Epic Egypt, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories
from $5470
Duration: 19 Days
The Middle East is living, breathing proof the old saying is true: you don’t know until you go. Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories – visit the holy land trifecta and have experiences you'll never forget. This trip has all the icons plus tonnes of surprises perfect for the Intrepid traveller. The pyramids and original botched surgery queen (the Sphinx) in Egypt and doing your best astronaut impression in the Dead Sea are awesome, sure, but have you tried your leaders favourite falafel cart in Jerusalem?! 
  • The Pyramids might be hyped, but when you see them you’ll soon be saying oh mummy, I see the point (sorry).
  • Set sail on a felucca cruise along the Nile. Back in the day, these wooden boats had zero facilities, but our new pimped-out boat has western-style toilets on board.
  • Our guides are local and know all the best secret and hidden places to check out after a day of sightseeing
  • Only Petra’s Treasury is stunning enough to be the temple of the Holy Grail (well, according to Indiana Jones at least), and you’ll be blown away on a full day exploring the majesty and mystery of this world wonder.
  • Kick back in your own central hostel in Jerusalem, complete with movie room and rooftop .
  • Sample tasty local eats at the very cool Machane Yehuda Market where you can use your your bite card at any of the vendors.
  • Graffiti has filled the walls in Bethlehem by many artists over the years, including British Artist Banksy. Check it out on a walking tour with your leader.
  • Discover for yourself the town that everyone knows from the Christmas carols – Bethlehem – and find out about daily life in the epic city of Jerusalem as you chat with locals on the way to the Western Wall.
  • Float in the Salty waters of the Dead Sea.
  • Hike the iconic Masada Snake Path for some epic views across the Dead Sea and Jordan.
  • Cairo - Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx
  • Aswan - Nile River Kayaking
  • Aswan - Orientation walk & bazaar visit
  • Nile - Felucca overnight sailing trip
  • Nile - Dinner and Music Felucca
  • Luxor - Valley of the Kings (entrance to 3 tombs)
  • Cairo - Khan Al-Khalili Bazaar
  • Amman -Guided Walking Tour
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari
  • Wadi Rum - Guided hike
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra
  • Madaba - St Georges Church
  • Jerusalem - Machane Yehuda Market & Bite Card
  • Jerusalem - Walk on the Ramparts of the Old City
  • Jerusalem - Western Wall (Wailing Wall)
  • Jerusalem - Church of the Holy Sepulchre
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Masada - Entrance & Cable Car one-way
  • Masada - Snake Path Hike
  • Jaffa - Town Visit
  • Day 1 Location: Cairo
    Welcome to Cairo! You will meet with your trip leader and the rest of your group at 6 pm this evening. If you arrive with time to spare before your tour begins, maybe go immerse yourself in the madness: grab a pair of authentic Roy Bunds sunnies from the bazaar, embrace the kitsch world of Dr Ragab's Pharaonic Village, or wash down the dust with a sahlab (sweet, hot custard drink with nuts). Be ready tonight to put your tastebuds into overload as you head out with your new travel buddies for some koshari where all the locals go.. downtown of course.  Koshari? think vegetarian Egyptian chilli, you may want a fresh lemon juice with that.
    Day 2 Location: Cairo/Pyramids/Sphinx
    Today you'll take a trip to the Egyptian Museum to see the golden mask of none other than King Tutankhamun. Drive out to the edge of the desert and explore the Pyramids and the nearby Sphinx (nobody's quite sure how it lost its nose). A guy called Khufu was responsible for building the Great Pyramid. It’s 4500 years old, 146 metres tall and made from 2.3 million blocks weighing around 2.5 tons each. And how did they honour him? With a 9 cm tall statue. Bummer. Later there are plenty of options, like visiting the Valley Temple of King Khafre (Chephren). Just remember these will cost you extra. In the evening, it's time for your sleeper train to Aswan (Sleeper Train to Aswan sounds a bit like the title of an adventure novel, doesn't it? Just you wait).
    Day 3 Location: Aswan
    Hit the bazaar this morning on a tour with your leader. Be prepared for friendly shouts of ‘welcome’ and ‘where are you from’ coming from the vendors. Visit an oil and perfume merchant to learn about how aromatic botanicals have been used in Egypt throughout the ages. From mummification to smelling pretty for a date, you’ll discover their myriad uses. Later, choose whether to join an optional tour to the Philae Temple Complex. A standout here is the Temple of Isis (the Goddess of health, marriage and wisdom) that was rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated in the 1960s. In the afternoon, pop on a lifejacket and grab a paddle for the kayaking adventure of a lifetime as you navigate the Nile. For dinner, you’ve got the chance to head to a Nubian village and enjoy an included dinner with a local family.
    Day 4 Location: Aswan
    This morning is yours to spend as you please in Aswan. If you can manage a (very) early start, the optional drive to Abu Simbel is well worth it. Cut out of a solid rock cliff, this temple’s a real winner as far as sightseeing in Egypt goes (and that is obviously saying a lot). Renting a minivan with your fellow travellers is the cheapest option. Remember, it takes 3 hours to drive there and 3 hours to drive back, plus you’ll want at least 2 hours to explore when you’re there. Back in Aswan the evening is free to check out the town.
    Day 5 Location: Nile Felucca
    Chill this morning before boarding your overnight felucca. A bit like a floating tent, a felucca is a traditional Egyptian vessel and the perfect way to explore the Nile. Later, take a stroll through a colourful Nubian village and discover what life is like for people living along the Nile. Depending on the group vibe, tonight might include a little beach party.
    Day 6 Location: Luxor
    Disembark your fine felucca this morning. While your body might be crying out for a shower, there’s one more temple to see before heading to the hotel. Check out the Temple of Edfu, where inscriptions give insight into life during the Hellenistic period when the temple was built. Continue to Luxor, where you’re free to explore this open-air, museum-city on your own. Can we suggest Karnak as the first stop? Wandering through this ancient village is a cool way to get a sense of life here more than 3000 years ago (hint: religion was a big deal). Legend has it that is you walk around the granite scarab that is west of the Sacred Lake seven times, you’ll meet your soulmate.
    Day 7 Location: Luxor / Valley of the Kings
    This morning travel the short distance to discover the West Bank. Check out three burial tombs in Valley of the Kings, with the option to pay for an exploration of the formerly lost tomb of Tutankhamun. Continue to the Colossi of Memnon, where two huge statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III will have you pondering whether posting selfies to Instagram twice a day is really the height of narcissism. If your fellow travellers are up for it, you can choose to finish your West Bank adventure with an optional visit to the tomb of Hatshepsut. She became pharaoh when she married her half-brother, which wasn’t all that uncommon at the time.   If you’ve got any energy left, there will also be time to squeeze in a visit to Luxor Temple before your overnight train to Cairo.
    Day 8 Location: Cairo
    Head back to the hotel on arrival to Cairo and jump on the Metro with your Leader , head south from Bab al-Futuh (one of three remaining gates from the Old City), walking past the old Islamic monuments that stand watch over the bazaars. Join in some good nature haggling at the Kahan-el Khalili bazaar, then head to El Fishawy. This ramshackle 240-year-old cafe is the perfect place for a cup of tea or a glass of cold water with lemon and mint. While there is nothing scheduled for tonight, we recommend heading into town as a group for one last bowl of koshari.
    Day 9 Location: Amman
    Touch down in Jordan's main town, Amman. You’ve got the whole day free to explore the capital city (depending on when you get here of course) before you join up with your crew at a 6 pm welcome meeting tonight (make sure you’ve got all your important docs and deets on you). Until then, hit the streets. Make a beeline for Rainbow Street for a falafel and a sheesha. It's what the locals would want. Something more substantial? Maybe head to the Old Town’s Roman Amphitheatre, have a cultured afternoon at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, snap some pics of the city from the hilltop Temple of Hercules, or sweat it out in a Turkish bath house. Afterwards, rendezvous with your new Intrepid crew for a team catch-up. It may or may not be at the local pub.
    Day 10 Location: Wadi Rum
    This morning, take a tour with your leader around Amman – best to begin at the hilltop Citadel, then follow the edge of the walls down into town past the Roman Theatre, the Nymphaeum ruins and the Al Husseiny Mosque. Be sure to stop in at some nut shops or a souq for some snacks along the way. After lunch, drive 4 hours to Wadi Rum. Once arrived, you'll meet your Bedouin hosts, who'll show you around camp and offer you many rounds of ‘Bedouin whisky’ (mint tea), so settle in for a night of traditional hospitality. This evening you'll be dining on traditional Bedouin cuisine, sleeping in Bedouin-style tents and gazing up at some traditional Bedouin skies. Did we mention Bedouin?
    Day 11 Location: Wadi Rum
    You won’t want to miss this: Wadi Rum rarely looks as fine as she does early morning. Wake up early to take in a magical sunrise, and once you're breakfast-ed, it’s time to head on safari. Jump in one of the jeeps and begin driving around the curious landscapes around, passing by Lawrence Spring – a rocky landscape contrasted by a freshwater spring, with panoramic views over the valley. You’ll also stop at Lawrence House, supposedly the house where Lawrence of Arabia lived and stored his equipment. Continue on to one of the largest sand dunes in Wadi Rum and check out some of the famous rock bridges. The deserts around Wadi Rum have got a real otherworldly feel to them, and so you wouldn’t be surprised that many Hollywood blockbusters have been shot in and around where you’ll tour today. Later in the afternoon, return to your camp and enjoy a second night of Bedouin hospitality.
    Day 12 Location: Petra
    Today, farewell your Bedouin mates and journey on to Petra (about a 2-hour drive). You’ll have two full days exploring Petra and its surrounds, so be sure to take your time in seeing the spectacular archaeological site. Once you’ve arrived, take a guided tour of the site, where you’ll learn about its thousands of years of history, and the many films that have used this as a backdrop – Indiana Jones, anyone? You'll get to follow in Indiana Jones’s footsteps on a guided tour that'll take you through the site's narrow siq (a narrow crack in the mountain) to Petra's tombs, temples and rock-hewn amphitheatre. For those wanting to admire the 'rose-red city' from a different angle, there's also the option of continuing up a cliff-top path past the Monastery for elevated views over the site. After a long day of exploration, you’ll probably be feeling quite weary, so the cave bar is good place to relieve your parched throat and put your feet up for while.
    Day 13 Location: Petra
    You’ve got another day to explore the majestic Petra, and the best thing is you’re free to do as you please. Perhaps walk the road to Al Khanzneh (The Treasury) – one of the most stunning temples of the whole site. Or, if you didn’t make it yesterday, head up the stairs to El Dier (the Monastery). Other great options today are to hike to the royal tombs or visit the incredible Byzantine mosaics. Your leader will know all the good things to do, so ask them for help with arranging these.
    Day 14 Location: Madaba
    This morning after breakfast, head away from Petra and drive down the King’s Highway towards Madaba. You’ll stop to check out the renowned Dead Sea and have a swim in these salty waters. If you’re feeling a bit sore and weary after your Petra expedition, do not fear, as the Dead Sea’s mud has known healing properties and will be sure to bring back your youthful good looks. Afterwards, swing past Mt Nebo and view the Promised Land, just like Moses did. Arrive in Madaba – the city of mosaics – and take a leader-led walking tour to get your bearings of the city. Included this afternoon is a visit to St Georges Church where you’ll see the intricate mosaic map, containing the oldest surviving cartographic depiction of the Holy Land and Jerusalem. Later on, perhaps head out tonight with the gang for dinner – there are some awesome places to eat in this city; your leader knows where to go.
    Day 15 Location: Jerusalem
    This morning your private transfer will collect you for the 1.5 hour journey to the Allenby Bridge Border Crossing. Here you will make the crossing into Israel. Please be aware that you will cross the border unaccompanied. There will be a transfer driver waiting to collect you for the 1 hour journey to Jerusalem. Shalom! Welcome to Jerusalem, Israel. On arrival to your hostel there will be a welcome note waiting for you. Meet your leader at the hostel at 4.30 pm .After your meeting finishes head out on an orientation walk up to the very cool Machane Yehuda Market. Here you can sample tasty local eats using your bite card at any of the vendors. Your leader will leave you here so you can kick-on after dark. We recommend grabbing a beer in one of the many laneway bars and watch the market come to life in the evening, bar hop, or go for a wander to check out the amazing graffiti popping up on shop shutters.
    Day 16 Location: Jerusalem
    This morning drive to Jaffa Gate where you will start a walking tour of the Old City from above and below! Start with the Ramparts Walk from Jaffa Gate all the way to Herod’s Gate. This will take about 45 minutes. Go down at Herod’s Gate and walk along the Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), stopping at the Austrian Hospice for a short break and go up to the rooftop for a view of the Old City, before continuing to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk to the Wailing (Western) Wall stopping at the 'Cardo' in the recently restored Jewish Quarter. The rest of the afternoon is free for you to do as you please.
    Day 17 Location: Jerusalem
    Rise and shine nice and early (approximately 5 am) to drive out to the spectacular cliff-top fortress of Masada, near the Dead Sea. Kick off the day with an early morning hike up the Masada Snake Path which winds its way up approximately 400 meters from the lowest point on earth (The Dead Sea) to the Peak. This UNESCO site is super important to the Jewish people, a symbol of their exile from the Holy Land and of bravery and self-sacrifice. The story goes that here a Jewish sect called the zealots held out against the Roman army in AD66. Rather than surrender, they either fought to the death or committed suicide, every last man, woman and child. Catch the Cable Car back down then drive to the Dead Sea for a float in the salty waters. Apparently, Cleopatra used products from the area as part of her beauty regime, which also allegedly included animal milk and almond extract! After soaking in the salty waters, transfer back to your hostel in Jerusalem for a free evening.
    Day 18 Location: Tel Aviv
    This morning, check out of your hostel and head to the Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the Old City. From there, drive to Bethlehem – no doubt you're familiar with it from all the Christmas carols and nativity plays. Drop by the Church of the Nativity, built on where it is said Jesus was born, and also head to the Shepherd’s Fields, where the angels appeared to bring the good news. You’ll also have time to explore the graffiti walls that have been added across the years, including by Banksy. Learn the personal stories behind some of the more prominent pieces. Afterwards, continue on to Tel Aviv via the ancient port city of Jaffa, the basis of modern Tel Aviv. Once checked-in to your hostel, join a sunset bike ride (approximately 2 hours) to get acquainted with this vibrant seaside city. Tonight, why not get the gang together and hit the town this evening – Tel Aviv is known for its happening nightlife scene.
    Day 19 Location: Tel Aviv
    There aren’t any activities planned for today, so you’re free to leave the hostel at any time. That doesn’t mean your Middle Eastern adventure has to come to an end! If you’re looking at spending more time in Tel Aviv, we don’t blame you. We’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
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    Departure Date:
    16FEB2022
    Return Date:
    06MAR2022
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    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Epic Egypt, Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories

    Trip code

    XEYCC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    The Middle East is living, breathing proof the old saying is true: you don’t know until you go. Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories – visit the holy land trifecta and have experiences you'll never forget. This trip has all the icons plus tonnes of surprises perfect for the Intrepid traveller. The pyramids and original botched surgery queen (the Sphinx) in Egypt and doing your best astronaut impression in the Dead Sea are awesome, sure, but have you tried your leaders favourite falafel cart in Jerusalem?! 

    Style

    Basix

    Themes

    18 to 29s

    Transport

    Private vehicle,Felucca,Jeep,Overnight sleeper train,Plane

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    Despite the 'off-road' nature of this trip, it can be enjoyed by anyone who is reasonably fit. Please be aware that any visit to Petra requires a fair amount of walking. The amount of energy you expend there is largely up to you. The program in Wadi Rum involves a mixture of camel riding and trekking.

    Joining point

    Pharaohs Hotel

    12 Lotfy Hassona, Dokki

    Cairo

    EGYPT

    Phone: +20 2 27359595

    Joining point description

    The Pharaohs is located in a modern area of ​​Cairo, 100 meters from the banks of the Nile River, facing Gezira Island. It offers rooms with air conditioning and satellite TV.

    Joining point instructions

    By far the easiest option from the airport is to take a taxi. Airport taxis shouldn't cost more than EGP300 (be prepared to bargain). The drive can take between 40 minutes and 1 hour depending on the time of day and subsequent traffic conditions. There is a bus number 111 from the airport to Ramses bus station from here you can transfer to Sadat metro and travel to Gezira station. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from the the station. Alternatively, Intrepid offer a pre-arranged private transfer service. Enquire with your agent on booking. If you have pre-purchased an arrival transfer you'll be met in the immigration area by a transfer officer from our local representative in Cairo. Look for the Intrepid logo. If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once.If for any reason you don't make contact with the transfer officer by the time you have cleared customs, as can occasionally occur as many flights tend to arrive at once. Please call Ramadan Shedid on the following number: (+20) 12 2100 5565 Give your exact location in the airport (find a landmark) and you'll be attended to promptly.

    Finish point

    The Spot Hostel

    HaTa'arucha Street 3

    Tel Aviv

    ISRAEL

    Phone: +972 37590977

    Important information

    SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 5 (Felucca) Day 10 and 11 (Wadi Rum) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. ENTRANCE FEES: Some entrance fees are not included. If you wish to take part in these activities, you pay these fees as you go along. INCLUDED FLIGHT The international connection from Cairo to Amman is unaccompanied. Luggage restrictions of 23kg checked and 7kg cabin apply on this flight. ACCOMMODATION: Accommodation in Israel is in dorm rooms with up to 12 travellers. They may not all be fellow Intrepid travellers and your group could be split across different rooms. Where possible (and unless requested otherwise) we will accommodate you in same gender rooms. SAFETY UPDATES  Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Egypt and in Israel; particularly within the West Bank  before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader. However, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. Due to the vast historical significance of the region, your Tour Leader in the Middle East will also be a Local Tour Guide and will be licensed, registered and trained in accordance with local authorities to provide full guiding services through out your Middle East Adventure. This trip is made of three smaller trips connected by an international included flight and a land border crossing. You will be travelling with different Leaders on each trip who are local to their destination. You will  not have an accompanying  Leader during your flight or your land border crossing where it will be necessary to carry your luggage through the customs checkpoints. There will be a departure tax payable when leaving Jordan this fee will be 10 JD. If you do not wish to have any Israel stamps in you passport please ask the Jordanian Officials not to stamp your passport when exiting. Israeli Officials generally do not stamp.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

    SAFETY IN EGYPT We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before your departure and that you ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas in your itinerary. We have links to all major travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting your trip on our travel alerts page.  The safety of our travellers and staff is our first priority. We continue to monitor the situation through official travel advisories and our local operations team, and we’re able to quickly change arrangements if for any reason we become concerned. If there should be any changes to the situation you will be advised immediately. We have also taken the following measures to minimise the potential risk for our travellers in Egypt: *24 to 48hrs prior to each departure our local office are in contact with tourist police to get approval for each itinerary. The tourist police notify our local operator immediately should any advice or information change. *We use private rather than public transport on all our itineraries.

    WOMEN'S SAFETY Women should exercise caution when travelling in the Middle East. While the risk of an incident occurring on your trip is very low, below are some things you can do for your safety and peace of mind when travelling: *As with all travel, it’s important to use common sense and be vigilant. * Respect local dress codes and customs, perhaps dressing more conservatively than you do at home. * Avoid isolated areas when alone at any time of day. * We recommend not accepting invitations from locals to guide you through a temple or show you the local sights. * Consider booking any pre or post tour activities with a reputable tour operator, we do not recommend reserving a local driver with your hotel which often translates to local taxi drivers. We encourage you to call our local team for further advice on additional touring options. * If hotel staff need access to your room for any reason, request that they do this while you are out, or wait at reception while they attend to any cleaning or repairs. For the protection of both our customers and staff, our leaders worldwide are not permitted to be alone in a room with a group member. * Always take a hotel card with you when going out so you know the address and contact numbers. * Should you encounter any inappropriate behavior, inform your leader straight away. * For further information and advice, visit: https://smartraveller.gov.au/guide/pages/female-travellers.aspx www.gov.uk/government/policies/supporting-british-nationals-overseas/sup

    Communications

    Whilst there are Internet facilities throughout your trip in hotels and on the boat, they are often only available in the lobby and can be unreliable.  Acquiring local data by way of pre-paid sim card is a simple process on arrival at Cairo Airport.  When you leave the arrival hall, still in the building, on the left you will find the booths of three mobile phone providers: Vodafone, Etisalat and Orange. Choose the plan that best suits your needs, plans and prices can change but expect to pay between 100-165 EGP for a plan that will provide you 3-4GB of data.  You will require your passport to purchase and register your new sim.

    Visas

    PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. EGYPT Visas are currently attainable on arrival at Cairo airport for most nationalities. The visa costs USD25 and can only be paid in USD cash. On arrival to Cairo airport you buy your visa at any of the banks before proceeding to immigration. You will be given a stamp that you then need to put into your passport yourself. A single entry visa is valid for three months from date of issue and entitles the bearer to one month in Egypt. If you prefer to get your visa before travel, Egypt now has the Egypt Online Visa, or Egypt e-Visa, a new electronic visa authorisation for citizens of eligible countries wishing to travel to Egypt for tourism. An e-Visa for Egypt can be obtained through an online application.  You can check your nationalities eligibility and apply for the e-Visa from this link: https://visa2egypt.gov.eg/eVisa/FAQ?VISTK=UN26-IRWS-H69H-5I6P-LZF5-56RD-42VB-34YV-FI27-G78U-PNJ9-L44Y-M0L9-3I3C-ARKT-XYTP The e-Visa for Egypt is a single or multiple-entry visa, allowing its holder to visit the country for a maximum duration of 30 days. It is valid to use for a period of 3 months. If you require an address for Visa Applications in Egypt, please use our local office: Intrepid Travel Cairo 5 Sphinx Square, 1st floor, Apartment 12 Mohandeseen, Giza, Egypt e: [email protected] m: +20 10 999 29520 – 10 017 40498 t: +20 2 330 210 01 We recommend checking with your travel agent or embassy before departure as this information may change. EGYPT COVID-19 ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Egypt, please check your government's foreign travel advisory and visit the following website: http://egypt.travel/covid We are able to facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Results can be ready in approximately 24 hours. The cost of a test is approximately 3,000 Egyptian pounds (190 USD) per person. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as book appointments for all travelers who need to be tested. JORDAN VISA Many nationalities are eligible for a visa on arrival, including UK, Australia, New Zealand, China, USA, Canada and most European nations, certain nationalities are exempt from visa fees including Turkey and the UAE, while others require Visa prior to arrival. We recommend you check this information before arrival with the relevant embassy or consulate in your destination Please note that there are ATM's available in Amman airport and also currency exchange facilities. Visa fees can also be paid by Eftpos. JORDAN COVID-19 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Jordan, please check your government's foreign travel advice and visit the following website: http://international.visitjordan.com/ You'll be required to fill out this form http://www.carc.jo/images/COVID19/Declaration-Form.pdf prior to boarding. If you arrive by air, register here https://www.gateway2jordan.gov.jo/form/ If you arrive by land, register here https://www.gateway2jordan.gov.jo/landplatform/ If you fly from Egypt to Amman, you'll still be subject to the entry requirements for arriving from Egypt and please check the above websites for more details. If you are travelling from Egypt to Jordan on one of our combination tours you may be exempt from the visa fee entering Jordan. Nationalities who are eligible for a visa on arrival to Jordan and who are entering Jordan as part of a group will be exempt from the visa fee.  Your must have provided your passport details at the time of booking to qualify for this free entry. Groups arriving from Egypt will be met by our local representative who will administer the visa process. If your nationality is NOT eligible for visa on arrival into Jordan and you are travelling on a combination trip you will need to have your visa in advance and have it available for the representative greeting your group. If continuing your travels with us to Israel and the Palestinian Territories or departing Jordan by land or sea please note that the exit tax of 10 JD will be payable at all land or sea borders. ISRAEL: Australia: No - not required Belgium: No - not required Canada: No - not required Germany: No - not required Ireland: No - not required Netherlands: No - not required New Zealand: No - not required South Africa: No - not required Switzerland: No - not required United Kingdom: No - not required USA: No - not required PLEASE NOTE: It is important to be aware that many Arab and Islamic countries deny entry to any person that has evidence of a visit to Israel. Syria, Iran, Libya, Tunisia and several other countries are included in this list. If you are planning to visit any of these countries with the same passport you must request that your Israeli ‘tourist visa’ be stamped on a loose leaf ‘Form 17 L’ instead of in your passport. Likewise, if entering Israel through the land borders with Jordan please ask the Jordanian officials not to stamp an exit stamp in your passport. If you have evidence in your passport of visits to certain Islamic countries, Israeli border officials will scrutinise you regarding the purpose of your visit to Israel. They can sometimes appear difficult and the delay can be lengthy however patience and a friendly demeanor are advised.

    Why we love it

    The Pyramids might be hyped, but when you see them you’ll soon be saying oh mummy, I see the point (sorry).

    Set sail on a felucca cruise along the Nile. Back in the day, these wooden boats had zero facilities, but our new pimped-out boat has western-style toilets on board.

    Our guides are local and know all the best secret and hidden places to check out after a day of sightseeing

    Only Petra’s Treasury is stunning enough to be the temple of the Holy Grail (well, according to Indiana Jones at least), and you’ll be blown away on a full day exploring the majesty and mystery of this world wonder.

    Kick back in your own central hostel in Jerusalem, complete with movie room and rooftop .

    Sample tasty local eats at the very cool Machane Yehuda Market where you can use your your bite card at any of the vendors.

    Graffiti has filled the walls in Bethlehem by many artists over the years, including British Artist Banksy. Check it out on a walking tour with your leader.

    Discover for yourself the town that everyone knows from the Christmas carols – Bethlehem – and find out about daily life in the epic city of Jerusalem as you chat with locals on the way to the Western Wall.

    Float in the Salty waters of the Dead Sea.

    Hike the iconic Masada Snake Path for some epic views across the Dead Sea and Jordan.

    Is this trip right for you

    You’re the boss! Not just in general, but also on this trip, where there’s free time to do whatever you want, or optional tours to show you the way. Maybe budget a little extra cash for activities and entrance fees that aren’t included. Accommodation in Israel is in dorm rooms with up to 12 travellers. They may not all be fellow Intrepid travellers and your group could be split across different rooms. Where possible (and unless requested otherwise) we will accommodate you in same gender rooms. It’s not all hot desert days in Jordan & Israel, as the winter months (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas as well as Amman is common. Pack smart so that you’re prepared for varying temperatures especially if travelling during these months. The thing about ancient ruins and other super old sites in the Middle East is that they usually involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides. But if you don’t feel up for it on a hot day then you can just sit it out, or wander along at your own pace. Travelling on a felucca is awesome, but it's not for everyone. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and a shared bathroom facility on board Israel & The Palestinian Territories is by no means a cheap destination and you should budget accordingly. The good news is that your expert local leader is on hand to help you uncover the best deals! Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

    Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. DRINKING WATER As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. SWIMMING IN THE NILE Your Felucca Captain my suggest swimming in the Nile. Whilst we recognise that our Captains know the best and safest spots to swim, this activity is not recommended because of the risk of exposure to bacterial and other infections. Please refer to the health risks section of your countries Travel Advisory Service.

    Food and dietary requirements

    Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). Please note: all recommendations for additional costs, tipping etc. are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency. MEALS NOT INCLUDED Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant could cost between USD10 to USD20. However, local street food can be substantially cheaper. Dinner: At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD15 to USD25 for a main. These are indicative prices only. If you are on a budget and are happy to eat just local food you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries. Please keep in mind that Tourist Class Restaurants in Jordan and Israel can be expensive. EMERGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved. CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities throughout the Middle East. Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout most trips (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. TIPPING Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is a part of everyday life and is more than just a reward for services rendered. In a countries like Egypt where wages are extremely low it is an essential means of supplementing income. This practice is not merely reserved for foreigners, Egyptians have to constantly hand out 'Baksheesh' as well - to park their cars, ensure fresh produce and pick up their mail. If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Usually the equivalent of around USD5 to USD10 per person, per day to cover tips is fine. Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, your leader might raise the idea of a group tipping kitty. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running this kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your leader and crew. TIPPING GUIDE To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground. Please don't tip with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult. Restaurants: round up to the nearest figure or leaving the loose change is generally fine; Up-market restaurants, when checking the bill, if there’s an addition of 10% service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10% of the total bill amount is appropriate. Felucca boat trips: If you are travelling on an itinerary that includes an overnight Felucca trip up the Nile, we suggest USD3 per person, per day for the boat staff. Wadi Rum Camp:  If your overnighting in Wadi Rum Camp, we suggest  USD3 per person per day for the camp staff. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however USD2 per person per day is generally appropriate. Your tour leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD4 to USD5 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. SHOPPING AND COMMISSIONS There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. Popular purchases include: gold and silver jewellery, perfume and Pyrex perfume bottles, essential oils, papyrus art, alabaster statues and silver including cartouches (hieroglyphics) in Egypt and Mosaics and Dead Sea products in Jordan and Israel. While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your trip leader can offer suggestions if you are interested. Please note that in Egypt, silver is a common souvenir in the form of jewellery and other items. The silver in Egypt is generally stamped with '800' meaning that it's 80% silver and 20% other metal. This is a reduced quality to the silver you may be more familiar with which is '925'. CURRENCY- Egypt The Official currency of Egypt is the Egyptian Pound (LE) or (EGP). Currency Sub units are called Qirsh (Piastre) = 1/100 of a Pound. Denominations come in Notes: 50 Piastres. 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 Pounds. Whilst the USD is often used we recommend local currency for everyday services. We also recommend keeping some smaller denominations for tipping. CURRENCY – Jordan The Official currency of Jordan is the Dinar referred to as the (JD). It is made up of 1000 fils. Try to change larger notes as often as possible. Most goods and services can be paid for using the local currency. The USD is also acceptable for souvenir type products. For the supply of everyday services like meals and general shopping we recommend the local currency. CURRENCY – Israel and Palestine The currency in Israel in the New Israeli Shekel (NIS).  The shekel is divided into 100 agorot. Coins come in denominations of 10 and 50 agorot (marked ½ shekel) and one, two and five NIS; notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200NIS.  Travelling in Palestine the NIS, the JD (Jordanian Dinar) and the USD are all accepted

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. GENERAL PACKING LIST • Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance,    air tickets or e-ticket receipts and a copy of this document. • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets. • Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild          pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids. • Daypack • Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both. • Power adaptors • Insect repellent • Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses • Earplugs and eye mask (you might be sharing with a snorer!) • Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an              enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a    1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or      discarded in waterways and natural environments. • Warm clothes including hat and gloves - When travelling in cooler climates • Wind and waterproof rain jacket • Toiletries/travel wipes/ hand sanitizer  • Travel Towel • Closed in, comfortable walking shoes. As most of our trips include some walking elements, we highly          recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes.  • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries • Clothing - The staple travel items but consider the time of year.  We recommend a fleece/jacket any time    of the year and a scarf for women for visiting religious sites   Cold Weather• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater• Scarf• Warm gloves• Warm hat• Warm layers / thermals   Warm Weather:• Sandals/flip-flops• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)• Sun                    hat/bandana• Swimwear LUGGAGE LIMIT On this trip, you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and, although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 15kg. If your itinerary includes a flight, please keep in mind that some domestic airlines have checked luggage limits of 15kg. CLOTHING & CLIMATE Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is essential. VALUABLES Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safes to store the bulk of your money, passport, and airline tickets. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to – home stays, beach and desert camps etc. RESTRICTED ITEMS Generally drones are not permitted into any Middle East destination or they require registration and pre approval please refer to your airline carrier if you are considering taking a drone on your travels or check out drone laws by country on line. We have had some reports of binoculars being confiscated or causing delay in customs if carried in hand luggage.  

    Climate and seasonal

    SUMMER IN EGYPT As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar, particularly in Upper Egypt (Luxor and Aswan). From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, some days start very early (for example - 5am). Please be prepared for this - our schedules are designed to make touring as comfortable for you as possible. The weather in Jordan can get quite extreme. Overall, it tends to be hot during the day and cold at night (in desert areas, expect it to be extremely hot during the day and freezing at night). Yet during winter it can get bitterly cold, with snowfall occurring in some parts of the country. Travelling during the summer months (June, July and August) can be challenging for those not accustomed to the heat, so visiting Jordan during spring and autumn is recommended for those who wish to escape the hotter temperatures. Consider your travel dates when packing for your adventure. Whilst the camps in Wadi Rum do have blankets you may want to consider packing some thermals and carrying your sleeping bag if travelling in the winter months. WEATHER In summer temperatures are usually between 27 and 32 degrees Celsius. Tel Aviv and Tiberias tend to be hot and humid. Jerusalem is dryer and cooler, particularly at night. Masada & Eilat are extremely hot, often above 40 degrees Celsius. The winter months in Israel (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. There’s often heavy rain and snowfall around these areas. You will need to be prepared to travel in varying temperatures over these months. Temperatures generally range between 10 and15 degrees Celsius during the day. RAMADAN The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 02 April - 01 May 2022 and 22 March - 20 April 2023, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time. In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below: Intrepid's Local Operator: +201096811067 Intrepid's Local Operator: +962 79700 4051 Intrepid's Local Operator: +972(0)58690 6428 OR+972(0)54721 4546

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable, and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers, and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller When packing, be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing (3/4 trousers that come to the calf are fine) is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate. As the countries we visit are Islamic nations, women may find a headscarf useful. The entrance fee to Petra includes a ‘free’ ride on various forms of animal transport and as such you will be offered this transport by a number of local Bedouin on the walk into the ancient city. While free to ride there is a strong expectation that you will need to tip the animals' owners. In 2018 the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) launched an international campaign highlighting the mistreatment of working animals in the ancient city of Petra. The animals – horses, donkeys and camels - carry both tourists and supplies to the city and through it. The situation is a complex one – Jordanian organisations and their international partners are trying to improve the conditions for the animals, and for many local Bedouin this activity provides their only income yet issues around animal cruelty are raised on a regular basis. UNESCO themselves have stated that switching to motorised transport is not the preferred option in the ancient city. As a responsible travel company we believe that - until conditions improve – our travellers should avoid using any form of animal transport in Petra, and if asked at the ancient city you should politely decline.

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. ACCOMMODATION STYLE Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, three and four star accommodation in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel)  is often not equal to same star facilities in some western destinations. Rooms are clean and comfortable, however you may note some small maintenance issues that have been overlooked, please assist us by bringing these to the attention of your Leader so that we can follow up with our hosts. Many restaurants and hotels do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws. Breakfast is included in 95% or our hotels, pleaser refer to our daily itinerary for meal inclusions. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi share basis.  CHECK-IN TIME Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.  Standard check in time is 1400 hours. PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (subject to availability), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights. SHOWERS Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water. HEATING AND AIR-CONDITIONING As a desert region, this part of the world has extremes of weather. Winter months (approx December to March) can be very cold. All of our hotel accommodation contains suitable bedding, and simple light bedding is provided during camping activities such as an overnight felucca, desert camps or at the Red Sea Beach camp stay. Most of our travellers find the bedding provided here adequate, but for your own comfort and if you are particularly sensitive to the cold, consider bringing your own sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket. Some of our guesthouses / hotels don't supply heating. In many cases this would be a major financial and environmental strain on our hotels and the local towns. Summer (approx June to August) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. ROOM ISSUES If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away so that the problem can be addressed without delay.

    Transport notes

    There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. Windy roads, rough surfaces and cramped conditions make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. SECURITY WHILE TRAVELLING Occasionally you may experience a Tourist Police Escort in your vehicle and whilst not common convoys between select towns or regions are possible. This practice has been implemented by local authorities to monitor the safety and security of visitors to Egypt. OVERNIGHT TRAIN On this itinerary, you will be travelling by overnight sleeper train. The sleeper cabins are about 2x1.5 meters and are 2 berths. There are 2 beds on top of each other. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided. There is also a compartment next to the upper bed for luggage storage and a small sink. Toilets are located at the end of the carriage. Each carriage has 10 cabins which are all lockable from the inside. If you have booked a single supplement you will be assigned to your own berth. During your journey dinner and breakfast are provided however the meals are very basic and you may wish to bring along your own fresh fruit, snacks and water to supplement these. OVERNIGHT FELUCCA ON THE NILE On this trip you will be travelling and sleeping on a felucca. A felucca is a traditional wooden boat with broad canvas sails. The felucca offers some shade and protection from the elements. However, there is no cabin or enclosed section. You will be sharing a sleeping area with your fellow group members for the night and a shared bathroom facility (western style toilet). You'll sleep outside on a simple mattress, there is a wooden ceiling above you but the area is otherwise open. If you feel the cold you should consider bringing a sleeping bag. These can also be rented locally. Please advise your leader during the welcome meeting. You may also wish to bring a sleeping sheet from home. Conditions will be basic during your felucca trip. If you are prepared for this, you’re sure to have a memorable adventure. During the colder months (October to March) temperatures can get as low as 5°C at night. Our Nubian sailing crew ( normally 2 for sailing, 1 for cooking ) provides all the meals, which are hearty and delicious. We recommend that you pack everything you may need for the night in a small day bag. The felucca will stop a few times during your journey and overnight stay.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons, we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any such changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested in the Group Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (9 nights),Hostel (4 nights) Desert camp (2 nights),Felucca (1 night),Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)

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