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Egypt and Jordan tour diary day 1 – October 17

And we are off again! Our Egypt tour with the magnificent Hoda Afifi has begun in Cairo.

Egypt is one of the greatest travel destinations out there, with mind boggling history and exceptional ancient sites. You can’t find anything like it anywhere else in the world.

I’ll be honest with you, though. It’s not an easy destination. Cairo can be a LOT.

The largest city in Africa has a heaving population of much more than 20 million. Development in the late 20th century went out of control and the pyramids—formerly far away in the desert—were encircled by sprawl. I always have the sensation that Cairo is perpetually on the edge of disaster, as the desert is constantly trying to reclaim it. It is pure chaos, from the honking cars to donkey carts on the freeway to the hazy air.

Join us on an adventure in Egypt!

Egypt needs almost no introduction – you have likely dreamed about seeing the icons of Egypt such as the Pyraminds and King Tut. On this tour we will see those sights but also expand your understanding of the Ancient Egyptian past. You’ll soar above the Valley of the Kings in a hot air balloon, watch the banks of the Nile pass from your stateroom on a Nile cruiser, and taste the life of Indiana Jones as you wander the markets of Cairo (no whip necessary). Besides the classic Egyptian travel experiences, we will also introduce you to contemporary Egyptian culture, the Islamic religion, and wrap it up with a day aboard a yacht enjoying the natural beauty of the Red Sea.

BUT! There is no other city that has such an Indiana Jones feeling. It is an adventure to walk through Khan al Khalily market where you find a million treasures, boys delivering trays of tea, shisha shops, and Egyptian families out shopping for clothes. The beautiful spires of the mosques and the call to prayer feel like a movie set sometimes. And of course, there is no other place where you can find 4000 year old mummies that you can visit and their amazing golden tomb treasures. Last but not least, the pyramids. There is no way you can see them without being moved by the shocking ingenuity of humans.

We will have more to say about Egypt, but I hope you consider coming. It is pure adventure.

Egypt and Jordan tour diary – October 18

Another blockbuster day on our Egypt tour. Today we began our day with a hot air balloon ride over the majestic Valley of the Kings. This is second only to Cappadocia in my opinion, and gives you a perfect overview of the archaeological area. Next, Hoda took us to visit the enormous sacred area of Karnak. Her story telling brought to life a culture from 4000 years ago.

In the afternoon, our Nile cruise set sail and we enjoyed a sunset over the palm tree lined banks from our top deck. Busy, but this is the problem with Egypt—there is just too much to see.

Some absolutely beautiful sunset shots from our evening visit to Kom Ombo temple last night, the temple dedicated to the crocodile god, built just before Cleopatra’s time.

Friends, if you are interested in traveling with Hoda in 2023, please email me and I’ll send you a notification when we have the group tours ready to sell. She can also be hired as a private guide and we can arrange custom tours of Egypt for 2 or more people. Email

Egypt and Jordan tour diary – October 20

Yesterday we spent a full day in Aswan. This is the largest city in the south, and the terminus of most Nile Cruises. It was a day all about boats. Our first boat took us to the Isis Temple of Philae, which was moved piece by piece to avoid annual flooding.

The second sailing was a joyride on a Feluca, a traditional Nile sailboat, where we enjoyed a happy hour and sunset. Our boat dropped us on Elephantine Island, where we were hosted in a Nubian family home for dinner and an evening of stories about Nubian culture. Our last boat took us back to our cruise ship, where we slept for our final night aboard.

If there is one thing to know about Egypt, it’s that this is a place of water. Without water, without the Nile, Egypt would be an uninhabitable desert.

October 22

The Egypt portion of our tour ended with a bang, visiting the grand temple of Ramses II in Abu Simbel, on the deep southern border with Sudan. Here, the culture is distinctly Nubian, so we ate our lunch in a Nubian village. We watched the sunset over Lake Nasser and awoke early for the flight back to Cairo. On the plane, watching the Nile from above made me realize exactly how enormous it is, so it makes sense that it is a country that lives on the river.

October 26

Our last full day of our Egypt and Jordan tour took us to the southern border of Jordan, near Saudi Arabia. Here we find the Valley of the Moon, or Wadi Rum. You’ve seen this desert before in movies like The Martian and Dune, but it was also home to the real Lawrence of Arabia. After a dusty 4×4 adventure on the sand dunes, we ate a Bedouin feast of earth baked barbecue and slept in our desert tents. A grand finale to a trip that wows every single day.

AWS Staff

This post was published by the Adventures with Sarah team. Click here to find out more about the people that make everything at AWS happen.

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