Kissing and feeding Giraffes on the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi, Kenya

We now have been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when…

We now have been wanting to go to Egypt for some time now so when the chance to get away over the Christmas and New 12 months interval arose we knew we would have liked to move there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour via Egypt taking within the sights of Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.

Expat Explore Group Photo

The rationale we selected Expat Discover was that they had been the most affordable in worth with all the identical sights and in the long run we had been proud of our selection.

Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the non-compulsory excursions and extra prices for entry charges included in order that we might finances correctly. In addition to following up with our pre-trip questions relating to flights, insurance coverage and uhealth and security recommendation.

From the beginning they had been very skilled. Touchdown in Cairo we had been personally greeted the day earlier than our tour and transported to our Metropolis centre resort. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane adjustments, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, folks and autos all over the place.

El Tonsy Lodge is your base to your arrival and final night time. Fortunately we didn’t anticipate a lot as our door didn’t lock which was a bit dodgy and the rooms had been freezing chilly with a damaged heater and just one blanket. You wouldn’t suppose you would want warmth in Egypt nevertheless it was the center of winter and it was chilly at night time. No complaints with the situation although as we might see the Pyramids within the distance and had been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and quarter-hour to Tahir Sq. (completely protected by the best way). Plus they’ve a bit bar/restaurant with low cost meals and free Wi-Fi. Simply purchase your snacks and water from the grocery store throughout the street and you’re going to get on nice.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s fairly onerous to interrupt down a complete journey into one put up however right here goes:

Day One

Your tour begins with the most effective in my view by touring some sights of Cairo. The steeply angled Step Pyramid, mind-blowing Pyramids of Giza and the smaller than anticipated Sphinx. At the present time was undoubtedly the spotlight.

That night time is spent aboard the practice for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely suggest the Sleeper practice for an additional £50 per particular person. Others that caught the usual practice froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Sadly Expat Discover by no means instructed us concerning the offered meals so we ate earlier than we obtained on-board however what we might slot in was scrumptious.

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Day Two

The tour splits in Aswan as one group embarks on a River Cruise aboard a 5 star ship whereas the others spend time in inns and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper possibility aboard the Felucca so the subsequent few days are from that perspective.

The afternoon is yours at Sara Lodge on the banks above the Nile. We lapped up the attractive rays of the solar and managed to show our pasty white our bodies a extra becoming barely white shade. The Lodge was nice till the bathroom next-door erupted sending a river of smelly waste throughout our bed room flooring (throw your bathroom paper within the bin not the john)! Fortunately we woke in time to rescue our luggage from the watery mess! Not the fault of Expat Discover and we didn’t blame the Lodge both as shit occurs.

Day Three

Your day begins by visiting the monstrous Excessive Dam for 10 minutes (pretty boring) and a drive previous the Unfinished Obelisk. Whereas the spotlight is certainly the Philae Temple. When the sunsets throughout the Nile reflecting off the stonework it actually is sort of magical.

Philae Temple Sunset

The night ended with an non-compulsory dinner in a standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher deliver your singing and dancing sneakers.

Day 4

The next day and night time is spent stress-free aboard the Felucca for a sail up the Nile for a number of hours. Sleeping not more than 8 folks you can be comfortable in the event you deliver your individual sleeping bag like us. The remainder of our crew had been jealous because it did get fairly chilly within the night nevertheless blankets had been offered.

With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you’ll not be dissatisfied with the meals both.

The day ends with a bonfire on the Nile shoreline as you sing and dance with the loopy enjoyable Nubian crews. This was undoubtedly one of many highlights of the complete journey for us.

Journey Tip: Don’t be delay by doing all your “enterprise” amongst the reeds of the Nile. Simply benefit from the view and bear in mind to deliver your individual bathroom paper (which you want all over the place in Egypt anyway).

Felucca on the Nile

By all accounts, from the opposite tour members, the River Cruise is simply as nice with 3 nights on-board in comfy lodging, a pool and  buffets morning, midday and night time.

Day 5

Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent method to begin a brand new day. Sadly there may be little time for rest earlier than you’re off the Felucca and on a bus to Kom Ombu and Edfu Temples. I have to say, the entire transportation was greater than enough with bogs on the buses and room sufficient for everybody. It’s fortunate since you do spend the vast majority of the time being pushed round.

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The Lotus Lodge in Luxor was in all probability the decide of all of them. Located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and attractive buffet breakfast.

Day Six

Yet another day, yet one more busy schedule. Speeding to beat the crowds on the Valley of the Kings it’s one other 8am begin. You’re solely allowed to go to three tombs and we suggest the guides picks which had been Ramses II, IV and IX.

Journey Tip: You’re NOT allowed to take your digicam with you off the bus. Please don’t damage it for everybody by taking photographs as you can be charged by safety when caught.

We additionally squeezed within the crowded rock carved Hatshepsut Temple however solely drove previous Luxor Temple as we ran out of time as it’s worthwhile to drive 6 hours to achieve Hurghada that night time.

Day Seven and Eight

The subsequent two days on the Purple Sea are yours to do no matter you want so use them correctly. We joined most of our group for a spot of snorkelling and diving. The dive and the workers had been nice however the entire day appeared a bit rushed which was a disgrace. Maintain a watch out for our put up on our diving expertise in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So good with the ability to loosen up on a seashore and skim a ebook after such a busy schedule. It’s onerous to go away and the 6 – 8 hour bus trip again to Cairo is hard.

Journey Tip: Should you plan to do the tour over New Years Eve then you’ll have to depart Hurghada half a day early which sucked because it meant celebrating the New 12 months on the Lodge in Cairo. Little bit of a let down however when hasn’t New Years Eve been!

Day 9

Your remaining day of sightseeing is spent round Cairo. Our favorite a part of the day was undoubtedly the Cairo Museum with a wonderful tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after having discovered about it during the last 8 days.

By the point we hit the outdated space of Cairo and the Coptic Hanging Church we had been spent on historical past however our information made a very good effort at retaining us entertained.

The final group exercise is free time for an hour or so on the Khan El Khalili souk markets the place the touts attempt to prise your money from you for the final time from each nook and cranny.

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Day Ten

With the tour over it’s time to move dwelling. Our flight was late the next night time so we walked across the metropolis and Souks on our personal for the day. Expat Discover gives transport again to the airport which was nice.

The Negatives

The journey was superior however we predict it’s essential to notice the little issues that would make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:

  • It felt like we had been at all times hungry. Perhaps it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis nevertheless it critically felt like we had been consistently ravenous with lunches being served normally after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It is perhaps the Egyptian method to eat at these instances however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase a number of snacks for the street that are very low cost at supermarkets.
  • There was typically a scarcity of path in what gave the impression to be taking place. All the things is finished on Egyptian time so be affected person.
  • We had been typically delayed or delayed with little to no steering as to how lengthy it will take to get from place to put. A little bit data goes an extended was as then we will plan forward.
  • Extra free time can be nice to discover locations by yourself moderately than have our arms held all over the place.

The Positives:

As we mentioned above, the journey was superb and the little optimistic issues far outweighed the negatives which helped make it a memorable journey.

  • Pre-departure data and care was extraordinarily good.
  • The tour was distinctive worth for cash and it was the most affordable tour we might discover despite the fact that we nonetheless noticed all the identical sights the opposite teams did.
  • The guides had been extraordinarily educated and by no means did not reply any questions we had. The insights into the day by day lives of the folks round us was a pleasant break from all of the historical past. In addition they ensured you by no means felt unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • The Felucca journey was higher than anticipated and total so was the lodging and transport choices.

All in all we extremely suggest you ebook with Expat Discover if you’re contemplating a visit via Egypt.

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Disclaimer: Expat Discover offered us with a reduction for our 10 day tour of Egypt nevertheless as at all times our ideas are at all times our personal.