Land of the Pharaohs Dazzles Personal Travel Managers
PUBLISHED: ETBnews, Travel Daily, e-Global Travel Media, TravelTalk
From the great pyramids of Giza to the incredible tombs of the Valley of the Kings; from cruising by felucca along the mighty Nile to browsing the colourful souks of Aswan, the treasures of Egypt have been dazzling tourists for centuries, including the six personal travel managers (PTMs) who took part in a nine-day famil hosted by On The Go Tours.
One of the participants was TravelManagers’ Lesley Cavill, who is representative for Mosman Park, WA. She describes the famil as one of the best trips she’s been on, with a camel ride at the Pyramids and an overnight stay on the open deck of a felucca featuring among the highlights.
“I left a piece of my heart behind in Egypt,” she explains. “To actually see the Pyramids and Sphinx blew my mind! The Valley of the Kings was another highlight – the tombs are so well preserved and so beautifully decorated with hieroglyphics, and the sheer age of these monuments and tombs is amazing.”
The group began their itinerary in Cairo, where they spent time at the Pyramids and visiting a Government-supervised papyrus emporium before boarding an overnight train to Aswan. This city, which straddles the Nile and has an enviable reputation as one of the sunniest places on Earth, served as a base from which to explore the highlights of the wonders of Abu Simbel.
“We were lucky to have a wonderful tour guide with a four-year degree in Egyptology, so he was able to show us the treasures of Abu Simbel and the rest of Egypt with full historical detail, bringing these ancient sites to life by sharing many wonderful historical stories,” Cavill reports.
Sailing the Nile in a felucca is a quintessential Egyptian experience, so it was with great excitement that the group boarded theirs in Aswan, sailing downstream as far as Kom Ombo to visit some of the region’s finest temples before continuing to Luxor and the famed Valley of the Kings.
Karen Raeburn, representative for Aitkenville, QLD, says the itinerary followed by the group was identical to what she can offer her clients, so that she now has total confidence in making recommendations.
“Selling the destination is definitely easier now,” she says. “Understanding the logistics of distances between the main attractions and how best to travel between them, the best time of day to visit the various sites and having accommodation recommendations to suit every taste and budget means that I can confidently build an Egypt itinerary that’s perfectly tailored to suit my individual clients.”
The group flew to Egypt from Australia with Etihad Airways, which was another first for many of the participants.
“It was also helpful to gain a clear understanding of the political stability in Egypt,” adds Cavill, who describes the locals as “delightful and friendly people who rely on tourists – treated us all with kindness and respect.”
“I wanted to see for myself how safe, affordable and worthwhile a journey to Egypt would be,” adds Phoebe Luong, representative for Bankstown, NSW. “Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and made me feel confident that On the Go Tours are Egypt experts.”
This sentiment is echoed by the other famil participants, all of whom were delighted by the friendliness of the Egyptian people and the wealth of insights and expertise added by travelling with an expert guide.
“The biggest difference for me was our wonderful guide,” agrees Raeburn. “He was honestly like a walking encyclopedia: any question that was thrown his way was answered with confidence and ease, and without him our experience would not have been the same.”
Cavill says her experiences travelling in Egypt have meant that she has returned home armed with a litany of helpful tips and advice to ensure that her clients have the best possible holiday.
“It’s the little details that will make a big difference,” she explains, “such as ensuring they have a stash of small denomination bank notes for tipping, along with a supply of tissues, antiseptic wipes and hand sanitiser for the more challenging bathrooms!”
“Our guide was a fountain of knowledge for the best and most authentic dining experiences, but it’s always good practice to pack Imodium and good probiotic tablets just in case of Nile Belly.”
The group concluded their famil itinerary back in Cairo, where they had a full day to explore the mind-boggling array of relics and antiquities from almost every period of Egyptian history at the Egyptian Museum, followed by free time to explore the Khan el Khalili bazaar and pick up a few souvenirs to take home.
“I have wanted to visit this amazing country since I was a child,” concludes Suzanne Markham, representative for Scarborough, QLD. “Every place we visited was a highlight.”
In fact, since returning from her famil, Markham has used her newfound knowledge of the destination to put together a group departure for 2019.
“I’m thrilled to report that the trip is already almost sold out, thanks to word-of-mouth referrals and discussions that have taken place because of the response to famil photos on my Facebook site. I can’t wait to go back and share this amazing destination with others!”