I’ve had Egypt on my Bucket List since before I knew to call it a bucket list. I would like to go to this amazing country in 2022, as my 2021 is just about booked up. Because of COVID-19, quite a few of my 2020 trips have been postponed to 2021. So, if I want to take a “big” trip to cross something off of my ever-expanding Bucket List, it’s going to have to wait until the first few months of 2022. If I’m not planning on going until 2022, you may ask, why are you doing the research now? The answer is simply, by booking early, you are sure to get exactly what you want, instead of just having to take what’s left. I haven’t quite decided how I’ll travel to Egypt, but I do know that I want to be on some sort of guided tour. I don’t speak Arabic at all. I have a very small understanding of French, and with my very thick southern accent, I just don’t want to try and navigate a country that is absolutely & completely foreign to me. So, if I go by tour, which seems the easiest and less stressful way to visit Egypt, I’ll need to book as early as possible. Most tour companies run their tours with about 40 guests. AmaWaterways’ AmaDahlia only holds 68 people…so, you can see availability will be limited.
FUN FACTS ABOUT EGYPT:
- Capital of Egypt is Cairo
- Population is 100 Million
- Currency: Egyptian Pound (LE)
- Language: Arabic
- Time Zone EST plus 7 hours
- Electricity: 220V. 50Hz
- Ancient Egyptians used cosmetics as far back as 5,000 years ago
- Egyptians were among the very first people to invent writing, along with ink & paper
- The earliest known wine cellars have been discovered in Egypt.
- Egyptians are known to have invented the 365-day calendar and the 24-hour division of the day
- A visa for your visit to Egypt is necessary for US citizens. If you hold a passport from another country, check with your local consulate about requirements for travel to Egypt.
The land of the pharaoh and the cradle of civilization dates back more than 5,000 years, a unique combination of mystery and beauty. Throughout the centuries, the culture of ancient Egypt has fascinated the whole world. Some of the greatest monuments in the history of mankind are found here: the temples at Karnak and Luxor, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, and the only survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the
Situated in northeast Africa, Egypt is at the junction of the land routes joining Africa to the Near and Middle East. It covers an area of approximately 386,000 square miles with a population of about 100 million people. Egyptian weather is gloriously sunny year round with star-studded night skies. Its people are very proud of their ex-president and unforgettable hero Anwar Sadat, who won the Nobel Prize for peace. The novelist
Naquib Mahfouz won the 1988 Nobel Prize for literature. Egypt is the principal filmmaking country in the Arab world.
Egypt offers a variety of cuisine—from international to spicy Middle-Eastern recipes—and memorable highlights. Imagine a camel ride in the desert to enjoy the “Heat of Egypt” or a felucca ride on the Nile. It is one of the best places to shop for cotton clothing, gold and silver jewelry, handmade carpets, perfumes, and, of course, papyrus.
BUDGETING AND SHOPPING
The following budget guidelines are just approximate values or starting values for meals and are per person. Actual prices will vary widely by restaurant and city within a country but below are some averages.
● The approximate cost of a soft drink/mineral water/coffee is 9-15 LE.
● An average lunch consisting of a salad or sandwich and a soda or water starts at approximately 55 LE.
● Dinner at a mid-range restaurant with dessert and a non-alcoholic beverage starts at
approximately 85 LE.
Shopping specialties: pottery, blown glass, jewelry, papyrus, carpets, leather goods and basketware. Prices in market shops and souks are usually not fixed and you are expected to bargain with the vendor — all part of the fun of Egypt!
Counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available; be aware that under local law transactions involving such products may be illegal, and bringing them home may result in confiscation and fines.
In Egypt, it is common for all service personnel to ask for a tip for any service or help offered (“baksheesh”). It is recommended you tip a small amount unless you feel service was very bad.
● Restaurants in Egypt add a service charge to the bill. However, it is common to add an additional tip on top of that (12% is usually an acceptable amount). Tips should be left in cash and not added to the credit card payment.
● For taxis, round up fares to the nearest figure on the meter. It is best to negotiate the fare in advance to avoid being overcharged at your destination.
● For hotel staff, a tip of 10 LE for doormen and room service is usually acceptable.
● Restroom attendants expect a small gratuity as well. 3 LE is a common tip.
CUSTOMS & CULTURE:
Visitors are advised to dress and behave conservatively, consistent with local custom and sensitivities (women should be seen with a companion to avoid unwelcome attention). Women should be aware that sitting in the front passenger seat of a taxi could be misinterpreted by the driver. During Ramadan, discretion should be exercised between sunrise and sunset by not eating, drinking or smoking in public. Flash photography is prohibited at museums and tombs. Video filming, where allowed, will usually incur
A FEW WORDS OF THE LOCAL LANGUAGE:
Arabic (pronounced as):
Good morning: Sabah el khair, Good evening: Masaa el khair, Thank you: Shokrun, Please: Men Fadluck, Yes: Aiwa, No: La, Excuse me: Asif, Do you speak English?: Be’tetkalem englizi?, I don’t understand: Ana mosh fahem, Please write it down: Ekteb hali men fadlak, How much is this?: Bikam dah?, 1: Wahed, 2: Ethnein, 3: Thalàtha, 4: Arba’a, 5: Hamsà, 6: Seta, 7: Seba’a, 8: Thamània, 9: Tesa’a, 10: Ash’ra, 20: Eshreen, 30: Thalatheen, 40: Arbae’en, 50: Hamseen, 60: Seteen, 70: Sabèen, 80; Thamanen, 90: Tesa’een, 100: May’a, 150: May’a u hamseen, 200: Metein, Where is…?: Fain…?, Telephone: Telephone, Bathroom: Hammam, Bottled water: Maya maadaneya, Tea: Shaay, Coffee: Ahwa, Goodbye: Ma’a Salama
I hope this has been a good introduction to travels in Egypt…I’m definitely excited about the prospect of visiting this mysterious country. If you would like to read more about traveling to Egypt with Adventures by Disney, AmaWaterways or Globus Tours, just click the links and if you have any questions, would like a quote, or would like to book your Egyptian holiday, give me a shout!