Family Egypt Active Trip Notes

Visit Egypt and get active in the Sinai. Stay at a beach resort in Dahab, go scuba diving, visit St Catherine’s Monastery and climb Mt Sinai.

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    • XFFS
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    • Explorer, Family
    • Original
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Last Modified: 27 Nov 2012
Family Egypt Active
Trip code: XFFS
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2012
Your base in Dahab is the ideal destination for enjoying a variety of activities. The highlights include exploring the Sinai desert by camel, 4x4 and horse and camping under the stars! You can also choose to visit St Catherine’s Monastery and climb biblical Mt. Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Optional activities make every day different and offer the advantage of choosing which adventures you and your family wish to join in.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, The Adventure Company.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItinerarySingle travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationWhat to take
Culture shock rating Meals introductionHealth
Physical ratingMealsSafety
Included activitiesTransportTravel insurance
Optional activitiesGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Money ExchangeJoining point A couple of rules
Spending moneyJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
TippingArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
Departure taxFinish point Feedback
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Family, Explorer
Map
Family Egypt Active
Itinerary
Day 1 Dahab
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt.
You will be sent joining instructions approximately 2-3 weeks before your trip starts, which will contain full details of exactly where to meet your group leader.
With a name meaning 'gold' in Arabic, Dahab has transformed from a Bedouin fishing village into a popular tourist town, luring travellers with its excellent diving. Its location between the Sinai Desert and Red Sea makes it ideal for all kinds of adventure activities, while Bedouin influences mean it hasn't lost its authenticity.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 2-7 Dahab
After breakfast this morning we head out into the desert, driving 50 km north east of Dahab.
Meet your cameleers and Bedouin hosts before taking a 40 minute trek by camel to reach the top of the White Canyon. Descend the canyon on foot and walk through the canyon for approximately 90 minutes before emerging into Ein Hudra, a lush palm oasis and natural spring. After lunch, which is taken in the oasis garden, enjoy an afternoon trek to Mushroom Rock and the Narrow Canyon (approx one hour by camel, or by foot), where we set up camp and help to prepare dinner, which is cooked on an open fire and served buffet style.
The evening is spent under the stars listening to tales of local folklore before sleeping at a Bedouin camp.
The camp consists of woven Bedouin tents with carpets and mattresses. They sleep up to 10 people. The camp is sectioned into several areas - a sleeping/relaxation area and a kitchen area which is set away from the main tent. In winter it can get very cold in the desert so you are advised to bring a sleeping bag. Additional blankets are provided.
After breakfast the 4x4 Jeeps arrive and take us south into 'Lawrence of Arabia Desert' where you can discover the frozen dinosaur rock formation and the sand dune of Hadoudah, which is the highest sand dune in the Sinai, and a great place to give sandboarding a go.
Lunch is provided at the sand dunes and we then return to Dahab by early evening, with plenty of time to explore and enjoy dinner in one of its many restaurants.
The next day is free with a variety of optional activities to choose from. Perhaps discover the fascinating underwater world of the Red Sea with an intro dive? Lasting about 3 hours, the session includes theory and a briefing with an equipment overview and underwater session to a maximum depth of 12 m. Alternatively a windsurfing sessions is a fun way to spend half a day in the laguna area of Dahab.
After breakfast the next day, enjoy a snorkel safari in the Southern Oasis; a remote and pristine area with a huge variety of colourful marine life and coral. It gets its name from a patch of palm trees that stand near to the site. We stop for lunch before getting back into the water to further explore the coral islands and pinnacles.
In the evening, for those that have the energy left, you can choose to go on an optional trip to St Catherine's Monastery, combined with a climb up Mt Sinai.
Mt Sinai is where Muslims, Jews and Christians collectively believe that the Ten Commandments were revealed to the prophet Moses. Whatever your beliefs, climbing to the top is sure to move you and the summit provides perfect vistas of a glorious desert sunset.
Departing late evening, you take a 2-hour drive to St Catherine's and start the climb up Mt Sinai. It will take approximately 2.5 hours to reach the summit for sunrise at about 5:30am. It is a relatively easy hike although there are a lot of steps up to the top and it can be windy. There are plenty of resting places en route, with an area at Elias Garden for tea and coffee, just before the 720 steps of repentance to the summit. Camels can be hired to take you most of the way up the mountain, although you will need to dismount when you reach the steps.
For those that choose to do the climb, the following day you will return to Dahab at about 2 pm for a well-earned rest. If you chose to stay in Dahab, then this day is free for you to relax, or enjoy more optional activities. Perhaps take out one of the glass-bottomed kayaks - a great way to view the marine flora and fauna.
The final full day in Dahab is another free day for optional activities, perhaps one of two optional snorkelling safaris.
The optional snorkelling safari begins with a drive to the Blue Hole, where camels await. You then enjoy a camel trek along the coastline into the National Park of Ras Abu Gaullum for approximately 1 hour. The trip includes lunch and plenty of snorkelling opportunities. Alternatively, you could instead set sail south into the National Park of Nabq to Gabr el Bint, a remote and pristine area with a huge variety of marine life and hard and soft corals. Enjoy lunch on the boat and plenty of time for snorkelling.
Alternatively, spend the day relaxing by the pool or wandering around the shops. On our final evening we will share a last group meal together.
Departing the hotel late afternoon, we travel by 4WD for approximately 1.5 hours into the local wadi where we will have dinner with a Bedouin family, before returning to Dahab by jeep.
Included Activities
  • Camel trek to White Canyon
  • Jeep safari
  • Snorkel safari
  • Bedouin Dinner
Optional Activities
  • Sandboarding - GBP45
  • Scuba Diving, Dahab - EUR60
  • Horse riding, Dahab - EGP30
  • Windsurfing, Dahab - GBP30
  • Camel ride - EGP125
  • St Catherine's & Mt Sinai Climb - GBP27
  • Snorkel safari - GBP32
  • Boat Safari - GBP35
Accommodation
Hotel (5 nts), Desert camp (1 nt)
Day 8 Dahab
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
      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.
      The Middle East is a region which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Heat, pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this wonderfully different region but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. You will come across very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by the fabulous Middle East.
      Physical rating

      This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
      This trip can be as active or relaxed as you want through the choice of optional activities on the free days. The trip is largely based in Dahab so there is not a large amount of travelling. It can be very hot in the summer months, which children and adults alike can find tiring but the itinerary will be amended with earlier starts to avoid the midday heat.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
      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.
      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.
      Tipping
      Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. 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.
      We recommend that any group tips are collected in a envelope and handed directly to the intended recipient as a collective 'thank you' by the group. The below amounts are suggested figures in USD for ease of calculating budgets, but should always be offered in local currency.
      Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants, we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
      Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest US$1-2 per person per day for local guides.
      Drivers: You may have a range of private 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 US$1-2 per person per day is generally appropriate.
      Public toilet attendants: When using public toilets there will most likely be an attendant that will expect a tip. 20-50 cents is appropriate.
      Felucca captains: If you are travelling in Upper Egypt many of our itineraries spend a night on a felucca. US$1-2 per person per day for felucca captains is appropriate.
      Desert Camp hosts: If you have a night camping included on your itinerary, US$2-3 is appropriate for the camp hosts.
      Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline US$3-4 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.
      Departure tax
      All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
      Important 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.
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      This trip is operated by our experienced local partner, The Adventure Company.
      AGE RESTRICTIONS:
      Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 12. Anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or guardian.
      Group size
      Maximum of 20 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
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
      A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
      Accommodation
      Hotel (6 nts), Desert camp (1 nt)
      Accommodation is clean and simple. You'll mainly stay in small, locally-run, 2-3 star hotels and guesthouses, which reflect the character of the area,generally these will be a twin room with private facilities. Sometimes you'll stay in larger, more comfortable hotels or occasionally rustic accommodation with basic facilities. We use a variety of accommodation on most trips; chosen for their value for money, location and atmosphere. We also try and incorporate unique accommodation experiences, such as a night with a local tribe, or sleeping under the stars in the desert.
      GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
      Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.
      Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.
      Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
      Meals
      7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 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.
      USD 100.00
      Transport
      Minibus
      SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING:
      Occasionally you may experience armed security and convoys between select towns or regions. Convoys are used to ensure all travellers are transported safely and, in many cases, tourists are only allowed to travel in scheduled convoys of buses and jeeps. On rare occasions you may have an armed guard in your vehicle. We want to warn you so you are not alarmed. This is a practice designed to keep tourists safe, although at times it can appear a little overboard.
      Group leader
      All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.
      Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.
      Joining point
      Coral Coast Hotel
      Eel Garden
      Dahab
      EGYPT
      Joining point instructions
      If you have booked a transfer through Intrepid then once you reach the arrivals hall there will be an individual with a board with “The Adventure Company” on it. This is our sister company who run the family trips for us.
      For a taxi from Sharm El Sheikh airport, you shouldn't pay more than 150 LE for the whole cab to Dahab (bargaining generally starts at 300-400 LE, sometimes higher). Decide for yourself, but don't exceed a 250 LE limit. Remember to exchange money before you pass the airport customs. If you're stuck drivers will take euro or $, but you might end up paying a bit more.
      If you want to avoid the bargaining game, arrange an airport pick up through your hotel or camp. Check at least one week in advance via E-Mail, responding times may vary. 150 LE should be the limit for that service as part of a package booking.
      Transfers cannot be arranged on arrival. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you plan to arrive earlier, this arrival transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid.
      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.
      If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
      No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
      Finish point
      Coral Coast Hotel
      Eel Garden
      Dahab
      EGYPT
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, The Adventure Company can be reached on Tel: +44 1420 593000. For further contact details please use the following page:
      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:
      Australia: Yes - on arrival
      Belgium: Yes - on arrival
      Canada: Yes - on arrival
      Germany: Yes - on arrival
      Ireland: Yes - required in advance
      Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
      New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
      South Africa: Yes - required in advance
      Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
      United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
      USA: Yes - on arrival
      Visas are easily attainable on arrival at Cairo airport or Aqaba ferry port for most nationalities for US$15 to be paid in cash, but please check with your travel agent or embassy before departure. On arrival to Cairo airport you buy your visa at any of the banks before proceeding to immigration. You will 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.
      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
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT:
      Below is a suggestion of what you might find useful to take on this trip.
      In summer (Apr-Oct) light cotton clothing is adequate, with a light sweater or sweatshirt just in case. In winter (Nov-Mar) during the winter months the temperature drops and it can be quite chilly, particularly at night, so a windproof outer layer and a warm mid-layer (wool or fleece) is necessary.
      * Shorts are acceptable if they are not too tight or short
      * Comfortable shoes or trainers
      * Sandals/flip-flops for relaxing
      * Sun-hat and sarong
      * Swimming gear
      * Warm layers (Nov - Mar)
      * Windproof jacket (Nov - Mar)
      * Long trousers (Nov - Mar)
      * Water bottle
      * Sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen and lipsalve
      * Insect repellent
      * Personal first aid kit
      * Sleeping bag - it gets very cold in the desert at night during winter.
      * A laundry service may be available in some hotels, but we recommend taking biodegradable travel detergent so clothes can be washed as you wish.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
      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.
      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:
      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      SEAT BELTS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
      LIFE JACKETS:
      While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.
      WATER SAFETY:
      Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.
      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:
      When packing, be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing (3/4 trousers that come to the calf are fine) is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate. As the countries we visit are Islamic nations, women may find a headscarf useful.
      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:
      Responsible Travel projects
      Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Egypt include:
      * Animal Care in Egypt is a true friend to Egypt's mistreated animals. They provide free professional veterinary care, food and medication for some 4,000 injured, sick and mistreated animals each month. In addition to rehabilitating the mistreated, ACE also provides local people with education in appropriate animal care.
      Donations of second-hand tack/dog collars and flea treatment are always welcomed.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.