This trip can be tailor-made and departures can be arranged all year. The sample itinerary below can be modified to your personal wishes including departure date, duration, accommodation used & how long you spend in each destination.
Responsible tourism: Egypt holiday, tailor made
Siwa has a unique natural environment with exceptional geo-morphological features and 230 natural freshwater springs.
Under the Siwa Sustainable Development Initiative, solid waste management practices have been introduced into the area and historic sites have been restored. The initiative now also focuses on eco-tourism in the region, of which the Siwa Ecolodge is the centrepiece.
The lodge has been designed to blend with the environment and to keep the interior naturally cool, avoiding the use of Air Conditioning. Centuries old building techniques have been revived, using kershef, a mixture of rock, salt and mud, to build the walls. The lodge does not have electricity and oil lamps and candles are used for lighting. The furnishing uses natural materials and local skills. Waste water is dealt with using a biodegradation and waste reduction process. On the other side of Lake Siwa, a second ecolodge, the Shali Lodge, has been constructed using the same traditional construction methods.
We are one of the few UK tour operators to be awarded AITO’s 5 stars (the most possible) for Responsible Travel in recognition of our Responsible Travel policy. This is extremely important for us and we take Responsible Travel very seriously. In terms of responsible tourism, Egypt is not very advanced, but we advise clients on how to do their bit, from ways to save water, which is such a precious source in Egypt, to how to help with the evident litter problem.
The treatment of animals in Egypt is far below what we would regard as acceptable. Most notably, you will see donkeys and horses in poor condition being mistreated. We provide clients with details of the charity, Brooke Hospital, who specialise in looking after mistreated mules, donkeys and horses, for those who want to do more to help these animals.
Here in the UK offices we try to protect our local environment in every way we can. Composting and recycling schemes are in place, each department has its own allotment in the office grounds, where free range hens roam. We use fair trade tea and coffee and organic fruit is delivered to the office each week. Car sharing to work is encouraged and a bike purchase scheme is available to employees.
The people of Siwa have their own traditions and culture, the area having been inhabited in isolation from as early as 10,000 BC.
Between them, the 2 lodges have benefited over 600 Siwan familes, providing permanent employment to many and also creating opportunities through their requirements for local raw materials, furniture and handicrafts.
Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, although government is secular. It is very important to respect Muslim social custom. Clients traveling to Egypt with us will be given advice on how to dress and guidance on how to behave in public in order to show respect for the Muslim traditions and to avoid causing offence, particularly during the period of Ramadan.
We have strong links with the organisation Friends of Conservation who have a number of projects they work on across the world; their aim is to 'join with local people and partners to support sustainable ways of living in harmony with wildlife, ecosystems and the environment'.
We work directly with FOC on two of their projects, one of which is the Bio-gas project in the Masai Mara in Kenya. Each department also supports a chosen charity in its own region and in the Africa Culture department we frequently fund raise and donate to the Hannan School organisation in Morocco.
Reviews of Egypt holiday, tailor made
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 11 May 2011 by Katrin Nyman-Metcalf
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Seeing the ancient Egyptian sites that are so old and so famous, to actually see them in real life. And to be able to see so much in a few days without feeling rushed!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
It is worth if possible to book a private guide, as the only (somewhat) negative comment is that with a big group (off the cruise) the guided tours are not as interesting than when it is exactly according to your timetable and interests.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
Yes, in principle, but given the hard times in Egypt for the tourist industry one felt one should do more, but it is hard to know how and what!
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?