Traveling to Egypt – Need to Know

Egypt view of the Sphinx with Pyramids in the background

To make the most of your tour to Egypt, we have prepared for you an assortment of valuable tips and guidelines covering various aspects and situations that you may encounter during your trip. You must keep them in mind to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable holiday in Egypt

TIME ZONE
GMT + 2 hours.

LANGUAGE
The national language in Egypt is Arabic. However, tourists will rarely find it to be a problem communicating as English is widely spoken in hotels and shops, with French a close second. Many staff in tourist areas also speak German or Italian.

CURRENCY
The unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE), which is divided into 100 piasters. Notes are issued in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 pounds. Coins are issued in denominations of LE1, and 25, and 50 piasters.

MONEY MATTERS
US dollars are widely accepted in major tourist establishments, hotels and souvenir shops. It is useful to have local currency for tipping or for shopping in smaller souks or local restaurants. There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travellers cheques which may be brought into the country. However, passengers entering Egypt with Egyptian currency exceeding the equivalent of USD$1,000 must declare this on arrival.
The following credit cards are accepted on board: Amex, Visa and MasterCard. Please note that all charges on board are in Egyptian pounds. Guests can pay in US Dollars, Euros or Sterling but please note any change will be paid in Egyptian pounds as there is no currency stock available.

TIPPING
Tips for drivers, tour coordinators, guides, staff on board Nile cruise vessels and Egyptologists are usually not included in your tour price.
We hope that the following guidelines will be helpful to you:
– Tour Coordinators: $7-8 per person per day.
– Staff on board river vessels: Approximately $10-12 per person per day is suggested as a total tip to be divided among all the staff on Nile Cruise vessels.
– Egyptologist/Guide: Approximately $10 per person per day is suggested.

FLIGHT ACCESS & TRANSFER DETAILS
There are daily flights available directly to Aswan and Luxor local airports via Cairo International Airport. Transfers to and from the airports to the cruise and historical sites are also available. All transfers are undertaken in air-conditioned coaches.

WEATHER
Egypt has year-round sun, and almost no rain except in Alexandria, which has a more Mediterranean climate than the rest of the country. Daytime temperatures range from pleasantly warm in the winter to very hot in the summer. Northerly cities such as Cairo and Alexandria are generally about 5ºC cooler than southerly areas such as Aswan and Abu Simbel. Nights in the desert can be extremely cold.

HEALTH
For up to date information on the latest health and vaccination recommendations, please contact your doctor. We advise you to follow the following golden rules while in Egypt: Only drink bottled water, never tap water. Avoid ice in your drinks. Eat only vegetables that have been cooked. Avoid salads and all fruit that cannot be peeled.

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