Cost of Guides in Egypt??

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Apr 7th, 2004, 05:15 PM
  #1
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Cost of Guides in Egypt??

How much should one expect to pay for a guide in Egypt, specifically in Cairo to see the pyramids for one or two days?

Secondly, what is a reasonable amount to pay for a car and driver for three days in Cairo?

Thanks, Karen
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Apr 7th, 2004, 08:50 PM
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Karen: I am unable to advise of a price for a private guide to visit the pyramids but I can tell you that while my wife, son and I were in Cairo in the summer of 2002, we took a hotel arranged tour of the pyramids. While on that tour, it occurred to me that the young woman who was our guide was so personable, knowledgable and charming that I might be able to arrange a private tour with her for the next day to see parts of Cairo which we, as Americans in post-9/11 days, were somewhat hesitant to venture into alone. So I approached her (privately) and she willingly agreed to meet us with a car and driver in front of our Cairo hotel (the Marriott) the next morning to visit the Citadel, the Muhammed Ali Mosque, the Mosque of Ibn Tulun and the Kahn al Khalili bazaar.

She and the driver arrived as expected (although we had to await their arrival on the curb a block away from the hotel as this was a somewhat clandestine arrangement and she apparently did not want to be spotted by the hotel personnel) and she took us everywhere as promised, and provided wonderful commentary on the history of the sites, background into Islam, and general information on her life as a young (22 years old) Egyptian woman.

After she took us through the bazaar, I asked if she would accompany us to a traditional Egyptian restaurant to help us order and sample mezze (Egyptian appetizers) and Tahini (an Egyptian rice/vegetable dish). She did so gladly. The restaurant was essentially a hole in the wall with wooden benches and picnic-type tables extending out onto the street, but very authentic, and the proprietor was so excited to have three Americans in his establishment that he even arm wrestled with my (then) 17 year-old son.

Anyway, the previously-agreed to price for all this was $20 (U.S.) per person, for a total cost of $60 (U.S.) for the three of us. At the time I made the arrangements with her she advised that she would only accept U.S. currency. I paid for the lunch (which did not cost more than $10, including soft drinks for all of us) and tipped her an additional $20 (and gave the driver $5) as we were so thankful to have had her services for the day.

I can't tell you how much that day added to our enjoyment of our trip to Egypt. We will never forget that day or the sights we saw. Even today when I see a news report from Cairo, with the mosques in the background, I can close my eyes and still sense being there! And I am also happy to have been able to provide such an experience for my son.

So my advice is to do whatever it takes to find someone to guide you through Cairo privately. I doubt prices have risen that much since we were there, although I would expect a more "traditional" guide arrangement to cost somewhat more than what we paid.

Have a great trip. We sure did.

David

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Apr 8th, 2004, 06:51 AM
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When we went to Egypt, we arranged for private guides through the American Express office, which I believe may have been located at or near the Nile Hilton. We were so impressed with the service both for Cairo and Luxor. Our Luxor guide was a true Egyptologist. I can't remember names or prices, but the one we had for Cairo took us to the pyramids as well as all over the city. It was well worth it, and although we did make the obligatory stop at one or two papyrus shops, there was no pressure, the stops were very quick and we decided to just go along with it and not get irritated. Basically our guide just wanted to stop and have a tea!
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