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Essential Travel Information and Foreign Travel Advice

Being a small tour operator Discover Egypt is able to offer its clients specialist knowledge, as well as a personal and individual service. Each member of staff is familiar with the destinations featured and all have an enthusiasm for the area.

The following holiday tips and information are for general guidance and should you require any further information about one of our holidays then please do not hesitate to contact us where our experienced staff will be happy to assist you.

At Discover Egypt we believe in helping you make the right choice to ensure your holiday will be a memory of a lifetime, every time. Each member of our team is familiar with all our destinations and resorts and you can be sure of personal, first hand knowledge and advice. Please be aware of the Foreign and Commonwealth advice which is update regularly at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Use the Contact us form or call us now on 0207 407 2111 if you need help right away

Passports and Visas

Entry Visa to Egypt.

Discover Egypt offers a pre purchased Visa service for £30 which avoids long queues at the Visa/bank counter. No forms or pictures are required, and our airport representative will hand you the Visa stamp on arrival in Egypt.Please call or email us, or your travel agent, to arrange this. Alternatively, you can still obtain a Visa online (www.visa2egypt.gov.eg) this can only be done within 90 days before departure.

Entry Visa to Jordan.

If you have a package holiday arrangement with Discover Egypt and Jordan, staying for more than 3 days, you will be provided with a Free visa on arrival in Jordan.

Passport validity

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt and/or Jordan.

What is my baggage allowance?

Your Inclusive Tour flight ticket includes one piece of hold luggage weighing up to twenty-three kilos (32 kilos for Business Class). This information may be different from that published by the airline and this is due to the special fare used for your holiday. Should you require a greater baggage allowance, this would be chargeable. In some cases, your e-ticket may show two pieces for international flights and one piece for domestic flights on the same itinerary - this is anomalous, and you should still just check-in one bag. If you are taking a through connection on the same airline, your bags will normally be routed straight through to your final destination – it is always recommended to check the tags being placed on your bags.


You will receive an e-ticket voucher for one or more of your flights.

With Egypt Air, there is no requirement for on-line check-in, and you should go to the Egypt Air check-in in Heathrow Terminal 2, where you will simply show your passport, leave your bag, and receive a Boarding card. Your seats are not pre-assigned, and this will be done by the airline at Check-in. If you wish to pre-assign your seats, this is chargeable, and you can do this at www.egyptair.com quoting the airline reference number.

Also with British Airways, there is no requirement for on-line check-in however you can do this 24 hours before departure at www.britishairways.com quoting your airline reference number. At this stage you can assign your seats free of charge. If you wish to pre-assign your seats, prior to this, log on to the airline website at any time and pay the appropriate fee

Health & Safety Overseas

Discover Egypt takes every possible step to ensure that your holiday is safe and trouble free. However we would like to remind you that although Discover Egypt constantly strives to raise health and safety standards in all resorts, standards are generally not always as thorough to those found back home.

No vaccinations are required to visit any of the countries we feature but it is worth checking with your GP about those which might be recommended.

Most of the larger hotels in Egypt and Jordan can obtain common medicines but of course please bring your own prescription medicine with you as although it may be available in pharmacies, it may be known under a different name. Stomach upsets can occur due to the heat and change of diet, so it is best to bring preventive medicine with you.

To help maintain our high standards Discover Egypt is one of only a handful of Tour Operators utilising the services of CRISTAL International in Egypt on its Nile fleet.

CRISTAL International is a worldwide organisation recognised by governments, World Health authorities and the international tourist industry, as a leader in the application of food safety systems to the hotel and leisure industry. The Cristal mark has become the hallmark of safe and hygienic food handling and preparation.

A combination of heat, spicy foods and not enough water are all contributing factors for stomach upsets. So, by following a few simply guidelines can often save sickness during your holiday.

Please remember to:

Lastly, please remember to take out comprehensive Travel Insurance and don't forget to take it with you when you travel!

Foreign Office

To make the most of your trip abroad we recommend that you check the advice given by the Foreign Commonwealth Office by visiting https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Currency & Exchange

Credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted in all resorts that we feature. They are now generally accepted on Nile cruises - but with a service charge of approximately 2%. An official receipt will be given when exchanging money, which should be kept for inspection. There are a number of cash machines in some of the resorts and hotels but you should not plan to rely on their use as the service can be limited. Check with the hotel for locations.

Egypt - Egyptian pounds (E£), around 38 to £1 sterling(01 August 2023). The Egyptian pound is made up of 100 piastres, and notes range from 25 piastres upwards. You are most likely to be dealing with E£1, E£5, E£10, E£20, E£50 and E£100 notes. Some of the notes look very similar on first glance, so when buying souvenirs, be absolutely sure which note you’re handing over – 50 piastres or 50 Egyptian pounds.

Jordan - The currency is the Dinar and is divided into 1000 fils. 1.00 Dinar = approx £1.

US Dollars and Sterling are widely accepted throughout Egypt & Jordan.


220/240 AC volts. An adaptor is necessary (usually two-pin).


Arabic is the official language in Egypt and Jordan although English is widely spoken.

Social customs

All of the countries we feature follow the Muslim tradition and it is important that local customs and etiquette are respected. Whilst these countries are more used to seeing Western holidaymakers in little clothing, shorts and swimwear is acceptable around the pool or sundeck but not in public places.

Women should cover their upper arms and should not wear revealing tops or shorts in public especially when visiting religious sites. It is also advisable for mean to wear short/long sleeved shirts and long trousers.

You will see Egyptian male friends greeting each other with a hug and kiss on both cheeks, but not friends of the opposite sex. As foreigners, it is best to stick to a hand shake.

Ramadan: The holy month of fasting provides the opportunity to gain an insight into Islamic culture, the date date of which varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan it is important to note that you should refrain from smoking, eating or drinking in public during the hours of daylight. Hotels will make provisions for guests during this time.


In hotels and on the cruise boats, you will find international and European-style cuisine widely available. Arabic dishes in all its variations is well catered for and visitors can try such dishes as


Tahini: Sesame seed paste, mixed with garlic, spices and some olive oil, and served as a dip with bread..
Baba ghannough: A dip made from tahini and mashed aubergines...
Falafel: A type of fried pate made from broad beans, chick peas, parsley and spices.
Stuffed vine leaves: Rice and minced meat wrapped in vine leaves.
Karkade: A local drink made from hibiscus petals. It is burgundy in colour and very thirst- quenching. It can be served hot or cold and sweetened to taste. Sweetened with 7-up, it makes a long, cool drink.
Fruit juices: Freshly squeezed juices such as orange, mango are widely available. The local speciality is sugar cane juice.


Mansaf: Jordan's national dish made of lamb, rice and pine nuts
Farooj: Spit roasted chicken
Baklawa: Filo pastry with nuts and honey


As Muslim countries, the production of alcohol has naturally been of restricted interest. However, spirits and wines are readily available, though they tend to be expensive.

Wine: The quality of local wines has improved but may not be up to standards with which you are familiar in the UK.

Beer: The choice is somewhat limited, but local beer is good and of better value than that designated as export, which is generally in smaller bottles and more expensive. Imported beers, such as Heineken, are available in cans in hotel bars but can be expensive.

Coffee & Tea: Unless you want Turkish style coffee, ask for a Nescafe. More hotels now have coffee machines so it is possible to order cappuccino, expressos, etc, but such machines are far from universal.
Tip: Egyptian hot beverages are usually enjoyed without milk and with loads of sugar and tea especially is quite often flavoured with mint. Remember to ask for milk if you want it, as it often does not come automatically.


Tipping & Onboard

Over the 20 years that Discover Egypt has been trading, the most asked about question we receive daily, relates to tipping. For guidance and to help you budget for this, we are providing some details below.

Nile Cruise

This is broken down in 3 sections.

1 Tipping kitty for the drivers and local guides at sites

The guide normally organises a tipping kitty which on the first day of your cruise, everybody contributes an equal amount which we recommend as £1 per person per day. This is used to tip drivers and local guides at the sites on your behalf. This is the easiest way to avoid the hassle of needing small change and knowing when and what is an appropriate amount to tip. Please note the tipping kitty excludes tips for your guide or the boat staff. (Both mentioned separately below)

2 The boat staff

On average, there are around 60 people working on a ship during a cruise along the Nile. You may only interact with a few of these who are in customer facing jobs however, bear in mind that there are many others behind the scenes in the kitchen, engine room and housekeeping, Therefore, we generally recommend a collective tip at the end of the cruise rather than tipping individuals during the voyage.

Tips are generally placed in an envelope and handed to the reception at the end of the cruise. These will then be shared between all cruise staff.

The recommended amounts for the cruise are:

MS Tulip £25 per person

Alexander the Great £35 per person

Sonesta Sun Goddess £40 per person

Sonesta Amirat £40 per person

3 Tipping your guide/Egyptologist on the cruise.

The recommended amounts for the cruise are:

MS Tulip £15 per person

Alexander the Great £20 per person

Sonesta Sun Goddess £25 per person

Sonesta Amirat £25 per person

In total, you should budget as follows:

MS Tulip £47 per person

Alexander the Great £62 per person

Sonesta Sun Goddess £72 per person

Sonesta Amirat £72 per person

All amounts are in £sterling however equivalents can be paid in any currency.


Tipping in Cairo

On optional day excursions we recommend £5 per person per tour for the guide and driver

Special Requirements

Facilities for the disabled or those with impaired mobility are very limited in Egypt. We would therefore ask you to discuss with us the suitability of any particular accommodation and resort before making a booking. Wheelchair or other special assistance is available at most airports and it is essential that, if needed, this is requested at the time of booking so we can endeavour to meet your requirements.

Cruise Itineraries

Nile Cruise itineraries and excursions can, for operational reasons, be subject to alteration locally at short notice.

When the boat is moored, vessels may have to berth alongside each other restricting views and requiring clients to pass through a number of boats to disembark. Upon disembarkation clients will be required to walk along a gangplank and there may be steps to climb. For this reason we do not recommend Nile cruises for the disabled or those with impaired mobility.