Though one of the richest countries with the history of a great civilization and god-sized remnants of its legacy to our world, Egypt offers a mixed intellectual and emotional experience to its visitors.
Anyone who wants to visit Egypt on his/her own without booking on a large tour group in the USA or any European country, keep in mind that going to see the Pyramids and massive temples of ancient Egyptian civilization will be both overwhelming and yet an unforgettable experience.
Planning a Trip to Egypt
- An ideal tour for about a week will hit the highlights of: the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, a short train ride to Aswan and then jump on a 3-day Nile cruise boat stopping at Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings and massive temples, Edfu to see more temples and enjoy the scenery along the Nile, then back to Cairo for a short city tour.
- It is highly recommended that travelers, especially single females, book a tour of some kind. There are a number of tour companies within Egypt if you don’t want to go through a travel agency in your home country. One warning to keep in mind, if you look for a domestic Egyptian tour company, is that most tour guides are contracted to these local companies, but certified by the Egyptian government as guides. Most are trying to branch out on their own in hopes of going private or start their own tour company as a more profitable career option. Thus, they may offer you business cards and extra options on your tour as a side way to make a few extra bucks. As a single traveler, be very cautious of these so-called “freebies”.
- If at all possible, small group or single travelers should try to be a part of a larger tour group. Traveling alone can have its benefits with a private driver and tour guide to most sights, but the intellectual overload of trying to keep all the varied historical stories straight after a couple of days can be wearing on a poor traveler.
- If you do book a Nile river cruise, check to make sure that the other passengers will speak your language. It’s an interesting experience to be the only English-speaker on an all French-speaking boat for three days with no one to converse with other than the ship staff.
- Getting around is reasonably easy if you have a tour guide, who usually works with a driver. Traffic is unruly as driving seems to be a game of survival-of-the-fittest with horn-honking, light flashing and mad-dashing as the main forms of progressing on the bumpy roads. Therefore, be prepared for a bit of culture shock when you hit the roads, especially in Cairo.
How to Get to Egypt
As long as you plan ahead and are prepared for being regularly approached to give money or your business to tour guides, vendors, or the man on the street, a visit to Egypt is definitely worth it.