Egyptian Highlights/Orbit Tours Update?

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Jun 16th, 2005, 06:55 AM
  #1
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Egyptian Highlights/Orbit Tours Update?

Has anyone actually used Egyptian Highlights recently? I was/am ready to book but am hesitant after recent posts. They quoted a good price for a customized trip which has taken much planning.
The other company I was corresponding with was Orbit Tours with Jimmy. Any recent trips with them?
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Jun 16th, 2005, 07:41 AM
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I am also having second thoughts about booking with Egypt Highlights after reading the recent posts. I have been cooresponding with them for the past 4 months or so. I have checked into STI-Travel. I am now thinking about booking with them. I have not heard of Orbit Tours. But I will definitely look into them.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Have either of you considered Overseas Adventure Travel? I can't say whether they're good or not--I'm booked with them for November--but I've read a lot of good things about them on here and have friends who have traveled with them and really liked them.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 09:03 AM
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I am trying to find the posts referred to by everyone in this thread, but can't. I did go back and check all of the reference emails that I recieved (over 50) when I was checking references for Egypt Highlights. Several had suffixes .net.au (which is Australia) and one or two which had the suffix of .ca which is Canada. So unless Egypt Highlights had agents at all four corners of the globe.. I tend to believe that these were ligit. I hadn't heard that they were faking their own posts though! YIKES.. oh well, I guess that is why you buy travel insurance.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Fodor's removed the posts, but they were from ericfamily, PP_C (pamela), carlat_uk (carla), williamburns.
Hope this helps
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Jun 16th, 2005, 09:18 AM
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Thanks, so I take it they were all fake? Please don't say yes.. Hmm.. very interesting.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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If I remember, the person who questioned whether or not they were fake noted that they were the first and only posts by each screen name. Person found it interesting that people recommending Egyptian Highlights had never even posted here to ask a question about Egypt or to give a later trip report. Someone referenced an article (sorry - don't remember where) that spoke to owners of a business creating identities on message boards to promote their products.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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Thanks so much Gail, well, now I am well and truly freaked out.:0. The good news is, we have a day after we arrive "in country" and have enough travel experience (hopefully) to throw something together on the fly. My hope is that they are a legitimate business, which promoted themselves a little unethically.. which happens. But PHOOEY Now I am stressin' big time.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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Well, I did some double checking. I am of the opinion that they are a legitimate business that engaged in some unethical marketing practices. I know that Egypt Highlights is a tour provider for both Hostel World and STA Travel (International Student Travel Association) , which at hopefully attests to the fact that they are a real business. I am going to move forward with caution.. may even book a "back up" hotel room for our first night, just in case! Then if everything falls apart, well, we will spend our first day booking a tour with a local provider and hopefully can manage a fun trip with our with out EH! Now I know the real meaning of the words "adventure travel" ... but there is no denying that EH has been extremely responsive and we have invested in this trip.. (do I sound like someone trying to reassure myself?? ) Rest assured that I will post a full good/bad/ugly report immediately upon return!!!! Everyone keep your fingers crossed for us-T
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Jun 16th, 2005, 11:14 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I am still leaning toward EH since they really customized what I wanted to do.
Thyra - when are you going? Our trip is scheduled for November, so I have some time to dither.
Anitas - I remember you were going in December. Hopefully we will have some more recent news before then.
EH told me they would refund all the deposit minus the cost to wire it back to me up to 20 days before the trip. The refund would be prorated within the 20 day period.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:17 PM
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Dear Conlet feel free to use us as your guinea pig . My gut feeling is that they are ok.. though I think they used poor judgement (if they were fake posting) to say the very least. As in all things, I have a workable plan B and insurance.. They did tell me that it was ok to wire deposit then pay balance upon arrival, which we are doing (this is common practise with other African tours I have taken). Ahh faith .
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:23 PM
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Sorry Conlet,forgot to mention we are going in September 14-27 flights are booked so by golly we are going come what may **** Knock on wood!
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:31 PM
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I looked on hostelworld.com website. This is what it said about Egypt Highlights:

Egypt Highlights, is operated by Bourak Tours, Our packages & programs are very gently made by experts that are not only tourism professionals but also quality assurance experts to a cheer the known formula of 'best quality of services with lowest cost'.

There is more if you want to go to the following link:

http://www.hostelworld.com/tours/tou...p/TourUID.3692

Look at the left side and you will see a link about Egypt Highlights. Tried to find a phone number for hostel world but couldn't. I was going to call and get some general info about Egypt Highlights. Maybe they can be e-mailed.
Still not sure what to do? I know Dec. is a busy time and we need to make reservations pretty soon.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:40 PM
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Dear Anitas, you have to go with your guts, seriously. I have also emailed another tour operator, who is planning something for us during one of our free days. This other (non EH) operator has absolutely NOTHING to gain by faking info on EH. I will wait and see what the other Operator says.. and let you know. OH, the DRAMA!
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Thyra,

I also feel that EH has been very responsive and I was getting ready to book with them in July. It will be interesting to see what the other tour operator has to say. I think I will also check references for EH and see what they have to say. Yes, the drama gets more interesting every minute.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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Well, I did go back and pull up all of the older email responses I got from references. A lot of them were business emails like wineridgestates.com or .edu
if EH is a total bogus entity, then I keep telling myself that this is the most elaborate sham since the fake "Hitlar" diaries. Another thing that gives me hope is that many of the people I emailed had little complaints (things like hotels not being what they expected, lost luggage, tour guides who's English was not top notch...little things, but not always glowing). I think that my email replies were all on the up and up.. *still knocking.
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Jun 16th, 2005, 11:28 PM
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Ok - I feel like the ultimate guinea pig here.

Just replied to the other thread that I just finished a short tour with Egypt Highlights ... and the other tour company I went with on my previous trip last year was Orbit Tours with Jimmy (not mentioned on Nile cruise or fly thread).

So feel free to ask away ...
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Jun 17th, 2005, 12:34 AM
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The Egyptian government has a tour company site & E.H. has been listed on or linked to it. I think the site vets the tour companies before putting them on the site. So, it's a legitimate travel agency.

Based on everything I've read here & on the government site, I agree with Thyra's gut that it's a legitimate company which used somewhat questionable tactics to get customers. Fearing that you'll get ripped off by it probably isn't a realistic fear, but excluding it due to its tactics is your own ethical decision.
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Jun 17th, 2005, 09:17 AM
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After a 24 hour stress attack, an email to another travel agent (not EH)who really put my mind at ease, and a review of all the information. I am completely comfortable travelling with Egypt Highlights. We will move forward with our trip and booking with a clear conscious. The only things to fear at this point are the 22 hour flight and mummy tummy.. rest assured I will post a really complete trip report when we get back in September.
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Jun 17th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Thrya--I'm the whistle blower", and I agree with your assessment--legitimate business engaged in unethical marketing practices & susumiki actually toured with them. I don't think you should be worried. This all may be to your benefit--if EH is reading these posts, they'll go out of their way to make sure your tour is fabulous, so that you come back and post that they are wonderful.
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