Egypt Travel Guide
Egypt Travel Guide

Interesting Facts About Egypt!

a)      Location

Egypt is a Middle Eastern country; located in North East of Africa & considered the center of the Arab world. Egypt is control of the Suez Canal, which links the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

b)     Geographical Facts

An extraordinary 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.

c)      Official Name:

" The Arab Republic of Egypt" or as known in Arabic ": Junhuriyah Misr al-Arabiya" - Egyptian People name it the easiest way "Misr" 

d)     Capital:

Cairo (the largest city in Africa)

e)     President:

Abdel Fatah El SiSi

f)       Official Language:

Arabic.

g)      Widely Spoken Languages

English, French, Nubian & Armenian 

h)     Religions:

Muslim 85%, other 15 % (mainly Coptic Christians)

i)       People:

Egyptians, Berbers, Bedouin, Hamitic Arabs and Nubians

j)       Area:

1 million sqr km

k)      Population:

94,899,254 as per latest statistics on 2017

 

l)       National Holidays:

 

m) Normal Business hours & Working Days 

Business hours:

Normally starting 09:00 am till 13:00 noontime at the governmental sections, as for the private ones; usually 9 am till 5 pm or 6 by maximum, often with a one-hour long break in the afternoon. Many shops are closed on Fridays & Saturdays, opening hours change during Ramadan Timing due fasting & Iftar time. 

Working Days:
Regularly our week in Egypt starts Sunday and ends on Thursdays; most of the time weekend is on Friday & Saturday. 
 

Entry Visa to Egypt (single & double entry):

For most of the nationalities; entry visa could be optioned upon arrival like Australians, New Zealanders, Americans, British, and Canadians & it is required.
 
Sometimes it is required to consulate your embassy for visa information. In case you are asked for a letter to guarantee that we are handling your trip, we are more than happy to issue that document within booking procedures. 
 
It is possible for many nationalities to obtain an Egyptian single entry visa upon arrival at Cairo International Airport. Currently applied cost is U$D 25.00 per person.
 
For the double entry visa; you will need to obtain this from an overseas embassy prior to arrival; bearing in mind that and a Single entry visa is not changeable to multiple entry visas upon arrival.
 
For land arrival from Israel; entry vids to Egypt 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.
 
For departing Egypt ex. Nuweiba port; you will be charged 50 – 100 Egyptian (departure tax which is subject to updates).
 
 

A copy of master Documents / Travel insurance:



 

Here is a list of the most important documents that we highly recommend you to copy & bring along: 

  •  Airline Tickets (International & domestic if issued).
  • Trip voucher (the one issued after final confirmation)
  • Detailed day by day itinerary (will be forwarded by your travel consultant)
  • Payment slip (after you settle payment you will get a confirmation receipt)
  • Copy of your insurance policy & your credit cards (make sure to keep in a safe place) 

For your travel insurance:

It is really important to get an extensive travel insurance & to make sure it is covering the medical costs related to hospitalization, emergency travel & deportation back to your home country.
 

Required information prior to arrival

  • Arrival Date - (Day – Month - Year)  
  • Arrival flight details (airline carrier, flight number, arrival timing)
  • Clear copy of your passport

 
Meet, greet & assistance at Cairo International airport

You never have to worry about this part; prior to your trip; we will provide you with an emergency number as well as the mobile phone number of the tour escort who will be meeting you at Cairo International Airport, and help you with proceeding through customs & immigration.

 How would know our escort? He knows you & previously you will get all of his contact information; he will be holding a sign with your name & the logo of Travel Link Tours!
 
He will take you to our air –conditioned vehicle just waiting for you outside the airport, followed by a transfer to your agreed hotel where he will help you or a smooth check-in; or he will meet you up with your tour guide if you are starting the trip right away.  En route you will have a small briefing about your tour.
 

Baggage & Personal Stuff


You are totally in charge of carrying your own baggage during the tours, we do advise that you use hotel safety boxes to stock any valuable belongings like cameras, money, important documents especially the passport, any gold material & money. We don't really recommend leaving that valuable stuff at your bus/ minivan during the sightseeing. Travel Link Tours shoulders no responsibility for any lost or stolen belongings.

Left behind / Luggage loss

We HIGHLY recommend upon reporting the case of missing luggage upon arrival to Egypt; as soon as you know; please let your tour leader know, he will advise the best procedures to reclaim your luggage.
 
Please take into consideration that lost/missing luggage is something between you and the airline carrier & airport authorities. The recovery of your luggage is your own responsibility at your own expenses. Meanwhile; our tour leader (s) will do their out-most to assist you through the whole process.
 
Before leaving your room, cruise; please make sure that you checked all your belongings, packed all your stuff; we recommend you have a printed copy of a checklist to follow every time you have to pack. Travel Link Tours got no accountability for any item left behind. 
 
 

About Hotels & Nile Cruises


 A.    Hotel Check in & out




For most of the hotels in Egypt, normal check- in time is 2:00 pm. Early check-in requires extra supplement & depends on availability upon check-in. 
 
According to your arrival timing to Egypt; we might need to book you an extra night to guarantee accommodation upon arrival (let us say that your flight will be arriving 2:00 am on the 25th, we have to book the night of 24th). 
 
Normal check-out time is 12:00 noontime. If you have other arrangements for late departure flight; late check out could be arranged as per availability, it requires extra cost and for few hotels, it will be calculated as one night. Subject to hotel policy (your travel consultant will guide you while booking).
 

B.    Accommodation styles in Egypt




 
Egypt offers a variety of accommodation styles starting with simple like 3* standard hotels, 4* nice and clean ones, 5* standard or luxury hotels; in addition to Boutique style & eco-lodges. According to your plans, interests, and budget, you will able to choose the style that suits you the best!
 

C.    Nile Cruises



 
Offering all the facilities that the normal 4 or 5-star hotels would do, with various accommodation categories, standard cabins, elegant royal, presidential suites. You will find lots of similarity to hotels amenities, like restaurants, swimming pools, spa treatment; gyms & libraries.  All cabins on board have large windows or balconies to relish the changing vistas of the lush green riverside.
 
Every and each day it offers a new sigh at a new destination; sailing from Luxor to Aswan or vice versa, recently the long cruise from Cairo to Luxor & Aswan has been back on operation on fixed sailing dates.
 
Typical check-in timing is 12:00 noontime; your meals starts usually with lunch & ends with breakfast on the disembarkation day.
Nile Cruise trip length expands from 3 nights up to 14; depending on your plans; travel dates & interests; Travel Link Tour expert will be very accurate with offering the suitable trip.
 

 

Flight Tickets & Train Tickets in Egypt:

 A.    International flight tickets

If you have issued your international flight ticket on your own, please make sure to send a copy, check updates and guide your travel advisor of any changes that might occur so that transfer service could be re-arranged. Please provide full details like flight carrier, flight number, ticket number, connection (if your flight is not directly to Egypt).
 

B.    Domestic Flight tickets

In case you issued your domestic flight tickets with Travel Link Tours; please make sure to keep your copy (that has been sent to you by e-mail). Flights by EgyptAir might be postponed; flight ride might be canceled & EgyptAir will offer an alternative flight. In that case, EgyptAir shoulders whole responsibility.
 
As for domestic flight tickets issued on your side; we highly recommend that you check with your travel consultant that timings are matching with your daily arrangements of sightseeing, cruise sailing schedule …etc…
 

C.     Train Tickets

Sleeper train in Egypt offers interesting rides in between Cairo, Luxor & Aswan; where you can spend the full night enjoying the sights both sides.
 
Cabins are identified to be  1st class; including 2 meals served on board (Dinner & Breakfast); if you are vegetarian, or allergic to any sort of food; make sure to notify us; we will pass this information to the train management. Sometimes there might be a shortage of the train tickets; as a solution, we can offer a flight upgrade.
 
 

Money, Cash, Credit Cards



You will need to bring appropriate funds to cover meals, optional tours, personal expenses, souvenirs, items which are listed on your included portion as well as any miscellaneous extras.
  
It is hard to tell how much exactly would you need, but recently and according to the exchange rate of the U$D against the Egyptian pound we can give an average of $15.00 & up to $ 30.00 as a guideline. If you are planning to do more shopping; we advise that you get more money coverage. 
 
You can exchange your foreign currency into local currency upon arrival at Cairo International Airport or at any of the Banks.Exchange rate might sway from time to time, so you can use the below as guideline considering that this list is updated May 2017:
 

Approx. exchange rate in Egypt 

  • £ GBP =       L.E. 23. 00
  • $ USD =       L.E. 18.00
  • € EUR =       L.E. 19.00
  • $ CAD =       L.E. 13.00
  • $ AUD =      L.E. 13.55
 
Credit Cards as well would be a good solution, most of the shops, restaurants & service suppliers especially in Cairo do accept credit card settlements. As for Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada, Sharm, and Dahab, are a little bit limited with credit card facilities. You might be charged 3 -5% extra as a credit card surcharge for any transaction. 

 

Tipping Gratitude

Due to low wages in Egypt; it is expected to tip, especially when you are really happy with the offered service(s), gratitude is known locally as ‘baksheesh’.
Most probably you will be confused about how much and in which currency to tip. Remember it always your call! as it a sign of appreciation for the services. That’s why we will provide you with a guideline of recommended quantities to give you a better idea, remember there is no maximum for the tipping.

People expect to tip in any currency (EGP, U$D)

  • Tour Escorts                                  L.E.70 - 90 per tour
  • Guides                                           L.E. 90 - 100 per day 
  • Drivers                                           L.E. 40.00 -50 per day 
  • Felucca Captain                            L.E. 40.00 – 50 per two nights (felucca adventure style)
  • Cruise Staff                                   L.E.20 per night
  • Porters & hotel staff                      L.E.5 per service – per time
 

Food, Delicious Typical Egyptian, different cuisines, juices & various drinks in Egypt 




You may wonder why Egyptian Food is becoming widely famous; stating a fact that we do arrange Food Trips to Egypt so that travelers can enjoy that unique experience of tasting the well known Egyptian dishes!!!

Basically, food in Egypt is very close to Lebanese & Turkish dishes, in addition to that; will find miscellaneous tasty cuisines "Syrian, Lebanese, Chinese, Indian, Italian & more"
 
If you are a vegetarian, you will have many choices like Rice, loaves of bread, fresh fruits and the green salad. Fresh juices shops are widely covering Cairo, Alex., Luxor & Aswan, fresh mint & lemon as well as some genuine smoothie mixtures might be a good choice especially for Summer Season.
 
McDonald's, KFC, Hardees, and similar fast food restaurants are also available, just in case you are missing being comfort at home!
 
At hotels as well as on board cruise, food is served in an open buffet style, you definitely will find your preferred choice.   You might have heard about some famous places to try; especially when it comes to Typical Egyptian food like " Sequoia overviewing the Nile in a very elegant district; Zamalek" "Akher Saa'a or the last hour, downtown Cairo" Andrea's for grills – Pyramids Area" "Thomas Pizza if you are in love with Pizza, Pasta, Burgers", Abu El Seed for very & we mean very Egyptian food like Molokhia, Mesa'aa…and other tasty dishes", The famous restaurant of "Nageeb Mahfoz". You will never run out of options.
 
If you have any food allergies, special requests or preferences, please inform your travel consultant, we will make sure to pass theses notes to the concerned parties & to fulfill your demand as much as we can. YET; we have no guarantees for the special notes.
 

Water / Tab Water / Bottled Water in Egypt 

The medical professions highly recommend that you stick to bottled water, in order to avoid gastric upsets. You will find too many quality & licensed brands like Nestle, Schweppes, Hayah, Safy, Aqua. For juice & milk bottles; just check expiry dates. For hot drinks like coffee, tea, espresso or likewise, it should not be a problem as water & milk will be boiled previously. In some spots; like Dahab, Nuweiba & Taba,  tab water is not really recommended as it is a little bit salty 


Public Toilets / Egypt 

We don't advise using public toilets at all; if you have no other choices, so please keep your wipes, small piece of soap & a solid cleanser like Dettol or similar and clean it carefully before usage, or you get disposable toilet covers at any markets (Carrefour, Metro Market, Saudi...etc.). Alternatively; you can use toilets at any restaurant en route (if available). As for hotels / Nile cruises, it is Western style toilets with toilet paper. 


Transportation in Egypt

To get along with this type of transportation you might need a little of Arabic words! As for sort of transportation available in Egypt; let us sum it up for you:

1-     Underground metro system:


The only subway system in Egypt, almost covered by 60 up to 70 stations, it costs 2 EGP per ticket, there are private cars only for women usage. Most of the time it is so crowded.
Especially when it comes to the heavy traffic hours like 1 pm to 5 pm.

2-     Public Buses:


There has been a notable growth during the last couple of years, where a numerous number of buses are serving many destinations inside and outside Cairo.
Bus ticket inside Cairo might sway between 2.50 L.E. & up to 5 L.E. per person. Most of the carries a number and the destination from/to is written on the top of a
clear card stuck to the front & side of the bus itself, off course it is written in Arabic. Public buses are available as well in between cities like from Cairo to Sharm, -
Hurghada , even Luxor & Aswan. You may find the private ones known under the name of super jet good to use!

3-      Taxi, Caps:


If you are moving inside Cairo, Giza, Alex, on your own we really recommend using caps, your will find the white ones, process here is pretty Egypt just wave,
tell the driver your distention; make sure that his car counter is turned on; because it counts what you should pay by the end of each ride.

One of the recently launched projects in Egypt is "Careem" & "Uber" cars, where you can simply download an application to your mobile phone,
confirm your location and the nearest driver will be at your place within maximum 10 minutes, it gives you the rate per KM, if it is a rush hour rate might
be calculated like 2.5 multiple to the original rate; still you have the choice to accept or refuse to complete the request.  It has too many advantages like
air-conditioned cars, well-educated, drivers, moreover; you can get a promo code for free rides. 

4-      Railway Rides:

Either sitting train or sleeper train, it serves too many cities, Cairo to Luxor, Aswan, Alex. And vice versa. For the 1st class sleeper trains; its compartments
are good enough to spend the night till you reach Aswan or Luxor; serving dinner & breakfast meals on board.

5-     An Exciting piece of news!!!:

Uber launched "An Uber Boat" escaping the heavy traffic through Egypt and making its own way through the mighty Nile River. So far there will be like 7 docks; a set price of L.E. 80 per ride & it takes up to 4 adults. It is a real saving for time & we consider it an exceptional adventure!