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Egypt is Open for Tourism

Get the word out to everyone you know. Egypt is open for tourism. We just finished our visit and it is safe AND amazing!

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Empty Pyramids of Giza Cairo Egypt

Walking around the base of the Pyramids or through the Valley of Kings you expect to be confronted by photographs filled with tourists.

But at the moment there is only open space.

Pyramids of Giza in Cairo Egypt

 

Why are tourists not visiting some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world?

Because of the Media.

When it is said that “all news is good news” it doesn’t apply to the Arab Spring and Revolutions that have spread like wildfire through the Middle East over the past 12 months.

And the media continues to report on an Egypt that is “at war” and fighting in the streets. While the reality is completely different.

Egypt is currently without a ruler as they have recently toppled their current dictator. With elections planned for the middle of this year there is unfortunately still a feeling of unrest and disquiet across the country. But unrest doesn’t mean that there are tanks rolling across the squares. In fact we didn’t see or encounter anything that worried us even after visiting Tahir Square on New Years day.

Everyone continues to go about their daily business and get on with their lives.

We spoke to a number of local Egyptians in Cairo, Luxor and Hurghada and they are all very optimistic about the future for Egypt. The only problem being that one of their largest money spinners, tourism, is currently hurting. And hurting bad.

We have just returned from exploring Egypt over a 10 day period and were gobsmacked by how few tourists there were in the country. The lack of tourists is really taking its toll.

Our tour guide said that their bookings are well down over previous years. And local businesses and tourist operators are really struggling to fill the gap left by a usually booming industry.

The reports before we left were still mentioning that there were riots in the streets and that tourists should avoid travelling to Egypt unless absolutely necessary.

Well we are telling you now, it IS absolutely necessary.

It is necessary because the local Egyptian people want and NEED tourists to return. The sooner that happens the better.

Our tour was fantastic because we were able to take amazing photos without the crowds, never had to queue and were offered discounts (upon the already shamefully cheap prices) on everything.

I have never met a friendlier bunch of locals who just wanted to welcome us to Egypt. Sure we had the louts who tried to sell you everything under the sun. But even after you would refuse to buy something or ignored them they would still say just one thing time and time again.

“Thank you for coming and welcome. Make sure you tell ALL your friends that Egypt is open for business”.

Well that and being offered 200,000 camels at every attraction for Adela.

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    January 4, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Ha, the touts in Egypt are notoriously bad, and I’ve read that since there are fewer tourists for them to harass it’s become even more intense in recent months. I still wouldn’t mind, though – Egypt is definitely on our list for 2012!

    • Cole

      January 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      Maybe thats why they were so pushy! We just assumed they were like that every time. You get used to it pretty quickly though and “La Shokran” works like a charm. If you want some tips then let us know 🙂

  2. Sam

    January 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Less tourists is certainly a bonus, wish I could get over there right now!

    • Cole

      January 4, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      It’s a shame you can’t get there now. Hopefully soon?

  3. Bohemian Trails

    January 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Went to Egypt in early 2011 and had a great time. It’s tough seeing everything that is going on right now but I’m hoping they can get through it as a stronger nation.

    • Cole

      January 4, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Everyone we talked to were super positive about what the future holds. Just have to see how they get on with the elections which are happening right now.

  4. dtravelsround

    January 5, 2012 at 4:34 AM

    I am so glad you were able to go and share your experiences. 🙂

    • Cole

      January 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Thanks! Hopefully it will inspire more travellers to go as well to spread the word.

  5. Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    January 5, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    Thanks for writing this. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t plan on going to Egypt any time soon because of everything that they saw on the news last spring. Like you said, life goes on, everywhere. And people forget that when they get one image stuck in their head.
    As far as travel goes, I don’t think anywhere should be written off completely. Sure, consider your comforts, but don’t just say no to a place. It’s possible to be hurt, injured or killed anywhere in the world, even your hometown. If we all focused only on the bad that happens around the world than honestly no one should go anywhere. And that would suck.
    There was an advisory on the Philippines when I visited last year. It’s been in place for ages, but I’m not sure if it still is. Anyway, if I had listened to that, I would have missed out on two of the greatest months of my life.
    Good and bad exist everywhere in the world, just be mindful of it.

    • Cole

      January 5, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      No problem Bobbi. I think it is a shame when there is a huge misunderstanding or something is blown out of proportion as someone will always suffer. Egypt was perfectly safe in our minds and we walked and travelled basically everywhere. Sure we took precautions, but as you say, you always should when you are travelling whether it is in your own town or somewhere foreign!
      I am glad you still headed to the Philippines after advised not too.

  6. Elle Croft

    January 5, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    I’m so glad you shared this! My hubby and I are planning a trip to Egypt in the second half of this year and just last night we had the discussion about whether it’s safe – we only have the media to go off, but hearing your first-hand account is really encouraging. We will be going for sure!!! Thanks for sharing…

    • Cole

      January 5, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      No problem Elle. I can show you pictures of Tahir Square which we crossed over several times. No more than a few tents just like the Occupy movements around the world at the moment! Maybe I need a little disclaimer on here though…

  7. Rob

    January 6, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    You’ve managed to get to Egypt at a great time. It must be wonderful to see these historic places without the normal number of tourists.

    We’re off to Sharm in April but probably won’t head out of the resort. Really looking forward to going back again.

    • Cole

      January 7, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Rob you must get out of the resort! You will be missing out on so much if you don’t head outside. Unless you are planning to do lots of diving? Then fair enough cause that was phenomenal too.

  8. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    January 7, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    We were in line to go on a press trip last year right before the resurgence of the protests in the square, so it’s nice to hear that you didn’t experience anything negative during your visit. Hopefully the Tourism Board will start reaching out to media again soon so we can spread the story that Egypt is open for business and eager to show visitors the wonders of their beautiful country.

    • Cole

      January 7, 2012 at 5:40 PM

      That’s a shame Bret. Hope they do speak with you again soon. The elections have been taking place so hopefully there will be a bit of stability soon. We are heading back through their again in May for a trip so should be good.

  9. cheryl

    January 7, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Well said! I hope this post will help more people decide to get up and head over to Egypt.

    • Cole

      January 8, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      Keep sharing it Cheryl to get the word out 🙂

  10. karen

    January 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    I am a regular visitor to Luxor and have been visiting for the last 14 years. In all the years I have been visiting I have been shown nothing but kindness and friendship. This Saturday January the 7th, whilst walking in broad daylight, on the main corniche. I was attacked by two males on a motorcycle from behind, who wanted my bag. Luckily I had the sense to let go of my bag as they were dragging me along the floor.

    A German lady had exactly the same thing happen to her an hour earlier further down the road.

    Locals are suffering from high crime rates as well, and I noticed a shop Monday morning selling guns just down from the train station.

    There are very few police on the streets and the ones that are present are uninterested in what is going on around them.

    Egypt is a beautiful country and I am not posting this to scare people or stop them from going, because believe me people are dying of hunger over there because of lack of work.

    I want people to be fully informed about what is actually happening in Luxor before they go.

    • Cole

      January 11, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      I am sorry you had such a bad experience there Karen. But as you rightly pointed out, you have been going there for 14 years and only had one incident the entire time. I think if it had happened more then maybe you wouldn’t go back. I personally think that these sorts of things can happen anywhere in the world. I know friends that have been mugged in broad daylight in New Zealand, UK, USA and all around Europe etc. Unfortunately it happens but it is no reason to stop going to a country in my opinion. You just have to be careful anywhere you are these day. Thanks for sharing and I hope you give Egypt another chance.

  11. AlexBerger

    January 11, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    I’m torn. On the one hand I’d love to get to Egypt in 2012 and as an Arizonan who has put up with the nonsense reporting about the AZ/Mexico border and how “unsafe” it is for years, I’m sympathetic to overblown media reports.

    On the other hand, I’ve been generally disgusted by what I’ve seen from the new transitional (or not so) Government in Egypt. At this point my resistance is less about safety concerns and more about political disgust. At the same time, I feel a bit guilty in that only compounds the pain for the people themselves, ehh?

    • Cole

      January 11, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Agree with you there Alex. We have second guessed travelling to destinations purely out of disgust at how their government (or lack of) have treated the people. Unfortunately a lot of Egypt NEEDS tourists so feel that this overrules that reason for not going just like you mentioned! Hope you do get a chance to visit soon 😉

    • Michael Hodson

      January 26, 2012 at 11:07 PM

      Yep Alex, that is the problem for me right now. I was in Egypt shortly after the Feb revolution last year. Love the country. But as I wrote about it a few weeks ago, I can’t support any of my tourist dollars going to a government that is brutally killing its peacefully protesting citizens in the street. Hope it gets better soon for everyone there, but can’t support tourism there right now, just as I couldn’t support it to another country I love Syria. Really hope both situations improve soon.

      • Cole

        January 27, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        Thanks Michael for the insight. It definitely hurts to see money going to the wrong hands but hopefully (fingers crossed) with a new government we are going to see some major changes for the better in Egypt. We are heading to Syria in a few months so hopefully it will have improved over that time as well.

  12. Ian [EagerExistence]

    January 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    This is great news for me, I will be in Egypt at the end of the week, for a MONTH!

    • Cole

      January 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      Glad to hear it Ian. Hope you enjoy it and if you want any tips let us know!

  13. Cara

    April 5, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    We are looking to book a trip to Cairo and a river cruise down the Nile for May 25 – June 2, 2012. The elections are May 23-24th. Now we are not sure if that is a good idea. Cole you said you are going in May? Are you concerned about this?

    • Cole

      April 5, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      Hey Cara thanks for reading! Unfortunately our plans changed and we are no longer travelling to Egypt again (not because of any unrest). We would definitely still be going if we didn’t have other commitments. Especially if you are just having an amazing time on a Nile cruise. If you have any other questions then please get in touch 🙂

  14. Alexandra

    May 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Lack of tourist at some of the world’s most famous sites is definitely a valid reason to visit Egypt ASAP! Thanks for sharing your experiences and showing once again that we only see the worst of a country on the news.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 31, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      It’s a shame how some places get portrayed in the news. Everywhere we went we felt completely safe and it is a shame that people change their plans based on bias and factually inaccurate reports.

  15. memographer

    January 16, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Thanks for sharing. I am wondering how bad/good Egypt is now (a year later) after a new wave of violence.

    • Cole Burmester

      January 17, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      No problem 🙂 We went with Expat Explore tour company and they were excellent at keeping us updated with the situation over there as they use local guides etc. Maybe send them an email?

  16. Dariece - Goats On The Road

    April 27, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    Great post!
    It’s amazing how many people won’t go somewhere based on what they hear in the media. If we lived by the news, we’d never go anywhere…except maybe Canada 🙂

    We were in Egypt in March, 2011 just at the end of the Revolution, the day before Mubarak stepped down. We had such a great time during our 6 weeks in Egypt. The people were fantastic and we had every site to ourselves!! Literally no tourists anywhere.

    Go to Egypt people, it’s amazing!

    Cheers for the post.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 27, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience Dariece 🙂 It is ridiculous that after all this time people still question whether they should go. Makes me very sad!

  17. Go Sharm Tours

    October 28, 2013 at 2:15 AM

    Egypt is now save, specially the beach holiday areas on the Red Sea like Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Taba and Hurghada.
    Cairo is also save, for more safety you may have to avoid Friday afternoon, specially the places of the demonstrations, If it exists.

    The tourist can even enjoy the fantastic historical sites of Cairo from these other cities like Sharm el Sheikh through day trips from Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo.

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Africa

The Best Safari Holiday In The World

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Every continent has its little treasures. North America is big and beautiful and is the entertainment capital of the world. South America is exotic and offers treasures such as the Amazon rainforest. Europe is known for its culture, architecture and art. Asia is known for its interesting hardworking people who live very differently to the west. Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) is known for its sunny beaches and very friendly people. Antarctica, of course, is very cold and then there is Africa – lush, expansive, green Africa.

The movie ‘The Lion King’ is not far from the truth with regards to how the animals live amongst each other in Africa. Obviously they don’t roam the streets, as some people actually think, but are kept in the safaris where game rangers protect them.

In Africa, particularly South Africa, there are many safari experiences. The biggest one being ‘The Kruger National Park’. The Kruger National Park is a staple of the South African experience. Millions of people flock there from all over the world each year to experience it. There really is no other experience quite like it. It is all about nature and the wild. Just remember when traveling to these far away places to keep your health in check. This Research Verified review will tell you more.

What Makes The Kruger National Park So Special

The Kruger National Park was established long ago as far back as May 31, 1926. It was named after the president at the time, Paul Kruger. The unique part of the safari are the animals you will find there. Animals such as rhinos, leopards, buffalos, lions and elephants (known as the big 5) as well as African wild cats, caracals, cheetahs and servals. You will find tall giraffes, hippos, jackals, kudu, an array of gorgeous, colorful birds, warthogs, monkeys, baboons and more. This is the biggest reason so many people come from all over the world – to experience something different and dazzling under the African sky. This is Africa’s offerings at its best. Just to be there and explore its pure nature. It is one of the largest parks on the surface of the Earth extending to 19,485 square kilometres. It’s basically the same size as Israel (Israel covering 20,770 square kilometres). It’s massive with so many things to do and it offers both day and night game drives.

Travel Packages

Back in 1926, the first tourist cars entered the Park. Back then there was no accommodation provided for them. Nowadays there are gorgeous travel packages on offer. There are a lot of 3 day options that go for great prices including luxury options. There are lodge, camping and gorgeous luxury safaris. Although, if you are traveling from overseas you will want a longer experience. There are combination tours that combine the Kruger National Park itself with trips through the Garden Route and Cape Town as well as Victoria Falls, Swaziland and Kwazulu Natal.

Kruger National Park Offerings

There are gorgeous culinary delights at the safari and there are huge buffet breakfasts on offer made superbly under the watchful hands and eyes of expert chefs. There are actually 17 different restaurants within the Kruger National Park that offer breakfast. You can also enjoy a bush “braai” at the Kruger Park which is the South African term for ‘barbeque’. You cannot visit South Africa or the Kruger National Park and not have a braai – it’s part of the complete experience. It often includes different meat such as ‘boerewors’ which are very thick, juicy and tasty meat filled sausages, lamb chops, beef steaks and chicken as well as chicken kebabs. It will always come with beautiful salads and fresh bread (often buttered garlic bread with herbs) and buns for the boerewors in which ketchup and mustard are often combined. Beer and wine are also really big in South Africa and there will be a big variety.

There are also swimming pools at the park which are great during the hot summers – December to February period. There are beautiful spa resorts within the Kruger National Park that offer gorgeous packages as well as ziplining nearby.

You can travel to this magical place alone but it is best spent with family or friends. The Kruger National Park offers ample adventures. There is no other place like it on Earth and the memories of it will stay with you forever!

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Africa

Honeymoon Safaris: The Perfect Combination

Honeymoon Safaris: The Perfect Combination

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Wedding preparations are exciting and fun, but equally as stressful. You get caught in a blissful whirlwind that culminates in that special day, which marks the start of an entirely new story in your life. An extraordinary and luxurious honeymoon in some unique location is the ideal transition into your new life with the person of your dreams. It allows you to unwind, reflect and celebrate the start of this new chapter. An African safari offers you a mixture of adventure and romance that is almost impossible to beat. Ranging from heart stopping moments of discovery to the pinnacle of luxurious relaxation. There are a number of excellent options available to you and this article hopes to give you a little taste of what’s out there.

Get a new perspective on the Serengeti

Visiting the Grumeti Reserve region in Tanzania allows you to take to the skies in a hot air balloon. This unforgettable ride over the treetops is an exciting and romantic way of experiencing the majesty of the Serengeti. It takes game viewing to unbridled heights and gives photography buffs a new outlook on our world. The balloon glides over grasslands and acacia forests before ascending to almost 1000 ft to expose the true enormity of the reserve. This gives you and your partner the time and space to experience the beauty of the land and the wildlife below.

Adventure and romance

Many lodges cater to more adventurous guests by offering a number of different outdoor activities: these include archery, stargazing, mountain biking, tennis, water skiing and nature walks. Honeymooners are often allowed to customize (like ending a hike with a romantic picnic) these activities to make them a bit more private and special.

Rest and Relaxation

If you’re looking to slow down a bit then you expect to be pampered. Many lodges have world-class spas, which offer a wide range of treatments, and you can expect peace, serenity and VIP treatment. The beauty of the wilderness, which is reflected in their décor and mindsets, generally inspires these spas. Enjoy a massage or nourishing mask in the comfort of your own suite or head to the spa. The choice is yours. Treatments can often be tailored to couples.

Privacy

Safari lodges are typically designed to offer you total seclusion. Suites are often far apart and self-contained. Private Vehicles can often be booked for guests looking for ultimate privacy.  Your meals can be enjoyed in the setting of your choice: in your room surrounded by candles, under the starlight on the deck or out in the bush with your private chef. Maybe you want to dine in a romantic setting made especially for you as the stars twinkle overhead. This is your time and they aim to make your dreams come true.

Africa has many wonderful safari destinations, each offering travellers something unique. Visit Tanzania to see the vast plains of the Serengeti. See the Big 5 in the lush bushveld of the Kruger National Park in South Africa or stand in the shadows of the sandstone outcrops and incredible baobabs in Zimbabwe. Go out and find what your heart desires.

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Africa

5 Travel Tips for a Safari in Botswana

5 Travel Tips for a Safari in Botswana

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Botswana is always among one of the finest safari destinations around the world. Being in the right place in Botswana in the right time with a perfect preparation, you can behold some of the most rare wildlife viewing sights one can ever see. Yes, there are a number of things that you need to do right to be able to have the best out of your safari in Botswana. And here are 5 tips that should help you make your Botswana safari tour a great success and once in a lifetime experience.

Oasis Overland African Gorillas

Visit April-November

Yes, it’s kind of not-so-good idea to go on a Botswana safari between November and April because it’s the time for rainy season. So, when planning for your tour, make sure it’s between April and November and not between November and April.

Wear Comfy Clothing

When on any safari, it’s important you are in the utmost comfort. The temperatures during the summer in Botswana are between 18°C to 38°C. So, it can be really difficult to enjoy the safari in the summer if you are not wearing the perfect comfy clothing. Pack well.

Always Go with a Guide

You may be a brave individual but you should not take the risk of moving from one place to another without a guide while on safari here. A guide can be really handy and save you from deadly mistakes and accidents. The guides can help you with answers to the questions like what ways to take and how close to get to the wild animals. But that does not mean you can’t get close to the wild animals, a guide will help you get really close to some animals whilst you may have to see some from quite a distance if they are not safe.

David-Sheldrick-Elephant-Orphanage-Mud-Pool.jpg

Do your Research before Selecting Your Accommodation

Where you will stay can make a big difference. So, to have the best experiences, you should pick an accommodation option that can give you the perfect safari feels. There are a number of world-class safari tour operators with great accommodation and dining options for tourists. So, pick one that has the reputation to deliver you the kind of experience you are looking for.

Money and Cash

Major credit cards are accepted in most safari camps and hotels but don’t ever expect to find an ATM machine! You can either have the local currency which is Pula or US dollars, Euros or South African Rand as they all are readily accepted in most areas. When in the local markets, you should bargain to have the right prices for products. But if you don’t like bargaining, there are plenty of shops where the prices are fixed. So, when shopping, make sure you know if the prices are fixed or not before starting to check out products.

These are not such difficult tips to follow. So, make sure to follow the above mentioned advice and have some unforgettable experiences on your Botswana safari tour.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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