Tour type: Tailor-made
Group size: Min: 1 | Max: 0
Accommodation: 4 to 5-star hotel
Transport: A/C minibus
Highlights: Visit the Pyramids, Sphinx & Saqqara, Egyptian Musuem with the famous King Tutunkhamun display, city tour including the Citadel & Khan al Khalili bazaar, Alexandria city tour, Nile dinner cruise
Cairo is a bustling city, Africa's largest, and has great contrasts between its ancient history and modern-day importance. This short tour gives you a taste of the city, its museums and monuments, and is ideal for those short of time or who may have visited other parts of Egypt already.
The tour begins with a guided sightseeing tour to Egypt's most well known landmark - the Great Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx. We also visit the Step Pyramid at Saqqara today to learn about the history and evolution of pyramid building. On day two we take a city tour of Cairo where we visit the Egyptian Museum of antiquities, the Citadel, several mosques (or alternatively Coptic Cairo) and the busy Khan-el-Khalili bazaar. The final day of sightseeing takes us north to the Mediterranean town of Alexandria where we spend a full day touring the city before returning to Cairo to finish the tour.
You arrive at Cairo airport where we greet and transfer you to the impressive Mena House hotel, which is located right at the foot of the pyramids. Our local rep. welcomes you, helps you settle into the hotel, and outlines the plan for the next few days.
Single Room Supplement (EGTMEC)
Extra day in Cairo (5-star) - pre-tour
After breakfast we have a brief pre-tour briefing before we take you on a tour of Gisa and Saqqara. Gisa was built around 4600 years ago as a necropolis (cemetery) for the pharaoh Khufu (Cheops). The successor of Sneferu, Khufu was known as a tyrant and in his arrogance decided to have built a tomb that was bigger and better than all others. Standing 500 feet high and 750 feet at its base the Pyramid of Khufu is an awesome man-made structure constructed of giant blocks of stone covered in a hard limestone casing. The casing has, over the years, been stripped away to leave exposed the inner block structure. Together with the smaller pyramids of Khafre (Chephern) and Menkaure (Mycerinus), the majestic sight of these enormous structures rising out of the desert is a breathtaking spectacle. Here you have the chance to climb inside one of the pyramids (there are a limited number of tickets available, so we cannot guarantee this), and also to take a camel ride (approx. GBP 2-5 p/p for around 30mins). Close by, the mysterious Sphinx stands guard, as it has done so for thousands of years. You have another guided tour around the sphinx and some free time to walk around and take photos.
From here we take you to Saqqara, which lies 25km to the south of Cairo. Djeser's (Zoser's) Step Pyramid (built 4700 years ago) dominates the skyline and is believed to have been the ancient Egyptians' first attempt at Pyramid building. The entire 7km stretch of desert at Saqqara is a treasure trove of pyramids, temples and tombs, which we will have plenty of time to explore, while we learn about the history of pyramid building in Egypt.
After a full day a sightseeing we return to the luxurious hotel for a relaxing evening.
After breakfast we begin our tour of Cairo. Founded in 969 AD by Gohar, a Fatimid army leader, El Kahera (Cairo) soon became the capital of Egypt. Subsequent additions like the El Azhar mosque, the Islamic University, and defensive walls and a citadel, built by Saladin in 1179, have helped Cairo remain Egypt's principal city. The 16-year reign of Ismail (1830-1895) ushered in a new period of expansion and modernisation in Cairo. Areas like Heliopolis, Dokki and Roda were added, while gardens, Opera houses, large hotels and wide, tree lined avenues were built. Further post revolutionary, urban expansion has left Cairo as one of the world's largest cities. Today it is a bustling metropolis of over 20 million people, a strange mix of modern and old, a unique blend of diverse cultures and a gateway to Egypt's past.
Your tour includes a visit to the Egyptian Museum (which houses a vast collection of artefacts from Egypt's past, including the famous King Tutunkhamun display), the Citadel (a collection of mosques and palaces, with a great view over the city), and the Khan al Khalili bazaar (a mazy market that offers a window to the past and a guaranteed souvenir).
Finally, this evening we enjoy a dinner cruise on the River Nile. During the meal, their will be traditional Sufi dancing and fun, exotic belly dancing.
We leave Cairo behind today and head north to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria. Today's tour is flexible, but we normally include the Roman amphitheatre, which has twelve semi-circular marble tiers and is in remarkably good condition, the Citadel built on the site of the famous ancient lighthouse, and also the Catacombs of Kom al-Shoqafa, which is the largest Roman cemetery in Alexandria. Dating from the beginning of the Second Century AD this cemetery displays a unique blend of Pharaonic and Roman art. We may also visit the beautiful Montazah Palace in its peaceful garden setting. In the late afternoon we return to Cairo.
Your tour ends today and your time is free in Cairo until we transfer you back to the airport for your flight home.
Extra day in Cairo (4-star) - post-tour
Seasonal prices for this tour are given below. We can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we 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 Hotel
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre 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.
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 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.
Shoestring tours use good quality 3 and 4-star level hotels, all with air-conditioned en-suite bathrooms. The hotels in Aswan and Luxor on this level of tour also have swimming pools.
Our private/tailor-made tour itineraries use a wider mix of hotels, from comfortable mid-range hotels at the 2-4 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 small-group and shoestring 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 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.
On most of our Egypt tours, if you are happy to share a room/cabin with another traveller of the same sex, then we will aim to pair you up and arrange a room-share. If a room share is not available, or if you would like to guarantee yourself a single room throughout the tour, then an additional single room supplement will be payable. This will be refunded or removed from your booking if you have requested a room share and are paid up later. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.
Some tours have different rules for single supplements - please check the single room supplement option on your tour for full details.
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.
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 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 include your 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 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.
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 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.
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. 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. 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 10-15 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.
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.
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. An online e-visa is available through https://visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/. 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, Canadian) 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.
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.
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.
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 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, small towel, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.
This tour is designed as a sample tailor-made tour itinerary. As such we do not offer set group departure dates that you can join. Rather, the tour is available for you to do privately starting on any date of the year. Guideline seasonal prices are given below, based on 2 people travelling. If you would like to adjust the tour itinerary, or there will be more or less people travelling, please contact us and we will customise a price for you.
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.
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 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.
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.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
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.
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.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
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.
Egyptian City Break & Country Reviews
Posted 29th of Mar 2019
Important Egyptian sites were available to visit. They were visited.
Posted 27th of Mar 2019
This was a great trip and worth every penny. Our Egyptologist tour guide was 'Big Mo' which made all the difference. He was knowledgeable, kind, and hospitable. He made sure we had a solid introduction to each tour site and then was available for more detailed information if we wanted. Book a tour with 'Big Mo' if at all possible!
Posted 27th of Mar 2019
Excellent value—I purchased it initially on Groupon and Encounters Travel allowed us to make additions.
Posted 26th of Mar 2019
Excellent tour. From the moment we landed in Cairo until we left, we were well taken care of. We experienced so much of Egypt -- from temples and pyramids and tombs to a bonfire dinner and sing-a-long on an island. Our guide (Waleed) was exceptional. His love and knowledge of Egypt was evident throughout the tour. He helped Egypt come alive for us. We were very pleased with the tour.
Posted 26th of Mar 2019
Perfect adventure! Food, Tours, Service, Guides, even transportation!
Posted 26th of Mar 2019
With all we did and the amount of travel, I was shocked at how cost effective the tour company made it. You get your money's worth after you think about busses, felucca sailboat, overnight train, hotel rooms, and the amazing tour guide.
Posted 17th of Jan 2019
Great value for the price!
Posted 17th of Jan 2019
Great value for the price!
Posted 7th of Jan 2019
My Egyptian tour was the trip of a lifetime, The Egyptian and Nubian people were friendly and welcoming. The food and hotels were fantastic and the country of Egypt was stunning!!!
Posted 6th of Jan 2019
All the sights were great and our tour guide explained and told History on all we saw.
Posted 5th of Jan 2019
Worth every penny! Go to Egypt with Encounters Travel!
Posted 4th of Jan 2019
Really enjoyed the various excursions especially the overnight felucca, hot air balloon, abu simbel and Camel ride against the pyramids
Posted 3rd of Jan 2019
The tour for the price was EXCELLENT!
Posted 3rd of Jan 2019
The price was great and the people wonderful!
Posted 2nd of Jan 2019
Bucket list experience. A must.
Posted 4th of Dec 2017
Amazing value for the price. We loved our guide, Big Mo!
Posted 21st of Nov 2017
See above review for more details.
Posted 15th of Sep 2017
We really got to see a lot for the time we spent in Egypt and Encounters made sure no time was wasted in waiting for transportation and rooms and things like that. We had a great group, a great guide, and really learned a lot. All accommodations were exceptional and we couldn't believe how we did everything for such a good price
Posted 12th of Jun 2017
There was a time many years ago that I wanted to travel to Egypt and didn't because of the cost. This trip was, to me, very affordable. I think everyone should experience this trip. The tour guide was alos excellent, Sherif Mohammad.
Posted 8th of Jun 2017
Incredible trip; our guide was really knowledgeable and answered all questions regarding history.
Posted 7th of Jun 2017
Great tour! Safe, comfortable, and fascinating. It was a joy to travel to so many wonderful places and always know I was in good hands.
Posted 7th of Jun 2017
As stated before it was a great trip
Posted 6th of Jun 2017
The whole experience was wonderful.
Posted 6th of Jun 2017
Amazing trip. It was well layed out and guided. We also we're lucky to have a great group in which we all got along really well.
Posted 6th of Jun 2017
Exceed expectations and very professional.
Posted 10th of Apr 2017
excellent value on all aspects - tours, transportation, accommodations and included fees
Posted 9th of Apr 2017
Price was excellent! Very affordable for 2 people.
Posted 6th of Apr 2017
The tour was exceptional for the price I paid. Really saw and did so much.
Posted 5th of Apr 2017
Prices were great. Our US dollar went a long way.
Posted 5th of Apr 2017
Did not like the overnight train, but enjoyed everything else. We did not spend the night on the sail boat, but enjoyed sailing in the afternoon and retuning to the hotel.
Posted 18th of Mar 2017
Very well organized with knowlegable guide.
Posted 16th of Mar 2017
This tour is incredible - we saw all the major sights in Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor, and enjoyed several days at the Jaz Makadi Resort in Hurghada. The tour is arranged more or less chronologically and you have the same guide the entire time, so you really get a great experience following the cultural/religious/political development of ancient Egypt over several thousand years.
Posted 16th of Mar 2017
Sights coverd and seen breath taking. Total enchament.
Posted 16th of Mar 2017
Good value for price just be aware of additional tours.
Posted 14th of Oct 2016
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
Posted 9th of Oct 2016
Great time in Egypt, thanks especially to Waleed
Posted 6th of Oct 2016
Posted 6th of Oct 2016
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.
Posted 6th of Oct 2016
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.
Posted 13th of Sep 2016
Posted 13th of Aug 2016
Posted 6th of Aug 2016
All I know is Sheriff was one fabulous interesting, educational guides I will ever encounter. The choices of sites could not have been better.
Posted 28th of Jul 2016
Posted 11th of Jul 2016
Posted 12th of Jun 2016
A fantastic tour with a great mix of education and free time. A great taste of this amazing culture
Posted 9th of Jun 2016
Got to see most the main sites.
Posted 8th of Jun 2016
Posted 15th of Apr 2016
Excellent itinerary. So much to do and see. Best trip I've done so far
Posted 15th of Apr 2016
Again, great tour.
Posted 28th of Oct 2015
An amazing experience! Great for the adventurous at heart! Was wonderful to see all of the sites, would have preferred a little less time on the falucca and perhaps Abu Simbel being included.
Posted 27th of Oct 2015
I could not have wished for a better introduction to Egypt than Encounters Travel/Egypt Uncovered tour. The Egypt Experience tour is very comprehensive, excellently designed and efficiently ran by the local staff. Accommodation included in the tour is superb; the tour guides are knowledgable and enthusiastic; all key sites that should be visited on a first trip to Egypt are included in the package; and local travel runs extremely smoothly. Moreover, enjoying a private tour of such quality has made of this trip an unforgettable experience that I hope to repeat soon. Thoroughly recommendable!
Posted 26th of Oct 2015
We had a wonderful time in Egypt and made some great friends while we were there! Our only concern was that everyone got food poisoning at the end of the trip so food hygiene standards may need to be addressed at places the tour visits. Our guide Maghed was the best! He became a genuine friend.
Posted 25th of Oct 2015
Posted 19th of Aug 2015
There is room for improvement on the Nubian adventures.