Adventure tours | Active small group holidays | Encounters Travel
Your passport to adventure
PHONE: 0800 088 6002
For help and expert advice:
0800 088 6002
£764 (p/p)

Egypt Express Tour

View
Gallery

Egypt Express OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

8 days

Cairo to Cairo

From £899.00

£764 (p/p)

Country(ies): Egypt

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 18

Accommodation: 3-4 star hotels, Nubian guesthouse & felucca sailboat

Meals:

Transport: AC minibus/coach, overnight train

Highlights: The great Pyramids & Sphinx, beautiful Philae temple by boat, Nile felucca cruise, Traditional Nubian Villages Pharaonic sites of Luxor's East and West Banks, back streets of the Khan-el-Khalili bazaar

The perfect introduction to Egypt, this tour covers Cairo and the Nile Valley between Aswan and Luxor, starting with the amazing Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza.

From Cairo we take the overnight seater train to Aswan, where we'll take a boat trip to the beautiful island temple of Philae and have the option to visit the huge temples built by Ramses II at Abu Simbel. We'll spend the night in Aswan in a friendly Nubian village.

The next highlight of the tour is a relaxing overnight cruise down the Nile on a traditional felucca sailboat. Our support boat with toilet, shower and kitchen for the crew to prepare your meals will join with you during the day and at night. Sailing on the Nile on a felucca is one of the best ways to see Egypt and it provides a great break between your busy sightseeing. An upgrade to a hotel is available for this night if you'd prefer some more comfort.

After exploring the amazing ancient Pharaonic sites in Luxor, we re-join the overnight train to Cairo. Additional options are then available before you fly home on your final day for a half-day city tour taking in the Egyptian Museum, Citadel and Khan-el-Khalili bazaar, or to learn more about the history of pyramid building at Dashour and Memphis. Extra nights in Cairo and extensions to the Red Sea are also available on request.

Accommodation is at comfortable mid-range hotels and a friendly local Nubian guesthouse in Aswan, plus one night on the felucca.

ITINERARY

Expand all Close all


Day 1:   Arrive into Cairo, transfer to hotel

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport, assist you with obtaining your visa and luggage, and then transfer you to your hotel in central Cairo for the start of your trip. They will help you settle in, introduce you to the local area, and explain tomorrow's arrangements. The rest of the day is free. If you arrive early you may like to take an evening dinner cruise on the Nile, or enjoy a spectacular sound and light show at the pyramids (both available to book locally on arrival).

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 3-star hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Single Room Supplement (EGSHES)
Extra day in Cairo pre-tour (3-star)


Day 2:   Cairo, Pyramids & Sphinx at Giza. Overnight train to Aswan

We start our exploration of Egypt with the iconic three great pyramids at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Probably the most recognizable ancient buildings in the world, these three pyramids were built pyramids were built by the Pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure around 2500 years BC. Our Egyptologist guide will start your introduction into Egyptian history here with information on how and why pyramids were built and how they fit into the whole ancient Pharaonic story. You’ll have the chance to climb down inside one of these pyramids if you wish (and if you’re not claustrophobic!).

Our next visit is the majestic Sphinx, which nestles nearby, and was uncovered completely only in the 1920s. In the afternoon you'll have some free time to visit the Egyptian Museum of antiquities, home to the treasures of ancient Egypt. 

This evening we will board the overnight VIP seater train from Cairo to Aswan. For those preferring more comfort, there is the option of upgrading to the sleeper train where you will have a private cabin onboard with airline style meals included. 

 

OVERNIGHT:

Overnight seater train

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Two way sleeper train upgrade


Day 3:   Arrive in Aswan. Philae Temple & Nubian village

After our night onboard the overnight train, we arrive in Aswan where we spend the night in a Nubian village staying in a local guesthouse. The ancient region of Nubia comprised an area around the Nile in parts of present day southern Egypt and northern Sudan. Many descendants of the Nubian people still live around Aswan and during our stay we’ll see their colourful houses.

This morning we’ll take a boat trip to visit one of Egypt’s most beautifully situated temples which was also reclaimed from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. This is the Temple of Philae, which was dedicated to Isis.

After visiting Philae Temple, we'll head south of Aswan to visit one of the Nubian Villages where we'll have the opportunity to experience the local way of life and visit the local homes of the Nubian people and even spend the night in a local guesthouse.

 

OVERNIGHT:

Aswan - Nubian guesthouse

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4:   Abu Simbel option. Nile Felucca Cruise

An option is available this morning to visit the temples built by Ramses II at the amazing UNESCO world heritage site of Abu Simbel. We depart very early with the aim of seeing the rising sun over the temples. If you don't visit Abu Simbel, then this morning is free.

We board our traditional Nile felucca at lunchtime to enjoy an afternoon sailing down the Nile. Floating down the Nile on a felucca is one of Egypt's most enjoyable activities and you'll be able to watch local rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river as you drift past. Our Nubian crew will sail the boat and entertain you on the way, as well as preparing meals for you. Our separate facilities boat will join with us from time to time during the day and moor up with us at night. This boat has a welcome toilet and showers on board as well as a hygienic kitchen. You sleep on the deck of the boat tonight (mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets provided). This is a fun, but basic experience, and we offer an optional upgrade to spend this night back in the Aswan hotel instead of sleeping on the felucca for those wishing some more comfort. You then rejoin the rest of the group the next morning.

OVERNIGHT:

On board felucca

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

Abu Simbel overland
Felucca to Hotel upgrade


Day 5:   To Luxor via Edfu. Optional Luxor temple at night

We spend some more time onboard the Felucca this morning whilst enjoying breakfast with the crew, before we bid them a reluctant goodbye and drive north to Luxor, making a stop along the way to visit Edfu Temple. Luxor is the jewel in Egypt’s crown with the largest concentrations of ancient ruins in the Nile Valley, if not the world. These are split across both banks of the Nile, with the City of the Dead on the West Bank with many mortuary temples and tombs cut into the rocky mountains, and with the Temples of Luxor and Karnak and their connecting Avenue of Sphinxes the highlights on the East Bank. Later this evening there is an optional tour available to Luxor Temple which is right in the middle of town and beautifully lit up at night. You'll can also head into town to explore some of Luxor's popular outdoor cafes, perhaps enjoying a few games of backgammon and trying a shisha pipe with the locals. We spend the night at a comfortable 4-star hotel with a pool on the banks of the Nile.

 

 

OVERNIGHT:

Luxor 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor


Day 6:   Luxor, West Bank tour. Optional Karnak temple tour. Train to Cairo

This morning we take a tour to the West Bank of the Nile, where we’ll visit the Temple of Queen Hatchepsut, explore several tombs in the Valley of the Kings, learn about the workers who made all this happen in Deir El-Medina (the Valley of the Artisans) and stop to see the huge Colossi of Memnon. Your afternoon is then free to relax in the hotel, or take an optional tour to explore the huge temple complex at Karnak. A spectacular hot air balloon flight over the west bank of the Nile is also available today (expect another early start to catch sunrise as the balloon rises).

This evening we re-join the overnight VIP seater train back to Cairo (there is another opportunity to upgrade to the sleeper train for those looking for more comfort). 

 

OVERNIGHT:

Overnight seater train

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Hot air balloon in Luxor
Two way sleeper train upgrade
Karnak Temple tour


Day 7:   Arrive in Cairo. Optional day trips available

We arrive back into Cairo this morning and transfer to our hotel. The day is then free to explore Cairo as you choose or you may take an optional tour. These include a city tour in Cairo which visits Coptic Cairo, the Citadel and Mohamed Ali Mosque, or a half day tour to Saqqara, Dashour and Memphis to learn more about the history and evolution of pyramid building. Another full day option further afield includes a trip into the desert outside Cairo to see the World Heritage Site of the Valley of the Whales at Wadi Rayan.

If you haven't chosen to join one of our full day optional tours, in the afternoon there is the option to take a guided walk through the back streets and bazaars in central Cairo. We'll walk through the huge Bab al-Futuh gateway and explore streets dedicated to metalwork, spices, pottery, fabric, jewelery and anything else you can imagine as we gradually enter the more touristy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. We'll have time for a break to try some tea and a shisha pipe and perhaps enjoy an early dinner of Egypt's unofficial national dish, Kushari before returning to our hotel.

OVERNIGHT:

Cairo 3-star hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Alexandria day trip
Cairo city tour
Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)
Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis


Day 8:   Cairo, Optional Museum & City tour. Departure airport transfer

Your time is free today for some last minute sightseeing or shopping until we transfer you to the airport for your departure flight. We recommend an afternoon or evening flight so that you can take a tour to visit the incredible Egyptian Museum and more of the city this morning. Extra nights in Cairo are also available if you would like to extend your stay.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis
Extra day in Cairo post-tour (3-star)


Expand all Close all

Included:
  • 3 nights accommodation in 3 to 4-star hotels
  • 1 night in a Nubian guesthouse in Aswan
  • 1 night on a felucca sailboat cruise with accompanying support boat with toilet & shower
  • 2 nights on the overnight seater train (sleeper train upgrade available)
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a specialist Egyptologist tour guides for all sightseeing tours
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Tipping kitty (allow US$45)
  • Entrance fees (budget approx. US$45)
  • Drinks, snacks, guide & driver tips and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Hotel Gala Dinners (see Tour notes)
  • Tour Guide Tips
  • Any other items not mentioned above
Notes:

Hotel 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 normally compulsory on New Year's Eve (31 Dec), whether you attend or not. Prices can range from around US$50 to over US$180 per person in 5-star hotels. 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 not always possible, especially for New Year's Eve. Gala dinner prices are therefore not included in our prices above, but will be added to your booking if they become required. Please budget accordingly. More information is available on request.

Related Tours

If you are looking for a tour and not finding what you are looking for, have a look at our best other related tours to check out for your travel plans. At Encounters Travel, we offer a variety of tours to suit your needs. So sit back, relax, and let us help you plan the perfect getaway.

   Deal

£1359(p/p)

£1599

Dates and Prices

Small-group departure dates are listed below. The tour is also available as a customisable private departure on any other dates. Please contact us for more information and prices for your preferred date and number of travellers.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

8th of Jun 2024

15th of Jun 2024

£899.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

22nd of Jun 2024

29th of Jun 2024

£899.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

6th of Jul 2024

13th of Jul 2024

£899.00

£764
15% Off

15% Discount


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

20th of Jul 2024

27th of Jul 2024

£899.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

3rd of Aug 2024

10th of Aug 2024

£899.00

£764
15% Off

15% Discount


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

17th of Aug 2024

24th of Aug 2024

£899.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

31st of Aug 2024

7th of Sep 2024

£949.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

14th of Sep 2024

21st of Sep 2024

£949.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

28th of Sep 2024

5th of Oct 2024

£949.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

12th of Oct 2024

19th of Oct 2024

£999.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

26th of Oct 2024

2nd of Nov 2024

£999.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

9th of Nov 2024

16th of Nov 2024

£999.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

23rd of Nov 2024

30th of Nov 2024

£999.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

7th of Dec 2024

14th of Dec 2024

£999.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

21st of Dec 2024

28th of Dec 2024

£1029.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

28th of Dec 2024

4th of Jan 2025

£1049.00

-


Book this tour in less than 3 minutes!

JCB Logo maestro Logo Visa Logo Mastercard Logo WorldPay Logo

Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often use 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.

Oasis Hotel

Oasis Hotel

Cairo

Local rating

Our rating

 Oasis Hotel Oasis Hotel

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

Introduction:

The Oasis Hotel really is, as its name suggests, an oasis in the immense city of Cairo. The hotel is located just a few minutes drive from the Great Pyramids of Giza, and is set within 9 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. It is one of the few good 4-star rated hotels in Cairo, and we use it on many of our tours with a 'standard' comfort rating.

Location:

The Oasis hotel is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the Great Pyramids (too far to walk), 1 hour from Cairo International Airport and 30 minutes from Downtown Cairo and the Egyptian Museum. As there aren't many bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, a complementary shuttle bus service operates throughout the day - although many guests chose to stay within the hotel complex as there are plenty of facilities and different bars & dining options there.

Accommodation:

The Oasis has a total of 300 guest rooms including 6 executive Suites and 1 royal suite. Most are single storey chalet-style rooms, though there is a new 2-storey extension (no children are allowed in the new section though). Connecting rooms and extra beds are available for family parties.

All guest rooms are furnished to a high standard and overlook the perfectly maintained gardens. The rooms also all feature Satellite TV, Air-Conditioning, Direct Dial Telephone, Mini-Bar, Wireless Internet and Music Channels.

Bars & Restaurants:

The resort features several dining outlets, mainly located around the pool area, making dining at this hotel a relaxing experience.
Bedouin - This modern restaurant serves mixed international cuisine with influences from Lebanese, Syrian and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day and provides both buffet and a la carte options.
La Terrazza - This restaurant is one of the hotel's a la carte options and offers cuisine from various parts of Italy. The restaurant is open daily for dinner.
Palmyra - This buffet style restaurant offers a large variety of international cuisines.
Palm Garden - Palm Garden is a Syrian and Lebanese restaurant and nightclub open daily from 10pm. You can enjoy a meal next to the waterfall whilst taking in one of the live shows.
The hotel also offers a section of coffee shops and bars that serve an extensive menu of western snacks in addition to ice creams & western snacks ideal for children and cocktails for the adults.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large free-form swimming pool available to guests featuring both shallow and deep areas with easy access steps in the shallow end, in addition to the swimming pool, the hotel has many other services available such as a health club and spa, fully equipped gymnasium, children's playground, free shuttle bus to Downtown Cairo and 24 hour room service.

Other services include:

  • Basketball and Tennis Courts
  • Free Parking
  • Bank
  • ATM Machine
  • Valet and Laundry Services
  • Luggage Store
  • Gift Shop
  • Massage, Sauna and Jacuzzi

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

Introduction:

The Oasis Hotel really is, as its name suggests, an oasis in the immense city of Cairo. The hotel is located just a few minutes drive from the Great Pyramids of Giza, and is set within 9 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens. It is one of the few good 4-star rated hotels in Cairo, and we use it on many of our tours with a 'standard' comfort rating.

Location:

The Oasis hotel is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the Great Pyramids (too far to walk), 1 hour from Cairo International Airport and 30 minutes from Downtown Cairo and the Egyptian Museum. As there aren't many bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity of the hotel, a complementary shuttle bus service operates throughout the day - although many guests chose to stay within the hotel complex as there are plenty of facilities and different bars & dining options there.

Accommodation:

The Oasis has a total of 300 guest rooms including 6 executive Suites and 1 royal suite. Most are single storey chalet-style rooms, though there is a new 2-storey extension (no children are allowed in the new section though). Connecting rooms and extra beds are available for family parties.

All guest rooms are furnished to a high standard and overlook the perfectly maintained gardens. The rooms also all feature Satellite TV, Air-Conditioning, Direct Dial Telephone, Mini-Bar, Wireless Internet and Music Channels.

Bars & Restaurants:

The resort features several dining outlets, mainly located around the pool area, making dining at this hotel a relaxing experience.
Bedouin - This modern restaurant serves mixed international cuisine with influences from Lebanese, Syrian and Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day and provides both buffet and a la carte options.
La Terrazza - This restaurant is one of the hotel's a la carte options and offers cuisine from various parts of Italy. The restaurant is open daily for dinner.
Palmyra - This buffet style restaurant offers a large variety of international cuisines.
Palm Garden - Palm Garden is a Syrian and Lebanese restaurant and nightclub open daily from 10pm. You can enjoy a meal next to the waterfall whilst taking in one of the live shows.
The hotel also offers a section of coffee shops and bars that serve an extensive menu of western snacks in addition to ice creams & western snacks ideal for children and cocktails for the adults.

Facilities & Services:

The hotel has a large free-form swimming pool available to guests featuring both shallow and deep areas with easy access steps in the shallow end, in addition to the swimming pool, the hotel has many other services available such as a health club and spa, fully equipped gymnasium, children's playground, free shuttle bus to Downtown Cairo and 24 hour room service.

Other services include:

  • Basketball and Tennis Courts
  • Free Parking
  • Bank
  • ATM Machine
  • Valet and Laundry Services
  • Luggage Store
  • Gift Shop
  • Massage, Sauna and Jacuzzi

Artika Nubian Guesehouse

Artika Nubian Guesehouse

Aswan

Local rating

Our rating

 Artika Nubian Guesehouse Artika Nubian Guesehouse

The Artika Nubian Guesthouse offers visitors to Aswan, the opportunity to experience the Nubian way of life. The guesthouse is located on the banks of the Nile, with the markets of the local village right outside. Rooms at the property are decroated in local style and the on-site restaurant offers traditional cuisine. 

GUEST ROOMS

Rooms at the Artika Guesthouse are fully air-conditioned and have en-suite bathroom facilities. A minibar is available within your room.

FACILITIES

The Artika Guesthouse has an on-site restaurant which offers local cuisine, with enviable views ot the River Nile. The Guesthouse also has direct river access for those arriving by Felucca. 

The Artika Nubian Guesthouse offers visitors to Aswan, the opportunity to experience the Nubian way of life. The guesthouse is located on the banks of the Nile, with the markets of the local village right outside. Rooms at the property are decroated in local style and the on-site restaurant offers traditional cuisine. 

GUEST ROOMS

Rooms at the Artika Guesthouse are fully air-conditioned and have en-suite bathroom facilities. A minibar is available within your room.

FACILITIES

The Artika Guesthouse has an on-site restaurant which offers local cuisine, with enviable views ot the River Nile. The Guesthouse also has direct river access for those arriving by Felucca. 

Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboat

Aswan

Local rating

Our rating

 Felucca Sailboat Felucca Sailboat

Felucca Sailboats

Feluccas are simple boats without cabins or electricity and you sleep on deck on mattresses with blankets and cushions provided. Canvas walls, mosquito netting and a roof are erected at night. You may want to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket during the winter months (November to February) when it can get cold a night. Mosquito repellent is recommended for the evenings and early mornings, and wearing long sleeves at night is a good idea. Life jackets are provided for non-swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the Nile is not recommended both for health reasons and due to the strong currents - there are pools to enjoy in your Aswan and Luxor hotels.

Our Nubian crew will man the boat and prepare & cook all your meals on board or on our facilities boat. The food is simple but varied and filling and they will also serve Egyptian tea and Nubian cake. Water, soft drinks and beer can also be purchased. You keep a tally of what you've had and then pay for them at the end of the trip. The crew will also entertain you in the evenings when we may sing songs or just sit and chat around a camp fire.

Feluccas are dependent on the wind, and occasionally if the winds are too light or strong we may need to adjust the itinerary slightly.

Facility Boat

Our felucca suport boatOur new facilities boat makes the whole felucca experience more enjoyable, with a clean toilet and hot showers on board, as well as massage beds and a hygienic kitchen.

The boat doesn't shadow the felucca all the way, as we don’t want to spoil the peaceful experience of sailing down the Nile. It will however join up with you as and when required through the day and moor with you at night.

As well as the toilet, showers and kitchen facilities, there is also a sun deck where traditional Nubian massages are available.

The boat also helps us ensure that we do our bit to protect the Nile and its surroundings. Over the years, some areas on the banks of the Nile have been somewhat spoiled by the number of people staying overnight on feluccas and not using proper toilet tents or being respectful to their local environment.

We've had some great feedback from travellers using the boat so far, and we feel it really improves the experience of what is already many people's highlight of their trip to Egypt.

Felucca Sailboats

Feluccas are simple boats without cabins or electricity and you sleep on deck on mattresses with blankets and cushions provided. Canvas walls, mosquito netting and a roof are erected at night. You may want to bring a sleeping bag or extra blanket during the winter months (November to February) when it can get cold a night. Mosquito repellent is recommended for the evenings and early mornings, and wearing long sleeves at night is a good idea. Life jackets are provided for non-swimmers. Unfortunately, swimming in the Nile is not recommended both for health reasons and due to the strong currents - there are pools to enjoy in your Aswan and Luxor hotels.

Our Nubian crew will man the boat and prepare & cook all your meals on board or on our facilities boat. The food is simple but varied and filling and they will also serve Egyptian tea and Nubian cake. Water, soft drinks and beer can also be purchased. You keep a tally of what you've had and then pay for them at the end of the trip. The crew will also entertain you in the evenings when we may sing songs or just sit and chat around a camp fire.

Feluccas are dependent on the wind, and occasionally if the winds are too light or strong we may need to adjust the itinerary slightly.

Facility Boat

Our felucca suport boatOur new facilities boat makes the whole felucca experience more enjoyable, with a clean toilet and hot showers on board, as well as massage beds and a hygienic kitchen.

The boat doesn't shadow the felucca all the way, as we don’t want to spoil the peaceful experience of sailing down the Nile. It will however join up with you as and when required through the day and moor with you at night.

As well as the toilet, showers and kitchen facilities, there is also a sun deck where traditional Nubian massages are available.

The boat also helps us ensure that we do our bit to protect the Nile and its surroundings. Over the years, some areas on the banks of the Nile have been somewhat spoiled by the number of people staying overnight on feluccas and not using proper toilet tents or being respectful to their local environment.

We've had some great feedback from travellers using the boat so far, and we feel it really improves the experience of what is already many people's highlight of their trip to Egypt.

Eatabe Hotel

Eatabe Hotel

Luxor

Local rating

Our rating

 Eatabe Hotel Eatabe Hotel

Eatabe Hotel is set on the Corniche El Nil in Luxor, close to the famous Luxor Temple. It offers easy access to Luxor Airport and Karnak Temple. Its facilities include a swimming pool for both adults and children, a bar, and a restaurant. There is WiFi access and 24-hour room service. Rooms are available with twin or double beds, and have air-conditioning and satellite TVs. Some have Nile views, while others have garden views.

 

Eatabe Hotel is set on the Corniche El Nil in Luxor, close to the famous Luxor Temple. It offers easy access to Luxor Airport and Karnak Temple. Its facilities include a swimming pool for both adults and children, a bar, and a restaurant. There is WiFi access and 24-hour room service. Rooms are available with twin or double beds, and have air-conditioning and satellite TVs. Some have Nile views, while others have garden views.

 

Zayed Hotel

Zayed Hotel

Giza

Local rating

Our rating

 Zayed Hotel Zayed Hotel

The Zayed Hotel is a small and friendly 3-star hotel overlooking a square and gardens in the respectable Mohandiseen district of Cairo. There are plenty of shops and cafes in the immediate vicinity, and the hotel has its own pub/café area and restaurant. It is around 15 mins drive from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum, and 20 mins drive from the Pyramids area in Giza.

Rooms are spacious and en-suite with air conditioning, free WiFi, satellite TV, safes and minibars.

The Zayed Hotel is a small and friendly 3-star hotel overlooking a square and gardens in the respectable Mohandiseen district of Cairo. There are plenty of shops and cafes in the immediate vicinity, and the hotel has its own pub/café area and restaurant. It is around 15 mins drive from Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum, and 20 mins drive from the Pyramids area in Giza.

Rooms are spacious and en-suite with air conditioning, free WiFi, satellite TV, safes and minibars.

Options

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.

Felucca to Hotel upgrade

From £75*

Felucca to Hotel upgrade

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


If you would like some more comfort in place of sleeping on the deck of the felucca, then this option provides an extra night in a hotel in Aswan instead. You then rejoin the rest of the group after they finish on the felucca. Your time is free in Aswan, but additional sightseeing tours are available locally on request. Single room supplements apply.

 

Two way sleeper train upgrade

From £60*

Two way sleeper train upgrade

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This option provides an upgrade to the sleeper train from the overnight seater train that we use on this tour for the Cairo-Aswan and Luxor-Cairo journeys. On the sleeper train you have a private twin-berthed cabin, which features two large seats; fold down beds with mattress, sheets, pillow, blanket; storage locker and wash basin. An airline tray-style evening meal and breakfast are included. The carriage steward will make up and put away your beds in the evening and morning. All transfers between your hotel and the station are also included. Single cabin supplements apply.

Abu Simbel overland

From £125*

Abu Simbel overland

Min numbers: 2 *Based on 2 person/s


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 very early in the morning (around 4am), with the aim of getting to Abu Simbel to see the temples in the light of the rising sun. We then have a guided tour with one of our Egyptologists and some free time before we drive back to Aswan (approx. 3 1/2 hours drive each way, with around 2 hours at the temples). 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.
Entrance fees to the site (approx. US$10, 50% for children) are not included in the option price and should be paid locally . A minimum of 2 people is required to operate this option. 

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

From £60*

Saqqara, Dashour & Memphis

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This half day guided tour on the outskirts of Cairo tour provides more insight into the history and evolution of pyramid building, and of the Egyptian civilisation. Our tours are based in the area of ancient Memphis, a former capital of Egypt. First we'll visit Saqqara, a huge desert necropolis which was built for the kings and nobles of the Old Kingdom. Here we see Zoser's 'step' pyramid and the adjacent Imhotep museum where we learn more about Memphis and the history of the region. Next we head to Dashour to see one of the next attempts at pyramid building. Dashour's moniker of the 'bent pyramid' shows they still had a bit to learn, but this is a fascinating site and the pyramid still has much of its original limestone cladding. We'll then return you to your hotel.

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 people choosing the option. Entrance fees to the sites visited are not included (budget approx. USD 12). Solo traveller supplements apply.

Single Room Supplement (EGSHES)

From £129*

Single Room Supplement (EGSHES)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 1 person/s


The tour price is based on 2 people sharing twin/double rooms. 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: Single room supplement prices may vary seasonally. 

Luxor Museum tour

From £35*

Luxor Museum tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


The Luxor Museum has a much smaller collection than the huge Egyptian Museum in Cairo, but the collection is beautifully displayed and includes some very important and impressive specimens. These include a huge red granite head of Amenhotep III, a calcite double statue of the crocodile god Sobek and some items from Tutankhamun's tomb such as boats, sandles and arrows. There are also some items from the periods after the end of Pharaonic Egypt. The museum is normally open in the mornings from 9am-2pm and then in the evenings from 5pm-9pm. Your guide will advise you of current opening times and arrange a guided visit to fit around your other sightseeing.

Prices are based on a minimum of people travelling. Solo traveller supplements apply. Entrance fees to sites visited are not included - please budget approx. USD 5

Karnak Temple tour

From £35*

Karnak Temple tour

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This tour takes you to the huge Karnak Temple Complex on the East bank of the Nile in Luxor. Karnak is connected to Luxor Temple by a long 2.4km avenue of Sphinxes, which is currently being opened up and restored. The site started being built over 4000 years ago and construction continued until Roman times with many Pharaohs adding their own additions and alterations. The entire site covers around 200 acres (1.5km x 0.8km) and is often considered the largest religious building in the world. There are temples dedicated to several different gods, a huge Hypostyle Hall containing 134 massive columns, several obelisks including one 30m tall erected by Queen Hatchepsut and a sacred stone walled lake.
You will spend several hours in the site with one of our Egyptologist guides with transfers to and from your hotel included.

Prices are based on a minimum of 2 people travelling. Solo traveller supplements apply. Entrance fees are not included (budget approx. $7)

Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)

From £140*

Wadi Rayan day trip (Valley of the Whales)

Min numbers: 1 *Based on 2 person/s


This tour provides a great contrast to the Pharaonic sites you have visited on the rest of your tour. We leave Cairo and head to the Fayoum region where we head for the Wadi Rayan Protected Area, which surrounds a fresh-water lake in the middle of the desert, filled by the remaining irrigation water from the Fayoum area. There are several waterfalls here (popular in Egyptian pop music videos), and a bird hide which gives good views of the lakes birdlife, particularly in the winter months when the lake is an important stop for migrating water-birds. We also visit the Springs Oasis area, a rare example of an uninhabited Saharan oasis, and host to many different plants and animals, including Dorcas Gazelle, Ruppell's Sand Fox and Fennec Fox. Before lunch, we'll make a stop in the sand dunes surrounding Wadi Rayan to have a go at Sandboarding. After a stop for a packed lunch, we then drive into the stunning desert & mountain scenery of Wadi Hitan (Valley of the Whales). This World Heritage Site is accepted as the most significant site in the world to demonstrate the evolution of whales, and we take a 2-3km walk here to see several specimens of fossilised whales of different types sitting on the surface of the sand, as well as fossilised mangroves and the remains of crab holes. 

This tour requires a full free day in Cairo, but can also be arranged straight after you arrive back in Cairo from Luxor/Aswan from the overnight sleeper train. We can also arrange it on any tour if you add extra days before and after your main tour. Prices shown are based on 2 or more people travelling, with an additional supplement due for solo travellers. 

Price includes lunch whilst in Wadi Hitan and entrance fees.

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.

Expand all Close all


  1. Accommodation

Most of our small group tours use high quality hotels at the Egyptian 5-star level in Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada, all with swimming pools and a choice of restaurants and bars. 

However, some of our lower budget trips (eg. Egypt Express) use good quality 3 and 4-star level hotels, all with air-conditioned en-suite bathrooms. On some tours we also use a Nubian guesthouse in Aswan which is full of character and has a great location by the Nile.

Our private/tailor-made tour itineraries use a wider mix of hotels, from comfortable mid-range hotels at the 3-4 star level (generally the best available in some of the less visited places included in the particular itinerary) up to some of the very best deluxe 5-star properties in the country.

Please check the Accommodation tab on the tour page or download these Tour Notes for details of the normal hotels used. On our group tours, these hotels 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.

Nile cruise tours are generally based on Egyptian 5-star level boats - perhaps equivalent to a decent international 4-star hotel standard. Please check the Accommodation section on the tour page for details. Deluxe 5-star level boats, all-suite boats, and Dahabiyas are also available on private and tailor-made tours. Please contact us 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. Triple cabins are not available on Nile cruise boats. 

Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.

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$180 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.


  2. Transport

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 safaris may not always have air conditioning where they are only used for short periods.

For the overnight train journeys from Cairo to Aswan (approx. 12 hrs) and Luxor to Cairo (approx. 9 hrs) this tour uses the VIP overnight seater train. Seats onboard the train are large enough to be able to relax, however for those who prefer additional comfort, we also offer the sleeper train as an optional upgrade. The sleeper train has private twin berth cabins with large seats and fold-down beds with sheets, pillow & blanket. The lockable cabins also have a washbasin and storage cupboard, and an airline tray-style evening meal and breakfast is included.


  3. Transfers

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.


  4. Felucca Sailboat

This tour features an overnight felucca cruise. Feluccas are very basic traditional Nile sailboats and are a fun and relaxing way to travel down the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat (mattresses and some blankets are provided, but we suggest that you bring a sleeping sheet, blanket or light sleeping bag during the winter months of November-February). There are no toilet facilities on board, but you will be joined several times during the day and at night by our support boat where a toilet and shower is available. Mosquito nets are provided for use while you are sleeping but you should bring mosquito repellent for the evenings and early mornings. Your Nubian boat crew will prepare your meals while on board and entertain you in the evening.

 

If you would like some more comfort, then an option is available locally to upgrade to a hotel for the night in place of the felucca. You will still spend the afternoon on the boat and have dinner with the group, but then return to the accommodation in Aswan. The price covers the hotel accommodation, breakfast, and the additional transfers back to the hotel and to rejoin the group after they finish on the felucca.


  5. International Flights

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, we don’t normally include international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to suggest flights to go with the tour. 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. Nearly all our Egyptian tours start and finish in Cairo airport (CAI).

We do also sometimes advertise flight inclusive packages from selected airports. Where these are shown on our website, prices are correct at the time of quoting, but are subject to continued availability of the fare used. Prices will be reconfirmed at the time of booking, and we will also provide the flight times and airline details before tickets are issued. 

Travel Zoo / Groupon Flight Inclusive Packages
Encounters Travel occasionally offer flight inclusive packages - In this case, your international flights will be included as per the package you have purchased. Flight inclusive prices are based on the cheapest Economy ticket class available which is generally non-refundable and non-changeable. More flexible ticket options, as well as Premium Economy and Business Class tickets are available on request for an additional supplement. Any changes made to flight inclusive bookings will be subject to the airline rules on your ticket. 

Flight CO2 Emissions:

Traveling by air is an amazing way to explore the world, but flights also contribute to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that impact the environment. By considering the airline's CO2 emissions when you choose your flight, you can help minimize your travel footprint.

When selecting your international flights and airline, we do therefore recommend that you try and also take into account the flight CO2 emissions. Some airlines and flight search websites (eg. Google Flights, Skyscanner) do publish this information, so you can compare between your flight options and make an informed decision. Thankfully, many airlines are working towards sustainability efforts, and choosing a greener option allows you to contribute to positive change while still enjoying your incredible adventure.


  6. Group Size/Tour Leaders/Guides

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.
Shoestring tours have a maximum group size of 26. 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).
Specialist escorted tours and workshops may have different group sizes - please download the Tour Notes for details.

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.

Whilst the majority of our tours are guided in English, we do offer a limited number of small group departures which are led by experienced Egyptologist guides fluent in French or Spanish. Notes are shown next to each departure date to highlight these. Guiding in other languages is also available on private departures (eg. German, Italian, Polish) - please contact us for details and quotations.

On some departures we may use one guide in Cairo, and a second guide if you are travelling between Aswan and Luxor.

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.


  7. Entrance Fees

Our Small Group tours do not include entrance fees to the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. We do however normally include these in prices for Tailor-Made and Escorted tours. Please check the Inclusions and 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. This payment is normally collected in US Dollars cash together with payment for any Tipping Kitty used on the tour, though you may also pay with Egyptian Pounds or other currencies, converted to USD. Local exchange rates are set on a monthly basis and based on local bank rates so may not match the exact rates you may find online on the day.


  8. Tipping

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$30-80 depending on the length of your trip. Payment is collected in US Dollars cash or can also be paid with Egyptian Pounds or other currencies converted to US Dollars at our local monthly exchange rate, or by credit card (3% fee). This kitty provides tips for a wide range of people you’ll meet along the tour including hotel porters, housekeeping staff, 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 10-15 per person per day would be appropriate.

Children under the age of 12 do not need to pay this tipping kitty.

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.


  9. Passports and Visas - Egypt

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. An online e-visa is available through visa2egypt. Please do not use any other website as there are many scam sites offering Egypt e-visas.
In practice however, many nationalities (including British and European, Australian, New Zealand, USA) can and do obtain their visas on arrival in Cairo airport. The process is much quicker and simpler, 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.

Imporant Note: Due to recent changes in the visa regime for Canadians, a visa on arrival or e-visa will no longer be possible for Canadian Citizens entering Egypt after October 1st 2023. Until further notice Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa prior to arrival, from the nearest Egyptian Consulate. 

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.


  10. Money - Egypt

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.


  11. What to take

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, small towel, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.


  12. Dates & Prices
We run regular small-group departures on this tour throughout the year, starting on Saturdays. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers and a maximum of 26. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website and on a separate dates & prices sheet available on request.

  13. Booking & Payment

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 may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). 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.


  14. Travel Insurance

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.

Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.

If your tour includes car hire, ior 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.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

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.

Covid-19
Before purchasing any travel insurance, please check the coverage provided for situations related to Covid-19, and for the rules about government travel advice. Your normal policy may not be suitable. Details about our own policies cover levels are given on our website


  15. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and are committed to providing our customers with financial protection to provide peace of mind and to allow you to book with confidence.
We have therefore partnered with Trust My Travel Ltd., which provides financial protection services to over 2000 partners around the world. Funds paid to us by our customers are protected via an Insurance policy held by Trust My Travel. Each traveller and the description of services sold is declared against Trust My Travel’s insurance policy directly against our financial failure. In the event of our insolvency, you will be refunded for any unfulfilled products and/or repatriation to the UK (where applicable). Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  16. Responsible Tourism

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).


  17. Follow Us Online

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')


  18. Before you travel

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 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign


  19. Reduce Plastic Waste with Water-to-Go Filter bottles

Traveling responsibly means minimizing plastic waste, but staying hydrated on the go is essential. At Encounters Travel we are committed to reducing single-use plastics, which is why we've partnered with Water-to-Go. Their portable filtration system removes over 99.9% of contaminants from any non-saltwater source, turning even questionable water sources into safe drinking water.

Given that tap water is un-safe to drink in many of the countries in which we operate, we recommend purchasing a Water-to-Go bottle prior to departure. This will help you avoid the use of single use plastic bottles and keep you hydrated on the go.

Save big! Get a huge 25% off your Water-to-Go bottle and other Water-to-Go products (such as filters, lids, and carriers). Use code ENCOUNTERS25 at checkout (valid in the UK, USA and Canada).

How Water-to-Go Technology works:

  • Their reusable, BPA free water bottles contain their own unique 3-in-1 filtration technology effectively providing clean safe drinking water from any non-salt water source around the world.
  • Three different (1 traditional and 2 nano) technologies are combined in one filter cartridge to remove up to 99.9999% of microbiological contaminants in water.

The three technologies used in a Water-to-Go filter are:

  • Mechanical filtration – A tiny pore size, so small contaminants can’t fit through.
  • Electrical – A positive charge reduces the pore size even further and attracts contaminants like a magnet, trapping them inside the filter.
  • Activated Carbon – Unlike most carbon based filters, instead of using adhesives to glue the carbon particles together, (which vastly reduces the carbon’s efficiency) it is contained within the membrane, helping to reduce contaminants whilst eliminating bad tastes and odours. Try filtering water from your tap at home and taste the difference!

Water-to-Go filter bottles deliver safe, healthy water worldwide

  • Water-to-Go filters remove bacteria, viruses, waterborne disease, protozoa, heavy metals such as lead as well as harmful chemicals.
  • Their filters remove Chlorine and Fluoride from tap water.
  • The filter will eliminate harmful contaminants from the water but allow beneficial minerals such as sodium and magnesium to pass through leaving you with the healthiest water possible.
  • Water-to-Go filters have been independently tested against internationally recognised standards by industry specialists including The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (UK), BCS Laboratories (USA), Bangalore Test House (India) and IMI (China).

Use Water-to-Go products and you’ll be healthier, wealthier and helping to make the world a better place!

  • Depending on filter size, each Water-to-Go filter is able to replace 260 or 400 single-use plastic water bottles!
  • They ensure you have access to safe water anywhere in the world without ever having to buy environmentally damaging bottled water.
  • Their water bottles deliver safe, clean drinking water at just 5p per litre.
  • The filter membrane is biodegradable and the shrouds are recyclable.
  • The water bottles are used and approved by everyone from backpackers to commuters, gym users to expecting mums. Perfect for everyday, outdoor and travel.

  20. Health and Vaccinations

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
Lebanon: Dipheria, Hepatitis A

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, Lebanon

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.


  21. Time

The time in Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon is GMT plus 2 hours and in UAE GMT plus 3 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.


  22. Voltage

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.

Reviews