Egypt: Guesthouses

Guesthouses

As more and more of our clients are requesting unique accommodation, Backpacker Concierge has extended its range of guesthouses for 2010/2011.

Each of these properties were hand-chosen because of their unique perspective on customer service, their adherence to local building techniques, and their sensitivity for the environment.

Some are more rustic than others, but each of them guarantees a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

Siwa Villa

Backpacker Concierge is very excited to be working with this fantastic villa nestled inside the Siwa Oasis. The property is a traditionally-built mud house completely restored to Boutique Hotel standards and features a stunning dining room, full-service kitchen with private chef upon request, and 4 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 10 individuals.

There are so many amazing features we don’t know where to begin!

  • The beautiful sundeck overlooking Shali features a barbeque pit for feasts under the stars…
  • For those cold nights, there is a fireplace which backs onto the bathroom turning it into a steam room…
  • Fresh, warm bread every morning…
  • Full laundry and cleaning services…
  • Fully-customized jeep excursions (sandboarding, camping, camels, and more)

For couples and small groups looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, this is a great alternative to
staying in a hotel.

- 4 days / 3 nights Siwa Guesthouse

Sinai Ecolodge

Backpacker Concierge is pleased to announce its partnership with a Bedouin-run trek operator in the Sinai Peninsula. Steeped in history, the Sinai has been crossed by traders and pilgrims for millenia – now it’s your turn to be enchanted by the peninsula!

Originally started by an EU-funded initiative that equipped Bedouin guides with the management, first aid, and language skills necessary to lead mountain tourism operations in the region has allowed for a rewarding and safe hiking experience.

The initiative also constructed a small ecolodge, which focuses on the principles of simplicity and minimal environmental impact, as there is no electricity, but it has solar-heated showers and sanitary compost toilets.

Also in the area are wonderful camping opportunities on and around Mt. Sinai mountain where you will experience the time-honored hospitality and culture of the South Sinai Bedouins.

- Mt. Sinai Clean-up

Nubian Guesthouse

Join us at one of the only private guesthouses on the Nile River bank!

We will transport you by felucca or motorboat to a small village just north of Aswan proper to experience the REAL Nubia. No annoying tour groups, no early wake-up calls.

This village is home to Nubians displaced by the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1970s. As the waters rose behind the dam and formed Lake Nasser, the locals were forced to move further south into Sudan or further North in the villages scattered around Aswan.

Our guesthouse is one in a network of locally-managed homes in the same village. The main house features several bedrooms, centered around a common living area and includes a panoramic roof terrace overlooking the stunning dunes.

The other homes vary in construction methods are easily accessible by public ferry from Aswan proper and offer a nice alternative to the hustle-and-bustle of a downtown environment.

Astrotours

Currently available in Marsa Alam and Sinai.

The Astronomy Center of Marsa Alam is unique in Egypt. Built into the mountains of the desert, it is undisturbed by noise or light from the nearby hotels. The presentation is performed by an astronomer who will help you understand the mystery of the universe (held in English, German and Italian). Real-time pictures are taken of the sky and projected onto a wide screen where they are brought to life with explanation. For about 7 days each month, the moon is too bright to see the stars, so there is a special moon program during this time frame.

A lower-tech version of this astrotour is also available in Sinai’s St. Katherine Protectorate. A portable high-powered telescope and astro-lazer may be brought to your campsite or ecolodge for a wonderful evening learning about our amazing skies.

Perfect for astro-geeks and divers who are looking to enrich their experience on the Red Sea.

Day 1 – Transfer from Cairo to Siwa (D)
This morning you will say goodbye to the City Victorious and travel by road along the Mediterranean Sea to the majestic Siwa Oasis. Siwa is very unique, in that it has held onto its Berber and Siwi roots for countless centuries, allowing it to maintain an air of secrecy and tradition that few outsiders can begin to understand.

Upon arrival in Siwa, you will be transferred directly to your own, private home. This unique property is a traditional mud-brick abode, outfitted to boutique hotel standards. It features a stunning dining room, full-service kitchen with private chef upon request, and four bedrooms that can accommodate up to ten individuals in total.

Day 2 – Siwa: Antiquities and Walking Tour (B, L, D)
After Mohammed delivers your warm, freshly-baked bread and you have enjoyed a self-prepared breakfast on your sundeck overlooking the Shali remains, you will embark on your half-day Antiquity tour.

Your guide will take you to the Temple of the Oracle, dedicated to the god Amun. This temple housed one of the world’s seven oracles and is said to have strong energy. After, you will visit Gebel al Mawta, a hill with tombs dating back to Roman and Ptolemaic times. During WWII, the Siwans hid inside the tombs, taking refuge from the Italian attacks.
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Day 2 continued
After enjoying a local lunch and taking some time to rest during the heat of the day, you will embark on a 2 hour walking tour through the gardens and palmeries. We recommend taking a dip at one of the local springs before returning to town via jeep.

This evening you will enjoy a traditional home-cooked Siwan meal in our friend’s home. Enjoy local delicacies in an authentic environment.

Day 3 – Siwa: Great Sand Sea Jeep Safari (B, L, D)
It does not take much driving by jeep until you reach the famous dunes of the Great Sand Sea. We are hesitant to tell you about all the great places you will go and all of the amazing things you will see, as increased publicity threatens the existence of many areas. What we can tell you is that you will find rare fossils from where the ocean once lay, mummies, and endless dunes.

We will make sure a few sandboards are packed inside the jeep in case you want to take a ride later in the day!

Day 4 – Transfer from Siwa to Cairo (B, L)
Your departure time from Siwa is completely up to you – 4am or 10am, no problem. A packed lunch will be included for the day’s drive.

Prices start at $450/person

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This program can be done with or without picking up garbage. However, given the state of the mountain, we highly recommend that you volunteer your services and lend a helping hand to keep this delicate, high-altitude desert eco-system alive.

Day 1
- Arrive mid-day in St. Katherine’s from Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, or Taba
- Begin an afternoon ascent of Mt. SInai and begin filling the garbage bags to be brought back down the mountain by our camels
- Enjoy sunset at the summit of Mt. Sinai and camp overnight just below at Farsh Elias

Day 2
- Morning descent of the mountain via the stairs or via Wadi Arbaeen
- Enjoy lunch in St. Katherine town before taking a jeep 45 minutes to the spectacular ecolodge
- Overnight and Dinner at the ecolodge

Day 3
- After breakfast, morning return via jeep to St. Katherine town

Prices start from $95/person

Please note that transportation to/from Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, and Taba is not included.

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