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Egypt Tour Question

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Aug 5th, 2012, 02:16 AM
  #1
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Egypt Tour Question

Hi,

I am new to Fodors and have only found out that Fodors have a travel forum!

What are your opinions on touring Egypt around the end of the year? Political stability and most importantly the safety for tourist visiting.

If you guys think it's safe then what tour companies do you recommend? Interested in doing the Nile cruise along with visiting the main cities.

Thank you in advance,

Don
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Aug 5th, 2012, 10:21 AM
  #2
 
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Do a search on this forum, box at upper area - insert 'Egypt tour operators' or 'safety in Egypt' - various threads will appear that you should read thru.

However, from recent postings, travel is and has been since start of the Arab Spring, safe for tourists, less crowds (sadly), and competitive pricing.

Two often mentioned names are:
1) Casual Cairo Detours - Debbie who posts here regularly, an American lives in Cairo and pretty up-to-date on what's happening on the ground.
2) Lady Egypt - all around tour operator

Good luck.
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Aug 5th, 2012, 01:35 PM
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Hi Don - agree with sandi's reco to search here for posts from recent visitors who have been very happy with their visits and felt safe.

Ahmed Hamed Yousif is also reviewed often on this site - he arranges private, independent tours in Egypt and Jordan. Private tours are quite competitively priced to higher end group tours. He organized our trip - here are two links to our blog (Cairo and Nile Valley)

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...8_adv/b_cairo/

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/l...c_nile_cruise/

We had a great time!
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Aug 5th, 2012, 04:54 PM
  #4
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Sandi - thank you so much for your comments. It has made me feel better and I will contact the travel agents.

Elzabeth_S - very nice blog, pictures and report thank you!
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Aug 6th, 2012, 04:29 AM
  #5
 
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Sure you will enjoy your visit to Egypt, I visited Egypt few months ago, I had a wonderful trip, and security was good not bad
I recommend traveling with Le Caire Travel www.lecairetravel.com they helped me and my friends last month a lot. They have amazing staff with very good experience
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Aug 6th, 2012, 08:44 AM
  #6
MD
 
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I will second Elizabeth_S. We also used Ahmed Hamed Yousif, based on recommendations here, just recently (April 2012). We had a great time. Basically very simmilar to what she did.

A private tour basically means your own guide and driver - so much simpler; no waiting for a group, you can spend a bit more time somewhere or make a spontaneous detour, etc. If you want to climb inside the Red Pyramid, for example, they wait for you and when you are done, it's time to go.

A private guide instead of a big group means you are not straining to hear explanations or have to linger to examine something after the group moves on. So much nicer...

As for safety - yes, search these forums - but I suspect you will find what many others also say is this:

Egypt is safe. Their biggest business is tourism, so the whole country is motivated not to have incidents.

The politics is more lively than when it was a repressive dictatorship, yes, but the demonstrations and such happen well away from where tourists go. The only serious incidents we hear about involving westerners were back during the revolution, to journalist who insisted on wandering into extrmely large unruly crowds. NOTHING has happened to tourists in Egypt.

CNN likes to make you think things are non-stop screaming crowds, but nothing could be farther from the truth. When we drove through Tahrir Square on April 15th, 2012 there were about 2 or 3 tents and banners and half a dozen people standing around. Traffic was normal, a hundred yards away a dozen busses were unloading museum visitors from all over the world.

Plus, with a guide and driver, they will recognize if you do find yourself somewhere where the situation is getting "interesting" and make sure you all leave there pronto.

The only warning is the north Sinai. Along the border with Israel is probably not a good place to be - but nobody goes there anyway, and it is several hours' drive from the Sharm el Sheik resort, and much further from Cairo. There were a few "kidnappings" around Mt. Sinai earlier this year. In each case, the Bedouins were trying to make a point with the authorities; once the headlines were made, the people were released within a few hours. We joked that some people pay good money for "tea with the Bedouins" and these lucky people got it for free. In fact, all visitors to Mt. SInai travel in convoys with police escort in that area now, even though there have been no further incidents there lately.

This is Egypt. It is not Syria, or Iraq, or Afghanistan. It's like saying don't go to Germany because there are riots in Greece. Very very different countries, different situations all around.

There was one inconvenience at the Luxor airport where the road was blocked by a demonstration or strike, something that happens in a democracy. Again, this is the value of a dedicated tour guide - they found the alternate entrance and we were checked in with plenty of time, and our flight left on time. Compare that to Ottawa, when we left, the Air Canada pilots were having a "phone in sick" strike and the place was in chaos. Air Canada could learn some lessons in efficiency from Egypt Air - seriously.

All I can say is - visit Egypt - you will truly enjoy it.
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Aug 7th, 2012, 01:02 AM
  #7
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@ MD - thank you for your comments. It has made me feel better and not so worried anymore!

@ Nani5 - will check out the company, thank you.
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Aug 8th, 2012, 01:39 AM
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Didn't want you to think I wasn't reading this and keeping up on it, although I haven't posted yet.
Everything the others are saying about safety seems to be in line. Tourists are not in danger, except - perhaps of being kidnapped and treated to a free Bedouin adventure if you go to the Sinai. Yes, I am saying that with tongue in cheek, as I'm certain that would be frightening if it were to happen and you couldn't understand a word your hosts were saying - but do keep in mind that so far everyone is coming out of those with stories of being treated well.

There is finally a new cabinet of Ministers and I understand the Minister of the Interior hit the ground running with a hard line for criminals (rumors I'm hearing), so we hope to see more law and order installed soon...not that it has been bad in any way a tourist would notice, but the occasional purse snatching and burglary is still going on more than we are used to here.
You have to know that before the Revolution, it was SO SAFE in Egypt, that compared to any other major city in the world - Cairo was probably one of the safest. Now we are running par for the course with Paris, London, Rome and others - maybe not even that bad.
Come visit. Maybe don't go to the Sinai - visit Hurghada instead if you want some time on the Red Sea.
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Aug 8th, 2012, 08:18 AM
  #9
 
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I arrive in Egypt in 24 days! I have been working with Memphis Tours and I am really happy with the service so far! I will post a very detailed trip report when I return from the trip. Specifically, I have been working with Abdo Swakey and he has been amazing.
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Aug 12th, 2012, 10:01 PM
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I will 3rd Ahmed Hamed Yousif. He arranged everyting for our month trip of Egypt/Jordan. Hotels-Nile Cruise flights to Jordan. We even had a timeshre in Huraghada & he arranged the transportation to our timeshare/they picked us up at timeshre when week was over & took us to airport.He is a prince of a man.We corresponded for almost 3 years & when I met him I felt like I had met an old friend. We were there right before the uprising but I can vouch that the Egyptians are warm & friendly and I am so glad people are visiting this wonderful country full of culture. Hope this helped.
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Sep 17th, 2012, 03:22 AM
  #11
 
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I travelled with GAT Tours. They care a lot about their clients.
You can check with them and get a second opinion about tours and rates
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Sep 17th, 2012, 03:29 AM
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by the way... Welcome to Fodors...
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Oct 14th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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I guess I'll 4th Ahmed Hamed Yousif! Here's my "blog" from our trip: I was inspired to finish updating it today! Have a great trip, Egypt is wonderful and we felt extremely safe while we were there (about 6 weeks after the revolution last year).

www.herewegoagain-egypt.blogspot.com
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Oct 20th, 2012, 02:37 AM
  #14
 
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Hello Everyone, i am new to fodors and i signed up to search for a tour myself, when i found this forum and i was happy people wanna come to egypt, and ask questions, sadly what the media shows the whole world is different than reality, to get to the point Egypt is a very safe. and a few political issues going on is normal after the revolution but the whole country is stable and moving forward.

especially for tourists since Egyptians have deep hospitality traditions. and being a foreigner in egypt people would love to help you out in all sorts of ways.

what might be annoying the greedy gift shop owners and all those who make living out of tourism. which i believe is normal everywhere, buy what you want and bargain.

i love my country and i believe everyone who visited loved it as well, and i would love to help out in any way, so as for the saftey i can tell u it's 100%

Ahmed Adel.
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Oct 20th, 2012, 03:48 AM
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I visited Egypt in late 2010 with a private guide and driver from Lady Egypt tours before the unrest. I just wanted to say that in that time they cared about tourists. Often when we went to tourist areas a guard or someone would check who we were and what country we were from. We were told it was for our safety.

When we were visiting the Egyptian Museum in Cairo there was a President of a South American country in the King Tut room and all visitors were banned. Our guide told the guards that we were American (we are Australian) and we were let in whilst the VIP was there. Our guide said that they understand tourism is very important and don't want to offend other countries, particularly so called world powers. Hence, we got in.

Even though I went before the troubles began, the company I went with were so professional that I would not think they would put any of their clients in danger if I was there during the riots.

Happy holidays!
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Oct 24th, 2012, 05:07 AM
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We were in the King Tut room as well in 2010. It was about one million degrees in there. I left after a minute and went out in the hall and ate a Mars bar. I didn't go back in. The kids were embarrassed by my behaviour. My wife ignored me.

I am finally admitting this after two years. It's like admitting I am an alcoholic. I feel better now.

Have they put in air conditioning yet?
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Oct 24th, 2012, 05:10 AM
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Wait - my wife who is now talking to me says that there was one area of cool air in the room but then it stopped blowing after a couple of minutes. So I was in there two minutes. I am not as terrible a person as I thought I was.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Actually, the King Tut room is the one room in the museum that I remember being all air-conditioned. The rest of the museum was deadly hot, though.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 11:57 PM
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Yes, they do AC the Tut Treasures room and the Royal Mummy Rooms. If it wasn't cold the day you were there, it was bad luck as it is almost always freezing in there. Probably one reason why the AC units break down on occasion.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 04:35 AM
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You are both much closer to reality than I am. My family is telling me that there was one part of the room (back right as you walk in) where there was cool air. So I stood there and refused to move. One of the kids was astounded at this behaviour as most of the really fabulous material was over on the far left. One of them said to me "If you are just going to stand there like a lug why don't you get out of here and make room for someone else?" So I did. Sat on the bench ouside. Ate my Mars bar.

And people worry about their kid's behaviour when travelling.
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