The Tour Price displayed here is for the tour only and does not include international flights. Our flight prices are very competitive, please ask for a quote when making your booking
This trip is an overland trip run in an overland truck. In addition to paying for your trip, you're require to make a separate payment to your tour leader at the start of the trip, usually in USD. Kitties are flexible and change as prices are updated. Therefore you should check the latest kitty amount on this website before you depart.
A kitty is a group fund which covers all accommodation, meals while camping (not in hotels) and activities listed as included. It's a system unique to overlanding to provide the maximum flexibility and best value on the road (you get everything at cost price!). The kitty is your money, not ours, so any amount left over is divided among the group as a refund.Close
|Trip Code||Start Date||End Date||Currency||Kitty|
|Saturday 22 Jun 2013||Saturday 29 Jun 2013|
|Saturday 06 Jul 2013||Saturday 13 Jul 2013|
|Saturday 17 Aug 2013||Saturday 24 Aug 2013|
|Saturday 31 Aug 2013||Saturday 07 Sep 2013|
|Saturday 14 Sep 2013||Saturday 21 Sep 2013|
|Saturday 28 Sep 2013||Saturday 05 Oct 2013|
|Saturday 12 Oct 2013||Saturday 19 Oct 2013|
|Saturday 26 Oct 2013||Saturday 02 Nov 2013|
|Saturday 09 Nov 2013||Saturday 16 Nov 2013|
|Saturday 23 Nov 2013||Saturday 30 Nov 2013|
|Saturday 07 Dec 2013||Saturday 14 Dec 2013|
|Saturday 14 Dec 2013||Saturday 21 Dec 2013|
|Saturday 21 Dec 2013||Saturday 28 Dec 2013|
|Saturday 04 Jan 2014||Saturday 11 Jan 2014|
|Saturday 18 Jan 2014||Saturday 25 Jan 2014|
|Saturday 01 Feb 2014||Saturday 08 Feb 2014|
|Saturday 15 Feb 2014||Saturday 22 Feb 2014|
|Saturday 01 Mar 2014||Saturday 08 Mar 2014|
|Saturday 15 Mar 2014||Saturday 22 Mar 2014|
|Saturday 29 Mar 2014||Saturday 05 Apr 2014|
|Saturday 12 Apr 2014||Saturday 19 Apr 2014|
|Saturday 26 Apr 2014||Saturday 03 May 2014|
|Saturday 10 May 2014||Saturday 17 May 2014|
|Saturday 24 May 2014||Saturday 31 May 2014|
|Saturday 07 Jun 2014||Saturday 14 Jun 2014|
|Saturday 21 Jun 2014||Saturday 28 Jun 2014|
Egypt is a country full of international celebrated sites including the Pyramids and the River Nile. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Pyramids are one of the most visited sites in the world. If you travel to Egypt, a trip to these is a must. The River Nile is another must see spot, as it travels through 5 countries including Egypt. Weaving through the Sahara Desert, it covers an incredible distance of over 4000 miles.
The capital is Cairo, and it is the largest city in Africa. It has many interesting places to visit, such as the Cairo Tower and Egyptian museums. The city might be large, but so is the opportunity to get involved to experience the Egyptian culture.
Ancient Egypt spans back an incredible 6000 years and throughout the history music has been central to it's culture. The God Thoth was credited with the invention of music by the Ancient Egyptians. Today typical folk music is alive in the rural parts of the country and is a classic tradition. As the piano and violin were introduced into Egypt, the music became more classical at the beginning of the 20th century. Like the music, the cuisine too is beautiful. "Ful Medames" is flowing with vegetables and is one of the national dishes of Egypt.
Egypt has an amazing history, and with so much to be discovered, there is an adventure waiting to be found.
If it is a country of welcoming nature you are looking for, then Jordan provides is it. It's a place where courtesy is important and the locals genuinely want to make sure you have an amazing time.
The beautiful temples of the Nubian city of Petra are the perfect place to start. Only known to the western world for a couple of hundred years, these fantastic buildings are one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. There are also a significant amount of Roman ruins in Jordan, such as Jerash, located 48 km north of the capital Amman. The country also offers some of the fantastic adventures set against jaw dropping backdrops such as the red desert sands of Wadi Rum.
Aside from the sites, cuisine is another highlight for many visitors. Jordan has been influenced by many flavours from surrounding countries, but most popular are the bright dishes from the popular Meze dishes make the food look amazing.
If you want to try something different, then the music of Jordan can provide this, as it is unlike many other Arabic countries. It is formed mostly from the Bedouin culture, and mixed with improvised poetry. The songs will change and stories can be created throughout the songs. The people of Jordan will enjoy getting you involved in this and want you to enjoy it too.
Jordan is home to the Arabian Oryx. This endangered animal has long horns and is one of the most striking of the antelope family.
Jordan combines world famous historical monuments with outstanding natural beauty and spectacular landscapes. It is a delightful place to visit and the people are enormously friendly and hospitable.
Head out on camelback to behold the Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza, before discover Tutankhamun's treasures at the Egyptian Museum.
Situated on the banks of the River Nile, Cairo is the largest city in Africa. There are plenty of things to see and do with free time in Cairo. Take a walk along the Corniche or travel along the river by felucca. If the crowds and the noise of the city are too much, catch the metro into the oldest part of the city, the Coptic Christian sector - with its narrow cobbled streets and ancient churches, it's a haven of peace and quiet.
The Egyptian Museum, which holds the fabulous Tutankhamun collection, mosques dating back to the time of Mohammed and the famous Khan-el-Khalili bazaar are just a few of the sites that Cairo has to offer. You can spend time visiting the Pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza, and at night you can witness the famous sound and light show. Nearby is the Necropolis of Saqqara, which you can visit by horse or camel through the desert.
After an overnight train journey arrive in Aswan. Pick up a souvenir in the bazaar, visit a Nubian village and enjoy a traditional dinner with a family.
Aswan is a beautiful town, situated on one of the most picturesque parts of the Nile with stunning vistas, a great and vibrant souq, and the whole town is characterised by the Nubian people. It is an ideal place to relax, perhaps by taking an afternoon boat trip, finishing with drinks on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel. Later in the evening take a wander into the souq. The atmosphere of the Aswan souq is second to none and some excellent bargains can be had.
At Aswan you can visit the Philae temples, a quarry with an unfinished obelisk, and the high dam, built to control the flow of the Nile thus creating Lake Nasser, the largest artificial lake in the world. There is also an opportunity to trek into the desert by camel to a deserted 6th century monastery. You may take an option to fly or drive down to Abu Simbel to visit the two magnificent temples. They were moved uphill from the rising floodwaters of Lake Nasser by a Unesco project in the 1960s. Perhaps finish off your days with a visit to the stunning new Aswan Museum, before dinner on one of the many floating river front restaurants.
There are so many other activities around Aswan, but you should not miss the opportunity to take at least a short ride in a felucca, the local sailing boat - a great way to experience the ultimate Nile sunset.
Glide along the waters of the iconic Nile River on a memorable felucca ride. Settle in to sleep on the deck and be rocked gently to sleep as the boat bobs under a starry night sky.
A felucca is a traditional wooden boat with broad canvas sails. The boat has a canopy that offers shade and protection from the elements, however there is no cabin or enclosed section. Please note that conditions are basic during our felucca trip but if you are prepared to rough it a bit you are sure to have the adventure of a lifetime.
Sleep outside on the deck of the felucca on mattresses. While blankets are provided, a sleeping sheet is recommended. During the colder months (October to March) it can get very cold at night (as low as 5C) so a sleeping bag is recommended for this period. Sleeping bag hire is not available.
There are no toilets on board our Nile felucca, but while sailing we'll stop at your request on the riverbank for toilet stops with nature. At the completion of the day's sailing we'll assemble a western-style toilet and tent close by on the riverbank. Any assistance from the group in building the toilet tent is always much appreciated.
Take a donkey ride to the fields near the Valley of the Kings. In free time, explore the monumental Karnak temples before boarding an overnight train.
Situated on the banks of the Nile, Luxor was once the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes. From the spectacular temple complex of Karnak to the unbelievable paintings and hieroglyphs in the tombs of the Valley of the Kings, this open-air museum is full of wonderfully preserved reminders of the Pharaohs.
Uncover peaceful Coptic Cairo before moving on to the vibrant spiritual heart of the Islamic Cairo district.
Ascend the mystical mountain for panoramic views of the desert landscape.
Mt Sinai is where Muslims, Jews and Christians collectively believe that the Ten Commandments were revealed to the prophet Moses. Whatever your beliefs, climbing to the top is sure to move you and the summit provides perfect vistas of a glorious desert sunset.
The climb up Mt Sinai is challenging and will take up to 3 hours depending on the fitness of the group. We hire a local Bedouin guide for the walk and your group leader will also accompany you. As a group we take the less physically demanding walking trail rather than the '3750 Steps of Repentance', as this gives all members of the group the best chance of reaching the summit.
Visit the Greek Orthodox monastery of St Catherine, built around the burning bush that spoke to Moses. The monastery was built over 1,400 years ago by the Roman Emperor Justinian to protect the monks and hermits residing in the area. A site of Christian pilgrimage since the 4th century, it's the oldest Christian monastery in continuous existence. The monastery is named for the martyr Saint Catherine, who lived in the 3rd century, and whose relics were found at the summit of Mt Catherine (Jebel Catherine).
Visit St Catherine's Monastery before travelling to the Red Sea. Golden sands, balmy beaches and an overnight stay in a simple beach hut provide a refreshing interlude.
This is a harsh and barren land of sprawling windswept plains and rugged mountains, but it's also home to some fantastic beaches. The tiny settlement of Sawa Camp is reminiscent of its Sinai neighbours, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheik, before mass tourism arrived. Thankfully Sawa Camp is still a hidden gem. Set on one of the only stretches of fine golden sand along this coast, this is a place that you'll be raving about to your friends for years to come.
Take a ferry across the Gulf of Aqaba to Jordan.
Experience a memorable night with friendly Bedouin hosts.
At Wadi Rum we find a desert patrol fort and Bedouin encampment situated in breathtaking desert scenery. It was through this Wadi that Lawrence of Arabia made his unexpected tactical manoeuvre of taking Aqaba from behind. Much of the epic film recreating those scenes was also filmed here in Wadi Rum.
Ancient pink-hued buildings carved into the rock of the surrounding mountains make visiting this ancient city a unique experience.
Wander the crusader castle at Karak, float in the Dead Sea and travel to Madaba, a city where Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics evoke memories of lost empires.
The itinerary attached is correct at time of printing. Please note: occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. Our brochure is usually released in November each year. As such the information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure.
Physical fitness levels:
A reasonable level of fitness is expected and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip. Some of the archaeological sites and activities included involve a fair amount of walking.
Long and rough travel days:
There may be some long travel days and some rough travelling in the more remote areas. Windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.
On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination.
Itineraries that travel to the Sinai usually include a trek to the summit of 2285m high Mt Sinai. A good level of fitness is required to make the ascent. There are opportunities to hire a camel to take you 70% of the way up, but to get to the top everyone must take the last 700 or so "stairs". This is a challenging climb. Note that you should not make this ascent if you have scuba dived in the preceding days. The descent is made in the darkness so don't forget to bring your torch. Sturdy footwear is essential.
This is a list of included activities on this trip. All other activities are optional and at your own expense. For a list of optional activities and sightseeing available on this trip, see the optional activities section below. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
Pyramids and Sphinx
Camel ride at the Pyramids
Comfortable overnight sleeper train (both directions- Cairo to Aswan & Luxor to Cairo)
Aswan boat tour
Nubian village dinner
Overnight felucca sailing trip
Donkey ride on the Luxor West Bank (seasonal - not summer)
Colossi of Memnon
Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
Home cooked traditional meal with local family in Luxor
Coptic Cairo, Islamic Cairo & Khan al-Khalili bazaar visit
Mount Sinai climb escorted with a local guide and your Group Leader
St Katherine's monastery
Wadi Rum 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
We list the following optional activities for your information. This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only.
They are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by Dragoman nor included in price of this trip. If you do any of them, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and does not form part of your contract with Dragoman.
These optional activities listed are suggestions about what is possible to do in each location. It may not be possible to do all activities listed in the time you a have at each destination. We recommend you do some planning in advance to decide what you most want to do in each location. Please note that the below prices are the entrance fees only and do not include transport fees to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated.
Citadel – EGP50
Coptic Museum (Cairo) - EGP50
Islamic Art Museum (Cairo) - EGP40
Cairo Tower (Cairo) - EGP65
Antiquities Museum Mummies Hall (Cairo) - EGP100
Entrance to the Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP100
Entrance to the 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP30
Solar Boat Museum - EGP50
Pyramids Sound and Light Show - EGP75
Pyramid of Saqqara – 60EGP
Abu Simbel Temple Entrance - EGP90
Abu Simbel transport by bus - EGP120
Abu Simbel flight - from USD150 (book with www.egyptair.com)
Philae Temple - EGP50 (+ EGP10 for boat)
Philae Temple Sound and Light Show - EGP75
Nubian Museum - EGP50
Monastery of St. Simeon - EGP25
Tombs of Nobles - EGP30
Unfinished Obelisk - EGP30
Kalabsha Temple - EGP35
KomOmbo Temple - EGP30
Edfu Temple – EGP50
Luxor East Bank:
Karnak Temple – EGP65
Karnak Temple Sound and Light Show - EGP100
Luxor Temple - EGP50
Luxor Museum – EGP80
Mummification Museum - EGP50
Karnak Open Air Museum - EGP40
Hot Air Balloon - USD110
Bicycle hire - EGP10
Luxor West Bank:
Tomb of Tutankhamen (KV54) (Luxor) - EGP100
Hatshepsut Temple - EGP30
Medinat Habu Temple - EGP30
Ramasseum Temple - EGP30
Valley of the Queens- EGP35
Tombs of the Nobles – EGP30
Camel ride up Mt Sinai - EGP85 (+tip)
St. Catherine's Monastery - Free
St. Catherine's Icon Museum - EGP25
Red Sea Snorkel Hire - EGP20 per day
Red Sea Diving - approx USD75 for 2 dives
Petra by Night - 12JOD
Jerash - 8JOD
Gladiator Show Jerash - 10JOD
Mini Van hire for Jerash/Amman sightseeing from Madaba - 80JOD
Citadel and National Archaeological Museum Amman - 2JOD
Roman Theatre Amman - 1JOD
Bethany Baptism Site - 7JOD
There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. Popular purchases include: gold and silver jewellery, perfume and Pyrex perfume bottles, essential oils, papyrus art, alabaster statues and silver including cartouches (hieroglyphics).
While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it is customary for local guides (not Our Group Leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service.
You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
Please note that in Egypt, silver is a common souvenir in the form of jewellery and other items. The silver in Egypt is generally stamped with '800' meaning that it is 80% silver and 20% other metal. This is a reduced quality to the silver you may be more familiar with which is '925'- higher quality.
Hot Air Ballooning in Luxor:
There is a possibility of an optional Balloon Flight on the West Bank of the Nile in Luxor. There are many companies who offer flights. While we can arrange the balloon experience with our preferred operator, who has provided good and safe service in the past, we must advise that you are free to choose your own balloon flight operator if you have specific safety concerns. Please note this is an optional activity so any balloon flight is taken at your own risk.
You may notice other local agents around Luxor selling balloon flights at varying prices. You are free to choose your own options. Balloon rides organised through our preferred operators are sold at a fixed rate throughout the season. Ask your Group Leader to assist on arrival to Luxor.
Generally the activity is advertised as a flight over the Valley of the Kings. No matter what any agent says, this can not be guaranteed as the flight is entirely dependent on the direction of the wind. From our experience very few flights actually go over the Valley of the Kings and instead fly close to Hatshepsut and the Colossi of Memnon. While you may have booked a 'sunrise' balloon flight, please be aware that this does not always eventuate in time for the sunrise due to logistical reasons and weather conditions.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Tipping - known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
We recommend that any group tips are collected in a envelope and handed directly to the intended recipient as a collective 'thank-you' by the group. The below amounts are suggested figures in USD for ease of calculating budgets, but should always be offered in local currency.
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1-2 per person per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however US$1-2 per person per day is generally appropriate.
Public toilet attendants: When using public toilets there will most likely be a attendant that will expect a tip. 20- 50 cents is appropriate.
Felucca Captains: If you are travelling in Upper Egypt many of our itineraries spend a night on a felucca. US$1-2 per person per day for felucca captains is appropriate.
Desert Camp hosts: If you have a night camping included on your itinerary US$2-3 is appropriate for the camp hosts.
Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
Dragoman runs this trip in conjunction with our trusted local partners
Travelling in the Middle East:
The Middle East is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Heat, pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this wonderfully different region but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. You will come across very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by the fabulous Middle East.
Expense in the Middle East:
The Middle East is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect the Middle East to always be a budget destination.
If you are a student and can produce a valid student card you will be able to get discounted rates at some of the historical sites. Entrance prices are clearly posted at the ticket booth entry points.
Seasons for travelling in the Middle East:
Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather!
Winter (approx. December to February) can be very cold. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. Some of our guesthouses/hotels do not supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx. June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air conditioning, and in those that do, it is not always functioning.
Alterations to the itinerary:
While we operate successful trips in the Middle East throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route while you are travelling.
Armed convoys and security while travelling:
Occasionally you may experience armed security and convoys between select towns or regions. Convoys are used to ensure all travellers are transported safely and, in many cases, tourists are only allowed to travel in scheduled convoys of buses and jeeps. On rare occasions you may have an armed guard in your vehicle. We want to warn you so you are not alarmed. This is a practice designed to keep tourists safe, although at time it can appear a little overkill.
Ramadan & the Eid ul-Fitr festival 2011:
In 2011 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from the 1st August through till the 30th August, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be effected.
Please bring two (2) copies of your passport. These may be used to assist with hotel check-in, and sometimes at road security points.
Multiple leaders on this trip:
On this trip you will have the services of 2 different leaders:
~ Cairo to the Red Sea Beach camp (Nuweiba) - Egyptian leader
~ You will travel unescorted from Nuweiba to Aqaba on the ferry (approx 4 hours)
~ Aqaba (ferry port in Jordan) to Madaba - Jordanian leader
A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information. On the following nights the Single Supplement is NOT available:
Day 2 Overnight train
Day 5 Felucca
Day 7 Overnight Train
Days 10-11 Red Sea Beach camp
Day 13 Wadi Rum camp
Maximum of 12 travellers per group
Hotels (10nts), beach hut (2nts), desert camp (1nt), felucca (1nt), overnight sleeper trains (2nts)
The style of accommodation described in the day to day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions alternative arrangements may need to be arranged due to availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
If you have purchased pre or post trip accommodation, you may be required to change rooms at the start or the end of the tour.
When we have 3 single female travellers or 3 single male travellers on a trip we occasionally make use of triple-share rooms.
Camping: Nights spent camping can be in recognised camps or wild camping in the desert.
Some campsites do have facilities but are usually not to the same standard as you would find in western countries, often toilet paper is not provided. Wild camps obviously have no facilities at all, and the toilet is simply a hole dug into the sand! Some nights can be spent in a tent whilst other nights will be under the stars. Mattresses and blankets are often provided however some trips will require a sleeping bag. Please see 'What to Take' for more information.
While travelling with us you will experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialties so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Please check the 'meal inclusions' section of these notes for details of meals included.
Allow USD $320 for meals not included.
8 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Breakfast is generally a very simple affair and typically consist of bread, jam & tea/coffee & on occasions tomato, cucumber, & juice (or similar).
Overnight sleeper train, 4WD, private bus, motor boat, felucca, ferry, taxi, camel, donkey (seasonal)
All Dragoman group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders or our local partners' group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see and recommend local eating venues. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
At Dragoman we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit - and who better to hear it from than the locals themselves? If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture then your leader can recommend a local guide service in the most of the main destinations of your trip.
12 Lotfi Hassouna St
Phone: +20 2 3761 0871
Pharaohs Hotel is located in the quiet residential district of Dokki, close to the Nile River (approx 100m), the 5-star Sheraton Hotel and the Cairo Opera House. The subway is located within walking distance, as are ATM's, internet cafes and several convenience stores right by the hotel. Look out for the Agricultural and Modern Art Museums close by as well. Ask reception for directions.
The Pharaohs is a comfortable 3 star hotel with 90 medium sized rooms; some with balconies, all with private bathrooms, air-conditioning, TV and phone. Bar, terrace coffee shop, restaurant, 24hr reception and room service, international telephone facilities, safety boxes and luggage storage are all available.
It is by far the easiest option to take a taxi. Airport taxis shouldn't cost more than 100EGP (be prepared to bargain!). The drive can take between 40 minutes and 1 hour depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions.
Alternatively Dragoman offer a pre arranged private transfer service option. Enquire with your Agent on booking. If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer you will be met by a transfer officer in the immigration area from our local representative in Cairo - TravelMark Agency. Look for your name.
If for any reason you should not make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once, please call TravelMark Agency on the following numbers:
Mr Tharwat (+2) 0127 606 605
Mr Abdel Nasser (+2) 0123 603 748
Give your exact location in the airport (find a landmark) and you will be attended to promptly.
In the very unlikely event that this process fails, you can find taxis at the front of the airport to take you to your hotel. Please inform your group leader at the initial group meeting if this occurs.
If your flight is going to be early, delayed or cancelled please call ahead on the above numbers to explain the situation and advise alternative flight details
If this is your first trip to Egypt a transfer is recommended.
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you!) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your
group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your trip leader.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing
customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in the Trip
Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any
additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
Aisha Um Al Mu'meneen St
Phone: +962 5 325 1529
Hotel Mariam is located in a quiet but central area five-minutes walk from the town centre and St George's Church. The hotel has a swimming pool and restaurant. The 57 rooms are all equipped with private bathroom, hot water and central heating. Rooms have TV, fans, hair driers, phone and wireless internet in the lobby.
Queen Alia International Airport is located 25kms east of Madaba city centre. It takes approx 45 minutes travel time and a taxi costs approx 25JOD. A taxi can be easily organised through hotel reception.
Dragoman does not offer a departure transfer service from Madaba.
At Dragoman we believe you should make the most of the places you visit, so if you would like to see more of your joining or finishing point cities, why not book additional accommodation to extend your stay. Dragoman can take away the hassle of time zones and language barriers by making the booking for you. This accommodation is only available at the joining or finishing city of your trip, immediately before or after the trip you are travelling on.
While Dragoman is happy to assist with booking your pre and post trip accommodation, it is important that you understand you may be able to book your own room at a cheaper rate directly through the hotel or on the internet. Our additional accommodation prices are based on the hotel’s rate plus an administration fee. Please note our rates do not reflect last minute walkin rates or internet specials.
We can also book arrival airport transfers for you as long as we have your flight arrival details. These are normally payable in cash upon arrival, however we do have pre paid transfers in a few destinations.
Please contact our reservations team for details of the accommodation and transfers that we can offer.
We have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.
If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in this Update. If you have cannot get through leave a message as these will be regularly checked and the crew informed if necessary.
Emergency Number: +44 (0) 1728 862222.
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency the local Cairo-based ground representative for the Middle East can be reached on Tel: +2 019 681 1067. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department
Please also make sure you have access to an additional USD$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Please note that visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change. It is important that you check for yourself.
Most nationalities require a visa to enter as a tourist into Egypt. Visas are easily attainable on arrival at Cairo airport for most nationalities for USD$15 to be paid in cash, but please check with your travel agent or embassy before departure. On arrival to Cairo airport you buy your visa at any of the banks before proceeding to immigration. You will be given a stamp that you then need to put into your passport yourself. A single entry visa is valid for three months from date of issue and entitles the bearer to one month in Egypt. Multiple entry visas are not available at the airport or any border crossings.
We arrive into Jordan via a ferry into Aqaba, which currently requires no payment for visas. You are not required to obtain your visa in advance.
Please check any visa information with your travel agent or Embassy before departure.
Some hotels offer a laundry service which by western standards is generally inexpensive. Self-service laundries are scarce, but laundromats are not uncommon in the main towns. If using a hotel or laundromat service note that damage to clothing is occasionally encountered. Leave your delicate evening wear at home. Consider bringing some bio-degradable laundry soap and hand wash so that you can wash any precious items yourself.
What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you will not be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes) we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg/22lb.
Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You will also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for daytrips.
The smaller your bag the better! There is often restricted storage space when travelling and if your bag does not fit in these areas, then often the only place to put it is on your lap. So for maximum comfort, aim to pack small and light! It is recommended that your bag can be locked as on some transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately.
Temperatures in the Middle East are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cool at night, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night.
A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential. As the countries we visit are Islamic nations, women may find a headscarf useful.
All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as: overnight felucca, desert camps, or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most Dragoman travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag if your itinerary includes camping over the winter months (approx. Dec-Mar).
When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing (3/4 trousers that come to the calf is fine) is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.
The following checklist is to be used as a guide only and is not intended to be a complete packing list. Any other items that you wish to pack are at your own discretion however you should attempt to comply with the suggested luggage weight limit.
Visas required for this trip
Travel insurance; including insurer details, 24hr emergency contact telephone number and policy number
Trip confirmation voucher
Photocopies of important documents to be kept separately (we recommend you keep a copy at home as well)
Latest trip notes (this information)
Money, cash, credit cards
Money belt or pouch
First aid kit, personal medication/prescriptions
Prescription glasses or contact lens & solution
High protection sunscreen
Insect repellent, Insect bite cream
Torch/flashlight and spare batteries
Travel sickness tablets
Swimming costume & towel
Comfortable walking shoes with good grip (sturdy trekking shoes are recommended if your itinerary includes climbing Mt Sinai)
Camera, film, memory card, spare batteries
Day pack - for your personal needs during the day
Local language phrase book
Smarter clothes for nights out
Travel plug/international adapter
Mobile phone - check you have international roaming access
Tampons (can be difficult to find on tour)
Winter suggestions (Approx. Dec to Mar):
Sleeping bag (Not obligatory, but bring if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, and if your itinerary includes a desert camp, overnight felucca or Red Sea beach camp)
Consider bringing some post cards/pins of your hometown to give to local people. Photos of your family to show local people help to get a conversation and the interaction started.
Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which are plentiful throughout all the main cities. Check with your bank for information on ATM international fees.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.
We recommend that you carry some foreign currency cash for when ATMs can not be accessed, have broken down or run out of cash. There are few problems changing money as there are many banks and currency exchange facilities. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange.
Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it is not recommended to rely on this.
While some banks and 5 star hotels will change Travellers' Cheques the process is time consuming and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it can be difficult to change on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD, EUR or GBP.
The currency of Egypt is Egyptian Pounds (EGP). It is easy to get money when you arrive at the airport by money/cheque exchange or from the ATM.
The currency of Jordan is Jordanian Dinars (JOD). It is easy to get money on arrival to Jordan. ATM?s and money exchange are plentiful.
Departure Tax for Egypt is 50 EGP (Egyptian Pounds)
Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.
If you need to be contacted while travelling we recommend email. Email cafes are generally available throughout the regions we visit, although it is possible you may be without email contact for several days on some itineraries. If someone wishes to contact you in an emergency while you are on one of our trips we recommend that they contact your local booking agent, or refer to our emergency contact details. We don't recommend that family and friends try to contact you through hotels, as they are subject to change and the reception staff may not speak English.
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local partner straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case please ask the leader if you may speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip but we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
All Dragoman travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in the group travel experience. If in the opinion of our group leader or company representative any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Dragoman reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. We therefore ask that you read the itinerary in these trip notes thoroughly and then realistically self-assess your physical ability to complete the trip as described. Please consult with your doctor if you have any doubts.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained while on tour.
Dragoman is very aware of the issues raised by H1N1 (swine) flu and these have been taken into consideration for all aspects of the trip you are about to take. In reviewing this itinerary we have followed the guidelines set out by The World Health Organisation (WHO) http://www.who.int/en/
Dragoman reserve the right to make last minute changes to any itinerary in the very unlikely occurrence that an area should suddenly be deemed to be unsafe because of an outbreak of H1N1 flu.
As a rule we recommend you do not drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for travellers from places other continents drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this is not serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it is enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available. Water consumption should be about 3 litres a day (this should be easy for most!) Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities however during your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Dragoman itinerary, and Dragoman makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
Fire Precautions & balconies:
Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in the Middle East & North Africa may differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. Not all balconies measure up to standard dimensions.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Petty theft and personal safety:
Although we feel that the Middle East & North Africa is a very safe region to travel in, please be aware that there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk in pairs or groups. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
Traffic conditions and driving on opposite sides of the road:
Traffic will no doubt be more chaotic than you are used to at home. Traffic rules are not always adhered to and the traffic can tend to move very fast. Be aware and alert! Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road.
Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It is expected that anyone taking part in water activities are able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please see http://www.dragoman.com/info/travel-insurance
When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your tour leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact telephone number rather than the Bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Please note that due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.
Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip, in accommodation ranging from twin to multi-share. Please note some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis - where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our Comfort and Original style trips you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you will have your own room (where available). Please refer to the important notes if this trip has a single supplement and any accommodation on the trip that the single supplement will not apply to. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour, pre- and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please refer to our website at www.dragoman.com for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller.
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Dragoman travellers. Dragoman's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
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