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Top 3 reasons to explore Egypt with SA Expeditions

Secondary Categories: Middle East

Whether you decide to fly direct from NYC to Cairo, connect in Europe on the way, or visit Petra in Jordan en route, Egypt is an easily accessible, year-round destination.

Here are three key advantages of booking your Egypt adventure with SA Expeditions, plus a few glimpses of highlights you’ll see along the way and some practical details to help with planning.

1. Get inside the Pyramids of Giza with a private guide

Avoid the crowds of the tour bus masses and arrive to Giza (about a 25-minute drive from Cairo) in a private vehicle with your own guide and driver. 

After enjoying plenty of time taking in sweeping views outside the iconic Khafre, Menkaure, and Great Pyramid of Giza, skip the entrance fee lines, stroll through the Grand Gallery, and ascend to the King’s Chamber with your private guide, who will already have your tickets in-hand. 

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Cairo's iconic Great Sphinx of Giza

While the folks in the backs of the big tour groups struggle to hear fascinating facts about the ancient pharaohs from their far-off tour leader, you’ll enjoy direct dialogue with your own expert Egyptologist guide. Ask questions, expand your knowledge, and dig deeper into the archeology, history, and mystery of the last standing Wonder of the Ancient World.

2. Navigate the Nile in tailor-made style

After crisscrossing Cairo to Giza and seeing what the enigmatic Sphinx has been staring at for the last 4,580 years, set your sights to the south and, depending on your preferred travel style, fly, ride, or sail to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings.

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The Valley of the Kings

With a private, tailor-made journey by SA Expeditions, you decide when you’d like to travel and what type of accommodations you’d like us to arrange for you.

Looking for luxury accommodations? Your Egypt adventure can combine a private pyramid-view terrace suite at the Hyatt Regency Cairo West with a five-star Nile River cruise from Luxor to Aswan aboard a top-of-the-line vessel. For example, the 114-passenger Nile River vessel St. George I offers upscale weekly four-night cruises from Luxor to Aswan, or three-night cruises from Aswan to Luxor. SA Expeditions can help you treat yourself and your loved ones to an Egypt experience fit for a family of pharaohs.

Prefer 3-to-4 star accommodations? SA Expeditions offers a range of properties to use as your home base while exploring by land, and a variety of vessel options for your Nile river cruise. Your private trip can start with a stay at centrally located Novotel Cairo El Borg, just a short drive over the Nile on the busy Kasr Al Nile Bridge from the Egyptian Museum. Your Destination Expert can help you compare Nile vessel options and include the boat, cabin and route that work best for you.

Cruising the Nile with your extended family or a small group of friends? You might consider sailing between the iconic ancient sites of the Nile River Valley on your own privately chartered Dahabiya, a traditional two-masted sailing vessel reimagined and modernized with all the amenities needed to leisurely explore the Nile in comfort. Sleep soundly in your air-conditioned cabin and relax on deck between excursions without any on-board engine noise. A day without wind is no cause to worry; if there’s no desert breeze strong enough to fill the sails, a tugboat will be standing by to pull you to the next ancient temple, hidden tomb, or village visit allowing you to enjoy your tour at a relaxed pace and still climb back on board right as your private chef is serving dinner.

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Prefer to sleep on land? If you so desire, your expedition can include hotel stays on solid land in Luxor and Aswan, and privately guided day trips to King Tut’s elusive tomb, prolific Ramses II’s temples, and other treasured sites. If overnight cruises are not your style, we’ll gladly arrange a few hours sailing on the Nile onboard a small, traditional wooden boat called a Felucca to provide a small taste of the true Nile navigation experience.

3. Extensions and excursions customized for you

Beyond exploring must-see Ancient Egyptian sites and the bucket-list experience of cruising on the Nile, your hand-crafted SA Expeditions itinerary through Egypt can include extensions and additional activities based on your interests.  For example:

  • Diving: Add a few nights at a coastal resort along the Red Sea’s coral reefs to scuba dive or snorkel

  • Birding: Peer through the reeds of the Nile with a specialized guide and see if you’ll add any of the 498 bird species found in Egypt to your life list

  • Cuisine: Enjoy Nubian culinary creations with local families in remote desert regions, or dine at top-ranked local restaurants in larger cities

  • World religions: Egypt is home to sites holding special significance to followers of some of humanity’s great religious traditions. If you would like to customize your tour to incorporate visits to any religious sites that might be of particular interest to you, please ask your Destination Expert!

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Just two of Cairo’s award-winning restaurants (Courtesy photos: World’s 50 best)

Additional essential Egypt information

  • Worth remembering: The Nile flows from South to North. “Upper Egypt” is Southern Egypt and “Lower Egypt” is Northern Egypt.

  • An Ancient Egyptian history refresher: To put this type of trip in context, it may help to take a quick, simple look back at two periods of Ancient Egyptian history, in case it’s been a while since the word sarcophagus appeared on your middle school Social Studies quiz.

  • Old Kingdom (2686-2181 B.C.): Egypt’s pharaohs seek to secure their safe passage to the afterlife by being laid to rest in massive pyramids, including the pyramids at Giza and 38 other pyramids throughout The Memphis Pyramid Field, near Cairo.

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It turns out that massive pyramids standing in plain sight near populated areas were not the best places to hide sarcophagi for eternity, and all of the pyramids’ burial chambers were raided within a few centuries.

  • New Kingdom (1567-1085 B.C.): Wising up, Egypt’s pharaohs – including King Tut and Ramses II – seek to secure safe passage to the afterlife by being laid to rest in deep, rock-cut tombs (not pyramids) hidden in the Valley of the Kings, near Luxor. This area eventually becomes central to Egyptian religious and political life.

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Flying to Luxor and cruising between Luxor and Aswan is your opportunity to walk in the shadows of colossal statues standing guard over ancient tombs, decipher hieroglyphics in timeless temples with your Egyptologist guide, and experience modern village life in the communities of the Nile River Valley.

When To Go: Egypt is a year-round destination, though some travelers choose to avoid the hottest months of May through September. If planning on traveling during the end-of-year holidays, expect bigger crowds and limited availability; we always recommend booking well in advance.

Go beyond Egypt & extend your trip into Jordan: While you’re in the region, you may choose to extend your trip into the Middle East. Fly from Cairo to Amman, Jordan (a quick 1.5-hour flight), and head to Petra to hike through the Lost City, unleashing your inner Indiana Jones. Get the ball rolling on your epic Egypt + Petra adventure!

If you’re ready to begin planning your Egypt expedition,  contact a Destination Expert  to get the ball rolling today!

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