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Kayaking down the Nile.

 
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 1:21 pm    Post subject: Kayaking down the Nile. Reply with quote

My husband and I were discussing places we could take our trusty inflatable kayak next. Immediately I thought of my dream trip--Egypt. The thought of floating down the Nile, stopping wherever we liked, exploring tombs and temples, what could be more exciting.

Of course there is the practical side. Rip offs, pollution, angry locals and of course the possibility of being kidnapped by some terrorist group could spoil the most exciting vacation ever.

Does anyone have any idea whether it be would possible to paddle down the Nile between Aswan and Luxor? Since the Nile flows that way and the river's eminently navigable, it should be possible but would it be reasonably safe both from an environmental and personal safety point of view?

As a perhaps safer alternative, does anyone run kayaking tours down the Nile or are there recommended, affordable small boat cruises that we might want to look at. We're experience gung ho camper types in our fifties. I'm someone who hates going on most commercial tours.

Any suggestions?
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Hekat
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry but I do not think there would be the slightest possibility of your dream trip. Sad

I wouldn't be bothered by the risk of kidnapping by terrorists, the only incident I have heard of in the 3 years we have been here was way out in the desert near the Sudanese border (800 km south of Aswan)

Security precautions for all tourists are high. They are normally only allowed to travel between towns in Upper Egypt with an authorised driver & then he has to file papers and get permissions which are checked at the various checkpoints. The other way is obviously by ship.

Felucca's (small sailing boats) are not allowed to sail between towns without special permissions, although there are larger boats like Dahabiyas or Sandals which do travel between Esna and Aswan. Esna is the lock 50km south of Luxor. They hold between about 4 and 16 people, sandals are the smaller of the 2.

The risk of being swamped by one of the many cruise ships would be high in a kayak & I wouldn't want to be dunked in the Nile. Shocked
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kevininabydos
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Hekat, you would not be allowed. Despite years of promising to lower the emergency status of Egypt we are still on "high alert" and all river traffic is strictly monitored and tourists in a kayak paddling down the Nile would not be allowed. The Dahabiya is a less "organised" way of travelling the Nile as opposed to the huge "floating hotel" cruise ships.
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the local knowledge.

Oh well, it was just a thought.

If we ever do make it to Egypt it will be the trip of a lifetime, but researching into it, I have a feeling that my usual freewheeling mode of travel may not work here as well as it does, say, in Mexico.

For me the essentials would be the big three: Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and maybe a chance to get out to the Red Sea for a bit of snorkling. I'd love to see some of the Middle Egyptian sites but I understand that's not particularly easy.

I suppose I could live with a small group tour provided there was enough time for exploring on your own.

Does it make more sense to sign up for a tour in the States or to try and contract something locally once we get to Egypt?
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naunacht:

"I suppose I could live with a small group tour provided there was enough time for exploring on your own"

Just be aware that if using a cruise ship, you may well arrive at a destination and then have the tour guide take 1/2 hour chatting to the group- cutting your time in half- or even more. That was an issue that i experienced on the Nile Cruise. You cannot break away- due the the Health and Safety rules, keeping the group together as much as possible.

Private tour guides are advisable where possible. Wink
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Hekat
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Naunacht wrote:
I have a feeling that my usual freewheeling mode of travel may not work here as well as it does, say, in Mexico.

No it wouldn't! We had always travelled independently but it is something you sort of get used to. On our very first trip we booked flight & hotel only & did all the sites using a local driver that we found when we got here. The abolition of most of the convoys helps a lot & as we now have our own car we do not therefore have an Egyptian driver so have far more freedom.

Re tours a small group might be an option. We did a Middle Egypt trip recently in an organised group and found travelling in a group & the restrictions very restricting! Because it was a specialist tour we did get to see places we could not have got permission for otherwise, like the Sheikh Said tombs so it is a bit of a trade off. Middle Egypt does have much higher security than some areas certainly, we had a police escort everywhere we went, something we are not used to locally.

You would probably fly into Cairo anyway so could start with a few days there. If you then base yourself in Luxor Aswan is an easy drive, or maybe you could do a 3-4 day mini cruise, taking in the sites on the way. There are a lot of possibilities & Egypt is a wonderful country. Smile
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Hekat
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Styler78 wrote:
That was an issue that i experienced on the Nile Cruise. You cannot break away- due the the Health and Safety rules, keeping the group together as much as possible.


We saw some people "escape" from a cruise boat & head off on their own with a guide running round like a headless chicken trying to shepherd them all back Laughing We cheered for the escapalogists Embarassed
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kevininabydos
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Styler78 wrote:


You cannot break away- due the the Health and Safety rules, keeping the group together as much as possible.
Due to the what! Laughing In Egypt? Laughing I don't think so! They keep you together because it is more than their job is worth if they loose somebody! You could arrange tours from the USA but you will likely be grouped with a load of other people. It is easy to arrange a private tour here, with a guide and with a bit of haggling it would most likely be cheaper than doing it in the USA.
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Toth
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ Naunacht The world is changing, there are only few places left where I would go to and adventure on my own, giving recent developments Mexico is no longer one of those! About Egypt, I think what Hekat meant was the "incident" at Deir el-Bahari on November 17, 1997. If I would be in my own country, (whichever one of the two) I would refuse to be restricted by terrorists, but in a country like Egypt, Sudan...and a few others, I definitely would have to be more careful. And I'd hate to have to book my vacation with "Paranoid Holidays", it would spoil the whole holiday / vacation; playing into the cards of the extremeists. Sad

Toth / Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No Toth, she was refering to the much more recent kidnapping in 2008.

See here;
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26834393/

Fortunately the group were released having been robbed and were sent back all in one vehicle having been given a GPS to find the way back. They were intercepted by Egyptian security forces and escorted the rest of the way back.
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