Invaders, Traders & Pyramid Builders – Archaeology Trip to Egypt

Thanks to special permission from the Egyptian government this tour enjoys unparalleled access to many archaeological sites all over Egypt. Access the Valley of the Kings at night, participate in an active archaeological dig and stand in the Sphinx enclosure at Giza right between the paws of the ancient stone beast. Explore the opulent tomb of Nefertari, in the Valley of the Queens, and the immense tomb of Seti I, both recently the subject of years of ongoing renovations. Discover the extensive subterranean labyrinths of the Step-Pyramid of King Djoser and the Serapeum, the tomb of the Apis Bull at Saqqara and venture into the deserts of middle Egypt to explore the tombs of the Amarna period at Beni Hassan and Akhenaten’s lost city in the desert.

In addition to the unreal archaeological experiences on offer, journey into the Fayoum Oasis to discover the whale fossils in the desert, wander the streets of the village of Tunis; considered one of the most beautiful villages in Egypt and discover Egyptian cuisine and medieval architecture with a food walk through old Islamic Cairo

Discover a deeper understanding of Egypt’s rich ancient past with a trip leader who is degree qualified in Ancient History, specialising in Egyptology along with a specialist Egyptologist guide. Completely immerse yourself in Egypt and it’s culture with unique accommodation options, such as a traditional B&B in Cairo, a desert lodge in the Fayoum, Nubian Inn in Aswan and traditional and historic hotels throughout on this amazing archaeology trip.

ARCHAEOLOGY TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Exclusive evening access to the ‘Valley of the Kings’ and a chance to explore two of Egypt’s most beautiful and elaborate royal tombs, the tombs of Nefertari and Seti I of the New Kingdom
  • Discover some of Egyptology’s lesser-known marvels with visits to the early 4th dynasty pyramid of Meidum, the Seti I temple at Abydos, the tomb of the Apis Bull at Saqqara and the archaeological site of Amarna, Akhenaten’s city in the desert
  • Participate in an active archaeological dig at Saqqara, the Old Kingdom necropolis which is still yielding valuable finds to Egyptologists even after over one hundred years of excavation
  • Safari into the dunes surrounding the Fayoum to see the fossils of whale bones in the desert, explore the beautiful streets of Tunis village; considered one of the most beautiful in Egypt and pay a visit to the city of Rosetta, the ‘Rosetta Stone’ was discovered, providing us with the key to unlocking the hieroglyphic script
  • Stay in traditional and historic hotels throughout, as well as locally run lodges, inns and B&B’s on this archaeology trip to rival all others

The Basics

Start: Cairo

Finish: Cairo

Trip style: Special Interest

Max group size: 15

24 Days

CAIRO – CAIRO

$13 950 AUD*

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Trip code: IBCC *from

ITINERARY

Arrive in Cairo and make your own way to our B&B. Meet your Egyptologist trip leader, guide and travel companions for a welcome meeting and introduction to your archaeology trip through ancient Egypt at 17.00. After the meeting, head out into cosmopolitan Cairo to a local restaurant for a special dinner.

What better way to start off our archaeology trip than with a visit to the Old Kingdom necropolis of Saqqara to participate in an archaeological dig. Learn all about the excavation of a newly discovered tomb, watch the archaeologists work and perhaps even make a discovery of your own.

After our morning on the archaeological dig site, we will explore the Step-Pyramid of King Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty, the first pyramid ever built in ancient Egypt. Today we will not only explore the pyramid site, but also its subterranean chambers. The subject of a long and intense restoration, these chambers have only recently opened to the public and only for a limited number of visitors.

We will also visit the mastaba tomb Mereruka, the vizir of King Teti, as well as the tombs of the nobles Mhu and Maya and the so-called ‘tomb of the two brothers’ which is one of the largest non-royal tombs at Saqqara. We will step inside the pyramid of King Unas, which was the first pyramid to contain hieroglyphic inscriptions called the ‘pyramid texts.’ These texts became the ‘Coffin Texts’ in the middle kingdom and then finally the ‘Book of the Dead’ in the new kingdom when they were transcribed onto the walls of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Our last stop for today will be the enigmatic tomb of the Apis Bull or Serapeum. The Apis Bull was worshipped as the incarnation of Ra on Earth and was treated as a god. The bulls were selected based on markings and when the old bull died, he was buried in this tomb. The tomb is a veritable labyrinth of chambers containing the immense sarcophagi in which the mummified bulls were placed upon their death.

We will depart Saqqara for lunch in a traditional local restaurant before returning to Cairo.

The remainder of the day will be free for you to explore on your own.

This morning we will head out of Cairo to the rarely visited archaeological site of Dahshour. At Dahshour we will find the strange so-called ‘Bent-Pyramid’. Built by King Snefru of the 4th Dynasty the pyramid is an interesting example of the process by which the ancient Egyptians learned to build a true pyramid. It would appear that about halfway through construction the architects realised either the incline was too steep, or the base had become unstable. This led to a change in incline halfway up, giving the pyramid its interesting ‘bent’ shape.

Next, we will visit Egypt’s very first ‘true pyramid’, many people mistakenly believe that this title belongs to the Great Pyramid of Giza, built by King Khufu, however this is not true. The first true pyramid was built by King Snefru, Khufu’s father. The pyramid sits in a deserted place in the desert in which it was constructed and is rarely visited by travellers. It is likely that we will not have to share our visit with another soul and will be able to explore the empty chambers of the pyramid at our leisure.

Our next stop on our archaeology trip will be the Old Kingdom capital of Memphis or ‘Men-nefer’ as it was known in ancient times. Memphis was the first unified capital of Egypt and was first legendarily ruled over by King Narmer.

After lunch in a traditional restaurant, we will head back to Cairo.

Of course no archaeology trip to Egypt would be complete with out a visit to the last remaining wonder of the world – the Giza Pyramids. Experience these ancient marvels as never have before with the combined knowledge of your Egyptologist tour leader and guide. Fully explore the archaeological site and venture into the heart of the Great Pyramid, built by King Khufu of the 4th Dynasty, as place where only so many visitors are allowed per day.

Visit the royal mastaba tomb of Queen Khentkawes located nearby the pyramid of Menkaure, Queen Khentkawes may have been the daughter of the king. Queen Khentkawes was the wife of the first king of the 5th dynasty Userkaf and played an important role in his succession. Some scholars believe Khentkawes may have even become pharaoh of ancient Egypt for a short period in her own right.

On of the highlights of our archaeology trip is to get up close and personal with the Great Sphinx of Giza with special access to the enclosure surrounding the ancient beast and the ability to stand between its paws.

After special lunch stop today, the ‘9 Pyramids Lounge’ which overlooks the archaeological wonder of the Giza plateau, we will explore then visit often-overlooked pyramid of Menkaure before retiring to our accommodation for the evening.

Today we leave Cairo behind as we venture into the Nile Delta in the north to discover more obscure archaeological site of Tanis. Tanis became the capital of Egypt in the third intermediate period after the capital established by Ramses II (the Great), Pi-Ramesses was abandoned when its harbour silted up. The site was established in the 19th Dynasty and grew to prominence in the 21st and 22nd Dynasties, it was also popular in Greaco-Roman times, a fact that somewhat confused its discoverers as the site originally had architecture and artefacts from different periods of history littered throughout the site.

The necropolis of Tanis contained the only undisturbed royal burials of Egyptian pharaohs, (the Tomb of Tutankhamen was in fact entered in antiquity) these are the burials of third intermediate pharaohs Psusennes I, Amenemope and Shoshenq II. Often forgotten about by historians and passed over by travellers because of its hard-to-reach location in the Nile Delta, we are sure to have the site of Tanis to ourselves and to do some exploring at our leisure. Visiting the deserted and forgotten site of Tanis is sure to be a highlight of your archaeology trip to Egypt.

After we have explored the forgotten city of Tanis we will transfer back to Cairo.

Today is a free day for you to explore the magic of Cairo the so-called ‘Paris of Africa’ on your own. You may wish to take some time out to rest and relax, explore one of Cairo’s many museums, take a stroll through the green space of the Al-Ahzar Park or do some bargaining in one of the bazaars. The choice is yours!

This morning we will visit the Cairo Museum, home to over 7000 archaeological finds from ancient Egypt’s vast and colourful history. Our Egyptologist guide will take us on a journey through history while showcasing some of the most significant finds, after which you will have some free time to wander the museum and see what unique treasures you can find within its halls. A visit to the Cairo Museum is sure to help you bring together some of the amazing history you have so far discovered on your archaeology trip to Egypt.

We have a special treat for lunch today, with a walking tour to sample the best of Cairo’s local delicacies. We will get to try three or four tasty local dishes before finishing with tea, coffee, juice, or ice cream.

Our next stop is the old city of Islamic Cairo, a part of the city which is over a thousand years old. We will take a stroll down El Muizz Street which has the greatest collection of medieval architectural treasures in the Islamic world, followed by a stop at the Khan el Khalili bazaar, reputed to be the largest bazaar in the middle east. Steel yourself for some hard-bargaining and good-natured hassling from the shop keepers, the banter is all part of the fun here!

We check out of our cosy Cairo B&B this morning and head north-west to the coastal city of Alexandria. Legendarily established by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was a major centre of knowledge in the ancient world.

On arrival in Alexandria, we will visit the Roman catacombs, which were constructed in the 2nd century and reportedly contain the tombs of over three hundred individuals. We will also visit the Alexandria National Museum to see items recovered from the underwater archaeological excavations around the coast of the city, as well as some of the over 1800 artefacts that narrate the history of this city over the ages.

After our visit to the museum, we will have lunch in one of Alexandria’s local restaurants, before a visit to Fort Qaitby. The fort was built in the 14th century to protect Alexandria from the advancing Ottoman army. The fort is built on the site of the famous ‘lighthouse of Alexandria’ and some of the stone from the lighthouse was reportedly used in its construction.

In the late afternoon we will check in to our hotel and the evening will be yours to relax or explore Alexandria on your own.

This morning we will travel to the city of Rosetta, home to one of the greatest archaeological discoveries in from ancient Egypt, the so-called ‘Rosetta Stone’. The Rosetta Stone is a tri-lingual text which provided Egyptologists with the key to unlocking hieroglyphs. The stone has registers written in hieroglyphs, demotic and ancient Greek, because ancient Greek was a known language Jean-Francoise Champollion was able to use this language to decipher hieroglyphs.

We will spend the day exploring the city, including the citadel which was inaugurated in 1482 CE, and which contains many blocks from Egypt’s ancient constructions, many on which you can still see hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Check out of the hotel in Alexandria this morning and head south into the desert to the Fayoum Oasis for an introduction to another way of life in Egypt. The Fayoum is thought to be the oldest agricultural area in the world, with its pre-historic peoples having set up farms on the shores of the Qarun Salt Lake. Little has changed since ancient times, the Fayoum is still a major agricultural centre in Egypt, well known for its citrus fruits, nuts and olives.

When we arrive, we will have lunch in a local restaurant, followed by a tuk tuk tour of Tunis Village, widely considered to be one of the prettiest villages in Egypt.

We will check in to our oasis lodge in the afternoon and watch a beautiful sunset over Lake Qarun.

Today we take to 4×4’s as we safari into the desert to a place called Wadi Rayan, where the dry landscape is broken by beautiful waterfalls and tree lined pools.

Venturing further into the desert we will arrive in Wadi el-Hitan or as it is more commonly known, the ‘Valley of the Whales’, which is sure to be yet another highlight of your archaeology trip to Egypt. This desert was once a pre-historic ocean and fossils of whale bones can now be seen in one of the worlds driest places far away from the ocean.

Lunch today will either be a picnic in the desert or in one of the small desert villages along the way.

Our final stop before returning to the Fayoum will be the ‘Magic Lake’. The lake is so named because it changes colour depending on the time of day. This place is surrounded by desert and is the perfect place for a swim or to just sit by and enjoy the spectacular desert scenery. The minerals contained in the lake are used to treat rheumatism and arthritis, so if you have any aches and pains consider taking a dip!

We will depart the Fayoum today and head for the middle Egyptian town of Al Minya.

Along the way we will stop at the enigmatic and mysterious pyramid of Meidum which is close to the Fayoum. The pyramid’s construction sits between the building of the Step-Pyramid of King Djoser and the Bent Pyramid of King Snefru. Some archaeologists have ascribed the Meidum pyramid to Snefru, however others believe that the construction of three pyramids during one pharaohs reign seems implausible and have therefore ascribed its construction to Snefru’s father King Huni.

The pyramid partially collapsed in antiquity; its stone core now juts out of the tumbled down rubble casing like an ominous watch tower.

After we have visited the pyramid of Meidum we will continue on to Al Minya and check in to our hotel for the next two nights.

In the morning we will visit the Beni Hassan necropolis, which is home to the tombs of the Amarna period. The Amarna period marks a strange time in ancient Egyptian history and begins with the ascension of Amenhotep IV in the 18th dynasty, who later changed his name to Akhenaten. Akhenaten changed Egypt’s polytheistic worship of many gods, to a monotheistic religion and the worship of a single god, the Aten sun disc.

Akhenaten also picked up the entire Egyptian capital and moved it out into the desert to a place where ‘the footsteps of the other gods had not trodden’. Today we will walk the streets of Akhenaten’s capital in the desert – Akhetaten ‘the Horizon of the Aten.’ No archaeology trip to Egypt would be complete with out a visit to this area, which is an anomaly in the history of ancient Egypt.

Today we continue our journey south along the Nile. Along the way we will stop at the archaeological site of Tuna El Gebal to visit the baboon and Ibis catacombs, animals which were sacred to the god Thoth in ancient times. We will also visit the tombs of Petosiris, high priest of Thoth and Isodora, a wealthy woman of Roman ancient Egypt, who were laid to rest in this area.

Before we arrive in Sohag for the night, we will visit another obscure site on our archaeology trip, Al Ashmunein, which was a large city in Egypt during Greaco-Roman times, and which was sacred to the god Thoth throughout antiquity. Al Ashmunein is also a sacred site in the creation myth of the ancient Egyptians. According to myth the ‘ben ben’ stone or hill rose out of the primordial waters of chaos with the scarab god Atum perched upon it which began all things.

This morning we continue south to Luxor, the former capital of the New Kingdom, known in ancient times as Thebes.

On our journey today we will stop at Abydos, which was the cult centre for the god Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the underworld. On arrival we will visit the temple of Seti I which contains the king lists of Egypt, showing the country’s rulers as far back as the unification by King Narmer. The temple is very different to other cult temples in Egypt and does not follow the same straight design as temples to other gods built at the same time.

We will also view to enigmatic Osirion, the purpose of which still alludes Egyptologists. The temple was built below ground level and then buried. Various theories have been proposed for this bizarre feature including that as the temple was for the god of the dead, building it and burying it meant it was closer to the underworld. It has also been proposed that this temple was intended to function as the tomb of Osiris who was once the legendary ruler of Egypt, before his death at the hands of his brother Seth.

Today the temple is partially below the water table, so we will view it from outside.

After viewing the archaeological enigma of the Osirion we will have lunch in a friendly local guest house before traveling to Dendera.

When we arrive at Dendera, we will visit the spectacular temple of Hathor. This temple is in an amazing state of preservation and still contains much of its original paint, it also contains one of the first representations of the zodiac.

After we have explored Dendera temple we will continue on to Luxor and check in to our historic hotel where we will spend the next 5-nights to ensure we thoroughly explore this highly significant area on our archaeology trip.

Today is a free day for you to rest and relax and explore Luxor on your own. You may want to head out to do some shopping in the bazaar, relax in a local coffee shop or explore the vast expanse of Karnak Temple (if you haven’t on a previous trip to Egypt), the largest religious complex in the world. The choice is yours!

Featured Optional experience – Hot Air Balloon Ride over the West Bank

Hot Air Balloon Ride on our archaeology trip to Egypt

Arise early and take to the skies as you sail over the monuments of kings on the west bank of the Nile. Perfect for an introduction to Luxor and is many monuments and sights the hot air balloon will give you a great idea how the city was set up in both modern and ancient times. Sail over the Nile, the life blood of the city and gain a bird’s eye view of the Valley of the Kings, the spectacular temple of Hatchepsut and the mortuary temples of Ramses II and III. Watch as the hues from an amazing sunrise glitter off the river surface and which illuminate thousands of years of history on the ground below. A hot air balloon ride is a perfect addition to your archaeology trip to Egypt.

This morning we will transfer over to the west bank of the Nile, to the realm of the dead – a stop of vital importance on any archaeology trip to Egypt. Our first stop will be the archaeological site of the workers village of Deir el Medina, the place where the people lived who toiled away on the tombs of the kings and nobles. In the cliffs nearby, the tombs of these everyday people can be found. Although much smaller than the royal and nobles tombs they are no less colourful. Workers would often trade their skills with each other to enable themselves to have a beautiful tomb for the afterlife. In these tombs we will see beautiful scenes of daily life, as well as people ploughing the ‘field of reeds’ in the afterlife.

After we have visited the Tombs of the Workers, we will move onto the Tombs of the Nobles. These tombs are much more elaborate, but instead of daily life usually portray the deceased serving the pharaoh and performing his daily duties.

Our next stop today will be one of the many highlights of your trip, the Tomb of Queen Nefertari, wife of Ramses the Great. Much loved by her king, the great royal wife was given her own extensive and elaborate tomb in the Valley of the Queens. The subject of extensive restoration by the Egyptian government, the tomb has been closed to visitors for years. It has recently re-opened to a limited number of visitors.

Our visit to the Valley of the Queens will be followed by lunch in a local restaurant after which we will continue our visit of the west bank at the site of Medinet Habu.

Here there is located a very unique temple which is built in the shape of a fort. It was built as the funerary temple of the 20th dynasty pharaoh Ramses III who spent is reign fighting off the ‘Sea Peoples’ a group of roving marauders who destroyed every civilisation in their path at the end of the bronze age. Egypt was one of the sole survivors of this cataclysmic event and it is clear Ramses III thought he would still be battling the ‘Sea Peoples’ well into the afterlife.

Our final stop for today is the enigmatic funerary temple of Ramses the Great, which sits close by to the temple of Ramses III. The temple, also known as the ‘Ramesseum’, has fascinated scholars and artists since it was discovered during Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798. The engineers who surveyed the temple at this time referred to it as ‘the tomb of Ozymandias’ and it was here the poet Percy Bysse Shelly was inspired to pen his famous Ozymandias sonnet by the shattered statue of Ramses that lies on its side in the courtyard.

This morning will be free for you to relax or to explore Luxor on your own.

In the afternoon we will head back across the Nile to the west bank stopping first at a place called Deir el Bahari to see the impressive mortuary temple of Hatchepsut, Egypt’s most famous female pharaoh. The temple is set into the cliff face and built in a terraced style. The temple contains a record of Hatchepsut’s reign, most notably a record of a trade route set up with the people of Punt (probably modern-day Ethiopia). The queen of Punt is portrayed as obese, an anomaly when dealing with Egyptian art as stylistically people were always portrayed as perfect. It is likely that obesity was seen as a sign of beauty and wealth by the people of Punt, hence why their queen is portrayed in this manner. See if you can spot her!

Next, we will visit the Valley of the Kings, where the pharaohs of Egypt’s golden age were laid to rest. The first tomb we will visit will be that of the boy king Tutankhamen, the discovery of which in 1912 by Howard Carter is arguably the most sensational discovery in the history of archaeology.

We will visit the colourful tomb of Ramses VI and later the extensive tomb of Seti I. The tomb of Seti I is the longest and most elaborate tomb in the Valley of the Kings. It has been closed for many years and undergone extensive restoration. Now open to the public it admits a limited number of visitors per day.

At 5pm the Valley of the Kings closes, but not for everyone! Tonight, the highlight of our archaeology trip to Egypt will be exclusive evening access to this amazing place. Thanks to special permission from the Egyptian government, our group will be the only ones undertaking this magical experience.  Wander the paths of the realm of the dead unhindered by other travellers, the tombs lit up in the darkness and a deafening silence echoing throughout the valley and the pharaohs ‘houses of eternity’.

Today is a free day for you to explore Luxor on your own. You may wish to use this day to explore the Luxor Museum and see its vast array of treasures, relax at the hotel or just enjoy the city of Luxor.

On our archaeology trip this morning, we say goodbye to Luxor and head down the river to Aswan. Along the way we will stop in at the impressive temple of Horus at Edfu.

When the temple was discovered, it was almost completely buried in sand, and to this fact it owes its marvellous state of preservation. The temple was built during the Hellenistic (Greek) period when the gods of the Egyptians were appropriated by the Greeks.

We will arrive in Aswan in the afternoon and check in to our Nubian eco-lodge. The land of Nubia in ancient times encompassed the area from the first cataract (rapid) of the Nile just below Aswan to northern Sudan and modern-day Khartoum. Although the land of Nubia no longer exists, its people, once the enemy of the pharaohs of Egypt can still be found living peacefully along the Nile in Aswan.

We will spend today visiting the islands of the Nile.

Our first stop will be the island of Elephantine. Elephantine formed part of the border with Nubia in ancient times and was the cult centre for the ram god Khnum. The island was also an important stone quarry that provided granite for monuments built all over Egypt. Granite from Aswan and Elephantine was used in the construction of the Giza Pyramids and the exact logistics of how these massive stone blocks were transported remains a mystery.

On the west bank of the Nile at Aswan there are tombs of the nobles of the old and middle kingdoms, the cliffs are honeycombed with these ‘houses of eternity’, and we will spend some time today exploring them.

After lunch we will travel by boat to the colourful Nubian village to learn about their way of life. We will also stop off at another of the Nile’s islands to visit the Aswan botanical garden

At sunset we will board a traditional Egyptian sailing boat called a ‘felucca’ for a sail around this beautiful area with a glass of wine in hand. Later we will take another boat to the island of Philae to witness the amazing sound and light show over the temple of Isis.

Today is a free day for you to explore the laid-back town of Aswan on your own. You may wish to visit its charming bazaar, browse the Nubian Museum or just use this time to rest and relax.

In the late afternoon we will transfer to Aswan airport for our flight back to Cairo. On arrival we will check back in to our cosy B&B.

Featured Optional experience – Excursion to Abu Simbel (Car or Flight)

Take an early morning flight down to the shores of Lake Nasser to view the epic temples of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses the Great. The temples were built as a show of force and to intimidate the people of Nubia. Ramses thought that an invading force sailing up the Nile, bent on war with Egypt might just look upon the temples and tremble in fear, causing them to turn around and go back to Nubia. The temples were at risk of being lost to us forever due to rising waters caused by the construction of the Aswan Dam. A worldwide effort under the UNESCO banner was undertaken in 1964 to relocate the Abu Simbel temples and other Nubian monuments to higher ground. Between 1964-8 the temples were carved up and transported block by block in one of the greatest archaeological challenges in engineering history. See the great temple of Abu Simbel with its four colossal statues of Ramses seated outside as well as the smaller (by comparison) temple he built to his wife, Nefertari. If you haven’t visited the temples of Abu Simbel before, trust us, this will be an amazing addition to your archaeology trip to Egypt.

Today is a free day for you to explore Cairo on your own. Your trip leader will have plenty of suggestions on what you can do with your day, or you may wish to rest and relax and prepare for your onward journey.

This evening head out into Cairo for a special farewell dinner to say goodbye to your Egyptologist guide, trip leader and travel companions.

Your archaeology trip to Egypt comes to an end this morning after breakfast.

Trip price does not include

  • International airfares
  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Visa for Egypt
  • Any expenses associated with COVID-19
  • Meals not included as per trip itinerary including drinks and mini bar
  • Additional accommodation before or after the tour
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to laundry, souvenirs, porterage etc.
  • Travel insurance – please note comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas
Trip Map – Invaders, Traders & Pyramid Builders

Details

Duration: 24 Days

Trip style: Special Interest – Archaeology Trip

Group size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 15

Trip code: IBCC

Cost: $13 950.00 AUD twin share

Single supplement: $2350.00 AUD

Inclusions

  • 23-nights accommodation in traditional family run and historic hotels, inns, B&B and lodges
  • Flight Aswan to Cairo in economy class
  • Entrance to archaeological sites and museums as outlined in the itinerary
  • Meals as specified in itinerary (B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner)
  • Services of your Inverted Atlas trip leader and Egyptologist Guide

Optional experiences (not included):

  • Luxor: Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Aswan: Abu Simbel Excursion (by Road)
  • Aswan: Abu Simbel Excursion (Flight)

* Please note some optional experiences must be booked prior to travel. You will be given the option to add these experiences at check out

Journey rating – Journey

This archaeology trip travels through Egypt, a country well accustomed to tourism. Egypt is an Islamic country and women should consider dressing appropriately so as not to cause offense culturally and to avoid attracting unwanted attention, however there is no compulsory dress code. Toilets you encounter in public restrooms or in remote unscheduled stops along the way may be of the eastern ‘squat’ variety. There are some long travel days, but rest assured on arrival we will always be checking in to accommodation that is of a good standard. The ‘hassle factor’ in Egypt can be somewhat confronting, local people often see travellers as an opportunity to make money and may try to give unsolicited ‘help’ in order to gain ‘backsheesh’ or tips. This help could be in the form of carrying your bags, giving you directions or even something as simple as pointing out something in a temple (even something completely obvious). It is necessary on this trip to bring a thick skin and a good sense of humour as this is part of Egypt’s colourful culture.

Facilities such as pharmacies, banks and ATM’s can be found in large cities and towns but will be absent from smaller villages and remote places. Wifi in Egypt will most certainly not be up to the standard you expect at home and will be non-existent in some destinations.

Any dietary requirements should not be an issue while traveling on this trip, provided they are disclosed to Inverted Atlas at the time of booking.

A note about fitness

This archaeology trip requires a good level of physical fitness. You should be able to walk up to 4km at times and manage uneven surfaces during sightseeing and while walking around archaeological sites. In addition, you should be able to climb up to 100 stairs unassisted and there is an outside chance you will need to be able to use an eastern style squat toilet (beware if you have knee issues). If you suffer with claustrophobia, please be aware that we will be descending the narrow passages of pyramids and subterranean tombs.

You will need to be able to carry your own luggage to and from the coach and into the accommodation. (Due to OH&S regulations our trip leaders are not able to assist with luggage.) For a small fee locally, porterage can often be arranged – this will be at an additional cost to you and is not payable by Inverted Atlas.

In addition, you should be in good health, with no major chronic conditions requiring frequent medical attention. This trip travels through some remote locations where the availability of a hospital or even phone reception to call an ambulance is limited. While all our trip leaders are required to have a valid first aid certificate, they are far from doctors and any assistance they are able to provide will be limited to basic first aid. For more information please see our booking conditions.

Single supplement

Traveling by yourself? No problem, we love single travellers and don’t believe in penalising them by charging half the trip price again for our single supplement. With us you are only paying the actual cost to have a room all to yourself. If you’re up for making a new friend, you can elect to share with another single traveller of the same sex and only pay the twin-share price. The choice is yours!

Trip leader description

Accompanying you along your journey will be your Inverted Atlas trip leader. Your trip leader is a logistics extraordinaire, keeps the trip running smoothly and ensures you have the best time possible on your trip. It is important to know that while your trip leader has the best job in the world, they aren’t actually on holidays, but rather they are there to make sure you have the best time while you are on your holiday! Your trip leader may at times need some time out so that they can complete back of house tasks that ensure everyone continues to enjoy the trip. It is also your trip leaders’ job to handle any issues (heaven forbid!) that come up while you’re on your trip like:

  • If you lose your passport or other travel documents
  • If there is a problem with your room at the booked accommodation – seriously please tell your trip leader don’t wait until you leave
  • If you become unwell and need to find a pharmacy
  • Assisting with restaurant recommendations or additional sightseeing during free time
  • Questions regarding the itinerary

This archaeology trip is really special and as such requires a special trip leader. In addition to being a logistics extraordinaire and keeping the trip running smoothly, the trip leader on ‘Invaders, Traders and Pyramid Builders’ has an advanced degree in Ancient History and has specialised in Egyptology. This means that in addition to your local Egyptologist guide, you will also have a trip leader who has travelled to Egypt multiple times and knows the country’s archaeological history inside out.

Itinerary disclaimer

This itinerary is correct at the time of upload to our website and we have composed it in good faith. From time to time we may elect to make changes before departure, if we are making a big change we will of course notify you, however if it is a small change this will be reflected in the final trip notes. So, make sure you download these prior to departure. Small changes prior to departure are usually made with the groups best interests in mind and come about due to liaising with our best resources – our past travelers and of course our trip leaders! The ability to change and evolve depending on what our travelers enjoy is what makes us such a great trip operator.

While we strive to operate our trips exactly to the letter of the itinerary, sometimes we may need to make changes on the ground while the group is on the road. This is all part of the adventure of traveling and we would ask that you come on your trip with an open mind and a good sense of humour because as much as we want it to, everything doesn’t always go to plan. In fact, these impromptu situations often make the best stories that you can have a laugh with your friends about later.

Age requirements

Minimum Age: 16 years

There is no shared accommodation on this trip, and we will be traveling through a relatively well travelled part of the world, in this instance we would welcome everyone above the age of 16 years. Should you wish to bring younger children, please give us a call.

There is no upper age limit for this trip, but you should consider the above fitness requirements prior to booking. If you are 65 years or over, you will be asked to complete our Health Check Form and have your medical practitioner sign it to confirm you are in good health and able to participate safely on this trip.

Travel insurance

Please note that comprehensive travel insurance is a condition of travel with Inverted Atlas. Insurance must include provision for medical situations, emergency medical repatriation to your home country and personal liability at a minimum. Proof of valid travel insurance will be requested by your trip leader on arrival at the pre-departure meeting. Please have this paperwork available for them. If you are unable to provide proof of comprehensive travel insurance, you may not be allowed to join the trip and no refund will be payable.

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