Trek Talk - ElderTreks Blog

If you've shelved your plans to visit Egypt in the last year or two, now is definitely the time to start thinking about visiting again, particularly if you are looking for an experience that is less mass tourism and more meaningful travel. To truly appreciate Egypt's treasures requires the time - and space - to really see them, learn about their construction, and explore the sites without feeling rushed or crowded by busloads of tourists in front and behind you, filling every corner of every temple, tomb or museum. With visitor numbers now only a fraction of the millions they once were, it's only a matter of time before those tourists return  - making this year one of the best times to visit Egypt.
Two more reasons why now may be the best time ever to visit Egypt...
1. Egypt is not the problem destination that the media portrays it to be.
In fact, the U.S. State Department currently has no official travel warning or alerts for the country, and our contacts on the ground assure us there is no cause for concern. ElderTreks' President, Gary Murtagh, even went over to Egypt a little over a year ago, to see for himself what was happening and his experience (which you can read more about here) confirmed what he had been hearing. His overall experience of Egypt? Even more impressive, authentic and welcoming than his first visit thirty years earlier.
Our guests who traveled there six months later on our October 2013 tour couldn't agree more. Safety was not an issue and when asked what their favourite thing was about Egypt they responded with comments like: 
"Being able to finally go!" M/M Kronmiller
"No other tourists in Egypt" W. Vanderlest
"Everything! The guide was excellent and so was the itinerary. Abdul (tour leader) was constantly upbeat even when dealing with all of our requests and always willing to answer all of our many questions. He made the trip a wonderful experience with his in-depth professional knowledge of ancient Egypt! L. LaPiana
It goes without saying that the safety and security of our clients is paramount, and if we felt that a destination posed a threat, we would not hesitate to cancel it (it's the reason why you won't find Lybia, Syria or Israel on our current list of active trips.) But Egypt? Our next two departures are guaranteed! 
2. Egypt's tombs are famous - but fragile. See them while you can.
Millions of tourists mean more than just inconvenience for travelers or lineups at popular sites; over the years, those same millions of visitors have taken their toll on the very sites they've come to visit, often through no fault of their own. The humidity and moisture brought in with them (including something as unavoidable as breathing) have wreaked havoc on the delicate paintings and walls of tombs that were never meant to be exposed to the outside world. Lengths of visits and numbers of visitors have had to be limited at many tomb sites, and glass partitions have been erected in an attempt to keep visitors from causing further damage. Some of the most impressive tombs, like that of Seti I, for example, has long been closed as it is too fragile for visitors. 
It's likely only a matter of time before some others, including that of King Tutankhamun, may be closed to the general public. In fact, just this past May, an exact replica of the tomb of King Tut was unveiled a mile or so away from the original site, with every detail of the tomb recreated to exacting standards. The hope is that it would be virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, and would give travelers the opportunity to have an experience similar to visiting the original tomb, while protecting the original from more damage. Already there are separate tickets to view King Tut's tomb, and many tours do not include it on their itinerary. (Fortunately, our tour does include it)
But the writing, like the hieroglyphics, may be on the wall.
With no crowds to compromise the experience, and the ability to still visit authentic archaeological treasures (at least for now), what better reasons do you need to put Egypt back on your must-see list? You might even want to move it to the top.
Learn more about our Egypt itinerary here.
Jane Canapini - September 11, 2014

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