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-   -   Adding a short Egypt tour to a South Africa trip - is this nuts? (https://www.fodors.com/community/africa-and-the-middle-east/adding-a-short-egypt-tour-to-a-south-africa-trip-is-this-nuts-454664/)

gigib Nov 24th, 2008 11:53 AM

Adding a short Egypt tour to a South Africa trip - is this nuts?
 
We have a trip planned to Kruger next September, and are wondering if we would be nuts to add a very short Egypt tour before we head home.

I came across a R.S. Horus Tours (on egypttoursonline.com) that's only 6 days, 5 nights, with sleeper trains from Cairo to Luxor then Aswan back to Cairo, no cruising on the Nile, looks like overland transport to the sites and stays in hotels.

We don't want to spend too much time and money if we do it this way, but since we are travelling all the way from California to Africa anyway, are we nuts to consider this? I have looked, it is an 8 hour flight from Jburg to Cairo.

TravelinAmy Nov 24th, 2008 12:22 PM

I don't think you are crazy at all, because we plan to do the same things as well! In fact, we will spend only 3 nights there! If you have the time and money, why not?

cmp6e Nov 24th, 2008 12:56 PM

I just took a trip to Tanzania and followed it up with a few weeks in Egypt. From what I've read, combining safaris with a trip to Egypt isn't all that uncommon. In those three Egyptian cities, you'll cover the major highlights. Go for it!

sandi Nov 24th, 2008 02:05 PM

Egypt is regularly combined with East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania); not often with Southern Africa... long distances and time. So, it's up to you whether you want to fly 8/hrs JNB/CAI and CAI/JNB (for homebound flight)... 8/hrs is longer than a trans-cont here in the States.

But, if this is the only time you think you'll get to Africa... go for it.

I would, however, verify with the tour operator the exact means of transport between Luxor/Aswan... might be overland by convoy or by train.

Weather will be lovely in South Africa, but Egypt will be very hot, expecially at Luxor and Aswan.

sf7307 Nov 24th, 2008 02:21 PM

<i>I would, however, verify with the tour operator the exact means of transport between Luxor/Aswan... might be overland by convoy or by train. </i>

Overland by automobile from Aswan to Luxor is no big deal - it's a 3-hour drive - as long as you're in an air-conditioned car/van. We did it in August.

gigib Nov 27th, 2008 12:59 PM

Well, this is encouraging, perhaps we'll do it!

Spent this morning looking at package tours vs. indepedent, and saw a $345 airfare from Cairo to Luxor to Aswan to Cairo. I wonder if we can do this, stay at hotels for a couple of days each at Luxor and Aswan and take local tours to the ruins? At Luxor the #2 and #3 hotels on TripAdvisor looked quite nice and would arrange tours for their guests. Will do more reading...

Looks like it will be hot in mid-September.

Casual_Cairo Nov 27th, 2008 09:50 PM

It will be hot and it will also be Ramadan in mid September. I would wait until October at least...especially if you are going to Upper Egypt. It will be very hot down there!

FYI - 2009 Ramadan will run from about 20 Aug to 20 Sept.

gigib Nov 28th, 2008 11:38 AM

Oh. Thanks for the information. Sept. 12 - 18 is the only time we have in '09; we are very heat tolerant, but please excuse a very ignorant question: What effect would Ramadan have on tourist services? I really do not know, and am curious.

Thanks

sf7307 Nov 28th, 2008 03:48 PM

I don't know for sure, but I do know the guide we had in Egypt in August told us we were his last group and that he wouldn't do another until Ramadan was over. I don't know if the sites are closed, or if its just that the tour guides who are Muslim don't work during that period.

Grcxx3 Nov 28th, 2008 05:52 PM

Casual_Cairo and sunshine007 can answer more accurately, but basically the sites do not entirely close during Ramadan, but things move at a much slower pace.

In general, for the general tourist population, things should be pretty normal. But things may open later than normal, restaurants may not be open for lunch, or restaurants may serve food but not alcohol, etc. It just depends on where you are.

What you do want to be aware of is that Egyptians are fasting during the daylight hours, so you will want to avoid obvious consumption of food/drink. Now, there is no &quot;law&quot; saying that you can't eat or drink or smoke or whatever during the fasting time, but it's just generally polite/respectful NOT to do it.

When I would go into town during Ramadan, I always had my bottle of water, but I kept it in my purse (rather than in my hand) and tried not to be obvious taking a sip.

To be honest, we learned to stay put in our little area during Ramadan and seldom ventured out, so I would be interested in how people visiting Egypt during Ramadan found things to be.

Percy Nov 28th, 2008 07:16 PM

I visited Egypt during Ramadan and di the Nile Cruise and Abu Simble and Alexadria also.

In Cairo I stayed at the Marriott and I did not find any problem or that service was altered.

When I was in the Valley of Kings....it was 104 F and so I had to sip water.

I was nice to cruise down the Nile and hear the distant chant call to prayer,as we approached the towns along the Nile.

I guess they know we are tourist and we have to eat and drink.

But once about 5:30 PM came along, everyone was eating or drinking.

On the cruise boat I wanted to buy 3-4 colorful booklets on Luxor,Abu Simble and Cairo..... it was just past 5:30, when I brought the booklets to the counter to pay for them...

he said to me&quot; I'm going to eat, you can have the booklets &quot;!

it is almost like this:

I respect what you are doing during Ramadan, and I am sure in turn you respect the fact that I am going to eat and drink on my holiday to your country.

I had a good time at the Khan al- Khalili Baazar during Ramadan and to me it was business as usual.

But then of course , Debbie made it very enjoyable!
Hi Debbie, Grcxx3



Casual_Cairo Nov 29th, 2008 12:15 AM

Thanks for the endorsement Percy.

I just want to say that when Percy was here, Ramadan was still more enjoyable as the days were significanlty shorter than they going to be in August/September this year, and certainly less HOT.

This year from Sept 12-18 the sun is going to rise about 6:40 a.m. and set about 7:00 p.m. That is over 12 hours of fasting. When a person is working in 100+ degree weather and not being allowed to drink water for 12+ hours, nothing good can come of his work performance, in my opinion.

Personally, last year I closed the company up, with a few exceptions, during Ramadan and I expect to do the same for the next 20 years until we roll around again to having Ramadan occuring during March or any cooler/shorter day month. Ramadan is an extremely important time to a Muslim and since they insist to observe all the rules during this time, I think it is just better to let them do it without the distraction of work if you can. I know they need the work and money, but given it seems about 50% or more of them are smokers that are quitting every single day for 30 days in a row, tempers flare, people are hungry and thirsty, and tourists have to deal with it all. The longer the days get and the hotter they get, the harder it is to really enjoy being here then.

FYI - the sites do all close up early during Ramadan to give those workers on site the chance to go home early to break fast with family.

If this is the only time you can come, do it. You should see Egypt in your life time, but do understand that there will be some inconveniences to endure during Ramadan.


Grcxx3 Nov 29th, 2008 05:19 AM

We used to have a running &quot;rule&quot; during Ramadan.... if your child was at someone else's house playhing.....either he came home WELL before sunset or he stayed until AFTER sunset. The rush of cars on the streets with people trying to get home before sunset (having had no food, water, cigarettes all day) was amazing.

impcb2004 Nov 30th, 2008 10:53 AM

I am planning to use R.S. Horus travels for my egypt vacation this dec and do this tour. I will let you know about my experience after that.
Can you share your experience with this travel-agency?

BeniciaChris Jan 10th, 2009 03:07 PM

Can anyone tell me when Ramadan is going to be in 2010. I am working on a trip to Egypt &amp; Jordan Sept/October that year-Thanks ahead of time-Chris

Casual_Cairo Jan 11th, 2009 12:28 AM

Ramadan 2009 should start about 22 August and run til about 20 September....according to my 2009 Day Planner that I bought here in Cairo - it should be as accurate as about anything else you can find.

BeniciaChris Jan 11th, 2009 11:15 AM

Hi-Was that for 2010? Maybe its too far in advance to figure out-thanks so much Chris

Grcxx3 Jan 11th, 2009 12:40 PM

It changes by about (roughly) 11 days each year. So, based on the dates Debbie gave for 2009, then 2010 should start APPROXIMATELY August 11 and go to about Sept 11.

Those aren't exact, but they should be good for planning purposes.

Casual_Cairo Jan 12th, 2009 04:04 AM

That's right. I gave you 2009. 2010 is more like what Grcxx gave you. Good enough for planning purposes.

BeniciaChris Jan 13th, 2009 12:25 PM

Perfect-I knew I could count on someone out there.Chris


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