We just returned from Egypt. We used Aswan Indiviual (AI) for the entire trip. Pre-trip: Before... read more
We just returned from Egypt. We used Aswan Indiviual (AI) for the entire trip. Pre-trip: Before... read more
Our tour guide spoke very good English and was ready and able to answer all our questions with... read more
Aswan-Individual is not a common tour agent. From the first email written by Petra to my last airport transfer personally supervised by Waleed, everything were just so accommodating to suit my preference.
My one week trip in Luxor and Aswan (Valley of Kings, Karnak, Luxor, Abydoss, Dendara, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae, Highdam, Obelisk, Abu Simbel and Felucca Day) was not only perfect but for a solo female traveler like me visiting Egypt for the first time, both Petra and Waleed arranged everything so that it was pleasantly safe and comfortable. The guides simply know everything about everything. The drivers are just so professional. The cars are all in great condition.
Both Petra and Waleed have done so much more than a tour agent would do. They treats me not only as a mere client but also as a friend they caringly looked after. I thank them so much for such memorable visit.
We had planned to fly to Abu Simbal but at the last moment Egypt air canceled the flight and we were left scrambling for alternative arrangements. ASWAN INDIVIDUAL TOURS to the rescue. They quickly put together the arrangements all by email. They picked us up at the airport and even though the flight was delayed, Waleed was there in person to pick us up and delivered us to our hotel. During the drive he went over the schedule with us for the trip to Abu Simbal.
EVERYTHING went smoothly and as promised. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND this group for any of your touring needs
First of all, I would like to say that Aswan Individual is not just for the city of Aswan!! We spent ten days in Egypt, and Aswan Individual put together several individual trip for us throughout Egypt, so don't let the name stop you from booking with them, even if you are not visiting Aswan. (although I would recommend that you do)
I contacted Petra from Aswan Individual and had nothing but excellent service. She responded right away to our emails and many inquiries. We actually planned and booked many individual day trips a year ago, but due to significant medical issues at home, we had to cancel our entire trip. Petra was very understanding, even thought she had invested many hours planning with us, she didn't make us feel like we had wasted her time. Thankfully, eight months later we were able to recontact her, and start planning anew. With her patience, we made many changes to the original itinerary, and although we had our own ideas of what to do, she came up with some which we had not thought of. We are well seasoned travelers who have been through 38 countries on five continents, and we never travel with an organized group. We like to do the research ourselves, but even then, sometimes advice from a person who knows the place personally, can be a real asset. This is the person we found in Petra. Her insight added to our own resources, was invaluable.
This particular trip I was also traveling as a solo woman with my four children, ages 10-16, so I was concerned about the safety issues, especially with the Canadian and English Embassies pulling out of Cairo, due to political and terrorist issues. As far as that goes, we felt completely safe travelling in Egypt, and might I add, it is the perfect time to go, because we had many of the sights all to ourselves. It was glorious! People are scared away simply because if the media hype, but when you are actually there, it is very safe. But it is for these reasons that I sought the help of Aswan Individual, and for Egypt, I feel it was a very good move.
We were on our way to Kenya, and had a 16 hour layover, so Aswan Individual picked us up at the airport, so we could have a full day accompanied by a knowledgeable English speaking guide to see the pyramids, and the area of Giza, as well as old Cairo and Coptic Cairo. With limited time, jet lag, and the very busy city of Cairo, this was the perfect way to have the day in Cairo while my husband was able to join us. The time was planned out and executed very efficiently. Our guide was Alfie, and he was absolutely super. I would request him again for sure. We were able to leave our carry-on bags at a hotel which they brought us to beforehand, to get cleaned up after our overnight flight. This was a pleasant surprise which we did not expect. We then headed out to see as much as we could in a reasonable amount of time. We took the trip around the pyramids via the desert, on camel back, and while it was expensive for the six of us to do, it was very much worth it. My only regret, is that we should have splurged and gone into the pyramids; which we did not do. At the end of our day, Alfie, took us to a great Egyptian dinner place and then back to the airport to continue on, to Kenya.
We arrived back in Egypt three weeks later and again resumed our plans with Aswan Individual, this time without my husband. We flew straight from Cairo to Aswan, where Waleed (the owner) was waiting for us at the airport. He was so professional and friendly. He made sure we understood everything that we had planned, and went over all of the details, so there was no room for confusion. We were then taken to our guesthouse via boat. We booked several things with Aswan Individual. Some activities occupied full days, or large parts of the day, such as our early morning convoy to Abu Simbel, our day felucca trip around the Nile, and the day trip from Aswan to Luxor with a guide and stops at the temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu. Other days, we had left free to do things on our own and used their services just at certain times; for example taking us to the Karnak Light and Sound show and back to our hotel. Let me also say that during the trip we made changes to our itinerary. For example I scheduled a last minute a hot air ballooning trip on my own in Luxor over the Valley of the Kings, (With Sindbad Hot Air Ballooning; also very good) but because of the wind, it had to be cancelled and postponed until the next morning. I had booked this on my own the day before, but when I contacted Waleed to say I needed to change my next day plan with him (Aswan Individual) to accommodate a new hot air balloon date, he was happy to rearrange the trip which I had already made with him so many months before; his flexibility allowed us to do both. (He didn't have to do this, but we would have missed out on our balloon ride, so we were so thankful that he accommodated us in this last minute change) It was these types of things which made all the difference. While we loved Egypt, it can be taxing to find people who you can trust, yet Walleed and his people were very honest. We felt like they were more than fair with their prices, which reflected their care and the fact that you knew you were not being ripped off! Other places might charge you less, but not deliver the service they sold you on, and then you've wasted precious travel time, and money. We can speak from experience.
As far as the sights; Abu Simbel was magnificent. I debated about going since it was an early morning, long drive, but very worthwhile. Our driver got us there first, so we had the place to ourselves for about a half hour before the others started coming. We were able to sleep in comfort on the way there, and had a lovely view of the desert on the way back. The prices of the sellers at the site were actually cheaper than many other places we visited. Had we known that we would have purchased more things there. Don't go to Egypt without going to Abu Simbel with Aswan Individual; it is a must!
Aswan and the Nile felucca were great. The day felucca was perfect, and we had lunch at our captain's home. While this was absolutely delicious, and freshly prepared for us, perhaps I would have opted to not spend so long on Elephantine Island, and more time on the boat. Yet, we were given the opportunity to decide where we would go, so this was no fault of theirs. Spending our nights at a guest house on the West bank was perfect, as we loved having to cross the ferry every time (for 1 EGP each) and we were right beside the Tombs of the Nobles, so we could enjoy it anytime. Make sure you go up to the very top and look over the desert and Nubian villages. We could have stayed up there all day, and then, the fun of running down the sand dunes! Aswan was a lovely place and we made sure to enjoy a dinner at the Old Cataract Hotel. We even got invited into a wedding celebration while walking back to our guesthouse along the Corniche, (Nile promenade) one night! On each of our trips Waleed phoned us to make sure everything was going well. This was a sign that he really cared about our happiness with his services, and his people.
We spent a day with Aswan Individual travelling by private van (as always) from Aswan to Luxor, stopping along the way at Kom Ombo and Edfu. This was excellent, and I'm so glad we got a guide to explain to us the stories and history of each place while we traveled, as well as at the sights. Our guide on this day was Said. He was incredible in every way. He could sense what kind of things we were interested in, and really made it come alive for the kids too (ages 10, 13, 15, 16, boys and girls) We were sad to have him leave us at the end. Waleed takes great care in who he selects to guide his customers.
While Luxor was certainly a place you must see, but we found it less peaceful than the other places. We stayed on the West bank thinking we would then be closer to the sights like the Valley of the Kings and Queens etc. but this was a mistake, and we changed locations after one night. (Do not stay at Hotel Sheherazade!! It was a nightmare; more on that on another post) This has nothing to do with Aswan Individual, but just FYI. Do not think that it is a benefit to stay on the West bank in Luxor. The East bank has sights which are easy to walk to, so it makes more sense to stay there. The sights on the West bank are far from each other, so you must drive. I thought I could do the West bank on my own, but I ended up phoning Waleed to add a West bank tour to my next day. We chose to see the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut, and Medinat Habu. Some eateries worth mentioning were Sofra (difficult to find, but good food and the atmosphere was truly Egyptian antiques) and a great little pizza place called Pizza Roma, near the Steignberger hotel, of which also has a great Lebanese restaurant in a courtyard.
There are so many more positive things I could say about Petra, Waleed and the rest at Aswan Individual, but time is lacking. So to recap; book as much as you can with them, no matter where you are in Egypt. It will save you hassle and time and you will be rewarded with peaceful and meaningful memories.
We had great fun with Aswan Individual and the entire Egypt trip!!!! On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 represent worst experience, 10 represent the best experience, I would rate Aswan Individual 12!!!!! They are amazing, we were truly in the great hands and being spoiled very well by the team. My wife was very happy and been thought to return to Egypt for further adventure, I surely would recommend Aswan Individual to anyone who wish to solicit a great provider for traveling in Egypt.
I had been meaning to travel to Egpt for a long time and initally contacted Aswan Individual in the summer of 2013. With the very efficient help of Petra, who always answered emails promptly and provided advice (where needed, considering that the website is already very detailed and provides basically all the information one needs when planning excursions), I planned a number of activities in Aswan and Luxor. Ultimately, I had to postpone my trip, but when I finally fixed up dates for February 2015, it was totally clear I would go back to Aswan Individual.
I ended up spending five nights in Aswan and three in Luxor and doing six excursions with Aswan Individual. Everything went very well, except that we had practically no wind at all on the day of the felucca cruise... hardly the fault of Aswan Individual of course (part of the day was instead spent on a motorboat that was also very comfortable). As it says on the website, there is absolutely no shopping involved in any of the trips. Petra expressly requested that I let her know if any of the guides even asked if I wanted to go to a souvenir shop. The prices were the same or lower than what I could have arranged through my hotel in Aswan.
Waleed checked in on me by phone to confirm departure times and met me before I set off on my trips to introduce me to the drivers/ guides and make sure everything was ok.
There was a lot of driving involved (day trip to Abu Simbel; transfer from Aswan to Luxor, visiting the camel market, Kom Ombo and Edfu; day trip to Abydos and Dendera), but the cars were always clean and comfortable, and the drivers were very good. I had the very good luck to be guided by Abdul for three days; he was absolutely fantastic, very professional, knowledgeable and personable with a great sense of humour and excellent balance between providing facts and stories.
Tourism is practically non-existent right now in Egypt, the advantage of which was that I had a lot of the monuments practically to myself - we were about 50 people in total on the second convoy to Abu Simbel, for instance.
I came into contact with Aswan Individual because I wanted to visit Ouadi el-Sebua and Amada temples over land. This is generally done as part of a Nile cruise, but because I was staying in Aswan and wanted to visit other sites as well I didn't want to go on a cruise. So I got a fair price for over land transport to visit these two sites. Because I was satisfied with the quick response I asked for the possibilities to arrange other transport issues as well.
With Petra, the representative of Aswan individual I had good contact through the mail about different options. As an expert on Egyptology I didn't require a guide, just transportation. But got the good advice to visit Gebel el-Silsila with a guide, because it's handy to have a guide over there.
They provided me with good tips, but listened very well to my opinion about it.
Just before the trip I asked Petra wether she could ask the owner of Aswan international Waleed wether he knew the location of special inscriptions in Aswan. I have done research on these inscriptions, but only using drawings and old photographs of them. With a general description of the site Waleed tried to locate the inscriptions, which he was succesful at. A great job! I am really happy I found these inscriptions!
Following the day of arrival I met with Waleed in my hotel, to go through the program. And he got all the details needed to arrange a permit to go to Ouadi es-Sebua and Amada temples.
During the next 6 days I travelled around with the transportation arranged by Aswan individual. The quality of the boats and cars provided was perfect.
During the week Waleed encountered a transportation difficulty with my trip to Ouadi es-Sebua and Amada temples. He had arranged a mini-bus to go there, but a jeep was mandatory. He discussed it with me and arranged, for the same price as the mini-bus, a really fast jeep which took me to Ouadi es-Sebua and Amada temples. As an extra he arranged food for me for that day, without any costs.
During most of the trips Waleed contacted me by Phone to check wether everything was going as planned.
Overall I am really satisfied with the service Aswan individual provided me with. It was done professionally and with passion. I requisted Aswan individual to visit special places, which were arranged perfectly.