4 weeks itinerary
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jan 17, 2012 12:17 AM Last Post By: alfredm
Jan 14, 2012 9:33 AM
4 weeks itineraryWe (my husband and I) plan to travel through Egypt for 4 weeks. We plan to visit Cairo, Alexandria, the oasis Siwa, the white desert, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel. We are oldies (65 +) but experienced travellers. We will arrive in Cairo on March 6, stay about 4 or 5 days for all the sightseeings, continue to Alexandria (1 night) and proceed to El Alamein and Marsa Matruh (1 night). From Marsa Matruh we plan to go to Siwa (1 or 2 nights). From Siwa we wish to go to Baharya - to the White Desert - and then to Farafra, Dakhla, Luxor.
My question: Can we do that on our own, i.e.take the local bus, or do we need to book a tour?
How many days would it take? Do we have to prebook accommodation?
For the second part of our Egypt tour I see no problems in arranging everything ourselves. How many days should I plan for this part? Would it be possible to attach 4 or 5 days at the end for relaxing in one of the beach resorts at the Red Sea?
Any comments are highly appreciated.
Jan 14, 2012 12:11 PM
1You do not need to take any kind of guided tour. My advice is to invest in a good guide book, do some research on the Internet, work with us on TT and plan the entire trip yourselves. Half the fun is in the planning.
Tourism is down sharply right now in Egypt. The good news about that is there are plenty of open accomodations and you can probably negotiate a better deal. I wouldn't worry about pre-booking unless you have special needs or there is a specific place you have your heart set on staying.
Of course it's possible to spend any number of days doing anything you wish. I guess my advice would be to play it by ear and let your plans develop as you move along. Knowing that tourism is down and there'll be plenty of room where ever you wish to go frees you up to spend more or less time in any one place depending upon how you like it once you get there.
Do some more research (get a guide book) and then come back to us with more specific questions.
Jan 14, 2012 1:14 PM
2There are no public transport between Siwa Oasis and Bahariyya and none between Kharga and Luxor.
You need a 4x4 from Siwa either fit in with a group or hire one for the day.
You can get a taxi from Kharga and it takes a good half a day.
There is public transport between the other Oases but you will need some transportation to get into the Black and White deserts if you want a more indepth look. You can book a vehicle locally and at short notice for these from Bahariyya for the Black and Farafra for the White desert.
It is a pity the train no longer runs from Kharga to Luxor as it used to be a fantastic trip, apparently.
Jan 15, 2012 4:10 AM
3If you are set on doing it it may be wise to try and organize the Western Desert part of your trip in advance. As Simsy says you will need a 4x4 to travel Siwa to Bahariya and also to explore off-road - which you will want to do at least in the White Desert. Even if you don't normally camp I'd highly recommend a night out in the desert.
We were there in August/September traveling in our own 4x4. Organising the trip from Bahariya to Siwa (we were going the other way to you) took a bit of effort. We arranged the permit but waited three days for another vehicle carrying tourists so we could tag along with them and avoid having to take our own local guide and military consort (we only have two seats and I didn't fancy 8 hours on the roof!). In the end there was no prospect of anyone else on the horizon so we took our own guide and persuaded the military we didn't need accompaniment (we had to demonstrate we had a working SAT phone). We had to pay for the guide to get back to Bahariya via Cairo (a two day trip) as there was little prospect of him getting at lift back the way we'd come.
So I would say if you don't have unlimited time you may want to try and sort something out in advance. As others have said tourists are a bit thin on the ground at the moment.
Jan 16, 2012 2:24 AM
Jan 16, 2012 4:14 AM
Jan 16, 2012 4:48 AM
Jan 16, 2012 1:36 PM
7Usually the cost for a seat to Siwa from Bahariyya or vice versa is about $USD60 or there abouts.
Buses are pretty cheap as are the hotels in Siwa and Bahariyya.
In my opinion I wouldnt prebook hotels until you see them. In Siwa there are some double storey hotels which take in the action of the town square. Its the best place. Nice breakfasts too in the cool of the early morning.
You definitly wont have a problem getting a room with tourism just a shadow of itself at the moment. Bargain hard!
Lots to see and do around the town. Old town Shali, the roman spas and a couple of ancient sites.
Jan 16, 2012 4:31 PM
8I've been in contact with several hotels in Siwa. The prices I've been quoted are from 1200-1500EP. With 1200 being the very low end, and possibly questionable equipment. Pricey for sure. But better than busing it all the way back to Cairo.
They've also said there's NO tourists right now. So finding others to join with you is very difficult. I've checked with operators in Bahariya...same info.
Jan 16, 2012 7:27 PM
You just have to wing it and things always turn out.
People travel between those centres and there is traffic.
If you ask for a price then of course they have to give these one off prices.
When you get there ask around and find the lay of the land. They are small towns and the owners of 4x4s also want to earn a quid. Winging it is best in Africa IMO.
Jan 16, 2012 11:21 PM
10Again, thanks so much for the words of encouragement. It's funny how hard things seem when you are planning them, and how easy they are once you are actually there. That was true with my TransSiberian railway trip. Hard to plan, but surprisingly easy once I was enroute. Purchasing tickets at stations along the way. Finding accommodations after arrival. Never had a problem.
Jan 17, 2012 12:17 AM
11There were plenty of tourists in Siwa when we visited around Dec. 28-30, but it may have been because of the peak Xmas tourist season.
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