Having not being attracted to a 5 hour coach trip with lots of people we chose this tour after reading great reviews on it before we left the UK. This is a great choice if you are in an all inclusive hotel and need a day out before you get institutionalised. If you go to Egypt and do not experience its history you really are missing out. This company offer a first class customer service especially with all the emails before & after. You pay cash not cards, at the end of the trip and please do take enough cash to tip the driver and the guide (sterling is best) they so deserve it.
Do not be put off booking a private tour by your friends or family or any holiday rep who. Any say..."it's not safe, stay with your holiday co." it is fine!!!, of course the holiday companies want your business but the Egyptian people need it more ie direct bookings with companies in Egypt.
Our private Egyptian guide Ismail, met us in Luxor after our 3.5 hr drive with Mahmoud who collected us from our hotel at 4am in Marsa Alam. This company go totally out of their way to accommodate you.
First stop, Valley of the Kings where we sat with Ismail in the shade whilst he imparted his knowledge of Ramses II, and other kings of the tombs we visited. We didn't visit the Tomb of King Tutankhamun (Tut) as it's empty. We were on own in the tombs, it was so quiet. GO NOW before the crowds return. The guides are not permitted to talk in the tombs so he briefed us outside each one and let us go in alone, met people in and out but at some points there was no one in there but us ! and the guard but beware the guard will say "you want photo" they want money !!! but also this is total abuse of the history and illegal and they are so desperate they will push all boundaries but you can't blame them. We left cameras in the car as they take them off you at the gate.
I felt like Madonna ! Chauffeured around (another driver took over at Luxor for Mahmoud to rest) getting in and out the air con car at each site, easily being able to escape the over the top sellers, especially at the Colossi of Memnon, the 2 statues that soar into the sky over 60ft, amazing. The sellers bicker behind you as coaches arrive they almost fight to get to you first. I know they need to sell their wares but after a white it was too much, if you are in a coach doing this trip get back on your coach ASAP, another reason to choose a private tour such as this. Ismail's knowledge of all the sites and Egyptian history was astounding.
It was very hot be prepared between May and September. COVER your head and shoulders you will burn walking around. Saw a few tourists looking like swan vestas! burnt to a crisp. Ismail was very patient with us 2 Brits as we topped up the suncream, watch out your ankles will burn, we were not rushed at all.
The trip to Hatshepsut was also a great experience and we were almost alone, ie 6 other people there, it was so quiet, sad for the country's economy as people are still afraid to go to Egypt DO NOT BE AFRAID it is fine down this end at least. Avoid as best you can the sellers on your way in to the sites but your guide helps you with this.
Went to an Alabaster store, our choice, but don't bother you end up buying plastic ie only one item we bought was genuine, but hey for the one beautiful genuine item it was worth what we paid for all 5!
In Karnak, we were blown away, what a fabulous place to visit and lots of shade hence you come here later when much hotter there is little shade at the other sites.
Half way through the day we went to an Egyptian restaurant in Luxor which was fabulous the food was gorgeous and an excellent service (we did a veggie choice)
In Karnak we saw Joann Fletcher, the famous Egyptologist who arrived that day for a new BBC documentary. Our trip finished with tea on a boat ride up the Nile as it was sadly too windy for a felucca ride. Would love to go back to Egypt but on a Nile cruise next time as there is so much to see and a day is not long enough. One negative point, as most Brits, we found the sites of the mules pulling giant loads and the carriage horses in Luxor distressing we hate carriage horse rides anywhere in the world but seeing foals being whipped tied to a mature horse in training was dreadful and upsetting. I know it's their livelihood just wish they could be more kind to them.
This trip is very cheap for what you get the site visits alone were about £40 each (tombs etc) and the whole trip cost £110 each so work it out, ridiculously low priced!
Please do this trip :)
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