Following on from our visit to Luxor, Egypt in September 2010 here is a list of the excursions we did and our recommendations.
Sindbad Hot Air Balloons – booked through a Ahmed Balal, a local agent.
Cost: LE325pp includes pickup and return to hotel, small motor boat across to West Bank with coffee, tea and cake, minibus transfer to launch site and back to the river crossing, safety drill, certificate and a t shirt.
We had to wear lifejackets to cross on the Nile, we were constantly advised to “mind your head, watch your step” through the process of getting on and off all forms of transport! We had a safety drill before getting in the basket and again inside the basket where we each had to practice the landing position in case of a hard or tilted landing. Neither was needed – we came down soft and gentle and then manoevered whilst we were about a foot off the ground to the final position.
This was a truly excellent excursion and highly recommended. Our pickup was at 06:10 as we were the closest to the river crossing point and because sunrise is a little later towards the end of September. In the main summer months it can be as early as 04:30. Take a hat! The heat from the burner is tremendous. Recommended? A MUST DO trip! Even my hubby who doesn’t really “do” heights loved it…
Petra Travel – Ahmed Balal.
I found this man totally by accident but it turned out this was a blessing in disguise. :-)
As our flight arrived into Luxor after 01:00hrs we didn’t fancy the idea of haggling over 2 taxis at that time, particularly as we were only on a domestic flight on a non-international arrivals day.
We had a number of emails between us over the ensuing months and he agreed to collect us and take us to our hotel in his new airconditioned minibus at a cost of LE10pp (Total LE60). He was waiting inside the arrivals hall and his driver, Jimmy was in the bus waiting. He told us not to pay for our travel there and then but to come and see him the next day as we wanted to look at hiring him for some other trips.
The next day we arranged 2 half day itineraries with him:
1) Hatshepsut temple, Howard Carter house, Medinet Habu and the Rameseum. He already had tickets, so we paid for the airport transfer and the tickets for Hatshepsut and Medinet Habu. Howard Carter house is free* just now and he recommended to wait to see if we still wanted to do the Rameseum after the other stuff. A wise warning – we were all nackered and decided against it!
He was always where he said he would be or contacted us when requested and at the appointed time. His driver Jimmy was always on time and very obliging when we needed to stop off at shops en-route. We were never pushed into anything, the decison was always down to us after Ahmed’s recommendations and his prices were excellent, particularly when you bear in mind there were just 6 of us in a private 12 seat mini-bus.
If you mention that Michele from Cyprus told you about him, I know he will be very pleased to hear it! :-D
The itineraries we did are most certainly recommended but then you wouldn’t be thinking about going to Luxor just to sit by the pool, would you? The Howard Carter house is a MUST DO!
* Addendum: there is now an entrance fee to enter the Howard Carter house. It’s quite small so probably no massive coach parties will visit. The hologram experience is definitely worth seeing. ;-)
★ Cyprus Six go to Luxor – Sept 2010 Slideshow ★ via Cyprus Six go to Luxor – Sept 2010 Slideshow.