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Travel Details Magic Egypt March 2018

Egypt Map

Current mood and political situation in Egypt
If you are considering a trip to Egypt, someone you know will no doubt express concern about the political situation. As your Tour Leader, I have encountered this each of the 31 times I was on my way to Egypt since 1977. Each time I arrived in Egypt, I was welcomed by warm and friendly Egyptians and faced no difficulties or unrest whatsoever even when I lived there in 1997-1999. In speaking with the travel agents and with friends in Egypt, it seems that the mood amongst the people is positive and optimistic. While the politicians are still regrouping, Egypt is welcoming visitors into a safe and stable environment. On my last trip there in September 2017, I concluded that tourism had finally recovered with tourists from all over the world. If, for any reason, unexpected unrest prevents us from traveling, the trip will be rescheduled. I wholeheartedly expect we will have a sucessful journey amongst the Egyptian people who are warm-hearted, extroverted, and cheerful.
Dr Carmen

View a video of Hakim's son, Yousef, talking about the revolution in Egypt.
Here is an article asserting that it is safe to go to Egypt. And one about 12.12.12.
Watch Video
Travel Details 2013 Registration
In order to make a reservation for Magic Egypt March 2018, you'll be asked to provide your passport number and name exactly as it appears on your passport. Please provide home address and your phone number(s) and an emergency contact number and relationship (mother, husband, etc.).You'll specify if you wish to be in Double or Single Occupancy. If you prefer Double Occupancy and you are traveling solo, you can request a roommate. If you have any special needs, please let us know (gluten free, diabetic, trouble walking, etc.). In order to complete your Reservation, you'll need to do a bank-to-bank transfer to Carmen Boulter. As soon as you get your international flights, you can e-mail the last leg of your Arrival to Cairo information: day, date, arrival time in a.m./p.m., last city of departure, and cell # if it works internationally. The same applies for your departure so we can book your Airport Transfers. If you would like to arrive early or stay on a few days, your Airport Transfers will be honored +/- 2 days of the program. Please review our Cancellation Policy and Terms and Conditions.
International flights to Cairo are not included in the package. Travelers coming from North America can fly direct from Toronto or JFK to Cairo via Egypt Air. Other routes require changing flights in London (British Airways), Frankfurt (Lufthansa), or Amsterdam (KLM). Note: Travelers coming from Europe should plan to arrive in time for dinner on Day 2.
Visas, Customs, and Meeting the Group
Tourist Visas are not included in the package. They can be purchased at the Cairo Airport for $25 US *cash*. Peel the sticker and put it on a blank page of your passport. If you prefer, our Transfer Agent can purchase your Visa before you arrive ($30US). Our hospitality personnel will welcome you. They will assist you with your luggage. Next, you will board a car or minibus and drive approximately 1 hour across the Nile to our 5-star hotel. On the way, you are sure to get an eye full of colorful surprises. Even in the wee hours of the morning, Egypt is brimming with life. Egyptians have their own driving codes that defy our orderly and structured regulations. In Egypt, the adventures begin right away!
Foreign Exchange
The official currency in Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (EGP). The current exchange rate is 17.8 EGP for $1 US. Here is a currency converter to check rates with your country's currency. Travelers Checks are not recommended. Converting to EGP at home is more expensive. Using credit cards for extras at the hotels and on the cruise is fine. It is recommended that you pay cash at the markets. It is easy to get a cash advance on your credit card in hotels. ATM machines work well in Egypt especially if your Debit Card has a chip. 
The weather in Egypt in March is warm and ranges from 65-82F (18-28C). The sun in the heat of the day is bright and strong, even more so in Luxor and Aswan, so you'll need a hat and summer attire. Rain is unusual.
Cell Phone Access and Internet
Free WiFi is available in the lobby of all venues and, in most cases, in the rooms as well.
Hotels and cruise have excellent laundry service returned in 24 hours for a reasonable fee.
Water and Medical
No inoculations are necessary for travel to Egypt. It is recommended that you drink and brush your teeth with bottled water. Bottled water is included in the tour package. While there are drug stores and decent medical services, the selection of medications are very limited and you won't recognize the brands. Very important: *If you need it, bring it with you*.
Magic Egypt What to Bring

What to Bring

Luggage - While you may be sorry if you are encumbered with too much luggage, you will have help with your bags throughout the trip. When we change venues, you will leave your bags at the door and they will be brought to the lobby. You'll identify your luggage and it will be put on the bus for you. When we arrive, you'll get your new room keys, identify your luggage, and it will be delivered to your room.
Clothing - In modern Egypt, tourists can wear whatever they like, however, in Muslim tradition, women show as little skin as possible. For men, shorts and t-shirts are fine. While you may want to change for dinner, there is no need for formality. For women, light pants and long light skirts, or cool summer dresses with sleeves are suggested. A windproof jacket will prove invaluable at night. You can easily acquire large cotton scarves that are helpful for covering up when need be, to protect you from the sun or the wind, or to de-emphasize a short-sleeved garment. Jeans may be a bit hot during the day but are fine at night and leggings work well for the horse and camel ride the night on the desert. On the cruise and in hotels, we are in our own company so lighter attire is appropriate and you can wear bathing suits by the pool. When exploring the temple sites and the inside the pyramids, it is dusty. On the cruise, we will have a Come as you Were fancy dress party where we'll dress up like ancient Egyptians in galebeyas (gowns) and abayas (robes) which you can find along the way.
Shoes - Footwear is an important subject. It can spoil the day if you are unprepared. I suggest you bring at least 2 pairs of comfortable shoes. You can change from one pair to the other as we will be doing lots of walking about and the change will save your feet. Be prepared for intense heat (=sweat) and for extensive walking on sand (=grit). I have decided that light leather runners are best on sand and that sandals work well in the heat of the day.
Personal Items - If you need it, bring it with you! Don't expect to 'pick up' clothes or toiletries. Hair dryers are provided throughout the trip.
Electrical - Electrical current is 220v so if you bring electronics, you'll need a converter. Most computers and digital cameras will adjust for 110v/220v current. You'll need an adaptor (see left) if you want to get the plug in the wall. Hair dryers are provided at all the hotels and curise ships.

Shopping in Egypt

Egypt is a truly wonderful place to shop but don't expect mechandise like you see at home. Bargaining is an art in Egyptian markets. There are deals to be had but there are plenty of merchants ready to take full advantage of tourists who don’t know what something is worth! You will eventually become a seasoned shopper. Here’s what is popular to buy in Egypt: 
Perfume - A real Egyptian specialty, a wide range of perfumes and essential oils are available. Specialty shops carry sets of 'Chakra Oils' that are popular with metaphysical tourists. Also, fancy perfume bottles are very popular and beautiful. These are made of sturdy Pyrex, a highly durable blown glass. They are beautifully boxed and travel home well in your suitcase.  
Papyrus - The first paper was Egyptian papyrus. It is durable, virtually indestructible and laborious to make. You will find cheap banana leaf that is mimics papyrus. If you pick and choose your way through, they still make great gifts. Authentic hand-painted papyrus art pieces are the real treasures that will last a lifetime.
Robes - Galebeyas are traditional white cotton garments. Many are decorated with embroidery and colorful braiding. Abayas are robes that are worn over them.
- Spice merchants at markets and bazaars import spices from around the world as well as peddling those from within Egypt. Saffron is a specialty and adds much to culinary delights. Kerkaday, or hibiscus, is a traditional tea that is sweeten and chilled producing a refreshing drink. Pepper corns come in white, red, black, and green. Egyptian curry is hot, mild, and medium. Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and incense make exotic gifts. 
Shawls - Handspun wool, silk, and pashmina shawls are a real find in Egypt. They are very high quality weave that will offer years of wear at exceptionally reasonable prices.
Figurines - Many artisans work painstakingly to produce replicas of original artifacts from ancient Egypt made from alabaster, basalt, granite, sodalite, lapis lazuli, wood, and brass. There are also cheaper molded replicas. All figurines are highly breakable. If you are serious about bringing statuary home, you'll be wise to pack it in your hand lugage.
Silver + Gold- Silver and gold are widely available. Look for a government 'stamp' to prove the authenticity of the silver.  An Egyptian novelty is cartouches where a name is written in Hieroglyphic writing. Though hieroglyphs are not a direct translation of the alphabet, personalized cartouches are a tradition and make great gifts.

Trip Insurance

Participants are responsible for their own trip insurance. See (US) or (Canada).

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