"Published on Oct 26, 2012". It was like Mission Impossible: Egypt Fun Tours' mission was to show me around Cairo during my short 5 hour layover which was made even shorter because my plane arrived late and I waited in the wrong line when getting my immigration stamp (buy your immigration stamp first and then wait in passport control!).
Despite arriving late, my Egypt Fun Tour Guide, Mohammed, and his driver Atem (not sure if that is spelled right), picked me up quickly and took me on my tour of Islamic medieval Cairo & Khan El Khalili Bazaar. We passed through Modern Cairo "Heliopolis" , but I was more interested in the older parts of the city.
We had a short walking tour to the ancient city of Cairo to see its walls with their gates. Very impressive. We entered the gates and were immersed in the colorful Islamic street in Cairo where you see the ancient Islamic complexes,mosques,Madrassas (schools) and the very unique Islamic houses. I sampled Sugar Cane Juice, really delicious and not at all like the sugar cane juice I have had in Hawaii! We went through Khan El-Khalili bazaar,one of the oldest Bazaars in the world. At the end of the tour we went to have Egyptian tea (lovely tea with honey with mint) in El-Fishawy Cafe where we were treated by music at the next table. It was a lively and vibrant taste of the city; I can't wait to go back to Cairo to see more! I was so glad I decided to do the tour rather than sit in the airport for 5 hours! I was quickly and safely returned to the airport with plenty of time to go through security and find my gate.
I had found them on a Lonely Planet message board. Someone had mentioned they had used them for a tour and really liked them. My opinion: They are awesome! Definitely a good deal!
This video of my tour was of El Fishawy Cafe where I smoked shisha and drank tea while the next table played music and sang. Loved it!
"Unforgetable Trip That I Shall Remember For The Rest Of My Life!" I was in Egypt for the first time two years ago. And I liked it so much that I've decided to definitely return to this amazing country for the second time. Well, the first time I was there with a travel agency from my country and a group of 25 people. It was a classic Nile cruise with Hurghada and Cairo. It was OK, but I wanted more! I really wanted to feel the life in Egypt and the people, I wanted to know it from the first hand. It is difficult to do that in a large group, so I decided to take this trip with my best friend, just the two of us. Because we weren't that confident to go on our own we decided to look on the internet for a local tourist company. Finally we both agreed to go with the company Egypt Fun Tours. Their response to our e-mail was very quick and very professional. So we started to arrange the possible itineraries for our trip. Because we had only 10 days for the whole trip and a lot of MUSTs to go to and see the itinerary was quite a challenge. But the staff from Egypt Fun Tours was very helpful and they had no problem to adapt to our wishes or to advise us. On the contrary they helped us to make the plan even better that we imagined it would be. We wrote our plan and they quickly replied with the best solutions. At the end we made an itinerary that fitted in the 10 days we'd got for our trip. The Egypt Fun Tours also did all the reservations for the hotels, the sleeper train that we used and other transportation. The only thing we had to do is buy an airplane ticket via Egypt.
For all the ten days Egypt Fun Tours provided us with a professional guide that was with us all the time of our trip. His name was Mohammad and he waited for us at the Cairo airport. He was very friendly, had a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience as a guide. He gave us a lot of good advice, for example: how much to give for a tip, or how to bargain to get a good price. We became quite experts at the end and we really started to enjoy it. He was by far the best guide I have ever had a chance to meet. And I can say the same for my best friend. Thanks to him, we learned a lot about ancient and present Egypt, and even now I remember his enthusiasm when he was telling us stories about the old Egyptian gods when we were sightseeing the temples...
In ten days we have been from North (Cairo) to very South of Egypt (Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor), from the heart of the Sahara (Baharya oasis and the White desert) to the Red sea (Hurghada). We slept under the stars in the desert, snorkelled in the Red sea, and sailed with a boat on the magical river Nile. On the one hand we drove with a private van with all the luxury and on the other hand »squeezed« in a stuffed train with the locals and even more... Why? Because we wanted it so!! These were all our MUSTs and Egypt Fun Tours made it happen!! We definitely felt Egypt and its people and we will be forever grateful to the company for that. Special thanks to our guide Mohammad, who really tried to present his country and succeeded in his attempt. He was always kind and if we wanted to change some sightseeing he made it happen. This trip wouldn't be the same without him. Shokran!
If you don't like those typical programmes that travel agencies usually offer, my advice would be: make your own trip plan with Egypt Fun Tours! They did it for us and I am sure they can do it for you too!p.s. I have another trip around Egypt in mind and without any hesitation I am going to take it with Egypt Fun Tours!
Visited June 2010
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We took a full Cairo two day tour with Egypt fun tours, pyramid and Cairo city tour and all went smoothly. They were very flexible to adapt to our requirements. We got Car, car driver and guide who escorted us all day and night, never left us until we were safe in the hotel, all were great. Very knowledgeable guide and professional tour. I would strongly recommend this tour company.
Visited May 2011
Dear Hani, Many thanks again for your excellent tour of Egypt. Everything went very well and I was very impressed with your efficiency and attention to detail. It was a real eye-opener for me and I have a completely different idea of ancient Egypt now. I have posted some photos on my Facebook account. You have to join me as a friend to see them.
All the best,
Hello, One of the first things we did (Jan 12-14/2010) was a trip to Bahariya oasis and to the White Desert. After e-mail back-and-forths with about 5 agencies, we settled on Egypt Fun Tours -- mostly because they were pretty responsive and adaptable, and because they were recommended to me in from a friend. Conclusion first (so you don't have to read any further): We had a good time, and overall things went pretty well. Our guide, Hani Ahmed, was a pleasant guy whose English is fine (although he has the habit of repeating everything to make sure you understand -- something I sometimes do myself). Besides his guiding services on this trip, he gave us a large number of useful tips for the DIY remainder of our Egypt trip -- what to see in Luxor, what the price of silver jewelry should be, etc. I certainly give them a solid recommendation.
In retrospect, there are things I would have done differently. This paragraph doesn't reflect on Hani or Egypt Fun Tours, but should be taken as ideas for anyone planning a similar trip. Some of the stuff in Bahariya isn't worth seeing (IMHO) -- in particular, I'm thinking of the Temple of Alexander and Gebel Dist (Pyramid Mountain). The Golden Mummies are very worth seeing. The oasis itself is also interesting, being so different from anything here (in the USA). On the way to and from the White Desert, the Crystal "mountain" is barely worth looking at, and the Black Desert isn't much better. Instead, I would spend more time at the White Desert itself -- it would have been great to have time to spend several hours hiking around among the weird stone monoliths. It being in the cool part of the year, daytime heat wasn't an issue.
Back to the trip report: The 4x4 that was used, owned and driven by a Bawiti resident named Sameer, was not exactly in the best shape. The starter motor was pretty cranky -- the truck had to be push started at least twice. And we had 2 tire blowouts on the paved road on the way to the White Desert. These flats cost us at least an hour, since we had to wait for the second spare tire to arrive on another 4x4 that was coming along later than we were (cell phones are handy!). As a result, we only arrived at the White Desert right at sunset -- which was a significant disappointment -- as I said, the more time at the stone toadstools, the better.
The next day, to make it up to us (and more importantly, to try to repair his business relation with Hani), Sameer invited us to lunch at his house in Bahariya. This was interesting, as we got to see a little of how people live there -- the date palm grove and other farming stuff, the houses themselves, and so on. The most amusing thing was that we found out why the truck hadn't been fixed up -- Sameer had left it to his cousin to do, since his second wife in Giza wanted something the day before, so he had gone into Cairo, and the cousin hadn't actually done anything -- which also explained why Sameer was yelling at him when we picked up the truck. The situation also goes to show that in Egypt, when you ask if a man is married, the answer "yes" isn't the end of it -- you have to follow up with "how many wives?" -- for me, I'm used to "are you married?" being a True/False question, not a multiple choice question.
In my opinion, the loss of time in the White Desert was partly compensated for by this view of life in Bawiti that we wouldn't have had otherwise. My wife was angrier at the situation, but she eventually calmed down. And the 2 wives story we'll be telling for a while to come.
I liked Hani, and don't hesitate to recommend him and his organization. As I said, I'd do some things differently, but it's not likely we'll ever go back to the White Desert. I think that they should cut a few things out of the standard oasis tour, and instead organize some kind of home visit to see how people live there -- that was far more interesting than the Temple of Alexander -- it's a different way of life. And include more time at the White Desert itself!
Hello, wanted to thank you one more time for the great time you have given us in Egypt. It was the most interesting port of call on our trip and you had played a very important part of it. Getting back to the ship proved to be a hair-raising experience, as they say in America. We got stuck in the terrible traffic entering Alexandria and did not move for about 45 minutes.
Our driver was really incredible and during the last 10 minutes of our trip he was flying through the streets of Alexandria. Unfortunately, the guards at the port did not let him drive us to the ship. Therefore, we had to run across the bridge and made it with about 5 minutes to spare!
As you can imagine, we have had a lot of laughs, but only after we boarded the ship!
I am attaching one photo of yourself with Elena. Somehow, I could not copy my images to the CD. The laptop gave me an error message after writing to the CD and did not recognize the CD from that point on. I will post the best photos on my web site www.yasno.com and will let you know when they are available. In the meantime, you are welcome to see my other albums and read my stories.
Feel free to write back. I look forward to keeping in touch with you.
Dear Egypt Fun Tours, We want to thank you for the good care you took of us on our trip to Cairo. We had such a great time and it was all because of the wonderful tour we had with you, a couple of photos attached, hope the come out ok. Best wishes to you and your family
Peter, Janis and Jack Hawken
We decided to go to Cairo and after an internet research we hired Hamada Hussein as our guide. We had 2 days to spend and hiring a native guide was the best thing we could ever do. A previous plan was made in advance so we had the opportunity to know the most interesting sightseeing of the city in a good peace.
The time we spent together was great so I recommend him for sure.
Hello, “Hamada and his crew were fun, energetic and informative. I would highly recommend their touring services. They made our cruise to Egypt well worth it. If you are looking for a fun way to get to learn all you can about Egypt, Hamada and his crew is definitely the team to hire! “
I want to thank you and Yasser for being our guides and cannot tell you how much we enjoyed Egypt. (I forgot the driver's name) We want to come back again and tour Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. We will let you know so that we can request you for our guide. You guys worked so hard for us and took much time away from your families which we most greatly appreciated. Whenever you are in Florida and you bring your family to Orlando to Disney World let us know and we will return the favor.
One thing I learned from visiting your country is that we are all people no matter where you go in the world going through the same struggles and situations. We love our families, we want the best for them, we want a better life, we want to appreciate others customs and lifestyles, and we all are really part of one race, the human race. Not one nationality or race of people are better than any other and we should all respect our differences and learn to appreciate our differences. If more people especially Americans traveled more then maybe we would not have the ignorance and the discrimination we currently have in our society. Sometimes I am ashamed of the attitudes of the Western people. I am glad I got to visit your “neck of the woods” as we say in America. I hope you will get to visit us soon.
Hi Egypt fun Tours, I just wanted to let you know we returned home safely. And also to thank you once again for providing us with a wonderful window in to your people and a culture that other tours just do not do! I hope all is well for you and your family!