Four person (two father daughter pairs) Tour included Cairo, Giza, Luxor, Carnac, Aswan, Abu Simbel, then Amman and Petra August 2017. Different guides in different places has plusses and minuses and we've done tours with one guide throughout (great personal connection, but variable understandings of regions) and others like this where we have experts in every locale. Accounting for differences in personality, I thought this tour was outstanding! Couple of standouts: The real highlights were Pyramids with Camel ride and then Papyrus store and Cairo Museum. The "Egyptologist" came as advertised, knew an unbelievable amount of detail and showed us things in the museum that were tucked away out of view but related directly to things we had just seen in Giza. I really felt like we had a tour by the curator him(her)self. I've done a lot of traveling, and this guy was the most sophisticated guide of all my travels I'd leave his name but there are a LOT of Ahmeds that work for this company.
Treatment at the airports was also fantastic! There is a lot of passport presentation and shuffling at airports, especially customs, and they took most of the bite out of that experience by leading us skillfully around. They are obviously known to the locals who treat their customers very well. One of the managers was incredibly helpful when my daughter lost her passport at the hotel (we were already at the airport)... found in about 45 minutes! (my life flashed before my eyes).
Another strange standout was in Amman. We had a driver between guides (which we did have for the more important stops like Petra) who spoke essentially no English, but was so nice and amazingly accommodating, and communicated with gesture so well I was blown away. We tipped him highly as we had a couple of days with him that were also a real highlight. This underscores a culture of hospitality and concern that transcend language. I'm not really sure how he pulled that off, and shows that I have a thing or two to learn about hospitality. BTW our Petra guide was also outstanding. My daughter's name is Petra and that day stands as a lifetime peak experience for both of us. He was super knowledgeable and very very funny, kept the four of us entertained really well throughout.
General Interest... Two young Gals along, one 13, one 20 y/o. Not one worrisome interaction wrt cultures, and my daughter the 20 year old basically refused by entreaties to wear a scarf (at the beginning of the tour before I figured out it wasn't necessary). She has long blonde hair and the only interactions were local girls wanting selfies with her. Egyptians are currently in a difficult financial condition, tourism is down and the sellers are kind of desperate. The advice was not to interact with them, but I ignored that and had some wonderful interactions. NOW is the time to go, lines are short, prices as low as they're ever going to get. Egypt will never be "empty" because it's Egypt!
All in all I give 5 stars, these were some of the special moments, but there were many other great experiences. (BTW don't go in August if you can't stand heat... didn't bother us, but it might if you can't take it). Truly treasured memories!
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