Amazing guides for Egypt!
I recently returned from vacation in Egypt and I had an amazing time with Gem Explore. I found them through referral from a friend and I am so happy I did. Maged helped me to develop an itinerary, which I was extremely grateful for because I was traveling during COVID, somewhat concerned and had some requests to make sure I was comfortable traveling during this time. When I found Maged, I was leaving for Egypt in less than two weeks and the only things I had planned were my flights and a few hotel reservations. I told him what I had planned thus far and in less than 5 hours, he emailed me an itinerary stringing together my flights in and around Egypt, hotels and added tours, transfers, dinners, etc. At that point I knew I was in great hands. Before, during, and after my trip, Maged was super communicative and genuinely cared about how happy I was with my experience. I also appreciate that he was flexible. I changed the itinerary several times before arrival and while I was there but it was never an issue for him or the guides (note my first day in Luxor was a marathon and I was only prepared to do a couple sprints, so I adjusted day two to allow for a nap 😊).
I toured with Boussi in Cairo and Mansour in Luxor. Boussi studied Egyptian Archelogy in university and is unbelievably well versed in history. She was the first person I met in Egypt and I am sure I will call her anytime I plan to come in the future because she ended up being a friend. Interestingly enough, as we went to different sites people would stop us and say, “hey I just want you to know you have the best guide!” and it was certainly true. After two action packed days in Cairo (visiting the Pyramids, Sphinx, Coptic Cairo, and Saqqara), I went to Luxor and met Mansour at the airport. Mansour is a character and extremely funny. Luxor is his hometown, which I feel gives him an added passion about the sites there and we saw many (Karnak Temple, Mendu Temple, Valley of the Kings, Tomb of the Nobles, and more). The best thing about Mansour though is the eats and his recommendations for foods! I ate the best food in Egypt with Mansour. If he tells you to try something, do it. If he tells you to get the falafel---trust me, it is the BEST falafel you will ever have in your life. Mansour also helped me to buy spices at the market. I love to shop in the markets and negotiate. Mansour is a good sport about that and helps with the negotiations too.
The sites everywhere are absolutely breathtaking for sure and I highly recommend the sunrise hot air balloon ride in Luxor. The last thing I will say about Gem Explore is that they are all very passionate about Egypt. I have taken tours in many places but with Gem Explore it is not a tour, it is personal, more like you are going to visit a distant cousin and they are elated that you came to visit and to show you their home.