An insight into a privately organised trip to Egypt
Having always wanted to visit the great sites of Egypt, but due to time and an aversion to being herded in large tourist crowds we had never made the journey to see the amazing sights of ancient Egypt until this year.
Having checked with our agent that security was good and Sinai was the area to avoid rather than the Nile, four of us flew to Cairo in February. The appointed local agent meet us off the plane, and took charge of Passport visas, luggage collection, and swiftly transported us to our Hotel in Cairo. The next morning we were welcomed by the the owner of the Ground Agency, and our appointed guide Amro.
A visit to the step pyramid and the Great Pyramids of Giza followed. Our Transport and tickets were always at hand and lunch venues carefully chosen. Amro, our guide was a highly knowledgeable and an entertaining host and excellent organiser, with everything running like clockwork.
From Cairo we flew to Luxor, once again never having to touch our luggage or organise anything. Very quiet and enchanting hotel outside Luxor, our base from where to visit the valley of the Kings, and the monumental remains of the Temples of Karnak and Luxor, the latter visited when floodlit in the evening, making the scale and splendour more spectacular. Security was excellent at all the sites, and with very few crowds we all felt very relaxed and at ease.
We then embarked on the boat Effendiana, a splendid boat modelled on King Farouks old yacht. Although the boat had the capacity to accommodate 16 guests, we had the luxury to have the vessel for the four of us. A delightful crew of 14 looked after our every need. Amro had organised sufficient quantities of our chosen refreshments to be loaded on board, so it was certainly far from a dry ship! Serenely meandering up the Nile, beautiful scenery and observing traditional fishing, farm and village life, was a memorable experience. We stopped at the great temples on route, Edfu, kombo ombo. At nights the crew found a quite spot to moor alongside the river bank. The mornings started with breakfast served on deck while the crew prepared to set sail. Although we motored most of the time we did hoist the sails one day for the experience. In the evenings we dined in the comfortable saloon having first discussed the days visits and events over a glass of whisky with our wonderful Guide Amro.
One unusual highlight was a stop at a tiny village where one of our boat crew’s family lived. We were welcomed and show around the village and live stock with great pride by all the locals. After 5 days on board we arrived at out destination Aswan. Sailed around the first Cataract, and visited the Temples on Philae island.
A great farewell dinner and appreciation from the Crew, Sadly brought our journey to an end.
It truly was a holiday of a lifetime, fascinating historic sites, incredibly welcoming and friendly people, a brilliant and entertaining guide who looked after all our needs. If you wish to see the greatest sites of the Ancient World, now is the time to Visit.