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A-Z Tours International.......for all your travel needs

INFORMATION DIRECTORY FOR TRAVELERS TO EGYPT
   Important please read in full as it will answer many of your questions and we update as new information comes to light.


Egypt is a country of contrasts, old and new blending together, this can be seen everywhere on a daily basis. Truly a country rich in History and culture.

The prices are reasonable, although not cheap if you want a quality tour experience. The star rating system cannot be compared with the west, and pictures on a website do not necessarily reflect an actual property or cruise standard. Service and maintenance issues play a key role in the choices used for Hotels and Cruises, we are well aware of western standards and the programs and choices are geared to this market.

Egypt operates on a two price system, one for locals and one for foreigners. This is Government controlled and there is no way around it. Prices do fluctuate with the Holiday seasons and supply and demand or if currency fluctuations impact the Egyptian pound (LE) Hotels, Nile Cruises etc. will implement price increases immediately if the market warrants it.

The people are wonderfully warm and hospitable, crime and drug abuse is rare, and alcohol is usually only found in Western Hotels and Restaurants. It is important to go with an open mind to the lifestyle and culture, don’t expect the same standards as you have in the West and be flexible and open to new experiences and it will be memorable and rewarding.

Remember the reason you are traveling there is to witness ancient history and see a country that is different from your own. To help you better understand what to expect and to ensure you get the most out of your trip we are providing this information as a guideline to assist you in your journey. We cannot hope to cover every circumstance but try to cover as much as possible to make your trip a rewarding experience.

We offer a wide variety of tours most of which can be adapted or customized to your dates and preferences – these can be accessed through the websites as follows:

EGYPT TOURS – for individuals or groups:
Custom Group and Private tours are also available on request.
EGYPT TOURS

Testimonials can be found at TESTIMONIALS

CATEGORIES COVERED;

TRAVELERS ADVICE - HEALTH & INSURANCE - WEATHER - TRANSPORTATION - COMFORT ITEMS - TIPPING - SECURITY - CULTURE - COMMUNICATIONS - REFUNDS - ABU SIMBUL - TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

TRAVELERS ADVICE:

NEGOTIATING PRICES:
It should be noted that it is most cost effective to book with a Tour Operator or Travel Agency with Egyptian contacts than it is to try to book independently. This is whether you book with our company or not. It can become a real hassle to try to negotiate prices independently in Egypt. The Hotels and Cruises think nothing of cancelling a reservation if a group or better priced offer comes along. We can readily deal with this as an operator but this can be very inconvenient if you have made your own booking.

This is a third world country and the wages are low, and there is a huge unemployment problem. The locals although they will not steal from you have become very astute at finding ways to make money and of course they see tourists who they feel have money as a good opportunity to sell their services and wares.

Negotiating prices on items and services can be either a daunting or exciting experience, depending on your personality and negotiating skills. You can get overcharged if you are not careful. This is particularly common with Taxis, Camel Rides and other optional services like diving etc. We highly recommend booking any options you know you want in advance as part of your package – this will save you both money and headaches.

If you do choose to make any independent bookings on your own with Hotels etc. please ensure you have written confirmations, and for items such as Diving, go directly to the Dive shop where prices are posted rather than book through the Hotel or a local agent who will be looking to add a commission. It is advisable to book in advance when booking your trip as you will likely get a better price than if booked locally after arrival.

We cannot be responsible for any items or local services you purchase independently so as with anywhere it is buyer beware and the quality and the final price you pay is your decision. Any services we provide or shops we take you to have been chosen to ensure they provide quality products or services at reasonable rates and any problems you have with these you should talk directly to the guide or agent at the time of purchase.

GUIDE SERVICES:
All guides in Egypt are required to be licensed and have taken several years of training etc. to be able to obtain a license. Most of the Guides and Agents are Free Lance and work on contract to several companies. Their license may just be for Cairo or the area they live in or they may have a license to operate in the whole of Egypt, this varies from guide to guide. So you may not have the same guide throughout your trip. Guides are not necessary in the resort areas of Hurghada and Sharm, and we usually only provide agent services for options and transfers at these destinations.

Although guides will readily negotiate rates on your behalf, we cannot be in the field with the guides and agents at all times and some may try to take you to stores that they make commissions on any purchases you make. If you feel this is the case please be firm with the guide. If you have problems in this area please contact the Cairo office directly yourself.

You will find in most cases the guides will become close friends, but there is always the exception and we cannot be aware of what is going on in the field unless it is brought to the attention of the company.

It should be noted that females in particular should not become too familiar with any males in Egypt, guides or otherwise and should not exchange emails etc. This can cause them to be hassled and have unwanted attention, and we cannot be responsible for anyone who chooses not to heed this warning. If you do run into any problems you should inform the Cairo office immediately.

CLOTHING:
The culture is conservative in its dress. If you wish to respect the culture we recommend that you stay away from sleeveless tops, halter tops, short shorts and transparent clothing. Conservative clothing is preferred particularly in Cairo/Luxor/Aswan – the Red Sea Resort destinations are more westernized and open to any kind of attire.

It should be noted that many young men go to work in the Red Sea Resorts with the hopes of meeting young ladies who will assist them in getting out of Egypt through marriage. So ladies please be cautious, and please note that you will get unwanted attentions if you draw attention to yourself through skimpy clothing.

No head coverings are required for the Churches or Mosques but you will be given a cloak or wrap to wear if you are showing your legs or arms.

VISAS:
Most Western countries can obtain a visa on arrival in Egypt. Other citizens may need to obtain a visa prior to arrival and will need to contact the nearest Egyptian Embassy for further information on how to obtain one. If you are unsure please ask the agent to check to see if you need one in advance. You are responsible for ensuring you have the correct documentation required.

To obtain your Visa on arrival in Egypt before going through customs you will need to buy a $15 US Visa sticker from one of the Banks and stick it on a blank page in your passport.

If there is more than one of you we suggest, one stand in line for customs while the other buys the Visas. This will save you time. It is a fairly easy procedure, and best to have it in US dollars the bank will give you any change in Egyptian pounds.

After customs proceed to the baggage area, if you need assistance there are many bell men available, have a dollar or two in US ready to give to them as a tip. On exiting through to the arrivals area look for a sign with your Name the agent will be waiting there with a sign.

This is a busy area so look around if you don’t see them right away, they will be there.

If you prefer or need to have a Visa in advance you will need to apply to your nearest Egyptian embassy before leaving your home country. Doing it from your home country is very time consuming and requires an application/photos etc, which costs considerably more than the one on arrival. So we suggest that only those that must have one on arrival use this process. We can provide an invitation letter if required for those needing an advance Visa.

If you split your trip and return back from another country, i.e Jordan or Greece you will need to purchase another Visa unless the new stay is for less than 24 hours and you can provide your ongoing ticket as proof.

PASSPORTS:
Ensure you have a valid passport with a least 3 months left on it after your departure from Egypt, preferably 6 months. This is a standard requirement for most countries and is a precaution should you get delayed for any reason.

Please note you are responsible for ensuring you have proper documentation before your departure.

YOUNG TOUR PARTICIPANTS:
Tour Participants who are less than 18 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Some discounts may apply depending on the age of the children and the supplier policies, but cannot be guaranteed. If the child qualifies to stay in a room free with the parent, the parent is responsible for any additional charges incurred for food, cot or other services provided.

The parent or accompanying adult is responsible for the behavior of the child throughout the Tour.

CHILD DISCOUNTS: Tour Program:
Children under 2 years old: free of charge – additional charges for any cot or additional services requested for the child.

Children from 10 yrs and up at the time of travel are charged as an adult.

Children under 10 years at the time of travel are charged as follows:
• 1 child sharing a double room with 2 adults – child is 50%
• 2 children sharing a double room with 2 adults – room is charged at triple rate and 2nd child is 50%
• 1 child sharing with 1 adult in double room, adult at half double rate, child 75 % of adult rate
• 2 children in a double room – room will be charged at single rate for that Hotel
• 3 children in a triple room – room will be charged at double rate for that Hotel
If available an extra bed in a room will be charged at $20 a night per extra bed.
Due to the size of the Cabins on the Cruises many Cruises cannot provide extra beds due to space restrictions.
Please note that as in Europe many double rooms in Egypt have two twin beds and not 2 doubles especially in the 3/4 star category.

Domestic Flights:
Rules subject to Egypt Air flight rules:
• Children under 2 50% if sitting on parents lap
• Children under 2 requiring their own seat are at full rate
• All other children are at full rate.

Trains:
Sleeper Train Cabins are charged per cabin based on 2 people in the cabin, there is no reduction for a single traveler or children.  

HEALTH & MEDICAL INSURANCE:

EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS:
Please note it is essential that you notify us on booking of any medical conditions that could affect you during the trip i.e. Diabetes where you require regular meals. This is important to ensure your comfort as some of the journeys have long drives with few facilities for meals enroute. Diabetics should carry around snacks to ensure they can eat and maintain their blood sugar.

It is important that you get advice from your doctor before departure for any existing medical conditions and bring any necessary medications with you (in carry-on luggage) along with legible copies of prescriptions in case they need to be filled in Egypt.

We also recommend bringing copies of glasses or contact lens prescriptions in case of loss.

GENERAL MEDICAL:
There are no pre requisites for vaccinations etc. for Egypt, however we do recommend for travel to all destinations the Twin Rex Hepatitis vaccinations as you will be encountering different water etc. Most travel clinics or doctors on request can provide this at a nominal cost.

If you do become ill, please let the guide or our agent know immediately. They can assist in helping you either get a doctor, hospital or take you to a pharmacy to get what you need.

Pharmacies in Egypt are very familiar with travelers problems and can readily supply solutions that will usually work better than medications from home.

There is nothing worse than being sick whilst traveling and being prepared and heeding drinking water recommendations will in most cases ensure you have a healthy trip.

Should you get ill there are English speaking and Western services available and the Office has the information to assist with these.

If you will be applying for an insurance refund or payment arrangements with an insurance company please make sure you have the numbers and know what procedures your insurance requires you to follow. Please keep all your receipts for all medical treatments as you will be required to provide these to an insurance company if claiming, and once you leave Egypt we cannot get these for you.

MEDICAL EMERGENCIES:
It is important to ensure you have the appropriate medical insurance, and evacuation insurance in case of med-evac. If you should have a medical emergency the agent will do their best to assist to direct you to the appropriate service required, pharmacy, doctor or hospital etc. If the agent is not around the Hotel staff will usually know how to assist you to get the service. Please carry your insurance details with you in case you need to contact them directly.

Please note - It is essential that you keep the original receipts for any medications or services if you are to claim them through your medical insurance on your return. Many times the Insurance insists on originals. You are responsible for ensuring you have whatever information or documentation you require for claiming on your insurance. The agent will assist where possible; however, it is not possible to obtain receipts etc for you after your departure from Egypt.

If it is necessary for the agents to attend with you or run around obtaining information or medications or transferring you to Doctors or Hospital etc.. this may necessitate a fee to cover the costs.

Please note as per the Tour Conditions there are no refunds for unused services or meals you are not able to take for medical reasons etc. We highly recommend that Travel/Medical Insurance be purchased prior to your departure.

CANCELLATION/DENTAL/BAGGAGE/MEDICAL INSURANCE:
We advise that you take out cancellation insurance to cover should you have to cancel for medical or other reasons or if your flight is delayed or luggage lost. This is particularly important as there are many circumstances where you may be cancel your tour or find your are delayed i.e. acts of war, weather conditions, travel warnings etc. so it is important that you check the Tour Conditions and ensure you have the appropriate insurance.

Of course it is always advisable to carry medical insurance in another country, evacuation etc., as general medical expenses can run extremely high.

There are numerous insurance options and of course you may choose. If you wish we offer various options at TRAVEL INSURANCE The key is to ensure you have the proper coverage. The company cannot be held responsible for any refunds other than as stated in the tour conditions.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of having cancellation and medical coverage.

IMPORTANT NOTE:
We have had a couple of occasions where clients flights have been cancelled or delayed for various reasons both for arrivals and departures.

If this should happen after your arrival the agent will readily assist in rebooking the flight and making whatever hotel or additional arrangements are required. However it should be noted that any additional costs associated with these changes are the client’s responsibility and must be prepaid. The company will assist in any way possible but cannot be responsible for flight cancellations or delays.

If your arrival flight is delayed or cancelled and causes you to miss time on your itinerary the company will do its utmost to rework the program to get everything in, however this depends on your schedule. Any Hotel nights or itinerary loss as a result of flight delays cannot be refunded and should be claimed as part of any insurance claim.

We cannot emphasize again the importance of having adequate insurance coverage.

WATER:
Although the water is treated, it does contain chemicals that your body will not be used to and these chemicals don't disappear with boiling. So please be cautious with all drinks and food that may contain water, i.e. Coffee, Tea, Ice and Ice Cubes, Soup, Juices etc. Bottled water is very inexpensive and readily available.

If you wish you can also purchase a filter water bottle to take with you from most Department Stores however this is not really necessary. The water is fine for bathing and washing, just not for drinking.

Most of the 5 star Hotels and Tourist Restaurants use filtered water as they know tourists need this, however it does not hurt to ask to be sure, and carrying around a bottle of water and asking them to make any drinks using your water is also another way to ensure the water is safe to drink.

DRINKS WITH MEALS:
Please note the cost of drinks is NOT included with any meals in Egypt; this includes Water and Soft Drinks. Coffee or Tea are served with Breakfast but all other drinks must be paid for. It is important to check the prices of drinks before you order, especially any alcoholic drinks which can work out expensive.

FOOD:
Rice, Pasta, Beans, Salads, Fresh Fruit and Veggies, Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Kofta, Pickled Veggies, Pita Bread and the local dips are just some of the regular foods served. The Cruise Ships and large Hotels serve a wide variety of European and North American style foods as well, and there are numerous choices of restaurants particularly in Cairo.

There are no Vegetarian restaurants as such, however vegetarian food is readily available at most of the restaurants particularly if they are buffet style. They usually have a wide variety of salads, vegetables, fruits, pastas and rice. Most tourist restaurants will try to accommodate your requests.

Take the usual precautions with meat and fish ensuring it is well cooked and heated, and remove peel from any vegetables or fruits.

If you should run into stomach problems the local pharmacies carry products that work extremely well and are superior to anything usually brought from home. Notably because they are familiar with what causes the problem and therefore can accommodate it better. Please don’t hesitate to ask the guide or agent to assist finding a pharmacy or doctor they are very familiar with tourist health problems.

No immunizations or special Health precautions are required for Egypt but it does not hurt to get the latest information from your local travel clinic. Hepatitus A & B (Twinrex) are recommended for travelers to any destination.

Lunches tend to be full meals like dinners and meal prices range from $10 US to $35 US depending on the restaurants chosen. Unless a meal package is purchased Hotel meals tend to be more expensive than local restaurants. Local restaurants are used for most included meals other than breakfast. Any requests to have meals at your Hotel or a restaurant of your choice will incur additional costs.

HOTEL STANDARDS:
The star rating program in Egypt cannot be compared to Western Standards – this is 3rd world country with a different culture and different standards of living. Western Hotels are inspected regularly, but in Egypt they may be issued a star rating on opening new and 20 years later still have the same rating although no upgrades may have been done during that period.

Therefore a new 4 star could be a better standard than an old 5 star. Some 5 star Hotels have totally unacceptable standards. As a result this often causes confusion among clients trying to determine the level of Hotel they require.

In an attempt to overcome this confusion the Hotel categories have been re-named to better explain the standards based on quality and service and not necessarily based on the actual star the property carries.

These categories are: ECONOMY – DELUXE – LUXURY

Low end Hotels below 3 star are not used as these are often run down and dirty. Hotels are chosen for their cleanliness and standards, both in quality and service. As with any country in the world, the levels of amenities, standards of furnishing, services etc. vary in comparison to the price paid. The higher the price the better the standard of the Hotel.

The company cannot always be out in the field so if you do run into problems with your Hotel that cannot be resolved with the Hotel management contact the main Egypt office directly to have them try to resolve the problem or change your room. Please note Hotels are prepaid and any Hotel problems cannot be rectified once you return home. It is important any Hotel problems are resolved whilst in Egypt as the Hotels will not reimburse once you have left.

The company discourages Economy Hotels in Cairo as the standards for this category tend to be poor in Cairo. There are acceptable Economy Hotels in other parts of Egypt but it is advised to upgrade in Cairo. If for economic reasons you insist on an Economy Hotels in Cairo the best available will be provided but with the understanding this may not be to western standards.

As tour operators the company has negotiated Tour Operator rates with a variety of hotels based on volume. These rates change frequently depending on availability and holiday periods. Tour prices are based on the availability of the Hotels the company has negotiated rates with. Hotels allocate a certain number of rooms at Tour Operators rates, once the allocation has been used the Hotels may have availability but at higher rates.

Some clients may go online and compare between Hotel/Cruise prices and then try to insist on having a higher priced Hotel or Cruise for the same price as already quoted by the company. The company may not have a negotiated rated with that particular Hotel or Cruise. If a particular Hotel or Cruise is requested pricing will be based on the rates obtained for that particular request.

You can liken this to any Western Hotels in any big city where your have similar rated Hotels but the rates are different from one to the other, depending on their availability and need to fill their rooms.

Please note Hotels will not honor your Points Programs as the rooms are booked at negotiated rates with the Tour Company not at Retail rates.

HOTEL CATEGORIES:
ECONOMY
- basic tourist class hotels with no frills, private bathroom, mainly Egyptian family owned – some have restaurants and pools, but generally the service and standards are not great and they are more of a place to sleep and shower. Hotels in this category in Cairo tend to be of lower standards than those elsewhere in Egypt and it is highly recommended to upgrade to 4/5 star in Cairo.

If you are just looking for a place to shower and sleep and cost is a factor then Economy Hotels will work. If you are looking to spend time in your room and want additional amenities as part of your vacation then 4/5 star Hotels are highly recommended.

DELUXE - Major Chain hotels in Cairo i.e. Hilton, Meridian, Sheraton, Grand Hyatt, Sofitel, Movinpick, Four Seasons, Intercontinental – most of the larger chain Hotels are in the Giza, Pyramids area, there are several downtown close to the Nile but tend to have limited availability and charge considerably higher rates than those in Giza. Several are considered in the Luxury category and need to be quoted on a request basis.

These hotels generally have pools and gym facilities, and a variety of restaurants/bars and entertainment.

In Hurghada and Sharm there are many major resorts like the Hilton and Marriott overlooking the water with private beaches and lots of facilities, swimming pools, activity programs and shows. The resorts although on the beach may not necessarily be close to downtown for shopping etc. so many of them offer well priced all inclusive programs.

LUXURY - These are Egypt’s best Hotels and these Hotels do not negotiate rates for Tour Operators. i.e. Mena House, Four Seasons, Grand Hyatt, Old Winter Palace, Old Cataract, Ritz Carlton etc. Like top-of-the-line Hotels anywhere in the world these Hotels charge high rates as they would in any International city. Therefore when requested these Hotels will be offered at the best rates offered for the dates requested.

The Hotels/Cruises in this category usually place a time limit on the quote so if booking is delayed a new quote may be required. These Hotels have all the services and facilities generally expected of a Luxury Hotel anywhere in the world, and in some cases even more.    

PYRAMID VIEW - NILE VIEW – EXECUTIVE ROOMS:
Some of the Hotels have Pyramid View or Nile View Rooms or an Executive Floor. If requested and available there will be additional charges for these rooms.

CRUISES:
All Cruises have the same itinerary and sightseeing and only sail for one night and one day, the rest of the time they are a floating Hotels docked for sightseeing. All have a minimum 3 night package. The ships are floating Hotels, and when docked can be stacked out as many as 6 necessitating walking through several other ships to get to yours.

The ships are all small 100-200 pax, all have outside cabins and private bathrooms and most of the same facilities and entertainment programs. Your choice really boils down to the standard of the furnishings, service and facilities, the higher the price the better the standard.

The rooms and bathrooms on the ships are small and if you have too much luggage it can be a pain to move around. Packing light is suggested. The itinerary includes a Galabia Party (local long gown) so you may like to purchase one from a local market, rent one from the ship shop or bring one from home with you.

It is important to note that there are over 400 Cruise ships, the lock at Esna controls the time schedules as only two ships at a time can traverse the lock. Several of the ships are chartered out or owned by tour operators for the sole purpose of using them for their own groups. It is often very difficult to obtain space on these ships as priority is given to their own clients. The times of ship departures vary according to the lock availability and in some rare circumstances may necessitate a change in your local sightseeing itinerary.

Some clients request ships with balconies. There are only one or two ships with balconies these are tour operator owned and priority is given to their own clients. Some ships have large windows with a rail, that you can open inwards, however these are not balconies.

Important: It should be noted that if you have these windows or balconies there is no advantage until you are actually sailing and as the sailing is one night and one day, basically these would only be good for the one day of sailing. The rest of the time dockside your balcony or window is likely to be overlooking another cabin on the ship tied up alongside yours.

Requests for an upper deck cabin if available will incur an additional charge.

Please note as on Cruise ships anywhere the cabins and bathrooms tend to be smaller than Hotel rooms – requests for a triple or a child sharing with parents means that a cot will be placed in a regular cabin and space will be extremely limited. On some ships cots are not available due to limited space in the cabins.

ECONOMY – These ships are not up to western standards and have much to be desired in the way of cleanliness, service and quality – the company does not book this category of Cruise ships.

DELUXE – All outside cabins. Cabins, food, service and facilities are up to western standards. A variety of 5 star cruises are used based on schedules and availability.

LUXURY - These are Egypt’s best Cruise ships and have to be requested these on a case by case basis. Prices will depend on the going rate and availability at the time of booking. i.e. Oberoi Cruises

REQUESTS FOR SPECIFIC HOTEL OR CRUISES BY NAME: Please note when a specific Hotel or Cruise is requested a price will be quoted with a limited time frame. Luxury Hotels and Cruise Ships will not hold space or confirm a rate without an actual booking.

The price is confirmed and guaranteed at the time of booking and payment. It is impossible to guarantee a client a specific Hotel or Cruise until the booking is actually booked and paid and confirmation in writing is received from the Supplier. This can only be done once full payment is made for this portion of the program.

BEDS: Most double rooms in Egypt have twin beds, some have a double or queen and very few have a king. It is not usual to have two doubles or two queens in one room. Although it is requested in writing the Hotels will not guarantee bed types in advance. Please request any preferences on check in with your guide and the Hotel/Cruise will try to accommodate your request.  

NON-SMOKING ROOMS:
It is important to double check this on check in along with any other specific requests as although requests are submitted in advance the request may not have been passed onto the front desk staff. Smoking is still prevalent in many countries and most Hotels still have more smoking rooms than non-smoking.

PASSPORTS:
Please note it is necessary to carry your passport with you at all times. For security use we suggest an under clothing pouch for your passport and large bills. There are numerous check stops throughout Egypt and they may ask for your passport so it is important to have it with you at all times.

Hotels and Cruise ships are required to have copies of your passport for Government Security purposes. To save time on check in and so you do not have to part with your passport we recommend having a photocopy of your passport for each Hotel and Cruise you will be staying at, and an extra copy to keep inside your suitcase. This extra copy is handy if you suitcase is lost or if your passport is lost and you need to go to the embassy to get another one.

TIPPING - BAKSHEESH - GRATUITIES:
In Egypt tipping (or Baksheesh) is a general practice everywhere (even among the Egyptians themselves), and ensures extra services at monuments, museums etc. It can be a hassle and become irritating, but it is part of the lifestyle in Egypt. It's best if you don't require the services to refuse politely but firmly. La Shockrun (no thank you) will help in keeping you from unwanted services.

If you have a guide with you, check with them beforehand where tipping is expected. The Guide normally takes care of any baksheesh at the sites, and for included meals etc. However, you should carry 1LE notes or $1 bills for occasional tipping for bellboys, housekeeping, washrooms, when purchasing drinks and other incidental services.

It is customary to tip Guides and Drivers at the end of the time they are with you approx. $4 US per day per person for the driver and $5-$6 US per day per person for the guide -approx $3 per person per day for cabin attendants and waiters on the Cruise Ships. The best way is to use an envelope, and put in the tip with a little note if appropriate and hand it to them in person at the end of their service.

For groups it is recommended to include $5 per day per person for general tipping in the cost of the program this will then be given to the guide to take care of the general tipping. If it is done this way you will just need to deal with tipping for the guide at the end of your program. Your group members will still need small 1 LE for washrooms, bell boys and any personal services requested.

Note: The above are just suggestions on tipping as a guideline. It should be noted that tipping is customary and expected in Egypt, it can be very irritating and persistent hints and requests can make it very uncomfortable. The company has no control over this as they cannot be out in the field monitoring everyone’s behavior. Tipping is at your discretion and it is entirely up to you how much you tip and whether to tip or not. Do not be pressured into tipping and do keep some small notes available to tip as you feel is appropriate.

Try to see tipping in perspective – this is poor country and wages are low. People have families to feed and they see tourists as a source of extra money. Some can be over aggressive but in general the tips given are really appreciated. If you have a particular person from the company being overly persistent with tipping please contact the Egypt office immediately.

If you want to take something along to hand out to the kids Pens or Candy are very popular. If someone asks you for the loan of a pen don't expect to get it back. Don't lend any good pens. Remember if you give out pens or candy to one child there will be 10 others come out of nowhere within seconds looking to get one from you.

Note: Do not pay your guide for any additional services unless you have a confirmed price from the Egypt Office. Please remember guides are contracted and we wish to ensure clients are not overcharged by the guides.

CULTURE:

ALCOHOL:
Egyptians as a 95% Moslem nation in general do not drink, and for them there are severe restrictions on the purchase of alcohol. Most Restaurants and tourist spots do serve alcoholic drinks, and if you have purchased duty free, you may drink it in your room. However, alcohol is not readily available to purchase by the bottle, and Alcoholic drinks can be expensive, so please check the price first when ordering.

All inclusive resorts in Hurghada and Sharm provide alcoholic drinks as part of their inclusive program.

WASHROOMS:
We advise carrying tissues with you at all times. Egyptian public washrooms do not provide tissue in the toilet. There will likely be an attendant who will supply a small piece of tissue for a fee, however to be on the safe side much better to carry some with you. The toilets utilize a water tap for cleaning, usually at the back of the toilet. Take care if you choose to use it as they spray up not down. Carry 1 LE notes to tip the washroom attendants – this applies to both men’s and women’s washrooms.

BANKING SERVICES:
Egypt is a cash community. ATM Machines, Banks in Hotels, currency exchange or use of credit cards are readily available at the larger establishments throughout Egypt. Travelers Checks are not welcome anywhere, and if you do get someone to change them the fees will be high. The US Dollar and the Euro are the currencies preferred and can be used almost anywhere. Credit cards tend to be limited to major Hotels, upscale Stores and Restaurants.

It is advisable not to change money at the Airport as the exchange rate and service charges may not be competitive with the banks. Carry some small US Dollars or Euro bills as they are accepted everywhere.

Please note you may see a notice in Hotels that says they will only accept payment from foreigners in US or Euros, this is government controlled as their own currency has little value. Some Hotels are accepting Egyptian currency so hopefully the government has eased up on this policy. Credit Cards are accepted at most of the major Hotels.

CURRENCY EXCHANGE:
If you require information on local currency exchange please ask the booking agent prior to departure for further information, they will advise you of the options.

IMPORTANT:
Government Monetary Regulations:
Egyptian Government Policy requires that Hotels and Tour Operators/Suppliers are paid in hard currency such as US dollars and Euros or with Foreign Credit Cards. Hence the reason you are charged in these currencies. The Egypt Tour Operator cannot accept Credit Cards so credit cards have to be processed in Canada and then the funds are wired in US dollars to Egypt. In order to cover the out of pocket costs to cover the exchange and wire fees an administration fee is charged to cover these costs.

When using your credit card in Egypt the shops do not charge an admin fee. Local Restaurants and the gift shops, markets etc. with accept Egyptian pounds or US or Euros.

TRAVEL BETWEEN CITIES & SIGHTSEEING:
Please note that some of the drives between cities are quite lengthy. i.e. Cairo to Sharm and Cairo - St. Catherine's approx 6-7 hours. In addition some of the sightseeing daytrips are also quite lengthy i.e. Luxor to Dendara or Abydos. These are desert areas so do not always have full facilities for meals etc. There are washroom stops. It is advised that you take snacks and water with you so you won't go hungry, especially if you have a need to eat regularly due to a medical condition. It is important to note the company cannot be responsible if you get hungry and there are no facilities to accommodate you.

BAGGAGE HANDLING:
The baggage handling service during any tour allows for one medium to large suitcase 50lbs max per person as per airline guidelines and one hand bag - this service covers the tipping for luggage from the Van/Car to the Hotel Lobby and Hotel Lobby to the Van/Car.

Please note if you have your luggage taken to or from your room you will be expected to tip as these are Hotel employees, we suggest 2 LE per bag (40 cents US) As the vehicles used are Vans or Cars additional suitcases will be carried on a space available basis and when traveling to Upper Egypt can be stored with the Concierge at your Hotel in Cairo until your return. Additional gratuities will be expected by the baggage handlers for additional suitcases and these should be paid directly to the handler.

BAGGAGE TAGGING:
Please ensure that your bags are labeled with your name and at least your city, if not your full address. This is especially important for groups when directing them to your rooms. If your luggage is not tagged it cannot be identified and marked with the room number to be delivered to your room and could cause delay while you search for it.

DRUGS:
Drugs are strictly prohibited and the consequences for use can be very severe. Don’t even consider it.

CRIME:
Crime is low, rape rare, Aids is almost non existent, and arguments may flare up over a traffic violation, but are usually over quite quickly. Arguments can flare up over pricing between agents and suppliers, and settle down just as quickly once the pricing is resolved. Family feuds are quite common. It is safe to walk the streets at any time of day. Like all cities you should be cautious and attentive to your whereabouts.

Be careful to avoid areas where demonstrations are planned or ongoing.

SMOKING:
Smoking is quite prevalent, although it is banned in all food restaurants. If you are a smoker yourself you might want to try smoking the water pipe (Sheesha) in one of the many street cafes. Smoking is banned in all vehicles for the comfort of all passengers. If a driver/agent or guides smokes in the vehicle at any time please ask them to stop or notify the office in Cairo immediately.

Non-smoking Hotel rooms can be requested but should be requested again when the agent or guide checks you into the Hotel. Non-smoking rooms are not as prevalent as they are in the West.

CUSTOMS:
The population is made up of 95% Moslems and 5% Coptic Christians (similar to Greek Orthodox). The main day of worship is Fridays, which is their weekend holiday. Government offices, Institutions, and Banks close Fridays and Saturdays.

The food is varied, chicken and lamb and beef are popular, as is rice, pasta, beans and Pita bread, salads and fruit. Tea (Shai) is the main drink of the Egyptians, and is served frequently with mint. Vegetarians should have no problem as many of the meals are buffet style and serve numerous salad and vegetable dishes, along with rice and pastas.

Egyptians keep themselves and their homes very clean. Litter is a problem, particularly in the poorer areas where solid waste disposal is lacking.

It is common to see men or women holding hands, linking arms, and embracing with others of the same sex. This is their culture and there are no sexual overtures to it. Men and women do not show affection to each other in public. It is acceptable to hold, or link arms with your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend in public, but kissing and hugging in public is frowned upon, is offensive to them and is not appropriate.

CHILDREN:
Egyptians love children, there are not the same fears for children as there is in the west. Children are well treated and valued, and kidnapping is rare. Children can go to the store at any time of day or night and no one will bother them. It seems like children belong to everyone. Adults will frequently, joke, tease, play with and pick up other peoples children without any fear or offense being taken or meant.

This is very different to the Western World and it can become disconcerting for parents. Please advise your children accordingly and let someone know if you are not comfortable with their actions.

NOISE:
The noise level in parts of the Cities is quite high, and Cairo in particular is a 24 hour city when most stores and activities go on around the clock non-stop. If you have sensitivity to noise take a set of ear-plugs so you can get a good nights sleep especially for the sleeper train or if staying in the Economy hotels that tend to be closer to the road.

SHOPPING:
Don't expect to see the number of Supermarkets and Department stores like we have in the west. There are some Malls and the numbers are growing, but the majority of stores in Egypt are still the small to medium local shop-front stores. Street Markets, food carts and small stores are everywhere, and the normal way of shopping in Egypt.

UNIQUE SHOPPING ITEMS:
Gold & Silver Cartouche's with your name in Hieroglyphics.
Papyrus Pictures - again you can have your name put on.
T-Shirts in Egyptian Cotton with Egyptian Logos or names in Hieroglyphics.
Handmade Carpets and wall-hangings.
Egyptian cotton items.
Alabaster Carvings.
Unique Perfume Essences
Glass Perfume Bottles
Metal engraved Plates
Galabias – long gowns
Metal Lanterns
Anise and Hibiscus Teas
Spices


Important note: As with any purchase it is buyer beware, please check your purchases if they are being packed before you leave the store as the Tour Operator takes no responsibility for any discrepancies once you depart the store.

The Guide will readily advise you if you have any questions or concerns, however the final price and quality of any articles you purchase are your own responsibility.

SECURITY:
Although in general Egypt if safe and has very little crime there are couple of things we would like to bring to your attention.

PICTURES:
Do not hand over your camera to anyone outside of your group or the agents/guides as soon as you do you will be requested to pay for the picture.

If you are encouraged to sit on a camel for a photo it would not be unusual for the camel owner to raise the camel and take you for a ride then demand money for the ride. Once upon the camel and it stands up it is difficult to get off. Make sure you stay with your guide or group and don’t wander off on your own. If you want photos have someone in your group or the guide take your picture, and let the guide organize any camel rides or similar.

VENDORS:
Vendors can become harassing especially at sites like the pyramids, where they will try to put postcards in your hands or scarves on your head. They will use ruses like free gift from Egypt, do not take or accept anything from them, nothing is free and they will ask for money. They will follow you so put it down or give it back to them. La Shockrun (no thank you) is good to use firmly and walk away.

FEMALE SECURITY:
It should be noted whether we like it or not men in Egypt will chat tourist women up. Especially if the female is dressed in scanty clothing or form fitting outfits, to them this is an invitation to flirt or more.

This is especially prevalent in resort destinations like Hurghada and Sharm where many of them will go to work in hopes of finding themselves a foreign lady to marry. As a female please be aware and wary of this, do not give out personal information, do not trade emails or phone numbers with males as they will pursue you to the point of harassment, and do not believe everything they tell you, they have become artful at romancing ladies, so do not get taken in.

This includes guides and agents, please do not become too familiar with them as they are not permitted to trade emails or to fraternize other than on a professional level with clients – to do otherwise jeopardizes their position with the company.

Young ladies should not wander alone but should be accompanied by another person. It is not that anyone will hurt you physically but these men are persistent and will drive you crazy with unwanted attentions and spoil your holiday.

If you are being harassed please inform the office immediately to assist in resolving the problem. No responsibility is taken for ladies who choose to ignore this warning and find themselves harassed even after their return from their vacation.

DEMONSTRATIONS:
In recent times political demonstrations have become popular with the locals. Although most are peaceful, unfortunately no-one can predict when the Government will clap down forcefully. Do not participate or go as a sightseer to any demonstrations, and if you come across one leave immediately.

The Tour Operator will not take you into these areas and you should not under any circumstances go to check them out. To do so is at your own risk.

WEATHER:

BE PREPARED:
Imodium, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Insect Repellent, a Hat, and Antihistamine if you are susceptible to any allergies. If carrying any prescription medication, please make sure to carry it in your hand-luggage.

Average Temperatures: 

 Month           Celsius          Fahrenheit
January                18                       65 
 February               21                      69
 March                  24                       75
 April                      34                       93
 May                      33                       91 
 June                     35                       95
 July                      37                       98
 August                  35                       95
 September          32                       90 
 October                30                       86
 November           26                       78
 December            20                       68 

TRANSPORTATION :

INTERNAL FLIGHTS:
Egypt air is the main supplier of local flights within Egypt. Egypt air is government owned and the planes are regular jets. There are some other charter companies - these are not used by the company.

It should be noted that flights within Egypt require at least a one hour check in, are often delayed or arrive early, and can be changed without notice. The Tour Operator works within these constraints to supply you with the best service possible.

Many of the internal flights are in the early hours of the morning, particularly to Luxor and Aswan from Cairo and between Aswan and Abu Simbul. This could make for a short nights sleep so please be aware of this. There are flights at other times but these are regularly booked well in advance by the large group tours.

FERRIES::
There are several ferries the main ones being between Sharm and Hurghada and Nuweiba and Aqaba in Jordan.

The Sharm/Hurghada ferry (or reverse) does not run daily and can be cancelled or delayed depending on weather and load conditions – this can cause extra time in one town or the other. This is allowed for in the itineraries. It should also be noted that this ferry is often a rough ride and the sea is quite strong in this area. The only other way between these two cities is by road, approx 13 hours of driving.

There are two ferries between Nuweiba/Aqaba (or reverse) a fast Catamaran and the slower local ferry. Again times are frequently changed and ferries cancelled if weather conditions are bad.

It is important to have a photocopy of your passport in advance if booking the fast ferry as this is often full and to reserve in advance the Tour Operator has to provide this information for security reasons.

Please note: Itinerary changes may be required due to Ferry or Flight delays or changes.

RENTAL CARS: :
Although rental cars are available it is not advised to rent a car particularly in Cairo. Traffic is congested, and the rules of the road are very different, with drivers waving hand signals and honking horns to communicate. They often drive at night without lights, and can come at you on the wrong side of the road. There are no traffic signals as such and where there are they are frequently ignored.

Parking is very difficult and sometimes impossible particularly in the cities. Far better to rent a vehicle with a driver, or use a taxi, then come and go as you please. Due to safety concerns the company will not arrange car rentals in Cairo.

Hurghada and Sharm are easier to get around but it is still recommended to use taxis in these cities.

TAXIS: :
Many taxis are basic and downright beat up and they do not utilize the meter system. If you negotiate a rate before your trip they will often ask for more on arrival. Many drivers do not speak English, so please ensure they know where you want to go. The prices are reasonable but as they realize you are a tourist they will try charging you more than they would normally charge a local.

Please be careful when using taxis, there are of course some very good ones but caution is needed and if a driver tries to ask for more than you have negotiated pay him the negotiated rate and walk away without turning around.

STREET VANS & JEEPNYS: :
These are many white vans and jeepnys used to negotiate the narrow back streets and areas in the countryside, they can be seen everywhere. They will stop when waved down and will drop off when requested, you ask the rate and the direction you are going in and the driver will advise the rate and if he is going in that direction. These vehicles are used frequently by the locals, are usually full with people hanging on to outside handles etc. Interesting to watch and cheap to ride but not the most pleasant way to travel.

The jeepnys are 3 wheel open vehicles with a canvas cover, in recent years they have become part of the local traffic. Many locals use these instead of the vans to access local areas and narrow back streets. Many are driven by young children so be careful if you use them.

LOCAL & LONG DISTANCE BUSES: :
Street buses are basic, but a cheap means of getting around for locals. Buses between cities are of a higher standard, and have washrooms and provide a snack box onboard for longer trips. There also water taxis for crossing back and forth across the Nile; although basic they can save a lot of time.

TRAINS: :
On day trains it is well worth paying the extra for First Class, still very reasonably priced. The seats are comfortable, reclining, almost like flying first class on a plane but not quite as clean. There is a trolley service for snacks, sandwiches and drinks. The washrooms are at either end of the cabins but have a lot to be desired for cleanliness.

The night sleeper trains are quite comfortable. Beds are one up and one down twin bunk beds. Adjoining carriages are available for families. A basic dinner and breakfast are served directly to the cabin as part of the price. Drinks with the meals are not included other than coffee with breakfast. We do advise taking some snacks in case the food is not to your liking as there are no choices.

There is a washbasin in each cabin; toilets are at the end of each carriage. Luggage is stored overhead in your cabin. There are no shower facilities and washrooms tend to get very dirty from overuse, so please be prepared.

Expect to tip the cabin attendant, and anyone carrying your luggage as the guide will not be with you to take care of these. Always a good idea to have 1LE bills on hand for small tips. If traveling without a guide, ensure you ask the agent putting you on the train to advise the cabin attendant to tell you when to get off. Please note train reservations cannot be made more than 2 weeks in advance and are often overbooked. They sell the cabins for one price whether there are one or two people in them, and there are no reductions for children.

PRIVATE CARS & VANS WITH DRIVERS: :
Probably the best way to travel around, these are based on daily rates, but the driver will wait or return for you while you visit museums etc. If not using the Tour Operator services please make sure you deal with a reputable company, and if visiting sites consider using a guide otherwise at each site you visit the site guides (local unlicensed guides or vendors) will hassle you constantly. They can be very persistent and annoying.

METRO - UNDERGROUND: :
In Cairo: Efficient, well organized, and runs to a strict timetable, well worth using if the train goes to areas where you want to travel. They are expanding the lines but could take several years to complete.

NILE WATER BUSES/TAXIS: :
Very basic, tend to be crowded but fast and cheap for crossing the Nile or going to the areas closer to the river either West or East banks, like Cairo University, Zoo, Ramses Hilton Hotel, Downtown and Egyptian Museum.

GEOGRAPHY & MAPS:

EGYPT has a unique location in the middle of the world, centered between the East and West occupying the North East corner of Africa. Here the Suez Canal connects Asia with Europe and onto America. Most people associate Egypt with the Middle East but actually it is located in North Africa and Asia.

In Egypt air (Egyptair) is the best way to transfer between cities (Cairo to Luxor/Sharm El Sheik/Hurghada/Aswan – flight prices vary according to season - average flight time approx. one hour. Flights are often full so it is wise to make advance reservations.

The other alternative between Cairo and Luxor/Aswan is the overnight Sleeper Train. They offer flight style reclining seats either for overnight or by first class day train in addition to the 2 berth overnight sleeper cabins. The train is more economical than flying. Please note the train arrives in Luxor around 6am and around 9am in Aswan. Making for a short night’s sleep so please be prepared.

Reservations for the train cannot be made until 2 weeks before departure and cabins are sold for one price whether there is one or two persons in them. No reductions for children.

The only other option than flights for Hurghada and Sharm El Sheik where there is no train service is a drive of 5 or 6 hours by private vehicle or Super Jet Bus service.

Check the map and distances between cities
Link to Map EGYPT MAP

Cairo - Aswan: 14 hours by train - one hour flight.
Cairo - Luxor: 11 hours train - 45 Minutes flight.
Cairo - Hurghada 6 hours drive (no train available) - 45 minutes flight.
Cairo - Sharm: 7 hours drive (no train available) - 50 minutes flight.
Cairo - Alexandria – 3 - 3 1/2 hours drive or train ride
Cairo - Suez Canal – 2 - 3 hours drive.
Cairo - St. Catherine - 6 hours drive.
Cairo - Fayyoum - 90 minutes drive.
Luxor - Aswan - 4 hours drive or train.
Aswan – Abu Simbel - 30 minutes flight or 3 hours drive.
Luxor - Abydos - 2 hours drive.
Luxor - Hurghada – 3-4 hours drive.
Sharm – St. Catherine – 3 hours drive
Sharm – Nuweiba – 3 hours drive
Sharm – Dahab – 1-2 hours drive

COMFORT ITEMS:

Please note security regulations require that prescription drugs should be carried in your hand luggage and not packed in your main suitcase. We highly recommend packing valuables in your hand luggage they should not be packed in check in baggage.

Electricity – the power is 220 and either 2 point round or 2 point straight pins. Some have 3 prongs.

TRAVEL HAIRDRYER - some Hotels have them but they usually attached to the walls and tend to have only have one speed. If you really need one there are small travel dryers that you can purchase that take up hardly any space in your luggage.

LAUNDRY SERVICES - TRAVEL IRON - Laundry, including ironing services are readily available at reasonable prices, however it is not usual for them to have irons and boards to loan out. If you wish to iron your own clothes than a travel iron is recommended.

Dry cleaning services are available in most Hotels but not on the Cruises - laundry services are readily available. Please ensure you allow enough time for the return of your clothing before your departure from any Hotel or Cruise.

TRAVEL KETTLE – Tea and Coffee service is not a standard offering in Hotel Rooms in Egypt and if you like to have a coffee or tea then a travel kettle can be a blessing. Carrying some quick oatmeal packs, hot chocolate and noodle soups can come in handy especially if you have an upset stomach.

WATER BOTTLE CARRIER – This may come in useful as you will find yourselves carrying water with you everywhere you go.

WATER FILTERS – There are various types of bottles available but obviously the smaller the better. Bottled water is readily available everywhere at reasonable prices.

SMALL FOLD UP BAG OR BACK PACK – We recommend taking a small fold up bag in your luggage, this is ideal for those one night occasions like the Sleeper train or St.Catherine when you really don’t need your large suitcase. It also comes in handy for carrying those extra items you purchased that you hadn’t allowed for in your luggage.

COMMUNICATIONS:

TELEPHONE - CELLPHONES:
The Telephone system in Egypt is overloaded and antiquated. Deluxe/Luxury Hotels will have direct line dialing and international service. Check the rates before calling.

CELLPHONES:
Cell-phones are used throughout Egypt and the reception is very good even in remote areas.

There are several options, you can rent a cellphone with a prearranged charge on it from the Tour Operator . You can bring you own phone if it is unlocked and uses GSM and can purchase a sim card to use while in Egypt. Of course overseas calls are expensive so inquire for your best options.

CELL-PHONE RENTALS: :
A cell-phone rental service if offered for $6 US per day (subject to change). Incoming calls are free and a preset amount can be purchased for outgoing calls. Prices are similar to those elsewhere. You must book this in advance in order to obtain a number to give to your colleagues or family prior to your departure.

CALLING CARDS ::
Most International Calling cards can be used – check how to use your card with your card company before leaving home and check if Egypt is available for calling out. Some street phones will also take Credit Cards or the local calling cards. Local and international calling cards are available everywhere.

INTERNET::
Egypt is internet savvy. The internet in Egypt is free but you pay for phone calls on dial up, wireless services or dsl. More and more Hotels are offering the internet but it can be very expensive as much as $30 per day.

Some hotels have Internet Cafes, and Internet Cafes are prevalent throughout Egypt, some you can hook up your own laptop. Ask your guide or Hotel Concierge for information on the location of Internet Cafes in your area. The price is quite reasonable usually in the range of $5-$10 per hour billed in 15 minute intervals.

Wi-fi plug ins are also available, they have limited data use and might have to be reloaded.

Skype is also a great way to communicate with family and friends at home from your laptop if you carry one with you.

PRIVACY POLICY:

Please note it is the policy not to share your personal information including emails, phone etc. with anyone. This information is used only to book your tour.

This is particularly crucial when dealing with guides, suppliers etc. you should not give your emails or phone numbers to them. This is for your security and protection the Tour Operator will not be responsible for any repercussions as a result of you giving your information to any staff or suppliers.

Many of the guides, drivers and suppliers are contracted and there is no way of monitoring what they would do with your information so please do not give it to them.

If you wish to communicate with anyone working with the Tour Operator, to protect your privacy please communicate directly through your agent.

MISCELLANEOUS:

UPGRADES/OPTIONS & ADDITIONAL SERVICES:
The tours are designed to have no hidden expenses so there will be no surprises, you are encouraged to include any options before leaving home. However if after arrival you request changes or upgrade to flights etc., or participate in optional programs, or request services like obtaining films/batteries/water/medications or other items these services and or items must be paid for at the time or prior to the service being provided.

Please remember if upgrading to a flight instead of an overnight sleeper train, the price quoted for the upgrade reflects the Hotel accommodations, with breakfast, taxes and transfers for that night as well as the flight.

If you aren't sure of a price for a service or item, please clarify with the agent before agreeing to the service and before it is provided. Prepayment for all services is required.

You will be expected to pay for any services requested and provided.

This includes lost tickets or vouchers – if you lose them and they are replaced then they must be paid for or alternative arrangements must be made. The Tour Operator takes no responsibility for tickets you have lost.

Additional services can be paid in US or Euros or Egyptian Pounds or by signing a credit card authorization with an admin fee to be charged through the Canadian Agent.

REFUNDS:
Please note if there is cause for a refund for an unprovided service our Egypt office will endeavor to provide alternative services to compensate. Your tour payment is made directly to the Canada Agent then wired to the Tour Operator in Egypt who then pays the suppliers it is almost impossible to obtain refunds from Egypt after your return home.

The agents and guides are familiar with your itinerary but not the cost of your tour, therefore it is not appropriate to discuss your tour cost with them, Hotel staff or other travelers. You agree to the cost of the tour prior to departure and any price queries should be dealt with prior to your trip. Remember your cost is the foreigners cost not the local price. Agents and Guides are not involved in pricing and are not in a position to advise you or compare prices on your behalf.

If there is a discrepancy with the itinerary please contact the Cairo Office immediately. The guides and agents are contracted for guiding services and can only provide what is shown on their itinerary. If there is a discrepancy 90% of the time the Cairo office can resolve it immediately – if not they will contact the Canada Agent directly for clarification and they will respond promptly.

Any price discussions should be raised prior to your departure from home. If a discrepancy in your itinerary should arise and Egypt is not able to resolve it themselves or through contact with the Canada Agent please contact the Canada Agent directly yourself. If possible while in Egypt and they will clarify the situation with Egypt asap.

Please note as per the Tour Conditions there are no refunds for unused services or meals you choose not to take or are not able to take for medical reasons etc. We highly recommend that Cancellation/Medical Insurance be purchased prior to your departure.

BAGGAGE DELAYS/DAMAGE:
Sometimes if a connection has been missed, or delayed due to bad weather during your journey, baggage may get lost or delayed. Most airlines supply a cash amount upfront on arrival so you can purchase toiletries etc. They are also responsible for getting the luggage to you once it arrives.

However, If this should happen and in order not to spoil your tour and sightseeing and so you don’t have the inconvenience of calling airlines etc. the Tour Operator will assist in tracking your luggage for you. Once found and delivered to the airport, the company will do its utmost to assist in getting it to you.

Important Note: Please remember the Tour Operator did not lose or delay your luggage - it is NOT appropriate or acceptable to take out your frustrations on the company who is doing its best to assist you. This is a service provided to save you further distress. If your luggage arrives in a damaged condition or is completely lost you should contact the airline directly and resolve this with them.

Damaged luggage should be reported immediately to the appropriate airline desk, once you leave the airport with your damaged luggage unreported it is impossible to make any claim.

DELAYED OR EARLY FLIGHTS:
Flights are sometimes delayed or you may miss a connection. On your final itinerary you are provided several contact numbers so you can phone directly and alternative arrangements can be made for your arrival pick up.

It is important that you contact the Tour Operator if you miss a flight. This is particularly important if you have booked your flights yourself as the Tour Operator and Agent would have no way of knowing if alternate arrangements have been made for you.

Delayed flights are tracked, but if a flight is early this is often unexpected and the agent may not immediately be there to meet you – if this should be the case, ask one of the many agents in the customs area to call your agent on his cell and he will make the appropriate arrangements with you.

ANIMALS:
In Egypt, Camels, Donkeys, Sheep and Horses play a major role in the livelihood of many people. These animals consequently are usually very well cared for and in most cases are treated like family members. Once in a while as with anywhere this may not be the case, and if you find yourself being asked to take a carriage ride or horse/camel ride etc. and you aren't comfortable with the way the animal is treated, please bring it to the attention of the guide so he can find you an alternative.

ABU SIMBUL:
Abu Simbul is a fascinating place, the site of the two great temples of Ramses the 2nd that were moved during the making of the High Dam. Well worth seeing. Getting too and from Abu Simbul by air has become increasingly expensive and frustrating due to delayed flights and lack of time at the site. As a result we now offer Abu Simbul as a road trip.

HOW IT WORKS:

By Road:
You will be picked up from your Hotel - the road trip is approx 3 hours. Traveling by road the guide will go with you, he will obtain the tickets and provide detailed information on the site and after you have spent time at the site, approx 2 hours you will return by road to Aswan and your Cruise ship. Guides are not allowed inside the temples.

If you find the driver is driving too fast ask him to slow down. The Tour Operator cannot be out in the field so we need you to talk directly to the driver or guide if you are uncomfortable with any driving behaviors.

By Air: This is more complicated. You will be picked up from your Hotel and transferred to the airport. The guide does not fly with you as the cost of sending the guide would increase the cost of the tour considerably and the flights are often full and Egypt air is reluctant to have them take the space. Your guide will give your flight tickets and your entry fees.

When you arrive in Abu Simbul, to save time on your return please go to the check-in desk with your tickets so they will have your boarding passes ready for you to pick up.

There will be several buses outside the terminal all going to Abu Simbul Temples – you may get on any one of them that is not reserved for large groups. On arrival at the site go to the ticketing booth and purchase your entry tickets. Ask the ticket agent to direct you to the English speaking guide who will either be just inside the gate or down in front of the temple entrances.

They have their own guides on site in various languages so you need to find the English speaking ones. Any English speaking guide will do the interpretation which lasts about 10 minutes so if you miss one you can join another. The guides are not allowed inside the temples so they will give you all the info and direct you to go inside yourselves. Once you have had enough time to explore the temples and take your photos make your way back to a bus and back to the airport.

It is a confusing process and is government controlled. It is cost prohibitive to have a private guide go with you by air. The road option is recommended as this gives you extra time at the site.

CHARITABLE MAGAZINE/BOOK PROJECT:
In order to assist University Students, Schools, and Orphanages with Magazines and Books they can use in their education the Tour Operator collects and distributes English Magazines and Books. These are hard to come by and very expensive in Egypt.

If you have any space in your luggage and you wish to contribute they would be greatly appreciated. Your donations will assist in Education and the agent will be happy to accept them on arrival.

All Children’s books and any magazines that are not sexually explicit or of a religious doctrine are readily acceptable. Thank You for your consideration.. ..

TIPS FOR TRAVELERS:

1. Don’t expect to find things as they are at home, as you have left home to find things different.

2. Don’t take things too seriously for a carefree mind is the cornerstone of a good vacation.

3. Don’t allow other tourists get on your nerves for you are paying good money to enjoy yourself.

4. Don’t worry or you will have little joy. Contact your Tour Agent and let them worry for you.

5. Don’t judge all of a country by one bad person or one bad experience.

6. Blessed are those who are patient for they enjoy themselves.

7. When in Rome (or anywhere else) do only somewhat as the natives do. Remember you come from a different climate and routine.

8. Treat your hosts with respect and you will be received as honored guests.

9. Ensure you carry a valid passport when entering and exiting a Country. Keep in a safe place at all times, it is said that a person without ID is a person in distress.

10. Pack half as many clothes as you need and take twice as much money as you plan on spending.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST - HAVE A GREAT TRIP


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