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Esna to Abu Simbel

Getting there & away

Constant police checkpoints and an insistence that foreigners travel in convoys make independent road travel in southern Upper Egypt almost, but not entirely, impossible. The police in Aswan often don’t allow foreigners to travel on any public bus north of Aswan, and certainly don’t allow travel by service taxi. Travelling by train is recommended as it allows a little more freedom. Officially foreigners are only allowed to travel on three particular trains a day, but usually you can get on any other train, although it might be wise to buy your ticket on board. It is possible to hire a private taxi from Aswan to Luxor, although you will have to be part of the morning convoy that stops at the Temple of Kom Ombo for about half an hour, and at the Temple of Horus at Edfu for one hour.

Travel to Abu Simbel has become much easier again. Foreigners can take buses (officially only four foreigners are allowed on each bus), minibuses and private taxis, all still in a police convoy. The plane remains the fastest, if most expensive, option.