Soul of Egypt – Travel Guide
Walking through Egypt is more like wandering through the history of an ancient world aged 7’000 years ago. Egypt will never fell to astonish you with a unique nature from arid beauty of the desert “Black & White” where you can relief your soul and watch a pure & surprising view of the stars by night, to the warm waves of the Red Sea where you can have so much fun snorkeling, diving or relaxing to get as far as you can from the daily life pressure…
The mighty Nile River which floats tenderly over Luxor & Aswan cities, overlooking planted area both sides, combining the nature beauty with glorious era of ancient Egyptian Monuments located in Luxor “Well known to be an Open Museum” & the well preserved Temples in Aswan “Philae Temple”, Abu Simbel Temples” in addition to a good number of “Not to be missed sights” en route passing by Kom Ombo, Edfu & Esna.
A Middle Eastern country; Situated in North East of Africa & well known to be the center of the Arab world. Egypt takes control of the Suez Canal, which links the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.
An exclusive mixture of nature combining Deserts (Eastern & Western Deserts), the Mighty Nile River that provides the
land with fertile soil. Overlooking the Mediterranean & Red Sea with the amazing coasts.
Official Name: “Arab Republic of Egypt” – Egyptian say it in easy way “Misr”
Capital: Cairo (the largest city in Africa)
President: Abdel Fatah El SiSi
Official Language: Arabic.
Widely Spoken Languages: English, French, Nubian & Armenian
Religions: Muslim 85%, other 15 % (mainly Coptic Christians)
More about people: Egyptians, Berbers, Bedouin, Hamitic Arabs and Nubians
Area: 1 million sq km
Population: 94,899,254 as per latest statistics published on March 2017
7th Jan. – Christmas
25th Jan. – National Police Day
25th April – Sinai Liberation Day
1st May- Labor Day
23rd July – Revolution Day
6th Oct. – Armed Forces Day
26th , 27th & 28th of June – End of Ramadan & Muslim celebrating “Eid El Fetr”
23rd July – Revolution of 1952
1st, 2nd , 3rd & 4th Sep. Muslims Celebrating Eid El Adha (might get change based on lunar cycle)
21st Sep.- Islamic new Year
1st Dec. – Birth Date of Prophet Mohamed
24th – Christmas Holidays
31st – New Year
Entry Visa – single & double entry
For the vast majority of the nationalities; entry visa could be optioned upon arrival; like Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British, and Canadians & it is required.
You might need to consulate your Embassy for visa information. In case you are asked for a letter to guarantee that Soul Of Egypt is arranging your trip; we are more than happy to issue that document within booking procedures; including all your booking details.
For many nationalities, it is easy to obtain an Egyptian single entry visa upon arrival at Cairo International Airport. Current cost is U$D 25.00 per person.
As for the double considering that single entry visa is not changeable to multiple entry visas upon arrival.
If you wander about land arrival from Israel; entry visa must be obtained overhead. In case you are arriving by ferry from Aqaba Jordan, a single entry visa can be obtained upon arrival against $25.00 per person.
For the departure ex. Nuweiba port; you will be charged 50 – 150 Egyptian Pound as departure tax; of course, it is subject to be changed.
A copy of Master Documents that you need to bring/travel insurance:
1. Airline Tickets (International & domestic if issued).
2. Tour voucher
3. Copy of latest Itinerary as agreed with your travel consultant
4. Copy of your insurance policy & your credit cards (make sure to keep in a safe place)
For your travel insurance:
It is necessary to get a comprehensive travel insurance that will be covering the medical costs related to hospitalization, emergency travel & deportation back to your home country.
Meet, greet & assistance at Cairo International Airport
24 Hours prior to departure date we will provide you with an emergency number as well as the mobile phone number of the tour manager who will be meeting you at Cairo International Airport.
How would know our tour leader? He will do! He will be holding a sign with your name & the logo of Soul Of Egypt! He will then take you to the air –conditioned vehicle waiting for you, followed by a transfer to your selected hotel where he will help for a suave check-in; or he will meet you up with your tour guide if you are starting the tour upon arrival.
Baggage & Personal Stuff
You are totally responsible for carrying your own baggage during the trips, we recommend that you use hotel safety boxes to stock any valuable kinds of stuff like money, cameras, documents especially the passport, any gold material.
We don’t really recommend leaving that valuable stuff at your bus/ minivan during the sightseeing. Soul of Egypt takes no responsibility for any lost or stolen belongings.
Left behind / luggage loss
In the case of missing luggage; we highly recommend that you report it immediately upon arrival to Egypt & as soon as you know. Please inform your tour leader, he will advise the best procedures to reclaim your luggage.
Lost/missing luggage is something between you and the airline carrier & airport authorities. The recovery of your luggage is your responsibility at your own expenses. Meanwhile; our tour leader (s) will do their BEST to assist you through the whole process.
Before departing your room, Nile cruise cabin; please make sure to check all your belongings; it always good to keep a checklist & use it every time you have to pack. Soul of Egypt shoulders no responsibility for any left behind item.
Hotels & Nile Cruises in Egypt
Check in & out
Normal check- in time is 2:00 pm (for most of the hotels). Early check-in; requires extra supplement & depends on availability upon check-in & the same applies for late check – out.
If you arriving early morning of the day like 1 am, or 3 am we will need to book you an extra pre-night; just to guarantee that you will be accommodated upon arrival (i.e. if your flight will be arriving 2:00 am on the 26th, we have to book the night of 25th).
Normal check-out time is 12:00 (noontime). Late check out could be arranged based on availability & it requires extra cost, for few hotels it will be calculated as a full night (your travel advisor will guide you while booking).
Accommodation styles in Egypt
Offering a variety of accommodation classes starting with modest like 3* standard hotels, 4* nice and clean ones, 5* standard or superfluity hotels; in addition to Boutique style & eco-lodges. Based on your plans, interests, and budget you will able to pick the category that meets your needs.
Nile Cruises / Yachts
Floating hotels which offers all the facilities that the normal 4 or 5-star hotels would do. With numerous accommodation categories, standard cabins, stylish Royal & Presidential suits; what we guarantee that you will enjoy a NILE view!
Cruises’ amenities are too similar to the hotels, like restaurants, swimming pools, spa treatment; gym & libraries, beauty salons, all cabins on board have large windows or balconies to enhancing the joy of the changing views of the lavish green riverside.
Check-in timing is 12:00 noontime; your meals starts with lunch & ends with breakfast on the disembarkation day. Nile Cruise trip expands from 3 nights up to 14; depending on your plans; travel dates & interests; Our tour expert will be quite accurate offering the appropriate trip!
Food in Egypt
Basically, Egyptian Food is very close to Lebanese & Turkish dishes, with diverse tasty cuisines “Syrian, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, French, Italian & more”
Even if you are a vegetarian, you will have many choices, bread, fresh fruits, green salad…
McDonald’s, KFC, Hardees, and similar fast food restaurants are also available, just in case you like to feel at home!
At hotels as well as on board cruise, food is served in open buffet style, you will find your preferred choice. As for the famed restaurants that you might like to try; ” Sequoia overviewing the Nile in Zamalek, ” Andrea’s for grills – Pyramids Area” “Thomas Pizza if you are fond of Pizza, Pasta, Burgers”, “Abu El Seed” Om Hassan” for very & real Egyptian food like Molohkya, Mesa’aa, kebab, …and other delicious dishes”…In case you are allergic to any kind of foods, please inform your travel advisor, he will pass this information to all parties (hotels, Nile cruises).
International flight tickets
Please make sure to send us a copy, report us with any updates that might come up so that transfer service could be re-arranged properly. Will need FULL details like flight carrier, flight number, number of your tickets, connection…etc…
Domestic Flight Tickets
If your domestic flight tickets are arranged by Soul of Egypt; please keep/print your copy.
EgyptAir flights might be postponed; flight ride might be canceled & EgyptAir will offer an alternative flight. In this case, EgyptAir shoulders whole responsibility. We will take care of adjusting your itinerary accordingly.
In case you issue your own domestic flight tickets; please make sure that your travel consultant confirmed that timings are matching with your daily arrangements of sightseeing, cruise sailing schedule …etc…
Sleeper trains in Egypt offer an exciting ride in between Cairo, Alex., Luxor & Aswan; where you can spend a full night enjoying the sights both sides.Cabins are classified as 1st class; including 2 meals served on board (Dinner & Breakfast). Sometimes there might be a lack of the available train tickets; as a solution, we can offer a flight upgrade.
Transportation in Egypt
A numerous number of buses are serving many terminuses inside and outside Cairo. Tickets are cheap; in between 2.50 L.E. & up to 5 L.E. per person.
Public buses are available as well in between cities like from Cairo to Sharm, –
Hurghada, even Luxor & Aswan.
Underground metro system:
It is the only subway system in Egypt, almost sheltered by 60 up to 70 stations, it costs 2 EGP per ticket,
Inside Cairo, Giza, Alex., taxis are available, all what you have to do; just wave to the driver, tell hum your destination, check that his care counter works & the most important keep change like 5 L.E more or less.
Like 2 years ago; Kareem & Uber apps. has been launched in Egypt to make things more comfortable, easy & faster to get a car wherever you are, just download the application to your mobile phone.
Egypt offers sitting & sleeper train rides, covering too many stations from Cairo to Luxor, Aswan, Alex. For the sleeper trains; its compartments are pretty good to spend the night till you reach Aswan or Luxor; offering two meals on board (dinner & breakfast).
Money, Cash & Credit Cards
You will need to bring suitable funds for covering meals, optional tours, personal expenses, souvenirs which are not listed on your included items as well as any various extras.
It might be hard to tell how much exactly would you need to bring, recently and according to the exchange rate of the U$D against the Egyptian pound we can give an average of $10.00 & up to $25.00 per day. If you are arranging to do more shopping; we advise that you get more. You also can exchange your foreign currency to local one upon arrival at Cairo International Airport; or at any bank.
Exchange rate might sway from time to time, so you can the below as guideline only:
Approx. exchange rate: (June 2017)
$ USD = L.E. 19.00
€ EUR = L.E. 20.00
$ CAD = L.E. 13.00
$ AUD = L.E. 13.55
£ GBP = L.E. 23. 00
Credit Cards as well are a good solution, most of the shops, restaurants especially in Cairo accept credit card settlements. You might be charged 3 -5% extra as a credit card surcharge.
Water / Bottled Water & Tap water in Egypt
Bottled water is highly recommended by medical experts; just to avoid gastric upsets. You will find too many quality & licensed brands like Hayah, Safy, Aqua Nestle.
For juice & milk bottles; just check expiry dates. For hot drinks like coffee, tea, espresso or likewise, it should not be a problem at all as water & milk will be boiled previously. Some cities; like Dahab, Nuweiba & Taba; tab water is not really recommended as it is a little bit salty. You will find shops selling bottled water that you can use.
It is not really recommended to use public toilets at all; in case you got no other choice, so please keep wipes, small piece of soap & a strong cleanser like Dettol or similar; make sure to clean it carefully before usage. As an alternative; you can use toilets at any restaurant en route (if available).
Wages in Egypt are a little bit low, so people expect to get tipped if you are happy with the offered service, locally it is called ‘baksheesh’. Remember it always your decision as it a sign of appreciation for the services- to tip or not to tip. You can also use both foreign & local currency in tipping.