We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 day tour to Cairo with BESE Tours! Sherry, our guide, and Fahmy, our driver, met us at Port Said. Both were very personable and made us feel completely at ease.
One of the benefits of a private tour is that it can be customized. We spent 3 hours in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. We arrived with a number of large tour buses, but they cleared out after an hour. Sherry was very knowledgeable about the pieces on display and she skilfully directed us to the highlights in this museum, ending up, of course, with the Tut exhibit. It was an incredible experience to visit this museum!
Throughout the tour, Sherry helpfully pointed out much historical, architectural and cultural information that I had not read. This information added to our appreciation of what we were seeing.
Another benefit of customization: we did not want to go to any bazaar, so Sherry deleted that portion of the tour, with our consent.
In the afternoon, we checked into our hotel, the Mena House, with a view of the pyramids. (The Mena House and the breakfast were included in the tour package.) What a great hotel! The pool is reminiscent of the sacred lakes at the great temples and we enjoyed a very relaxing swim before dinner in the restaurant. The food is well prepared and presented. The service is in the finest European tradition.
The breakfast buffet was included in our tour. In addition to the standard Western breakfast foods, the buffet also included an extensive selection of Egyptian foods, which were delicious! When we expressed appreciation for the taste of the Egyptian foods, Marian, the manager, and Essam, our waiter, had the kitchen prepare some foods that were not on the buffet for us, so we could enjoy them. Essam also offered us an Egyptian coffee to finish the meal.
A highlight at the pyramids was the camel rides that BESE included in the tour. We enjoyed the ride on 2 camels named Michael Jackson and Omar Sharif with our camel driver, Abdullah. Sherry handled all the negotiations with the camel driver, so it was hassle free.
Then, it was off to Sakkara to see the Step Pyramid of Djoser and lunch at a nearby restaurant that featured delicious barbequed chicken and lamb.
Sakkara was special. The oldest pyramid and temple ruins and very few tourists. (Hint: if you go, consider taking some food for the dogs that you will see in the parking lot.)
Egypt has fabulous fresh fruits and vegetables that they eat in season. I had been admiring the beautiful watermelons for sale along many of the roads. I asked Sherry if we could buy one to eat. Before we got to the restaurant, Fahmy stopped and bought one, so that we could enjoy it for dessert. Yum! It was delicious! It reminded me of the kind of watermelons we used to enjoy, in Canada, when I was a boy, more than 50 years ago, before they bred the seeds, colour and taste out. Just another benefit of a private tour!
It was great to spend the better part of 2 days with Sherry and Fahmy. Sherry also cut down on any hassle associated with travelling in Egypt, buying all the tickets, keeping vendors at bay, and giving us tips on how to do this ourselves.
Ahmed, the general manager, was also in communication with Sherry to ensure that all was going well.
We also appreciated Fahmy’s courteous manner and the skillful way he drove thru the Egyptian traffic.
BESE delivered on all that they promised. I have no hesitation in recommending them and, if I was touring again, in Egypt, I would use them again.
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