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

Now we 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 wanted to move there for a break. We joined Expat Discover on their 10 Day Explorer Tour by means of 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 cost effective in value with all the identical sights and ultimately we had been pleased with our selection.

Pre-departure they emailed us our itinerary with the elective excursions and extra prices for entry charges included in order that we may funds 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 lodge. That drive was an eye-opener to Egypt with loopy lane modifications, honking, swerving, flashing lights with animals, individuals and autos all over the place.

El Tonsy Lodge is your base on your arrival and final evening. 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 wish warmth in Egypt but it surely was the center of winter and it was chilly at evening. No complaints with the placement although as we may see the Pyramids within the distance and had been solely 5 minutes stroll from the Nile and quarter-hour to Tahir Sq. (completely secure by the way in which). Plus they’ve just a little 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’ll get on effective.

El Tonsy Hotel View of Pyramids

It’s fairly exhausting to interrupt down an entire journey into one submit however right here goes:

Day One

Your tour begins with one of the best 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. This present day was positively the spotlight.

That evening is spent aboard the prepare for 10-12 hours to Aswan. I extremely suggest the Sleeper prepare for an additional £50 per individual. Others that caught the usual prepare froze their butts off whereas we had a toasty sleep with a served dinner and breakfast. Sadly Expat Discover by no means instructed us in regards to the offered meals so we ate earlier than we received on-board however what we may 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 lodges and on a Felucca. No shock that we went with the cheaper choice aboard the Felucca so the following few days are from that viewpoint.

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 ground (throw your rest room paper within the bin not the toilet)! 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 unquestionably 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 elective dinner in a standard Nubian households home. The meals was delicious and also you higher carry your singing and dancing footwear.

Day 4

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

With scrumptious pita bread and falafel cooked on the boat you’ll not be upset 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 positively 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 keep in mind to carry your individual rest room 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 evening.

Day 5

Waking to a dawn breaking the morning chill is an excellent solution 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 need to say, all the transportation was greater than satisfactory 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 most likely the choose of all of them. Located on the Nile financial institution with a swimming pool and engaging buffet breakfast.

Day Six

Another day, another 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 spoil it for everybody by taking pictures 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 that you must drive 6 hours to succeed in Hurghada that evening.

Day Seven and Eight

The following 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 employees had been nice however the entire day appeared just a little rushed which was a disgrace. Preserve an eye fixed out for our submit on our diving expertise in Hurghada.

Diving in Hurghada on the Red Sea

So good having the ability to chill out on a seashore and browse a e book after such a busy schedule. It’s exhausting to go away and the 6 – 8 hour bus experience again to Cairo is hard.

Journey Tip: In case 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 positively the Cairo Museum with a superb tour information. It suits completely on the finish by seeing all of the historical past close-up after having realized 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 effort at conserving 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 evening 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 might make an enormous distinction to the general expertise:

  • It felt like we had been at all times hungry. Possibly it’s simply Kiwi’s and Aussies that eat on a regular basis but it surely critically felt like we had been always ravenous with lunches being served often after 4pm and dinner at 9pm onwards. It is perhaps the Egyptian solution to eat at these instances however not for us. Journey Tip: Purchase numerous snacks for the street that are very low cost at supermarkets.
  • There was generally a scarcity of route in what gave the impression to be occurring. Every part is finished on Egyptian time so be affected person.
  • We had been usually delayed or delayed with little to no steering as to how lengthy it might take to get from place to position. Just a little information goes a protracted was as then we are able to plan forward.
  • Extra free time could be nice to discover locations by yourself slightly than have our arms held all over the place.

The Positives:

As we stated 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 cost effective tour we may 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 didn’t reply any questions we had. The insights into the each day lives of the individuals 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 general so was the lodging and transport choices.

All in all we extremely suggest you e book with Expat Discover in case you are contemplating a visit by means of Egypt.

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