Egypt travel with children

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Apr 1st, 2005, 06:44 PM
  #1
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Egypt travel with children

We are planning on visiting Egypt for 2 weeks in September with 2 kids - aged 13 and 7. They are both "mummy crazy" and we are really looking forward to the trip. While we have read many postings on good tour companies, we are struggling to find info on "Egypt with kids" - info we are interested in any recommendations on child-friendly tour companies child-friendly Nile cruises etc. Thanks v. much and regards
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Apr 1st, 2005, 08:34 PM
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We just got back in Jna with 2 teenage sons. I'd keep it short because after a while all the temples can get a bit much unless your kids are VERY interested (there aren't many mummies outside the museums). I'd certainly spend some time discussuing what they are going to see ahead of time. Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!
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Apr 2nd, 2005, 12:00 AM
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Can't help you with child friendly tour companies, but the Lonely Planet Cairo guidebook has some ideas for places to go with children & child friendly restaurants interspersed among its pages. I would guess that LP's Egypt guidebook does the same. The Gold Fodor's and Frommer's have children's sections, too. Check them out of the library for ideas.

I'd skip Abu Simbel which is an extra on the Nile Cruises. Althought it's breathtaking, there's too much travel involved for a 7 year old.

Sharm is a resort area on Sinai which has fabulous coral reefs & is good for snorkeling, glass bottom boats, etc. It's international rather than Egyptian in flavor but it's a fun place for a family to hang out for 4 or 5 days. The children on the glass bottom boat I took were enthralled. The 5 or 6 hour snorkeling boat to Turan Island had a couple kids on it. They seemed to have fun. You can enjoy the boat ride if some of you don't want to snorkel.

There's a crocodile mummy on Kom Ombo which is a stop on the Nile cruise, and a Mummy Room in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo.

With 4 of you, you might look into an independent custom tour. You will be better able to do child friendly activities, eat at child friendly restaurants and schedule off-days at the hotel for swimming. You would have a guide for the 4 of you, a driver, someone to meet you at the airport & check you to your hotel etc. I'm not sure how much it more it would cost than a regular tour. Wildland Adventures (Wildland.com) does these type of trips.
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Apr 3rd, 2005, 06:08 AM
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I agree with going to Sharm if your kids like the water, the snorkelling is world class. We spent several days in Cairo and then went to Sharm before the nile cruise. If the kids are not really water orientated then 2-3 days likely enough
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Apr 4th, 2005, 03:20 AM
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Many thanks to everyone who responded to my query, regards.
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Apr 4th, 2005, 03:50 AM
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We did a regular 10 day Globus tour in 2001 with our kids, then 10 and 14. Since it was over a standard school vacation, there were a few other teens on the trip.

Our kids are widely traveled and fit right in with everything - and handled the heat and walking bettter than some adults on the trip. They gladly climbed up into Pyramids, saw all the museum stuff, willingly followed food and water safety practices - and thrill in telling their friends that they have been to Egypt.

We were concerned about them finding food acceptable to them there - one kid is a picky eater - but no problem with that either (we brought peanut butter, crackers, etc for emergencies and ended up bartering them for some silly trinkets on the last day of our trip!)

We did a few kid-friendly things - like going to a Pizza Hut in Cairo and ordering pizza off a menu printed in Arabic - they even asked the server if they could keep then menu as a souvener and with a minimal tip, got to take it home!

One of the few trips I never once heard the word "boring".

Since most kids have studied and seen pictures of Ancient Egypt all through school, the sights were familiar enough to them in advance to make it fun.
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Apr 4th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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I took my daughters, then ages 11 and 7, to Egypt for 20 days in Jan 2004. They also are mummy crazy and were able to enjoy much of what Egypt had to offer. I would not book a tour. I would make a tentative itinerary of what you want to do and do it as you go along, with the ability to change or modify as suits your needs.
At most, arraneg for someone to make connecting city transportation and hotel to airport/train station transfers. Do the rest on your own.

We did half independent and half with a private guide. I hated having the guide around and found it intrusive and restricitng in wanting to just wander streets and take pictures or stop and sketch at the base of the pyramids.
There is tons for kids to Enjoy in Egypt. We had cool weather, so the snorkelling in Sharm was limited. None the less, it didn't keep us out of the water entirely. But it will be hot in September, so I'd recommend a morning of sight seeing and an afternoon at the poolside doing a scrap book or journal writing.

My warning would be to watch for hotels that won't allow you to have two kids and 2 adults in one room. They will try to charge extra or make you get 2 rooms.

Also, don't buy ANY tickets for your 7 year old. For our part with a private guide, we paid equally for both children but the guide never purchased a ticket for her (she was pissed b/c she keeps a scrap book ands didn't want mine that said ADULT). She also got a crappy roll away instead or proper bedding. She isn't particularly little, but it was clear kids in grade 2 did not require tickets.

Check about.com for Egypt with kids info and get Magic school bus's Ancient Egypt, Head starts' Mummies and Pharaoh's, a DK book on Egypt to prepare for the excitement to come.
My girls loves the Mummy museum in Luxor, the mummified crocodile Kom Ombo and the mummified fetus in Valley of the Queens. Tut's gold in Cairo was over crowded so they didn't enjoy that.. just way too many people..but the separate mummy room there was worth the extra admission.

We didn't enjoy the Nile cruise..felt very "processed" and thought it was tacky...but I am not a cruise person to begin with, but loved many fellucca rides on the nile in Luxor.

I wish we'd skipped the Nile cruise and did a Lake nasser cruise to Abu Simbel instead. We did go to Abu Simbel, but did it by car. (I hate flying).
In Cairo, they liked Pharonic Village..a bit tacky, but a good introduction to what we'd see on our trip ahead. And they spent a half an hour on the trampolines there.

Their other highlight was playing Chinese jump rope on the lawn at Mena House and having Egyptian kids at the hotel come down from their room to join in.


Have a great trip
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Apr 4th, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Hi, I think your kids will have a great time. We lived in Cairo for about 3 years and traveled all over Egypt. Some especially fun things for the kids: horseback riding (and camel riding) in the desert (there are lots of horsestables near the pyramids); the Khan al Khalili (amazing middle eastern bazaar in Cairo); the Citadel (huge mosque, military museum, museum of "stolen things!", great views of the city), lots of space to run around.

I would recommend the web-site www.travelforkids.com. They have a lot of good ideas for kids in Egypt. And, we used a travel agency in Cairo called SeeEgypt. The last email address I had for them was [email protected]. There are two owners, an American ex-pat who has lived in Egypt for years (Sue Torgasen) and an Egyptian woman (May). They really know Egypt and what works for families. Have a great time -- it will be hot, drink a lot of water!
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Apr 10th, 2005, 03:19 AM
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If you have extra time in Cairo at the beginning of your trip, I'd recommend Dr. Ragab's Pharonic Village as a "teaser" for what's to come. They highlight the best of all the major sites in Egypt - that may help get your children excited about it. There is also a little boat ride at the beginning which they might enjoy. My husband and I did this and while it was a little hokey, we still enjoyed it even without children with us.
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Apr 12th, 2005, 10:10 PM
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Many thanks to everyone - we have all your tips etc and continue to be excited ...ah! drifting down the Nile at sunset while playing endless games of high speed backgammon with a 13 year old - it doesn't get much better ! thanks again and happy trails all
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May 8th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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I know this thread is a month old, but I am interested in the same question. I found a company called thomson family adventure travel that books great tours to egypt, china, etc. a review of the company was found on the gonamad.com website under family travel. let us know how your trip went since we want to do it the following year. thanks, itsv
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May 11th, 2005, 10:52 PM
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There is a book put out by The American University in Cairo Press called CAIRO The Family Guide.

You might try to get your hands on that before making your plans. It has loads of ideas in it that might help you come up with alternate activities that your children would be especially interested in.

Pharonic Village (as mentioned before) is good for kids up to 12 or so as a first day activity so they can get a feel for what they will be seeing on the rest of the trip. Parents must go along so they can relate the rest of the trip to what everyone learned at PV.

Egypt is a very child friendly country. There are few restaurants that won't cater to children as much as they do to the adults. You'll actually find many of the normal Egyptian style restaurants have a playground (with such things as trampolines and bumper cars) especially for children...and to keep the children busy and happy while mom and dad get a break.
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May 13th, 2005, 03:29 PM
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itsv - we are thinking of using Thompson for our upcoming trip in February. When are you going? We have one 15 year old (girl). We had also looked into travelegypt.com they have a program for kids.
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May 13th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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http://aucpress.com/aucpress02/aucstore.htm is the web address for a book on Families in Cairo published by the AUC Press (American University of Cairo.)

I haven't seen it, but I have ordered the companion guide to Cairo which is easy to read & addresses the sorts of things that ex-pats in Cairo would want to know. I bought it from the web site & it came in 2 weeks or so. (I'm in America)
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May 16th, 2005, 11:10 PM
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we just got back from Egypt, went there for our honeymoon. we obviously didn't bring kids, but saw many families on the trip. I agree about Sharm El Sheikh being a good place for kids, the ones I saw really seemed to enjoy themselves and there's a place there called 'Dolphinella' where the kids can spend the day swimming with dolphins in a Sea World style environment.

Cairo only has their mummies in the Egyptian museum, and being very honest, we were in there two hours and got totally overloaded so I would plan my time with the kids in there accordingly. Also an interesting fact that our guide told us: The Egyptian museum has over 200,000 artifacts. If you stopped to look at every one, it would take you 9 months to see everything. Definitely hire a guide to show you the best stuff. We used a tour group called Blue Sky. They were great.

The other place you may want to go with kids, is the Valley of Kings at Luxor. That's where king Tut's tomb (and his mummy) is located.

I think that there's really no need to worry about 'child friendly' tour groups, because the stuff that you'll be shown (at your kids ages) will definitely be fun for them anyway. just try not to make the days too long, because even us, as adults, were getting a bit mentally frazzled by it all.
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May 19th, 2005, 12:59 AM
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Praffen,

we would not go until the summer of 2006. Our then 14 yr. son will be in his last year of middle school before high school and his teachers want no trips from us during that year (we are a "travel" family who don't mind pulling out the kids. what month we go during the summer depends on son's schedule since new high school has them busy in the summer with different programs. We would travel with son and 10 yr. daughter. Lauren on gonomad website used thomson and really liked them. although i am usually an independent traveler, egypt is the one place where i might use a tour guide since there is so much to do. If you go please let me know how it turns out at [email protected], thanks.

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Jun 18th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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For simond and any other families who are planning child-friendly trips:
We are working with Aladin of the Nefertiti Hotel in Luxor to design an absolutely fabulous, adventurous, independent family trip. So far it's affordable as well. I have never worked with such a pleasant, knowledgeable and accommodating guide/tour planner. Trip is scheduled for this summer; I'll post a report. In the meantime:

http://www.nefertitihotel.com/tours/aladin.htm
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