Posted on September 30th, 2009 No comments
Sixteenth-century Spanish soldiers described it as a land filled with gold and silver, a land of untold wealth. To the Europeans who heard these stories it was a place of tantalizing mystery that mirrored dreams and desires unsatisfied by the Old World. Nineteenth-century travellers wrote of soaring Andean peaks plunging into luxuriant Amazonian canyons of orchids, pythons, and jaguars. The richest treasures, the bloodiest conquests, the most advanced civilizations-all have been attributed to Peru.
Peru is a large, mountainous country on the Pacific coast of South America. It has borders with Ecuador and Colombia to the north. Brazil and Bolivia to the east, and Chile to the south. The Pacific Ocean lies to the west. There are three natural time zones, running roughly north to south: Costa, Sierra and Selva (Amazonian Jungle).
The Costa region, which contains Lima is a narrow coastal plain consisting of large tracts of desert broken by fertile valleys. The cotton, sugar and rice plantations and most of the so far exploited oil fields lie in this area. The Sierra contains the Andes, with peaks over 6000 m (20,000 ft), most of the country’s mineral resources (silver, zinc, copper and gold) and the greater part of its livestock. The Selva, an area of fertile, subtropical uplands, lies between the Andes and the jungles of eastern Peru. Many countries have mountain ranges with beautiful scenery and Peru is certainly richly blessed in this respect. However, the scenery is only one of the elements responsible for the magic of the Inca Trail. Can there be any walk anywhere in the world with such a combination of natural beauty, history, and sheer mystery with such an awe-inspiring destination? The various ruins along the way serve to heighten the hiker’s sense of anticipation as he or she approaches what would surely find a place in any new list of archaeological wonders of the world– Machu Picchu.
The population is largely Indian and Mestizos with a noticable influence from European (mainly Spanish), Chinese, and African settlers.
It was truly an adventure tour and not simply a vacation. It’s what I’d hoped for and Adventures Abroad really came through.
Inca temples: Machu Picchu was simply breathtaking; Ollantaytambo was wonderful to see!
Train rides: To Machu Picchu and Puno were absolutely fascinating. I didn’t expect the great fashion shows onboard!
Lake Titicaca: The Floating Islands, and especially Isla del Sol, were fun experiences. The hiking and views at Isla were outstanding.
La Paz: An absolutely gorgeous city. I loved its beauty.
-Gary Wong PE2: Peru & Bolivia (Incan Secrets and ‘The Tibet of the Americas’)
It’s not often that you get to experience a trip like this. Going back into the Andes– NO TOURISTS; JUST US! It was amazing hiking and only running into indigenous people and experiencing the culture. It was majestic and humbling…I wanted an adventure and got it….Machu Picchu was all that I expected–glad they got us there early before all the tourists arrived!
-Debra L. Ewens Tour XIT
For me, the highlights were Sipan [a Moche archaeological site in northern Peru] and Machu Picchu, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything else. City tours of Lima and Arequipa, museum visits, ancient sites–it was all fascinating. Loved the Puno-Cuzco train trip and flying over the Nazca Lines!
-Linda Clark Tour PR2 Peru: North & South (Peruvian Explorer – featuring the mystifying Nazca Lines)
Posted on September 29th, 2009 No comments
The mighty Atlas Mountain Range dissects the country into two distinctly defined regions. The northern territory is itself mountainous and far more fertile than its southern counterpart. Where the north, with its sparse population, dense forest and manageable inclines makes for ideal tours for exploration, hiking, mountain biking and nature-rambling, the arid deserts in the south provide the perfect opportunity for camel trekking and the chance to experience the largest hot desert in the world: the vast Sahara. Those determined not to stray too far from the lapping Mediterranean might opt instead to try scuba diving or one of the many watersports available off the coast. Moreover, Tunisia’s climate that varies from Mediterranean to African allows holidaymakers to select a tour destination whose temperature suits them best.
A country with a long and distinguished history, Tunisia has within its borders a wide variety of fascinating historic monuments and buildings. Over the ages, the country has been subject to the influence of a string of civilisations — Phoenicians, Spanish Vandals, Arabs, Turks, the French and Romans — and each have left their mark on the landscape and culture of Tunisia.
Perhaps the most famous aspect of North African history is the Carthaginian Empire, which was the arch-nemesis of the great Roman Empire in the second and third centuries BC, and though the Romans effectively destroyed the city of Carthage in the third Punic War, it retains to this day much of its splendour of old and is now a designated World Heritage Site. Many Roman buildings such as the Antonine Baths and the amphitheatre in modern-day Carthage are sights not to be missed, and a tour to the Bardo museum reveals one of the largest selections of mosaics in the world, as well as antiquities that date from prehistoric times through to present-day Tunisia.
Posted on September 28th, 2009 No comments
Day 2 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Georgetown – Baganara
Early this morning we will have a brief tour of Georgetown’s principal sights. We start at the Seawall and learn about the working of the sluice gates. We then drive to the historical center and view St George’s Cathedral, one of the world’s tallest free standing wooden buildings, and the Parliament building, completed in 1833. We continue to the Botanical Gardens and the Zoo and finish with the Hibiscus Craft Market and the Post Office. (Depending on timing and schedules, Georgetown sightseeing may occur at different point in our tour). We also see the Victorian Law Courts and Town Hall, as well as the historic Starbroek Market. We depart Georgetown and travel to Baganara Resort. Pre-eminent among the three hundred and sixty-five islands in the mighty Essequibo is this wonderful little paradise with one hundred and eighty-seven acres of lush green foliage and colourful tropical flowers. This is the gateway to the unspoilt rainforest of Guyana and the junction where the great Essequibo and Mazaruni Rivers meet. This evening, as the sun sets, we make an excursion up the Essequibo River by motor boat to Parrot Island. As the warm tropical day ends, myriad stars of the equatorial zone appear and thousands of Amazonian parrots arrive to roost for the night. We will walk on the edges of this mangrove island listening to the sounds of these intelligent birds preparing for the night. The flocks of parrots arriving at twilight is unforgettable. Overnight at Baganara Resort. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 3 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
We rise early this morning for a pre-breakfast nature walk. Our walk takes us through the humid swamp forests that cover much of Baganara Island. This is a perfect opportunity to identify some of the region’s numerous tree species and watch for some of the more than 200 bird species recorded in the surrounding area. After breakfast you can take a swim in the warm, clean waters of the river, or perhaps the soft sand beaches that surround the island. Kayaks are available for those wishing to explore the river on their own; alternatively, you may choose to curl up in a hammock and relax. Later today we board a motorboat and take an exciting journey to the town of Bartica. An Arawak word meaning “red clay”, it is home to many people who work the mighty rivers. The Mazaruni has many granite quarries–the stone is sent all over the Carribbean. The Cuyuni leads to Venezuela and has numerous gold, silver, diamond and bauxite mines. An isolated nearby island is still the site of Guyana’s largest prison, continuously used since built by the Dutch several centuries ago. * Cuyuni and Mazaruni river cruises may be replaced by other sightseeing if water levels are not high enough. Overnight at Baganara Resort. All meals.
Day 4 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Baganara – Kaieteur Waterfall – Georgetown
An aircraft will pick us up at Baganara for our day tour of the Kaieteur Waterfall. Kaieteur thunders over a precipice, plummeting 224 m (741 feet), making it the longest single drop waterfall in the world. This is Guyana’s trademark and one of the most impressive and beautiful sights in Guyana, a solid column of water in a perpendicular drop into cascading foam and spray over the great boulders at the foot of the cliff, producing breathtaking rainbows across the gorge (hopefully the weather will be clear!). The aircraft circles the Falls, giving views to both sides of the plane, and then lands nearby. We walk through a tropical gorge, stopping at a number of viewpoints, before reaching the very edge of the top of the Falls. There are many legends of Kaieteur, but the most enduring tells of a great old Chieftain of the Patamona tribe whose name was Kaie. To save his people from being destroyed by the savage Caribishi, Kaie sacrificed himself to the Makonaima, the Great Spirit, by canoeing himself over the falls. We then fly back to Baganara for lunch before proceding by plane back to Georgetown. The flight provides breathtaking views of the endless canopy of tropical rain forest sliced by huge rivers, and Georgetown’s location, at the mouth of the Essequibo. Overnight in Georgetown. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 5 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Georgetown, Guyana – Paramaribo, Suriname
We have an early morning start, setting out by road to the Corentyne River which forms the border between Guyana and Suriname. We pass through the mainly agricultural areas crossing the Berbice River by ferry before arriving at Moleson Creek, where we join a second ferry to cross to Southdrain on the Suriname border. We continue on to Paramaribo and check in to our hotel. (This is a long though interesting journey. Possible lengthy waits at the ferry crossing requires patience.) Paramaribo originated in the 17th century around an old trading post and Fort Willoughby, which was renamed Fort Zeelandia after the Dutch conquered it in 1667. The Dutch made the settlement near the fort the colony’s capital, calling it Nieuw Middelburg. This name for the new capital has never been accepted. The popular name for the capital is still ‘foto,’ derived from ‘fort.’ Some months later, the British took over the fort again, but under the Peace of Breda, Suriname became a Dutch colony again. The name Paramaribo is derived from ‘Paramurubo,’ the name of an old Arrawak village, which means ‘city of parwa blossoms.’ Overnight in Paramaribo. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 6 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Paramaribo – Commewijne River Cruise – Paramaribo
This morning we have a tour of this historic capital. Sights in Paramaribo include: The Central Market where you can find tropical fruit and vegetables galore; here one can meet a cross-section of Suriname’s ethnically-diverse population. The Palm Garden, which is behind the Presidential Palace, is famous for its stately palm trees. Waterfront / Independence Square is the centre of activity during national holidays. There are also several foodstands along the Waterfront. The historic Fort Zeelandia has been turned into a museum, which highlights Suriname’s history and arts (NOTE: Paramaribo sightseeing may occur at a different point of our tour if overall timing warrants). This afternoon we have a cruise on the Commewijne River, directly opposite Paramaribo city. Our tour will take us along the river, past former colonial plantations of which most are abandoned and no longer active. A visit to the open-air museum at Nieuw Amsterdam and Marienburg, the oldest former sugar plantation in Suriname, will carry you back in time. The agricultural projects in Alkmaar, Katwijk and surroundings will offer you a view on how the plantation industry transformed itself in modern times. The river which takes in a dominant place in Commewijne, provides a way of earning a living to many fishermen in the area. Overnight in Paramaribo. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 7 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Paramaribo, Suriname – Port of Spain, Trinidad
Today we fly from Suriname to Trinidad,* a romantic island, home of calypso and the steelband with a wonderful blend of blue-green waters, golden sands and lush tropical jungles. On arrival we will have an orientation tour. We visit the capital, Port of Spain, where gingerbread-style houses are found side-by-side with a variety of modern structures. The seven grandest examples of colonial Victorian houses lie in a row along St Clair’s border with the Savannah. Known as the ‘Magnificent Seven’, the houses are each in a different style but vie to outdo each other in form and decoration. We visit the nearby Botanical Gardens. Later we see the impressive President’s Residence; the leafy suburbs of St Ann’s lie behind. We will view the Red House (Parliament), the Hall of Justice, and Woodford Square. The garden in the square is the setting for open-air political debate: the topic of the day is written on a blackboard each morning. The Woodbrook area is dotted with restaurants and bars, many of which are in small ‘gingerbread’ houses, fringed with fretwork and delicately painted. Then it’s a short drive to Lady Young Lookout for an excellent panoramic view of Port of Spain. We’ll head for Santa Cruz Valley with its endless cocoa and coffee plantations. The drive through this valley is approximately 20 minutes and from here we continue along the scenic North Coast Road where we will take in a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea at Maracas Lookout. On reaching Maracas Beach, Trinidad’s most beautiful and popular, you can swim, sunbathe or relax before returning to the hotel (changing facilities are available). NOTE: Flight schedules and / or weather considerations may require that we have today’s Port of Spain sightseeing on one of the following days, or mix up the order of our sightseeing in Trinidad. This day is also subject to flight schedules that can change without warning. If today’s flight is cancelled or discontinued, we may have to drive back to Georgetown and fly from there. Overnight in Trinidad. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 8 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Trinidad: Central Trinidad & Caroni Nature Sanctuary
This morning our island tour takes us through the plains of Central Trinidad, vast mangrove swamp and rice fields. Trinidad being a mixed society, of all different races; we will see many Hindu flags in front of private residences and Hindu temples and hear about their significance. We also visit the remarkable “Sadhu” Hindu Temple, built under great sacrifice out in the sea. We visit the lively and colourful Chaguanas fresh produce market and busy bazaar street with a break for lunch and shopping. We then continue to the the Caroni Nature Sanctuary, a mangrove swamp covering an area of 40 square miles at Trinidad’s North West Coast. We board a large flat-bottomed boat and slowly travel along the beautiful peaceful waterways and lagoons admiring the bizarre beauty of the landscape and a variety of birds and other wildlife. The most astounding among these birds is the scarlet ibis, a large bright red bird feeding and nesting here. This tour is world renowned among ornithologists as it offers the observer an opportunity to see this rare protected bird with very little effort. After this relaxing boat ride we return to the main landing and make our way to Port of Spain. Overnight in Trinidad. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 9 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Trinidad: Asa Wright Nature Centre
Today we drive to the Asa Wright Nature Centre, home to hundreds of species of birds, as well as other local flora and fauna. The AWNC is a “Not-for-Profit” Trust established in 1967 by a group of naturalists and bird-watchers to “protect part of the Arima Valley in a natural state and to create a conservation and study area for the protection of wildlife and for the enjoyment of all.” Our guided walk will explore the Discovery Trail and conclude on the verandah. Colourful birds like the brilliant green shining Honeycreepers and the Jacob Hummingbirds visit the nearby feeders just below the verandah. This is one of the best places for birding in the tropics. The original estate house of the former coffee-cocoa-citrus plantation has been beautifully remodeled over the years as a comfortable headquarters where guests gather to watch the incredible birdlife from the verandah. Overnight in Trinidad. Breakfast and dinner.
Day 10 of Guyana, Suriname & Trinidad Tour
Departure from Trinidad. Breakfast. BON VOYAGE!!
Posted on September 23rd, 2009 No comments
As though it were a reflection of the unparalleled cultural differentiation found within the nation itself, India’s landscape demonstrates remarkable variety: the colossal and unrivalled in fame or stature, snow-capped peaks of the Himalayan Mountain Range in the north; the lush and fertile rolling plains of the central regions; the arid dunes of Thar desert in the west; and the uncompromising Deccan plateau, skirted by the hilly coastal Ghat ranges in the south. Where touring mountainous regions makes possible activities such as skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, mountaineering and trekking, coastal zone tours provide ideal sites for sunbathing, surfing, windsurfing, diving and other such watersports and activities. Add to this selection the options to take a camel trek around the desert regions or to visit some of the 200 parks and reserves and see some of the nature’s most wondrous creations, like the Bengal tiger or the Asiatic elephant, and India’s popularity as a tour destination becomes perfectly understandable.
From an architectural standpoint, India is as fascinating as anywhere else in the world. The illustrious marvel that is the Taj Mahal is without doubt the most popular site of interest, but other notable locations include the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort, the Amber Fort near Jaipur and the Gateway of India.
Often regarded as a continent within itself as a result of its remarkable diversity, India is a tour destination that assaults the senses like no other. From its multitudes of different landscapes, unique blend of cultures and architecture to its religions, ethnicity of inhabitants and vast array of wildlife, India encompasses a breadth of variety that knows few rivals. Some travellers embrace the hectic hustle-bustle in the densely populated cities, where others are more content to leave all that behind in favour of a more relaxing time spent in the beautiful rural areas of the country. Both parties are reluctant to leave India at the end of the tours.
Posted on September 22nd, 2009 No comments
I particularly liked our stop at Szentendre on the way to Eger. It’s a charming little village with a museum of a little-known sculptor called Margrit Kovac. Her collection is stunningly unique and touchingly beautiful, unlike anything I’ve seen. I thoroughly enjoyed this visit and I can say so for the rest of the group as well.
-Berta Pires Tour HU2: Hungary & Romania (Eastern European Adventurer)
Before the territory became known as Hungary, as it did in 1000AD, a number of Germanic tribes including the Huns, as well as the nomadic Eurasian Avars, the Franks, the Bulgars and the Magyars, all entered into the region and made efforts to sustain a prolonged possession over the territory. After its creation, the country of Hungary suffered various incursions from the Tatars, the Turks, the Romans, the Russians and the Hapsburgs over a millennium, often incorporating elements of each foreign culture into its own. Today the culture not only reflects its long history of influence from outsiders, but also exhibits a diversity that mirrors its blend of Magyar, German, Croatian, Serbian and Romanian peoples that constitute its population. To explore the culture of Hungary is to explore not one, but an amalgamation of many cultures, which makes for a fascinating and highly educational tour.
Boasting over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, Hungary is overshadowed by no other European territory when it comes to catering to the sun-worshipper and neither does it pale in significance when it comes to scenery. There is a bountiful landscape between the borders of Hungary, from the high peaks of the cave-riddled Bukk Hills region to the fertile lowlands of the Great Hungarian plain, where the indigenous horsemen- the Hungarian versions of cowboys-don their traditional dress and tend to their herds and perform for visitors.
By far, the most popular destination when touring the Central European country is the dynamic capital city of Budapest, and understandably so, but travellers who choose to venture beyond the city limits are rewarded in spades. The UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site of Holloko, or “Raven Rock,” is one destination not to be missed on a tour exploring the more rural face of the country and is considered by many to be Hungary’s most beautiful town.
Posted on September 9th, 2009 No comments
Madagascar an island of gold-sand beaches lined with swaying palm trees, diverse topographical wonders that house incredible arrays of endemic flora and fauna and friendly, traditional peoples with tribal cultures, Madagascar has all the right ingredients for an unforgettable tour destination. As we travel through sceneries of mist-enshrouded virgin rainforest, rice paddies fringing low hills, deep canyons carved into peculiar shapes by erosion and Eden-like waterfall oases, we see Mother Nature at her best and come to appreciate the uniqueness of this special place. We see brightly coloured houses stacked on hillsides, bustling markets and innumerable intriguing sites that detail the area’s pre- and post- colonial history–and of course, we’ll be sure to see plenty of lemurs, which can be found naturally only in Madagascar and on one or two surrounding islands.
Calling Madagascar an island almost seems unfair. This Eden-like garden of riches is filled with so much diversity in life and geography it is like no other island anywhere on Earth. Indeed, every expedition into its mountains, rain forests, river valleys, coastal plains, grasslands, caverns, and deserts leads to the discovery of some new plant or animal species. And with its many quiet coves and its proximity to the Indian Ocean trade routes, Madagascar was a haven for many of the fiercest pirates that ever sailed the seven seas. Tales of buried treasure and stories of the swashbuckling buccaneers’ deeds and misdeeds have become a colourful part of the national folklore. It is no exaggeration to claim that this micro-continent (as some have called it) offers limitless opportunities for exploration.
This morning we will depart for the lower slopes of Mt Kenya, rising to 5199m (16,728 feet), Africa’s second highest peak. Our drive will take us into the Central Highlands, the heartland of the Kikuyu people. This is a very fertile region, well-watered, intensively cultivated, and thickly forested. The land was coveted by the Europeans who began arriving in ever-increasing numbers once the railway through the area was completed. The settlers established coffee and tea plantations on the eastern slopes of Mt Kenya and cultivated wheat on the western slopes. The higher regions of the slopes are left to the leopard, buffalo, lion and elephant. Tonight we overnight at a “Tree-Style” lodge, uniquely designed and situated to provide one with an often extremely close-up view of a wide variety of wild animals as they come to drink and cavort. We highly recommend an optional guided nature walk (approx USD 15, payable locally) offered by the lodge. All rooms have a waterhole view and en suite facilities.
Tanzania & Madagascar
Day 5 of Tanzania & Madagascar Tour (Madagascar Tours) Ngorongoro – Serengeti National Park
Departing the Ngorongoro Conservation area this morning we descend onto the Serengeti Plain, stretching out endlessly before us. Indeed the name “Serengeti” derives from a Masai word meaning “Land-without-end.” This is a land of superlatives, both in the vast landscape that surrounds you and the incredible biodiversity it supports. It is here that you have a chance to witness one of the most compelling natural dramas on earth–the annual migration, a sight unparalleled anywhere in the natural world. Our afternoon game drive provides an excellent introduction to this fantastic landscape and the biodiversity it supports.
With the lapping waters of the Indian Ocean caressing the white-sand beaches on and iridescent reefs off its coastlines, the island of Madagascar is a haven for sun-worshippers and watersport enthusiasts alike. The myriad activities offshore complement its paradisiacal sceneries onshore and to venture farther inland is to discover why Madagascar is sometimes likened to a continent within itself. The fourth largest island in the world, Madagascar is also home to a staggering five per cent of the world’s animal and plant species, the vast majority of which are unique to this “micro-continent.” Easily rivalling the Galapagos Islands in terms of abundance and diversity of flora and fauna, Madagascar seldom receives the acclaim it deserves for its natural attractions that must be seen to be believed.
Posted on September 8th, 2009 No comments
Despite its designation as semi-arid when it comes to climate, there is a great deal of variation across the land. On one end of the spectrum, there are the dry deserts near Namibia, and on the other, there are the fertile subtropical areas near Mozambique and South Africa has just about every degree in between. The vast majority of the South African landmass is constituted of grassland and with its abundance of plant species (about 20,000 or more), the country houses around 10% of all the known plant species on the planet. This, along with the close to 900 species of bird, means that touring nature enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the bounties of South Africa.
South Africa also has a lot to offer the sun-worshipper and the active holiday-maker.
The 2,500km of coastline that skirts the Indian and Atlantic Oceans is a prime location for travellers looking to take it easy on the glistening white-sand beaches and for the more active traveller will be delighted to discover that the country’s reputation for housing some of the best wildlife parks in the world is no exaggeration. Kruger Park in particular is a destination not to be missed on a tour to South Africa.
The most racially diverse country on the continent, South Africa is also a nation without a single, unified and defined culture. It is, rather, home to a broad variety of cultures and that is one reason that travellers find it so alluring. With 11 official languages, as well as a further eight recognized languages, and each group following traditions and customs unique to their ethnicity, South Africa has a cultural diversity that few destinations can match. Naturalists and botanists alike will be in their elements, what with South Africa housing about 10 per cent of all known plant species on the planet and sun-worshippers will be reluctant to leave the 2,500km white-sand coastline when it comes time to journey home.
Posted on September 2nd, 2009 No comments
If there’s one tour destination that piques the interest at the mere mention of its name, it’s Tibet. Only in very recent times has the veil shrouding the Central Asian country been partially lifted—something that was hitherto impossible due to both the country’s natural geographic obstacles and foreign policies of the governing bodies—and even with an increasing number of people now have access to more and more information about it, Tibet retains its alluring mystique.
Posted on September 1st, 2009 No comments
The quality of the Tour Leader, wonderful sites–especially Karnak Temple, the Valley of the Kings, Coptic Cairo and Abu Simbel–antiquities, art, architecture history, religion, fascinating cultures, beautiful land and flora and fauna made the trip. We learned, we grew, we loved it!
-Ron and Sandi Mielitz Tour EG3: Egypt (In Search of Pharaohs)
The splendours of the ancient Egyptian civilization have been a source of inspiration down through the ages. Since the Greek historian Herodotus first wrote about his travels through Egypt in the fifth century BC, people have speculated about how the Egyptians built their massive monuments, and marvelled at the beauty of their art and architecture. From time immemorial, humanity has searched for the meaning of life, trying to reconcile its mortality with a profound desire to attain immortality. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in ancient Egypt. The pharaohs’ journey to eternity has been preserved in Egyptian art, architecture and writings.
The fact that Egypt is home to the sole surviving monument of the Seven Wonders of the World–the breathtaking Pyramids of Giza–seems appropriate; few other cultures have had so much influence on and bequeathed so much to the development and evolution of man, than has that of the Egyptians. From their hieroglyphic art as a basis for contemporary written language, to their remarkable feats in architectural and engineering spheres, and not to mention their impact on modern-day systems of governance, the ancient civilization’s deeds of yore yet permeate every aspect of modern life. Just as other civilizations have risen and fallen without managing to leave as indelible a mark on the world, their structures crumbling into decay and their influence coming to an end, Egypt’s Pyramids of Giza have remained standing tall through the test of time and can now be seen as a symbol of the enduring nature of a great and ancient nation and of its people. A tour to Egypt is to experience a mysterious and fascinating ancient society in an evolved and contemporary setting.
The second most populous country in Africa, second only to Nigeria, and bordered by Libya, Sudan, Israel and the Gaza Strip, Egypt is a country dominated by desert and its habituated regions are for the most part centred on the banks of the longest river on earth: the mighty Nile. Perhaps no other country lends itself to a more ideal tour destination in this respect, as travellers can follow the snaking route of the Nile through Egypt, making various stops to take in the splendorous landscape and sights along the way. Tours on Feluccas-wooden sail boats of ancient design-are available for just this purpose, either to cast off for a short trip under the red and setting sun, or for longer, more comprehensive cruises.
In response to the current popularity of all of our Egypt trips, we have just developed a new addition to our Family Fieldtrip Series-Egypt ‘In Search of Pharaohs’, featuring a four-night Nile cruise on a luxury vessel (code 02X). This tour complements our original family Egypt that travels the Nile via a traditional felucca sailing vessel. Both trips also feature fun and exciting excursions via camel, donkey, and horse-drawn carriage, and, of course, all the astounding ancient monuments that make each day more amazing than the last.
Aside from the Giza Pyramids, the most popular sites in Egypt include the two majestic temples at Abu Simbel-which were reconstructed close to the original site in the 1960s and were rebuilt brick-by-brick in exactly the same relation to each other and to the sun-the Valley of the Kings-the ancient Pharaoh burial ground which is home to, among others, the tomb of the famous King Tutankhamun– and the regal Great Sphinx of Giza, whose imposing 66 foot stature silently guards over the tombs of the exalted kings of old. A tour to explore the ancient face of Egypt would not be complete without a visit to the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo, where more than 120,000 artifacts are on display.
But a tour to Egypt is not solely for those curious about ancient civilizations. The country’s man-made magnificence and beauty is only equalled by the natural environment, with white, glittering sand cascading over the dunes, stunning purple mountain landscapes and the turquoise waters that are unique to the Red Sea. Adventurous travellers can participate in camel tours, scuba diving on the world-renowned reefs, trekking in the desert or even golfing or fishing.
Even if you’ve been to Egypt before, don’t think you’ve seen it all! The amazing landscape of the Western Deserts and the picturesque mountains and canyons of Sinai will be a completely different, breathtaking experience. With our modern air-conditioned Toyota Landcruisers (4WD) you have the opportunity to explore the unspoilt beauty of the Western Desert and the mountains of Sinai. We organize jeep safari (5-14days) or walking tours (4-7days), as well as camel caravans (4-10days) through the colourful canyons and high mountain ranges of Sinai or the oases of the Western Desert with their characteristic culture. Visit Siwa, Baharija, Farafra, Kharga and Dakhla, and cross the Great Sand Sea or the White Desert. Our programs are designed as independent modules that can be combined with each other or one or two days in Cairo to see the Pyramids and the treasures of the Egyptian Museum. There is also the possibility of attaching some days in Luxor to see Karnak temple and the Valley of the Kings, or have a relaxing time on the beach in Sinai or Hurghada. We will help you to find the program best suited to your clients’ needs and your flight schedule.