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11 Days | 09 Nights
Availability : Jan 16’ - Dec 16’
South Africa
Egypt Queen Cleopatra
Tour Details

Take a trip back in time to the world of ancient civilisations. Experience a time past whilst discovering the modern world and how they exist side by side. Learn about these unique and exciting cultures while you explore and discover everything these gorgeous countries must offer. Beaches, Churches, Mosques, Pyramids, markets and Palaces are just some of the incredible things you shall experience. Take time to come across a forgotten alley or uncover a bargain in a local market; the opportunities are endless.

Tour Brochure

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Itinerary

Day 1

Depart from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg for Cairo.

Day 2

Arrive in Cairo at 05H35. We will remain in transit until our flight departs to
Luxor. The city is known today as Luxor (ancient Thebes) was founded in 1400 BC. For centuries Thebes was the capital of Ancient Egypt.

On arrival in Luxor, we will be collected at the airport and be transported to the Sonesta St George hotel (early check-in not guaranteed).

We will meet again in the late afternoon and do a horse and buggy ride around modern Luxor, ending at the impressive temple of Luxor. Luxor temple is one of the most beautiful Ancient Egyptian temples located on the east bank of the Nile and is best visited in the evening. Construction at Luxor Temple began under the reign of Amenhotep III; it was then added to by Ramses II and Nectanebo I. It has an intact gathering of sphinxes in front of the Ramses II pylon. The Battle of Qadesh of Ramses II against the Hittites is detailed on the pylon walls. This is the only religious monument in the world that includes Pharaonic, Macedonian, Ptolemaic, Roman, Christian and Islamic constructions. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 3

After breakfast, we will visit the West Bank of Luxor, one of the most robust archaeological sites on Earth by crossing the road bridge to see the world-famous, and highlight of Luxor, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. There, we will access some of the most renown tombs.

During the most extraordinary period in ancient Egyptian history, most of the pharaohs (62) were buried here, in tombs of exceptional beauty and chambers filled with vast treasures. We will visit three tombs where we will view their afterlife dreams coming true. We will study the voyage of eternity and the sailing through the sky, as the Pharaohs make their trip toward what is in the beyond. View the kings succeeding in passing through the “Gates of the Afterlife,” in very detailed, brilliantly coloured and intact scenes. Entrance to the tomb of the boy-king Tutankhamen is also included. Next, we visit the quieter West Valley, where we will enter the tomb of Ay.

We will then visit the unique temple of the female pharaoh Hatchepsut at Deir El- Bahri, which is the showpiece of the West Bank. In its superb setting, the temple rises in a series of broad terraces that at the topmost level joins with the limestone cliffs. It is in this temple of beauty and power that you can view Hatchepsut’s peaceful expedition to Punt, with its commercial exchange of goods and warm relations. On our way back to the hotel we will stop at the Colossi of Memnon who has stood the test of time, surviving long after the temple they guarded had vanished, for photography. Rest of the day at your leisure. Dinner and overnight in Sonesta St George hotel.

Day 4

After breakfast, we will check out of our hotel and do our second visit to the West Bank of Luxor to see the Workmen’s Village and two workmen’s tombs, noblemen tomb of Ramose and the temple of Medinet Habu. We will transfer back to the East Bank of Luxor and check into our Nile Cruiser in time for
lunch. Afternoon at your leisure. Dinner and overnight on board, docked in
Luxor.

Day 5

Breakfast on board. Morning visit to Karnak Temple, which is the largest temple in the world. It is located on the East Bank of the Nile and has a sacred lake. Named Ipet-Isut, the most perfect of palaces by the ancient Egyptians, it remains magnificent after thousands of years.

Karnak was not a single temple but a complex of temples, halls, enclosures and obelisks. Apart from its size, Karnak represents a vastness of historical time. The main temple of Amun, from the foundations of the original Middle Kingdom temple to the First Pylon, built during the 2dynastyasty, saw construction over 1 300 years. The Great Hypostyle Hall contains 134 columns with the royal names of Seti I and Ramses II. The great temple of Amun has a double avenue of ram-headed sphinxes, pylons built by Tutmose I, Horemhab and Amenhotep II, shrines of Seti II, Amenhotep I and II, obelisks of Hatchepsut (325 tons of granite) and texts by Tutmose III, Ramses II and III.

We will return to our cruiser and sail to Esna passing through the lock (delay in crossing the lock depends on cruiser traffic). Lunch on board as we sail to Edfu, enjoying the unique scenes along the banks of the Nile. View Egyptian farmers and mountains as we sail between them. Dinner and overnight on board docked in Edfu.

Day 6

After breakfast, we will visit the enormous temple dedicated to the God Horus at Edfu. This is the best-preserved temple of its time, built during the Ptolemaic rule, the construction commenced in 237 BC under Ptolemy III Evergetes I and was accomplished in 57 BC. The temple celebrates the legendary battle between the Gods Horus and Set.

Lunch on board as we sail to Kom Ombo to visit the temple situated on a hill (kom) overlooking the East Bank of the Nile, and dedicated to two Gods, Horus the Elder and Sobek the Crocodile deity. Built in the time of Greco-Roman rule, it contains sanctuaries, hypostyle-pillared halls and corridors. The temple also has mummified crocodiles now placed in a small shrine dedicated originally to Hathor. The name Kom Ombo (the ancient Greek settlement of Ombos) is derived from the Ancient Egyptian word, nubt, which means the city of gold. Sail to Aswan. Dinner, followed by a fancy-dress party (Galabeya night) and overnight on board, docked in Aswan.

Day 7

After breakfast, we will visit the ancient granite quarry with its over 1 000-ton Unfinished Obelisk. We will then visit Philae Temple, built on an island, and devoted to the goddess Isis. We will travel by a small motorboat to Agilika Island. The temple was moved to this island in the 1960s when the new High Dam threatened to put the island underwater forever. The temple rose in importance during the time of the Ptolemy’s and was the main cult centre of Isis. The site was so popular that it survived well into the Christian era as one of the last outposts of paganism. Early Christians transformed the main temple’s hypostyle hall into a chapel and added churches to the island. Dedicated to Isis, mother of the Lords, guardian and magician, the temple was built by Egyptians under the rule of Taharqa and Nectanebo I. Later the Ptolemy’s and Romans added their royal names on the original construction. This was the last temple where the Pharaonic cult was practised; the last hieroglyphic inscriptions (394 AD) were carved and has the last demotic graffiti (425 AD).

Lunch on board. In the afternoon we will do a traditional Felucca Cruise from which we will view Kitcheners and Elephantine Islands and the mausoleum of the Aga Kahn. This is a relaxing way to learn about the importance of the Nile to both its ancient and modern cultures.

An evening visit to the atmospheric Aswan market with its ancient spice market, vegetable stands and fascinating vendors which runs the length of the town is recommended. Dinner and overnight on board docked in Aswan.

Day 8

After breakfast, we will disembark from the cruise and transfer to the airport for our flight to Cairo visiting the Aswan High Dam, which forms the 500 km long Lake Nasser on the way. Depart Aswan and arrive in Cairo.

On arrival in Cairo, the current capital of Egypt, we will be collected at the airport and immediately visit the world-famous Cairo Museum. This guided tour will focus on some of the most ancient Egyptian artifacts, Ra-Hotep and Nofret’s legendary statues, Khafre’s immaculate diorite statue and the artifacts and gold of Tutankhamen. Entrance to the somber and intriguing Mummy Room with its embalmed ancient royals, including the famous Ramses the Great (1290 -1224 BC) is also included.

We will then transfer to the hotel in Cairo. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 9

After breakfast, we will be collected at our hotel and do a full-day tour to the Giza Plateau and Saqqara Necropolis. We will visit the Pyramid of Khufu, the oldest and largest of the three pyramids on the plateau. Originally 482 feet high, it is now slightly lower due to the removal of its outer casing and capstone. The pyramid of Khafre, marginally smaller than that of Khufu, his father, retains some of its exterior limestone covering.

The pyramid of Menkaure’s is the smallest of the group, but perhaps the most expensive to construct due to its building material. (Entrance into the Great Pyramid is not included and cannot be guaranteed as there is a limited number of tickets sold each day and entrance costs – EP400).

We will then visit the Solar Boat, believed by many to be the funerary bark that carried the body of Khufu from Memphis to his pyramid tomb at Giza. We will then visit the panorama area where there may be an opportunity to ride a camel followed by a visit to the Sphinx and the valley temple.

Free time will be allocated for you to buy some lunch (own expense) before we drive approximately 40 minutes to Saqqara, one of the richest archaeological sites in Egypt. This vast desert cemetery was built for kings and nobles of the Old Kingdom. We begin at the centrepiece of Saqqara, the Step Pyramid and the surrounding enclosure of King Djoser, king of Egypt from 2667 to 2648 BC. Built for the king by Imhoptep, high priest and the world’s first architect and physician. We continue to the Pyramid of Titi, the first king of the dynastyasty, with its hymns, litanies and spells of protection, the first flowerings of a tradition that would later blossom into the full-blown, full-colour, floor-to-ceiling wall paintings seen in the tombs of the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Luxor. We then visit the mastaba tomb of Mereruka (or similar) with its 33 chambers and magnificent relief’s including hunting scenes of birds, fish and hippo. Dinner and overnight in hotel.

Day 10

After breakfast, we will have the morning at our leisure. We will be collected at our hotel with our luggage in the early afternoon and visit the Saladin Citadel and Mosque of Muhammad Ali. The Saladin Citadel which dates back to the twelfth century is an Islamic fortress built to unite the city and protect it from Christian crusaders. The Mosque of Muhammad Ali was built on the summit of the citadel in the first half of the nineteenth century. We will then visit the Hanging Church before saying farewell to the people doing the Jordan extension.

We will visit the famous Khan El Khalili Bazaar with its vast lanes of ancient shops, spices, gold and silver. We will transfer to the airport for our return flight to Johannesburg.

Day 11

Arrive at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

Photos