started running in October, but unfortunately is not running every day and the same restrictions against agents booking foreign tourists onto it remains in place. We don't feel we can wait any longer and therefore are changing these tours to be based on the sleeper train as standard. This does increase the cost quite significantly, but it also means our travellers will no longer need to budget for a possible transport upgrade for these journeys. We are also still offering the option to upgrade to internal flights instead of the sleeper train for people who want to avoid train travel altogether.

Should the new 'sitting train' become properly available for us to book our travellers onto in the future we will do a full assessment of its operation and then reconsider whether to start using it.

Please visit Watania sleeping train company for more information on these sleeper trains.

Welcome to our new website

Posted: 23 Dec ,2015 | Updated: 23 Dec ,2015

We are delighted to share our new Encounters Travel website with you. You’ll find all our existing Encounters small-group, Overland and Shoestring tours as before. Plus we are also gradually adding our full range of Family and Tailor-made tours here too. This means you’ll be able to find everything we offer all in one place, rather than having to check our other websites as well. There is just a small sample of this tailor-made range live on the site so far, but many more tours will be added over the next few months. We’ll post updates here as they go up. All our group tour itineraries can also be run privately if required, just ask us for a quote.

We hope you like the new site and find it user friendly and helpful. We’ve tried hard to display more information, clearer maps and better images for each tour, including details on the normal hotels used.

With any new website there are going to be a few teething issues but hopefully we’ve fixed the vast majority of these already. If you do spot anything broken or that doesn’t seem to be working right, then any feedback or constructive criticism will be very thankfully received!

Finally, our thanks go to Martin and Bhupendra in particular for all their hard work over the last few months getting the site this far.

Feefo trusted merchant certificate 2015

Posted: 09 Feb ,2015 | Updated: 09 Feb ,2015

 Feefo trusted merchant certificate 2015

Local laws and customs catching British nationals out abroad

Posted: 07 Aug ,2014 | Updated: 25 Nov ,2015

FCO encourages people to be better prepared by researching the local laws and customs of their holiday destination before travel

Every year British nationals risk getting caught out by local laws and customs when travelling overseas. From driving a dirty car in Russia, to wearing camouflage clothing in Barbados, travellers could end up with a hefty fine or may even be arrested if they are caught unaware.

According to new research issued by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, while 70% of people believe that researching local laws and customs would make their holiday more enjoyable, less than half would actually make this part of their preparations when visiting somewhere new.  For those visiting places they had been to before, just 40% said they would do this research, despite the fact that local legislation and even local customs can change at any time.

In 2014, the following changes in local law were introduced:

  • Fines were increased to $500 for swearing publicly in certain parts of Australia
  • New requirements were introduced for parents travelling with children in or out of South Africa
  • E-Cigarettes are now banned from being brought into the United Arab Emirates
  • From January 2015 tourists must have passport valid for at least 60 days from expiry date of their visitor visa when travelling to Turkey

FCO Minister Mark Simmondssaid:

"It's easy to throw caution to the wind when on holiday but it's important to be aware of the local laws and customs before you set off. We want people to enjoy their holidays so we encourage them to be prepared. Laws and customs vary widely from country to country and visitors should respect them to avoid causing offence or even being arrested. Spending five minutes reading our travel advice may save travellers a lot of time in the long run."

Just last year, two British tourists were arrested for swimming in the Emperor's moat at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. This might sound like a bit of harmless fun, but their actions were the equivalent of attempting to break into Buckingham Palace - and being arrested in Japan for even a minor offence can mean remaining in custody for 23 days while awaiting an investigation.

Jaywalking in the USA, the Czech Republic and Poland; entering churches or mosques with arms or legs uncovered in Italy or Turkey; and leaving the beach still in swimwear in Mallorca and Barcelona; are just a few examples of common laws and customs broken by foreigners who didn’t research their destination before going on holiday.

How many cigarettes can you legally bring into Thailand? What equipment should you carry in your car when driving in France? What is appropriate attire to wear in public in Saudi Arabia? Wherever you are going, the FCO's travel advice pages (www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice) have a laws and customs section for each destination and are a great place to begin your research. Also take a look at our infographic for some interesting examples from around the globe.

Survey conducted by Atomik Research from a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers in July 2014

If you have any enquiries for FCO consular staff before you go or while abroad you can use the FCO's Twitter service @FCOtravel. Questions are answered 9am - 6pm BST, Monday - Friday and FCO staff aim to respond within 30 minutes. This service adds to the ways that British people travelling or living overseas can already get in touch with the FCO: by emailing our travel advice team or contacting local consular staff.

You can also keep up-to-date with the latest FCO travel advice by signing up to the FCO's Facebook and Twitter feeds: www.facebook.com/fcotravel or twitter.com/fcotravel.

Information about how the FCO can help British nationals abroad:

The FCO can:

  • Issue you with an emergency travel document
  • Provide information about transferring money
  • Provide help if you have suffered rape or serious sexual or physical assault, are a victim of crime, are ill or in hospital
  • Give you a list of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors or funeral directors
  • Contact you if you are detained abroad
  • Contact friends and family back home for you if you wish
  • Provide help in cases of forced marriage
  • Assist people affected by parental child abduction

The FCO cannot:

  • Help you enter a country if you do not have a valid passport or necessary visas
  • Give you legal advice or translate documents
  • Investigate crimes or get you out of prison
  • Get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to local people, but we will raise concerns if treatment falls below internationally recognised standards
  • Pay any bills or give you money
  • Make travel arrangements for you

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence!

Posted: 21 May ,2014 | Updated: 31 Dec ,2015


Recognised as a Top Performing Tour Operator as Reviewed by Travelers on the World's Largest Travel Site

United Kingdom - 21, May, 2014 - ENCOUNTERS TRAVEL today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide.
Establishments awarded the Certificate of Excellence are located all over the world and represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the website.

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings. Businesses must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, volume and recency of reviews. Additional criteria include a business' tenure and popularity ranking on the site.

"TripAdvisor is pleased to honor exceptional hospitality businesses for consistent excellence," said Marc Charron, President of TripAdvisor for Business. "The Certificate of Excellence award gives top performing establishments around the world the recognition they deserve, based on feedback from those who matter most - their customers. From Australia to Zimbabwe, we want to applaud exceptional hospitality businesses for offering TripAdvisor travellers a great customer experience."

Why choose us?

  • Financial security for your peace of mind througn ATOL & financial failure insurance
  • Members of ABTA (Y4447)
  • Airport transfers included
  • Encounters with local cultures and like-minded travellers
  • No local payment as part of tour price
  • Tours designed by experts
  • Itineraries that don’t cut corners or costs at your expense
  • Clear info provided on entrance fees & local costs
  • The best industry renowned guides
  • Every booking contributes to local projects
  • Great value for money!