Egypt & The Nile

Tour Length
8 days
From
US$1205
Overview Reviews

  • Laura
  • Laura
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing tour with an amazing guide

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 2013

My Contiki was: Wonders, Adventure, Beautiful

event 0.3
  • Laura
  • Laura
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing tour with an amazing guide

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 2013

My Contiki was: Wonders, Adventure, Beautiful

event 0.3
  • Marlene
  • Marlene
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile

Egypt & The Nile, November 2012

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 2012

event 0.3
  • Marlene
  • Marlene
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile

Egypt & The Nile, November 2012

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 2012

event 0.3
  • lauren.w
  • lauren.w
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 0 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Life changing experience

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 2012

My Contiki was: Incredible, History, Memorable

event 0.3
  • lauren.w
  • lauren.w
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 0 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Life changing experience

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 2012

My Contiki was: Incredible, History, Memorable

event 0.3
  • Bec
  • Bec
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 13 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Better than ever expected!

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 2012

My Contiki was: Mind Blowing, Worth it

event 0.3
  • Bec
  • Bec
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 13 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Better than ever expected!

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 2012

My Contiki was: Mind Blowing, Worth it

event 0.3
  • Heather
  • Heather
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing country!

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 2012

My Contiki was: Awesome, Awesome, Awesome

event 0.3
  • Heather
  • Heather
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Amazing country!

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 2012

My Contiki was: Awesome, Awesome, Awesome

event 0.3
  • Hayley
  • Hayley
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 0 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Egypt is amazing!

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 2012

My Contiki was: Cultural, Breath-taking, Relaxing

event 0.3
  • Hayley
  • Hayley
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 0 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Egypt is amazing!

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 2012

My Contiki was: Cultural, Breath-taking, Relaxing

event 0.3
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

do not be nervous!!!

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 2012

event 0.3
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

do not be nervous!!!

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 2012

event 0.3
  • jo
  • jo
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 10 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

egypt nile

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 2012

My Contiki was: amazing, brillant, unforgettable

event 0.3
  • jo
  • jo
  • Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 10 Countries
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

egypt nile

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 2012

My Contiki was: amazing, brillant, unforgettable

event 0.3
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

CONTIKI... WAKEY WAKEY!!!

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!

Sharkan!

Review written Jan 2012

My Contiki was: Breathtaking, Experience of a lifetime , The Best

event 0.3
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

CONTIKI... WAKEY WAKEY!!!

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!

Sharkan!

Review written Jan 2012

My Contiki was: Breathtaking, Experience of a lifetime , The Best

event 0.3
  • Default_avatar
  • dreamstar
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Yalla Yalla Habibi, to Egypt! It means, "C'mon My Friends!"

25 Nov 2011 - 03 Dec 2011

I travel frequently for both business and pleasure. Of all the places I've visited, Egypt has been, by far, one of the best experiences of my life!

Prior to my departure, I cannot express to you the amount of people around me who were worried and feared for my safety and well-being, for planning to travel to a country where a political revolution was going on. As for myself, having been used to traveling solo for a long time, it was never really a worry that crossed my mind. When we arrived in Egypt, the riot was just in one part/center of the city. Everywhere else was fine and and status quo. In terms of safety, we walked outside the city in groups and did not feel we were in danger. Further, I knew that Contiki was a well-respected travel company, and that they wouldn't take us travelers towards a place that would jeopardize our safety. Basically, everything was cool. It just makes sense that as long as you stay with the group, follow instructions, and don't go towards any chaos, then you won't attract any unwarranted danger towards yourself.

The tour of Egypt was marvelous for a multitude of reasons, one of them being that we had an amazing tour manager/guide/guardian/and friend named Sherif. I believe that a huge part of a successful tour is to have a great tour guide. If it weren't for Sherif's guidance, Egypt might not have been the same for us. He really took care of the group, made sure everyone felt safe and comfortable, and guided us in our journey throughout Egypt. He exuded so much passion in all of his stories and the history lessons he provided us at each location we visited. He was always happy, positive, patient, and energetic, and these attributes really contributed to the overall quality and experience of the entire tour.

Another reason for the tour being fantastic was the people we met along the way. It may sound cliche, but it's true that the effort and energy you put into something, is what you obtain out of it. By the end of our tour, we built good friendships, and future travel buddies via Contiki.

We also met all the different local people in the towns and villages along the way. People in general were friendly. We were informed in advance of all the hustlers in the marketplaces and how aggressive and pushy they could be. It's true, they will follow you to make a sale; fib about prices; etc. All you have to do is say 'no' and just walk away, if you're not interested. Yet, still, you will definitely come across a lot of hustling from young and old sellers for money, and if you're not careful, you could easily be swindled and then lose something valuable. Just like anywhere else you travel to, not everyone trying to sell you something is going to be bad. If you have an unfortunate experience, you might get a bad seller and then get swindled. As a traveler, you are immediately exposing yourself to areas where there is a lot of tourist attraction, so naturally, you will be amongst people and stores that will target you to buy something, so there is no way to go around this. As a traveler, this too is common sense: make sure you are aware of your surroundings, and don't wear or carry anything flashy, don't carry around a lot of money, and don't trust someone you don't know to hold something valuable for you. Don't worry, your guide will inform you of all the marketplace information.

In regards to the layout of the entire tour, opinions may differ from person to person, as some people wanted to do less, and some people wanted to spend a day longer here and there. There really is no way to foretell which person would or would not like a certain place for what amount of time. In that case, they should just do a private tour. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed and loved every single thing that was planned out in the tour itinerary. In my opinion, this is the best way to see and experience everything. We even rode every single method of transportation: bus, camel, train, cruise ship, taxi, car, plane, and atv's (due to the weather, snorkeling was replaced with atv's, and it was so awesome riding through the Arabian Desert in Hurghada)! As for the overnight sleeper train experience, it was a small space, but who cares (it's just one night), and it was so much fun. On the cruise ship, it was roomy and luxurious, and we had amazing chefs on-board who cooked fabulous meals everyday. At night, the group had drinks on the top-deck and chatted and played games. On the last night on the ship, there was an Egyptian Night where everyone dressed up in Egyptian clothing and danced and had a good time (participation is optional).

There were also the optional excursion tours available for those who wanted to experience more. I did everything on the optionals, except the Luxor Light Show. We were told to just do one of the light shows if we wanted to experience that, so we chose the Karnak Show, which was supposed to be the better of the two. Please note that the light show is not the temple being lit up and being flashy like fireworks. It was a walkabout tour, where you would walk through the temple and a projector would emit light and images against the backdrop of the temple walls (images were blurry and not in focus), and a sound system would play a recording of a story that went along with each image. It sounds cool, but in reality, the Karnak Show was sub-par and very outdated. I'd suggest this one as a pass, until there is one day a major update to the show. As for the other optional tours, you must do Abu Simbel. That alone is worth your trip. It is something you have to see in person to experience everything that is magnificent and wondrous. Trust. All of the other optional tours to the different temples is also worth every penny in my book. Each temple is amazing in its own right, and should be seen with your own eye, especially because you cannot take pictures inside most of the temples itself, and pictures do not do any justice.

The only thing left to discuss would be the food. I ate everything that was provided to me without any worries (bread, cheese, falafels, fruits, veggies, hummus, yogurt, etc) and was fine for the duration of the trip. No sickness. Although, this also varies from person to person, and the sensitivity of your stomach. I'd say 90-95% of our group were fine. Sherif will let you know in advance that it is okay to eat everything at a certain restaurant. Basically, any restaurant that you're taken to during the tour is approved. The only thing that you'll be reminded of is to not drink any tap water. You should only drink bottled water. You'll also be informed to not eat the peel of certain fruits, and certain leafy vegetables. Once again, your tour manager will inform you of all of this.

I hope everything above explains in detail, and answers any questions you may have had about the tour. I would highly recommend Egypt & The Nile tour to any one of you. As long as Contiki is providing it on their site, I would be confident that it is all good and safe to travel there. Should you have any further questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Happy travels to you all!!!
:)

Review written Dec 2011

My Contiki was: Wondrous!, Breath-taking!, Epic!

event 0.3
  • Default_avatar
  • dreamstar
  • Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 1 Country
Egypt & The Nile
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Yalla Yalla Habibi, to Egypt! It means, "C'mon My Friends!"

25 Nov 2011 - 03 Dec 2011

I travel frequently for both business and pleasure. Of all the places I've visited, Egypt has been, by far, one of the best experiences of my life!

Prior to my departure, I cannot express to you the amount of people around me who were worried and feared for my safety and well-being, for planning to travel to a country where a political revolution was going on. As for myself, having been used to traveling solo for a long time, it was never really a worry that crossed my mind. When we arrived in Egypt, the riot was just in one part/center of the city. Everywhere else was fine and and status quo. In terms of safety, we walked outside the city in groups and did not feel we were in danger. Further, I knew that Contiki was a well-respected travel company, and that they wouldn't take us travelers towards a place that would jeopardize our safety. Basically, everything was cool. It just makes sense that as long as you stay with the group, follow instructions, and don't go towards any chaos, then you won't attract any unwarranted danger towards yourself.

The tour of Egypt was marvelous for a multitude of reasons, one of them being that we had an amazing tour manager/guide/guardian/and friend named Sherif. I believe that a huge part of a successful tour is to have a great tour guide. If it weren't for Sherif's guidance, Egypt might not have been the same for us. He really took care of the group, made sure everyone felt safe and comfortable, and guided us in our journey throughout Egypt. He exuded so much passion in all of his stories and the history lessons he provided us at each location we visited. He was always happy, positive, patient, and energetic, and these attributes really contributed to the overall quality and experience of the entire tour.

Another reason for the tour being fantastic was the people we met along the way. It may sound cliche, but it's true that the effort and energy you put into something, is what you obtain out of it. By the end of our tour, we built good friendships, and future travel buddies via Contiki.

We also met all the different local people in the towns and villages along the way. People in general were friendly. We were informed in advance of all the hustlers in the marketplaces and how aggressive and pushy they could be. It's true, they will follow you to make a sale; fib about prices; etc. All you have to do is say 'no' and just walk away, if you're not interested. Yet, still, you will definitely come across a lot of hustling from young and old sellers for money, and if you're not careful, you could easily be swindled and then lose something valuable. Just like anywhere else you travel to, not everyone trying to sell you something is going to be bad. If you have an unfortunate experience, you might get a bad seller and then get swindled. As a traveler, you are immediately exposing yourself to areas where there is a lot of tourist attraction, so naturally, you will be amongst people and stores that will target you to buy something, so there is no way to go around this. As a traveler, this too is common sense: make sure you are aware of your surroundings, and don't wear or carry anything flashy, don't carry around a lot of money, and don't trust someone you don't know to hold something valuable for you. Don't worry, your guide will inform you of all the marketplace information.

In regards to the layout of the entire tour, opinions may differ from person to person, as some people wanted to do less, and some people wanted to spend a day longer here and there. There really is no way to foretell which person would or would not like a certain place for what amount of time. In that case, they should just do a private tour. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed and loved every single thing that was planned out in the tour itinerary. In my opinion, this is the best way to see and experience everything. We even rode every single method of transportation: bus, camel, train, cruise ship, taxi, car, plane, and atv's (due to the weather, snorkeling was replaced with atv's, and it was so awesome riding through the Arabian Desert in Hurghada)! As for the overnight sleeper train experience, it was a small space, but who cares (it's just one night), and it was so much fun. On the cruise ship, it was roomy and luxurious, and we had amazing chefs on-board who cooked fabulous meals everyday. At night, the group had drinks on the top-deck and chatted and played games. On the last night on the ship, there was an Egyptian Night where everyone dressed up in Egyptian clothing and danced and had a good time (participation is optional).

There were also the optional excursion tours available for those who wanted to experience more. I did everything on the optionals, except the Luxor Light Show. We were told to just do one of the light shows if we wanted to experience that, so we chose the Karnak Show, which was supposed to be the better of the two. Please note that the light show is not the temple being lit up and being flashy like fireworks. It was a walkabout tour, where you would walk through the temple and a projector would emit light and images against the backdrop of the temple walls (images were blurry and not in focus), and a sound system would play a recording of a story that went along with each image. It sounds cool, but in reality, the Karnak Show was sub-par and very outdated. I'd suggest this one as a pass, until there is one day a major update to the show. As for the other optional tours, you must do Abu Simbel. That alone is worth your trip. It is something you have to see in person to experience everything that is magnificent and wondrous. Trust. All of the other optional tours to the different temples is also worth every penny in my book. Each temple is amazing in its own right, and should be seen with your own eye, especially because you cannot take pictures inside most of the temples itself, and pictures do not do any justice.

The only thing left to discuss would be the food. I ate everything that was provided to me without any worries (bread, cheese, falafels, fruits, veggies, hummus, yogurt, etc) and was fine for the duration of the trip. No sickness. Although, this also varies from person to person, and the sensitivity of your stomach. I'd say 90-95% of our group were fine. Sherif will let you know in advance that it is okay to eat everything at a certain restaurant. Basically, any restaurant that you're taken to during the tour is approved. The only thing that you'll be reminded of is to not drink any tap water. You should only drink bottled water. You'll also be informed to not eat the peel of certain fruits, and certain leafy vegetables. Once again, your tour manager will inform you of all of this.

I hope everything above explains in detail, and answers any questions you may have had about the tour. I would highly recommend Egypt & The Nile tour to any one of you. As long as Contiki is providing it on their site, I would be confident that it is all good and safe to travel there. Should you have any further questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Happy travels to you all!!!
:)

Review written Dec 2011

My Contiki was: Wondrous!, Breath-taking!, Epic!

event 0.3
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What's Included

All of this & more, included as standard on your trip.

Accommodation

  • 7 nights twin-share accommodation: 3 nights in hotels, 1 night twin-berth couchette on overnight train (Cairo to Aswan), 3 nights Nile Cruise
  • Coach transfers
  • Transfer from airport to hotel upon arrival
  • Local taxes & service charges
  • Cruise the Nile on a superb ship featuring luxury cabins, all with private shower, WC, TV and air-conditioning, swimming pool, sun deck, restaurant, lounge, bars, gift shop & disco

Team

  • An experienced and professional Egyptian Trip Manager
  • Sightseeing of all major cities plus orientations in all other destinations

Food

  • 7 continental breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 5 three-course dinners

Inclusions

  • 3 World Heritage Sites visited
  • From pharaohs to mummies - locally guided tours of the Egyptian Museum & the Pyramids of Giza
  • Local villages, ancient sites & stunning scenery - see them all on your relaxing three-night cruise down the Nile
See More

Me Time

  • Group Photo
  • Visit the Unfinished Obelisk & High Dam
See More

On a budget?

  • The average cost per day for this tour is US$150
  • You only need a US$200 deposit to book and pay in full 45 days before you travel.
  • Pay in installments, with Contiki Easy Pay
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