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TA Certificate 2016

General

Where can I find your office?

Our head office is located in Hurghada, but we have contacts in all the major tourist cities such as Aswan, Luxor, Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh. In addition, we have, in all major cities, representatives at airports, railway stations, bus stations, ports, at the hotel or on the ship that will assist you.

 

Is Egypt a safe destination?

The Egyptian population is still very friendly towards foreign visitors - the revolution and the protests in 2011 - 2013 were / are not aimed at tourists. Very few violent or terrorist incidents have taken place in recent decades, and overall crime is very low, so that tourists can safely travel around the country. There is a high presence of police and military for added protection. Many millions of tourists enjoy a hassle-free vacation in Egypt every year, and therefore we advise you to take the same precautions as in a European city. To be absolutely safe, and to learn about the current situation, we suggest you read more on the Foreign Ministry's website.

 

Are your excursions private?

Yes. All our tours are private. This means that you are traveling with your own car, driver and tour guide. It also means that your trip will be more flexible since you do not rely on other tourists and the information you will get is tailored to your interests. Cruises, day trips and boat trips will not be private, as there will be other travelers. Some excursions we offer as both private and group excursions.

 

Is it a good time to visit Egypt during the month of Ramadan?

Some travelers may prefer to avoid traveling to Egypt during the Ramadan, which is the holy month for Muslims. During Ramadan faithful Muslims fasts, i.e. from sunrise to sunset it is not allowed to eat or drink, and therefore are many Egyptians tired and unfocused at midday. Restaurants, local businesses and government offices close earlier than usual, and most tourist attractions usually closes two hours earlier making visiting hours shorter. It is often very difficult to be served alcohol at restaurants, bars and cafes. On the other side the Ramadan is a festive month and many Egyptians go out at night and celebrate the Holy time at coffee shops, which often have open late into the night. The month ends with Eid al-Fitr, a three-day long celebration that is celebrated by young and old, and with plenty of food and sweet pastries.

 

What is the local time in Egypt?

Egypt is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT +2). Summertime was abolished in 2011, which means that in the summer, Europe and Egypt are in the same time zone, but in winter Egypt is one hour ahead.

 

When is the best time to visit Egypt?

The best time depends on your mood and your plans as Egypt can be visited all year round. If you wish to go on a Nile cruise or do a lot of sightseeing excursions, winter season from October to March is best, because it is not as hot as in the summer. If you travel in March-April (excl. Easter) or in October-November, it is less busy, and temperatures are still pleasant. Diving and beach holidays are available all year, but during the winter months, evenings might be a bit chilly; especially during the spring, there may be strong winds or sandstorms. During the summer, the temperature is quite high, but a pleasant breeze are almost always present, and it's not as humid as in Europe, so it is still tolerable.

 

Who should I contact in case of problems during my vacation or excursion in Egypt?

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, while you are in Egypt. Normally there are no problems, but we always provide you with our contact information before you arrive, in case of emergencies. Do not try to solve bigger problems though, and do not hesitate to call us. Tell us about the problem immediately, and not only after you have gone home. We are here for you.

 

What leisure activities are available in Egypt?

Egypt is one of the world's most popular holiday destinations, and has a very varied program for everyone. The Red Sea is known for being a diving and snorkeling paradise, and the favorable wind conditions attract surfers. Also golf, quad biking and horseback riding are possible in all major tourist destinations, and countless shops and markets are ideal for a shopping trip. In Sinai there are many opportunities to go through canyons, but the highlight is of course the ancient temples and buildings that captivate millions of visitors each year. Numerous tours take you for a day or two to the famous Pharaonic sites and culture lovers can also book a cruise on the Nile and / or Lake Nasser. In the evening, especially in the hotels, you will find nightlife with restaurants, nightclubs and bars.

 

Can I find golf courses in Egypt?

If you have spare time during your vacation, and are interested in playing golf, you can find golf courses in Egypt, at your own expenses! Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, Taba, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Soma Bay, El Gouna and Makadi Bay have beautiful golf courses in the middle of the stunning landscape.

 

Which travel documents do I need to bring on my vacation to Egypt?

To enter Egypt you must bring your passport which must be valid for at least 3 months after entry, a return ticket (for charter) and a tourist visa. Most nationalities can easily acquire a tourist visa upon arrival at the airport. The price is $ 25 US Dollars, but you can also pay in Euros or Egyptian Pounds. It is also possible to acquire your visa before traveling from the Egyptian Embassy.

 

Which languages are spoken in Egypt?

Arabic is the official language of Egypt, but the Egyptian-Arab dialect differs from other Arabic-speaking countries such as Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. Within the country, there are various regional dialects. Most Egyptians who work in tourism, speaks reasonably good English while German or Russian are also often well understood. Children are taught in schools to speak foreign languages and they love to practice their language skills with tourists. In the popular tourist locations children as young as two years old knows how to say welcome to Egypt, what's your name, baksheesh (tips), give me money / cigarette / candy, in many languages.

 

What type of food is available in Egypt?

The variety of food in Egypt is very wide and cosmopolitan. Usually you will find dishes that are a cross between the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Food is available at great restaurants or from street stalls and snack bars. The smaller food stalls and coffee shops usually offer a good selection of cheap lightly spiced Egyptian food as well as sandwiches, pizza and french fries. Falafel is a snack made of bean and is available freshly made from any street corner. Most major hotels and resorts also offers a wide range of international dishes and local cuisine includes excellent seafood, pasta and sandwiches. There are also a few major fast food chains in major cities including Hurghada. Expect to find almost any kind of cooking, however, with limited menus. A three course meal at a hotel will cost anywhere from around 75 EGP and upwards, while you can get a three course meal at a local café for about 25 EGP. Western fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and Pizza Hut are a common sight in major cities.

 

How much should I give as a tip for services in Egypt?

It is completely up to you how much you will give in tips for each service. We recommend the following: If you get a good treatment, it is a fine way of saying thank you by giving some tip. If you feel badly treated, or experience a poor service, e.g. at a restaurant, it is better to save the tips for another who has earned it. It is always a good idea to have small bills, or some coins at hand.

 

How can I make calls and surf the web in Egypt?

Telephone service is available everywhere in Egypt, apart from isolated areas, and cell phones are standard for almost anyone. The country code for Egypt is +20 and if you wish to call from Egypt, with a foreign mobile phone or from a landline number, do not forget to select the country code and then omit 0 from the code. If you want to call out of Egypt, we suggest that you purchase a SIM card or a calling card, as it is much cheaper, and the prepaid card is available in mobile phone shops and in almost all supermarkets. Internet cafes are widely available, and are often found in hotels, on ships and in cafes, some places have free wireless internet available, if not, the price is very reasonable.

 

How can I get to Egypt?

Most travelers come to Egypt by international flights from major European cities, and usually fly to Hurghada, Sharm El Sheikh, Cairo, Luxor and Marsa Alam. It is also possible to travel by ship or boat, yacht or ferry across the Mediterranean or the Red Sea. Travelers who come to Egypt via boat must make their travel arrangements individually. Egypt borders Sudan, Libya and Israel.

 

How do I get to the big cities and sights of Egypt?

The main destination for tourists is often over great distances. Therefore, there are different ways you can travel long distances in Egypt - either by domestic flight, train or bus; However, there are only trains between Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor and Aswan. Buses run between Cairo / Hurghada and Cairo / Sharm El Sheikh, Cairo / Luxor / Aswan or between Sharm El Sheikh / Hurghada / Luxor / Aswan, and cost only a small amount. Lake Nasser and the other historical sites along the Nile can be explored as part of a cruise by boat, Dahab or felucca. For excursions above the small distances, you will be transported by car or minibus.

 

How should I dress when I travel in Egypt?

Egypt is a conservative Muslim country and visitors should show respect for their beliefs and traditions. At the hotel you can wear shorts or bikini, but when you are outside the hotel area we recommend a light dressing. Summer brings very hot weather and the sun is fierce, so light cotton clothing and a hat is the best protection against sunburn and heat stroke. In winter, between October and March, there might be a fresh wind and often little rain in the north during the evening and at night. Therefore, we recommend bringing some warm clothes. Comfortable shoes are a must when going sightseeing.

 

How can I send postcards from Egypt?

You can find post offices in all towns and they are usually open between 09:00 AM and 09:00 PM. Fridays, however, between 06:00 PM and 11:00 PM. You will find mailboxes at all hotels, that way you save the way to the post office. You can usually buy stamps same place you buy your postcards. If you need to send larger packets there are international express services such as EMS, DHL or FedEx.

 

Do I need to have my own travel insurance when I travel with Sphinx Travel?

In case of illness or accident, by cancellation of trips or overnight stays or if you lose some belongings when traveling with Sphinx Travel, it is your own travel insurance that has to cover the cost, therefore it is good to bring insurance documents or the like.