Below you will find important information about booking travel to Egypt, transportation, what to bring, and much more.
PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS
Non-Egyptian visitors arriving in Egypt are required to be in possession of a valid passport. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months from return date of travel.
Entry visas can be obtained from the Egyptian Consulate in your country however, visitors from many countries may obtain an entry visa upon arrival in Egypt. Upon entering the airport in Egypt proceed to the bank tellers and ask for an entry visa (approx $60 USD). Once you have this stamp on your passport you may proceed to Passport Control. Your visa is valid for 30 days.
Please check with your nearest Egyptian Consulate for more details concerning visa regulations applying to your citizenship if you are not a holder of an American or Canadian passport or passport from the United Kingdom.
It is important to book travel as soon as possible. October is peak-season and best flight times will sell out
Delegate Gathering: We recommend arriving at the Cairo International Airport no later than 2pm on October 1st as Orientation will commence at 4pm at Le Meridien.
Checkout is on the morning of October 8th so we suggest booking your departing flight that day.
Path of the Nile: We recommend arriving at the Cairo International Airport no later than 2pm on October 8th as Orientation will commence at 4pm at Le Meridien.
Checkout from Mena House is on the morning of October 17th so we suggest booking your departing flight that day.
For those attending Path of the Nile, we will book your domestic flights from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan to Cairo. Please bear in mind that only 1 checked bag and a small carry-on is allowed on domestic flights within Egypt. Please pack accordingly.
Please make sure to send us your travel details as soon as you have them so that we can arrange your transportation. A few days after you register for the Delegate Gathering you will receive and email with the subject "IMPORTANT: Travel Details". As soon as you book your travel, please click the link in this email and enter your flight information. Make sure to save this email so that if your travel or registration details change, you can return to the form and update your information.
If you book a flight that arrives a day early, or leaves a day later, you are welcome to book an additional night at Le Meridien or Mena House (for Path of the Nile late departure) directly through the hotel. We will do our best to see that you are able to stay in the same room that you will be in during the event, as long as you book the same room type that you reserved with us.
We will provide transportation to and from the Cairo airport as well as assistance through customs, regardless of the time or day that you arrive or depart.
In order to arrange your pick up and drop off, we will need your flight information. A few days after you register for the Delegate Gathering you will receive and email with the subject Travel Details. As soon as you book your travel, please click the link in this email and enter your flight information. Make sure to save this email so that if your travel or registration details change, you can return to the form and update your information.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
For those attending Path of the Nile, please bear in mind that only 1 checked bag and a small carry-on is allowed on domestic flights within Egypt. Please pack accordingly.
We suggest that you may want to bring the following items with you on your journey:
- Hat/head covering for the sun
- Sun block
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Travel alarm
- Personal toiletries
- Small bag/pack for daytime sightseeing
- Sewing Kit
- Power adapters – Egypt uses 220 volts, and you can use the same two prong Plug Adapterused throughout most of Europe. Many appliances, such as hair dryers and curling irons usually require a Plug Adapter and a Voltage Converter. Some appliances and/or electronics, such as laptops and many battery chargers only require the plug adapter. Please check your appliances directly for their specific requirements.
- Medications – you should bring adequate medication for your entire trip with a prescription slip or doctor’s letter explaining why you need this medicine in case you need further medication.
- Journal and/or Note Pad
- Snack items, such as energy bars, dried fruit or nuts and/or special dietary items.
- Water bottle with a sprayer and/or with a battery-operated fan attached, if you are sensitive to the warmer weather, especially during the summer months (May-September)
- An Extra (collapsible) Bag- if you plan to do any shopping. A bag, preferably soft, which can be crunched up and carried into Egypt in another bag will be handy for most people.
- No Jet Lag—a homeopathic remedy that can help assuage the effects of jet lag from long flights.
Egypt is very safe to travel to and tourist safety is a priority for the government. You should take normal safety precautions, the same as you would when traveling to any other country. Be mindful of your bags, your money and your passport and never leave your bags or your belongings unattended. You will see a strong government security presence whilst traveling in Egypt. This does not reflect anything other than the Egyptian government’s commitment to the safety and protection of visitors. As well, we will be be accompanied by escorts provided by Khemit School on all of our excursions. The Khemit School has a long and well-established track record of highly successful and safe tours.
It is always sunny in Egypt! Well…almost always! It only rains on rare occasions, and mostly during the winter months.
Egypt does experience seasonal changes in temperature, and wind conditions. You can consult this link for updates on current weather conditions: http://www.weatherforecastmap.com/egypt/
Dress comfortably, loose cotton clothes are preferable – t-shirt, cotton pullover and cotton trousers, track pants or baggy jeans. Dress code is mostly casual, but you may want to bring something dressier for evenings if you wish. Bring a jacket or a warm sweater for the cooler evenings. During the winter months it is cooler during the day, and much chillier in the evening. Layering of clothing is suggested for your daily wear. Please be sure to bring comfortable flat shoes for daytime, preferably with closed-in toes for walking through sand and stones on the Giza Plateau, and at the temples. Sneakers and socks are a good choice for our desert treks.
Egypt is primarily Muslim country and we recommend that you dress conservatively when outside the hotels, cruise boat and swimming pool areas. Revealing clothing such as short shorts, or very low necklines on clothing worn by women can be highly frowned upon and invite unwanted attention.
US dollars, Euros and Sterling are all accepted forms of currency at many venues. You will need to convert some money into Egyptian Pounds. It is best to wait until you arrive in Egypt to convert your money, as the exchange rates are much better here than in most other countries. This can be achieved upon arrival at the airport, at most hotels, and at banks and exchange vendors that can be found throughout all main towns and cities. Please note that many shops in Egypt do not accept credit cards.
We also suggest that you carry a supply of US dollar bills, or Egyptian 1 LE notes or coins for tipping.
For up to date currency rates visit: http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/africa/egypt/currency/index.htm
Arabic is the official language in Egypt. Egyptians have an amazing ear for languages and most people who come into contact with tourists will speak English and/or several other languages.
If your mobile is equipped with ‘roaming’ then you will have no problem using it in Egypt, however please note that international calls are expensive. If you feel you will need to make a large number of phone calls, either local or international, while you are in Egypt, it is best to purchase a local Egyptian SIM card from a Vodafone, Mobinil or Etisalat shop upon arrival in Egypt. You can then use your phone just as you would a pre-paid phone. To do this you must ensure your mobile is ‘unlocked’ and this must be done from your home country. Recharge cards are easily available. Please remember to bring your phone charger with you and an adapter.
WIFI is available in most hotels. However, it is often unreliable and generally only accessible in the lobby. If you require an internet connection during your stay, we recommend purchasing a SIM card and using your phone as hotspot. SIM cards with pre-paid data plans can be purchased upon arrival at one of the airport kiosks for about $30 USD. Please check with your carrier to make sure that your phone is unlocked and compatible with an international SIM card. Alternatively your carrier may offer international data plans that will accommodate your usage needs without the need for a SIM card.
Internet Flash Drives (obtained through mobile phone companies) loaded with up to 12 GB of uploading and downloading space are available for $50.00 USD.
FOOD & WATER
Drink only well-sealed bottles of bought water – Although Egypt’s tap water is officially safe to drink, it is often heavily chlorinated, and the change in water content alone can be enough to upset a sensitive stomach. Avoid drinks with ice cubes. Hotels and restaurants serve a variety of Egyptian and Western dishes with plenty of vegetarian options. Food is generally safe to eat, and is usually of a good quality. It is also suggested that you do not eat unpeeled fruit or vegetables when you are not eating at a hotel or tourist friendly venues during the first few days. You may want to bring along your own remedies for stomach ailments such as Imodium—and/or natural remedies like raw ginger, or ginger tea.
Bottled water will be provided on all excursions.
No inoculations are necessary when arriving in Egypt. Consult with your health care provider before traveling. For further information regarding vaccinations please visit this website: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/egypt.htm
LOW MOBILITY PARTICIPANTS
Site visits will generally involve a fair bit of walking and standing. For those who are concerned about the physical requirements of the excursions due to mobility or health concerns, we may be able to take tired Delegates back to the hotel or boat. If a shuttle vehicle is not available, you will be welcome to return to the bus and wait for the rest of the group. As well Delegates will be briefed each night about the level of difficulty of the upcoming day's excursion. You are always welcome to opt-out of site visits.
As Egypt is a Muslim country, alcohol is not widely available. However, to cater to tourists it is available in most hotels and on cruise boats. They offer both local and international brands. It is also permitted for you to bring your duty-free allowance into Egypt. If you have additional requirements, please ask for assistance.
Tipping is a part of life in Egypt. Salaries are very low so most workers rely on tips to increase their earnings. As in most countries, tipping should be given for a service that you are happy with. As a guideline, you should give small but regular tips of up to 20 LE (Egyptian Pound) or 2.00 USD to cleaners, bell boys etc. For waiters, drivers etc, typically receive about 15%. It is customary to tip the cruise crew as well. Toilet Facilities throughout Egypt will suggest or even require a 1-3 Egyptian LE Tip to the attendants. Tips for our motor coach drivers and cruise staff are normally included in your tour fee. Follow your own guidance for tipping if you feel that you received special service from anyone along your journey.
Popular shopping and gift items in Egypt are papyrus, statues and items made from marble, basalt and alabaster, perfumes & oils, spices, musical instruments, scarves and gallabeyas, gold and silver and of course – Egyptian cotton! Although bargaining is a common practice here, we recommend that you have a fair price in mind when you see an item that you like and stay within what you decide is a fair price range. Please ask for assistance when you are unsure!
It is recommended for you to have travel insurance. Please check your policy thoroughly to ensure it will cover all activities you may wish to do during your holiday.