Jordan & Egypt Express Trip Notes

Jordan & Egypt Express

These trip notes are valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the trip notes for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017


Last Modified: 14 Jul 2016
Jordan & Egypt Express
Trip code: EERJ
Validity: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016
There's something truly epic about this nine-day adventure through the spectacular, history-steeped landscapes of Jordan and Egypt. Wander the ancient city of Petra, relax on the Red Sea, and finish up among the souqs and pyramids in Cairo. As you tour this land of tenacious adventurers, mighty pharaohs and biblical prophets, the legendary hospitality of the area's beautiful Bedouin people will ensure you a warm welcome to desert camps and the tranquil beaches of the Red Sea. Before booking on this trip we recommend that you read the ‘Safety’ section in the trip notes regarding special safety considerations for Egypt trips.
Table of Contents
StyleAccommodationFinish point description
ThemesAccommodation NotesFinishing point instructions
Is this trip right for you?Meals introductionEmergency contact
Why we love itMealsVisas
MapTransportWhat to take
ItineraryMoney mattersClimate and seasonal information
Itinerary disclaimerGroup leaderHealth
Physical ratingSafetyTravel insurance
Included activitiesJoining pointA couple of rules
Important notesJoining point descriptionResponsible Travel
Group sizeJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Your fellow travellersFinish pointFeedback
Style
Basix
Themes
Explorer
Is this trip right for you?
- There is quite a bit of walking involved in visiting Jordan's historic sites, especially in Petra and Wadi Rum, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. Most of the time there is no shade so remember to bring a hat, sun protection, and sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.
- Winters can get quite cool, so if you're visiting at this time, don't forget to pack some warmer layers too.
- The desert camp in Wadi Rum is basic but incredibly memorable. There are tents and shared western bathroom facilities. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag is highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.
- The ferry to Nuweiba can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. Besides this the ferry is frequently delayed or even cancelled at the last minute, patience is required for this journey.
- Please Day 5 of the itinerary for more details.
Why we love it
- Explore the incredible underwater world that lies just offshore at the Red Sea, and get into the laidback vibe of Dahab
- Spend a whole day uncovering the majesty and mystery of the world wonder of Petra. The first glimpse of the Treasury from the narrow path of the Siq is unforgettable
- Take an effortless float in the super-salty waters of the Dead Sea on a swim like no other
- Hop in a jeep and experience the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum, a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains
- Sleep under the stars, meet the Bedouin locals and learn about their way of life in a desert camp in the far-out destination of Wadi Rum
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Amman
Ahlan Wa Sahlan! Welcome to Jordan, cosmopolitan and contemporary, yet steeped in biblical history. 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 have these on hand. As there's little time spent in Amman on this itinerary, it's worth arriving a day or two early to explore the sights. If you do then the highlights are the beautifully preserved ruins of Jerash, an ancient walled town that’s remarkably recalls of life 2,000 years ago; the citadel with its amazing sweeping views of Amman; the Jordan Museum, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, or the Roman Theatre, right in the middle of downtown Amman. Either way, this evening get out on to the streets, where you’ll soon hear “Welcome to Jordan” from the locals, and maybe pick up a coffee from one of the cafés and partner it with an ara’yes, a toastie filled with spicy mincemeat.
Optional Activities
  • Citadel - JOD2
  • Roman Theatre - JOD1
  • Bethany Baptism site - JOD12
  • Roman ruins -Jerash - JOD12
  • Jordan Museum - JOD5
  • King Abullah Mosque - JOD2
    Accommodation
    Hotel (1 nt)
    Day 2 Petra
    This morning you’ll travel by minibus to Mt Nebo (approximately 1.5 hours). Mt Nebo is the spot where the prophet Moses is said to have seen the 'promised land' and is supposedly buried. Explore this sanctuary and view the remarkable mosaics of the 4th century church. On a clear day, the views over the Dead Sea to Israel are spectacular. Then you’d better have brought your swim gear as you can wash of the dust from exploring with a dip like no other. Drive around 30 minutes to the shores of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth (420 metres below sea level). This isn’t actually a sea but a super-salty lake (dead because of the lack of life in it) where the density of the water means you’ll go for a float, not a swim. Spend some time relaxing here and get some classic floating pictures. The mud here is supposed to have healing properties, so why not cover yourself from head to toe for a nutrient-rich natural mineral mud bath. Towels are available for hire. Make a stop at the impressive crusader castle of Kerak, which stands on a cliff, sheer on three sides, and commandingly overlooks Wadi Karak and the Dead Sea in the distance. You’ll have time to explore the evocative ruins – a seven level fortress, with many rooms and passaeways buried deep into the hill – and to discover the legends of the 12th-century battles between the Crusaders and the Muslim armies led by the Arab hero, Saladin. You’ll then continue on to Petra for the night (approximately 4.5 hours).
    Optional Activities
    • Mt Nebo - JOD1
    • Dead Sea - JOD8
    • Kerak Castle - JOD1
    • Petra by night - JOD17
      Accommodation
      Hotel (1 nt)
      Meals
      1 breakfast
      Day 3 Petra
      Petra is justifiably on most people’s list of ‘must-visit’ places. It's the jewel of Jordan, the lost city of the biblical Nabateans, an impressive series of tombs and dwellings hidden behind ornate façades carved directly into the rock, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. Dating back to the 6th century BC, the site was lost to Western minds until it was rediscovered in 1812 by a Swiss explorer – he dressed up like a local to sneak in and then revealed the secret to everyone. Thankfully he did though, because this isn’t something you’d want to miss out on. Squeeze through a mile long narrow path, known as the Siq, through huge towers of rock and get your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury – it’s impossible not to imagine the armies and traders who made their way down here in the ancient times. It’s amazing to think that this awesome, intricate building entrance was hand carved out of the rock. The site is surprisingly big, and you can explore the old Roman road, temples and several old tombs, as well as the rock-hewn amphitheatre (entrance fee not included). In the afternoon, you have the opportunity to explore the rest of the site at your own pace. For those with the energy, there's the challenging but highly rewarding walk up the steps to the stunning Monastery (approximately 1 hour). Maybe seek out a Turkish bath for the perfect end to an incredible day.

      Notes: One day's entrance fee to Petra is included. Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point down to the Siq. Intrepid doesn't recommend that you take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved.
      Included Activities
      • Petra 1 day pas
        Optional Activities
        • Addtional Petra day pass - JOD55
          Accommodation
          Hotel (1 nt)
          Meals
          1 breakfast
          Day 4 Wadi Rum
          Follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia with a short drive (approximately 2 hours) to the extraordinary desert scenery of Wadi Rum, a rugged moonscape of huge sandstone mountains. A 4-hour jeep safari will take you through some of the most beautiful and sublime desert scenery on the planet, a true highlight of this trip. Wadi Rum is full of weird and beautiful lunar-like rock formations, and traces of ancient civilisations can be seen in the many carved inscriptions found throughout the area, from pictographs to Thamudic, Nabataean and Arabic texts. The most enduring monuments in Wadi Rum are those carved by nature – the natural rock bridges, towering rose-coloured sand dunes and scattered rocky peaks. Tonight you’ll sleep in a simple desert camp, with the choice of sleeping under a camel hair tent or out under the stars. Enjoy a delicious dinner cooked in an earthen oven by your Bedouin (which means ‘Desert Dwellers’ in Arabic) hosts. Conditions are basic at the desert camp, but the hospitality of your hosts is legendary, and you'll treasure the memory of sleeping beneath the twinkling desert night sky.

          Notes: A mattress and blankets are provided. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months. Western-style toilet facilities are available.
          Included Activities
          • Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
          • 4WD jeep safari and desert camp
            Accommodation
            Desert camp (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast, 1 dinner
            Day 5 Red Sea Beach Camp
            This morning you’ll leave Wadi Rum and travel to Aqaba (approximately 1 hour) where you’ll board a ferry to cross the Gulf of Aqaba and continue your journey to Egypt (approximately 2 hours). Please note that you'll be travelling on this ferry unaccompanied by a group leader. Your Jordan leader will help you board the ferry and then bid you farewell. You’ll be met by your Egyptian leader on arrival in Nuweiba, then travel by van to your Red Sea beach camp (approximately 30 minutes). This is a harsh and barren land of sprawling windswept plains and rugged mountains, but it's also home to some fantastic beaches. It’s like its Sinai neighbours, Dahab and Sharm el-Sheik, before mass tourism arrived. Thankfully, the camp is still a hidden gem for Intrepid groups. It's set on one of the few beautiful stretches of fine golden sand found along this coast, and is a place that you'll be raving about to your friends for years to come. You’ll stay in a simple but comfortable beach hut located right in front of the water. These huts are made from local palm trees and have two single beds, electricity, linen and mosquito nets (the toilets and showers are in a communal block). Why not start the day with a snorkelling trip? Later you can relax on the sand and watch the mountains of Saudi Arabia light up at sunset. An ideal end to the day is to enjoy a freshly squeezed fruit juice while chatting to one of your newfound Bedouin friends.

            Notes: The ferry crossing can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. This ferry crossing is frequently delayed and patience is required.

            The fast ferry can sometimes be cancelled without notice. We may be required to take the slow ferry instead (which can take up to 5 hours and may result in arriving at Nuweiba after midnight).
            In rough weather, there's a chance the ferry might be cancelled altogether, in which case we'll stay an extra night in Egypt or Jordan. The ferry itself is modern and has western-style toilets on board but these are not maintained once the ferry begins.

            The only alternative to taking the ferry is flying over the Red Sea and not including Dahab in the itinerary at all. We've made the decision to continue to run this itinerary but we strongly recommend you consider if this trip is right for you. Other Egypt and Jordan itineraries can easily be purchased together and linked with a domestic flight. Check out 'Egypt Express' (XESB - Basix standard), and 'Explore Jordan' (EESJ - Original standard). Alternatively there are our comfort itineraries: 'Egypt Experience' (XEKI), and 'Jordan Discovery' (ELKD).


            Accommodation
            Beach hut (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 6 Dahab
            It's a short drive to the laidback resort area of Dahab, your base for the next two nights. Dahab (meaning 'gold' in Arabic) has transformed from a Bedouin fishing village into a popular tourist town, thanks to the excellent conditions for activities like diving, windsurfing, and rock climbing. The town hasn't lost its authenticity, however, and it retains the lowkey appeal that attracted bohemian travellers in the 1970s. The rest of the day is free for you to take in the many treats the village has to offer – cafes, seafood and snorkelling in the Red Sea. Dahab is famous for its drop-offs – spectacular coral reefs that plunge vertically into the deep blue depths below. There are plenty of relaxed bars and restaurants where you can get seriously laid back and maybe puff on a sheesha pipe.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Day 7 Dahab
            In the morning, pick up your mask head to the Blue Hole for some snorkelling at one of the top ten diving spots in the world. The area gets its name from a submarine sinkhole about 94 metres deep, with an arch in the coral reef down at 54 metres – a challenge that’s only open to highly experienced technical divers. Snorkelers can enjoy one of the greatest spots in the Red Sea here. Float on the surface and look down into an endless world of blue, then make your way around ‘the Bridge’, where the visibility is always great and the untouched coral swarms with all different types of colourful fish and marine life. After you’ve had your fill of snorkelling, return to Dahab and take advantage of the comfortably-cushioned seats at the waterside restaurants, or even head inland to Assalah, where local joints serve up dishes like roast chicken, falafel and cold local brews.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 8 Cairo
            Today you’ll be able to experience the contrast between seaside Dahab and the wonderfully chaotic, always colourful capital city of Cairo. You’ll transfer to Sharm El Sheikh Airport and take the short flight to Cairo (approximately 1 hour). On arrival, transferred to your hotel for your last night. Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can be symbolised by two imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. This trip doesn't include time to explore the sights of this fascinating city, and so it’s strongly recommend that you spend a few extra days in Cairo or join one of our Egypt-specific trips to discover this city of contrasts, where you can see donkey carts and expensive cars, medieval slums and modern shopping malls, and the incredible Pyramids sit just outside of town. Tonight why not join your new travel mates for a celebratory dinner as this Egypt Express adventure comes to an end.
            Accommodation
            Hotel (1 nt)
            Meals
            1 breakfast
            Day 9 Cairo
            There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
            Optional Activities
            • Mummies Hall at Egyptian Museum - EGP100
            • The Citadel, Cairo - EGP60
            • Coptic Museum - EGP60
            • Cairo - The Great Pyramid of Cheops - EGP200
            • Cairo - The 2nd Pyramid of Khafre - EGP40
            • Pyramid of Saqqara - EGP80
            • Solar Boat Museum - EGP60
            • Cairo - Sound & Light Show at the Pyramids - EGP100
            • Cairo - Pyramids and Sphinx - EGP80
            • Cairo - The Egyptian Museum - EGP75
            • Cairo - Half Day Pyramids Adventure - GERF - USD67
            • Cairo - Islamic Cairo in Depth Tour - GRED - USD64
            • Cairo - Alexandria City Discovery - GREA - USD133
            • Saqqara and Memphis - GREC - USD73
            • Cairo - Treasures and Tut Tour - GREQ - USD65
              Meals
              1 breakfast
              Itinerary disclaimer
              ITINERARY CHANGES 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. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff. We are here to help you! 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. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time.

              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.
              Physical rating

              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.
              Included activities
              Petra 1 day pas
              Wadi Rum Safari entrance and permit
              4WD jeep safari and desert camp
              Important notes
              1. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
              A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.
              On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:
              - Day 5 Red Sea Beach Camp

              2. INTERNAL FLIGHT
              On Day 8 there is an included internal flight from Sharm El Sheihk to Cairo. The maximum check-in baggage allowance is 23kgs per person plus 7kgs hand luggage.

              3. FERRY
              The ferry to Nuweiba can be rough on occasions and those who suffer from sea sickness may want to prepare themselves. Besides this the ferry is frequently delayed or even cancelled at the last minute, patience is required for this journey.
              Please Day 5 of the itinerary for more details.



              Group size
              Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
              Your fellow travellers
              GROUP TRAVEL
              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.

              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 accommodation (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.
              On the following nights the Single Supplement is not available:

              - Day 4 Wadi Rum
              - Day 5 Red Sea Beach Camp
              Accommodation
              Beach hut (1nt), Desert camp (1nt), Hotel (6nt)
              HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING:

              As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses / hotels don't supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning.
              Meals introduction
              Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. These instances will be indicated in the Essential Trip Information itinerary. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip.

              For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.
              Meals
              7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
              Transport
              Plane, Ferry, Minibus, Jeep

              There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.

              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.
              Money matters
              When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need.

              Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).
              Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency.


              MEALS NOT INCLUDED

              Depending on the style of trip you have chosen (Basix, Original or Comfort), included meals will vary.

              Breakfast. If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

              Lunch. Lunch at a touristy restaurant should cost around USD10 to USD20. However, local street food can be substantially cheaper.

              Dinner. At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD15 to USD25 for a main.

              These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget and are happy to eat just local food you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

              TIPPING

              Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life in Egypt and is more than just a reward for services rendered. In a country where wages are extremely low it is an essential means of supplementing income. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners and Egyptians have to constantly hand out 'Baksheesh' as well - to park their cars, ensure fresh produce and pick up their mail. 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.

              Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. 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, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep 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. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew.


              TIPPING GUIDE

              To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.

              - Basic restaurants – Round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loos change is generally fine.
              - Up-market restaurants – When checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
              - Local guides – Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for local guides.
              - Felucca boat trips: If you are travelling on an itinerary that includes an overnight Felucca trip up the Nile, we suggest USD2 to USD3 per person, per day for the boat staff.
              - 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 USD2 to USD4 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.


              EMERGENCY FUNDS

              We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.


              CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE

              With the exception of Iran, ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities throughout the Middle East and Turkey. Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout most trips (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

              Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.

              Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day.


              SHOPPING AND COMMISSIONS

              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'.


              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'.
              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.

              On this trip you'll have the services of two different leaders:
              1) From Amman to Aqaba, you'll have a Jordanian leader.
              - You'll travel unescorted from Aqaba to Nuweiba on the ferry (approx 2-4 hrs).
              2) From Nuweiba to Cairo, you'll have an Egyptian leader.
              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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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 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 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:
              www.intrepidtravel.com/safety


              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.

              BALCONIES:
              Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

              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!

              SEAT BELTS:
              Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

              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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

              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 ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE
              We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

              SAFETY IN EGYPT:

              Following recent incidents in Egypt, we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before your departure and that you ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas in your itinerary. We have links to all major travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting your trip on our safety page (link above).

              The safety of our travellers and staff is our first priority. We continue to monitor the situation through official travel advisories and our local operations team, and we’re able to quickly change arrangements if for any reason we become concerned. If there should be any changes to the situation you will be advised immediately.

              We have also taken the following measures to minimise the potential risk for our travellers in Egypt:

              -24 to 48hrs prior to each departure our local Intrepid office are in contact with tourist police to get approval for each itinerary. The tourist police notify our local operator immediately should any advice or information change.
              -We use private rather than public transport on all our itineraries.
              -We travel in (armed) convoys on main routes, and multiple check points are in place between most cities.

              EGYPT HOT-AIR BALLOON EXCURSIONS:
              Audits were carried out on balloon operators within Egypt to confirm the safety of their operations. But unfortunately, we were not able to ascertain the safety standards of these balloon operators- therefore, we are not able to recommend or assist in the booking of any balloon excursions.
              Joining point
              The Amman Pasha Hotel
              4 Al Shabsough Street, Amman, Jordan
              Amman
              JORDAN
              Phone: +962 64618262
              Joining point description
              The simply furnished rooms have a satellite TV, minibar, a/c and private bathroom with a bathtub and shower.

              There are great views over the Roman amphitheater from the rooftop cafe and some good restaurants in the nearby vicinity.

              The lobby has a 24-hour front desk, elevator, and free Wi-Fi. Luggage storage and newspapers are available at the front desk. Staff can also arrange a laundry service.
              Joining point instructions
              The hotel is a 45 minute to 1hr transfer from the Queen Alia Airport in Amman to the Pasha Hotel.

              A taxi journey costs around $30.00.

              Alternatively the Express Bus is available as a public transport option. This has two stops first stop is 7th Circle and the second one is North Complex. It costs $6.00 Per Person. Get off at the North Complex (Tabarbour bus station) and from the bus station, take a taxi to the city centre as it's the most affordable way to get around the city. As a guide, it doesn't normally cost more than 2 JD from the bus station to locations in town. The yellow taxis are metered.
              Finish point
              Caroline Crillon Hotel
              49 Syria St. of Shehab street Mohandeseen
              Giza
              Cairo
              EGYPT
              Phone: 202 33464101
              Finish point description
              The Caroline Crillon is a small, simple hotel in Cairo. The hotel facilities include on-site restaurant, lift and internet access. The rooms are equipped with basic air-conditioning, television and safe deposit box.
              Finishing point instructions
              Checkout time is 12 midday. Taxis can easily be hired from the street in front of the hotel. Bargain for the fare and aim to pay approx EGP80. Only the new White taxis have working meters. The drive can take between 45 minutes and 1 hour depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions.
              We can offer a pre-arranged private transfer service. Inform your agent at the time of booking if you are interested.
              Emergency contact
              In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Cairo office can be reached on Tel: +2 01096811067.

              For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us

              For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

              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.

              Intrepid's Cairo Office: +201096811067
              Visas
              PASSPORT

              As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

              VISAS

              Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

              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 countries not listed below must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.


              JORDAN:

              Australia: Yes - on arrival
              Belgium: Yes - on arrival
              Canada: Yes - on arrival
              Germany: Yes - on arrival
              Ireland: Yes - on arrival
              Netherlands: Yes - on arrival
              New Zealand: Yes - on arrival
              South Africa: Yes - on arrival
              Switzerland: Yes - on arrival
              United Kingdom: Yes - on arrival
              USA: Yes - on arrival

              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 approximately JOD40. 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 days, visas obtained from the embassy in your home country will be valid for two months.

              Please note that although there are ATMs in Amman airport, there are currently no ATMs in the immigration halls – only currency exchanges – so you must ensure you have enough foreign currency on hand if you do not have your visa in advance.


              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 Nuweiba ferry port for most nationalities. The visa costs USD25 and can only be paid in USD cash. 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.

              Please check with your travel agent or embassy before departure as this information may change.
              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, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

              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.

              Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

              GENERAL PACKING LIST:
              • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document.
              • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets.
              • Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids.
              • Daypack
              • Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both.
              • Power adaptors
              • Insect repellent
              • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses
              • Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!)
              • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. 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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
              • Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates
              • Wind and waterproof rain jacket
              • Toiletries/travel wipes
              • Travel Towel
              • Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings.
              • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries
              • Swimwear (itinerary dependant)
              • Clothes! Bear in mind that laundry facilities will be widely available throughout this trip. The cost varies in each destination.


              LUGGAGE LIMIT:
              On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg.

              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.

              VALUABLES:
              Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

              BATTERIES/POWER:
              Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc.
              Climate and seasonal information
              RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL 2016:
              In 2016, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 06 June through until 05 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.

              Please note during public holidays and feasts; restaurants, cafe's, museums and other sights may be closed or operate on reduced hours. Please check opening hours with your trip leader for up to date information.

              INTERNAL FLIGHT: Sharm El Sheikh to Cairo
              Please note this flight is included on your trip. The baggage allowance is 23kgs for checked bags and 7kgs for carry on bags
              Health
              All 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 may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to 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 three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
              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.

              TRAVELLING TO EGYPT
              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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
              www.intrepidtravel.com/safety
              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.

              Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.
              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.

              http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

              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 isn't 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.

              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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

              http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

              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.
              www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/animal-care-in-egypt/

              * Educate-Me provides a range of educational services including early childhood education, after school programs, education scholarships and adult education programs.
              www.theintrepidfoundation.org/projects/educate-me/


              Donations of second-hand tack/dog collars and flea treatment are always welcomed.


              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.

              http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback