06 Sep 2014 - 13 Sep 2014
I have travelled all over the world but Contiki Egypt is one of the favourite trips I've ever done - what an amazing trip! The history and culture that we saw in just 7/8 days plus our 3 day 5 star Nile cruise and day snorkelling in the Red Sea - just incredible. I can't believe we saw so much in such a short time.
Sherif is an amazing tour guide - hard to see how this trip could continue without - his knowledge is limitless and nothing is too much trouble for him. What an amazing guy!
Now is a great time to see Egypt as the troubles over the last few years mean that (except for the Red Sea resorts) Egpyt is incredibly quiet at the moment - terribly sad for a country so reliant on tourism - but also great for any tourists that do visit at the moment - we didn't find any crowds or queues - and were able to get photos of the amazing temples, pyramids etc without any tourists getting in the way!
Just do it - you won't regret it.
Review written Sep 2014event 0.3
27 Apr 2013 - 04 May 2013
I had always wanted to go to Egypt and it did not disappoint. Sherrif was an excellent tour guide, he was full of knowledge and got us to all the places before the crowds rolled in. He could tell us everything we wanted to know and could take us to the best places for photo's and even got us into one of the pyramids for a look.
The food on the house boat was excellent but make sure you take something on the train to eat as the food on there is cooked in the morning and left all day in pretty unappealing conditions. It didn't look all that appetizing either. Sherrif also took us to a great place to eat and relax after the pyramids and before the train, so fill up there while you can.
Everything about the trip was amazing. but be prepared for lots of sightseeing and temples. Being interested in it I wanted to see more but my partner was happy to see the last one by the end.
The camel ride at the pyramids is great fun and you get an absolutely awesome view from it.
Our last day out on the reef was perfect. the weather was great and i heard great things about the snorkelling.
I would recommend this trip 100% to anyone who wants to go. Just take a friend, Cairo is a bit full on and if you are a woman alone it's pretty intimidating. If you get there a day early you have the option of going to Alexandria for $100, it's worth every cent!
Review written May 2014event 0.3
29 Jun 2013 - 06 Jul 2013
I had booked my Egypt tour to start in the middle of my European trip. Whilst I was over there, the news of the riots spread and our group was offered a full refund if we chose to pull out. I decided it was now or never and continued with my travel plan. Little did I know we'd be there to see the president of the country overthrown and the start of a revolution. Everyone involved in the organization of this tour went above and beyond to keep us safe and give us the most incredible experience. One of the best experiences of my life and oh what a story!
Review written Oct 2013event 0.3
22 Jun 2013 - 29 Jun 2013
this was the best trip i have ever been on!! been a smaller group meant we bonded together so well! Sherif was an amazing tour guide, and took us to all the right places. i would recommend this to anyone who is considering Egypt!! the optionals were fab and the cruise boat down the nile was heaven on earth!! DO IT!!! you will have #noregrets!
Review written Aug 2013event 0.3
15 Jun 2013 - 22 Jun 2013
From the moment go, it was so full on but relaxing at the same time. On the first day it was so absolutely surreal that you do so much, in just 1 day. You see all the highlights that you want to see when you want to go to Egypt. With climbing into the pyramids (at a price) to relaxing along the nile on your boat and having a party along the red sea in Hurghada. Its such a mix of sightseeing, history, partying, relaxing and having such a good time with fellow travel mates. The tour guide, Sheriff, was an absolute history guru that knew absolutely everything of Egypt. You always constantly feel safe in the group as Sheriff knows the best time of the day to go to certain sights, which is awesome. I would do it again in an absolute heart beat, it definitely is worth every $$$
Review written Jun 2013event 0.3
28 Dec 2012 - 05 Jan 2013
This was the best trip I have ever been on! Do not let your friends, family, or the media scare you into thinking this place is unsafe. I never felt unsafe once. I had the best time and I encourage everyone who is thinking about it to just do it! You will not regret it.
Review written May 2013event 0.3
12 Apr 2013 - 20 Apr 2013
I usually never write review's on trips but I felt motivated to write a positive review after having an amazing time in Egypt. Sherif was the best tour guide I've ever had for any type of trip. You get to ride a camel around the pyramid's, go into many temple's and tombs, see a mummy or two and cruise the Nile for a few days.
The entire trip was organized, fun, full of adventure, allowed for time for many optional's and the group was full of fun people. I have recommended this trip to all my friends and I hope people continue to sign up for this trip.
Review written Apr 2013event 0.3
10 Nov 2012 - 17 Nov 2012
Sherif is the man!!!
Thoroughly enjoyed this tour, the add on's were fantastic, the accommodation on tour was excellent, and sherif our guide was amazing.
The Victoria hotel was very average, but its only for the start of the tour.
Only grumble I have, is that you need to observe the end date for the tour. It ends Saturday morning, because of the travel time back to Cairo. Don't go booking flights home on the Friday night, otherwise your going to miss out on an awesome add on trip, or make others miss out......
Review written Mar 2013event 0.3
16 Feb 2013 - 23 Feb 2013
this was my first ever contiki tour and my first time outside Australia, i started to get alittle scared about my trip to egypt since everyone i know was telling me to be careful and the only news they would show in Australia about Egypt was about the riots and local people dying, i had this idea in my mind that there would be heaps of military walking around the streets in Cairo carrying guns!! but when i got there i realised how wrong my perception of Egypt was. My first day in Cairo i didnt see anyone else on my tour till later that night so i decided to go out into the streets of cairo by myself....to be honest i was petrified but once i got out into the streets it was ok, just a warning to all females...prepare to be harrassed by the men..especially if you are on your own, the harassment wasnt to bad all they did was call out to me and tell me i was beautiful and spoke arabic to me(which i didnt understand) they didnt touch me so it wasnt to bad. i will admit Cairo was not my favourite city FYI if walking the streets of cairo wear closed shoes like sneakers because the streets are pretty filthy. the contiki tour included admission to all the main parts in Egypt the coolest part was going to the pyramids of Giza and having the chance to climb alittle way up them..and get some awesome pics! also the camel rides to the other side of the pyramids was a big highlight for me. i highly recommend doing all the optionals on the tour( i didnt go to abu simbel but most of the people on my tour did and said it was awesome)....the only thing i would say not to do is the sound and light shows...my contiki group decided on going to the karnak sound and light show.. it was a waste of money!! the lighting was good but the voices were outdated and was hard to follow most of us spent the time giggling at the old shakespere speak and the over dramtisation. i met girl who did a top deck tour they went to the sound and light show at giza, which was apperently just as boring. Everywhere else on our Egypt tour was beautiful and amazing we were all safe nothing got stolen noone got hurt. the only other thing i would warn people about is going throught the markets everywhere in Egypt because they are so poor when they see tourist they try to get you to buy stuff they are very pushy and in your face and there are alot of children around try to ignore tham because they try to pick pocket you...the best way i found to go around the market was to not stare at anything or anyone coz they will harrass you even more and say "no thankyou" or "la shukran" but if they keep pushing you just firmly say no and they will leave you alone. another hint for females traveling be prepared to have Arabic men take your picture this happened a few times when we were at the pyramids taking pictures also some will try to get into a picture with you, also girls dress appriporatley you will get harrassed less if you are covered up more!! take toilet paper because using the toilets at most of the place we visited we had to pay a pound to use the toilets and they gave you a little scrap of paper...so take more in with you or tissues. the 3 day cruise boat we went on was the best part of tour.. we all had a chance to relax and get to one another a bit more which was great.. all our meals were provided for and the only thing we had to pay for were drinks. Basically to sum my review up Egypt was safe our tour guide Sherif was excellent and knowlodgeable about the history of Egypt....everyone should go and experince for themselves im so glad i did it, i will never regret or forget a single moment of my time there!!
Review written Mar 2013event 0.3
04 Jan 2013 - 12 Jan 2013
Oh my gosh, First time traveling Contiki, I loved it! Egypt was so amazing and out tour guide Sherif was so awesome! I traveled alone and was worried but ended up with lots of friends! I loved my experience.. it was a trip I will never forget!
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
03 Feb 2012 - 11 Feb 2012
Great trip and had an awesome time! I was an anthropology major in college, so this trip had quite a special meaning to me - I mean what anthro student doesn't want to go to the last remaining wonder of the world!
The only reason that I didn't rate this trip 5 stars is Cairo. It is unfortunate, but Cairo is quite disappointing - lots of pollution, noise and chaos. Fortunately you are only there a few nights.
The rest of the country is awesome and the river boat ride is AMAZING! This is also my first Contiki and I loved the atmosphere and the people on it. I actually decided to go to NZ on my next one because a friend I met on this trip lives in Auckland and I wanted to visit her - so may as well go on a Contiki there too!
My biggest gripe? It wasn't long enough! This is an experience of a lifetime in a country that is undergoing amazing change. Do this trip!
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
08 Sep 2012 - 15 Sep 2012
I went on this tour in September 2012 and would highly recommend it to anyone. The history is just incredible and you will not believce how well preserved the temples and artefacts are. Sharif the tour guide was so knowledgeable and pointed out things you would never notice. He made the tour what it was. The highlightsfor me were definitely the Valley of the Kings and the camel ride at the pyramids.
Its not just all about the history. The day in Hurghada was lovely. Just watch out for the fire coral! And the overnight train from Aswan was a true adventure.
Don't be put off by the recent trouble in Egypt - I did not for one moment feel unsafe. Egypt needs tourism more than ever to help maintain the treasures it has there. It also means that at the moment it is much less crowded than it has been in the past.
Everyone was really nice on the tour and we had lots of fun - partcularly the Egyptian party on the Nile cruise.
I highly recommend this tour.
Review written Jan 2013event 0.3
09 Nov 2012 - 17 Nov 2012
Before going on this trip I had read some reviews of a tour guide "Sherif". I wasn't sure if this guide was the same one I'd be getting on my trip, but it was. He is Contiki's Egypt and Nile guy. I have to let anyone know that if you choose this trip, you will be getting a great experience with a truly caring, fun, informative, educated, safety-concerned guide. Contiki had everything set to go with the packet I got before leaving, and once arriving, at least in my experience, everything was so easy and organized for the Contiki group. Some of the girls on the trip had just gone through Europe, and said that the guide could definitely make or break a travel experience. Not only did Sherif take us on every excursion as was in the itinerary, but he gave us historical background that we would enjoy, information that was necessary, hints about how to dress and what to expect where from the people and vendors, and stories that entertain. He was incredibly personable, warm and funny. We also had a great group, everyone liked each other, but Sherif made it truly memorable. As I read in other posts, the trip is non-stop, but once on the cruise, there is plenty of time to chill and regain energy for the many temples and stops. As a guide usually does, Sherif had contacts everywhere we went, and through in little extras that weren't on the itinerary. It turned out to be a little more spending than I planned, but it was well worth it. The buses were clean and comfortable, the drives were good, the sites were amazing, the people were great, and the memories will last a lifetime. Girls might want to bring a head scarf for the few times you may be in areas where it is more expected to be covered, and good walking shoes you don't mind getting a little pyramid sand on. :) Oh, and don't over eat anything you're unsure of...but the food everywhere was great!
Review written Dec 2012event 0.3
24 Nov 2012 - 01 Dec 2012
As a traveller you go to so many places and you see so many amazing things - but nothing I have experienced compares to this! I had second, third AND fourth thoughts about this trip because I was so nervous about what news head lines said about the protests, but in the end I booked it and what an amazing trip it turned out to be! With a fantastic tour guide and an amazing bunch of people from all over the world, we visited the pyramids, temples, cruised the Nile for 3 days and got lost in Egypt's incredible history. Definitely recommend this tour! I'd do it all over again in a heart beat!
Review written Dec 2012event 0.3
13 Oct 2012 - 20 Oct 2012
From my personal escort through the Cairo airport, to meeting some amazing people and been blown away by the pyramids and history in Egypt, I am so glad i decided to do the trip!
So many different experiences, from seeing mummies, learning the history behind the pyramids and realising how insane it was for people to of build so many years ago in BC. The train ride was such a incredible experience and marked one of my best nights rest of the trip!
The cruise boat was pure luxury and the service was impeccable!
Definitely underestimated how hot it would of been, reaching 42 degree's and averaging 40 degree's....this was their winter temperature.
To top it all off Sherif was a amazing tour guide, always willing to answer questions and had the time of the day for you.
Since my Egypt tour i did a contiki around Europe and can say hands down that Egypt still blows my mind! It just doesn't compare to anything in Europe!
Review written Nov 2012event 0.3
09 Nov 2012 - 17 Nov 2012
I went on this tour in November 2012. Perfect weather, its the beginning of their winter.
Our tour guide was amazing, giving us little history classes everywhere we went.
If you can go camel riding near the pyramids, DO IT!
I did all the "extras" available, I mean why not? The only thing I would not recommend is the Temple of Karnak light and sound show, which is an extra. It was pretty boring, but we did get to see the Valley of the Kings all lit up at night.
I would totally go on this tour again, but maybe in a few years when the new museum is open :)
Review written Nov 2012event 0.3
29 Sep 2012 - 06 Oct 2012
Egypt had so much to offer! It was the most incredible trip, with a perfect mix of both culture and partying.
During the day it was all about pyramids, temples, markets and history. But at night we went to some fantastic restaurants, had some great parties, and the cruise was simply stunning! Would highly recommend this tour to anyone and everyone.
I would also suggest doing all of the optionals, particularly Abu Simbel, even though it's expensive it's definitely worth it. Everyone on the tour was so friendly and made for an awesome trip. The tour guide for this particular trip is incredible. He knows everything and anything and recommended all the best places to eat and things to do. He was fantastic.
Review written Oct 2012event 0.3
16 Mar 2012 - 24 Mar 2012
when i first booked my trip i was a little worried about everything going on in egypt. once i got there, i was so grateful i went! it was amazing!!! i felt safe and secure through out the entire trip, saw amazing things that most people only dream about, and traveled with a group of wonderful people just like myself! sharif our tour guide was outstanding!!! If you get a chance to go to this part of the world, just do it!! you will not regret it! The pyramids, sphynx, valley of the kings ,snorkeling in the red sea...and definitly do the optional to Abu Simble...worth every penny!! this was my 2nd contiki, and i cant wait to book my 3rd!
Review written Apr 2012event 0.3
14 Jan 2012 - 21 Jan 2012
Loved my time in Egypt infact getting on the plane to leave was the saddiest plane ride ever ,never had i ever imagined this country would tug so much at my heart.
On arrival to Cairo was pretty jet lagged so had to be woken for my pre tour meeting looking quiet the sight late sleepy unable to retain any info. Our tour group was nice and small just 16 of us.
first night total culture shock me and another girl i met on this trip headed in search of food and water for our upcomming bus rides our adventures that night were out of this world laughed so much in our few hours trip around cairo
,day at pyramids bloody awesome being there up close seeing Cairo city in the distance friggon awesome taking a camel ride and having our group pic on our camels with the 3 pyramids lined up behind us was an awesome pic.
in late afternoon headed to a restaraunt for faliful yah my favourite food and boy did i pig out next up over night train to aswan hmmmmmmmmm ok well theres something i will never forget protesters againist the goverment stood on the tracks and after a very long night of not really getting far at all we now had to go in a bus convey under police escourt with military and travel to aswan,we should hav been there at 830am ish instead it was close to mid night so we lost a whole day of activity and had a very long drive ahead of us but the tour guide /local guide (sherif) worked his magic and slotted in as much of what we missed in other locations so we didnt miss out too much ,but did mean longer days for us.
loved so much of my time all the temples awesome!!! the light and sound show was a let down dull and out dated but i couldnt fault anything else loved the morning in abu simbel flight there great so highly reccomend to do that extra,time in traditional egyptian villiage seeing all religins live side by side poor right next to rich whole experience was an eye opener.
nile cruise wow wow wow the views the luxuary thx sherif for the upgrade room ,red sea hell what an amazing place so beautiful,our group were spontanious and asked the bus to stop and let us off to take random group pics in desert with red sea in background,
back to Cairo for final dinner man a massive feed i not sure anyone ate every course of that meal,as sherif was going off with 9 people from our group who were staying in Egypt longer on a day trip to Alexandra early next morning he said his farwells to our group stright after that dinner
Sherif is an amazing guy full of knowledge eager to please and will always go the extra mile
those thinking of going to egypt DO IT U WONT REGRET IT!!!!!!!
to those who r booked to go u will truely love EGYPT
Review written Mar 2012event 0.3
23 Dec 2011 - 31 Dec 2011
Salam! Where do I even begin...
Let's start with the BEST tour guide ever, Sherif Aboelwafa, who is a local Egyptian passionate about his country and truly loves what he does. You hear his enthusiasm through his voice when he teaches you about the rich history and stories about ancient Egypt. The best part is that he very comical and makes it fun to learn because he engages you and paints a picture in your mind about what happened in ancient Egypt. He is highly educated and knows everything about Egypt.
Not only does he know everything... he knows everybody! He has 20+ years experience doing tours and has built a strong reputation for himself and for Contiki. Everywhere we went, everybody respected him and knew who he was. This makes traveling a whole lot more comfortable and makes the experience feel more local. For example, we wanted to get Egyptian art on papyrus paper so he took us to the best authentic art studio to get it. We wanted to get the best Egyptian cotton, a simple phone call and the shop could send someone to our hotel. We wanted fine Egyptian engravings on jewelry, he phoned a friend to have it made and delivered. We asked him where the best place to spend New Years Eve was and he got us into a hip local hot spot with our own table including food & drinks. This is what I call going out of your way to please! Finally, when shopping at the street vendors he tells you exactly how much things should cost and he will teach you how to negotiate! With Sherif being so well connected, it made the trip incredible and we were able to get the best local memories to bring home!
Sherif manages the tour very well. Luckily for us our tour was small and only had 18 people but there were other tours going on at the same time. He realizes this and makes sure we get to certain historical sites early to beat the rush so we are able to get the best pictures and experience. This means waking up before sunrise but always well worth it! He takes you to the best locations at the sites where no other tours goes and teaches you about the rich history by the animation in his body language, the enthusiasm through his voice, and depicting the well preserved Egyptian art. He also always tells you exactly where the best places to takes pictures are by telling you where to stand, at what angle, at what time of day, with or without flash, etc. Amazing!
Enough about the best tour guide ever. Let's talk about the trip and visiting Egypt. One word: Breathtaking! People were telling me I was crazy wanting to visit Egypt after the revolution and the up rise in protests and the violence that has taken place. The worst thing about traveling is the feeling of not being safe. You will NOT have this problem whatsoever because all the sites you go to are away from the protest mostly at Tahrir Square. Sherif and crew really makes you feel safe. They tell you where to walk/travel and where not to go.
You'll hear Sherif saying that there are different "highlights" of the trip. But essentially, the entire trip was a highlight! Every place we went was mind-blowing. To see how this ancient civilization lived through their art, temples, statues, tombs, obelisks, pyramids, etc. was fascinating. I've been to Greece and Italy to see the Greek and Roman ruins but what sets Egypt apart... preservation! You still see the COLOR in the art! In some instances it looks like someone just painted it yesterday even though what you're looking at is 3000 years old! All in all, every single "highlight" we went to was well worth it so definitely purchase all the optional excursions because… how often will you get go to Egypt?
The tour is short but the amount of things you do seems endless. You take all modes of transportation from taxi, bus, train, cruise ship, felucca boat, airplane, horse buggy and even a camel! There are things to do for everyone from shopping, to sightseeing, to camel riding, to feasting, to nightlife, to smoking hookah, to relaxing, to swimming, to snorkeling, and even to dress up in Egyptian attire! You must try Falafel (deep fried balls of ground chick-peas and fava beans) and Koshery (classic Egyptian dish). As for the accommodation, the first hotel (Victoria Hotel) is in the heart of downtown Cairo in close proximity to 26 of July Street where restaurants and shops are. It is an older hotel and a bit dirty but sleep able. The overnight train was tons of fun because we stayed up all night but the rooms and bed was teenie weenie (avoid eating the train food). The cruise ship was a nice upgrade with comfortable beds and clean bathrooms. Finally, the Safir Hotel in Hurghada was very clean and has it's own private beach! All in all, I was very pleased with the accommodation, the food, and all the crew was very nice and helpful!
One of the best parts of the trip... was meeting fellow travelers from all over the world! Making friends was refreshing because everyone I met was awesome. Even though it's a short tour you really get to know your new friends. I can honestly say that I will stay in touch with all the people I’ve met on the trip! That's how amazing they are. One person on the tour was someone I've met a year prior on my trip to Greece! Small world! It was wonderful building a bond with others and being able to freely laugh and enjoy each others company. I loved spending every minute with them from telling funny stories at the dinner table, saying "whoa" together while Sherif shows us a masterpiece, playing bowling in the train, relaxing together on the top deck of the cruise, dancing the night away at a local club, sharing to someone that Rosetta Stone is really a stone to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs, so on and so forth. An experience becomes an experience because of the people you're with!
I close this long review by saying, GO TO EGYPT! Take the Contiki Tour because they take you to all the best Ancient Egyptian ruins and you’ll have nothing but FUN! Sherif is simply the best at what he does and he will ensure you learn about Egypt while having a blast and keeping you safe! Finally, go with an open mind because you’ll build some lasting friendships! It’s been just over a week since I’ve returned home but everyday I’ve thought about how special my experience in Egypt was!
One last thing, if possible go one day ahead so you can explore the city yourself. I went to the Citadel (famous Islamic fortification and mosque) and the Cairo Bazaar for street shopping. The extra day at the end, 8 of us and Sherif (another reason why he's the best b/c he spent his off-day Saturday touring with us), traveled 2.5 hrs north to Alexandria and it is a whole different world compared to Cairo, Aswan, and Hurghada. Being at the mediterranean you feel, see, and taste the mediterranean influence. Simply Beautiful and well worth it!
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3