Egypt & Jordan Experience Trip Notes

Travel through Egypt and Jordan on an adventure that departs from Cairo. See the Pyramids of Giza, head out on a Nile River Cruise from Luxor, view Mt Sinai and explore the ancient city of Petra before finishing up in Amman.

    • 17
    • XLKE
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $3,105
      CAD $3,205
      AUD $3,145
      EUR €2,160
      GBP £1,815
      NZD $3,500
      ZAR R31,440
      CHF FR2,615
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    • Explorer
    • Comfort
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Print Version
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2014
Egypt & Jordan Experience
Trip code: XLKE
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2015
Make like Arabian merchants of old and embark on a Middle Eastern expedition from the chaotic streets of Cairo to the steadied atmosphere of Amman. Wander around the legendary Pyramids of Giza, unravel the mystery of the Sphinx and set off down river on a Nile felucca cruise. Weave a course through the ancient caravan route town of Aswan, soak up some rays on Dahab's golden sands and trek to the top of much fabled Mt Sinai. Then cross the Gulf of Aqaba into Jordan, witness the dramatic desert landscapes of Wadi Rum and be awed by the temples of Petra. Far more than simply a sparse region of sand, pyramids and camels, this trip delves into the cultures of these ancient and enigmatic nations.
ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY
Due to the increased unrest in the Sinai area we have been liaising with our local operations team in Cairo to ensure the safety of our passengers currently travelling or due to travel on trips to Egypt. With this in mind we have decided to re-route all passengers to avoid this area.
All departures will be running on the below alternative itinerary until 31 December 2014
Day 1 -2 Cairo
Day 3 Luxor
Day 4-5 Nile Cruise
Day 6-7 Aswan
Day 8-9 Cairo -Amman
Day 10-11 Amman - Aqaba
Day 12 Wadi Rum
Day 13-14 Petra
Day 15-Shobak - Dana - Madaba
Day 16 Jerash/Dead Sea
Day 17 Amman
Please ask your booking agent for detailed trip notes.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesVisas
ThemesGroup sizeIssues on your trip
MapYour fellow travellersWhat to take
ItineraryAccommodationHealth
We also recommendMealsSafety
Itinerary disclaimerTransportTravel insurance
Culture shock rating Alternate Joining point Responsible Travel
Physical ratingArrival complicationsA couple of rules
Money ExchangeFinish point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyEmergency contactCarbon offset
TippingEmergency fundsFeedback
Style
Comfort
  • Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Themes
Explorer
Map
Egypt & Jordan Experience
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Cairo
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt.
You'll be met on arrival at Cairo airport and transferred to our hotel. Complimentary transfers are only applicable if you arrive on Day 1 of your Intrepid trip or you're going to pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. Please advise flight arrival details (flight number and time) at least 14 days prior to departure if you wish to have this transfer provided.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
There are plenty of things to see and do with free time in Cairo. Travel along the river by felucca, head out to explore the markets or If the crowds and the noise of the city are too much, catch the metro into the oldest part of the city, the Coptic Christian sector - with its narrow cobbled streets and ancient churches, it's a haven of peace and quiet.
On day 2 we head off to the Egyptian Museum after breakfast
With thousands of exhibits, it's easy to lose yourself in the Egyptian Museum's many corridors - but don't miss the Tutankhamun rooms, where the famous golden death mask of King Tut and his gilded sarcophagi are displayed.
You will have some free time to explore the museum before a private van takes us to Giza, location of the Pyramids and the Sphinx.
Please note that you'll be required to walk around the Pyramids complex. It can be very hot in the summer months so be prepared for some hot and sweaty walking with little relief. Don't forget to take some water with you.
Travel to Aswan aboard a sleeper train with fold-out beds (approx 13 hrs). The two-berth cabins are comfortable and air-conditioned. All bedding is provided onboard by the porter. Western-style toilets are located in each carriage, but as toilet paper isn't always available it's advised to carry some of your own. Keep in mind general train cleanliness may not be to the same standards you are accustomed to. An included dinner and breakfast are served on board. You may want to purchase something extra beforehand to supplement your meal, particularly if you're a vegetarian as only a single type of meal is served for dinner, which always includes meat. In rare circumstances you may be paired in your cabin with a group member of the opposite sex, depending on the group configuration. On other occasions you might have the opportunity to share with another traveller of the same sex who may not be part of our group, again determined by the group configuration.
Included Activities
  • Egyptian Museum
Accommodation
Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Day 3 Luxor
After an early breakfast on board our train pulls up in Luxor.
From the spectacular temple complex of Karnak to the Valley of the Kings, Luxor is full of wonderfully preserved reminders of the Pharaohs.
We transfer to our Nile Cruise boat, our home for the next four nights.
Later in the day we take horse-drawn carriages to Karnak - one of the world’s most celebrated temple complexes, built over a period of some 200 years. Our guided tour of the temple reveals the complex’s finest sections. For the rest of the afternoon and evening we are free to relax, shop in the bazaar (open until quite late) or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.
Included Activities
  • Karnak Temple
Accommodation
Nile Cruise Ship (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Nile Cruise
Rising early, we will cross the Nile and drive to the secluded valley where 63 Pharaohs were buried as part of their journey to the after-life. In the company of a local guide we will explore some of the exquisitely decorated tombs of these rulers of long ago. It is here that the burial site of the boy-king, Tutankhamun, discovered by British archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922, can be found. This visit to the Valley of the Kings brings to life much of what we saw in the Egyptian Museum.
We return to our boat and enjoy lunch on board. There is time to relax on deck or in your cabin before we set sail for Edfu. Departure time may vary, depending on river traffic. We pass through Esna Lock, which can sometimes be a slow process depending on the number of vessels waiting to get through, and continue our journey upstream.
On day 5 we wake moored near Edfu, an excellently-preserved temple dedicated to Horus - the falcon-headed god. We disembark and explore the temple as well as experiencing the bustling town centre.
Returning to our cruise boat we continue travelling upriver, relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the surrounding sights - desert hills forming a backdrop to lush riverbanks, fishermen casting their nets and farmers working their land. Arriving at Komombo, our short walk around the Temple of Sobek (the crocodile-headed god) that lies picturesquely ruined on the river’s edge provides an interesting insight into the Greco-Roman period.
Included Activities
  • Hatshepsut Temple
  • Valley of the Kings (3 tombs)
  • Edfu Temple
Accommodation
Nile Cruise Ship (2 nts)
Days 6-7 Aswan
On Day 6 we arrive in Aswan.
Even to travellers in ancient times, Aswan was legendary as the entrance to the kingdom of Nubia. Today it is still something of a frontier town, where the Arab Middle East meets black Africa. With its mixed population of Egyptians and Nubians, Aswan is quite unlike any other town in the country. By virtue of its position on the old caravan route, it has always been a trading centre, and we thoroughly recommend a visit to the packed bazaar where merchants display a wealth of exotic spices, carpets, leather goods and countless other wares. Kids will be thrilled by the sight of donkey carts and men in flowing robes and turbans.
Depending on our arrival time, we may visit the beautiful Temple of Isis that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island (alternatively we will visit it tomorrow). The rest of our day is free to wander – and Aswan is a great place for it.
The following day we disembark from our cruise boat and check-in to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to explore.
There's an option to travel to the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel. Built by Ramses II, it was the gateway to Egypt for Southern Africans and its imposing facade clearly delineated the line between what was the Pharaoh's land and what was not.
There are two ways to make the journey south to see these remarkable temples.
Some travellers prefer to fly from Aswan to Abu Simbel. The flight time is 40 minutes each way. Flights can be booked online through EgyptAir: http://www.egyptair.com/English
Return flights vary throughout the season, depending on the day of the week you fly and how far in advance you book, but expect to pay between US$250-300. Due to the southerly location it's recommended to book the early flight and visit Abu Simbel at sunrise to avoid the heat
A less expensive option is to hire a minivan with other group members who are also interested. Prices can fluctuate depending on the number of pasengers travelling. This can be organised from Aswan. The ride is 3 hours each way with a very early departure from Aswan at approximately 4am.
Included Activities
  • Kom Ombo Temple
  • Philae Temple
Optional Activities
  • Aswan to Abu Simbel: return transport by bus (price from per person - minimum 4 passengers) - USD90
  • Aswan to Abu Simbel: return flights (book with www.egyptair.com - prices from approx) - USD320
Accommodation
Nile Cruise Ship (1 nt), Pyramisa Isis Island Aswan Resort or similar (1 nt)
Day 8 Cairo
After breakfast we are transferred to Aswan airport for the short flight back to Cairo where we are transferred to our hotel.
Today we dive into another layer of Egyptian history: medieval Cairo. We head to Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, Cairo’s oldest mosque and the Gayer-Anderson Museum. The ‘Khan’, sprawling around an old area known as Al-Azhar, is a quintessentially Cairo experience - a warren of alleys with stalls serving up a succession of intoxicating scenes and retaining a distinctly medieval and sometimes Orientalist feel.
The impressive 9th century Ibn Tulun Mosque is one of the oldest, largest and arguably the most beautiful mosque in Egypt – the perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret both help to mark it out as a masterpiece of Islamic architecture, Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas (dating to the 16th and 17th centuries AD). Once owned by an English army officer, the two houses contain a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia, giving us a great insight into Cairene life during the Ottoman period.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt), Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 9 Cairo
Today is your free day to explore the city of Cairo. Speak to your trip leader for optional
Activities available while here.
Meals Included
1 Breakfast
Accommodation
Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar (1 nt)
Day 10 Amman
Today you will be transferred to the airport and take a short flight to Amman. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Amman.
One of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Amman offers a fascinating mix of ancient sites and modern culture to explore.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 11 Aqaba
After breakfast you will be transferred to the bus station for the JETT bus direct to Aqaba.
This is a very efficient service and the journey takes around four hours.
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel and the rest of the day will be free for you to explore the town and port. The small Ottoman fort beside the beach is worth a look; otherwise you could acquaint yourself with the hotel’s pool.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 12 Wadi Rum
We will take a brief orientation tour of Aqaba, Jordan’s principal Red Sea resort. We'll visit the old Mamluk fortress (time permitting), before driving to spellbinding Wadi Rum.
Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations. Traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the Wadi Rum area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum, however, are those carved by nature - the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks.
Wadi Rum is probably best known because of its connection with the enigmatic British officer T.E. Lawrence, who was based here during the Great Arab Revolt of 1917-18. Much of David Lean’s movie on his exploits, 'Lawrence of Arabia', was actually filmed in Wadi Rum. You can see the rock formation known as 'The Seven Pillars' directly opposite the Visitor's Centre in the small village of Rum.
After lunch and a browse around the excellent and informative Visitor’s Centre, we'll head into the protected area in rather rickety old jeeps, operated by young men of the local Bedouin community. This is an attempt by the Jordanian Government to bring much-needed income into this region - an initiative we also support. We'll visit several of Wadi Rum’s distinctive rock formations and soak in the vast silence and spectacular desert landscapes. Wadi Rum is a truly beautiful place and deserving of the amount of time you spend here, with the wind-sculpted, sandstone formations changing hue throughout the day from sunrise to sunset. At one point we'll ride camels to our Bedouin-styled tented camp situated deep within Wadi Rum, surrounded by dramatic escarpments and craggy bluffs. The camp is relatively basic (it does have a toilet block with showers), yet still affords the simple comforts of traditional Bedouin hospitality. Following a delicious dinner, the night spent around a fire and beneath a sky of a million stars is a truly memorable experience and one of the highlights of the trip.
Included Activities
  • Desert Jeep tour of Wadi Rum
Accommodation
Wadi Rum Desert Camp or similar (1 nt)
Days 13-14 Petra
This morning we take a walk (the length of the walk will depend on how energetic you are
feeling) before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding
area. Keen photographers will be delighted.
We then take 4WDs from our camp back to the main entrance. The visitor's centre is also a
great spot to buy some jewellery and knick-knacks, mostly made by a women's co-operative
which is aimed at supporting traditional local industries.
We continue our journey on to Petra.
Hewn out of the rose-coloured rock face, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra is one of the
Middle East's most spectacular destinations, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the
World.
On arrival there is time in the afternoon to check out the town, withdraw or change money
and just relax…ready for a big day of exploring Petra tomorrow.
Petra's greatest surprise, however, is its size. With your guide you will explore the old
Roman road, amphitheatre and several old tombs. You will also climb up to the Monastery –
the site's second beautiful façade – from where you will have a magnificent view of the
entire site.
This is a memorable day exploring a truly extraordinary destination and sure to be one of
the highlights of your trip. There is a cafeteria on the site, where you will enjoy a light lunch.
In the mid-afternoon you will return to your hotel and your tour leader will attempt to
persuade you to take a Turkish bath! This is the perfect time to enjoy a bath, and it is also a
great experience - Petra is an excellent and safe place to try this tradition of the region. The
rest of the day will be at your leisure.
Please note that when entering Petra as a group a complimentary horse ride is included in
the ticket price from the entrance point of Petra down to the Siq. Intrepid recommends
passengers do not take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 15-17 Shobak – Madaba – Dead Sea - Amman
This morning we drive along the King's Highway, a road that pre-dates Old Testament times.
We will reach Shobak Castle, originally built to protect the eastern flank of the Latin
Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189.
We stroll through the site and continue on to the ancient village at Dana, where local
artisans sell attractive silver jewellery and charms.
We will then reach Madaba, where we visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George that
houses an ancient mosaic map.
https://elements.peakadventuretravel.com/Images/Form/reorderListDragHandler.pngThis
is of particular interest as it clearly depicts Palestine and Lower Egypt around 550 AD.
You can expect to arrive in Amman in the late afternoon, where in the evening you will try
one of its several fine restaurants. (Please note that Kerak Castle is not included in your
tour, as it is often very congested and busy. However, if there is sufficient interest among
members of the group, your leader can also arrange an optional visit to Kerak Castle. Many
travellers however prefer to spend extra time in Amman.)
On Day 16 we head to the Roman city of Jerash, one of the grandest ancient cities in the
world, its archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets constitute a
striking collection and make it a beautiful place to explore.
This afternoon we drive to the Dead Sea where we spend the afternoon.
A Dead Sea float is a must for any trip to Jordan. Here at the lowest point on Earth (420
metres below sea level) the water is seven times saltier than a normal ocean at 30% salinity.
The Dead Sea is the second saltiest body of water in the world after Lake Asal in Djibouti.
When swimming this means you are extremely buoyant and seem to float on top of the
water rather than in it.
The mud here is supposed to have healing properties and many visitors like to cover
themselves from head to toe for a beauty mud bath. Stop at a private beach with pools and
a gentle slope to the water. Towels are available for hire. Don't forget to pack your
swimwear for today.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, and the tour finishes this morning after breakfast. If you would like to stay on and see more of Amman (we'd recommend a visit to the citadel and the Roman ampitheatre downtown), please ask us to book an additional night or two for you.
Included Activities
  • Dead Sea
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
  • XLKE - Single Supplement (XLKE)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
  • Jordan Experience (EEKJ)
  • Egypt Experience (XEKI)
Itinerary disclaimer
Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
Culture shock rating

Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
Physical rating

Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
SHOPPING:
There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. Popular purchases include: gold and silver jewellery, perfume and Pyrex perfume bottles, essential oils, papyrus art, alabaster statues and silver including cartouches (hieroglyphics).
While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it's customary for local guides (not Intrepid group leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service.
You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
Please note that in Egypt, silver is a common souvenir in the form of jewellery and other items. The silver in Egypt is generally stamped with '800' meaning that it's 80% silver and 20% other metal. This is a reduced quality to the silver you may be more familiar with which is '925'.
The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.
A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
Money Exchange
EGYPT
The official currency of Egypt is Egyptian Pounds (EGP).
It's easy to get money when you arrive at the airport through money exchange or from the ATM. The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) which are plentiful throughout all the main cities. Check with your bank for information on international ATM fees.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it's stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.
We recommend that you carry some foreign currency cash for when ATMs can not be accessed, have broken down or run out of cash. There are few problems changing money at the many banks and currency exchange facilities. Cash in USD, EUR and GBP are the easiest to exchange.
Occasionally banks will allow cash advances on your credit card, but it's not recommended to rely on this.
While some banks and five-star hotels will change travellers cheques, the process is time consuming, commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it can be difficult to change on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD, EUR or GBP. Traveller's cheques are not recommended in the Middle East.
The official currency of Jordan is Jordanian Dinars (JOD). It is easy to get money on arrival to Jordan. ATMs and money exchange are plentiful. Check with your bank for information on ATM international fees.
When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.
We recommend that you carry some foreign currency cash for when ATMs can not be accessed, have broken down or run out of cash. There are few problems changing money as there are many banks and currency exchange facilities. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange.
Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it is not recommended to rely on this.
While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques the process is time consuming and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it can be difficult to change on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD, EUR or GBP.
Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
Spending money
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The Middle East is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming and the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, roadside stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist-friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you shouldn't expect the Middle East to always be a budget destination.
Tipping
If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations.
The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$1. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.
Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest US$2-US$3 per day for local guides.
Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group, however we suggest US$1-US$2 per day for drivers.
Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$2-US$4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
In total, we recommend you budget approx US$5-US$10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.
Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult
Important notes
ALTERNATIVE ITINERARY
Due to the increased unrest in the Sinai area we have been liaising with our local operations team in Cairo to ensure the safety of our passengers currently travelling or due to travel on trips to Egypt. With this in mind we have decided to re-route all passengers to avoid this area.
All departures from 1 Apr 2014 to 30 Sept 2014 will be running on the below alternative itinerary. Departures post 1 October 2014 will be re-assessed by September.
Day 1 -2 Cairo
Day 3 Luxor
Day 4-5 Nile Cruise
Day 6-7 Aswan
Day 8-9 Cairo -Amman
Day 10-11 Amman - Aqaba
Day 12 Wadi Rum
Day 13-14 Petra
Day 15-Shobak - Dana - Madaba
Day 16 Jerash/Dead Sea
Day 17 Amman
Please ask your booking agent for detailed trip notes.
RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL 2014:
In 2014, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 27 June through until 27 July, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.
OUR LOCAL PARTNER:
This trip is operated by Peregrine Adventures and you will be joined by other like minded Intrepid and non Intrepid travellers. Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex.
Group size
Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
Your fellow travellers
As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
Your group will be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from our sister company Peregrine Adventures.
Accommodation
Hotel (6 nts), Nile Cruise Ship (4 nts), Grand Pyramids Hotel or similar (3 nts), Pyramisa Isis Island Aswan Resort or similar (1 nt), Wadi Rum Desert Camp or similar (1 nt), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt)
Meals
15 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 10 Dinners
Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
Transport
Horse-drawn carriage, Overnight sleeper train, 4x4
Alternate Joining point
For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
18 Oct 2014 (XLKE141018), 15 Nov 2014 (XLKE141115), 29 Nov 2014 (XLKE141129), 27 Dec 2014 (XLKE141227), 07 Mar 2015 (XLKE150307), 21 Mar 2015 (XLKE150321), 04 Apr 2015 (XLKE150404), 30 May 2015 (XLKE150530), 27 Jun 2015 (XLKE150627)
Grand Pyramids Hotel
53, Studio Misr Road - Mariottia , Giza, Egypt
Giza
Cairo
EGYPT
Phone: +20 (2) 33881883
Fax: +20 (2) 33882022
Arrival complications
We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
Finish point
Grand Palace Hotel
Queen Alia Street
Amman
11192
JORDAN
Phone: +962 5691131
Emergency contact
In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's local Cairo-based ground representative for the Middle East can be reached on Tel: +2 01096811067. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week.
Emergency funds
Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
Visas
Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
EGYPT:
Most nationalities require a visa to enter Egypt as a tourist. Visas are easily attainable on arrival at Cairo airport for most nationalities for US$15 paid in cash, but please check with your travel agent or embassy before departure. On arrival at Cairo airport you buy your visa at any of the banks before proceeding to immigration. You'll be given a stamp that you then need to put into your passport yourself. A single entry visa is valid for three months from date of issue and entitles the bearer to one month in Egypt. Multiple entry visas are not available at the airport or any border crossings.
Jordan:
We arrive into Jordan via a ferry into Aqaba, which currently requires no payment for visas. You are not required to obtain your visa in advance.
Visas are required by all visitors entering Jordan.
Single entry visas valid for 14 days and can be obtained, by most nationalities, on arrival at the airport in Amman or at the Jordanian border for approx. 40JOD.
It can be significantly more expensive to acquire your visa from the embassy in your home country. If you require a stay longer than 14 day, a visa obtained from the embassy in your home country will be valid for 2 months.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER your entry date into the country or you may be denied entry at the border.
Issues on your trip
While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
What to take
CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential.
Health
All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
DRINKING WATER:
As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about 3 litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
Safety
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
Travel insurance
Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
Responsible Travel
We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
A couple of rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
The Intrepid Foundation
Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
Carbon offset
Carbon Offset C02-e 900.00 kgs per pax.
Feedback
After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.