Family Egypt - Active in the Sinai Trip Notes

Family Egypt - Active in the Sinai

Last Modified: 23 Sep 2014
Family Egypt - Active in the Sinai
Trip code: XKFI
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Our Intrepid Family Adventures are designed specifically for the spirited family. We understand that travelling with kids sometimes requires a slightly different perspective. Keeping this in mind, we travel at a slower speed - recognising that showing your family around our exotic destinations can take time. By travelling at a relaxed pace, while still offering plenty of optional activities along the way, we're providing your family with the ultimate travel experience together.
Accommodation is chosen carefully to ensure your family gets the best of both worlds, with some of the creature comforts of home as well as experiencing accommodation unique to the region you are travelling through. Wherever possible you will stay in hotels with small comforts to make your stay more enjoyable - such as restaurants nearby, or accommodation with a pool. On some trips you may even find your family being rocked to sleep on an overnight sleeper train or drifting off while camped out under a canopy of stars - and we reckon it'll be these experiences the kids will love and remember the most.
Best of all, we find trips with children are so successful because kids have such a special ability to break down barriers with their natural curiosity, and because delighted locals always greet them with much affection. For all these reasons and more, you'll discover that Intrepid Family Adventures are an amazing experience for all.
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.
Table of Contents
StylePhysical ratingDeparture tax
ThemesIncluded activitiesGroup size
MapWhat's not includedAccommodation
ItineraryOptional activitiesMeals introduction
Also available to purchaseMoney ExchangeMeals
Itinerary disclaimerSpending moneyTransport
Culture shock rating TippingArrival complications
  • 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.
Family, Explorer

Day 1 Dahab - Arrival
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Egypt.
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.
The tour starts at the Dahab hotel with a welcome meeting on day 1.
Coral Coast Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Dahab - Desert Experience
After breakfast we will head into the desert, driving 50 km north east of Dahab. Here we meet our camelteers 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 within the oasis garden, we will enjoy an afternoon trek to Mushroom Rock and the Narrow Canyon. After an approximately one hour trek (by camel or on foot) 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 with our guide regaling tales of local folklore before we sleep at a Bedouin camp, under the stars if you wish!
The camp consists of woven Bedouin tents, carpets, mattresses, 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.
Included Activities
  • Camel trek to White Canyon
Optional Activities
  • Sandboarding - GBP45
Desert camp (1 nt)
Day 3 Dahab - Jeep Safari
After breakfast the 4x4 Jeeps arrive to take us south into "Lawrence of Arabia Desert" where we will discover the frozen dinosaur rock formation and the sand dune of Hadoudah which is the highest dune in the Sinai and a great place to give sand boarding a go! Lunch is provided at the sand dunes and we will then return to Dahab by early evening, with plenty of time to explore and enjoy dinner in one of its many restaurants.
Included Activities
  • Jeep safari
Coral Coast Hotel (1 nt)
Day 4 Dahab - Free day
Today is a free day with a variety of optional activities (at additional charge) for us to try or we can choose to simply relax. Why not discover the fascinating underwater world of the Red Sea with an intro dive? Lasting approximately 3 hours the session includes theory and briefing with an equipment overview and underwater session to a maximum depth of 12m. Alternatively, a windsurfing ‘get wet’ session is a fun way to spend half a day in the laguna area of Dahab. (B)
Optional Activities
  • Scuba Diving, Dahab - EUR60
  • Horse riding, Dahab - EGP30
  • Windsurfing, Dahab - GBP30
Coral Coast Hotel (1 nt)
Day 5 Dahab - Snorkelling
After an early breakfast, 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 it's name from a patch of palm trees that stand nearby. You have a stop for lunch before getting back in the water to further explore the coral islands and pinnacles. That evening, for those of us who still have energy left, we can choose to go on an optional trip to St Catherine's Monastery combined with a climb up Mt Sinai. Departing late evening you take a 2 hour drive to St Catherine's and start the climb up Mt Sinai. This will take approximately 2.5 hrs to reach the summit for sunrise at around 5.30 am. It is a relatively easy hike although there are a lot of steps up to the top and it can be windy, so care may need to be taken. There are plenty of resting places along route, with an area at Elias Garden for teas and coffee, just before the 720 steps of repentance to the summit. Camels can be hired to take us most of the way up the mountain, although we will need to dismount when we reach the steps. This is a beautiful climb, which offers a taste of the serenity and magnificence of southern Sinai's high mountain region.
Included Activities
  • Snorkel safari
Optional Activities
  • Camel ride - EGP125
  • St Catherine's & Mt Sinai Climb - GBP27
Coral Coast Hotel (1 nt)
Day 6 Dahab - Free day
For those who choose to remain in Dahab and not venture to Mt. Sinai, there is a choice of optional activities for us to enjoy (additional charge). We can choose to kayak - A 1 hr session on the house reef. Kayaks are double seated with a see through base for watching the floral & fauna. If we choose the optional visit to St Catherine’s and Mt. Sinai, we will return to Dahab around 2pm for a well earned rest!
Coral Coast Hotel (1 nt)
Day 7 Dahab - Free day
Today is our final full day and we can choose to go on another snorkelling trip if we so wish. This time, you drive to the Blue Hole, where camels await. From there, 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 fantastic snorkelling opportunities in the Red Sea. If we wish, we could instead set sail heading south into the National Park of Nabq to Gabr el Bint. This is a remote and pristine area with a huge variety of marine life and hard and soft corals. We will enjoy lunch on board and plenty of snorkelling in and around Gabr el Bint (both excursions are at additional charge). Alternatively, we can spend the day at Dahab, perhaps relaxing by the hotel pool or wandering around the shops.
On your final evening, you will share your last group meal together. Departing the hotel late afternoon, you will go in a 4WD for roughly one and a half hours into the local wadi where you will have dinner with a Bedouin family, before returning to Dahab by jeep.
Included Activities
  • Bedouin Dinner
Optional Activities
  • Snorkel safari - GBP32
  • Boat Safari - GBP35
Coral Coast Hotel (1 nt)
Day 8 Dahab - tour ends
Your family adventure finished after breakfast
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Dahab Boat trip (OTEG)
  • Dahab desert - Sand Boarding (OTEG)
  • Ras Abu Galloum Camel trek & Snorkelling trip (OTEG)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Due to the specialist nature of our holidays, day-to-day itineraries should be taken as a guide only and as statements of intent, not contractual obligations. We regularly update our trip dossiers to take into account changes to trekking routes, accommodation, local transport etc. Such changes are a factor of this type of holiday and when made are out of necessity. Other factors such as adverse weather, unforeseen circumstances and other matters entirely out of our control etc can also lead to enforced changes during the course of the holiday. It is not possible to guarantee that any of our holidays will operate exactly as per the anticipated itinerary
    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

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
    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.
    There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
    'Please note that the Saint Catherine Monastery is closed to visitors on Public holidays and Sundays, and it may not always be possible to visit. Please speak with your leader about viewing the monastery on an alternative day.
    What's not included
    Any airfare unless otherwise specified in the itinerary

    Passport and visa expenses
    Government arrival and departure taxes.

    Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation and lunch on specified Fly and Cruise programs.
    Baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance.

    Excess baggage charges.

    Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified

    Telecommunications charges.
    The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
    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 approximate and are for entrance only and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability and it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.
    Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. This means that it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, however we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with booking these activities. The decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.
    Money Exchange
    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.
    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.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
    Coral Coast Hotel (6 nts), Desert camp (1 nt)
    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 have the opportunity to experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. Special dietary requirements can usually be catered for as long as we are advised in advance.
    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
    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.