A most amazing experience worth every single penny. Our tour Mamdouh and driver Mahmoud made the day even better. Not many things can get me up at 1.30am but I would have no qualms about doing the whole thing again!
The drive to Cairo takes about 6 hours but since it's during the night you can easily catch some shut-eye. In fact you get to Cairo much earlier but the driving there is crazy and it takes a long time to navigate through the streets. Thankfully our driver Mahmoud knows all the best routes to take so made the drive as short as possible. We started off by visiting the Egyptian Museum - make sure to see the Mummy Room which is an extra 100 LE but when else are you going to get the chance to come face to face with Ramesses II and Hatshepsut? We needed some extra time to tour the rest of the museum which includes Tutankhamun's Death Mask, and Mamdouh was more than accommodating, taking the rest of the group to the River Nile and then picking us up 45 minutes later. We then had lunch before continuing on to the Pyramids and the Sphinx which was a truly magical experience. The vendors can heckle you but if you politely say no thank you, la koshran or just walk away then they won't bother you. We even got the chance to go into one of the smaller pyramids. Before heading home we also got the chance to visit a perfume museum which was another great experience, with the host being extremely welcoming and of all the places we visited in Egypt this was the place where we felt least pressured to buy anything. Throughout the whole day it was extremely hot but what can one expect in August!
Overall I can truly recommend this tour to everyone. If you book well ahead then I'd recommend that you call ahead and request for Mamdouh to be your tour guide - you won't be disappointed. He gives you great detail about everything, answers all your questions and is accommodating of any requests that you may have!
What an amazing day. It was crazy hot but you are in Egypt - what do you expect? The day started at 12:45am and it took us roughly 7.5 hours to get there due to traffic. There are lots of stops along the way and you almost feel like you are in a convey but safety was never a concern at all during our travels. Ensure you have change for the toilets as with any where else in Egypt the are 2 Egyptians pounds and don't give change if you do not have the correct amount. We had breakfast boxes with us from our hotel, however they gave us additional snacks and water with more water throughout the day - you need it. When we arrived we had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Mama as he called. His passion for the history and culture of his beloved homeland was overwhelming sweet and heartfelt that you instantly wanted to help out where you could and drink all the information he had to share. He had some great tips on how to spend our time and save our money in the Egyptian museum which holds more artefacts and learnt so much that time just flew by. We saw the amazing King Tut's mask and treasures, the mummy room and all things that we have heard so much about through school, movies or tales that we will never forget only bad thing was the toilets - oh.my.god. Do not use these unless you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. The new museum when it opens will be a site to behold largest in the world. We skipped the Nile cruise we'd done it before and went straight to lunch. Being a vegetarian I struggled a bit through out my whole time in Egypt but luckily I discovered their bread which is the best I have ever had think I may be having withdrawals. Mama actually got us some before saying good bye which was such a nice surprise and above and beyond gesture along with some more water. We got to spend some time waiting for the others with Mama and he spoke and shared some stories about modern Egypt that will stay with us forever including our children who said Mama is the best tour guide they have ever had. If I can in anyway encourage people to visit Egypt I would - the country is beautiful, the people lovely and this history mind blowing. When we saw the pyramids over the buildings we are all cried out in shock - they are huge and offset against the dessert. I have heard stories of how the pyramids are surrounded by shops and fast food. These buildings are there, but on the other side of the road and the view of the pyramids has nothing but desert behind it. Tourism is low and there were not many vendors, but when they did head our direction Mama kept them away. A couple wanted to get something in particular and he made sure they were looked after. We were given instructions on how to avoid getting into 'sticky situations' but this did diminish such a wonderful experience. He had the best for pictures sorted, was more than happy to take the snaps, showed us sites that you would never know where important unless you had someone with his amount of knowledge. Don't get me wrong, it is a hard day. You are exhausted, the heat is likely nothing you can possibly imaging and we are used to high temperatures being Aussies but when you see the things that we saw you don't even care. The sphinx was beautiful and we have photos to prove it, however photos will never do it justice - YOU MUST GO AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF. The only thing I would if I was to go again would be the night show - definitely still on the bucket list. The perfume place was pretty cool, they gave us tea and more t water seriously we have never drunk so much water and it was great to just sit down on a comfortable lounge and learn about some more of Egyptian hidden treasures. We may have paid more for our perfume but we bought it in comfort and I only hope that Mama got compensated well for it. Thank you to everyone involved, you have a fantastic team and we highly recommend this trip to anyone.
In short: Felt rushed and many unanswered questions.
Details: More or less 5-6 hours in the small van there, and another 5-6 hours back. The guide Yaya was OK, he often didn't speak loud enough for all of us to hear in loud places. When I asked him questions he seemed to not want to answer, maybe he didn't know the answers to the simple questions about Egypt and what we were seeing, or maybe he couldn't be bothered. Nonetheless, the whole trip seemed quite rushed. For example, we spent more time doing nothing in a perfume shop listening to a lecture about smells than the time we spent looking at the pyramids! And I'm sorry, but after 5-6 hours or more of driving it just seems illogical, not to mention the pyramids were my dream to visit. Like other trips of this kind, there are always extras to choose from, which waste more time. We never visited the smaller pyramid free to enter as promised, instead because we were the only two to choose pay to visit the great pyramid he hurried us inside and out so that the rest could go on a paid camel trip 3 times more expensive than local rides while we waited at the bottom of the road. He kept telling us there is nothing inside the pyramids, a waste of time, a waste of time? Then why are we there? Just to look at them from a distance?
In review, the above are just a couple example, the trip was mostly like this. Maybe it was just our guide, or maybe they are all like this. However, if you go, make sure you don't listen to them if they want you to hurry your favourite bits, these are once in a lifetime experiences, so don't waste your time in perfume shops - go inside and feel the energy of these great wonders of the worlds!
amazing tour worth every penny. we visited the Egyptian Antiquities Museum, followed by buffet lunch on a riverboat on the River Nile and then onto Giza, to see the pyramid complex and the Great Sphinx. we had a very knowledgeable tour guide throughout the journey and there was plenty of time to take pictures and wander. the tour includes a breakfast admittedly to be consumed in the bus as well. all in all we felt very looked after. the tour started at 2AM from Hurghada which wasn't great but considering the distance, isn't surprising. and in and around the pyramid complex/the Great Sphinx, there are lots of people trying to sell you things which can get annoying - obviously this isn't a reflection on the tour or it's operator. lastly, there are additional payment options for extras, like seeing Tutankhamun's treasures, the tomb of Mummies both at the museum and to go inside of the Great Pyramid so make sure you have extra money - i wouldn't recommend the latter if you're claustrophobic! in summary, a great trip and well worth the money!
Although it is an early start, this day trip is definitely worth every penny. Farat the tour guide is brilliant and ensures you won't regret booking this experience.
Take some extra money for the boat ride along the Nile.
The toilets at the stop off point mid-way through the bus ride costs 2 egyptian pounds to get in, so bring change.
Keep up the pace and ensure you take pictures along the way, the day is very quick.
Bring a neck pillow similar to what you would have on a plane for the long bus journey - approx. 5-6 hours each way
The perfume place you stop off at in Cairo is lovely, however you may find cheaper options within Hurghada so do your research before you set off.
Our tour started early at 1.15am, we were greeted by our mini bus and the owner of Ramashka tours. He was wonderful, he wanted to give us a free city tour or dolphin house tour for one of the members of our group who couldn't make the Cairo tour due to illness. Which sadly we couldn't fit in, but the gesture was greatly appreciated! The Mini bus was very clean however we made the mistake of sitting in the front row which had very little leg room as the engine and axle were sat there. But the seats reclined and the drivers Mohamed 1 and Mohamed 2 were more than happy to accommodate us, in adjusting air conditioning or stops.
We were given breakfast which we did not know we were going to get! and much needed bottles of water. Whilst the trip to Cairo is a long one, our drivers were really courteous and able to make as many stops as we needed. It took about 8 hours to get to our first stop longer than they expected as we ran into traffic once at Cairo. At the museum we were joined by Yaya sorry if this is spelt wrong he was very friendly and kind but his tour was a little unoriginal - he was saying almost word for word what was written on the museum artefact note cards. However he was really helpful with insider tips like how much you should tip, what to do when walking past vendors peddling their goods, and general knowledge.
There were two extra excursions not mentioned as part of the package, the first being a Nile boat tour and the second being a camel or horse and cart trip to see all 9 pyramids and entrance to see the smaller pyramid. Neither of these were forced upon us, and each cost about 200 Egyptian pounds 9 approx. The Nile boat tour was underwhelming but the pyramid option was incredible, we highly recommend it!
Lunch was good the standard buffet style meal, at a restaurant which looked much better inside than out. The staff were also very good, they did not push us to buy extra drinks but were attentive and respectful of our space - good choice!
The pyramids and the sphinx were definitely the highlight of the trip, as you would expect they were both very busy and as the day was warming up we did not mind that we only had 2 hours to wander, it was the perfect amount of time to get all the photographs we wanted and not feel rushed.
Our last stop was to the perfume shop, which as you would expect was designed to get you to buy something. But once you know this and accept that, the experience was highly informative and enjoyable. We were given a choice of drink when we entered Turkish coffee, tea, or hibiscus all really good! We were then told about the processes of Egyptian perfume extraction and shown samples of the different types they had.
The drive back went really fast we made it back in just over 4 hours and arrived back at 10pm, which was very welcomed as we were all very tired after a long day.
A really well organised tour. Thank you!