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 .
What do you think trains would cost ?
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.
A:Check our site for more info . Thank you
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
Why I can’t visit Menya and tell El Amerna ?
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
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.
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?
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
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,
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
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 .
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.
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.
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.
Thank you for your question, the answer is yes it is valid and it is not different on weekends.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
I’m trying to figure out a budget for my trip to Cairo next year?
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.
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.
The Eye of Horus ?
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
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 ?
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.
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
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
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.
Your advice on a hotel location ?
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!
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.
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.
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
I am a an American citizen can I get my visa at the airport ?
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.
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