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TREASURES OF THE NILE

Price from
US$4,459
(per person)
Duration
8
Days
Tour Type
Escorted

HIGHLIGHTS

Great Pyramids & Sphinx in Cairo, Valley of the Kings & Karnak Temple in Luxor, Luxury 5-star Nile Cruise, Nile temples of Edfu & Komombo, Beautiful island Temple of Philae, Eclectic Egyptian Museum in Cairo
COUNTRIES : Egypt

This fully escorted tour visits Egypt, one of the World's most iconic tourist destinations. You'll enjoy a luxurious 5-star Nile cruise visiting all the most famous pharaonic sites as you cruise along the mighty River Nile. You'll also visit the awe inspiring Great Pyramids and enigmatic Sphinx in Gisa.

Meet your Escort guide and tour group 3 hours prior to departure from Auckland International Airport and take a flight to Cairo, Egypt. Departures from other airports, including Sydney, Australia, are also available but will not be escorted on the flight.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On flight

Upon arrival in Cairo airport we will be met by our ground staff who will assist with visa formalities and collecting your luggage. You'll then transfer across Cairo to your hotel, located right at the foot of the pyramids. The rest of the day is free for you to rest and recover from the flight. An optional sound and light show is available to be booked locally this evening for those interested (subject to your flight arrival time).

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo - 5-star hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Single room supplement (EGETTN), Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour

Your tour of Egypt begins with a visit to the Giza Plateau, site of Egypt's world famous Great Pyramids, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. We visit the great Pyramids of Giza and the ever enigmatic Sphinx, Memphis-first capital of the ancient kingdom to see the statue of Ramses II, then to Sakkara to see Zoser's Step pyramid.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo 5-star hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Nile dinner cruise in Cairo

This morning we transfer to Cairo airport for an early flight to Luxor. Upon arrival in Luxor we begin with a tour of the West bank of the Nile including the Colossi of Memnon and plenty of time to explore the acient Pharaoh's tombs in the famous Valley of the Kings. We also take time to visit the Temple of Queen Hatchepsut and to view the colourful hieroglyphics at Medinat Habu temple before. The afternoon is free to enjoy time on board your 5-star Nile cruise boat or to explore Luxor's mazy markets. In the evening we enjoy a walking tour of the beautiful Luxor Temple, which comes alive when lit up at night.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board 5-star cruise boat
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For anyone wishing to experience Luxor from a different perspective, this morning there is a chance to take a spectacular sunrise hot air balloon flight over the West bank of the Nile. After breakfast we head out to the huge temple complex of Karnak with its towering columns and many temples and statues - often referred to as the largest open air museum in the world! In the afternoon we start sailing up the Nile, through the lock at Esna and on to Edfu where we overnight.

Note: Nile cruise boat itineraries are subject to slight alterations en-route)

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board 5-star cruise boat
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Hot air balloon in Luxor

After breakfast we explore the nearby Edfu Temple which is dedicated to the hawk-headed god Horus. We continue upriver towards Kom Ombo, enjoying the sight of traditional rural Egyptian life as it passes us by on the banks of the Nile. If the heat get too much, why not try a relaxing soak in the plunge pool on the boat's sun deck. At Kom Omombo we visit the temple, which sits on the banks of the Nile and houses mummified crocodiles amongst other things! We then cruise onwards to Aswan.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board 5-star cruise boat
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we start the day in Aswan with a tour to the island temple of Philae, stopping of at the massive Aswan High Dam en-route. The Philae temple is one of Egypt's most romantic and beautiful sites having been completely deconstructed and relocated after the building of the Dam. The rest of the day is free for you to explore the colourful souks and markets or enjoy sunset over the River Nile, which is at its most picturesque around Aswan. You also have the option for and early morning drive to the World Heritage Site of Abu Simbel to view the fabulous temples to Ramses II, which, like Philae Temple, were dismantled, moved and reconstructed when Lake Nasser was flooded.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On board 5-star cruise boat
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • EXTRAS:
    Abu Simbel overland, Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

This morning we transfer to Aswan airport for a flight back to Cairo. On arrival in Cairo we transfer into town and visit the Egyptian Museum, the world-famous Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Accompanied by your local Egyptologist, you'll wander through the many rooms as he highlights each historical period of this ancient land. The afternoon is kept free to enjoy some last minute souvenir shopping or to take some optional half day tours, such as a visit to the Khan Al-Khalili bazaar, alive with the hustle and bustle of daily Egyptian life OR discover some of Cairo's many churches & synagogues by taking an old Coptic Cairo tour.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cairo - 5-star hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Nile dinner cruise in Cairo

Today is free for more last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. You can also extend the tour to visit the Red Sea, take a day trip to the coastal city of Alexandria or head into the desert to the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales, or take a few more days to explore the Western Deserts and camp out amongst the weird rock formations in the White Desert.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    On flight
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Alexandria day trip, Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales), Extra day in Cairo - post-tour

Your overnight flight will take you back home to Australia/New Zealand.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
Included:
  • International flights from Auckland or Sydney
  • Domestic flights Cairo-Luxor and Aswan-Cairo
  • All accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private a/c vehicle (unless stated otherwise)
  • English speaking escort for the duration of the tour (Auckland-Auckland)
  • Professional Egyptologist guide for all sightseeing tours
  • Entrance fees (NZD 125) Tipping kitty (NZD 90)
  • Egypt visa fee (USD 25)
  • 1 bottle of mineral water per day
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (eg. laundry)
  • Tour guide tips
  • Any other items not mentioned above
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
mena-house-cairo.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Mena House Hotel
Cairo, Egypt

Overlooking the Pyramids, this luxury hotel is split into the tradition Palace wing and more modern Garden wing, and includes a full range of services.


Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

The Mena House is a luxurious palace hotel which was originally built in 1869 as a hunting lodge by the King of Egypt. It is a very historic hotel which is reflected in the traditional Arabesque furnishings, original artwork and antiques found throughout. It has a newly rennovated garden wing and the largest swimming pool in Cairo with unrivalled views of the Pyramids in the background. There is a variety of international and Egyptian cuisine on offer at the many restaurants and bars within the hotel.

This hotel is one of our favourites in the whole of Egypt, and we use it on many of our tours with our Luxury comfort rating. 

Location:

The hotel is set in 40 acres of gardens just a few hundred metres from the Pyramid of Cheops and only 15 kilometers from Cairo. It is about a 30-45 minute drive to the city centre and a 45 minute drive to the airport.

Accommodation:

The Mena House has 498 rooms located in the Palace and Garden wings and  25 Cabana style rooms by the pool. All rooms are spacious and are furnished in traditional Arabesque style. 15 of the palace rooms and 145 of the garden rooms have views of the Pyramids. We use Garden Wing rooms as the standard option when we use this hotel, but rooms in the Palace Wing and/or Pyramid View rooms are available on request at a supplement. There are also non-smoking rooms available.
All rooms have either king-size or twin beds, are air-conditioned and have their own balcony and en-suite marble bathrooms equipped with a full range of personal toiletries, bathrobes and king size bathtubs.  There is also a mini-bar, satellite TV, hair dryer, direct-dial telephone and electrical sockets in every room for charging cameras, phones etc.. 24 hour room service is also available.

Bars & Restaurants:

There are a number of restaurants to choose from within the hotel including the famous Moghul Room which offers the very best in Indian cuisine and the Khan el Khalili, named after the famous Cairo bazaar which serves both Egyptian and continental dishes and is open 24-hours a day.

The Al Rubayyat restaurant was built in 1869 and was the original hunting lodge. It is a fantastic room to eat in, and serves Continental cuisine and has live entertainment every evening. There is also the Greenery which is a Mediterranean style restaurant situated in the Garden Wing offering buffet style breakfast and dinner. For snacks and light refreshments there is the Oasis poolside coffee shop.
Also within the hotel are several bars. There is the Sultan lounge where you can enjoy cocktails along with views of the Pyramids and the Mamlouk bar which is open from 5pm until 2am. You can then finish off the evening at either the Saddle disco or Abu Nawars nightclub both of which are open until 2am.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a very large outdoor pool with views of the Pyramids and is also the only hotel in Cairo to have its own 18-hole golf course. There is a fitness centre, 2 floodlit tennis courts, jogging track and horseback riding available from the stables. Within the hotel there is also a bank, hair & beauty salon, shopping arcade and a casino. This hotel is not best suited for families with younger children as the pool doesn't have many shallow areas and there are not many children's facilities available (we recommend Le Meridien Pyramids for families with children).

Other services include:

  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Luggage Store Room
  • Doctor (on call)
  • Laundry and Dry Cleaning
  • Ironing service
  • Business Centre
  • Concierge Desk
  • Wheelchair access
  • Babysitting (on request)
nile-cruiseboat-luxor.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Nile Cruiseboat
Luxor, Egypt

A luxury Nile Cruise boat is a superbly appointed, floating, 5-star hotel. The cruise boat has many of the facilities of a normal hotel, including restaurants, bars, shops, a relaxing sun deck and swimming.


Nile Cruise boats are superbly appointed, floating, 5-star hotels featuring a restaurant, bars, shops, a relaxing sun deck and small swimming pool. Buffet breakfasts, lunches and evening meals featuring different cuisines are all included (though beverages and bottled water are not). You will have your own en-suite, AC cabin with large, panoramic opening windows to enjoy the view of the river while you sail. Single cabin supplements apply.

Our Egyptologist guides travel on board with you. This means you do the sightseeing tours in a small group with travellers and a guide you know, rather than joining one of the large boat groups. The guide can also help with any problems with your cabin, dietary requirements, or just to sit and talk about Egypt with you. They will often volunteer to give short lectures about both ancient and modern Egypt in the evenings to those interested.

Nile cruise itineraries are slightly flexible, mainly depending on the time passing through the lock at Esna. Some sailing may be done after dark, and boats may need to moor alongside each other at night. Gala dinner supplements may be added to our prices if you are on board on Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve.

nile-palace-luxor.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Steigenberger Nile Palace Hotel
Luxor, Egypt

This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001. It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor.


Note: The following information is provided from our own visits & research, the hotel itself, and our clients' experience of using the hotel.

Introduction:

This hotel, formerly Le Meridien Luxor, is a modern hotel built in 2001.  It is ideally situated right on the banks of the Nile and is within easy reach of all the major sites of Luxor. The hotel has views of the Nile and the Valley of the Kings on the opposite bank. The outdoor pool, restaurants, cafes and shops are all located in a central courtyard area.

The location and the high standards within the hotel make this one of our first choice hotels for stays in Luxor on our small-group tours, and for private & tailor-made trips (together with the Sonesta St. George hotel).

Location:

The hotel is centrally located next to the Nile in the heart of the tourist area of Luxor with shops and bazaars within a short walk. It is just 1.5 kilometres from the train station and 10 kilometres/15 minutes from Luxor International airport.

Accommodation:

The hotel offers excellent standards of accommodation and the rooms are spacious and modern. The 302 rooms and suites are located on 6 floors built around the courtyard. The standard rooms overlook Luxor or the courtyard area and upgrades to Nile view rooms are available on request for a small supplement. There are also disabled and non-smoking rooms available.

All rooms have deluxe en-suite bathroom, private balcony, air-conditioning, Satellite TV, mini-bar, safety deposit box, telephone, hairdryer and electrical sockets.

Bars & Restaurants:

The hotel has a number of bars and restaurants to choose from. The main hotel restaurant is the Nubia which is open from 6.00-10.00 am for breakfast and then 6.00-10.00pm for dinner, serving local and international dishes. There are two other restaurants within the hotel which are open for both lunch and dinner. These are the Casa de Napoli Italian restaurant serving pizza and pasta and El Tarboush serving Lebanese dishes.

For light meals and snacks during the day there is the Tropicana poolside bar and the Cafe des Delices which is located in the courtyard.
In the evening there is the Nile bar & lounge, which is open until 2.00am, and you can enjoy views of the Nile while trying out the various cocktails on offer.

Pasha's Pub also has views of the Nile and has regular evening entertainment.

Facilities & Services:

The freeform outdoor pool which is heated in winter has views of the River Nile and the Valley of the Kings and is the perfect place to relax after a day spent sightseeing or exploring Luxor. Guests also have free use of the leisure centre and gym within the hotel and other activities such as golf are available nearby. The are various shops within the hotel including gift and souvenir shops, a beauty salon and foreign exchange services.

Other services include:

  • 24-hour room service
  • Babysitting (on request)
  • 24hr Concierge Service
  • Laundry Service
  • Business centre
  • Porters
  • Games room
  • Library
  • Lifts

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you're visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (EGETTN)
Price from
US$419
per person



Single room supplement (EGETTN)
Min numbers: 1 person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares may be available but the supplement is payable if a room share cannot be arranged.


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will see if we can pair you up with another single traveller of the same sex. If a room share is not available when you book then we will add the single room supplement to your booking and it will be payable with your balance payment unless we have arranged a room share for you by then. If a room share is arranged after you have paid the supplement then we will refund it to you. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour
Price from
US$49
per person



Extra day in Cairo - pre-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
Price from
US$49
per person



Extra day in Cairo - post-tour
Min numbers: 1 person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Price from
US$99
per person



Hot air balloon in Luxor
Min numbers: 1 person

A trully memorable, approx 1-hour, early morning flight over the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor.


This popular optional tour starts early in the morning so that you experience the sunrise over the Valleys of the Kings & Queens, temples and desert. We endeavour to use the earliest flights of the day as they are timed to fit with the rising sun, this means that times may vary. You get around 1 hour in the air.

Abu Simbel overland
Price from
US$99
per person



Abu Simbel overland
Min numbers: 1 person

This option takes you from Aswan to see the amazing temples built by Ramses II at Aswan. We travel overland and return to Aswan by midday.


The temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel are one of Egypt's highlights, and have a fascinating story behind them to go with their impressive size. When Lake Nasser was flooded, the final water level was going to submerge several temples, the most important of which being Abu Simbel. The temple was therefore dismantled completely and rebuilt further up the hillside where it sits today. The temple stands today as a testament to Ramses II and the great building prowess of the ancient Egyptians, as well as to modern engineering. We depart Aswan early in the morning to join an escorted convoy which departs Aswan at around 04.30. This gets us to Abu Simbel to see the temples in the light of the rising sun, and we then have a guided tour with one of our Egyptologists and some free time before we drive back to Aswan (approx. 3 hours drive each way, with around 2 hours at the temples). All transfers, guide, and entrance fees are included. The tour itinerary is designed so you will not miss any other activities if you choose this option. Note - we choose the overland route to get to Abu Simbel as the flight times there are unreliable and the journey using the flight is much more segmented (you get more rest on the coach), not to mention it is much more expensive to fly.

treasures-nile-map.jpg
Treasures of the Nile tour notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

Most of our small group tours use comfortable, good quality hotels around the 4-star level. We do use locally rated 5-star hotels in some places, especially Luxor and by the Red Sea at Hurghada, when were feel the local 4-star options are not suitable. Some tours use higher level hotels throughout. Please check the Accommodation tab on the tour page for details of the normal hotels used. On our group and shoestring tours, these may change from time to time for other properties of a similar standard. If you would like to guarantee a particular hotel, please request a tailor-made tour.

Tours visiting the Western Desert Oases of Siwa, Bahariya, Farafra, Dakhla and Karga where there are limited options will stay in more basic hotels at around the 2-3 star level. All hotels at the 4-star level and higher have swimming pools and a choice of restaurants and bars.

Nile cruise tours are generally based on Egyptian 5-star deluxe level boats - please check the Accommodation section on the tour page for details.

Accommodation is based on twin, triple or double en-suite rooms/cabins with air conditioning. All couples will be given a private double room/cabin. Single travellers may choose to pay a single room supplement to guarantee themselves a single room throughout the tour. Alternatively, they may choose to share a room with one or two other travellers of the same sex.

Single travellers
On most of our Egypt tours, if you are happy to share a room/cabin with another traveller of the same sex, then if you are travelling solo, you do not need to pay the single supplement cost, even if you end up with a single room during the tour. This does not apply to all tours - please check the single room supplement option on your tour for full details.

Gala Dinners
Many of Egypt's hotels and Nile cruise boats arrange a very special gala dinner with entertainment in the evening on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. Payment for these is often optional on Christmas Eve (24 Dec) but may be compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$150 per person. Final decisions on prices and whether dinners are compulsory are made relatively close to the time. We aim to always select hotels that make their Gala Dinners optional, though this is is not always possible. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. More information is available on request.

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. In Egypt we do not use any public tourist buses or overnight coach journeys as we know that people don't sleep on board and end up very tired for the following few days. All the vehicles we use are air-conditioned, many are fitted with speed limiters, and all are inspected and checked daily. Some 4WD vehicles used on desert safari options may not always have air conditioning where they are only used for short periods.

This tour also avoids any overnight train journeys, featuring domestic flights with Egypt Air between Cairo-Luxor and Aswan-Cairo.  

Nile cruise boat itineraries are subject to alterations depending on local conditions at the time of travel. Some sailing may be done after dark. Boats may moor up alongside each other at night, requiring you to cross through other boats to reach the shore.

Our Egypt tours include a 24-hour airport meet & assist service in Cairo airport, your arrival and departure airport-hotel transfers and all other transfers. Our representative will meet you in the immigration hall of Cairo airport before you get to passport control. They will assist with visa formalities before helping you collect your luggage and taking you to your hotel.

Your airport transfers are only included on the first and last day of the set tour itinerary, plus on any additional days if you book your hotel room with us. If you make your own arrangements for additional accommodation at either the beginning or the end of the tour then you will need to arrange your own airport transfers on these days.

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won’t ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead, we set our Egypt small-group departures to have a maximum of 18 travellers. On dedicated Nile Cruise tours you may join larger boat groups for the sightseeing trips, though a supplement is always available for a private Egyptologist guide for these tours (requires advance booking).

In Egypt we provide fully trained, local English-speaking graduate Egyptologist guides to run your tour and escort you during all of the sightseeing in Cairo and the Nile Valley. We also have permanent local reps in all the main towns/cities and Red Sea resorts who are also at your service, and will be handling all the practical arrangements for the tour. We use local Bedouin guides for tours through the desert.

On some departures we may use one guide in Cairo, and a second guide for the Aswan to Luxor section.

At Encounters Travel we only use local Egyptian guides and reps. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous Egyptian guides.

Our Small Group tours do not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. We do however normally include these in quotes for Tailor-Made and Escorted tours. Please check the Exclusions section below the tour itinerary for a details about your tour and the amount you may need to budget. This amount is subject to change and will be reconfirmed in Egypt at the start of your tour. A 50% discount for minors or ISIC card holders is often, but not always available. Your guide will be happy to collect payment for all the entrance fees at the start of the tour, and pay them for you as you go along if you wish.

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination.  You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions.
In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for the countries in this region are:

Egypt: Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A
Jordan: Tetanus, Hepatitis A
Israel: Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis

Malaria is not generally present unless it has been contracted abroad; you do not need to take malaria prophylactics.

More information is available here: Egypt, Jordan, Israel

Note: We are aware of some places in Egypt using ‘black henna’ instead of pure brown henna. Black henna contains a chemical dye PPD (paraphenylenediamine) which can result in severe allergic reactions and resultant scarring. To be safe we recommend avoiding any henna tattoos while in Egypt unless you are certain they are using pure brown henna.

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

We recommend that you contact your closest Egyptian consulate or embassy for current information for your nationality.

In general official advice is that all nationalities obtain their Egypt visas in advance, as we cannot guarantee that you can get them in the airport. In practice however, many nationalities (including British and European, Australian, New Zealand, USA, Canadian) can and do generally obtain their visas on arrival in Cairo airport. The cost is currently US$25 p/p and must be paid in hard currency (i.e. GBP, USD or EUR) – you’ll be given change in local currency if necessary. There are no forms to fill in and you don’t need to bring passport photos. Visas are issued at one of the bank desks in the immigration hall, before you get to passport control. Our representative will have met you by this stage and will assist with the process.

All African & Indian nationals, and some others, will need to obtain their visas in advance.

For further information on your visa requirements, please either contact us or your local Egyptian embassy/consulate.

Tipping is very much a part of Egyptian culture and customs. To make our prices more transparent and so it is easier for you to budget and less hassle while in Egypt, on our small group tours we organise a ‘Tipping Kitty’ which needs to be paid as a local payment and will be around US$25-45 depending on the length of yoru trip. This kitty provides tips for a wide range of people you’ll meet along the tour including hotel porters, train and station staff, drivers, site guards, local reps etc. Please check the Included/Excluded notes below the tour itinerary for more information on how much to budget for this kitty.

Your Egyptologist guide (and Bedouin guides in the desert) is not included in this kitty and you may tip them at the end of your tour subject to your satisfaction with and appreciation of the service they have provided.  You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget. We are often asked to provide a guide however, and can suggest that approx. USD 3-8 per person per day would be appropriate.

On private/tailor-made tours we can also arrange a tipping kitty if you wish, or you can tip people as you go along the tour. Your guide will be happy to help advise either way.

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.

Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through International Passenger Protection for passengers not booking flights.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, except on some Escorted Tours, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you. Our ATOL (UK flight sales license - No. 10467) protects all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.

Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from. Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included on the first and last days of the tour whether you book your flights independently or through us. Nearly all our Egyptian tours start and finish in Cairo airport (CAI).

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don’t prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn’t make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don’t expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don’t worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don’t waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don’t litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you’re travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It’s important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')

The local currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound, often denoted ‘LE’. The Egyptian Pound can vary significantly in value against the British Pound, but sticks fairly close to the value of the US Dollar. You do not need to arrange to bring any Egyptian Pounds with you to Egypt, as change facilities are available in all the hotels, airports and banks. You should try to obtain and keep hold of small denomination notes or coins on you during the tour as these are useful for toilets, tips and small purchases. ATMs are readily available in major towns and many local shops will accept VISA/Mastercard or Amex, but may charge fees of up to 10% - check before you pay. Travellers cheques are not recommended as they can not be changed in many places now, and can incur high fees.

While in Egypt you will need sufficient funds to cover meals not included in the itinerary, drinks, snacks, souvenirs and personal expenses such as laundry. These should generally all be paid for in Egyptian Pounds. You may also need to pay for the tour Tipping Kitty and site Entrance Fees while you are in Egypt. Payments for these may be made to your tour guide in hard currency (USD, GBP, EUR) at the start of your tour. Please see your tour Included/Excluded details for more information and guideline amounts for these.

It is difficult to recommend a level of personal spending money which will suit everyone as this can differ greatly, but as a guideline, we would suggest allowing USD 15-25 per person per day as a minimum. Allow more if you plan on doing lots of shopping, or buying many alcoholic drinks.

Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Egypt. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips – you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Clothing: Most of your time in Egypt will be in a hot climate. However, at night, and especially in the deserts, the temperatures can drop quite dramatically. So you must pack for cool conditions. Formal dress (eg. suits & ties) is not required on the cruise boats or in 5-star hotel restaurants. Long sleeves are recommended to protect from mosquitoes if you are on the felucca. Modesty rates highly in Egypt, especially for women, so to respect the local culture & people, please ensure all clothes are loose fitting and not revealing. Shorts (not hot-pants) are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (we suggest that your shoulders should remain covered). In the centre of Cairo, and when visiting any mosques, legs and arms should be covered.

Other items: If you will be travelling on a felucca then we recommend bringing a light sleeping sheet or sleeping bag liner all year round for comfort, and a light sleeping bag in the winter months (November to February). We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don’t have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.

The time in Egypt, Jordan and Israel is GMT plus 2 hours. Daylight saving adjustments have historically been applied in some years but not others. At present it appears that there will be no daylight saving changes in Egypt 2016 and beyond, though this may change at short notice (with a resulting impact on flight times and schedules). In Jordan and Israel, daylight saving of one hour is generally applied between the end of March and the end of October, making it GMT plus 3 hours. Exact dates vary from year to year and sometimes the changes may be scrapped altogether.

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Know Before you Go' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Know Before you Go' campaign

Treasures of the Nile dates & prices

This runs on the set date(s) shown below. If you are interested in arranging a similar escorted tour for a group you would like to put together, we can certainly arrange this for you (subject to escort availability)
Start Date End Date Price (P/P) Offer Price Note
11 Mar, 2017 18 Mar, 2017 US$4459 - Flights from Auckland Book now
11 Mar, 2017 18 Mar, 2017 US$4459 - Flights from Sydney Book now
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EGYPT Reviews
Service

Posted Oct 24, 2016
Very informative and smooth transaction with booking!
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Posted Oct 14, 2016
Service rating : I had a wonderful time on my encounters adventure. I felt safe and the tour guides did their best to accommodate us on the tour. The trip was above my expectations.

Product : Discover Egypt was very educational. I learned so much about Egypt that left me yearning for more. I would love to visit again. Thank you Encounters
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Service rating : Excellent service

Product : Wonderful holiday
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Posted Oct 09, 2016
Great time in Egypt, thanks especially to Waleed
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
I had an amazing time on the trip. Everything was incredibly well organized and planned out to a tee. Our tour guide, Big Mo, was amazing and super knowledgeable. I couldn't have imagined a better trip to Egypt!
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
Service rating : I've traveled extensively and never had a better trip. They met my son and I at the gate coming off the plane and stayed with us til we were at our gate leaving and everything in between. Completely satisfied! Egypt is a safe place to travel now and your crazy not to book this trip. You will thoroughly enjoy it. Encounters Travel is a very professional company and so easy to deal with. We are already looking for another trip and doing it with Encounters. Thanks for a great experience!!

Product : I've traveled extensively and never had a better trip. They met my son and I at the gate coming off the plane and stayed with us til we were at our gate leaving and everything in between. Sheriff was an excellent guide and much fun. I can say I will never go back to Egypt because I was shown everything I wanted to see and more, and I was expecting a lot. Completely satisfied! Egypt is a safe place to travel now and your crazy not to book this trip. The Egyptian people are friendly and fun. You will thoroughly enjoy it.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
The customer service agents have been responsive to my emails and questions. But last time I contacted them about the Egypt trip and was told the deal will end in 9 days (back on Sep 20th) and they will be able to provide confirmation, now it's been 17 days and I haven't heard from them. It would be helpful to be informed of the status of the tour. Overall everyone was competent and pleasant.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
This was one of the best experiences that I have ever had working with a travel group! I would quickly recommend Encounters Travel to friends and family.
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Posted Oct 06, 2016
Service rating : Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. My only issue was, it seemed like staff members were trying to prevent us from being taken advantage of by merchants, however, they would take us to stores, who they clearly had a personal relationship with, and expect us to spend money there.

Product : The time spent with the locals was the most enjoyable portion of the trip. I feel there was entirely too much packed into a short amount of time. The vacation felt more like a school trip as opposed to a vacation. I did not enjoy the 4-5am wake-up calls and obligations during vacation.
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Posted Sep 18, 2016
The alternative dates I needed were provided. Payment and booking was straight forward and filled with ease.
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Posted Sep 18, 2016
Help with sorting out a flight at competitive rate
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Posted Sep 13, 2016
The staff were very helpful, incorporating all our wishes for extra nights and excursions. The actual booking process was very straightforward.
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