Jordan & Israel Explorer Trip Notes

Travel from the Jordanian capital, Amman, through the desert of Wadi Rum, the ancient temples of Petra and the holy city of Jerusalem to cosmopolitan Tel Aviv.

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Last Modified: 07 Nov 2014
Jordan & Israel Explorer
Trip code: ELKJ
Validity: 01 Jan 2014 to 31 Dec 2014
Embark on a cultural adventure through Jordan and Israel. Journey across great desert plains in Wadi Rum, marvel at a city etched into rock at Petra and discover your spiritual side in Jerusalem. From the awed silence at Amman’s Roman ruins to the loud chatter of cafes in Tel Aviv, witness remarkable ancient and modern cultures blend to create an unforgettable experience.
This trip is run by our experienced sister company Peregrine Adventures. Your group is therefore likely to be a mixture of Intrepid passengers and other like-minded international travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency contact
ThemesGroup sizeEmergency funds
MapYour fellow travellersVisas
ItineraryAccommodationIssues on your trip
Culture shock rating MealsHealth
Physical ratingTransportSafety
Money ExchangeAlternate Joining point Travel insurance
Spending moneyArrival complicationsResponsible Travel
TippingFinish point Feedback
Style
Comfort
  • Comfort is your style of travel if you want the whole grassroots experience with more inclusions, meals and creature comforts. While accommodation is predominantly tourist class (3-4 star), on some itineraries there is the opportunity to stay with a local family, spend the night on a train or camp out in exotic places (without putting up your own tent of course). Along the way, you'll really experience the destination up close. You'll mingle with locals, enjoy a taste of their way of life and gain special insights from your leader. This is not luxury travel, but real world experiences - just with a softer landing!
Themes
Explorer
Map

Itinerary
Day 1 Amman
Marhaba, welcome to Jordan!
On arrival in Amman you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until a group meeting is held in the evening, where you will meet a tour representative and fellow travellers. 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 (though it's not critical if you don't). We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
If you arrive early in the day and would like to have a look around, Amman is a pleasant and modern city (on the surface at least, its origins are several thousand years old), built on seven hills. The downtown area is a short taxi ride away, and there you will find the Citadel, perched atop the highest hill overlooking the city, a spectacular site for Roman ruins and several other layers of ancient history. Nearby is the Roman ampitheatre, and from there it's a short stroll to Amman's main shopping district with lively markets and elegant boutiques.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Aqaba
After breakfast this morning we will transfer to the bus station for the JETT bus direct to Aqaba. This is a very efficient service and the journey takes around four hours - keep your eyes peeled for camels after the 250km mark. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel and the rest of the day will be free for you to explore the town and port. Of particular historical interest is the Mamluk-era fort near the beach. It was occupied by the Ottomans for centuries until it was liberated during the Arab Revolt in 1917.
In the evening we meet our tour leader and any other travellers who may join the group here from Egypt.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Wadi Rum
This morning there is a brief orientation tour of Aqaba with your guide before driving to Wadi Rum, a couple of hours away. After time for lunch at the Visitor Centre you will head into the protected area in rather rickety old jeeps, operated by the young men of the local Bedouin community. This is an attempt by the Jordanian Government to bring much-needed income into this region - an initiative we also support.
The two-hour jeep safari will explore several interesting rock formations (including the famed 'Seven Pillars'), and the spectacular desert landscapes for which Wadi Rum is deservedly renowned. Then find your own inner Lawrence of Arabia with a camel ride of around one hour to our desert camp. Nestled amidst dramatic monoliths, the camp is relatively basic (it does have a toilet block with showers), yet still affords the simple comforts of traditional Bedouin hospitality. Following a delicious Bedouin dinner, the night spent around a fire and beneath a sky of a million stars is a truly memorable experience and one of the highlights of the trip.
Included Activities
  • Desert Jeep tour of Wadi Rum
Accommodation
Desert camp (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Petra
It's well worth rising early to watch the cliffs change colour as the sun comes up. Enjoy a morning stroll before scaling one of the large dunes to enjoy sensational views of the surrounding area. Keen photographers will be delighted.
It's a jeep ride of around one hour back to the visitor's centre, which is a great spot to buy some jewellery and knick-knacks, mostly made by a women's co-operative which is aimed at supporting traditional local industries.
From here it's back onto the highway to Petra, a journey of a round two hours. On arrival, there is time in the afternoon to check out the town or just relax…ready for a big day of exploring tomorrow.
Hewn out of the rose-coloured rock face, the ancient Nabataean city of Petra is one of the Middle East's most spectacular destinations, and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The day starts early, the tour leader wanting to get the group to the site before the many busloads of day visitors arrive. The exploration commences with a walk of a couple of kilometers (Please note that when entering Petra as a group, a complimentary horse ride is included in the ticket price from the entrance point of Petra down to the site itself. Intrepid recommends passengers do not take this option due to the safety and insurance liability involved), along the Siq, a narrow defile that leads like a funnel to the ancient city. The trail is paved, and most of the way bound by walls of rock that rise sheer to the sky on either side. The guide will point out the ancient irrigation channels cut into the rock, and several statues that have mostly eroded and worn away over the centuries. You come to a certain point where you turn a corner and - wow! Through a cleft in the rock you catch your first glimpse of the Treasury, Jordan's most iconic image - this is surely one of the most exciting and heart-stopping moments in travel. The Siq widens and opens out as you reach the sandy forecourt of the Treasury - capturing the image of the Treasury as seen through the cleft is a great challenge for keen photographers.
After time spent marvelling at the Treasury the path opens out more as it winds around through a valley lined on either side by dwellings cut into the rock on either side. Here there are souvenir stalls and chai stalls, one of which is run by the family of New Zealander Marguerite van Geldermalsen who married a local Bedouin in the late-70's and has lived here ever since. Further on is the Cardo Maximus that leads through the Roman section.
The site remained unknown to the Western world until 1812, when it was discovered by Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, a Swiss explorer. It was once described as 'a rose-red city half as old as time' in a sonnet by John William Burgon and UNESCO has described it as 'one of the most precious cultural properties of man's cultural heritage.' In 1985, Petra was designated a World Heritage site. So you know you are in for an amazing experience here.
It's difficult to determine exactly when the history of Petra began. Evidence suggests the Horites, probably cave-dwellers, inhabited the area, lending their traditional habits such as burying the dead and offering worship in half-excavated caves to the next wave of inhabitants - the Nabataeans.
Evidence of the earliest Nabataean settlement is also sketchy. Some of the characteristics of the site appear partly Egyptian and partly Greek in style. Strangely, few inscriptions have been found at Petra making dating the civilization a real challenge for historians. We do know the Nabataean settlement doesn't go back farther than the 6th century BC.
In 106 AD, Petra was absorbed into the Roman Empire and the native dynasty came to an end but continued to flourish for a century after. Eventually the building of tombs ended and trade moved away from Petra, which fell into steady decline over the centuries. Over time many of the tombs' treasures were stolen by treasure hunters and their glory and whereabouts are unknown.
According to Arab tradition, Petra is the location where Moses struck a rock with his staff and water came forth.
After lunch the rest of the day is free 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 (approx 1 hr). Please note a lot of walking is required to see all the sites and viewpoints of Petra. A basic level of fitness will enhance your enjoyment of your visit. The bus will return to the hotel at two different times in the afternoon.
Included Activities
  • Guided tour of Petra
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Days 6-7 Amman
Follow the King's Highway back to Amman, a road that pre-dates Old Testament times. En route is early 12th century Shobak Castle, originally built by the Crusaders to protect the eastern flank of the Latin Kingdom and its trade routes to the sea before it fell to Saladin in 1189. Perched on the side of a mountain, amidst barren landscape, you will stroll through the site and continue on to the ancient village at Dana, where local artisans sell attractive silver jewellery and charms.
You will then reach Madaba, where you'll visit the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George that houses an ancient mosaic map. This is of particular interest and great historical significance, as it clearly depicts Palestine and Lower Egypt around 550 AD, the only one of its kind in the world.
You can expect to arrive in Amman in the late afternoon, where in the evening you will try one of its many fine restaurants.
The Roman city of Jerash is one of the grandest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world. Its archways and theatres, baths, public buildings and colonnaded streets constitute a striking collection and make it a beautiful place to explore.
Grand ionic columns encircle the city's centrepiece, the Oval Plaza, a wonderfully atmospheric place to linger after exploring Jerash's riches. The site is best visited in the morning before the day heats up before heading down to spend the afternoon at the Dead Sea.
Relax on the shore or take a dip like no other – the warm, highly saline waters make swimming difficult but bobbing on the water's surface a unique pleasure.
Return to Amman for the night.
Included Activities
  • Shobak Castle
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 8 Amman to Jerusalem
Today will be an early start, leaving Amman and heading for Israel, crossing into the country over the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge some 40 kilometres from Amman.
Please note, patience is required for the entire border process as there are rigid security procedures and long queues to contend with. First are the Customs & Immigration formalities on the Jordanian side, which are relatively straightforward.
Then say farewell to Jordan as a bus takes us across No Man's Land to the Israeli checkpoints. The Israel security procedures are rigorous to say the least and you may be questioned if you have any interesting stamps in your passport. Your luggage is screened and possibly searched before you collect it in the Customs area. The whole process usually takes three or four hours but could be even longer on a busy day.
Having eventually cleared Immigration and Customs, your Israeli tour leader will be waiting patiently for the group, then head off down the western coastline of the Dead Sea. The first stop is the clifftop fortress of Masada whose tale of doomed resistance by the Zealots against the Romans resonates deeply for the Jewish people and the modern state of Israel.
Retrace your steps to Qumran, an archaeological site of a small monastic community from the time of Christ who produced the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were found by a shepherd in caves nearby.
Then to Jericho, a slow-paced West Bank town considered by some to be the longest inhabited city in the world, before continuing on the road to Jerusalem.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 9-10 Jerusalem
The day begins with a short drive to the Mount of Olives to take in a panoramic view of the city's extraordinary ensemble before driving to the Garden of Gethsemane.
From there walk to St Stephen’s Gate, a memorable way to enter the Old City. Visit the 'Cardo' in the recently restored Jewish Quarter, which was the old north-south axis in Roman times, then the Western (Wailing) Wall, the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
When entry is permitted it's also possible to visit the Temple Mount, the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. Jerusalem is one of those handful of cities in the world where there is so much to see all in one place; after lunch (not included), the rest of the afternoon will be free for further exploration of the neighbourhoods within and beyond the walls of the old city so you can make your own discoveries.
Tonight's welcome dinner is at Azzahra restaurant where you should try musakhan, a local speciality.
The following morning it's a short drive to Bethlehem. The route passes through a gap in the controversial security wall that separates Israel proper from the West Bank. Opposite Manger Square is the Church of the Nativity, the world's oldest continually operating church that marks the birthplace of Jesus.
The history alone of the building itself is impressive, as is the devotion of some visitors. On the outer edge of West Jerusalem is Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the Holocaust, an event that still reverberates strongly in the national psyche. A number of memorials are scattered over landscaped grounds, with a very sobering museum at its centre.
Nearby is the gorgeous village of Ein Kerem where, after a quick tour of its lanes of stone houses, you can take an optional lunch. In the afternoon return to Jerusalem for one last afternoon of free time to take in the city's myriad of attractions.
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 11 Tiberias
This morning we will drive through the Jordan Valley, whose fertile lands were chronicled in the Bible, to Nazareth. The Basilica of the Annunciation incorporates, according to Roman Catholic tradition, the cave in which Mary received the news from Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus.
Pass through Tiberias, one of Judaism's four holy cities, then sail across the Sea of Galilee to Tabgha, where Jesus performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. Return to Tiberias to visit Yardenit - the new commemorative site of Jesus' baptism in the Jordan River - and stop off at the site of the ancient settlement of Capernaum situated on the banks of the Kinneret, where Jesus once lived and Peter's house still stands.
Lunch is taken at a lakeside restaurant where you should try the local delicacy - St Peter's fish - taken fresh from the water opposite. The day ends in Tiberias, the night is spent in a hotel on a kibbutz.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 12-13 Tel Aviv
Leave Tiberias and head north to the ancient crusader port of Acre, a World Heritage-listed site and a place alive with an eventful history from the crusades through to the Napoleonic battles, and on to the present day.
Visit the massive complex of buildings occupied by the Knights of St John as well as the Knight Templars' secret tunnel. Follow the coastal road down to Haifa to visit the spectacular Baha'i Gardens.
The perfectly manicured gardens are one of the holy places for the Baha'i faith, one of the world's youngest religions. After lunch, stop at Caesarea which served as the capital of Israel during the Roman and Byzantine eras and which nowadays holds some of the country's finest classical remains, including an aqueduct and a graceful theatre which overlooks the Mediterranean.
Continue in the afternoon to Tel Aviv, where you'll spend your last night in Israel's liveliest city. With its bustling cafe culture and relaxed beach scene, Tel Aviv makes for the perfect end point to your adventure.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
  • ELKJ - Single Supplement (ELKJ)
    Culture shock rating

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

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    The receipt of commissions or kickbacks in exchange for recommending particular shops or services is ingrained in the culture of the tourism industry. Rather than turning a blind eye to this unavoidable issue in some areas, Intrepid has established a centralised fund whereby contributions from recommended suppliers are collected and distributed back into the business. Intrepid aim to provide the best value trips in the market, and this fund assists in keeping operating costs and trip prices low to you.
    A priority in establishing this fund is that the experience of our traveller - you - is not compromised in any way. Please let us know via the feedback form completed after your trip if we are successfully meeting this objective.
    Money Exchange
    The official currency of Jordan is Jordanian Dinars (JOD). It is easy to get money on arrival to Jordan. ATMs and money exchange are plentiful. Check with your bank for information on ATM international fees.
    When leaving home don't forget your PIN and make sure you know the telephone number for cancelling your card if it is stolen. Keep this in a safe place. When using your debit card, check your receipts and keep them to compare against your statement when you get home.
    We recommend that you carry some foreign currency cash for when ATMs can not be accessed, have broken down or run out of cash. There are few problems changing money as there are many banks and currency exchange facilities. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange.
    Occasionally banks will also allow cash advances on your credit card, but it is not recommended to rely on this.
    While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques the process is time consuming and commissions can be high (up to 10%) and it can be difficult to change on weekends and public holidays. The easiest cheques to change are Thomas Cook or American Express in USD, EUR or GBP.
    Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    The Middle East is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming and the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, roadside stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist-friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you shouldn't expect the Middle East to always be a budget destination.
    Tipping
    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 is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
    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 a attendant that will expect a tip. 20- 50 cents 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.
    Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.
    Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult.
    Important notes
    OUR LOCAL PARTNER:
    This trip is operated by Peregrine Adventures and you will be joined by other like minded Intrepid and non Intrepid travellers. Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex.
    RAMADAN & THE EID UL-FITR FESTIVAL 2014:
    In 2014, the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from 28 June - 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.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
    Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Your group will be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers from our sister company Peregrine Adventures.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (11 nts), Desert camp (1 nt)
    Meals
    11 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 4 Dinners
    Transport
    Minibus, Public bus, Camel
    Alternate Joining point
    For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
    24 Nov 2014 (ELKJ141124), 05 Jan 2015 (ELKJ150105)
    Grand Palace Hotel
    Queen Alia Street
    Amman
    11192
    JORDAN
    Phone: +962 5691131
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    Please also make sure have a copy of the local operator's emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
    Finish point
    Hotel Metropolitan
    11 Trumpeldor St
    Tel Aviv
    63803
    ISRAEL
    Phone: +972 35192727
    Fax: +972 35172626
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our local Jordan-based ground representative for the Middle East (Jordan Circle Tours ) can be reached on Tel: +962 79 554 7137. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week.
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, our local Israel based ground representative for the Middle East (United Travel) can be reached on Tel: +972-54-761-3668. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Melbourne Office can be reached on Tel: +61 3 9473 2650. For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. 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.
    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 approx. 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 day, a visa obtained from the embassy in your home country will be valid for 2 months.
    Please note that although there are ATMs in Amman airport, there are currently no ATMs in the immigration halls of Amman airport (but there are currency exchanges), so ensure you have some foreign currency on hand if you do not have your visa in advance.
    ISRAEL:
    Australia: No - not required
    Belgium: No - not required
    Canada: No - not required
    Germany No - not required
    Ireland: No - not required
    Netherlands: No - not required
    New Zealand: No - not required
    South Africa: No - not required
    Switzerland: No - not required
    United Kingdom: No - not required
    USA: No - not required
    It is important to be aware that many Arab and Islamic countries deny entry to any person that has evidence of a visit to Israel. Syria, Iran, Libya and several other countries are included in this list. If you are planning to visit any of these countries with the same passport you must request that your Israeli ‘tourist visa’ be stamped on a loose leaf ‘Form 17 L’ instead of in your passport. Likewise, if entering Israel through the land borders with Jordan please ask the Jordanian officials not to stamp an exit stamp in your passport. If you have evidence in your passport of visits to certain Islamic countries, Israeli border officials will scrutinize you regarding the purpose of your visit to Israel. They can sometimes appear difficult and the delay can be lengthy however patience and a friendly demeanor are advised.
    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.
    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:
    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:
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.
    Remember that once you’ve left your feedback you’ll automatically be entered into our monthly draw for a US$500 (or equivalent in your local currency) travel voucher.