Egypt Tours Egypt is Calling - Magical Travel to Egypt

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it safe to Travel in Egypt?

Many U.S. travelers think negatively when it comes to safety issues about traveling to Egypt due to concerns for traveling in other Middle Eastern Countries. Air travel has probably never been safer than it is now. Once you are in Egypt, the Egyptian people are warm, hospitable, and for the most part, genuinely delighted to interact with us. Beyond that, tourism is the mainstay of the Egyptian economy, and the security precautions the Egyptian government has put in place to protect tourists for the last five years are impressive. There have been no problems in many years in any of the regions where we travel. If seeing Egypt has always been your dream, this is a good time to turn the dream into reality.

Here are some tips to make your journey more enjoyable – Travel with an open mind. The cultural differences that you will experience are part of the adventure. You will find the Egyptian people welcoming and eager to help make your journey everything you hoped for. Embrace the exuberant quality of Egyptian life, smile and relax, and soon you will feel comfortable and at home as you move through our magical mystery tour.

DOCUMENTS: All participants are required to have a passport that is valid for 6 months beyond the return date, to be carried on your person or stored safely at all times. It is a good idea to photocopy the picture page to carry in a separate place in case of loss and to also keep a copy at home. A visa is required for entry into Egypt. If you are a US, Canadian or British citizen or a member of the EU, you can bring $20 in cash and we will get it for you at the airport in Cairo (no picture is necessary). You can get one from your nearest Egyptian embassy, however it is much more of a hassle, costs more, and requires relinquishing your passport for some time. Other countries qualify for visas at the Cairo airport, so check with us or your embassy to be sure.

TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS: Our flights depart from JFK, please allow enough time (at least 3 hours) to get to the terminal if you have a flight change over. The Egypt Air check-in counter at JFK closes by 5:15pm and you must be there before then to check in or you will not be able to get on the flight. On the return flight to JFK be sure to leave enough time for your connection. Remember you will need to go through customs before going on to your connecting flight. Occasionally there are changes at with departure and arrival times, so please double check with the office before arranging your domestic tickets. We are able to provide exceptional deals on domestic flights from some cities for an additional price, so also check with the office to see if your gateway city qualifies.


Can we have pre-assigned seats?


You will need to check-in at the Egypt Air ticket counter to receive your seating assignments. Egypt Air normally does not pre-assign seats, rather issues them upon check-in so it is best if you get there early. We have requested pre-assigned seats for your group and have been told that Egypt Air will do there best to honor your requests. If you are traveling on international airlines other than Egypt Air you will need to check with your individual airline about your seating. When we arrive in Cairo the group will be met by an Egypt Air representative. They will be helping everyone to go through customs, get your luggage, and guide you to your transportation to the hotel. We will send you a list of the people traveling on the same flights with you. Please feel free to contact one another while in JFK by looking for the Shamanic Journey,ltd. luggage tags. Please put the luggage tags on your carry-on, so others can find you. There will be no agent at JFK, only in Cairo.

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL SEPARATE FROM THE GROUP: If your international travel is not booked with the group, we can arrange for you to be picked up and delivered to your hotel, and back for your return. Our transfer agent will greet you, affix your visa to your passport, and assist you through customs and with your bags. We can also arrange for extra days at our hotel at either end of the tour. Please let us know in plenty of time if you wish longer accommodations, as our hotels are often booked to capacity.

PREPARATIONS/ PRECAUTIONS: There are no inoculation requirements for persons with flights originating in the US or Europe. However, it is advisable to consult your physician regarding your personal needs. The alternative suggestions we offer are found effective by prior travelers and local herbalists. Doctors and medical facilities are available to us in most places, however we recommend each participant bring their own personal supplies plus any medication needed. Your good health and good physical condition will enhance the experience for you as well as the group. The most common health issue is diarrhea. It is recommended to take megadophilus or acidophilus daily for at least one month prior to travel as well as for the duration of the trip. You may also want to bring an herbal immune-support formula. Do not drink the tap water in Egypt! Drink only bottled water, and use bottled water to brush your teeth. Bottled water is readily available everywhere.

Suggested Healthcare Supply List:

  • Grapefruit seed extract (helpful for the stomach bug)
  • Topical antiseptic and salve
  • Charcoal tablets (dysentery)
  • Vitamin C (Alacer-Emergen-C for easy travel)
  • Band-Aids, ace bandage, moleskin for blisters
  • Insect repellent
  • Aloe Vera gel or other skin cream
  • Sunscreen , Chapstick and hat for the sun and heat
  • Golden Seal powder
  • Lomatil, Pepto Bismal (some swear by this as a preventative) or other diarrhea medication of personal preference - local medications are available.
  • Remember to keep medications handy in carry-on, not packed away in luggage, if they meet TSA standards. Check online for current TSA restrictions.
  • We strongly stress the use of only bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth. This can be purchased readily along the way, and at hotels.

CLIMATE/CLOTHING: The climate in Egypt is dry year around. November is a perfect time to visit Egypt with the daytime temperature average in the 70 - 85F+ ranges. October weather is warmer than this with daytime temperatures averaging between 80 - 95F depending on if we are in the north or the south. The evenings can get quite cool, especially on the river, and you will need a wrap at night. Occasionally it is cool in Cairo as well, yet it can be quite warm in the south. Whatever the activity, women should remember that Egypt remains a conservative country and we wish to be respectful. Shoulders should always be covered outside the hotels and boat (there are beautiful shawls available in Egypt). Keeping this in mind, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for layers in the daytime. A light jacket or sweater for early morning and evening and also for the air conditioning in the hotels are advised. Wear comfortable walking shoes — sneakers or sandals with a supporting back strap, and cotton socks. We will be doing a lot of walking. Pants are certainly acceptable for the women and are definitely recommended for camel or horseback riding. In the evenings, as everyone will be dining in very pleasant surroundings at our hotels or local restaurants, somewhat nicer attire would be appropriate. Casual is acceptable, though you might plan for one or two evenings. We certainly have opportunities here to be festive, and we will have a chance to shop where wonderful, fun clothing can be purchased. Hairdryers are provided in some of the rooms.

BAGGAGE: Each passenger leaving with us from JFK will be allowed to check-in two pieces of luggage. The total dimension (length + width + height) of both pieces must not exceed 273 cm (107 in) and the outside linear dimensions of each bag must not exceed 158 cm (62 in.) The weight of each piece is limited to 32 kg (around 70 lbs). Many domestic flights now are limited to 50 lbs. Check with your domestic flight airlines to make sure. We highly suggest that you only bring one piece with you to Egypt and bring or buy an empty duffel bag for shopping goodies for your return. If you bring two pieces of luggage with you to Egypt you will have no room on the return, so pack light and shop there! Remember to bring an extra set of clothes and your valuables in your carry-on just in case! A daypack is often useful. Although you will never be required to carry your luggage, you will appreciate traveling light!

COMMUNICATIONS: Most of our hotels have business centers, and some now have data port connections for computers in the rooms. You can hook up your laptop directly to the phone if you have an ISP service that has an access number in Cairo. There are some internet cafes available in Luxor and Aswan. International telephone calls from Egypt are easy to make, and can be dialed directly from most of our hotel rooms. They are much more expensive from Egypt than from the States, depending upon your international plan. We recommend that you get an international calling card from either ATT or MCI, both of which have access numbers in Cairo. If you do need to phone directly, you could have the person return the call, and it would be a fraction of the cost. I got my MCI calling card at Costco. Each person traveling with us will be given a list of hotel numbers where we will be staying prior to our departure.

FILM: If you are not using a digital camera, be sure to bring all the film and extra batteries that you will need as these are very expensive there. Likewise, film should be brought back to the states for developing. The film expiration date should be carefully checked and be good for at least one year from the date of purchase as it seems to deteriorate rapidly in Egypt's arid climate. Bring along a flash attachment with replaceable batteries if possible. This, along with your wide-angle lens, will produce the best results when photographing inside temples, pyramids and tombs. Since electric current in Egypt is 220 volts, special adapters and plugs will be needed for rechargeable units. And of course if you are using digital technology, you can bring extra memory cards. There is very limited access to download your images while you are there unless you bring your won computer.

What about travel and trip insurance?


A journey of this nature is a financial investment. Therefore, we strongly recommend that all participants obtain short-term travelers insurance. We offer a comprehensive range of travel insurance packages for your Egypt is Calling tour. It is a way to plan for the unplanned and acts as protection for your investment. For instance, trip insurance can cover the cost of your trip in the event something unplanned prevents you from traveling. Special travel medical coverage can also cover things your medical insurance will not cover, such as a medical evacuation or insuring you are admitted to a hospital even where your regular health insurance is not recognized.
The insurance products we offer are provided by Travel Insured International, a reputable company we have been working with for many years and they come highly recommended. Click on the link below to get all the coverage details and various plans that are offered. You will have an opportunity to compare plans and decide on the best package for you.

You'll want to purchase it within 14 days of making your deposit if you wish to take advantage of the pre-existing conditions (pre-trip occurrence) waiver.

Click here to get detailed information or to purchase insurance for your Egypt is Calling Tour (in collaboration with Shamanic Journeys).


Can cameras and video equipment be used at all sites?


A new policy has recently been put into effect by the SCA. This policy allows for cameras to be used at most sites without charge. However, both regular and video cameras can not be used in the museum or at Valley of the Kings. Please do not bring them or they will need to be stored at the site, and can cause delays.
MONEY AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE: The currency in Egypt is the pound, which is equal to 100 piasters. As of January 20, 2008, 1 Egypt pound = $0.18 USD; $1.00 USD = $5.53 Egypt pounds. You will have no difficulty exchanging U.S. dollars into Egyptian pounds. Many banks in Egyptian hotels are open around the clock. We recommend waiting until you are in Egypt to exchange money. Traveler's checks are more of a hassle because you are required to show your passport in order to cash them, and many shops will not accept them. Hotels and some larger shops will take VISA (not as many take MasterCard). ATM's are not always convenient, although they can be found. It is recommended that you carry your traveler's checks and cash in large denominations, although some smaller denominations can be convenient, as well. A money belt or other safe, secure means of carrying money and documents is advisable. Once currency is exchanged, it helps to carry many one and five pound notes for gifting and tipping.

THINGS TO BRING: PLEASE DO NOT OVERPACK! There is nothing less fun than carting around extra baggage. Keep in mind there is a wide range of things to buy at the markets.

  • Daypack for daily outings— helps to keep hands free
  • Notebook for journal writing and pens
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Swimsuit for pools in hotels
  • Sunscreen and insect repellent
  • Toiletries (must be compliant with TSA rules or placed in checked luggage)
  • Earplugs (these can be very helpful)
  • Washcloth (sometimes not available at hotels)
  • Tissues — many public toilets lack paper
  • Wash n’ Dry towelettes are refreshing
  • Small flashlight
  • Camera and film
  • Clothes that are comfortable and loose-fitting, keeping in mind Egypt's conservative culture
  • Good walking shoes, cotton socks, and good sandals (ie. Teva) with back support
  • Adaptor plugs are the standard European type with two round pins. An adaptor is adequate for most appliances. A converter is optional but required for certain appliances.
  • Personal reading material as space allows
  • Intention, focus, and especially your sense of humor
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