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“Great Time in Egypt With a Great Guide” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Real Egypt Day Tours

Real Egypt Day Tours
Mokatam, Cairo, Egypt
+2 01100022242
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Ranked #5 of 223 Activities in Cairo
5.0 of 5 stars 113 Reviews
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Owner description: Real Egypt provides advice and customized touring services to ensure you get the most out of your holiday in Egypt. We offer many unique ideas for tours in different destinations in Egypt, and guide you to the must-see locations as well as taking you beyond the usual tourist destinations. We will guide you into a world that only local people know. Our goal is for our guests to leave with a new understanding of how life is lived in another part of the world, both in ancient and modern days, and to help build bridges of understanding between people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, while having fun at the same time. Real Egypt provides the opportunity to see The Real Egypt, a side of this fabulous country you'll never see from the inside of a crowded tour bus!
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Sarnia, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Time in Egypt With a Great Guide”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

When we decided to choose Egypt for our vacation destination we did a great deal of research into different tour companies. We knew that we didn’t want your average tourist cookie cutter tour. When we read the reviews on Trip Advisor about Samir and Real Egypt we were very impressed and decided to go with him. It was the best decision that we could have made!
Everything from our pick up at the airport to the fabulous personal tours was perfect! We wanted to really see Egypt. We wanted to understand the people, the history and the culture and Samir provided us with a tour that did just that. We exchanged many emails when planning our trip so that we were sure that we had an itinerary that met our wishes. We visited many places that we never would have seen on our own. He steered us away from the typical tourist traps and showed us how the people of Egypt really live. Our trips to the pyramids, camel rides at sunrise and walking tours of the city were well planned out, and gave us enough time and flexibility to see and do everything that we wanted.
Samir and our driver Zachariah were always on time (no small accomplishment in Cairo traffic) and always smiling and happy even at 4 am. We were very impressed with Samir’s knowledge of Egyptian history and also by how well known and respected he is among the people.
We took a day trip to Luxor (highly recommended) and we were taken on a wonderful tour of the sites by Samir’s colleague Mac the Guide. Like Samir, Mac was on time, very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and has a great sense of humor. I cannot speak highly enough of both of these guides. The opportunity to share a meal with a local farm family was wonderful. I highly recommend a private tour over your large tour bus packages. You really do get to see so much more of the country
I highly recommend arranging for airport pick-up and drop off. Samir’s colleague Wahid has access to go past customs to pick up and drop off clients. This meant that as soon as we entered the terminal Wahid was waiting for us with a name card. He had already obtained our travel visas so there was no delay. He helped us through customs and retrieved our bags. As soon as we arrived Wahid handed us a cell phone programed with Samir's number so that we had a way to contact him at all times. On our way home Wahid helped us check in and get our luggage checked. This was very helpful as the airport is very busy and chaotic and it helped having someone who could speak the language. The vehicles that we toured in were safe and clean.
For those of you who are concerned that perhaps it is not a safe time to visit Egypt I say do not be afraid. The people of Egypt are very friendly and warm. We felt completely safe the entire time that we were there. Samir and Mac are both very well respected among the people and we felt very secure with them. Even in the markets and on the streets after dark we felt safe. My only regret about this trip is that we did not stay longer. We only had a few days and there is so much to see.
Thank-you Samir and Mac for making our trip to Egypt all that we hoped it would be.

Visited October 2012
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English first
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“If there's a better guide in Cairo then I'm a gamusa!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2012

We were lucky in our tour of Egypt to have a number of excellent guides. Samir is not excellent, he is outstanding. Without doubt he's the best guide I have ever had the great fortune to meet, anywhere in the world. Why is this so?

Initially, it was very difficult to choose a tour guide for Cairo using Trip Advisor as so many tour guides came highly rated. I e-mailed 9 in the end, explaining what we wished to see and everyone replied very quickly, apart from Samir, who was taking people on a tour of Sudan at the time. I waited for his reply because a previous reviewer had talked about Samir, not just as a great tour guide, but as a man who it was a genuine pleasure to meet and this was an important consideration for us if we were going to spend a deal of time in someone's company.

When his reply came it was by far the most detailed of any we received. He sent us a comprehensive itinerary of the two days we needed him, showing great sensitivity to our plans. His website invites you to specify the places you wish to visit and the experiences you wish to have, but an e-mail allows you to be even more specific. Our particular wish was to meet Egyptian people and understand the culture and society of Egypt as well as the country's past.

We arranged to have a simple airport transfer to Hotel Langchamps in Zamalek but two days before Samir arranged for us to have help through Cairo airport, which he normally charges extra for, but he made free for us. When arrived Waheed, his airport meet and greeter had completed our entrance Visa forms for us already and whisked us through immigration in a matter of moments. Usri, his driver navigated the bonkers Ramadan traffic brilliantly and Samir phoned us in the mini-bus to check that all had done well. I sensed then that our time in Cairo would be very special indeed and so it proved.

Words cannot do proper justice to the experience of the next two days. They were among some of the best days of our lives and by the end of it we had made a great friend, who we continue to keep in touch with and very much hope to meet again.

Our first day involved visits to the three great Pyramid sites of Saqqara, Dashur and Giza. I would thorougly advise seeing the Pyramids in this chronological order as you gain a real sense of how the design of Pyramids evolved. Saqqara and Dashur are rarely visited by the tour buses so they have a much more relaxed feel than Giza. Samir engaged our interests from the outset with his story telling approach to ancient history. He also held our 14 year old son's interest with questions to earn him scarab beetle prizes. Samir holds a Masters degree in Egyptology so he was able to find stories in the hieroglyphics and taught us some basics in reading them, which also endeared him to our code loving mathematician son. He was also a former professional basketball player, which is why he's one of the few people I've had to look up to. It didn't take us long at all to get along with him, so affable and good humoured a person he is. A running gag about the number of things that Egyptians had invented, windows, flat packed furniture, cricket, bull fighting, the olympics...grew and grew.

At Giza, astounding though the Pyramids and Sphinx were as spectacles, what lives longest in the memory is the tiny tomb he showed us, belonging to a priest. Only my wife could stand upright in it. All around us, hoards of tour parties besieged by touts tramped in baking heat, while for a number of blissful minutes, allowed us space for quiet contemplation of the past, reading the hieroglyphics that documented this man's life and his preparation for the next. This was typical of our tour with Samir. He will take you to places you would never find on your own and give you a unique perspective on the country, past and present, as a result. Samir has been deeply involved in the Egpytian revolution and in so many encounters with Egpytian people you feel his passionate committment to improving his beloved country's future. At the Sphinx, Samir introduced us to Esmeh, a young girl who has to pay for her afternoon school lessons so she can pass her exams and he lent her her his very expensive camera to take some pictures of us, which both he and we paid her for. This is something he does to help children who want to help themselves through work rather than begging.

Our second day was, if anything, even more remarkable. Beginning at the Citadel, Samir told us the fascinating rise to power of Muhammad 'Ali and how the boxer Cassius Clay took his name, without realising the sinister side to the ruler's reign. After lunch at Felfela, we toured Medieval Cairo and spent a serene hour in a local mosque, where children played and locals read or sat in quiet contemplation in the heat of the day. We had dressed appropriately for the day and my wife wored a headscarf out of respect for the culture, which caused one young boy, Ahmed to enquire if my wife was fasting. It was a very sobering for my grammar school son, Sam, to hear from Ahmed, the same age, how he could not go to school because he had failed his exams and wasn't able to afford the afternoon lessons.

Using some bizarre haggling phrases I had learned from the internet, one of which means 'Never - unless in the apricot season (which hardly ever occurs) and 'Do you think I was born behind a Water Buffalo' (i.e. born yesterday) we caused a lot of merriment when bargaining for a bag for my wife. Our encounters with local people in the Old Quarter of Cairo were so memorable and we will cherish them always. People were so friendly and welcoming and there was not a single tourist in site. The day culminated with a fish feast to break the people's fast as night fell, with the local community sat at countless tables in the street. Samir, I should say had been conducting this entire tour while fasting so it was a honour to sit with him while he broke his fast and sample the most delicious fish bought directly from the fishmongers opposite.

From Cairo we journey onto Luxor and Samir continued to offer assistance, recommending 'Electrolite (Dioralite) powders to combat dehydration in the heat; organising another truly memorable evening helping to prepare and eating a meal with a West bank farming family; a restaurant like no other!

Samir's accounts of the revolution and the sacrifices he has made put your own life into sharp relief. It was humbling to hear how readily ordinary Egyptians put their lives at stake to secure freedom from tyranny. If anyone deserves success in the dawn of this new era, it is this man. His great wish is to own his own farm. He has a degree in agriculutre so it's far from a pipe dream and his services as guide are used by foreign diplomats and US Senators. Use him while you can. It's a privilege and a real pleasure to know him and if you can find a better guide then I'm a gamusa. (translation: Water Buffalo!)

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“You won't find a better guide in Egypt”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Having been fortunate enough to have been introduced to and met Samir back in 2011 when I started travelling to Egypt with work, I now wouldn't consider taking a trip/tour without him and have used his and his teams services many times - each time has been an unresounding success

Despite Samir's size and presence, he immediately puts you at ease with his warm, friendly smile and approach - he has the ability to engage with people of every age and background. His knowledge of Egyptian history, culture and tradition is unheard of - not only did I learn a great deal, but I also found myself wanting to know more and have continued reading/learning since I returned home.

Another of Samir and his team's greatest credits is their true attention to detail - everything is pre-planned and thought of by the team (not in a precise, frustrating way) for example even getting water and breakfast or a sun hat for me as I had taken the early flight to Aswan from Cairo.

Samir is extremely attentive but also very flexible and perceptive in his approach tailoring everything to individual and group needs and truly making the experience individual and memorable.

I really can't rate Samir highly enough and would unreservedly recommend him to anyone....I'm looking forward to planning a trip through Sinai and to Sudan with him in the future...

Visited April 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Warrington, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Can't praise him highly enough - just excellent!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

This was our third visit to Cairo over a 20 year period, and as you can imagine, during that time we've experienced a range of tour guides. This time, accompanied by 8 and 10 year old sons, we coudn't have wished for a better guide. Recommended through Trip Advisor, Samir listened and understood our specific requirements, and via email and Skype created a bespoke and truly magical Cairo and Luxor experience, including a camel ride to the Giza Pyramids, and a donkey ride in Luxor.

Samir's knowledge of all things Egyptian (ancient and recent history) combined with his ability to relate so well to his audience (playing Hide and Seek in the Egyptian Museum will be a lasting memory for us all) ensure he's at the top of his game. It was Ramadan when we visited and he even invited us to join him and his lovely wife to break their fast - truly opening our eyes to Real Egypt.

Our safety was paramount at all times, and even during a walk around Tahrir Square, with Samir at the helm, neihter us nor our sons ever felt anxious or concerned and indeed were welcomed with warmth and open arms. Samir is passionate about sharing his people and culture with others.

We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Samir, with his excellent sense of humour, as a tour guide to individuals, couples, work colleagues, family groups with children and even school parties and wish him the continued success he deserves!

Visited July 2012
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Evansville, Indiana
1 review
“Samir to the rescue!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2012

Samir doesn't just have the knowledge about the beauty of Egypt, but also has the heart for people. He has such a humble heart by putting other's interests before his. He will try his hardest to meet your needs. One time when we were at the pyramids, there were people selling stuff who wouldn't leave us alone. Since we weren't used to the Egyptian culture, we thought they were telling us the truth when they said it was free, but oh were we wrong. But Samir came to our rescue! He not only got us out of the situation, but was very kind to the people as well. Then he gave us a talk about strategies of how to avoid these people, and know that nothing is free! So if you are trying to decide a tour guide to have for Egypt, choose Samir because he not only has profound knowledge about the beauties of Egypt, but he will also strive his hardest to provide for your needs. Thank you so much Samir for a wonderful tour of the beauty of Egypt :D

Visited April 2012
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