Egypt? Tour? What one should I decide on?
I am still debating what adventure I want to explore so I decided to do some research. My first choice is Egypt so I started investigating knowing that it will be the most dangerous quest . Out of this research I wandered across some blogs that mention women traveling Egypt alone.
From reading these blogs I came to the conclusion that not even an experienced women traveler like myself should take the risk in traveling Egypt alone. I received some great advice from fellow travelers who recommended taking a tour for young individuals whom are looking for an adventure. The top three tours that I found that grasped my attention were Gap Adventure, On The Go, and Peregrind Adventures. These three companies offer similar Egyptian tours with slight differences in the details.
Gap Adventures offers a tour for 17 days that discovers all of Egypt and Jordan.
This adventure starts in Cairo, which would highlight the pyramids of Giza and the step pyramids at Saqqara. From there the tour goes to Aswan and includes a camel ride, a visit to a local historical Nubian village and explores the temple of Abu Simbel. The next few days involve sailing up the Nile to Luxor on a traditional egyptian felucca (sounds very relaxing). On day 9 a summit climb to the infamous Mount Sinai is on the schedule, with the following day including world renowned snorkelling in the Red Sea. As the adventure crawls into Jordon, there is Wadi Rum, Petra, Madaba, and Amman to explore. The total of this tour is $1839 CAD, but there is $300 US local payment and food is not included.
On The Go has a tour, ‘ Road to Jordon’, which is also 17 days of traveling Egypt and Jordan. However, this tour covers the same cites and sites, but the catch with this tour is the food is included and there is no local payment like Gap Adventures. The cost is $1949 CAD. Food is really tricky in Egypt because our ‘westernized’ stomachs cannot handle a lot of their exotic dishes. The good thing about food being included is that the tour has already done the restaurant researching and rating for you. So they will only choose the best places to eat from. At the same time you won’t be offered the variability of choice as you would get from tours that don’t include food in the price. It all depends on your ‘taste’!
Peregrind Adventures is a little pricy for a backpacker like me, but it passes you through all the highlights that Gap Adventures does and also you get to explore Shobak and Jerash in Jordon. Meals are included with a price of $3295. The higher price just means a little more luxurious (includes 3+ star hotels) but come on… we are backpackers!
So out of these three tours, what one would you pick? I am leaning more towards Gap Adventures. It seems to cover most of Jordon and the main spots in Egypt that I am most interested in. It doesn’t include food but I am adventurous and am always on the prowl to try new things. It all depends on what you want to get out of the trip. If you have any other tours that you would recommend, let me know!!!
As for looking into Croatia and Turkey, that will be my next mission. I’ll keep you posted on my findings.
we went to Jordan and Egypt this time two years ago for a three week holiday although because we are a family of four-two teenage boys included- we did a combination private tour (for the Egypt part) and Jordan by ourselves which I think would be pretty lonely on your own. I can say though that we did much of what is on the Gap tour program. We stayed in backpackers, a cheap boutique hotel in Zamalek in Cairo recommended by Lonely Planet which was brilliant, a very basic bedouin camp at the bottom of Mt Sinai etc. We spent an entire day at Petra (which is an absolute must see a highlight of the trip and the place I would return to in a heartbeat even after seeing all the temples Egypt has to offer)from 7am to 6pm, using a guide book rather than a guide,and still didnt see everything we wanted to.
We climbed Mt Sinai for the sunrise which you do in the dark (so bring a torch) and the rouse is to get you to leave as early as possible so you get cold (and in early January it is freezing!)and tired of waiting at the top and buy lots of hot tea from the vendors at inflated Im-at-the-top-of-Mt-Sinai prices and rent a camel blanket (it really is freezing!). It took us less than 2 hours (boys included) to get to the stalls at the top -including a couple of stops at the guides mates tea houses-on the camel track. Even the Russians breath still heavy with alcohol and feet unsteady on the stones made it up in good time.
We overnight trained to Luxor which was better than I expected although the food is pretty inedible so remember to bring your own or eat well before hand. Then we did a 5 night ‘cruise’ on the Nile which included 3 meals a day and a guide for the temples (our guide was so good we had returnees who had especially requested being in his group again)transfers etc. Our boat was a 3 star and not expensive and a lot more comfortable than the faluccas which look nice and romantic (we took one to Elephantine Island) but all the lying about didnt really suit what we were after in a holiday plus we’d heard horror stories about the food causing Cairo belly and with no toilet facilities on the boat…lets just say it wasnt a risk we wanted to take.
Food wise we ate cheaply often falafel and pita from market stalls, fried fish and eggplant from street vendors and beautiful fruit and vege from the side of the road. The fresh pita etc from the bread shops on the side of the main highways in Jordan are worth checking out too. We also ate and drank copious amounts of tea sitting on the floor of a Jordanians home between the Dead Sea and Aqaba.
We had a fantastic trip. I would be happy to answer any questions you have and or give you the links to our other pics if you would like…just sing out.