First time to Egypyt!

Aug 1st, 2009, 02:42 PM
  #1  
Ivy
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First time to Egypyt!

DH and I are going to Egypt for the first time! We're going in January!! we've been all over europe, but this is our first trip to Africa/Middle East. we are major lovers of history and so, clearly, Egypt is a life long dream! we are going on a trip organized by Ker and Downey and will have a private guide. And we'll be taking a nile cruise. Any tips? Any advice? very exciting!!
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 07:03 AM
  #2  
 
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You will love Egypt. Of all of the trips my wife and I have taken this is the one we are determined to do again.Be sure to allow sufficient time at the museum. Most tours only allow three hours or so and , I feel you need six hours. Also, be sure to visit Abu Simbel. It is as amazing, or more so than anything you will see in Egypt.The step pyramid at Sakkara and the adjacent tombs are also a good day trip from Cairo.I single these out as I am sure you will visit Luxor, Valley of the Kings, etc. without any advice.
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 10:59 AM
  #3  
Ivy
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Thanks Twelveoaks!! yes we have all that planned. Ker & Downey put together a really great itinerary for us. in terms of timing, we have a private guide so we will be on our own terms for timing. but my gosh there is so much to see!!
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 01:25 PM
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The Museum does deserve more time, but suggest you break up the visits. One can get "dynastied out" and the crowds/groups, no a/c but for the Tut Exhibit and Mummy Room. Depending on your schedule while in Cairo, try to arrange for a morning visit and another an afternoon. Sometimes it's actually nice to do the return visit without the guide.
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Six hours in the cairo museum, you need more like 6 days! I agree with Sandi you should go back without a guide and wander at your leisure. It's the most amazing place, and they are building a new modern one, so it won't be there much longer.
Get lots of small Egyptian change because you'll be handing out baksheesh ("tips" or bribes) like mad. You guide will probably try to steer you to shops and places where he gets kickbacks. It's a way of life. Make sure you tell him/her you if you don't want this, and that his own tip may be affected if he doesn't listen.
Read as many of the Egypt posts on this forum as you can and you'll get the general drift about mummy tummy, food, traffic, culture, etc. You'll have a trip you won't forget.
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 04:27 PM
  #6  
Ivy
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thanks! Sadly I will not have much time for a return trip to the egyptian museum. Which is a shame, I feel like it will be like going through the Louvre in 3 hours! But this is our first trip to Egypt. So I guess we will do our best. Any one have experience with traveling with a private guide?
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Aug 4th, 2009, 06:38 AM
  #7  
 
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>>Any one have experience with traveling with a private guide?<<

Except for the fact that you're paying for him/her to travel with - the plane fare, Nile boat cabin/meals, entry fees -when you can as easily use the guide the boat provides.

We had private guide/vehicle while in Cairo, but used the guide provide by the boat and it was wonderful. Small group of English speakers when we did land visits to temples.
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Aug 4th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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We had a private guide in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan for a group of six traveling together (didn't take a Nile cruise, however). Not sure what information you're looking for, though.
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Aug 5th, 2009, 04:04 PM
  #9  
Ivy
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here's the advice i am looking for regarding private guides (and maybe i need to start a new thread) but here is what I am looking for:

1) what is it like? are the guides with you during meals? is it more like your traveling with 3 people as opposed to 2? will having another person there interfere with the romance of the trip?

2) is there any particular etiquette i need to know?

3) how much do I tip for a guide who is with us the whole trip?
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Aug 6th, 2009, 06:58 PM
  #10  
 
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It is really up to you if you wish to eat with your guide or not. Most guides will leave you at lunch and come back and collect you when you want them. Of course I have had occasion where the guide has had dinner with us, even once the guide took us to his family to have a meal! it was the best meal of the holiday!

Etiquette wise, just think respect, and then you will be fine. If going into temples and valley of the kings etc it is appropriate to make sure you dont wear short shorts, or vest type tops. Although the Egyptians are used to seeing tourists wearing very little, you will get less hassle if you dress a bit more appropriately

As for the tipping, that is generally what you feel you want to give. personally speaking I usually give the guide about £20 English pounds, as a tip, because each one I have had has been worth every penny.

If you want a private guide then take a look at www.egypt-quality-tours.com they tailor the tour to suit you, your timings, your mobility, and your budget.

Either way, have a great time and be sure that you will not see half of what Egypt has to offer so you will have to go back again and again and again.

Scotsgirl
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Aug 8th, 2009, 01:40 PM
  #11  
Ivy
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thanks all -this is great advice.
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Aug 8th, 2009, 06:08 PM
  #12  
 
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On the first day of our tour, we asked the guide to join us for lunch, and he politely declined. It was pretty clear he would just eat on his own. Also, he took the sleeper train with us to Aswan, but once we were situated in our 3 "rooms", we didn't see him again until we arrived in Aswan. And we liked him -- that had nothing to do with it, it was just the way he "operated". Once in awhile at a tourist spot, if we stopped for a cold drink he would join us, but even then I can't remember him allowing us to buy a drink for him.
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Aug 10th, 2009, 03:52 PM
  #13  
Ivy
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thanks sf7307 that is really helpful. I hate to sound anti social but DH and I are going to be on a romantic vacation and I don't want to have a third wheel during meals and such. But I don't want to be rude either - so I am trying to feel my way!
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