Flats in Luxor is Officially Green
In 2007 I went on holiday to Japan and found my holiday through Responsible Travel. When I read their ethos I thought this is exactly the sort of holiday I want. Then it occurred to me this exactly the sort of holiday I provide. Responsible Travel agreed and now we are officially green. Examples of our policy are
- Staff and subcontractors are all local
- Low energy bulbs and timed electricity in communal areas
- Local craftsmen used for building and fittings
- Food is local and organic
- Walking, cycling and donkey tours
- Introducing guests to real Egyptians and their life
Why go Local?
would encourage every visitor to Egypt to make their own arrangements
with the local guides rather than use the big tour companies. If
you use the tour companies none of your money goes to the local
economy. You get a much better price by going local as well. The
locals have had a double whammy of increased safety concerns and
the new bridge across the Nile. This means fewer tourists and those
that come are cocooned in tour buses and taken from hotel to site
with no local contact.
advantage is that you can schedule your tour to avoid the hottest
part of the day. Especially during the summer, wise tourists start
their sightseeing really early e.g. 5 am and rest in the hottest
part of the day.
also get the chance of getting to know the local people and being
invited to share their lives. Egyptians are a very friendly people.
By being a good tourist (using a local guide and tipping well) you
will end up having meals in local homes, meeting the women and children,
being invited to weddings and party's and even sitting up late drinking
beer and chatting.
are local celebrations and on this site you can see a photo
of the Abu al-Haggag moulid. This is an amazing display of
colourful costumes, local music, horse races and much happiness.
Although tourists do wander in the crowds I find the best
way is to watch it from the safety of a first floor hotel
bar with lots of cold beer. :)
OK I admit that the continual demands for money can get a bit irritating
but if you remember that for many of these people a small tip can
make a huge difference to their lives. It is more than a reward for
services (it can also be an acknowledgement of a friendliness, an
act of charity or easing the way). In the West we only tip on certain
occasions and for certain services. In Egypt you give baksheesh for
everything. This is not just the tourists but the locals too. An example
my uncle in law took me on a trip and my husband was organising and
paying for it. When I got back my husband slipped me some money so
I could give the baksheesh to his uncle. Crazy, no Egyptian.
and hang on to your small change as a supply of 5 LE, 1LE, 50pt
and 25pt notes are invaluable for the small tips. You can also bring
cheap biros and boiled sweets from England these are very acceptable
to the children and even the grown ups need pens.
When I travelled to Egypt prior to 2002 I always applied to the
Embassy in advance after then like lots of people I got one on the
spot at Luxor airport. It's very easy but make sure you have sterling
to pay for this. BUT always check with the Embassy for the latest
rules as they can change at very short notice.
Haggling is the way of life but it can be a bit overwhelming, if
you want help or advice about good shops and the prices you can
expect to pay we are happy to oblige. There are many local crafts
worth buying apart from the standard tourist fare; a good example
In Luxor there is every kind of transport available A/C Mini Buses,
local taxis, horse carriages, bicycles and even donkeys. Rides can
also be made on camels, hot air balloons and horses.
We recommend that all visitors have travel insurance, a lot of regular
travellers take out annual travel insurance.
Most of the major charter firms do flight only tickets to Luxor
you could go to your local travel shop and get them to search for
you or use one of the Internet holiday sites like Teletext.
A number of our guests have used
www.charterflights.co.uk for cheap travel from the UK.