Laura Shen review 26 Feb 2023
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Egypt is amazing. We loved going inside the Great Pyramid, visiting Abu Siebel and viewing the paintings in the Valley of Kings tombs.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Get a VERY detailed itinerary and breakdown of expected tipping. The tour guide demanded his tip upfront and whizzed us through the key sites because he wanted to take us shopping at the "government authorised stores"
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes, hopefully benefited local people and supported conservation through fees paid
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Sadly our private tour guide was truly TERRIBLE. He asked for £100 per day tips UPFRONT immediately upon meeting us then kept hassling us to pay the tips upfront. He rushed through Giza - 5 min photo stops everywhere (and not where the main viewpoints were but off to the side where the view is far and not as nice) and the worlds quickest camel ride - so that we could go to the "Papyrus Museum" (aka shop). He did the absolute minimum and is a big fan of "free time"
- he wasn't with us for many of the visits (waited for us in the car) but we saw other groups with their tour guides. He presented himself as an archaeologist with a PhD. However when I tried to verify facts that he told us, I found information from other reputable sources did not support what he was telling us about ancient Egyptian history, the dates/builders of the monuments, facts about certain antiquities in the museum etc. I would absolutely NOT recommend.
The operator needs to find a different local partner. It's a shame because Egypt is amazing. I wish I had booked another way.
Read the operator's response here:
I was so sorry to see that you were disappointed with your tour guide. We pride ourselves on the quality of our staff, whether this is here in the UK prior to travel, or the drivers, guides and other team members that will look after our travellers during a tour. Generally we get fantastic feedback and find that our guides in Egypt really help families to get the most out of their time in the country. Itís therefore particularly disappointing that this was not the case for your family, and I would like to sincerely apologise for this.
I know that there was an issue with the tipping kitty that was provided at the outset; we suggest that our tour guides operate a tipping kitty as the tipping culture in Egypt can be difficult to navigate. It therefore works better for the guide to collect tips at the start of the trip and then administer these on behalf of the family. I know that in your case, however, the guide mistakenly provided a tipping kitty sheet that would apply for a group, rather than an individual family. As soon as this mistake was pointed out, an updated version was provided and I know that Hazem (our local manager) was able to go through this over the phone to be sure that everything was clear.
More generally I know that Hazem did offer to change the tour guide for you when in Luxor and Aswan but you decided on balance that you preferred to stick with the original guide. In retrospect it perhaps would have been better for us to insist on a change so that there was a fresh start for you all and so that you could have experienced the standard of service that we expect and for which we are renowned.
We would love to be able to arrange another trip for you in future, to demonstrate the quality of our staff Ďon the groundí. If you would be happy to consider this, do please get in touch via Responsible Travel and we will ensure that you get wonderfully looked after by one of our senior team (here in the UK) and by our top guides and drivers (in destination).