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claes059 Jan 10th, 2004 04:29 AM

Private guide
Looking for a guide for my stay in Cairo. I do not want to have group excursions since you are obliged to visit the shops and touristfactories. Have seen Misr site, are they good?
Can you "trust" a private guide to go in Cairo, considering money and tourist related matters: being "forced" to buy or do things and having to pay a lot of money, for it; or having to pay the guide more than agreed upon!

sandi Jan 10th, 2004 05:54 AM

Of course you can check with MISR for an itinerary. They are one of two or three that are highly recommended by the government. You might also want to check out Egyptian Connection (believe their site is:, but do verify with a "search")

The tour operator will provide a guide and driver/vehicle for the time you spend in Cairo; and on the Nile cruise portion, which I assume you are taking, there will be an English speaking guide for "english speakers" - the only time you'll be with a group, but ours was small (maybe 12-14)and they were a fun lot, but it's just when you visit sites. You can stay by yourself other times while on cruise. But always know when you have to be back onboard, as these boats are on schedule.

Further to shopping, many, of us felt there wasn't enough time to shop. Example: when we stopped at a temple along the Nile - not that we were in the shopping mood, but just simply looking at items available.

Even when at the Bazaar with our Guide, we didn't stop nor did he encourage us to a particular shop, rather we found a cafe, had some coffee, tried our hand with the "hubble bubble" pipes and then were on our way.

We actually added a day at the end of our trip to return to the Museum on our own, then to the Bazaar to look around for trinkets as gifts, nothing major.

As to be taken to places to "shop" while in Cairo, just advise your guide that you're not interested. Or if there is something in particular that you are interested in, then tell him that.

If you are interested in Papyrus (the real stuff, not the faux that is made on "banana leaf w/lots of gold and sold in plastic sleeves), we found a shop on our "shopping" day, that was wonderful, with no pressure, but lots to choose from. I can send you a map that shows how to find the place. Send my your email and I'll forward info to you.

Hanuman Jan 10th, 2004 08:58 AM

Came back from Egypt a week ago. Was offered two "scam" like activities by our guides.

First the carpet factory where we were told we will get to see how hand woven carpets are made. Ended up in a big warehouse/shop with two looms and the rest carpets for sale. This was by the step pyramid.

Second we were told we will get to see how a typical local family actually live. We were taken to a house on the west bank near Luxor where every member of the family, around 15 plus, try to sell us things or offer us gifts for money. Got so annoying that we insisted to our guide that we wanted out of there.

Apart from these two incidents we had the best of time in Egypt. Wonderful holiday, great weather and people.

PS. Sandi - THANK YOU for all the information that you gave to me and others.

sandi Jan 10th, 2004 02:10 PM

Hanuman -

Glad my information was able to help on your trip and besides these two incidents, it was a great trip. We found the sights, sounds, and smells of Egypt were absolutely amazing. And I'm sure you found lots to be similarly exciting and enjoying.

It is unfortunate, but situations like this do crop up at many destinations.

Would like if you could do a trip report if time allows, and am sure others would enjoy hearing about your time in Egypt as well.

claes059 Jan 10th, 2004 02:48 PM

Hi Sandy thanks for the information.
How can I send you my emailadress, whithou showing it to all?

sandi Jan 11th, 2004 06:22 AM

claes059 -

You can send your email address with Subject of EGYPT TRIP-ART GALLERY at:

[email protected]

I don't check this site regularly, only if expecting something. Will return whatever info you need as soon as possible.

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