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Guide prices - extorsionate?

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England
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410 posts
88 reviews
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Guide prices - extorsionate?

I'm trying to book a guide + Taxi for a day in Cairo and just can't get over the fees they are charging!

I've mailed a few people on the recommended forum, and they are coming back with $60-100 (USD) per person for a day, most without including the entrance fee to Giza pyrmaid. When I try to negotiate they come back with "this is my lowest rate/My rates are fixed"....

From what I've read Taxi for a day only costs about 150-200EL.

Now, I've read a head teacher earns as little as £50 sterling per MONTH in Egypt - if this is true, I can't believe some (as good as they may be) are charging twice that in a day. It must be the equivalant of a guide in London earning £4000 sterling for a day's work!

Am I being ripped off here or is the price of guides in Cairo out of sync with rest of the country?

Copenhagen
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11. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

The prices you quote does seem steep, all things considered.

I just checked the travel-agent I usually use when in Cairo and their Cairo-package costs less than 100 USD and that is including pyramids, museum, Khan al-Khalili, Citadel, Sakkara, Memphis. Entrance and lunch (two days) and guide are included.

Granted, they are a big company and have thousands of visitors each year so naturally this reflects on their prices and granted I have to book before leaving Denmark and granted I risk sitting in a large tour-bus with 40 other tourists.

All that said, all guides doing business in Egypt must be certified. It is not legal to guide in Egypt without a cetificate. All guides carry their certificate in plain sight, often hanging around their neck.

Again - I definitely believe that you get what you pay for, it doesn't always hold true, right, but 15 USD for a tour doesn't even cover transportation, so that sounds too cheap to me.

England
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410 posts
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12. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

Thanks guys for all your reples!

I'm seriously thinking of going Taxi, atleast for Giza Pyramids (looks like you don't need a guide for extra info there?).

On the other hand I would love to have extra info that I can't easily get on average guide book (e.g.lonely planet) or go places/eat in off tourist tracks.

I think you are right though - 15USD seems too cheap to be true, and you know what they say about that kind of bargain bargain!

p.s. Just realized 150 GBP is more then I make in a 10 hour day in UK! (well, after tax that is)

Hartlepool
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660 posts
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13. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

Hi,

Even though Emad charges 15USD he has received some excellent reports on Trip Advisor

Marie

Copenhagen
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2,043 posts
31 reviews
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14. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

15 USD is less than 10 Pound Sterling/100 Egyptian pounds and there is no way any guide (whether they have received great reviews or bad) who can do a tour for that kind of money unless it is out of charity and I have a hard time believing that.

100 Egyptian Pounds doesn't even pay transportation and driver!

England
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410 posts
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15. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

I'd have to say I agree it's too cheap and there must be alternate source of income there. Even 15 USD per person would ony be 30 USD for 2 of us - might just about cover the transport only!

I worry getting a guide that's extremely cheap - will he/she then make me goto a shop/restaurant where he gets comissions? I don't really want to shop on my day of sight seeing.....

Copenhagen
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16. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

RisingZen,

As you yourself hint at, shopping might be part of a cheap tour.

Or any tour for that matter, whether cheap or expensive. For many guides, though most definitely not all, shopping is part of the package. I know that there are guides who don't do shopping, and that is very well, I think. Their prices are slightly higher than others, though.

I usually go along with the shopping-part. But I make clear that in order to do that, then 1) I will not spend more time shopping then actual sightseeing and 2) I will not feel pressured to buy anything.

I actually don't mind the guide and the driver getting a few bucks extra on my account, as long as we all know that that is exactly what is going on ie shopping is = commission to guide and driver. I don't like to be ripped off of course, but what I like even less is to be treated like I am a dumb-a$$ just because I am a tourist and the guide plays innocent and refuse that he or she receives commission. Anyway, that is my personal opinion. 15 minutes at a papyrus-shop is not going to kill me and I really don't mind at all and may even find a pretty piece to bring home as a gift etc.

But those tours where you first have papyrus, then gold, then carpets and then perfume....I truly think that is awful. In those cases, I'd rather pay extra for the tour just to NOT go shopping.

This is NOT to say that those guides with cheaper prices are doing excessive shopping. Not at all.

But I still don't believe that a guide can arrange a full day for 15 USD even in Egypt and even considering a certain dumping of prices, the competition etc. Unless of course you are part of a larger group with 10-15 people, then it begins to amount to something.

I cannot guarantee that a very expensive guide will be better than a cheap one. It doesn't have to be like that. But in most cases I'd risk saying that you get what you pay for.

Louise

Liverpool, United...
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4,146 posts
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17. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

Hello,

Would like to clarify about the 15 USD fee as mentioned by chowy, I sent her a PM as I was intereted to know how many persons are in the group, and she kindly replied, they are 4, so the fee for the day is actually 60 USD (i.e. about 334 LE.

Lots of guides vary the fee according to the number of persons, which is a good way of doing it, they do have to cover the transportation costs of course.

Regards

Wendy

shelchi
2 posts
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18. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

I recently returned from a visit to Egypt in December. I booked a tour with Emad (a guide I contacted from reviews on TripAdvisor forums). His contact info is emadhadeda@hotmail.com

He is an excellent guide and an Egyptologist as well! I would highly recommend him especially if you only have a short time to spend in Cairo. There is so much to see and do, and without Emad's expertise we would not have had nearly the same experience. We were able to see twice as much and for a far better price then other travelers we had spoken with (even those traveling on their own)! You also cannot put a price on having a local guide to negotiate and guide you around the "tourist traps" you will encounter along the way. His professionalism, service and honesty are first rate and his prices extremely reasonable.

I also purchased several Egypt guide books (eyewitness travel etc) they are excellent for overall background info on the sites, however they can't replace having a private egyptologist showing you first hand and explaining in detail all the many splendors of Egypt!

shelchi
2 posts
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19. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

Also, with our guide Emad we DID NOT do any shopping on our tour. We were just interested in the ancient sites.

He will only take you shopping if you request it. For those interested in shopping he can advise on some reasonable local markets where you won't get taken advantage of.

England
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410 posts
88 reviews
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20. Re: Guide prices - extorsionate?

Thanks for the feed backs!

I'm now really confused as I want to get the best out of my little time in Cairo, but don't really want to spend too much (esp with sterling falling & falling)!

Gonna have to have a serious word with my guide book and ask lonely planet how comfortable does it feel in getting me through Cairo on its own me thinks!