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Felucca Nile Cruise in Egypt

Our adventures cruising on the River Nile for two days on a traditional Egyptian Felucca.

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Felucca sunset on the nile

“So let me get this right. We are sailing down the crocodile infested River Nile on a tiny sailboat for two days. We have to camp in the sand dunes. And there is NO toilet or washing up facilities on board?”

Okay first impressions weren’t great.

Don’t get me wrong, we love to camp. Plus I love water and have basically grown up on or in it my entire life. So when we had the opportunity to chose between a 5 star cruise boat or a traditional sailing felucca there was no contest. Felucca it was!

Felucca on the River Nile

Luckily my first impressions proved to be a little off… The Nile is NOT crocodile infested on the section that we were sailing on and we would be sleeping under the stars on the deck of the felucca rather than in the sand dunes.

And we loved every minute of it.

With the wind gently blowing along the River Nile stretching the sail tight and a guide at the helm all we had to do was lie back and relax.

The guides did everything from guiding us, keeping us entertained with stories and songs, to preparing simple meals on board consisting of falafel, pita bread, hummus and fruit for lunch and dinner.

Lunch on the Felucca

We didn’t have to lift a finger unless it was to turn a page or reach for another bottle of beer. With a book in one hand, a beer in the other and only 6 of us enjoying the relaxed pace it was more luxurious in my mind than any 5 star floating hotel.

The snapping of the rigging lines in the wind and water lapping at the sides were the only sounds as we zigzagged our way upriver. For a whole day we followed a flotilla of other feluccas. Our only stops were when someone wanted to stop for a pit stop in the bushes!

As the sun slowly began to melt into the horizon line we pulled up alongside the rest of our tour group for the evening festivities.

Felucca sunset on the nile

Dosed up on the pungent smell of mosquito repellent and shisha pipes we danced to the beat of the Nubians traditional and not so traditional songs. The roaring bonfire in the sand dunes to kept us toasty warm and threw flickering shadows across the Nile.

Lying back on our felucca gazing up at the twinkling milky way far above us with the occasional shooting star it couldn’t get much better than that.

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. Sophie

    February 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Such a meditative and and mystical experience, sailing up the Nile, isn’t it… the slight breeze, the smell, the sounds

    • Cole

      February 10, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      When did you do it Sophie? It really was a relaxing way to spend 2 days and in the middle of the tour it was nice just to chill out away from all the crowds.

  2. Sam

    February 10, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    Wonderful little sailing boat. Makes me want to go sailing again.

    • Cole

      February 11, 2012 at 12:17 PM

      Where do you go sailing Sam?

  3. Dayna

    February 10, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    This. Sounds. Unreal! What an incredible way to experience the Nile, I especially liked the part about not working hard and only having to reach for another beer. Would love to try this someday.

    • Cole

      February 11, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      I hope you guys get to experience it Dayna! Just remember if you ever have the chance to choose then go for the felucca 🙂

  4. Laurence

    February 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    That looks like a wonderful experience. I took a ferry ride across a lake in Africa once, which was about as close to something like this that I’ve done. It was a big lake, so sleeping was part of the deal.. but there were a few more passengers 😉

    • Cole

      February 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

      Haha what lake was it Laurence? Was it quite a rough ferry as in no facilities? Sounds like an adventure!

  5. Bobbi Lee Hitchon

    February 12, 2012 at 4:13 AM

    Never done this. Still haven’t been to Egypt, but you guys are making me want to visit more and more! What an amazing experience.

    • Cole

      February 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      Thanks Bobbi! I hope you do get to visit soon as it is an amazing country.

  6. Natalie

    February 12, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    I would choose the traditional boats as well. You still did not say what you did for the toilet though? 🙂

    • Cole

      February 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

      Haha all we could do was use the bushes. It was okay for a guy as we could just, well you know, but Adela said it was a lot more annoying!

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Thanks Hazel 🙂

  7. Hazel

    February 12, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    So happy you had a good time! There is something magical about lazing the days away on a felucca on the most famous river in the world! I would recommend anyone and everyone to try it at least one time!

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Thanks Hazel! We would definitely come back and enjoy it all over again. Would be great if we could do a multi-day trip on it 🙂

  8. Nomadic Samuel

    February 13, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    I would so love to do this! 🙂

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      It was amazing Sam. Hope you get a chance 🙂

  9. Laurel

    February 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    What a fun, relaxing way to sail down the Nile. I would love to do this!

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      Hope you get the chance too Laurel!

  10. Angie Away

    February 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    I had the same misgivings about the felucca experience at first… roughing it is not really my thing. BUT, I ended up absolutely loving it. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Sounds like I’m not the only one =)

    • Cole

      February 13, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      Glad you chose to do it as well Angie. We were really glad that we did!

    • Cole

      February 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      It was great having a day to just lie back and chill out on the tour rather than the usual hectic running around visiting all the sites!

  11. thetravelchica

    February 16, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    This looks like a fantastic time!

    • Cole

      February 17, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      It really was Stephanie 🙂

  12. Laura

    February 18, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    What an amazing experience!

    • Cole

      February 19, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Have you done anything similar Laura?

  13. SHABL Rob

    February 18, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Have never been but now I’m interested. The first photo is stunning.

    • Cole

      February 19, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Hope you get to head over there soon Rob. It is a fantastic place.

  14. Cheryl

    February 21, 2012 at 11:31 PM

    It’s basically my dream to do this one day! And cool you enjoyed it so much. 🙂

    • Cole

      February 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM

      Hope you get to enjoy it as well Cheryl. It was a beautiful setting.

  15. Joe W

    February 24, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    awesome! I dont think I considered a trip to the Nile personally but after looking at your journey it really makes me want to experience something similar,you guys keep having fun 🙂

    • Cole

      February 25, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Thanks Joe! The Nile is a fantastic place and so peaceful. Hope you make an adventure there soon!

  16. Mark Lukes | Eastern Eurotours

    February 18, 2014 at 2:02 PM

    Such an amazing time with just yourself and with the nature. Great tip if you want to relax yourself and to think some of the things clearly. I must try this! Good thing that you share it. Thanks!

  17. Zenny Morag

    October 13, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Nice post! Your posted information and pictures are very interesting. Egypt is one of my favorite countries around the world . A few months ago, I was on the cruise along the Nile valley. My nile cruise experience was fulfilling. I hope I got a second chance to visit this wonderful place again and again.

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Adventure Travel

Tips for Planning Your Uluru Tour

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Located in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the magnificent sandstone of Ayers Rock or Uluru stands tall at 1,142 feet above ground. The natural formation is widely known for being one of the most sacred places to the indigineous peoples in Australia. At the same time, it is also popular for attracting tourists from all over the world to the land down under.

If you want to visit Uluru in order to pay tribute to this wonder of nature, then doing so through the right tour is in your best interest. It’s not only because Uluru is located at least a few hours from civilization, but it also because such a tour allows you to enjoy the picturesque sights that come along the way within the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

So what sights are there to see along the way and what other general tours suggestions you should keep in mind while visiting Uluru? To help you answer these and some other important questions, here are 5 top tips to keep in mind while visiting Uluru.

Don’t Climb the Monolith

First things first, while it is legal to climb atop Uluru, it is recommended that you do not attempt such an action in order to show your respect to the indigenous peoples.

It is a pretty easy rule to follow when you pay attention to the emotions of the indigenous tribes who have recommended time and again for people to not climb Uluru.

But that doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the natural beauty that Uluru has to offer. In fact, you are encouraged to visit the sandstone and take in its natural glory by standing right beside the formation. That’s why 4WD tour is highly recommended. The tour guides would be able to tell you what you can and can not do.

Visit During Sunset

Ask anyone who has visited Uluru about the best time to see the formation, and you will instantly get the answer as “sunset.”

It’s because Uluru is not an ordinary monolith, but one that is formed through arkosic sandstone. This allows the rock to actually change its color according to the position of the sun. As a result, you can expect the formation to sport a different color depending upon what time of day you reach it.

At sunset, Uluru projects an amber glow that is surreal to take in, especially when you are seeing the formation in person for the very first time. That’s why, it is recommended that you time your trip in a way that allows you to experience this magnificent sight.

3. Take Your Time to Plan the Trip

Perhaps the best way to visit Uluru is through the nearby town of Alice Springs, which has various amenities and accommodation options for tourists who are making their way to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

The drive from Alice Springs to Uluru can take around 5 hours, which is why it is recommended that you arrive at least a day before you are planning to tour Uluru.

This way, you can reach the national park while feeling fresh and rested. This also gives you time to plan longer trips to the park in order to enjoy all that it has to offer.

4. Take in the Sight of the Rock Art

Uluru is not just a wonder to look at by itself, but it also holds several little pieces of wonderful art within it.

The caves at the bottom of the formation hold several pieces of rock art that can only be found at Uluru. If you love learning about other cultures through their art, then this will be a must visit.

Just make sure that you take the time to learn about this art through a local tour guide or via the information provided within these exhibits. This ensures that you have an immersive and informative experience which you can remember for a long time.

5. Don’t Forget the Natural Attractions Around the Rock

Enjoying the breathtaking sight of Uluru sounds rewarding enough for a trip to the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. But it’s not all that you can do during a tour of Uluru.

From seeing the red kangaroos and other marsupials to spending some time with the camels, and from seeing the one of a kind formations of Kata Tjuta to taking a walk by the Valley of the Winds, there’s so much to see and do around Uluru.

That is why, it is recommended that you take your time at the park and put aside at least two days to enjoy all of the unique activities that the area has to offer. It would give you a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of daily life while also allowing you to make the most out of your long journey to the sandstone.

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Adventure Travel

Best Time to Visit Panama and Costa Rica

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The fact that Costa Rica and Panama are close makes both countries perfect for visiting. During your holiday there, it’s easy to travel back and forth between the two countries and enjoy all the wonders they have to offer. Keep in mind that the timing of your holiday will influence what sorts of sites you can visit and what activities you can make part of your plans. By understanding a little about what to expect, it’s easy to determine the best time of year to visit both countries, based on what you would like to do.

Learning More About the Dry and Rainy Seasons

If you’re the type who prefers the hustle and bustle that comes with holidays during the tourist season, plan on being in Costa Rica and Panama during what’s known as the dry season. Expect plenty of sunshine and warm weather during this part of the year. Many of your activities will be outdoors, although you will find a number of indoor sites that you will want to include in your plans.

The dry seasons in both countries overlap. The dry weather for both typically arrives during the first to the middle part of December. In Costa Rica, the dry season usually lingers until sometime in April. Panama enjoys a slightly shorter dry season, with it usually ending sometime in March.

Keep in mind that since this dry period is the height of the tourist season, the cost of visiting from December to April will be higher than at other times of the year. Even so, if your plans include spending a lot of time exploring the rain forests or soaking in the rays on one or more of the beautiful beaches, the dry season is the only time to consider.

Making the Most of the Dry Seasons

During the dry season in both nations, do expect the weather to be more humid and the day temperatures to be a little higher. There is some variance depending on which regions you plan on visiting. As a general rule, locations nearer the coast will include warmer weather and higher levels of humidity. By contrast, the more mountainous areas will offer slightly cooler temperatures and lower humidity levels.

During this time, do plan on enjoying the lush greenery found in the rain forests. During much of the dry season, the abundance of rain from what’s known as the rainy or green season ensures that the forests are at their best. Consider adding some variety to your holiday by spending time at the beach, soaking in the nightlife along the coast, and doing some shopping at many of the open air districts. This is also the perfect timing to enjoy some of the local cuisine while dining outside.

There are special events to celebrate during the dry season. President’s Day in Costa Rica occurs during this period. Along with locals, you can enjoy a number of celebrations, open-air festivals, and just about any type of entertainment that one can imagine.

Since the dry season does attract more tourists, it pays to book your lodgings in advance. Along with President’s Day, there’s also spring break and the Easter Season to consider. While you could look at different hotels and other properties near beaches, there are also hostels that make perfect places to sleep. After all, how much time do you plan on spending indoors when there’s so much to do?

Things to Do During the Rainy Seasons

In spite of the name, it isn’t always raining during the rainy or green season. Most days, there will be brief periods of sunshine that do allow you to spend some time at the beach and other outdoor venues. Do expect the evenings to be cooler. At times, the temperature may make wearing long sleeves or possibly a sweater a good idea.

Even if you’re out and about while it’s raining, there are plenty of things to see. Towns and cities in both nations offer indoor concerts, a number of restaurants catering to all sorts of tastes, and clubs and other settings for entertainment. You will find museums that will tell you more about the history of indigenous peoples and the complexity of their cultures.

What are some of the activities you can enjoy during this time of year? Both Costa Rica and Panama offer options to go horseback riding. Generally, this will happen during the morning when the sun is most likely to be out. Walking tours are also a great way to learn more about the culture and possibly find some interesting places that you will want to return to a little later. Don’t overlook the opportunity to get in some fishing when there’s a sunny morning coming your way. There are changes to engage in freshwater fishing as well as charter boats that will take you to some of the better places to enjoy salt-water fishing.

Coffee and rum tours are also something to consider during the rainy season. These tours allow you the opportunity to see different facilities and how they produce their products. As a bonus, you get to enjoy some taste-testing at many of the places that you visit along the tour. Some of the sites will also have bistros or restaurants included, allowing you to enjoy a nice meal or snack with your coffee or rum.

In terms of museums to visit, San Jose offers some of the most interesting museums in Costa Rica. Many of them are located in or adjacent to what’s known as the Central Market. It’s a great way to enjoy time indoors during the rainy afternoons and early evenings.

In Panama, check out the Panama Canal Museum in Casco Viejo. You can make use of headphones that offer the guided tour in multiple languages. If you happen to be proficient in Spanish, feel free to check out each exhibit on your own. You can also check out the Biodiversity Museum, which features exhibits on the over 1,000 species of animals and plants that are found in the country. Make the most of the discounts offered on Sundays. Retirees also get to enjoy discounts when visiting these museums.

Which season is the best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama? It’s really up to you. For those who prefer a slower pace and don’t mind rain during the afternoons and evenings, the raining season is ideal. Those who thrive on activity, sunshine, and plenty of tourist activities will enjoy going during the dry season. Whatever your choice, plan on coming back a second time. It’s rare for anyone to see everything they want to see during a single holiday.

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Adventure Travel

Most Underrated Travel Destinations

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Everyone knows about Paris and Rome and London but there are so many other beautiful travel destinations that are amazingly underrated. The fact that so many beautiful countries go unexplored by travelers is a tragedy. Not only because so many people are missing out on rich cultures and picturesque views, but also because a lot of these destinations tend to be a lot cheaper to travel to than popular cities. 

A majority of Americans, when asked about traveling abroad, will likely shake their head and say they can’t afford such trips. Many people deal with multiple monthly bills, such as mortgage or rent, student loans, and title loans, which are all stress inducing. 

But what a lot of people don’t know is that there are gorgeous, underrated foreign cities one can visit for a fraction of the price of touristy European cities. Forbes recently published a collection of the ten most underrated destinations you should consider visiting. 

Here are a few of them:

Yerevan, Armenia

Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, is known for its magnificent sights of Mount Ararat, historical monasteries, and its many striking temple ruins. Armenian cuisine is other worldly with classic dishes like rabbit stew, sautéed eggplant rolls, and lamb tartare. 

Telč, Czechia

Telč is a colorful town with Italian influences in Czechia. It boasts of Baroque-Renaissance architecture and has a castle of its own with exciting tunnels and passageways that you can explore underneath the town.

Santiago, Chile

Santiago is the capital of Chile and features gorgeous architecture from the neoclassical era. There are towering cathedrals and, of course, plenty of quality Chilean wine. Plus, the city of Santiago is a great place to kick off your exploration of Chile’s wine country. 

Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Rotterdam is often ignored due to the popular neighboring city of Amsterdam, but it is a bastion of underground music and street art. The architecture is strikingly modern since the city was heavily bombed during World War II and thus had to be rebuilt from the ground up. The city is filled to the brim with amazing cuisine and museums.

Lagos, Nigeria

If you are looking for a big city destination, Lagos is a metropolis that has plenty to see and do so that you’ll never be bored. And whenever you need a break from the urban marketplaces, private beaches are just a short drive away.

Con Dao, Vietnam

Con Dao is a Southeast Asian island that makes an excellent beach destination with two resorts and tons of fascinating history. Once host to a brutal French prison, the island is also home to the tomb of the Vietnamese martyr Vo Thi Sau. 

Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

This is one of the oldest cities in Uruguay dating back to the 17th century. The city has a vibrantly decorated historic quarter and a three-century-old convent. It’s also only a short trip away from the bigger city of Montevideo.

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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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