Family culture & adventure holiday to Egypt
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Single Supplement from £399, ask for details.
Description of Family culture & adventure holiday to Egypt
This adventure-packed small group package is a perfect opportunity for families to experience Egypt's amazing historic sites and rich culture combined with a chance to relax by the Red Sea.
Cairo provides the springboard to get up close to awe-inspiring 'Wonders of the World' Pyramids and Sphinx, followed by a trip to the vast Egyptian Museum where highlights include the dazzling relics of Tutankhamun plus creepy mummies (of the bandaged kind not parent kind!). You'll also try out a camel ride too!.
An overnight sleeper train provides a memorable ride jaunt south to the picturesque town of Aswan on the banks of the River Nile. Here, visit the beautiful temple of Philae, join in on an English/Arabic language session at a local school (term times only), and enchant your tastebuds with a traditionally prepared Nubian meal. There is also an early morning option to visit the amazing Sun Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel.
Leaving Aswan behind, you'll drift languidly down the Nile on board a traditional Egyptian felucca sailboat, taking in the rhythms of timeless bankside life on this iconic river. Reaching Luxor, delve underground into the ancient pharaonic tombs of the Valley of the Kings and marvel at the vast temple complex of Karnak.
There'll be plenty of time then to chat about amazing sights and experiences during a laidback three-day beach stay by the Red Sea at the resort town of Hurghada, before heading back to Cairo to enjoy a final tour of the city that takes in the Citadel and the colourful bustle of Khan-el-Khalili bazaar a perfect chance to haggle for going home souvenirs.
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1 Reviews of Family culture & adventure holiday to Egypt
Reviewed on 23 Oct 2018 by Gregor Graham
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Luxor was the most interesting and beautiful. Thrilling to see the Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple and Karnak.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
It's very full on and you don't spend very much time in each place and in my opinion there's too little time at the key sites. Be ready for lots of early mornings, bus journeys and deadlines. The felucca trip is a huge disappointment.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Not at all. The group unexpectedly stopped for camel rides at the pyramids and the animal welfare was horrific. There was a lot of focus on shopping (which was unexpected) and included cotton, perfume, papyrus and alabaster shops.
The Nubian experience probably benefitted the village but was skin deep.
Most worryingly, during the felucca trip all our food (2 meals) was served on Styrofoam and drinks in plastic cups. We saw it all being stuffed into bin bags.
There seemed to be no concern for the environment at all.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
As an introduction to Egypt which covers a lot of ground quickly I'd say this was great. However, it cannot be described as responsible travel.
Read the operator's response here:
Thanks for your review and for highlighting the issue with waste on the feluccas. We've actually been in the middle of completely revamping how we arrange our felucca trips. That includes new sheets and pillows that are washed between every trip, as well as new dining arrangements. We now arrange a BBQ dinner, with a Nubian chef there to do the cooking and a completely different setup for dinner on the banks of the river, rather than eating on board the boat. We're using Tupperware containers for salads, rice and breads, as well as proper plates and cups, and as such have made a big impact on the amount of waste created. There is still some waste, we can't avoid it completely, but there has been a big improvement. We also provide a separate facilities boat while you are on the felucca cruise. This has a toilet and shower on board, removing the need for going to the toilet on the banks of the river. Human waste and toilet paper on the banks of the Nile have been an issue for years, and that's why we built and have provided this facility boat for a long time now, so that at least we don't contribute to the problem.
I'm sorry you felt that the trip didn't benefit local people. We do support the local Nubian population in Aswan through the visit to the Nubian village and the Nubian crews who run the feluccas. We also only employ Egyptian guides and representatives, rather than sending western tour leaders to run the trips. We feel that empowers the local population to take ownership and responsibility for the services provided much more.
Shopping is always a hard balance to strike, as we know that some people really want to buy a lot of souvenirs and like to be taken to shops where they know the quality and buying experience is safe and controlled. But others prefer to either buy nothing or haggle at market stalls. Taking you to these locally run shops does benefit the local economy too. We generally get good feedback on the balance we strike, but are always open to adjusting things more or less in either direction.
Animal welfare is certainly an issue in Egypt and there are some horse carriage and donkey rides that we haven't used or offered at all for many years for this exact reason. With the camels at the pyramids and elsewhere, the guides do have their preferred camel handlers to work with who they know treat and look after their animals better than some others.
I hope these notes are helpful. We do make an effort to run things responsibly in Egypt and elsewhere and while there are always more improvements we can make, we do take this seriously. Our next project is based around the reduction of number of plastic water bottles used during the trips, and replacing these with re-usable bottles and larger water containers on the buses.
PlanetThis family vacation in Egypt introduces both children and adults alike to the most important Pharaonic sites and Egyptian history, as well as to the people, culture and country of Egypt without cocooning them from it. This is helped by keeping our group sizes small (max 16, normally 3 or 4 families) and also running the tour privately if required.
We take responsible travel very seriously, and have given some details below of how this is implemented on this tour.
- The long journey between Cairo and Aswan is done on the overnight sleeper train, which is an adventurous but comfortable experience that reduces the extra pollution and energy caused by flying. Speed limiters are fitted to the vehicles we use for safety and reduced fuel consumption.
- Using felucca sailboats instead of Nile cruise boats also reduces pollution and energy use and damage to the river banks. While on board, we explain the importance of keeping the river environment clean to all our travelers and ensure any waste produced while we are on the river is either buried (if suitable) or taken away with us.
- Explanations are given in Hurghada of how to protect the fragile coral reef environment while snorkelling or scuba-diving.
- We have a recycling policy in our UK and local offices and re-use or recycle the information booklets we provide to every client on arrival wherever possible.
- We do not produce a glossy brochure, concentrating on a comprehensive website, and providing as much information to our travelers as possible electronically, reducing the use of paper and inks.
- We started our operations in Egypt jointly with a new local supplier and have been working and growing with them ever since, creating many new jobs in the process.
- We use fully-trained local Egyptians as our Egyptologist guides, reps and tour leaders, rather than flying in Western leaders whose knowledge and love of the country will never be as full or passionate.
- We use locally owned and operated hotels wherever possible, and one of the highlights of the tour is finding and enjoying a wide range of small local restaurants and snack shops.
- We visit a small school and Nubian village near Aswan, which allows our travelers to interact with and support local communities.
- The camel ride we feature in Aswan provides a vital source of income for families in the nearby villages.
- The felucca sailing boats that we use on this tour are owned and crewed by local Nubian people, not large companies, and their use is an essential support to this community, as well as reducing pollution and energy use.
- We give information and advice to our travelers on how to respect local customs and religious practices, giving them a greater understanding of the local people and culture.
Local projects & charity support:
- We donate £2 (US $3) for every person traveling on this tour towards local projects one supporting a small orphanage in Cairo, and another in which we arrange desert clean up trips and promote responsible use of fragile desert environments, particularly in Wadi Rayan and the Valley of the Whales, an important protected area and World Heritage site.
- Our travelers are welcome to visit either of these projects and support them personally if they wish.
- The company also supports further projects and charities internationally. Responsible tourism: We send all our travelers a copy of our responsible tourism policy before their vacation, and encourage them to read it and join us in following the ideas and suggestions contained within it.