49 independent reviews for Egypt family holiday, Feluccas & Pharaohs4 star rating

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through responsibletravel.com. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.

Julie Conder review 25 May 20115 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sailing on a felucca along the Nile, then sleeping on deck overnight.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack light. Go now while there are fewer tourists than usual.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Local people benefited directly from lots of tip money!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Nicola Carroll review 19 Apr 20115 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sailing from Aswan towards Luxor on a felluca with an over night camp on board

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Try to get small denomination notes for tips before you leave. In Egypt at the present there is little confidence in coinage and paper money is preferred.

Use sun block-even if you are covered up as you can burn through clothes

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


To an extent, certainly more direct benefit to local people than the big Nile cruise ships and enclosed hotel complexes. It was certainly beneficial for us to travel as a small group as we had more interaction with local people and got to see how they lived and felt about the current situation, which I think we would not have had as a larger group.

I was surprised by the amount of diesel fumes generated by the cruise ships moored at Luxor, these wafted in a visible smelly low level cloud across the gardens and pool area of the hotels they were moored along side ( and the next door ones!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


My daughter and I loved nearly every minute of it, the only down side was the unpredictability of journey times in Cairo leading to long waits for the Aswan train and to get to the museum.

Mariella Gregori review 15 Aug 20114 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Contact with the Nubian culture, the historic site, learning details from the guide about ancient Egyptian history, camel ride, sailing on the feluccas, snorkelling, the bazaars, making new friends to keep in touch with.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


To be prepared to haggle and to expect people trying to sell you merchandise all the time. To be prepared of the drastic contrast between the sites by the river Nile and the sites by the Red see (see below). To be aware that on a holiday for families with children, you are in for a noisy time! Not all children are well behaved, not all parents supervise their children in the same way, you may end up having to care of children of others. The younger children may find it hard to keep up with visits to sites and museums and, of course, the heat. The older kids in the group will treasure the amount of knowledge imparted and the experience of different cultures.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I would divide the holiday in two. The time spend by the Nile will have produce wealth for the locals such as the hiring of the camels, the meal with the family, the tipping for all people involved in our care. Unfortunately, I believe the site in Urghada was not in keeping with the ethos of this holiday. The town, the hotel, the tourist it catered for,
the poor quality food and the waste of food witnessed are not good example of responsible tourism.

Most people in the group felt similarly and I personally felt let down by the idea that someone who choses their holiday so carefully as to minimise the impact on the environment and the local customs should then end up in a site like Urghada,
which I would never have chosen. I realise that to experience snorkelling in the Red Sea and to have a whole day on a boat out at large, it was necessary to overnight somewhere, but I am wondering whether there could have been alternatives. Last, but not least, we all had a sickness after eating at the hotel with my husband feeling the worst with vomit and diarrhoea for two days.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A wonderful experience for the whole family with lots of variety of activities, culture and adventure.

Shona Fullerton review 3 May 20114 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Not sure what to pick - the trip on the felucca was great; kids loved the camel ride and the chance to take a balloon ride was also wonderful!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Keep open minded. Handle the souks with a smile and be open to chat!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Certainly in some areas - Nubian village, local owners for camels and feluccas. Hotels were not really low impact though . . .

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Wonderful experience. Few hiccups with train being cancelled and one felucca having an accident but our guide rearranged everything for us and things carried on smoothly. Great holiday in very large part due to a wonderful and flexible guide.

Tom Julius review 28 Apr 20114 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The trip was everything we hoped and more. The time in Egypt with two families (13 total tourists) and one guide couldn't have been better. In addition to the incredible archaeological sights highlights were the overnight sail/camp on a Nile felucca boat, sunset camel excursion in the desert, and snorkelling in the Red Sea. The itinerary was ambitious but the pace helped keep both the children's and adult's interest.

Our guide, Maged (Max) Mamdouh, was cheerful, helpful, organized, reliable, playful with the children, knowledgeable, patient. I highly recommend him for any group. The transportation between locations was on-time and reliable, that helped tremendously.


2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


We brought American Express traveler's checks, but found that the only place that honored them was Thomas Cook currency exchange offices. ATM machines were available in all hotels, recommend telling travellers to plan on using them.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Local people were definitely involved in activities of the trip, that was a plus.
Would have like to have seen a minimizing of reliance on small water bottles and more recycling.


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Overall, this was a great holiday for our family. It was our 11 year old son's first time travelling internationally. He had a great experience as did we all.

Melissa Day review 12 Nov 20105 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Every single thing about our trip was memorable and exciting! The tour operator has put together a perfect itinerary in Feluccas and Pharaohs, balancing the historic sites with relaxation, adventure, and fun. We especially enjoyed the dinner with the Nubian family and felucca sailboat trip - we felt both were incredibly unique ways to experience Egypt. Our children report the two best parts were 1) snorkeling in the Red Sea and 2) our guide, Ned, who was exceptional with our small children (ages 5-6). He engaged and played with them tirelessly!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The hotel accommodations were actually nicer than I expected. The night train is a wild ride (noisy, bumpy), but it is a really neat experience. Be sure to bring mosquito repellent and wet wipes for the felucca ride. Be ready to tip every person who provides you a service along the trip (your guide will tell you how much). Don't worry about the trip being too much for your kids - our young children had a blast. It was just the right amount of activity for them. Be ready for the family trip of a lifetime!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes I do. We stayed at smaller, locally run hotels. Many of the excursions were run by local individuals/companies instead of a large company. We had a number of opportunities to purchase jewellery, etc. sold by local children. We felt the modes of transportation were as eco-friendly as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Everything about this trip was perfect! The itinerary included all of the major sites you would want to see, as well as so many other amazing and fun experiences. Our guide, Ned, was extremely personable and knowledgeable, not only about the sites, but also Egyptian culture. The entire trip was very smooth and well organized. If you are considering a trip to Egypt, don't hesitate to book this one! I can't recommend it highly enough!

Rachel Iredale review 15 Apr 20105 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Everything was fantastic. For the kids their most exciting parts were the camel ride, the sleeper train and the night on the felucca. However, their most memorable part is the freedom they had with the other kids in the group to do their own thing independent of the adults. Since we have come home they have been texting and emailing almost every day and have made some firm friends.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


- Travel light and leave space in your bags for souveniers (no need to bring loads of towels!)
- Learn how to haggle properly
- Agree of tipping fom day one with other members of your group
- Speak up if you are not happy with any aspect of the trip - our guide, Maged, was more than happy to sort any problem we had, no matter how small.
- Enjoy!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. Local guides for every trip - everyone was thanked and tipped.
Re-iterate message about bottled water - most people bought and discarded their bottles every day


4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic. I have always wanted to go to Egypt and this holiday surpassed my expectations. I am already exploring options for our next holiday now!

Julie Musk review 20 Nov 20104 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Sailing a felucca on the Nile and spending a night onboard, eating and sleeping under the stars. A great 'camping' experience. Also riding camels through the Nubian desert. We loved that we were given our own mounts – even the children.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pack light. We visited Egypt in late Oct/beginning Nov and it was warm in the evenings – one jumper would have sufficed for the whole trip, no more. Also, don't worry if lunch is not included; with the big hotel buffet breakfasts and dinners, you don't feel like eating during the heat of the day. We hardly touched the extra snack foods we'd brought from the UK.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, especially in Aswan, where we crossed to the west bank (Nubian side) and enjoyed the camel trek and later dinner with a Nubian family. The train from Cairo to Aswan was also a good way to travel.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic! The ancient cultural sites were awesome, and adventure experiences wonderful. Also seeing how today's Egyptians live (in Cairo and from the train window) was eye-opening and thought-provoking. We felt very privileged.

Liz West review 4 Nov 20104 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Riding on camels through the farms on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor; sailing on a felucca at sunset down the Nile; visiting the amazing tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Nobles

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take advantage of some of the optional activities on offer - these were some of the things we enjoyed the most; get up early to make the most of the amazing sights before the temperatures climb too high

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Our guide, (Zeina) was fantastic and took us to local restaurants that we probably would have otherwise overlooked; we used local providers of tours and transport, for example camels and feluccas;

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Really fantastic, lived up to all our expectations. As I mentioned before, Zeina, our guide, really made it special for us and she was great with the children and really helped us to appreciate the sights we were seeing.

Joyce Telmo-Kanti review 14 Apr 20104 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


For my husband and I, it was everything really. For our 6- and 8-yr old kids, definitely snorkelling in the Red Sea!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared to "rough it" during the sleep-over in the felucca because there are no toilets, no lights (you need a flashlight) and nothing to do after dinner but to sleep. This was fine for our young kids who are used to sleeping at 8:30 pm, but it was a challenge for the teen-agers who still wanted to chat, play cards, etc. before sleeping.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, definitely. We particularly liked having dinner at a local Nubian family's house. Nothing beats home-cooked food and we helped them in the process.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Brilliant! Our best family holiday to date because of the variety and first-time experiences. However, we would highly recommend NOT sleeping over in the felucca which was not a very comfortable experience primarily because there were no proper toilets and no lights. It was a challenge to take our young kids to pee in the middle of the night without disturbing sleeping group mates and without proper lights. We suggest to have lunch and to sail in the felucca the whole afternoon, but go back to a hotel for dinner and overnight sleep. We don't think this would diminish the felucca experience at all, but even enhance it.

Sallie Robins review 26 Feb 20104 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Too many to list but sleeping outside on a Felluca, drifting off whilst watching the stars and whilst the boat rocked you to sleep, and waking at sunrise.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take as little as possible - know where your things are particularly your swim stuff as often you hit the hotel pool before you have your room, make sure you have small notes and coins for tips, a handful of dollar bills would be good for this

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes we bought plenty of things from local markets and bazaars. Plus all the guides were locals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic - my son wants to move to Egypt

Beverley Whitfield review 31 Dec 20103 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Probably the Felucca Ride, shame we didn't get more time on the boat the following morning.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Avoid Cairo!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


On the whole yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Once away from the smog and harassment of sellers in Cairo then the holiday really picked up. Our leader, Sherif, was excellent.

Read the operator's response here:

Cairo is not the most visitor friendly city, it is crowded, polluted and undoubtedly tourists do attract a considerable amount of hassle from street vendors. We hope that our Group Leaders are able to shield our groups to some extent, however, these aspects can't be avoided entirely. We do our best to locate our family groups outside the city centre, in Giza, so that they are away from the busiest part of the city. Nevertheless, we consider time in Cairo to be an essential part of any trip to Egypt, without it the Pyramids and Cairo museum would be missed.

Claire Barton review 17 Apr 20095 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


For our 3 children, the camel ride came out top, followed closely by snorkelling in the Red Sea and the Nubian dinner. However, they really enjoyed everything. The holiday was very well constructed so that visits to hot dusty places were relatively short and were followed by contrasting activities such as a boat ride or swim. We all enjoyed the many varied modes of transport we experienced. For the adults, it is much harder to single out particular highlights because we enjoyed the whole holiday immensely. A special mention must go to our guide/tour leader, Zizu, who was exceptionally good. He worked so hard and looked after us so well.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book early! This was a most fantastic holiday, especially for families with teenagers. I am sure that word will get around and there will be a rush for places! One small tip - I was expecting the whole trip, and the hotels in particular, to be more down-market and we did not bring enough smart clothes for the evenings.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. Of course, we probably should have done more from an environmental perspective but one has to be realistic.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent! The whole holiday was very much as described in the brochure only even better.

Joe Kurczycki review 21 Apr 20094 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The entire holiday was the highlight. It's well organised, the tour itinerary suited to our family, we visited all the main highlights and our focal in Egypt was pleasant and efficient in getting things done.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Come very prepared for the heat and the mosquitoes. Keep an open mind and go with the flow when things don't go entirely according to plan.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, we spent a fair amount of money, hence the financial benefit. They met us... must be a +ve impact. And on the environment we tried to limit our footprint by recycling what we could, taking short showers, etc.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is excellent, I'd give it a 9. (I never give 10's).

Jackie Rhodes review 19 Apr 20094 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The markets of Fez and Marrakech, and the journey through the Atlas Mountain passes.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Consider your personal safety at all times. It can be easy to be conned and given short change.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, gifts given to the local school will benefit children.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A fantastic experience and would recommend this tour operator.

Martin Carr review 15 Apr 20094 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Spending a night in a Bedouin tent in the middle of the desert after a day on camels and trekking though canyons. Then spending the next day snorkelling a breathtaking red sea reef. An amazing contrast.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared to experience all sorts of different things in the space of one week

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Tipping played a large part and obviously the recipients benefited financially. Tourism is obviously the number one trade in Sinai and locals are very keen to accommodate our needs. How far the region will continue to be developed over the next few years will be interesting to see.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely bloody brilliant. A great mix of culture, action, relaxation and beautiful sights. We packed so much in and the kids all had an absolute ball. Our guide was an absolute gem as well.

Bridie Przibram review 6 Jan 20094 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Camel trekking and snorkelling in the Red Sea.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take warm clothing - it was colder than we thought it would be, especially at night and early morning.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Lots of local people were booked for camel, treks, felucca rides and caleche rides, and locally-owned hotels. We got to eat out at local restaurants recommended by our guide.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


One of the best family holidays we have had. There is no way we could have fitted all that we did into an independently organised trip. We have totally fallen in love with Egypt, and there is still lots more to see there. We will be back.

Cazz Lang review 27 Dec 20085 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


ALL OF IT! Camel ride/felluca/nubian dinner and the snorkelling.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Pound has dropped dramatically against the Egyptian pound (8.3) when we went Dec08 so Egyptian pounds were preferred to sterling. Estimated meal costs in brochure seemed low. Make sure you have a very warm sleeping bag for the felluca night. However - we had a brilliant time

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - we really enjoyed the Nubian dinner and would have loved to have been able to communicate better with the Nubians - they were so friendly and welcoming.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic - a holiday of a lifetime.

Rebecca Collis-Lealman review 2 Jun 20085 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There was so many I find it hard to choose one!! But the felucca trip down the Nile probably will never be beaten. It was truly amazing especially being woken at 4am by the call to prayer whilst every one else slept. The train journey also must have a mention - it was like being in old bond movie with the 70's style cabins. Cool for both the adults and the kids. Oh yes and the balloon flight over Luxor with captain Memo - wicked!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go on this holiday! It is amazing. But on a more serious note - pack lightly; wear a large rimmed hat and dress to cover the body. It is very hot but you soon get used to the heat. Also taking sun protective swim suits for kids proved to be a great idea also.
This holiday is a fantastic experience for kids and adults - the group kind of becomes a huge family looking after each other - I can't ever imagine finding another holiday to match this one, however I am sure that the tour operator will prove me wrong!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I do feel we benefited the local community. Because of the experience and knowledge of our tour guide he took us to places where we could experience the real Egypt allowing us to contribute to the different areas rather than just the standard tourist areas.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


A holiday that will be very hard to beat! The holiday was so well organised and any problems seemed to be anticipated and dealt with before we even noticed. Our tour guide Zizo, was fantastic, sensitive to our needs, accommodating to our every whim and had a wicked sense of humour!! He truly made our holiday in so many ways, so much so our 8 year old son cried when we got home and said he wanted him to come on every holiday with us!!

Liz Austin review 17 Apr 20085 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


From the moment we arrived in Egypt until the moment we left, it was simply fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I don't have any tips; the information provided by the tour operator was comprehensive.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, as much as one could, under the circumstances (trains, planes and mini buses balanced by camels, sailing boats and horse drawn carriages!) Eating in local restaurants, using local guides and buying stuff in the markets might have helped too.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I have travelled and lived in some far flung places in my life and the idea of being part of an organised, group holiday did not thrill me. I chose it because I thought it would be safe and exciting for my son. It turned out to be the best holiday I have ever had. Everything happened according to plan and when something did go pear shaped there was a plan B and plan C. The group leader, Mautaz, was the most focussed and professional person I have ever met. He was also lovely with the children and the adults alike. Whatever we needed he would find, wherever we wanted to go he would arrange it. He always explained exactly what we would be doing the next day including the contingency plans. He was sensitive to the needs of each individual on the trip and that's quite a tall order since he did not know us from Adam. As far as the tour operator goes, they clearly know what they are doing. The balance between free time and organised activities was just right. The office staff in the UK were charming and helpful.

Helen Cooper review 25 Feb 20085 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There were so many highlights it is very difficult to chose one over all the others. Egypt is such an incredibly exciting place, and everywhere you turn there is something else to amaze you.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Always carry plenty of small notes (EGP£ 1,5, & 10 notes) as market traders never have any change (a ploy to get you to pay more? - perhaps) and you need to tip the toilet attendants (always carry toilet paper with you!). It can also be colder than you realise at night so take a warm fleece & long trousers!

It could be very tiring for children who are not normally very active - especially for those who have trouble getting out of bed in the morning. An interest in ancient history is essential for all family members as it is such a huge part of the holiday

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Sometimes. The hotels were still quite large and the workers get paid very little compared to the prices (hence needing to rely on tips), however lots of the trips like the Nubian Home, Felucca and Snorkelling did mean that the locals benefitted. With the amount of travel in cars, busses & planes the environmental impact must be considerable (the night train to Aswan was excellent!).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


An amazing adventure! For us it was a trip of a lifetime!

Joanna Jarvis review 4 Nov 20084 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable part was seeing the Nile form a Felluca and spending the night sleeping under the stars.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's very tiring, so make sure you are fully fit and rested before you set off.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


No not really, that was disappointing. The visit to the Nubian village was rather contrived, although I'm sure it did benefit them. Don't think all hotels were Egyptian owned and far too western for me - in look and food. Impact to the environment? - we were told to buy big bottles of water and decant but that's all I can think of.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Amazing to see so much in only 10 days - the children made friends and we could relax. The guide was excellent and could make or break the holiday.

Read the operator's response here:

This is our most popular trip and sleeping on the Felucca is a real highlight.
We are always happy to add extra days on at the beginning or end of the trip to give you some time to relax as we appreciate that he trip is fast paced and action packed.
We do our best to use locally owned hotels but have to take availability into account so this can't always be guaranteed.
It is fantastic to hear how much of a difference your guide made to the holiday, our Egyptian leaders are great with the children and really add to the experience.

Therese Kennedy review 26 Aug 20084 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Valley of the Kings, especially going inside King 'Tuts' tomb. Also camel riding in Aswan

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't take too many clothes! And be prepared to tip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Locals certainly benefited from our tipping but presumably their salaries are balanced accordingly.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent! The tour guide Saif was second to none and incredibly helpful and great fun especially with the teenagers!

Jane O'Brien review 11 Aug 20084 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Red Sea & Felucca.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Probably don't go with very young children, my son had trouble adjusting to the heat and whined about it for over half the time. Having said this, the other younger children coped well.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Not really. We followed a very obvious tourist trail, so while our trip benefited local people who had tourism jobs, on the whole I would have to say not.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


We had a fabulous holiday, it is one of those holidays which we need a few days to recover. We have lots of photos and great memories. I don't often travel on a tour, I usually go independently, so I've got to say it was much, much easier with a group leader doing all the work for us behind the scenes. The trip went very smoothly.

Read the operator's response here:

Egypt for children is such an exciting destination and this is our most popular family trip. In summer the temperatures are very high and it can affect some children more than others. Our Group Leaders make sure that outings are done as far as possible early or late in the day when it is cooler, with time to relax in between. The tourist industry in Egypt is very developed and we would not deny that this trip follows a well worn tourist trail. We do, however, use a local ground agent and Egyptian Group Leaders and although monies are going directly to those in the tourist industry, we are raising the living standards of those concerned and one would hope that this has a trickle down effect to the rest of the population. Our Group Leaders make such a difference to the success of a tour and we are very proud of the excellent skills our Egyptian colleagues have in organising and participating in our family groups.

Elizabeth Espana review 21 Apr 20084 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole experience was memorable! I loved the diversity of the visits and activities, I loved the way the tour was well designed and adapted to adults and children alike. We also had opportunities to mix with the locals on the felucca, on the boat trip in the Red Sea, in the Nubian village, eat simple local food, which is nice for the kids.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


This is not a holiday for those who want to relax and just get a tan! It is suited to people who are up to discovering new things and cramming as many experiences as possible into 10 days. Lots of very early starts (5.30/6 am). You have to be ready to get dirty and sweaty and not be near a shower or clean toilets! But the whole experience is well worth it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, I think so. We agreed to each give a lump sum to the guide to cater for the tips to all the local people who helped. A lot of Egyptians do rely on tourists' tips to survive.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I thought it was fantastic. The logistical arrangements were great. The itinerary was good and diverse. I just thought the total price (including the out of pocket expenses) was a bit high and not affordable to many.

Rosie Russell review 3 Apr 20084 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The balloon trip. But it was nearly all wonderful and Mohammed the guide was fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


You need very little stuff - but definitely take mosquito stuff and antihistamine.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Not sure re Red Sea - because Hergada is such a horror.

Kristin Storey review 29 Jan 20084 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The whole trip was extraordinarily well organized, our guide, Saif, was fantastic and the group was great. We loved the pyramids, temples and felucca and the kids adored the Red Sea snorkeling!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I would suggest that others with children be sure to connect with one of the family tours as they are really well suited to kids.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We had the pleasure of bringing food, diapers, soap and such to the Sunshine Project orphanage in Luxor and interacting with the kids and staff there. We benefited greatly from this experience.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was truly a once in a lifetime trip.

Jackie Brock review 25 Oct 20075 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


There really was not one part I can pick out from the others. The organisation of the holiday meant we could combine a whole range of experiences and value each of them. The obvious highlights were the felucca trip, including singing Nubian songs round the camp fire; the Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids. Our tour leader, Mohammed, made the holiday. He is the best tour leader I have ever met. We all thought he was wonderful - especially the children.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for the challenging timetable in the first three days - it gets easier.
Do not take Scottish pounds.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I think the felucca trip benefited local people and was much more sensitive to the environment than the oversized Nile cruises. Our trip to the orphanage helped us make a small contribution to the terrible poverty in Egypt. I think the information about damaging the coral reef was very good - contrasted to the independent trip we took when the organisers did nothing to prevent people standing on the reef.
I think the trip did minimise impact but it's still important to be conscious of the overall impact tourism is having on Egypt - eg amount of plastic bottles; damage to the coral etc

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This has been the best family holiday we have ever had. The pace and excellent organisation meant that we were able to balance enjoyment of the wonderful sights of Egypt and cultural experience while having enough time to let the children relax and absorb the wonder of the country without exhausting them.

Liz Murray review 1 Sep 20075 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


As a single mum, taking my children abroad for the first time on my own, I couldn’t have asked for a better holiday - our guide was brilliant and took care of everything. The holiday offered a perfect balance - time for me, sightseeing, and time for the kids, in the hotel pool and camel trekking. The whole holiday was memorable, the Valley of the Kings, Cairo museum, temple of Karnak, beautiful hotels overlooking the Nile, the Felucca and the overnight train ride. The best part for me was watching my children enjoying themselves so much and having an experience they won’t forget.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Just the usual: stick to cooked food, not salads; hold on to your change for tips and make sure you get lots of sleep before you go, as there are lots of early starts.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, I think so - all the guides were local, which was great.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Really enjoyable.

Johann Hansen review 31 Jul 20075 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The 24h Felucca sailing down the Nile was a mind-blowing experience.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Go on the optional hot air balloon ride. Even it means waking up at 4.50 am it is worth it. After the ride you can go to the Queens temple and the Valley of the King and be back at the hotel at noon for a relaxing afternoon.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, I do.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I got more than I expected. Everything was on time and it is great to travel in a small group like we did.

Derek Hunter review 3 Nov 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


So much, Pyramids, Tutankhamen collection, camel trek, felucca trip, temples, balloon ride, sleeper train and swimming in the coral reef was amazing.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for Hurgada being a tacky seaside tourist resort but it is worth it for the excellent snorkelling. Also the sleep on the felucca is an excellent idea unfortunately (and I expect it is for valid security reasons) you dock with cruisers at temple which means there are a lot of diesel fumes and huge cruisers going in and out all might so sleep is at a premium. As with any non "holiday complex" trip to Africa/Middle East you should not expect western standards but I have to say the standards were much higher than I had experienced else where in the region.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Definitely on the first. The second is harder to assess, recycling as you would expect is mainly out of necessary rather than belief in the region.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent and recommend to families with right frame of mind (i.e. if you are precious / like pampering would skip if you want something at like closer to authentic Egypt).

Anna Dugdale review 1 Nov 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Every day was the best day!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Come prepared for a full on adventure.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Absolutely excellent. Superb local guide who made all the difference.

Elizabeth Hedrick review 1 Nov 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The felucca trip on the Nile River from Aswan to Kom Ombo.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for culture shock that never goes away. Cairo is a city of managed chaos at best. It makes you wonder where all the tourism profit goes because facilities for tourists are not nice and the standard of living appears appalling.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I loved travelling with a small group of families and we had an excellent tour guide. It was a memorable vacation.

Susan Hawes review 29 Oct 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Hard to decide between the balloon trip as the sun rose over the Nile and we floated above the Valley of the Kings, and the evening of our felucca trip when the Nubian crew lit a camp fire, pulled out their drums, and we had an impromptu performance / sing along.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Expect at least a day of tummy problems - particularly for the children - and take plenty of Imodium! Take some spare sterling as optional trips are priced in sterling and work out more expensive if you pay in local currency. Expect to be hassled by street traders, taxi drivers and caleche drivers - it's part of the culture. The price you pay for basics like drinking water and soft drinks is very dependent on where you buy them and how hard you are willing to haggle. Tipping is a pain, but your tour leader can handle the majority of this. Make sure you understand the total costs - including any local payment, optional trips, tipping kitty etc. And if you are flying Egypt Air, be ready to be disappointed - they oversold seats on our return flight, leaving us (and about 30 other passengers) to get home by other routes. It took us almost 8 hours longer than scheduled, having to take alternative flights via Frankfurt.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I wasn't sure about "trickle down" of the money we spent to the poorest people involved - for example the boys leading our camel ride complained that any tips went just to the leader. Hurghada resort was very self contained and almost discouraged spending outside the resort itself. When we had a balloon ride we landed on a hand cultivated field. I felt very guilty about this, a bunch of relatively wealthy people disrupting the farming of a small farmer. I'd need to be reassured that in these situations the farmers are well compensated, so welcome balloonists landing.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


It was an excellent holiday, aimed at families with children, giving us the opportunity to see some wonderful sights and new experiences.

Read the operator's response here:

In response to the comment regarding Egyptair overbooking the return flight, we run numerous trips in Egypt, nearly all of which use Egyptair and am not aware of us having had passengers denied boarding on Egyptair in the past due to overbooking. This appears to be an isolated incident, which in this case unfortunately affected some of our passengers. We have been in direct contact with our customers on this matter and are assisting in the claim for expenses incurred as a result of this delay, with Egyptair.

Kelly Thompson review 15 Aug 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The felucca trip down the Nile, seeing the great sights of Pyramids, Valley of Kings, Karnak temple, visiting the bazaars, particularly enjoyed Cairo 's (would have liked more time), snorkelling on the Red Sea reef.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Consider time of year of travelling - it was very hot in places and so kids needed the rest periods in the hotel, however, being the low season, the crowds were not too difficult. Could tell that it would be very busy during peak periods.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


This could be improved further - encouraging other styles of accommodation that would benefit locals more directly, e.g. family run hotels rather than large corporate resorts. Really disliked the Hurghada resort hotel -mass packaged tourist environment unpleasant, not at all what one would consider an "adventure travel'. Very hard to see how we minimised our impact on the environment, when we were obviously very privileged to have air conditioning and swimming pools - very needed at times, but if staying in smaller establishments could be more interesting to interact with locals. Only had contact with one woman, the Cairo guide, who was interesting to talk with and realise the culture is male dominated, however, if smaller businesses were supported a more balanced interaction might occur.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Exceeded expectations - first organised 'family' tour we had been on and was very glad to have the planning in place to minimize hassle of travelling with kids. Lucky other family was compatible, as so much time spent together. Local tour leader made a huge impact, very capable.

Susan Duncan review 27 Jul 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visit to Valley of the Kings and the Sunshine Orphanage in Luxor.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Ask more questions before going about how much to take re clothes etc. More information re hotels etc would have been useful.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent.

Jill Widgery review 7 Jan 20074 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting the Valley of the Kings - I think 'awe-inspiring' would most nearly sum it up

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't expect any lie-ins (there's too much to fit in) and if you go in December take the advice about warm clothing seriously...

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes

4. Any other comments?


Very nearly five stars, certainly four and three-quarters. No photos I'm afraid - our camera was rubbish. Never mind - a good excuse to repeat the trip!!

Helen Burrows review 24 Feb 20065 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Most memorable part: very hard to decide as there were so many highlights. Maybe the Felucca trip was our very favourite experience as well as the camel ride to the monastery and snorkelling in the Red Sea and the sphinx, and the temple at Philae.....

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Don't under-estimate how cold it gets at night - pack lots of fleeces/pullovers etc. Also, don't bother taking your own sleeping bag for the felucca trip - hire one when you get there - this saves on loads of space in your luggage.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It is clear that local people are employed as guides etc so this brings employment through tourism and I wasn't aware of major problems re environmental impact.

4. Any other comments?


The quality of the local guides was excellent - particularly in Luxor and Cairo. They pitched the information at the right level and involved the children in the party appropriately so we all learnt a great deal about Egypt's history and people.

There are a few very early starts - particularly the flight back from Hurghada - which make some elements of the trip tiring although there is, at other points in the trip, plenty of time to relax. Maybe a later flight from Hurghada to Cairo would be the only improvement I could suggest with time on arrival to rest and then a later afternoon/evening tour.

Our guide for the whole holiday, Mohamed Refaat, was absolutely brilliant. He was considerate, thoughtful and attentive to everyone and built good relationships with the whole party - especially the children. He was always cheerful and positive and provided appropriate support whenever asked - often going beyond the 'call of duty' to provide an brilliant service. It was his input in particular that gave us a sense of the whole trip being very well organised, having an excellent service and which in turn gave us a sense of having excellent value for money.

We couldn't have wished for a more perfect holiday with a balance of adventure, education and relaxation.

Carolyn Turner review 1 Jan 20065 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The most memorable part for most of us was our early morning donkey ride into the valley of the kings, seeing the balloons take off at sunrise and the tombs there, being early meant less crowds! and the return donkey ride through 'real' villages, seeing every day life - a wonderful day! Would have enjoyed an extra day of relaxation at the pool hotels. Really benefited by our extra day in Cairo prior to the trip, due to flights not being unavailable. We were able to fit in 2 extra trips. Do not recommend an extra day at the end, felt left behind!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Tips for travellers in February would be to take more warm clothing, 70s in the sun only, cool in the shade. Also, I spent a lot of money on biodegradable toilet roll and wash for both us and our clothes - none of which were necessary. The felucca staff set up a toilet tent and it was far too cold in the Nile to wash - I would suggest copious wet wipes - no strip washes for us in the early morning, evening cool temperatures!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, I felt we travelled responsibly. Would have preferred to not have taken the kalesh in Luxor as the horses were not treated well.

4. Any other comments?


***** from the whole family from 11 to 41 year old! Thanks to David [from the operator] for all his booking assistance and extra work in making our dates work by having an extra day either side.

Steve Metcalf review 2 Nov 20064 star rating

First, I would like to say that the holiday completely lived up to, if not exceeded, my expectations. Our children rated it the best family holiday ever.

As someone who has lived and worked in Egypt for several years I value very highly the contribution of this tour operator and our tour leader, Sherif. They handled all the mundane work of hotel check-ins, transport coordination and tipping very efficiently - having to deal with such matters oneself can sometimes distract from the pleasure of being in Egypt. Having someone to take care of all those hassles allowed us to fully enjoy the holiday.

The only quibble I would have about the arrangements concerns the payment for some of the optional extras - such as the balloon trip in Luxor. It was not made clear in the dossier that payment for this was preferred in pounds sterling. As I had taken most of my money in travellers cheques, this could have been a problem had we wanted to do the trip.

I would like to put in a plug for a restaurant I discovered (with the help of the internet) in Luxor. It is called Sofra. I took my family there on the first night, and we were so impressed that the next night our whole group (19 people) went and we had a first-class meal for a total of GB £80 sterling. Both food and ambience were excellent and it was the highlight of the trip for some people. Our tour leader told us that he was not able to recommend the restaurant officially, for reasons which I wholly understand. But I do urge you or your representatives to check the place out.

The only issue I have some reservations about is environmental impact and effect on local people. We did do some things that many tours do not do (the meal in the Nubian village, the felucca cruise). However, for much of the time we were travelling the same routes, visiting the same sites, using the same transport (bus/coach and plane) and staying in the same hotels as any other tourist group. So I cannot see that we were doing much better than any other group. Moreover the prices for food, and drink in particular, in some of these hotels (especially Iberohotel in Luxor) had a mark-up of between 300 and 400 percent compared with local street prices. I accept that some premium is inevitable in these places, but how much of that filters through to local people rather than the big companies that run them?

But despite that, thank you for facilitating an excellent holiday.

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for the feedback. The dossiers for all of our Egyptian trips are about to be revised following an increase in the entrance fees for the major monuments (announced last week.) We'll certainly make sure the payment arrangements for optional excursions are as clear as possible.

On all of our Egyptian holidays we aim to balance out the accommodation/transport/activities routinely associated with visiting such major areas and sights as the Pyramids, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings with more genuine travel experiences, eg the use of local trains, overnight felucca journeys on the Nile, staying at locally owned and managed hotels. There are however constraints, such as the need to travel in escorted convoys on certain routes and of course the need to ensure the hotels we use offer the standards of safety and hygiene our clients expect. Nevertheless, all aspects of our trips are constantly monitored to ensure we take whatever opportunities we can to get the best mix of "off the beaten track" experiences and a destinations major attractions.

We deliberately do not include the cost of most evening meals in our trips and this allows everyone to choose the type of venue that best suits their tastes and pocket. Our group leaders are always on hand to suggest alternative places to eat and we'll certainly follow up on the suggested restaurant in Luxor.

We're delighted to see that your children had their best holiday ever and hope that you'll choose to travel with us again in the not too distant future.

Susan Wilson review 20 Apr 20064 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Felucca was fantastic.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Get your kids used to mask and snorkel before you go: our 6 and 9 year old couldn't manage to do it sadly.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Certainly the Nubian meal and felucca trip seemed to.

Carly Miller review 20 Apr 20064 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The felucca ride.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be aware that you will need at least £50-60 extra for all the extra trips if you wish to take them, they are not compulsory but really make the holiday. You do not need any scarves or have your arms covered for any sights apart from the optional tour to the Mohammed Ali mosque in Cairo. Take wet wipes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Not really, we would liked to have been told more about the Sunshine project and where the fair trade shop was, but found it by chance on our own.

4. Any other comments?


4 + out of 5, the hotel in Luxor could have been a little less run down, and breakfast was very poor.

Read the operator's response here:

Information on the Sunshine International Project, Luxor, is on the dossier, including a wishlist of things to take in accordance with what the children have told us they need. The group leaders are all briefed on the orphanage and will readily give information to clients should they ask at the beginning of the trip. Cultural differences mean it can sometimes be embarrasing for the leaders to broach the subject directly with everyone because they don't want clients to think they are trying to "sell" the orphanage as another optional excursion, especially as not everyone would like to go. To approach the leader with a request to visit the orphanage is written on the dossier (with taxi directions on how to get there) so we can best facilitate all visits where possible. If you do want to support the project further, you can visit the website www.sunshine-international.org.uk

I am not sure where the reference to a fair trade shop came from, but if it is something worthwhile that you think our company should be considering then please do let us know - we are always looking for new ideas.

Brian Robinson review 9 Jan 20064 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Probably the most fun were the Camel ride to St Simeon's Monastery and snorkelling in the Red sea. The most impressive site were the pyramids at Giza, until you've been there you can't appreciate how big they are and wonder how anyone could have built them 4000 years ago.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you take time out to wander the streets of Luxor and Aswan and visit the markets.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Definitely, some of the trips we did used local transport, we ate in local restaurants and also had meals provided by local families. All the waste we produced was collected and disposed of in the proper manner.

4. Any other comments?


A great holiday, enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The small family group holiday worked well and everyone got on despite the sometimes close confines we were in for long times. A fascinating and atmospheric holiday.

Pippa Boyd review 3 Nov 20054 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It was all memorable, but standing just after dawn on the bow of the felucca drifting down the Nile towards Kom Ombo temple, watching the sun rise with one of my daughters on her 11th birthday, was pretty special. Also the King Tut room at the Cairo museum - seeing for real one of the world's great iconic images, the mask, staring back from two feet away - was very moving. The day on the felucca was the most relaxing day I can remember for a very long time. The pylons at Karnak are awe-inspiring, as of course is the great pyramid; the Nile is interesting everywhere; the alabaster mosque is very spiritual and peaceful. So a bit of every emotion - all pretty memorable, really!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Just relax. Change down a gear or three and have a fantastic time. Yes, the hawkers can be irritating, but just "smile and wave" !

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, money went into the local economy, and yes, we had very little impact on the places we visited. Which was good. (But in such a well-visited country as Egypt, these issues are probably not as relevant as they would be in some more remote areas of the planet.)

4. Any other comments?


Really good holiday, from every angle. I had done a route similar to this as a student back-packer 25 years ago, and it was a real buzz, in fact very moving, to see some of these places again in the company of my children, who loved it all. This format was excellent, providing good company, for both adults and children. Schedule had just the right mix of site visits and leisure - i.e. just as the children began to tire, we got to "pool time" in both Aswan and Luxor. Excellent guide in Mohammed Shata, who struck just the right balance of imparting expert knowledge and information and letting us relax; and he was excellent with the children, not talking down to them, holding their interest, and reading their energy levels. (We were in some hot places during the last week of Ramadan and his guiding in these circumstances - no food or drink - was positively heroic!) He really helped make the holiday interesting, as well as relaxing, for all of us.

I have seen some feedback to the effect that the second day is rushed, after a late arrival the day before. A solution for this might be to route people via somewhere like Frankfurt, leaving London very early but getting into Cairo mid-afternoon, so time to settle in, have a swim and get a good night's sleep before what is a pretty busy Cairo/Giza day. But the train is a good way to restore energy levels with a sound night's sleep. Also, Hurghada is now a complete dump and if there was any way of staying outside the main resort in order to do the Red Sea that would be ideal (but I suspect not practical). And it is definitely worth going there in spite of its tackiness, as the reefs are still fantastic (when I saw what had happened to the "village" in the 25 years since I was there last, I worried that the reefs would have suffered more damage) and the boat trip/snorkelling was really good. So overall a really good holiday that I would recommend to anyone - or at least to any family with interested, curious, well-balanced, self-reliant, adventurous, sociable, considerate children (which all nine on our trip were) and for the sort of parents who bring up this sort of children (which all five families on our trip were.) Thanks to all of you!

Frances Somers-Cocks review 19 Aug 20054 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The tombs in the Valley of the Kings. It's worth paying extra to go into Tutankhamun's tomb, even though it's not nearly as big or splendid as most of the others (and of course you get to see all the treasures from it on the first day in Cairo). Going right inside a pyramid (not for claustrophobics). My son (aged 9) would say, snorkelling in the Red Sea - he adored the coral and the fish. Some children, however, found this a bit scary (all that water, and full of moving thingies). If you don't wear flippers, wear jelly shoes or similar, in case you step on coral by mistake. Bring bread to feed the fish and attract whole schools of them!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


It's manageable in summer (it did touch 49 °C!), with swimming pools everywhere, but would be much pleasanter at cooler times of year. No need to bring a normal sleeping bag for the felucca - a sheet or sleeping bag would be much better. Bring the shadiest hats you can find. Children should wear a T-shirt for swimming, and lots of sun-block or shirt and shorts when snorkelling, as they are so near the surface in their life-jackets that they can get burnt through the water. If you can't get on a flight from Aswan to Abu Simbel, the mini-bus ride is not for the faint-hearted - four hours each way (in our pokiest minibus of the trip). I thought it was worth it, but not everyone did. (Note to the operator - maybe this flight, though optional, should be booked in advance, to avoid this problem?) Be very firm when bargaining! We took our guide's suggestion of a kitty for tips. This worked really well, and reduced stress massively! Note to the operator- it would be good to suggest to the Oscar Company to get the local guides to make their talks more kiddie-friendly, if possible. Short and snappy, visual aids, acting bits out etc. Probably not what they're used to, but one can only try ...

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Egypt is so dependent on tourism that visiting it can only help the economy. The environment is already so full of tourist hotels, guys trying to sell knick-knacks etc etc that our impact can only be welcome. It's tactful for females to keep their extremities covered (except when swimming, obviously).

4. Any other comments?


The heat was the only drawback, and the fact that it was all a bit rushed.

Josephine Mc Nulty review 8 Apr 20054 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


My most exciting part of the trip for me was actually standing in front of the Pyramids and living a dream I have had for many years to see them up close and personal!! Their size and the engineering which went into them is unbelievable and something everyone should experience!! It was even more amazing for me to climb up inside one and feel the history and atmosphere these great mysteries hold!!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


A tip for anyone going on this trip from me would be to take some wet wipes/baby wipes on the felucca with you!!! Very handy for all sorts!! Also some dry "wash" antibacterial lotion was a gem!! A good strong lightweight torch comes in handy, and long sleeved lightweight tops are great to keep you covered yet cool for the camel/donkey rides!!!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I do think this trip helps the local people and that is what attracted me to this holiday. Through your enjoyment you are also helping to help others in a less fortunate position to yourself!! Employing local people means you get inside help which really makes you feel more a ease in an unfamiliar country.

Eric J. Dutton-Jones review 2 Apr 20054 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The Desert & Camel riding (should have been longer & included).

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


"Enjoy every minute" because it's too short and fast paced. (see 4 below).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes..

4. Any other comments?


4 Star. However, I would liked to have seen the first and last days handled more efficiently - as far as time management - it more or less took 2 days away from the trip!!

Paul Tanner review 12 Aug 20053 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Several. Valley of the Kings. Hatshepsut. Swimming with rays, eels etc.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Prepare for the heat. Be prepared for early mornings and tight schedules.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes.

Jason Davies review 31 Dec 20042 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Pyramids, snorkelling & Karnak.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book early

3. Any areas for improvement?


Don't cram so much into day 2. These are some of the most spectacular sights to see in Egypt, and with such an early morning after a late flight there is too much in the schedule.

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5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really
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