The following guidance is based on 30 years of experience in Egypt so we hope you find it useful. [Updated 12th March 2024]

Most phone companies will offer you a roaming service in Egypt as an add-on to your existing contract. You can always remove that when you come home. Typically, a roaming add-on allows you to use from 50% to 100% of your monthly data/call/sms allowance for a fixed daily fee.

Data Only e-Sims
For those of you who have a more modern phone, a data only service such as Holafly is a good option. This involves installing an ‘e-sim’ into your phone (rather than a physical sim) and can offer a period of unlimited data access. This is typically a 4g service. However, you can find yourself using a lot of data very quickly. If you have iCloud backups enabled or are synchronising your photo library, you may go over the local ‘fair usage’ limit – though no one knows what that actually is in Egypt! This means your service will be throttled to 3g by the local Egyptian network and it’s quite a hassle to get that reset back to 4g. That’s done by contacting Holafly. So if you do buy an e-sim then make sure that a) you don’t activate it until you’re in Egypt and b) you turn off all large data services on your phone or make them WiFi only rather than Wifi & Mobile. Resist the temptation to mail large photos using e-mail and avoid Netflix! However, posting pictures into WhatsApp is fine, of course, as these are downsized.

Speeds in Egypt are not great. In most hotels a download of 8mb with an upload of 3mb is quite good. On cruisers, it’s very limited as sometimes the cruiser will be between masts. On Lake Nasser there is 48 hours with no data/mobile at all. Set your expectations low and then you may be pleasantly surprised!

The Egyptian authorities do not like VPNs and a lot of the time, they just don’t work at all, though over Holafly, they do! It’s patchy. Sometimes it’s just fine but you can never download a VPN in Egypt. If you want to use one then download and configure it before you travel.

Egypt uses the two pin plug types C and F. There is very little difference between the two. Plug type F is just plug type C with earthing clips on the side. Adapters for these can be purchased from Amazon before your tour. Some hotels do have three pin UK style sockets and USB sockets but these are a rarity.

The temperatures in Egypt can vary wildly during our season which generally runs from mid-September to mid-April. In late November, January and February the evenings can be chilly with temperatures down to 12c so a fleece for evening visits is definitely advised. Some people wear one in the mornings too. At other times it can be very warm (30c plus) in which case light cotton clothing is advised. Shorts are fine but not if the day includes a mosque.

When visiting a mosque, legs and arms should be covered for both men and women and women should take a scarf to put over their heads. The scarf is not compulsory but it is definitely good manners and Egyptians appreciate it.

Generally, pack for summer, so sunscreen and a hat are essential.
The right footwear is essential too. Many of the places have no paving and range from soft sand to rocky, uneven surfaces. We advise trainers or similar with good soles and grip. Open toed shoes are definitely not a good idea as sand and small stones will get in and cause you problems. A change of shoes for the evening is great and gives your feet a rest.

Smart Clothing
In the hotels there are no particular dress requirements. We see everything from linen jackets and chinos to t-shirts and shorts. However, in the Royal Bar of the Winter Palace a collared shirt and chinos for gentlemen is traditional and trousers, a skirt or dress for ladies. It’s a wonderfully old fashioned bar! Shorts are not permitted in the Royal Bar in the evenings. Many people take a jacket to Egypt but this is not on sartorial grounds but for the practical benefit of pockets for glasses etc!

Other useful things to bring
1. If you are unsteady on your feet collapsible walking poles are a great help.
2. Ear plugs. Egypt can be noisy, particularly if you’re not used to traffic or the call to prayer.
3. A torch. Super useful in some tombs and pyramids. Laser pointers are forbidden.
4. On cruises only – binoculars. Great for bird spotting BUT MUST be carried in your hold luggage. They will be confiscated otherwise.
5. A small rucksack. You can pack this in your hold luggage until you get to Egypt but it’s very useful for water etc.
6. A notebook and biro. You’ll need to fill in an immigration arrival form before you land in Egypt – that biro will be useful to have!
7. Electronics: Mobile charger, camera, spare memory, batteries etc.

You can obtain Egyptian currency before travel only with great difficulty and it’s absolutely not worth it. Exchange rates in Egypt are MUCH better than anywhere else. We strongly recommend changing currency in Egypt on arrival at the airport, but better still, use an ATM on arrival or at the hotels. Don’t worry about having excess Egyptian pounds as these can be used to settle your hotel extras as well as credit cards or ‘hard’ currency such as USD, GBP or EUR. It’s often difficult to exchange currencies other than these, such as AUD.

Only you can decide how much you are likely to spend during the trip on souvenirs, books and gifts. Given that most outlets accept credit cards perhaps having a cash float of around GBP 100 or equivalent in your home currency might be useful in denominations no lower than £5. Many places won’t accept $1 dollar bills as they are next to impossible to change at banks in Egypt and the locals have to rely on the kindness of tourists to change them into larger denominations.

There are plenty of accessible ATMs in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. There are almost no opportunities for ATMs or banking in Middle Egypt, though we are occasionally able to access one but, in general, assume that you can’t! Most hotels that we use in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan have ATMS in or next to the hotel too.

Credit Cards
Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted throughout Egypt. Amex rather less so. Do check carefully that the prices you are quoted for items are in the currency you expect them to be when the terminal is handed to you! Most of the time you will be offered to make your payment on the termnal in either EGP or your home currency. Always chose EGP – the exhange rate will be better.

Tipping Money
With rampant inflation and a wildly variable exchange rate, tipping is ideally done in hard currency rather than Egyptian. More on that in the tipping section.

EgyptAir Allowances
EgyptAir’s hold baggage limit in Economy is one piece per person of no more than 23kg. For business class it’s 32kg. In Economy hand luggage is limited to one piece not exceeding 8kg (55 x 50 x 23cm) and in Business, 2 pieces of the same weight and dimensions.

If your tour includes an internal flight, the weight allowance for business is the same as for economy – so beware; taking a 32kg piece out on the international sectors could cause you a problem. In business though, typically, EgyptAir shows remarkable flexibility on internal flights. We’re just letting you know the official position!

If you’re not flying EgyptAir then please check your own carrier’s website for details of your international flight allowances as these may be less than those offered by EgyptAir, in which case you will need to pack to meet the restrictions imposed by the lesser of the two allowances

Visas On Arrival
Citizens of many countries, such as those in the EU, the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand can obtain a visa on arrival in Egypt. This is simply an outsized postage stamp which is affixed to your passport immediately before immigration control. These can be obtained from the banks in the arrival halls or from our rep. Queues can be long at the banks so it’s probably better to use our service with the rep.

We charge a small fee for doing this (as we have to pay VAT on the service!) and the current cost of a visa from our rep is GBP 25, EUR 30 or USD 32. This should be paid in cash either to the rep on arrival or to your tour manager in the first few days of the tour. Change is not available so please have the correct fee.

Your passport must have six months validity left on it after the last day of your tour.

CANADIAN CITIZENS ARE CURRENTLY NOT ABLE TO USE THE VISA ON ARRIVAL SERVICE and must apply via a consulate or embassy in Canada before travel.

Background Tipping
AWT carries out a great deal of background tipping on behalf of its clients throughout all tours. This includes baggage handlers, restaurant staff, cleaning staff and site guardians, as well as the myriad others who work hard behind the scenes.
However, it is customary in Egypt to give a personal gratuity from time to time. All Egyptians who can afford to tip do so constantly!
Since 2023, inflation in Egypt has become a huge problem and we now advise that your ‘significant’ tips should be given in either GBP, USD or EUR.

Nile Cruisers
On board Nile cruisers, this would normally be about £5/£6 per passenger per day, made as a single donation. This is handed into reception for distribution to all the crew at the end of the cruise in an envelope. No direct tipping is allowed on the cruisers.

Hotels Rooms
If you want to leave something for your hotel room cleaner then that’s a lovely thing to do. Very few people do so it’s very much appreciated when it happens. Personally, I leave the equivalent of GBP 1 per day on the dressing table before departure.

Coach Drivers
For coach drivers who take the party to the sites, a tip of up to £2/£3 per person per day is about right. You can give this to the driver when he finishes his allocated days – your Guide will let you know when that is.

Our Steward
For Wael, our steward, who is there to look after you for the entire trip and provide you with soft drinks on excursions, a tip of £2/£4 per day is about right.

The Guide
It is usual to give your Guide a tip personally. This might be around UK £5/£10 per person per day when the guide leaves the group. Of course, all tipping is entirely at your discretion, these are only indications of what previous groups have done and, of course, you can vary the amount as you wish.

Tour Managers and Experts are not tipped.

Please avoid tipping in either $1 bills or coins as these cannot be changed at banks in Egypt, the only way they can be changed is if a kind tourist swaps them for larger denominations further down the line. This isn’t a problem, however, when it comes to paying for Visas as we can simply bring $1 bills back to the UK.

The best way to see many of the sites in Egypt is to be there in the first part of the day. Karnak at dawn, for example, is unforgettable!

This can mean some rather early starts but don’t be alarmed – you will see the benefits!

It avoids the heat, and provides the best light for photography.

Anyone who has been to Egypt before will know that the most carefully laid plans sometimes have to be changed owing to local circumstances. At
the time of printing we believe that, for example, all the sites listed in this itinerary are open. However, this may change. At all times we will endeavour to keep you fully informed but we do need to stress that AWT cannot be held responsible for restricted access imposed by the local authorities or changes that may need to be made on account of transport schedules.

Sometimes we’ll re-order a day to take account of the day of the week at a particular location. Nobody wants to be in the Valley of the Kings when a hoard of Red Sea coaches turn up so we do vary the order of sites according to local intelligence!

Many of our itineraries are complex and demanding and we have to be flexible. We ask for your forbearance and a sense of Zen-like calmness. Travel in the Middle East requires patience, understanding and a sense of humour throughout.

General Health
Most problems with health in Egypt are caused by simple things and are generally nothing to do with bad food or hygiene. The following advice holds.
1. To avoid sunstroke, wear a hat. The sun is very strong and the breeze can be deceptive.
2. When coming in from an excursion, avoid ice cold drinks for at least twenty minutes to give your body time to re-adjust.
3. Drink lots of bottled water. Be sure to take plenty on excursions. We provide a 500ml bottle a day as part of the tour but most hotels will provide it too, so squirrel some away in your rucksack.
4. After being out and about, remember to wash your hands before eating. We strongly recommend the frequent use of antiseptic gels to keep hands clean. We will provide a bottle of this and wet wipes at the start of every tour with the compliments of AWT.
5. If it does all go horribly wrong contact either your Guide/Tour Manager or the hotel receptionist for medical attention. For minor ‘discomfort’ a local pharmacy will be able to help.
We are not allowed to provide specific advice on vaccinations, however, the WHO website is a good place to start and you can always ask your doctors surgery for advice.
You can bring your own medication into Egypt as easily as anywhere else. However, try to avoid bringing any more in than you will need for the duration of your stay, particularly strong painkillers. The authorities do look out for suspicious quantities of these.

Overseas services are not covered by the Equality Act 2010, and facilities that are expected and required in the UK are not available in many of our destinations.
If you have a disability or any issue with mobility you should be aware that our tours may involve significant distances, embarkations and disembarkations, visits to places that lack lifts or ramps, and areas of steep or rough terrain. Tours, or parts of tours, may be unsuitable for those with disabilities or restricted mobility.
Our tours are not normally manageable for those with walking difficulties. Please consider this issue as carefully as we have, ask for our advice, and do not undertake a tour that is unsuited to yourself or another member of your party. Whilst we are committed to making every reasonable adjustment to provide access to our tours for those affected, our escorts and guides are responsible for the progress of the tour and for the tour group as a whole so cannot be relied upon to provide individual support or assistance such as pushing wheelchairs or carrying bags.
Should you or any of your party require a carer or assistance with mobility, then you accept responsibility for including a suitably qualified person in your booking.

In making your booking, you confirm that you and all of your party are fit to take this tour, and that you have declared to us any disability or special need which is likely to affect the progress of the tour or the delivery to other travellers. If we reasonably consider that we are unable to properly accommodate the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking, decline or cancel the reservation when we become aware of these details. You must also promptly advise us when any significant change in the condition or disability occurs or if any such medical condition or disability develops after your booking has been confirmed. If we consider at any time that the tour is unsuitable, we will try to provide alternative arrangements which overcome the issues and will offer them to you at an appropriate cost. Alternatively, we reserve the right to cancel the booking or ask you not to take part in a particular excursion.

Should you or any of your party commence a tour without previously disclosing a disability or special need, and you are unable to take part in the activities or to keep to the daily schedule of the tour group, we reserve the right either to make alternate arrangements and engage additional assistance we deem necessary for you to continue the tour, separately from the group if necessary, or else to make arrangements for your return to the UK without completing the tour. In either case you will be responsible for all additional costs.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are aware of all recommended and required vaccination and health precautions in good time before departure, and to have any member of your party who may have doubts about their fitness consult with their own doctor.

Your feedback is really important to us. If you have cause for complaint while you are on tour you must notify the AWT Tour Manager, local representative, or local agent and give them the opportunity to help you there and then. If you do not raise concerns immediately, this may affect our ability to investigate and take remedial action and it may impact on the way your complaint is dealt with later.

If a problem remains unresolved during your holiday, the lead passenger (the person who made the booking) should make a complaint in writing to AWT within 28 days of the completion of the holiday. Please remember to quote your booking reference number and daytime telephone number. We will reply to you within 28 days of receipt of your letter, as laid down by the ABTA Tour Operator’s Code of Conduct.

We are a member of ABTA, membership number V1661. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct and we certainly hope that we can settle any holiday complaints amicably. However, should this prove not to be the case, you may refer any dispute relating to our contract to arbitration under a scheme arranged by ABTA which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute. If we can’t resolve your complaint, go to to use ABTA’s simple procedure. Further information on the Code and ABTA’s assistance in resolving disputes can be found on: The scheme provides for a simple and inexpensive method of arbitration on documents alone with restricted liability for you in respect of costs. The scheme does not apply to claims for an amount greater than £5,000 per person or £25,000 per booking form. Neither does it apply to claims which are solely in respect of physical injury or illness or their consequences, although claims which include an element of minor injury or illness can be considered subject to a limit of £1,500 on the amount the arbitrator can award per person, in respect of this element. The application for arbitration and Statement of Claim must be received by ABTA within 18 months of the date of return from the holiday. Outside this time limit arbitration under the scheme may still be available if we agree, but the ABTA Code does not require such agreement. You must also have previously registered your complaint via ABTA to qualify for arbitration.

You can also access the European Commission Online Dispute (ODR) Resolution platform at This ODR platform is a means of registering your complaint with us; it will not determine how your complaint should be resolved.

We both agree that English Law (and no other) will apply to your contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter of any description (hereinafter referred to as “claim”) which arises between us (except as set out below). We both also agree that any claim (and whether or not involving any personal injury) must be dealt with under the ABTA arbitration scheme (if the scheme is available for the claim in question and you wish to use it) or by the Courts of England and Wales only unless, in the case of Court proceedings, you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. In this case, proceedings must either be brought in the Courts of your home country or those of England and Wales. If proceedings are brought in Scotland or Northern Ireland, you may choose to have your contract and claim governed by the law of Scotland/Northern Ireland as applicable (but if you do not so choose, English law will apply).