Egypt has it ALL
Most people who think of Egypt think of antiquities, but Egypt offers much more. Certainly it is a prime location to see our great heritage from the ancient world, including pyramids and wonderful temples, but it is also part of the holy land, and tours to Muslims and other religious monuments are popular. Yet Egypt also offers nature and desert treks, great scuba diving and even golf, fishing and briding expeditions. One may choose to relax on the wondrous Egypt Red Sea or Sinai coasts, take in the high culture of Cairo, or even leisurely float down the Egyptian Nile on a luxurious river boat.
General information about Egypt
Egypt is officially known as the Arab republic of Egypt and is located in north-eastern Africa and southwestern Asia. Cairo, the capital and largest city, is the most modern in the Middle East and Africa.
capital city: Cairo (population 7 million)
area: 1,001,450 sq km
population: 81.7 million
currency: Egyptian Pound (EGP)
time zone: GMT +2
dialing code: +20
daylight savings begins: No DST
daylight savings ends: No DST
electricity: Type C (European 2-pin),
egypt tours information on Egypt
times to go
If you are looking to escape the crowds, try travelling from March to May or September to November when the weather is mildler. September to Novemeber is not only a quiter time to travel, but you'll be able to immerse yourself in the experience of Ramadan, and the celebrations of Eid - the Festival of breaking the fast.
During the Summer months from June to August, daily temperatures can reach 40 degrees and will test your endurance if you are walking the streets of Cairo, but may be perfect if you're planning to soak up the heat on a Sinai beach. If you prefer to sunbathe with a little elbow room, then March to May or September to November would be the perfect time to travel.
Generally, the hottest months are June to August; the coldest month is January; rainfall is negligible except on the coast, with rainfall usually occuring during the winter months December to March.
We use a wide range of accommodation in Egypt, from basic guest houses and hostels, small family run properties to felucca, desert camp, beach hut, overnight train and large international standard multi-storey hotels.
· Rooms and beds tend to be smaller than you would expect from similar standard hotels worldwide- space can be a premium in the ancient towns and cities
· Bathrooms are not always private - some hotels have shared facilities. You may encounter squat toilets
· Some of our accommodation in is old historic buildings which means there is a lot of charm and character, but also antiquated plumbing and sometimes things do not work like they used to. Hot water is not always available. Water pressure can be low
· Our local friends in our accommodation sometimes do not speak English so this is your chance to practise your Arabic - particularly at starting hotels
· Please take note of the luggage limit since some accommodation does not have lifts so you will be hauling your luggage up several flights of stairs
· Towels and linen are usually provided unless otherwise stated - there is rarely a need for sleeping bags
· Bring your own toiletries and hair drier since these are rarely provided at our accommodation
· Some accommodation has TVs, but there are no English channels
· Rooms may not be serviced everyday, towels and sheets are only changed when a passenger vacates the room. Hot running water is sometimes not guaranteed throughout the day
· Most hotels have a check in time of 14:00 and a check out time of 10:00
· Make sure you get a hotel card on arrival, so that you can always find your way home
· Safety deposit boxes are often, but not always available
· We choose accommodation based on convenience of location, sometimes that means we stay very centrally - meaning all the bars and restaurants are at your doorstep and other times it means we stay near the train station so we can catch that early train
Luggage Storage at our accommodation:
· Some hotels offer luggage storage but we do not advertise this as it is usually a very small space and can be inconvenient
· Storing luggage can incur additional costs if luggage exceeds one piece per person and can normally be stored on departure day only and not for long periods of time
· Luggage storage facilities are not generally secured. Please bring your own locks for your luggage
· Passengers should pay attention to the luggage limit that we outline in our trip notes
We use a variety of transport from overnight train, coaches, local buses, private mini vans, metro, walking, bicycle, felucca, camel, donkeys, taxi, jeep, river boat and plane.
· Sometimes the train carriages are open with airplane style seating, other times they are closed cabins with 6-8 passengers
· On some overnight trips sleeper cabins are not provided
· Sometimes we have assigned seating and other times you can sit anywhere
· Trains sit quite high off the platform which means you should stick to our luggage limits as you will be required to lift your luggage onto trains and into overhead luggage storage
· Some local buses we use are very crowded, and you may have to stand with your luggage
· Luggage on buses is 'self help' so drivers in Egypt do not load your luggage for you - you are expected to lift your own luggage onto buses, ferries and trains
· Luggage sometimes goes on the bus with you and not in luggage lockers under the bus
· To give you an idea of travel times see the day to day itinerary of the trip notes for your specific trip.
The first two carriages of the metro are reserved for women
· Traditional Nile sailing boats are a fantastic way to travel
· Accommodation is on the deck which comes with an awning for hot days or cold nights
· Facilities are extremely basic, though we do provide occasional toilet stops
· everyone should take a ride on one at some point during their visit to Egypt
Public Holidays in 2011
· 26 Feb Birth of the Prophet Muhamed ( Sala ALLAH aleh wasalam )
· 25 Apr Sinai Liberation Day
· 28 Apr Sham el-Nassim (Coptic Easter)
· 1 May Labour Day
· 23 Jul National Day
· 10-13 Sep Bairam Feast (End of Ramadan)
· 6 Oct Armed Forces Day
· 16-17 Nov Grand Feast
· 7 Dec Islamic New Year
food & drink
· Eating out in Egypt is an adventure and a delight. You can not expect the same food and service as you would at home
· Tipping is an integral part of life in Egypt, it is expected and appreciated. Expect to tip approximately 10% in restaurants.
· Check your trip dossier for amounts needed to cover meals not included.
· If you are on a budget, there are always fantastic cheap local eats available.
· Sometimes a light simple breakfast is included at our hotels
Must try food in Egypt:
There are some fabulous food experiences to be had:
· A great range of foods is available, well flavoured and not too spicy
· Fish and seafood are a must try, particularly in the coastal regions and cities such as Alexandria
· Exotic fruits are cheap and plentiful, why not try some guava, mango or melon from a marketplace or street vendor
· The classic dish of Ful Medames is common in Egypt - slow cooked fava beans, served with olive oil, parsley, garlic and lemon juice. To add some spice, have it seasoned with chili paste, and eat with Egyptian bread or pita
· Fried chick pea balls, known as Felafel are widely available from markets and street vendors, and generally served as a snack
Food and culture:
· You will be give terrific opportunities to eat traditional style, with our local friends
· Most Egyptians start the day with a light breakfast. Lunch is eaten around 3:00pm. A light supper may be eatern around 8:00pm, and may include yogurt, fruit or cheese.
· Breakfast often consists of beans (or bean cakes)
· Coffee remains a tradition in Egypt and is drunk short and black and sweet, usually in cafes whilst enjoying a Sheesa or water pipe
· Tea is normally served in a glass - black with lots of sugar
· The main meal consists of rice, beans, vegetables and bread. Egyptians serve both freshwater and seagoing fish under the general term of samak