On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you will be met by our ground agent and transferred to the Le Meridien Pyramids Hotel a short distance from the pyramids, on a bed & breakfast basis. When you are ready you can head down to the restaurant for breakfast.
After time to relax and refresh, you will enjoy visiting Giza to see the Great Pyramid, the Sphinx and Valley Temple. There is also an interesting drive to the ancient site of Saqqara with its Step Pyramid and you also visit a mastaba (Old Kingdom tomb).
Lunch is included at a local restaurant. In the evening there will be the opportunity for an optional excursion to see the Sound & Light Show at the Giza Pyramids.
You will have an early morning check-out from the hotel, taking a box breakfast with you, and be transferred to Cairo Domestic Airport for the short flight south to the bustling town of Luxor.
On arrival in Luxor, you will be met and transferred to your 5-star Nile cruiser Queen of Hansa, where you will enjoy full board starting with lunch. There will be a visit to the incredible Karnak temple complex, the largest religious complex in the world, with its forest of pillars and later to the impressive river-side Luxor temple. You might like to consider an optional visit in the evening to the Sound & Light show at Karnak. Overnight Luxor.
Day 4 :
After breakfast, you cross the Nile by road to the West Bank to visit the tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings (there is an opportunity for an optional visit to the tomb of Tutankhamun). You also visit the great terraced temple of the female pharaoh Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri and the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues of Amenhotep III.
Your Nile cruiser will sail to Esna, where it will pass through the lock and continue sailing south to the dusty town of Edfu where you visit the huge Temple of Horus at Edfu by horse carriage from the ship – this is the most complete temple of the ancient world. Your cruise continues sailing to Kom Ombo, where it will moor enabling you to visit the Ptolemaic temple with its dual dedication to the crocodile god Sobek and a falcon-headed god Re-Haroeris. The cruise continues southwards until you reach the picturesque town of Aswan. During the cruise there is likely to be a traditional gallabiya party when everyone dresses Egyptian-style. Items can be obtained inexpensively in the markets or sometimes hired on the boat.
After breakfast, you take a coach to visit the famous Aswan High Dam which forms the 500km. long Lake Nasser and pay a visit to the ancient granite quarry with its 1,000 ton Unfinished Obelisk. Also, you cross the water by motor-boat to visit the elegant island Temple of Philae, dedicated to the supreme maternal goddess Isis. In the afternoon, sailing on a traditional felucca on the Nile, you will view Elephantine and Kitchener’s Islands and the Aga Khan’s Mausoleum from the river. Overnight Aswan.
(Please note: the order of the cruise programme may vary.)
After breakfast, you disembark the Nile cruiser. There will be a drive in an air-conditioned coach through the desert, passing along the ancient 40-day caravan route south to Abu Simbel. After you check-in at the Seti Abu Simbel Hotel (full board), you will enjoy lunch and time to relax. In the early evening there will be a visit to see the spectacular Sound & Light show at the Abu Simbel temples of Ramesses the Great. You return to the hotel for dinner.
Following breakfast, you check out from the hotel and visit the Temples at Abu Simbel when the sun is in a favourable position for viewing and photographing the monumental temples – the main temple with its 4 colossi of the pharaoh and the adjacent temple dedicated to Ramesses’ Chief Wife Nefertari. After the visit you will be transferred to Abu Simbel Airport for the flight to Cairo.
On arrival in Cairo, you will be met and transferred to the centrally situated 5-star Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel on a bed & breakfast basis. Later there will be an optional tour of the famous medieval Khan el Khalili Bazaar.
Today is at leisure in Cairo. An optional full day tour to Alexandria can be arranged, visiting the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Catacombs, Alexandria National Museum and the Roman amphi-theatre. Lunch is included at a local restaurant.
This morning there will be a half day visit to the world-renowned Egyptian Museum with the astonishing gold treasures of the boy-king Tutankhamun and an antiquities collection spanning 5,000 years. The remainder of the day will be at leisure for you to do some last minute shopping or enjoy optional sightseeing. You might like to see the Pharaonic Village, enjoy an ascent of the Cairo Tower or take a felucca trip on the Nile. For younger members of the group, a visit to the theme park might be considered. You will have your rooms until the late evening check out from the hotel, when you will be transferred to Cairo International Airport and assisted through the airport formalities for the return flight to South Africa.
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