Egypt & Jordan Caravan Trip Notes
Trip code: GEEJ
Trip valid from: 01/01/2012
Trip valid until: 30/06/2013
Trip length: 15 days
Trip starts in: Cairo
Trip ends in: Amman
Maximum group size: 16
- Nile Cruise
- Edfu And Komombo Temples
- Luxor's Open Air Museum
- Abu Simbel
- Cairo Museum
- Nubean Aswan
- Sunrise On Mt Sinai
- The Valley Of The Kings
- Jordan's Capital Amman
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cairo
- Wadi Rum's Red Earth Desertscapes
- UNESCO World Heritage-listed Petra
- Red Sea Resort Of Aqaba
- 2000 Year-old Ruins Of Jerash
Cairo is a city that pulsates with a daytime population of over 20 million people. We explore the ancient pyramids and Sphinx before heading south into the Nile Valley, where we visit the awesome temples at Abu Simbel before boarding our riverboat for a relaxing cruise to Luxor – a great way to observe everyday life.
Our Nile riverboat has a great on-board atmosphere, with airconditioned cabins – each with their own private shower and toilet. In addition there is a comfortable restaurant, where all meals are served, and a rooftop bar. The spacious top deck is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing, with a large shaded area and refreshing showers.
We then head across the Sinai to Jordan. For anyone wanting to experience the highlights of the Middle East, Jordan is a ‘must’. The people are extremely friendly, the food is excellent, and the monuments are among the best in the region. While Petra is undoubtedly the ‘jewel in the crown’, Jordan also boasts a fine crusader castle at Shobak and an outstanding Roman city at Jerash.
CairoYour trip starts today in Cairo. No activities are planned so you may arrive at any time. Rooms are generally available after 1.00 pm. If you have not pre-booked an arrival transfer you will find taxis available on arrival at Cairo Airport. Make sure you agree the price before you set off into town! Your tour guide may make contact tonight, otherwise you will see him tomorrow morning at the tour briefing, which usually takes place after breakfast.
Cairo-AswanCairo is the ‘Mother’ of all cities, a massive, sprawling metropolis of some 16 million people. Our first stop today is the celebrated Egyptian Museum, where our local site guide explains the history and mysteries of Ancient Egypt. We see the golden mask of King Tutankhamun, and numerous other treasures and later we drive out to the edge of the desert to explore the pyramids and the nearby Sphinx. We also visit the beautiful Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren), a superb example of Old Kingdom engineering. In the evening we are transferred to the station for the night train to Aswan. Our air-conditioned carriage has large, comfortable seats (similar to business class seats on a ‘plane) that recline to about 45°. There is a toilet located at the end of the carriage. Dinner will be taken at the hotel prior to departure. (B, D)
AswanOn arrival in Aswan we collect our breakfast boxes and head to our hotel where we can relax for a while. Later we head out to explore the Nubian bazaar - a long and colourful street that snakes through the centre of town. Another option is a visit to the stunning Temple of Isis at Philae Island. After a break for lunch we might decide to head out on a felucca sailboat and then take a camel ride towards the Monastery of St. Simeon - a great way to spend the afternoon! (B)
Abu Simbel-Nile CruiseRising early we travel by road to Abu Simbel, one of the most impressive temples ever built and one of the highlights of our visit to Egypt. We follow the shores of Lake Nasser and generally arrive at the temple just after sunrise, a perfect time for photographs. We enjoy a tour of the site and later return to Aswan, arriving around midday, where we board our Nile Cruise boat. After lunch the rest of the day is free to sleep or relax on the sundeck. (B, L, D)
Nile CruiseCruising along the Nile is a magical experience, sitting on the sundeck, watching timeless scenes as we glide over the dark waters. We stop at Komombo to visit the Temple of Sobek, a Greco-Roman temple that overlooks the river, and at Edfu we explore the well-preserved Temple of Horus, considered one of the finest examples of temple construction. All meals are served in the comfortable dining room, and on one evening we enjoy an impromptu fancy-dress party, which is always great fun. On arrival in Luxor we take horse-drawn carriages to the massive complex at Karnak, built over a period of some 2000 years, and one of the greatest temples ever constructed. (2B, 2L, 2D)
LuxorWe rise early to cross the Nile, where our donkeys are waiting to take us into the Valley of the Kings. After matching up the donkeys to our riders we head off, just as the sun begins to rise in the eastern skies. It’s a great experience and one of the highlights of our visit to Egypt. We return to the east bank where the afternoon is free to explore the bazaar. In the evening we take the overnight recliner train back to Cairo, with dinner served on board. (B, D)
CairoArriving back in Cairo we are transferred to our hotel and the rest of the day is free to explore. In the older part of the city there is a lot to see, including some beautiful old mosques and, of course, the fantastic Khan al-Khalili bazaar – an amazing mix of shops and stalls that have traded goods and gossip since the Middle Ages. There’s time for everything and our tour guide can help organise taxis: but be prepared to bargain! (B)
Cairo-Mt. SinaiThe Sinai is an untamed wilderness of immense beauty, with jagged pink granite mountains punching up into clear blue skies. We drive east from Cairo, and spend the night in a simple bungalow style hotel near Mt. Sinai. The hotel is in a beautiful location and very close to the start point for our hike tomorrow. (B, D)
Mt. Sinai-AqabaThose wishing to ascend Mt. Sinai (2285 m) to watch the sun rise over the peninsula will be woken up between 2.00am and 3.00am (depending on the season). It is a fairly steep climb (with stairs all the way) and most people take about two and a half to three hours to reach the summit. We take it easy, with plenty of rest stops, and our aim is to reach the top in time to watch the sun rise over the southern end of the peninsula - a magical experience! We then continue to Nuweiba, where we farewell our Egyptian leader before boarding the hydrofoil to Aqaba. On arrival in Aqaba we meet our Jordanian guide/leader and drive to our hotel, located just near the beachfront. Note that, during the winter months (Oct-Mar) it can be very cold on Mt Sinai, so you should bring thermals and a fleece. (B)
Aqaba-Wadi Rum-PetraFor many people, Wadi Rum represents everything that a desert should be. It’s a magical place where weathered sandstone mountains rise out of pink-coloured sands. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) spent a fair bit of time here, and the region is also home to the famous Desert Police, who can sometimes be seen riding camels and wearing their long-flowing robes and headdresses. We enjoy a fantastic jeep tour into the desert and later we continue our journey to Petra. (B)
PetraWe spend much of the day exploring the many wonders of this ancient city, founded more than 2000 years ago as a temporary refuge for nomadic Arabs and Bedouin. We enter through the narrow ‘siq’ and visit the numerous tombs, temples and public buildings - as well as the impressive rock-hewn amphitheatre. It's a really interesting day, but a tiring one, and at the conclusion we can enjoy an optional Turkish Bath at our hotel - a great way to end the day. (B)
Petra-Kings Highway-AmmanWe follow the ancient Kings Highway, a road that dates back to the Old Testament, and beyond. We reach Dana, where we have time to stroll though the ancient village. Recent finds have revealed evidence of Paleolithic, Egyptian, Edomite, Assyrian, Nabataean and Roman civilisations. While here we can visit the craft centre to purchase attractive locally-made silver jewellery and charms. Continuing our journey, we reach the splendid crusader castle at Shobak, originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before falling to Saladin in 1189. Further on, at Madaba, we visit the Greek Orthodox church of St. George, which houses a 6th century mosaic map depicting the old city of Jerusalem. We arrive in the lively city of Amman, where we check in to our hotel before heading out 'on the town'. (B)
JerashThe Roman city of Jerash is in a fine state of preservation. Founded in the time of Alexander the Great, it had become a centre of considerable importance by the 3rd century AD. Today it is one of the grandest ancient cities in the world, with an imposing collection of archways, theatres, baths and colonnaded streets. We enjoy a morning tour and the afternoon is free for an optional excursion to the Dead Sea, or to explore Amman further. (B)
AmmanYour trip ends today, after breakfast. Check-out time is usually around 12.00 noon and you are free to leave at any time. Additional accommodation can be pre-booked if you wish to spend more time exploring Amman. (B)
Itinerary VariationWhile the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Whether you’re taking in man’s greatest works at places like Petra or Angkor Wat, experiencing grand set-pieces like the Trans-Mongolian Railway or trying your hand at regional specialities like tango in Buenos Aires, getting to grips with local cultures is what travel’s all about. A few tips from a guide and a sense of adventure are pretty much all you need. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get the lowdown on high Tibet among Lhasa’s magisterial temples; follow up Delhi’s eye-popping bustle with a fix of its fiery food; and mix manic markets and Incan masterpieces in Peru.
Maybe you’re after a ramble through Morocco’s Dades Gorge, or a stroll in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands. Or perhaps something more energetic, a hike in South Africa’s spectacular Drakensberg Mountains or along a stretch of China’s Great Wall. Whatever you want, the same principles apply: keep it simple, and slow it down. Stretching the legs is a great way to discover somewhere, whether a city’s downtown or remote countryside. You quickly get into the feel for how life’s lived, the local rhythm of where you’re travelling. And there’s no better way of meeting locals – take a walk through African plains or South American valleys and you’ll soon be trying to hurdle language barriers with friendly villagers and farmers.
Some people find the ascent of Mt. Sinai quite arduous. There are steps all the way but for most of the time you will be walking in darkness. A torch is necessary (preferably a head-torch) and a decent pair of shoes is recommended. It takes a couple of hours to reach the top.
• Gecko’s expert English-speaking local tour guides throughout the tour, and professional local site guides at some sites.
• Sightseeing (including entrance fees where applicable): Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, pyramids, Sphinx and Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren); Komombo; Edfu; ancient village of Dana; crusader castle at Shobak; Greek Orthodox church of St. George at Madaba; and Roman city of Jerash.
• 3 night Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor. Accommodation onboard Gecko’s comfortable vessel and sightseeing stops along the way.
• Visit to Abu Simbel.
• Horse-drawn carriage ride to explore the complex at Karnak.
• Donkey ride to explore the Valley of the Kings.
• Jeep safari in the Wadi Rum.
• Full day exploring Petra’s old Roman road, amphitheatre, tombs and the ‘Monastery’.
• Ascent of Mt Sinai.
• Free time to explore Aswan, Luxor, Cairo, Aqaba and Amman.
• Overnight sleeper trains from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor to Cairo. Accommodation in an air-conditioned carriage with comfortable seats (that recline back at about 45 degrees), with a simple dinner and breakfast served on board.
International flights, arrival & departure transfers, visas, airport taxes, additional meals, drinks, optional sightseeing tours, insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.
14 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 6 dinners
3 nights Riverboat,2 nights Overnight train,1 night Hostel,8 nights Hotel
Single room supplementMost of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.
Horse-drawn carriages,Hydrofoil,Jeep,Overnight train,Private bus,Riverboat
*prices below are guide onlyAswan - Camel Ride (1 hour)
- - Approx EGP75 pp (based on 4 people)
- - Approx EGP25 (based 4 people)
- - Approx EGP40 pp (min 4 pax)
- - Approx EGP50 pp
- - Approx EGP50 pp
- - Approx EGP150 (based on 4 people - includes entrance fee)
- - Approx EGP50 pp but prices may vary locally
- - Approx EGP35 pp
- - Approx EGP100 pp
- Half day tour with lunch - Approx US$90 (depending on numbers)
- - US$105 pp
- - Approx EGP100 pp
- - Approx EGP70pp
- - Approx EGP50 pp
- - Approx EGP100 pp
- - US$21
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Imaginative Traveller & Gecko's Adventures This trip is operated by our partner company, Gecko's Adventures. Gecko's is an Australia based company with more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a code shared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Gecko's travellers on your trip.
Last updated: 08/05/2012