While you are on your journey with our group in Egypt, locals will view you as a tourist. However, we believe that it is essential to go into this experience viewing yourself as a spiritual pilgrim rather than a tourist. Our experienced and knowledgeable guides have designed and planned each and every aspect of the trek with great care to assist travelers in having a life-changing experience, so they can return home with an enhanced sense of spiritual awareness and awakening.
Unlike the average ‘tourist’ you are traveling with a group of like-minded people to highly sacred places, which provides life-changing opportunities and powerful spiritual experiences for those involved. The energy of such conscious groups has the potential to establish symbiotic relationships with not only the places we visit but also with the other pilgrims on the journey.
The key to getting the most out of your Sacred Egyptian Tour is to prepare yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually by arriving with:
An Open Mind: We recommend you travel to Egypt with an open mind and let go of any predisposed apprehensions you may have about visiting the country. It’s important to understand that much of the media’s presentation of Egyptians and Arabs hold negative connotations. However, you should know that these stories are often exaggerated and are far from reality. Overall, the people here are extremely friendly and hospitable as long as visitors respect their religion, are honorable at sacred sites and follow certain protocols concerning Middle Eastern and Islamic cultural etiquette. If you ever have any questions about these protocols or customs, simply ask your guide!
An Open Heart: By entering this foreign land and embracing the unique and ancient culture here with love and respect, the experience can literally become a magical one that activates higher vibrations and frequencies overall. Spiritual beings like those on our treks come to understand that the ascended masters, our personal guides and angels embrace this loving energy and tend to establish a barrier of protection around you and the rest of your traveling companions. One must be willing to accept and receive these energies and be filled with love in their hearts at all times to have the most positive experience possible, which will be particularly vital during our private ceremonies and rituals throughout the trip.
A Sense of Humor and Positive Attitude: Even if you’ve visited Egypt before, it’s unlikely that you’ll be privy to all of the customs and etiquette here. However, you’ll find that most Egyptians are very patient with what they view as tourists, as this is how many make a living here via selling trinkets and wares, offering camel rides, guiding tours, serving as guards and taking photographs. If you don’t know or understand something or feel annoyed by local antics, stay positive and try to find the humor in any miscommunications. Again, your guides can help you understand better what the situation was about and how to handle it in the future.
All non-Egyptian citizens are required to have a valid passport and an official Tourist Visa. Both documents should be copied and the originals should be carried on your person at all times while traveling within the country. There are often several checkpoints amid larger towns where officials will request to be shown your documentation of legal entry and presence in the country.
You will need to follow your country of origin’s protocol to obtain a passport, and applications should be put in at least 3-4 months prior to your travel plans. Visas can be obtained either through an electronic system or from a local Egyptian embassy in your home country. However, travelers from certain countries are required to have a visa upon entering the country while others may be able to apply at the airport upon arrival.
Individuals who are US, Canadian, British or members of the EU can generally obtain a visa at the Cairo Airport (for $25.00), and applications for qualified individuals are handed out on the plane prior to landing. These applications can be processed rather quickly, and the documents are dispensed at the Visa Office located just before the immigration area where both passports and visas are stamped by authorities.
Travelers entering or traveling through the US under a Visa Waiver Program need to apply using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, and this will take at least 72 hours to process. Even if you just have a short layover in the US, you’ll need to apply for this special visa. Also, those from specific countries will need to obtain their visa approval prior to arriving in Cairo.
Countries of Origin Requiring Pre-Arrival Visas: All African countries, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Georgia, Croatia, Indonesia, India, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Israel, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Moldavia, Morocco, Malaysia, Palestine, Pakistan, The Philippines, Serbia, Russia, Montenegro, Sri-Lanka, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and the Ukraine.
With your passport and visa in your hand, head through Immigration and have both documents stamped. They will ask you how long you plan to remain in the country, and you will also be required to show your return ticket as evidence of your plans for departure. Once through immigration, you’ll come to the baggage claim area and one of our travel representatives will be there waiting for you holding a sign with your party’s name on it (SACRED EGYPTIAN TOURS). This associate will also assist you with your luggage and then escort you through customs.
Those traveling with costly electronics such as computers, cameras and camcorders should be certain to itemize these possessions within their passports upon entering the country to make sure there’s no issues with exporting them upon departure. See a list of such items below. Our representative will then take you to a private transportation shuttle that will drive you to our group’s first night accommodations.
Whether you need to pay any taxes on goods purchased in Egypt will depend on what the items are and their value. When going through Egyptian Customs before boarding your flight, there are two areas: the Red Channel where goods can be declared with a customs officer and a Green Channel for those carrying no prohibited items or no more than the duty free allowances on goods. Here are some limitations and exemptions concerning goods and customs tariffs.
Egyptians are generally very religious and typically fall into one of two categories: conservative Muslims or Coptic Christians, with practitioners of Islam being the most predominant amid the population. Because many of these customs and traditional beliefs may differ from our own, travelers may not understand Egyptian’s very specific codes of conduct concerning ethics and etiquette. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your stay in Egypt in order to comply with local laws and customs, to honor the locals, and to ensure that our group is warmly welcomed everywhere we visit.
Keeping the culture’s social etiquette and conservative religious values in mind, we would like to reiterate the importance of showing modesty in clothing choices when in public places in Egypt. Both men and women here cover their shoulders and upper arms traditionally and wear pants or skirts that hit at least below the knees. Please keep this in mind when packing. Ladies who plan to be active by hiking inside of sites like the Valley of the Kings where climbing is required or who plan to ride a camel or horse on the trip, should wear pants. An ideal option is to bring along pants that unzip and transform into shorts, which are appropriate within the privacy of your hotel room or on the group’s tour boat while cruising along the Nile River.
Concerning material choices in clothing, we recommend avoiding synthetics and synthetic blends, as they can be unbearably hot in summer and not quite warm enough for winter temps. 100% cotton options in light colors that reflect the sun are best—not to mention excellent for wash and wear convenience. Layering clothing in Egypt is your friend! That windbreaker or light jacket you wear in the cool morning will again likely be useful later in the evening. While packing, remember to take only as much as you think you will need during the trip, as laundry facilities will be available in several locations we lodge at.
Be sure to check with your particular airline carriers to try and avoid ‘surprises’ at the airport such as recently changed baggage policies that may limit bag size and what you may bring into the country or on board the plane. Pack as lightly as possible and consider luggage with wheels for convenience. Here is a recommended packing list.
To determine whether you’re healthy enough to travel, we recommend you seek counsel from your preferred medical provider who can also help you decide whether or not you need or should have any inoculations prior to your trip. Some vaccines are recommended to visit Egypt and some may be required for entry if travelers are visiting a region with a current infection of certain types. The Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization recommend the following vaccines for individuals traveling to Egypt: typhoid, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, influenza.
The key to preventing jet lag is to begin hyper boosting your immune system about a week before departure. Consider taking Echinacea, Vitamin C, Goldenseal supplements and stay well hydrated. Before and during the flight, avoid over-indulging in alcohol or dehydrating beverages. While on-board, move around periodically to prevent stiffness and swelling in the feet and ankles. If your journey is particularly long, there are herbal preventives that can help with symptoms of jet lag such as crystalized ginger and melatonin along with some over-the-counter products.
Diarrhea is the most common discomfort experienced by many visitors to Cairo due to the consumption of tap water and specific types of food preparation. The tap water here is tough for non-citizens to handle and can give one what is called locally as ‘Mummy’s Tummy’ or ‘Tut’s Trot. We offer a generous supply of bottled water daily during our journeys and in your room to prevent any issues, and you should also use bottled water to brush your teeth.
While the food within Egypt is delicious, the ‘Golden Rule’ concerning food consumption is “Boil it, peel it, cook it, or pass on it.” This is why we recommend passing on those tasty salads, unpeeled fruits and vegetables and raw veggies and shellfish. This is because they usually encounter tap water, so unless they are peeled, cooked or boiled there is a good chance of developing stomach discomfort. However, your guide will always take you to safe and well-known places to eat. If you have questions about the food, please ask.
Staple foods here are rice, breads, pasta, olives cheeses and an array of meats and fish. However, those with special dietary needs or allergies should consider bringing those foods with them, as they may not be available in Cairo. In addition to utilizing good hygiene practices before and after consuming foods, it’s best to lean towards the side of caution when making dining and beverage choices. Remember, if you’re unsure—just ask your guides!
For your convenience, all non-alcoholic beverages, snacks and meals are covered as a part of your total tour price, so your guides will be there with you to answer any questions or concerns you may have about foods and drinks in Egypt. Tips are also included, but you may leave an additional gratuity if you feel compelled to do so.
Egypt’s weather is fairly predictable in the summertime with dry, sunny and warm to hot days and cool and sometimes breezy nights. The short winter months can bring about very tolerable cool daytime conditions and slightly chillier evenings. Layering is essential here, as weather can change fast! Regardless of the temperature, the sun here is intense and very strong, often feeling much hotter than the thermometer may indicate.
The most important things to remember here are to: stay hydrated, use sunscreen, and wear shielding clothing along with a hat and/or sunglasses for protection. Dehydration is not uncommon here, and if you experience any symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, flushing skin, excessive thirst, chills, weakness or fever let your guide know right away, so we can assist you with remedies that help with minor cases of the condition.
Month High / Low
January 67° / 50°
February 70° / 52°
March 76° / 55°
April 84° / 60°
May 91° / 66°
June 95° / 71°
July 96° / 74°
August 95° / 75°
September 93° / 72°
October 87° / 67°
November 78° / 59°
December 70° / 52°
Month High / Low
January 19° / 10°
February 21° / 11°
March 24° / 13°
April 29° / 16°
May 33° / 19°
June 35° / 22°
July 36° / 23°
August 35° / 24°
September 34° / 22°
October 31° / 19°
November 26° / 15°
December 21° / 11°
We know you have a lot of questions concerning access to Internet, cell phones, landlines, laundry and such. Here’s a mini-guide to the services and forms of communication that will be available to you. Additional details will be available on each of our lodgers’ websites and within your trip information materials.
These can be made rather easily but tend to be very expensive calls. In fact, we recommend using the Internet to communicate a number in Egypt that you can be reached at to the party you want to speak to and have them call you. Generally, this means much lower rates. To call a party directly out of country or overseas: dial the country code, the city code and then the phone number. International calling cards are available at various locations in major cities and also from major phone carriers like MCI and ATT.
To have someone contact you from overseas or another country they will need to: dial Egypt’s country code (+20), then the city code — Aswan is 097, Cairo is 02 and Luxor is 095, then dial the number to your hotel room or location. Local calls are generally limited to major cities, and a deposit is often required to make long distance calls from hotels. Collect calls are only possible to countries that have made certain agreements with the proper Egyptian authorities.
If you want to use your personal cell phone while in Egypt, you should contact your provider about international roaming charges, as they can be shockingly costly. If the cellular phone as a SIM card, it can often be removed upon arrival in Egypt and then replaced with a local one so you can pay far lower rates during your stay. However, for this to work the phone will need to be ‘unlocked’ by the service holder. There are also certain cellular providers here that offer travelers a Tourist Line at nominal rates that will allow you to have an Egyptian number so you can make and receive calls affordably and avoid arriving home to a startling cell phone bill.
There is free Wi-Fi at the terminals within the Cairo Airport, and there are a number of Internet cafes within the cities of Cairo, Aswan and Luxor. There will be Internet on the yacht and in most of our hotel accommodations, but the accessibility will vary for each location.
Electrical appliances and chargers, etc. from the USA and Canada will need to have an adapter with round-pronged plugs that will make them compatible with Egypt’s standard 220 volts, 50hz/cycles. There is a variety that features switches that permit users to change the power input type, so only the adapter will be necessary. For devices lacking this option a power converter is typically required, as well. If unsure, bring the converter along just for safe measure.
There will be laundry services available in our hotel accommodations. However, in locations in which we stay only one night it may be challenging to arrange to have your items returned in such a short period. Send laundry out early upon arrival on single-night locations and be sure it can be handled in time to be ready for departure with the group the next morning. We recommend using longer, two-day stays to take advantage of laundry services, which are not included in the tour price. Our Private Yacht will also have facilities for laundry, so doing laundry will not be an issue.
Certain sites of historic value may prohibit photography period, while others only request that no flash be used to preserve the site’s colors and integrity. There may be charges to take photos in museums and certain locations. However, to take video inside a site, you’ll likely need to pay a pretty hefty fee to do so. Again, use caution to not take videos or photos of military sites and always ask locals before capturing them on recording devices of any type. Money Matters in Egypt
At the time of this publication in August 2018: 1 United States Dollar equals 17.90 Egyptian Pounds (LE or Livre Egyptienne) and 1 Egyptian Pound equals .056 United States Dollars. The Egyptian pound is divided into 100 piasters, and there are 25 and 50 piaster notes and a variety of coins that go down in value to 5 piasters. The easiest currency to exchange in Egypt is the US dollar. However, Irish pounds, New Zealand dollars, Scottish pounds and several other currencies are generally not accepted in Egypt. In retrospect, you’ll find having quite a few US dollars on hand to be useful during the trip, as the locals are partial to receiving them for tips.
We generally encourage our tour group members to wait until they arrive in Egypt to exchange currency, as the rates here are often better than those in your home country. Exchange booths can be located at the Cairo Airport, at kiosks in major cities, at many hotels and at banks. ALWAYS count your money prior to leaving the window or desk after making a currency exchange. Don’t be shy about comparing exchange rates between competitors to stretch your funds even further on your trip. Change as much currency as you think you’ll need while in larger cities where rates are lower.
Using credit cards in larger cities is fairly easy, as they are generally accepted at most hotels, shops and restaurants accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Euro Cards, JCB and debit cards. However, you should note that using credit cards to exchange currency can cost you up to 25% more than it will if you use cash.
Tipping is a primary method of support for certain locals, and many residents here rely heavily (if not solely) on tips, or baksheesh, as it’s called in Egypt for their survival. Within this culture, it is customary to pay for—and tip—for a number of services that many travelers take for granted or receive for free in their home countries. For example, Egyptians pay for mail service and often for using public bathrooms. If you use any facilities, someone opens your door on a non-group quest, or takes your picture prepare to be expected to pay baksheesh by any attendants and so on. Payment and tips for these services are generally 20 Egyptian pounds or $1 US notes go over very well in Egypt concerning baksheesh.
During the course of our group outings all of your meals and non-alcoholic beverages are covered, and this includes any customary gratuities to servers. We also cover tips amid our hotel accommodations and on board the Nile cruiser to various staff. This includes our boat captain and deck hands and other staff members, hotel maids, porters, bellmen, etc. Furthermore, we also cover customary tips to guards at the various sacred sites we will be visiting. This practice also allows us to have a bit of extra leeway concerning rituals and ceremonies during the private sacred site tours we have booked.
Of course, you are free to tip extra if you feel compelled to do so or feel you have received extra accommodation or attention from service providers in any location. However, if someone tries to sell you something, request a tip for providing some service you didn’t want, or they make you feel uncomfortable, just say “No, thank you” or “La Shukria” and walk away.
As in many countries with a surplus of families living in poverty, Egypt has its fair share of beggars who are most often cute children and/or ones with obvious disabilities that will emit sympathy and open your wallets. While it is challenging to look into those eyes and ignore their open hands, there are a number of reasons to decline giving to beggars—especially children. By giving just a single beggar a handout, you’ll likely to find yourself surround by a crowd of children who will follow you around rather persistently. Furthermore, parents often keep their children out of school so they can help support the family, which means they cannot get an education which continues the cycle of poverty. Essentially, giving to child beggars can actually be doing them a disservice. We also encourage you take precautions when buying from street sellers, as some can become a bit pushy and generally will ask for a tip or handout whether you buy or not. Use your gut instincts and never hesitate to say, “No, thank you” or “La Shukria” if you aren’t interested.
It is of vital importance that you be on time (and even a bit early if possible) for all of our departure times as we travel to and from sacred sites and various cities. Just a single traveler amid the group running late can greatly inconvenience a number of people who are left waiting on a bus, train or caravan until they arrive. Arrive ready each day prepared with everything you’ll need: cash, hat, jacket, sunscreen, journal, flashlight etc.
Our tour leaders will do a headcount before taking off to account for everyone, so if you will be late or simply don’t feel up for a certain outing you’ve committed to, please let our guides know as soon as possible. Just as important as arriving on time to each site is to ensure that you have collected ALL of your belongings before we depart the space. This is because there is no way to guarantee that access can be granted to retrieve them or that our group’s transportation method will wait for you to do so.
Doaa Badawi now calls Giza home but hails from Cairo, Egypt. As a former student of travel and tourism, she has now been hosting guided Egyptian tours for nearly 20 years and has strong ties and connections amid the community. As a native Egyptian, she can assist you with all of your needs questions ranging from historical insights, etiquette, currency, health concerns, local language. Doaa is an endless source of knowledge and positive, loving energy and truly loves sharing her home country with travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind experience.
Rituals and ceremonies are strictly prohibited in sacred ceremony sites, and violations of this policy can easily result in the removal of the entire group—even if only one member was participating. These sites are sacred to the Egyptians, and they are not very welcoming of ceremonial behaviors that they don’t understand. This is understandable, as they are very protective of these sites due to their importance to their culture. To honor this, your tour includes wholly PRIVATE access to our group for a set period amid: The Great Pyramid and the Temple of Isis. During these times, our group is free to participate in ceremony and ritual.
Your tour guides may lead the group in ritual or ceremony. It’s important to stay focused on the power and beauty of these sites while taking in the profound messages these gatherings are intended to bring forth. The important thing is to listen to one another and not override other’s intentions or energies when they are sharing with others. This could interrupt the energy of the group’s intent. Staying focused allows everyone to experience the profound frequency shifts that often result from ceremony and ritual in groups amid sacred sites. Remember, an open mind and open heart along with the willingness to be an energetic receiver is a key component of our Sacred Egyptian Tours.
You and others may come to Egypt prepared with their own ceremonies or rituals they choose to perform on their own or offer to share with the group. We encourage you to have your own rituals and even to bring small offerings like stones and crystals to elevate your intentions or to connect and align various energetic and sacred places together across the world. Remember, this is your sacred pilgrimage and we hope you make the most of these experiences!
After experiencing the sacred sites and incredible energy of Egypt, many travelers return home not quite feeling ‘like themselves.’ This is for a very good reason: You simply aren’t the same person that you were when you left that you are now. You likely feel freer and feel that you have shifted in some way. You have! Your vibrations and frequency are likely much higher and this is the ideal time to continue on with your mind body spirit transformation. Resist the urge to fall back into old patterns and habits that don’t serve your higher purpose or ‘new’ self.
However, some return home and just don’t feel ‘at home’ at all anymore. Perhaps this is a good time to start purging and cleaning the home of ‘baggage’ must like you did for your mind and body while you were on the pilgrimage. We recommend that you take time to make friends among your tour group, as many lifelong connections are made on these journeys. These new friendships can help you reintegrate somewhat while still feeling the power and energy of the connections made on the trip.
A few individuals may feel the need to have a bit of space and quiet time to promote reintegration to their ‘normal’ setting, as they feel of kilter and can wonder if they’ve ‘lost it.’ It’s essential to remember that you were MEANT to make this journey, and the time was right. What this indicates is that you are going through a period of reprogramming old thoughts and beliefs and rerouting your process to lend themselves to your higher purpose. Be patient, as integration takes time after such a powerful pilgrimage.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to take time to learn a few Arabic phrases that you’ll surely find use for along your journey. While some Egyptians can speak moderate amounts of English and French, fluency can be an issue—particularly in smaller communities on the outskirts of the larger cities like Cairo. Furthermore, you’d be surprised just how much the locals appreciate visitor’s efforts to communicate in their traditional language. Consider picking up an Arabic language phrase book before your trip. Meanwhile, here are some common phrases to begin learning.
Yes — Aiwa (Ay-wa)
No — La
Please — low samaht
Thank you — shukrān
You are Welcome — afwann or marHaban
Welcome — ahlan wa sahlan
Goodbye — salaam
Peace Be Upon You (Traditional Greeting) — as salām ‘alaykum
(response to above) — wa ‘alaykum as salām — “and upon you peace”
Good luck! — hazz sa’eed
Cheers! — fee saḥitkum
I don’t understand — lā afaham
I don’t know — ma’arafsh
Excuse me (getting attention) — law samaht
Excuse me (avoiding offence) — ba`de eznak
Excuse me (begging pardon) — la mu’axza
I’m sorry — ’ana ’āsef
How much is this? — bikam da?
United States Embassy
5 Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo, Egypt
Phone: (20-2) 2797 3300
Hours: Sunday—Thursday, 8:00 a.m—12:00 noon
7 Ahmed Rageb Street
Garden City, Cairo Egypt
Phone: + 2 (02) 2791 6000
Hours: Sunday—Wednesday 8:00 a.m. — 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays 8:00 a.m—2:00 p.m
World Trade Centre (11th Floor), 1191 Corniche El-Nil Boulak (Code No. 11111)
Phone: +20 2 2770 6600
Hours: Sunday—Wednesday 08:00 a.m —4:15 p.m and Thursday 08:00 a.m—1:30 p.m.
26 Kamel El Shenawy St.
Garden City P.O. Box 1667
Phone: (011 20 2) 2791-8700
Visit the complete list of Cairo Embassies at: https://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/Egypt#3206
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