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General Instructions

Egypt Entry Requirements
Non-Egyptian visitors arriving in Egypt are required to be in possession of a valid passport. Entry visas may be obtained from Egyptian Diplomatic and Consular Missions Abroad or from the Entry Visa Department at the Travel Documents, Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). It is, however, possible for most tourists and visitors to obtain an entry visa at any of the Major Ports of Entry. Please check with your nearest Egyptian Consular mission for more details concerning visa regulations applying to your citizenship.
Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border post to Taba to visit Gulf of Aqaba coast and St. Catherine can be exempted from visa and granted a free residence permit for fourteen days to visit the area.
Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri-Lanka, Tadzhikistan , Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries. Residents of the above countries may apply for a visa through their nearest Egyptian Consulate or Embassy.
Possession of a residence permit in Egypt are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the country and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less.
Tourist Visa: is usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis. Entry Visa: is required for any foreigner arriving in Egypt for purposes other than tourism, e.g. work, study, etc. The possession of a valid Entry Visa is needed to complete the residence procedure in Egypt.
Foreigners arriving in Egypt on board of ships are granted a permission to visit the port of arrival for 24 hours and catch their ship at the same port. They can also be granted a permission to enter the country for a visit not exceeding a period of 3 days before catching their ship at the port of arrival or at any other port.
Air passengers transiting in Egyptian airports are allowed entry for a quick trip not exceeding the period of 24 hours. In the event of emergency landing, passengers are entitled to enter Egypt for a period of: 24 hours in case of poor weather conditions. 48 hours in case of technical faults to the aircraft.
Money
It is wise to take travellers cheques for safety and these can be exchanged at any bank. Most of the large hotels have exchange machines which take cash or credit cards. Major credit cards can be used for cash advances in banks and exchanges and now for purchases in many large tourist hotels, stores and restaurants. It may be useful to know that Exchange 'shops' will often be open all day, whereas banks and travel agents may close for part of the afternoon. It is worth checking out banking hours to avoid disappointment! Alternatively you will get a better deal for cash in USD from Hotel staff and small shops, the unofficial market exchange rate is usually 15% higher than the official central bank rate. Be careful not to change large bills of money (more than 500$) in a single transaction. Generally most goods and services in Egypt seem to be very good value, but there is a system of bargaining for everything you need, from hotel accommodation to taxis and souvenirs. Some of the larger tourist shops have fixed prices, but in the local markets (bazaars or suqs) bargaining is a way of life - so leave plenty of time for shopping. Asking prices will be very high to begin with and drop rapidly depending on how much interest you show and walking away will often be the way to get prices reduced. It is great fun to bargain and I work on the assumption that I can usually get things for around one third or one quarter of the original asking price. It depends on how much something is worth to me. Remember that Egyptian tradesmen need to make a living too. Shopping often means having a cup of tea or cold drink in almost every stall in the market and half an hour of general conversation (or translating letters from foreign friends) before getting down to the business of prices. You are under no obligation to buy, so don't feel guilty if you change your mind. If you do make a purchase it is a good idea to keep plenty of small notes as vendors in smaller shops often don't have change and you may have to wait while they go in search of your change. Baksheesh or tipping is also a way of life - a kind of unofficial purchase tax on all goods and services and you will need to keep plenty of small notes on you at all times. The level of baksheesh is entirely up to the individual and how much you value the service you have had. As a general rule a tip of EGP 1 to EGP 5 is usually acceptable. This is a small amount to the tourist but is often a large portion of income to an Egyptian, whose monthly wage would not even cover our weekly food bill at home. They usually have large extended families to support on very little money. Hotel staff, taxi drivers, shopkeepers and guards or guides at the monuments would expect tips, but do not offer baksheesh to policemen (who are not officially allowed to accept money from tourists).
Dress
Egypt is a conservative country and visitors should respect this attitude. No topless or nude bathing is permitted. On the practical side, leave your synthetics at home as they will prove to be too hot in summer and not warm enough in winter - bring materials that breathe. It is advisable to wear cotton in summer as the heat can be like a furnace. In winter wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings. Wear loose and flowing garments, which are not only modest, but practical in a hot climate. Have you ever wondered why the Bedouin wear layers of flowing robes? Why they cover their heads and the back of their necks? Centuries of living in desert climates have taught them that loose garments keep one cooler and layered garments allow wind to enter and circulate, creating a natural ventilation system. Protecting the head and neck from loss of moisture prevents heat stroke. Bring comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and temple floors are far from even. In summer, wear a hat to protect yourself from the heat of the Egyptian sun. Above all travel light. Get wheels for your luggage and leave heavy items at home. If you don't bring a camera you will be sorry. Sunglasses are a must as the sun is very strong in Egypt.
Food
The range of food in Egypt is very wide and cosmopolitan. Mostly you will find dishes are a cross between Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Food is available in large restaurants or from street corner stalls and snack bars. The smaller snack-bars and cafes usually offer a good range of inexpensive lightly-spiced Egyptian food as well as sandwiches, pizzas and French fries. Falafel is a snack made from beans and is available freshly cooked on every street corner. Check out how clean the stall looks, as some of these places don't have running water or refrigeration.
The traditional Egyptian breakfast is 'ful' which is a kind of bean stew and extremely filling, but larger hotels will offer a buffet breakfast with just about anything you could possibly imagine, including a wide range of breads and cakes. Smaller hotels tend to stick to a continental breakfast of croissants or bread rolls with jam or cheese, and sometimes eggs. Yoghurt is also popular.
Egyptian people often eat their main meal at lunchtime and this is usually chicken or beef with rice and vegetables and may be preceded by a soup. Pork is rarely seen in Egypt as it is considered unclean by Muslims. Bread accompanies every meal and there are many types of breads in different regions. The common 'Aysh' or Egyptian bread is an unleavened circle of coarse dough (and sand) a little like pitta bread, or larger loaves or rolls of risen white dough. Bakeries are abundant and the choice of pastries and very sweet cakes makes your mouth water.
A similar but smaller meal is eaten at sunset by Egyptians, but tourists tend to have their main meal in the evening, often quite late. A three course meal in a hotel will cost anything from around EGP 30 upwards, whereas you can get a three course meal in a local cafe for around EGP 10. In Cairo there are many Western-style fast food restaurants, including places like McDonalds and Pizza Hut and there is even a McDonalds in Luxor now. They are inexpensive compared to their branches in Europe.
Egypt is famous for its coffee shops, the traditional place where men go in the evening for a game of dominoes or backgammon. There will usually be a television blasting out a loud football game in Arabic. In these pavement cafes you can have a cup of coffee (Nescafe or Egyptian coffee), tea or a soft drink and watch the world go by. Western women are just about tolerated now in these places but you will rarely see Egyptian women here except maybe in Cairo.
Tea is a traditional drink in Egypt and you will probably drink gallons of it while there, whether you like it or not. It is made by boiling a powdery form of tea leaves in a kettle of water until it is stewed, and then a large quantity of sugar is added. It is served in small glasses without handles. Coffee, unless you ask for Nescafe, will be similar to Turkish coffee, served in tiny cups with a thick residue of coffee grains in the bottom. This will also be very sweet unless you ask for only a little or no sugar.
The more traditional Muslims do not drink alcohol although they are tolerant of visitors drinking in moderation. Alcoholic drinks are usually confined to the bars of larger hotels and restaurants and can be very expensive, but limited stocks are now available in some supermarkets. A local beer called Stella, a fairly weak lager, is available in many places as is Stella Export which is stronger and more expensive. Several types of reasonable Egyptian wines are also available, but expensive.
Naturally, bottled water and soft drinks are available everywhere. Try juice stalls on the street where you can get freshly squeezed fruit juices depending on the season for around EGP 6 per glass. Mango, guava, sugarcane, or strawberry are just a few of the many to tempt you on a hot day.
Transportation
Few places on earth capture the imagination of both young and old the way Egypt does with its parched desert landscape dissected by its one eternal river. The Nile flows from beyond Egypt's southern border some 1500km through high cliffs and plains before the river valley splits into the many tributaries of the Delta. To either side of the river are baked stretches of desert - the 'Red Land' or 'deshret' of the ancient Egyptians which formed a natural barrier against invasion for thousands of years. The 'Black Land' 'kemet' is the river valley itself, a life-giving ribbon of cultivated land which never extends more than a few kilometres from the river and was fertilised by each year's inundation until the building of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. Because the Nile Valley was the most populated area in ancient times, this is where the bulk of remaining Egyptian monuments are situated and where most tourists visit. The popular way to get to Egypt is to fly into one of the main cities - Cairo, Luxor or Aswan, whose airports have recently been modernised and extended. For those who want a more leisurely holiday the Red Sea coast is becoming increasingly popular, a diver's paradise with its coral reefs and wide sandy beaches in resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada. There are package tours to suit every taste and every pocket. It has to be said that the Nile Valley is by no means the only monumental area and 'specialist trips' are now being organised to the Oases of the Western Desert as well as the Eastern Desert and Sinai.
Many visitors opt for a cruise. These flat-bottomed riverboats, 'floating palaces' which may be merely luxurious or blatantly ostentatious, ply the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back weekly. The long cruise from Cairo to Aswan is no longer available at the present time for security reasons, but on the shorter cruises the visitor has the opportunity to pack about three weeks worth of holiday into a week. Cruises are usually accompanied by Egyptologists who will guide you around the sites in a whirlwind tour of knowledge and wit. While catching your breath between visiting monuments and eating huge meals there is time to just relax and watch the banks of the Nile, hardly changed since ancient times, silently float by. There are now also cruises available on Lake Nasser which take in the Nubian monuments. For those who prefer to travel alone or with friends, there are many small Egyptian-owned hotels at extremely reasonable prices as well as the large five star tourist hotels. Travel from one city to another is comfortable by either air, train or air-conditioned coach. Since the trouble with terrorism in the 1990s however, independent travel is not quite so easy for foreigners as it once was because security has been greatly increased to protect us and at present all tourist road travel has to be accompanied by armed police convoys.
The easiest and the quickest, though most expensive way to travel around Egypt is by domestic air travel. Egyptair offer a range of daily flights between the larger cities. From Cairo you can get an airport bus which makes several stops between the airport and the Pyramids Road in Giza. Alternatively there are always lots of taxis waiting at the airport to take visitors to their hotels and the same applies to Luxor, Aswan and other airports.
The whole of the Nile Valley from Alexandria to Aswan is covered by a rail service run by the Egyptian government, but when trying to book a ticket on these trains visitors are often told that they are only allowed to travel on the 'tourist train'. This is a sleeper train which runs daily from Cairo to Aswan operated by a private company, Wagon Lits and is superbly comfortable even without a sleeper compartment. It is advisable to book tickets at least a day in advance. Otherwise, if you are prepared for an argument at the ticket office, you can travel on any of the frequent government trains which are less expensive and less comfortable.
Air-conditioned coaches operate throughout Egypt and are generally inexpensive with two coaches a day between Cairo and Aswan, but be prepared for a long journey. There are also local buses without air-conditioning between all Egyptian towns. Check the main bus terminals for details of times and costs. It often costs only a little more to travel in the more comfortable coaches.
There are two types of buses in Cairo. Large overcrowded buses travel routes throughout the city, often with a dozen children hanging on to the sides and you can get to most places on these routes. Smaller more comfortable buses which do not allow standing also operate the major routes. They are an inexpensive way to travel.
You can also hire bicycles inexpensively in Luxor and on the West Bank. A good way to get around as there are no hills. There is no charge for bicycles on the ferry.
There are donkeys, camels, horses, with boys touting for business wherever you go.
 

Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the frequently asked questions and their answers, hopefully you will find what you are looking for.
If you didn't find what you are looking for, then go to ask online you will get an answer for your question with every
help I can do to make your trip so enjoyable .
Some of the Travellers Questions

How much money should I bring ... ?
Samo Tours - can you tell me how much money (in Egyptian pounds) I am allowed to bring into Egypt from Canada. I have read I can only bring 100 E. pounds into the country.
Thanks for your help.

Thank you for your question
Yes but it is not the way you understood it. It is not allowed for visitors to bring more than 1000P( Egyptian currency notes)....the limit is 1000 LE in cash( note that !! no one ever checks your money at the airport !)
Any way, that rule was put to decrease inflation and bring more hard currency. However, there are no limits of how much you can bring in dollars Or in other foreign currency. You can virtually bring millions if you want.
I hope that clarify this matter for you which perplex lots of tourists, but it is just a misunderstanding .
Please if you have any further question don't hesitate to ask .
I wish you a nice holiday
Samo Tours
What do you think trains would cost ?

Samo Tours
Q:We would like to travel by preferably train or maybe bus. We are in particularly interested what the total travel expenses will be? Can you offer an estimated total price? In US$ or EGP In advance
thank you very much.
Yours sincerely
David


A:Check our site for more info . Thank you
Samo Tours

Is it safe to travel from Luxor to Hurghada by bus ?

Hi Samo Tours,
tTank you for your very informative web site. I hope you don't mind if I ask you a couple of questions. We are a retired couple, planning a budget trip to Egypt from Australia during Nov/Dec this year. We plan to travel by bus from Luxor to Hurghada. Do you think this is safe and will the bus timetables change during Ramadan? Maggie and John


Thank you for your email and thank you for your kinf openion of my site hope it sereved you well.
To travel from Luxor to Hurghada is fairly safe, all tour buses travel within police convoy escort, 2 twice daily and it is very quite safe Since speed limit for divers is imposed .
There is no need to worry , thousands of people travel on that road every day and mostly tourists like you . As for the month of Ramadan, timetable slightly change as people are fasting . local buses go from luxor to hurghada every day , the ticket is about 45 Egyptian pounds
I hope this answer your questions
Have a lovely trip
Samo Tours

Why I can't visit Menya and tell El Amerna ?
Samo Tours
I had the opportunity to visit Egypt last year by the end of November. I went with some friends to Alexandria, Cairo, Memphis, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Karnak, Luxor and also we took a tour through the Nasser Lake. We spent 13 fabulous days. I want to go back to Egypt this year I’ve booked in an expedition by the end of October but I would like to have some additional days at Cairo on my own. I’m preparing the itinerary for such days and I would like to have your recommendations about what to do at Cairo. Of course, in addition to the Egyptian Museum, pyramids and Saqqara. I think in Minya or Tel Al Amarna? Any recommendation?
Thanks for your help
Betty.
HI Betty


Thank you for your email ,. To answer your opinion I would like to tell you that there are so many places in Cairo to see , but you only need three days , not more than that . you can visit old Cairo , old churches , old mosques and the great pyramids and the sphinx. and many more , tell me what you have in mind !?
As to visit menia and tell El-amarna , I am afraid that this is not possible today, these areas are closed for visitors and considered restricted areas .
When traveling throughout Egypt you should avoid certain areas. Particularly those who are located in the middle of Egypt. About 20 years ago there was rising tension at these sites. In the past Islamic fundamentalists have targeted tourists in order to destroy the tourist industry and the economy, this is in turn was a part of a larger game plan to bring down the government, seize power themselves and install their own admission and political ideas on their own vision of which no more resembles the rules of the Qur'an as the inquisition resembles the Christianity of Christ.
Some certain incidents occurred during the '80s and the '90s a handful of events took place targeting the tourist industry .Without for a moment trying to deny the reality of these events the situation has been blown out of all proportion by the world's press while the situation in other countries with flourishing tourist industries is far more worse, but their incidents are rarely make headlines but in Egypt anything happens, it becomes front-page news. In the mid '90s a widespread and harsh government crackdown campaign worked to stop any threats to tourism and visitors.
The trip to Egypt is still entails far less danger than a trip to anywhere else in the world .During the term of the violence in the mid '90s there were certain areas been appointed not good for tourists these areas are particularly located in the middle of Egypt specially Minia, Asyout and Sohag. Unfortunately these places has some of the most beautiful monuments in Egypt, as you will find the beautiful tombs at Bani Hassan in Minia, the marvelous monasteries of Asyout and the temple of Abydos in Sohag. but eventually these sites will be re -opened again for tourists very soon.
If you still think to visit these places as individual traveler, you still can but you will be entitled to have a police escort with you as police forces would not leave you to travel alone in these areas.
best regards
Samo Tours
How to avoid the Hassle .. ?
Hi Samo Tours,
I have been looking at your web page, and am very impressed. It's one of the best I've seen about travel and ancient culture in Egypt.
I will be going to Sudan in a few months for research. I go to East Africa frequently for work and have visited many of the Nubian archaeological sites, but I've never been to Egypt, and I think I should. What I'd like to do if I can is fly into Cairo rather than directly to Khartoum, then take a Luxor cruise to see the temples. Would it be possible for me to get a train from Cairo to Luxor, schedule a cruise to Aswan, then leave the cruise and take a ferry to Wadi Halfa, and from there go by train to Khartoum? I'm on an academic's budget, so I won't have very much money. Also, I don't know if a cruise would be right for me - I've never taken one, and it sounds very luxurious, but I would hate to be trapped on a boat with a lot of boring old people for four days (sorry, I don't mean to sound offensive).
Is a cruise the best way to visit the temples at Luxor and Karnak and see the surrounding area, or would I be better off taking a train or another option? Also, I have read on your web page your tips for women traveling alone. Can you please tell me, very honestly, as an Egyptian man, EXACTLY what I need to do to minimize hassles from men while I travel through the region? I am not concerned about crime, because I think many big cities in Europe and the US are more dangerous in that respect. However, even though I dress
appropriately and conservatively, I still often get hassled by Arab men when I travel alone - I'm not talking about mild flirtation either. What should I do to keep that from happening?
Many thanks,
Jane


Hi Jane ,
Thank you so much for your kind opinion about my web site ,I hope it served you well and you found it useful. To answer your questions about traveling to luxor from Cairo , yes you can do that .It is so easy , and you will find many options of train classes to travel to Luxor , you can check the train schedule at my web site. (Click Here) if you are traveling on budget , you don't have to go on five star boat , you can get 3 or 4 star boat it is well be easier and cheaper .I can recommend many for you to choose from . You can go from Aswan to wadi halfa into the Sudan. I will check about it and tell you about the ferry times and schedule and prices and I will email you soon . Don't worry about the hassle , as long as you are traveling within tourist sites and staying where other travelers stay, no one will hassle you, sometimes you will get the hassle when they feel encouraged , nothing more scary for any Arab man when he feels that the women in front is vvery strong and can really do something to stop it. if you don't stand for it , you will get more , that is why they rarely hassle Egyptian girls.
In Egypt there is a special police department called tourism police. You can find them everywhere, their job is to protect travelers and make travel sites secure and hassle free.
My advice for you is avoid going into the very local areas alone ,and if you really need to , just put a scarf above your head to cover your blonde hair which is not common in Egypt, (they like blondes!!) Don't be too much friendly with anyone approaches you and would starts a conversation with you! They take it later as a sign and get encouraged to over-step their limits.
If any one tries to hassle you, always mention the tourism police and they will go away.
i am sure you have been to many countries. However, you will find that the hassle here is little compared to other countries. anyway most People are used to see tourists everyday.
I wish you a nice trip
Samo Tours
what is your suggestion of a tour plan ... ?
Hi Samo Tours...
I am planning a trip to Egypt in September for about 5-6 days. Although the time is short, I would like to get in as much as possible. These are a few of the must-do's: pyramids, museum, Saqqara, 1/2 day Felucca ride on the Nile, Luxor temples (either overnight train or flying). Just to give you some ideas of what I wanted to do. Plus, I would really like to ride a camel into the desert and perhaps stay overnight there. As you can tell, I do not have the logistics planned out and therefore, would greatly appreciate any advice or itinerary you could provide. I also would like an Egyptologist (such as yourself) for certain destinations as the desert, pyramid/temples....so as to be safe as well as get the most education out of our sights and adventures. I am not sure if you do more private type guiding or if this is even possible. One more thing, it is possible to take part in a 1/2 day volunteer archaeological dig. (I've heard conflicting comments).
With much appreciation,
Eileen


Thank you Eileen for your email, sounds to me that you are quite adventurous and want to enjoy as much as you can of your trip of the trip!
If you want me to build up an itinerary for you I can do that, but first I need to know that exact time you are coming over .If you know that date you can book me from now for your tour .I don't know what is my schedule for tours in September yet. other wise I can recommend
some one for you. As for your itinerary we can do it as follows:
1- One day pyramids tour ( visiting Memphis, sakkara and great pyramids and sphinx ) including lunch and air conditioned van and private guide (me) 2- 2nd day - a city tour , visiting the Egyptian museum to see the treasure of Tut ankh Amon and many others, then visit the citadel of salad din , then old Cairo churches in old Cairo and finally going to visit the old bazaar. 3- 3 rd day fly to Aswan in the south to visit the unfinished obelisk , the high dam and philai temple , and then flucka ride for the rest of the day
around the islands in Aswan ( visiting elephantine island and the botanical
island ) over night in Aswan.
4-4th day fly to luxor , upon arrival , you will visit the temple of luxor, karnk temple , over night in a hotel
5- 5th day , get up early morning to visit the valley of the kings in thewest bank and valley of the queens and hatshpsut temple back to hotel . at night attend the sound and light show at karnak temple.
6- Fly back to Cairo .
7 - Sit and relax and take a day for leisure
8- Fly back home
tell me and let me know what have you decided
As for joining a dig , I am afraid you can't, you have to be an Egyptologist like me, they won't gave you the permission. Take care and let me hear from you
Samo Tours
Are there any youth hostels that are decent and in a good location for bus transportation?

Hello Samo Tours,
I know you live in Cairo, but would have any idea whether it is possible or not to travel from Aswan to Abu Simple by bus/car/ train/boat/plane, and from Abu Simple to Cairo by plane? We are leaving for Egypt next Wednesday (March 28th) so this is short
notice for you. If you don't have time to answer, don't worry, we'll find out once we get there.

Thank you very much ... Helene.
- Thank you for your email, first of all let me tell my dear that I guide everywhere in Egyptand not confined ot one area only,
To answer your question, there are only 2 ways to go to Abu Simple :
1- By plane : costs about 110$ by Egypt air
2- By bus It costs about 55$ and takes around 3:30 hours each way.
To fly back to Cairo, you can book a direct flight to Cairo from Abu simbel. flight Duration about 2 hours but you have to book in advance,
If you are coming with a travel agency , they would organize that for you.
I wish you a lovely trip .
Samo Tours

Is it the transportation schedules for the trains change on holidays?Is it the transportation schedules for the trains change on holidays?
Dear Samo Tours,
Firstly ,thank you for your helpful website. You are truly a diplomat for your country. Second, I love your homepage "wallpaper". My question, are there any youth hostels that are decent and in a good location for bus transportation? Many thanks for your help.
Sally. USA


Thank you Sally for your email .You will find one in Maynial Roda , suburb in the south east of Cairo , this is the only one located in Cairo. it is a good location and easy to access.
Samo Tours
How to go to Abu simple ?
Hello Samo Tours. I came across your website via www.lonelyplanet.com and has served me very well. With regards to the train schedule
(http://www.samoegypttours.com/beforyoucome.php), in particular between Cairo and Luxor, can you tell me if this schedule is valid 7 days a week? In other words, is the schedule different on the weekends? Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Q-
Thank you for your question, the answer is yes it is valid and it is not different on weekends.
Thank you
Do you have any old Samo Tours pictures ??!!!!!!
I am about to embark on thumbnails for a production of Samo Tours. Sadly, when I search for Samo Tours & art the only thing that's listed is Disney; what I am searching for is older more traditional looking representations of him- or heck, just some good paintings. Good photos having to do with old Baghdad would be good too.
If you could help, I would appreciate it very much, ....-Rachel


Hi Rachel
Thank you for your e-mail I really wish I can help you , I only have the name given to me by my parents, but unfortunately I don't have any pictures of him
Do you know the time table of the shuttle boat between Sharm and Hurghada ?
Samo Tours , Can you please tell me the schedule for the boats (1 and half hours) that travel between Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh. Do these need to be booked in advance? Kim

Thanks Kim for your question , the boat goes every Saturday and Tuesday ,it cost about 30$ per-person and it takes 1.30 hour , and you need in advance booking.
Egypt Tours
Safety in Egypt after the 11th of September ?
Hi Samo Tours. Pretty cool web site you have here!
I have been planning for a while to go to Egypt over the winter holiday breaks (mid Dec to mid Jan). Beautiful people, culture to discover, colorful markets, pyramids, excellent diving... I have two problems:#
1. After September 11th I don't know how safe it would be for me to travel there and
2. I am a female (28) and would be traveling alone. Oh yes, and I am an American.
Do you advise that I should not go? Or do you think it might still be safe?
Thanks for any help.
Cheers,
Kat


Hello Kat,
Thank u for your email, and your opinion about my website . Well to answer your question I would say, that there is no need to be worried , things are only hot in the states , but here life is going . the majority of the Egyptians were shocked and sad of what happened in the states . It is save here , I myself have guided so many Americans almost 3 weeks after this tragedy and they felt save and we had a great time together . At the moment , the number of tourists to Egypt had
declined due to the current events but that is would-wide . It is very safe in Egypt .In tourism field , American tourists are the most welcome , Do you know why ? they are very friendly , they respect cultures and pay good tip!
Kat , I would only advise u to book your accommodation in advance or your local tours in advance.
Finally, Egypt is a fantastic place to visit , there is no need to worry . I wish you the best holiday.
Good luck
Is Hurghada expensive ?
I have been to Egypt many times but not to hurgarda could you please tell me is it expensive compared to luxor, and is it as hot as luxor. Is there much nightlife, and is there much to do if you don't like water sports. Is there any ancient sites to see around Hurghada.
I love your website keep up the good work Samo Tours
Jim


Thank you Jim for your message and your lovely comment. Hurghada is not expensive at all. You can get cheap hotel rates . there is also a night life into this city especially if you stayed in hotel near the centre. there are no sightseeing in Hurghada it is simply a beach resort.
but from there you can take a bus down to luxor it is only 3 hours drive and do some more sightseeing in luxor if you wish.
hope this answered your question
Samo Tours
Climbing mount Sinai?
Samo Tours , We are trying to plan our trip to Egypt and were wondering what type of clothing would be required for night-time in the desert as well as what would be needed for the climb up to mount Sinai? Thank you so much for any information on this.
Jenny


Hello Jenny,
Thank you for your message . I am sorry I could not reply in time as I was in sharm elshiek for a week visit , and guess what ? I went to St Catherine to climb mount Sinai and here I got your email !!
well , first of all , you need to know that the climate at desert is changing all the time. In the day time it is very hot and at night time it is really cold. My advice for you to wear very light cloth while you are in day time and put on heavy cloth while you are asleep . It also protects you from insect bites. If you climb mount Sinai at night as most people then you will be able to see the sun rise.
Remember to gear an additional T.shirt . After 3 hours long climbing the 7000 feet mountain, you will be sweating ! if you kept your cloth when you reach the summit, it would be easy for you to catch cold ! Very bad cold! so before you reach the top simply change your T-shirt with the extra one you took with you.
Note that, in Winter it snows over there and you should be prepared for that.
Hope this answered your question
Samo Tours
Tomb of nefer ????
A few years ago, I saw a television show and it briefly discussed a mummy called Nefer. I have a hunch that his tomb may be at Saqqara, but I am not sure. Is there any information about this mummy. And can you at least see the outside of this tomb on a trip there? Ever since I saw this show, this mummy has intrigued me.
Thanks,
Jeff


You can't see this mummy, but you will be able to see the tomb . This tomb was found in 1965 , and it is located to southern side of the cause way of the pyramid of king Onas , right in the middle of that way. The tomb is just only one chamber and it was built as a family tomb for Nefer and his family. t is decorated with scenes of daily life.
In this tomb there were 9 burial shafts discovered. The one to the eastern side of the tomb, that is located right under the eastern wall. was the one we discovered a wooden coffin that contains the mummy of Nefer! it was found in an excellent state of preservation.
hope this answer your question
Samo Tours
I'm trying to figure out a budget for my trip to Cairo next year?
Q-
Hi Samo Tours
You list a few example packages on your web site. Do you offer these packages? How much do they cost? I'm trying to figure out a budget for my trip to Cairo next year.


(A)
The cost of these travel programs depends on on the travel season, if you chose to travel In summer , then low season prices applicable but if you travel in high season you will be getting high season prices.
most of the above mentioned travel package can be easily organized on a private basis.
Samo Tours
The Eye of Horus ?
Q-
Hello Samo Tours,
i read everywhere that it was the left-eye that was removed from horus by seth, but why do you see as an amulet or picture in books the right-eye? Is this the correct eye, or should they have put the other one in the books? thanks in advance, miranda hoogland, holland


(A)
Hi Miranda ,
The reason that the ancient Egypt used the right eye more than the left eyes as an amulet because this eye was to represent the sun god. the left eye served as a mythical explanation of the phases of the moon, and its magical restoration meant that . The right eye is referred to as the 'Eye of Ra', the sun god. Both the right and the left eyes of Horus were depicted by the ancient Egyptians.
Hope this answered your question.
What to wear for women during the tour ?????
Q-
Hello:
Your site is wonderful, with lots of practical information. I have a question about clothing for women. I am wondering if it might be advisable for women to wear a scarf over their heads as they travel around the cities, and if one is necessary to enter a Mosque. Thanks for your help.
Melissa


(A)
Hi Melissa
Thank you for your message. There is no need to wear anything on your head while being on tour , even if you have to visit a mosque there is no need to cover your head !! . There is a lot of misconception in the west about women in the middle East. Anyway you don't need to wear any scarf or veil , whether inside a mosque or out side one. if you must visit one then make sure you do have an appropriate dress that covers your exposed arms or legs.
Hope this answered your question
All the best
Samo Tours
I would like to visit some sights near Taba could you please advise me of the best places to go?
Hi Samo Tours it will be our first visit to Egypt, we are due to visit in april.We will be staying in Taba,i know it is a small resort (quiet)not much to do but i would like to visit some sights near Taba could you please advise me of the best places to go, also the best way to organise or travell

Hi Linda,
Thank you for your email, it will my pleasure to help you. In taba you still can do lots of many activities for you
1- Snorkeling trip to Saladin island( pharaohs island )
2- Diving safari for one night in the coral spots , taba is one of the very best places on the red sea , it is more elegant and pure than the Sharm.
3- From Taba you can go to visit the colored canyon in newiba, it is only 100 KM to the south, it is a great trip and adventure.
4- You can take your child and visit St Catherine in an over day trip , you can even climb mount Sinai.
5- half day safari trip in the desert to live the bediun life and have Bedouin dinner. It is a great experience.
Samo Tours
Your advice on a hotel location ?????
Q-
Your website is very informative! My friend and I, 2 young females from the US, will be in Cairo for 5 days in March. We're staying at the JW Marriott. What suggestions could you give us on an itinerary? Since it's such a short time, we will probably stay in Cairo and do as much as possible there. What do you think about our hotel choice, is it too far from everything? What about the nightlife? Is it safe at night for 2 women? I look forward to your suggestions. Your help will be greatly appreciated!
Charifa


A-
Dear charifa,
Thank you for your very nice message and for your kind comment. I think that JW Marriott is not a bad choice, it is a bit far from down town but it's a beautiful resort, Away from the traffic and the hassle of the city.
I recommend you to start with visiting all highlights of Cairo as your time is fairly enough to do it all , then you can play it by ear, One day you can do the Pyramids of Giza and Sakkara area, second day you do Cairo Museum, the Citadel and Khan El Khalily Market, Then you can visit most of Islamic and Coptic Cairo in one day, Dahshur and Maydum is a good option too. You can do a day trip to visit Alexandria as well.
Night life in Cairo is generally very safe and it's really great a great way to see the city differently !
Cairo is very cosmopolitan city, but if you plan to go out a lot especially at night, I'd recommend you to stay in a down town hotel
( There is another Marriott down town Cairo in an area called Zamalik ) this way you don't have to commute every day and every night through the very crowded city.
Samo Tours
Q -Will u please give me all the information how to plan whole trip????
Q -Will u please give me all the information how to plan whole trip?

A: to be able to plan a good trip try as much to pick up a tour program that included most of the famous sightseeing. make sure that around transfers are included in your package. be aware of what is included and what is not !
you also should check a good time to travel to Egypt, usually the best travel season is between September to may.
A from any Egyptian consulate in your country, or at your arrival in your Egyptian port of entry.
Q -Could you tell how how to obtain my visa ?

A: from any Egyptian consulate in your country, or at your arrival in your Egyptian port of entry
Q -I am a an American citizen can i gat my visa at the airport ?
Q -I am a an American citizen can I get my visa at the airport ?

A: Yes
Q -How about health in Egypt ?
Q -How about health in Egypt ?

A: In Egypt, everything is quite safe, except sometimes the tap water, which you may choose not to drink as the water in Egypt is highly chlorinated. The fact is, there is no malaria in Egypt. We haven't had a malaria case in the last 80 years. some travelers use take these tablets during their stay and don't realize that one of the many side-effects of the tablets is simply diarrhea!! That it is, in turn, unnecessary, and it spoils their whole holiday. However, it is always a good idea to bring mosquitoes repellent for open-air night events, just to minimize the annoyance factor.
Anyway, to cure any type of diarrhea, there is an excellent antibiotic called Entoseed, which works very fast on removing the worst of the symptoms and putting you back on your feet in a hurry. I would advise you to bring a supply of any medicines that you take regularly and bring the prescription too. But feel safe in the knowledge that in the unlikely event of serious trouble, your hotel or cruise boat staff will find and provide a doctor for you instantly.
Q -Is Egypt safe ?
Q -Is Egypt safe ?

Egypt is a fantastic place to visit , there is no need to worry, A trip to Egypt still entails far less danger than a trip to anywhere else in the world

Q&A on Islam :

Q: What is Islam?
A: Muslims believe in one God and in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions. Muslims believe in a chain of prophets beginning with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Issac, Jacob Joseph, Job, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. God's message was reaffirmed and finalized by the Prophet Muhammad. Islam is a religion of peace, mercy and forgiveness. Muslims pray in a mosque in the same way that Christians pray in a church.
Q: What is the Koran?
A: The Koran, or Quran, is the Muslim holy book, like the Bible is to Christianity. It is the record of the exact words revealed by God to the Prophet Muhammad. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his companions.
Q: What does 'Islam' mean?
A: The Arabic word "Islam" means "submission," and it derives from a word meaning "peace." In a religious context it means complete submission to the will of God. "Allah" is the Arabic name for God, which is used by Arab Muslims and Christians alike.
Q: What are the 'Five Pillars' of Islam?
They are the framework for Muslim life:
o The declaration of faith: "There is no deity but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God."
o Prayer: Muslims perform five obligatory prayers each day. Islamic prayers are a direct link between the worshiper and God. Islam has no hierarchical authority or priesthood.
o Zakat: One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to God and that wealth is held in trust by human beings. Zakat, or charitable giving, "purifies" wealth by setting aside a portion for those in need.
o Fasting: Every year in the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. The fast is another method of self-purification.
o Pilgrimage: A pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, or Hajj as it is is called in Arabic, is an obligation for those who are physically and financially able to make the journey.
Q: Who are the Muslims?
A: People who follow the Islamic faith come from all over the world. No more than 20% of Muslims live in the Arabic-speaking world. The country with the largest Muslim population is Indonesia.
Q: What is the role of women in Islam?
A: Under Islamic law, women have always had the right to own property, receive an education and otherwise take part in community life. Men and women are to be respected equally. The Islamic rules for modest dress apply to women and men equally.
Q: Why do Muslim women cover their hair?
A: Islam teaches modesty for women and men. Women are required to cover their bodies so that their figure is not revealed and only their faces and hands are shown. The head scarf is called a hijab or chador. The long, robelike garment is called an abayah, jilbab or chador. This requirement is designed to protect women and give them respect. The dress of Muslim women is similar to that of Christian nuns, who also cover their bodies and hair. Muslim women are not required to cover their faces as is done in some Middle Eastern countries.
Q: Some Arab men wear a checked garment on their heads. What is that
A: It is called a kafiyyeh, and it is traditional, not religious. Wearing the kafiyyeh is similar to an African-American wearing traditional African attire or an Indian wearing a sari. The kafiyyeh shows identity and pride in one's culture.
Q: What is jihad?
A: Jihad does not mean "holy war." Literally, jihad in Arabic means to strive, struggle and exert effort. It is a central and broad Islamic concept that includes struggle against evil inclinations within oneself, struggle to improve the quality of life in society, struggle in the battlefield for self-defense or fighting against tyranny or oppression.
Q: What does Islam say about Christianity?
A: Islam teaches that Christians and Muslims are both "people of the book." By that it means that the two religions share the same basic beliefs articulated through the Bible and the Koran. The main difference between Christians and Muslims is that Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the son of God. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet who was granted special powers by God to show people the power of God.
Q: What does Islam say about Judaism?
A: Islam teaches that Jews and Muslims are both "people of the book." By that it means that the two religions share the same basic beliefs articulated through the Torah and the Koran. The main difference between Jews and Muslims is that Jews do not believe in the prophets after the Jewish prophets, including Muhammad and his teachings. Muslims, on the other hand, believe in all the prophets including Moses, Ibraham, Jackob, Ishmael, Issac and Jesus.
Q: How does Islam view terrorism?
A: Islam does not support terrorism under any circumstances. Terrorism goes against every principle in Islam. If a Muslim engages in terrorism, he is not following Islam. He may be wrongly using the name of Islam for political or financial gain.
Q: Does Islam tolerate other beliefs?
A: Yes. It is one function of Islamic law to protect the privileged status of minorities. Islamic law also permits non-Muslims to set up their own courts, which implement family laws drawn up by the minorities themselves.
Source from US Today
 
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