Watching the pyramids between the ears of an Arabian horse

Depths of the Desert

Embark on an Egyptian adventure on this unforgettable journey through time. Discover some of the most famous sites in Egypt on board the beautiful Baladi and Arab horses. On this riding holiday between Cairo and Luxor, ride deep into the heart of the desert where sprays of golden sand will cloud up behind you as you gallop past ancient ruins and rarely visited temples and tombs.
Book now Print the details for this ride
Trail Riding
10 days/6 days riding
From £1,850
Open to non-riders
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Itinerary

Highlights

- Discover two incredible destinations in one holiday (Luxor and Cairo)
- Enjoy a variety of adventures and activities - riding, of course, but with many tours and visits organised to make the most of your trip to the land of the Pharaohs.
- Witness the Great Pyramids of Giza and the mythical Sphinx.
- Be immersed in the Egyptian culture, history, food and people.
  • Day 1 1 : EUROPE - CAIRO

    Fly to Cairo. Flights are not included but can be arranged upon request. Transfer to your accommodation for the night.
  • Day 2 2 : GIZA RIDE – ABU SIR – SAKKARA

    After a late breakfast, you will meet the team and horses before beginning a spectacular trail ride to the 7th wonder of the world- The Giza Pyramids. The team will dress your horse in the impressive traditional protection necklaces and bridalwear before you set out towards the Pyramids and Sphinx. As you canter across the golden sands you will catch your first glimpse of the monumental tombs. Dismount from your horses and explore on foot the spectacular structures and chambers where the Pharaohs were buried. After an exciting morning, enjoy a delicious lunch in the country club before being driven to Abusir.
    This afternoon, the ride will take you to Sakkara, a place bursting with Egyptian history, you will have the chance to ride around the complex and take in the views of the many different pyramids. End your first day in the saddle with a delicious authentic Egyptian feast and some aromatic shisha. Wind down and relax from the rooftop restaurant hotel as you watch the pyramid light and sound show.
  • Day 3 3 : WADI EL RAYAN – WADI EL HLTAN - Non-riding day

    Start your day on the go, with breakfast at one of the local street food restaurants. Swap your saddles for a 4x4 as you travel for around 2.5 hours to reach Wadi El Rayan- one of Egypt’s most famous nature reserves. The reserve consists of seven parts; the upper and lower Lakes, El Rayan springs, El Rayan Falls, El Modawara Mountain, El Rayan Mountain and Wadi El Hitan (The Valley of the Whales). You will see the most amazing landscapes such as oases, mountains, rock formations and waterfalls. Here, you will have the opportunity to see the Egyptian wildlife at its best as the reserve is home to many local inhabitants including; gazelles, sand foxes and fennec foxes, as well as rare species of resident birds, migrant birds and various kinds of eagles and falcons. You will continue your day with a visit to Wadi El Hitan, home to the invaluable fossil remains of the earliest and now extinct suborder of whales, Archaeoceti. If the weather is warm enough, take a dip in the lake before heading back to Cairo for dinner.

  • Day 4 4 : GIZA – ABUSIR

    Today, your ride will take you to four of the most famous sights in Giza; the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Mekaure and Sphinx. Pick up the pace as you canter across the golden sands. As the city of Giza falls behind you and the barren land of Abusir opens up ahead of you, enjoy the sense of freedom and let your horse guide you across the desert. As you ride into Abusir, you will notice that the 14 pyramids located here are unwalled. Dismount from your horse and visit the final resting ground of many of the Egyptian pharaohs and nobles of the 5th dynasty in the old kingdom era. After a truly memorable day in the saddle, transfer to the airport and catch your late flight to Luxor to continue your ride.

    On arrival into Luxor, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your accommodation for the night, situated on the west bank of the River Nile.
  • Day 5 5 : LUXOR

    A quiet morning with some time to relax and unwind as your hosts prepares a delicious traditional home-cooked Egyptian lunch. In the early afternoon, a tuk-tuk will be waiting for you to transfer you to the stables where you will meet your new horse and team. After a quick tour of the stables its time to saddle up and get to know your new companion with an exploratory ride through Luxor. Ride through sugarcane fields and local Bedouin villages before arriving at Banana Island. As you pass the impressive banana plantations, you will be greeted by the local villagers and children. Here, you will get a real insight into the way of Egyptian life. And your day with a scenic ride along the River Nile, taking in the magical setting and tranquil surroundings as you make your way home. As you wait for dinner to be served, relax with a cold glass of wine and enjoy the spectacular views of the Valley of the Kings.
  • Day 6 6 : WORKERS RIDE – NOBELS TRAIL

    You will set off bright and early this morning with breakfast from the saddle as you grab a freshly made falafel and sugarcane juice from a favourite local street food café. Set off for a day of adventure as you ride towards Naja, home to the tombs of the workers. Upon arrival, you will tether the horses and head off on foot to explore the ancient Egyptian village of Deir el-Medina, before starting your hike up the mountain to reach the tombs of the workers; Tomb of Roy, Tomb of Shuroy, Pashedu Tomb and the Deir El Medina tombs of Sennedjem and Inherka.

    After a morning of discovering the great landmarks of Luxor, ride home for a well deserved lunch. This afternoon’s ride will take you to the southern hillside of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, the resting place of the nobles. A place rarely visited by tourists, explore the incredible tomb that goes by the name “the Tomb of Vines” before discovering one of the most lavishly decorated tombs, the tomb of Rekhmire. Step back in history and be amazed by the well-preserved scenes of daily life during the Egyptian new kingdom. End your day with cocktails and a sunset dinner on board a traditional Egyptian Felucca on the Nile.
  • Day 7 7 : PHAROAHS TEMPLE TRAIL

    Today you will get a taste of real Egyptian life. After a short tuk-tuk ride through the village you will arrive at a local home where you will learn how to cook fish and bread on a traditional stone oven. You will be taught cooking techniques that stem back thousands of years, and learn about the local way of life. After an educational morning, its time to get back in the saddle and experience the most incredible views from horseback as you ride deep into the Valley of the Kings. Upon arrival, you will set off on foot to explore the Mortuary Temple of Seti I and Ramesseum. Dinner will be prepared at home by a local chef.
  • Day 8 8 : VALLEY OF THE KINGS - Non-riding day

    This morning will be spent at the Valley of the Kings- a royal burial ground for Pharaohs, queens, high priests and other elites from the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties. The tour of the tombs will give you the opportunity to visit some of the most famous and unusual tombs in the Valley of the Kings including: Thutmost II tomb, Seti I, the tomb of Tawosret and Setnakht. No trip to Luxor would be complete without spending some time in the tomb of Ramses VI (KV9) arguably one of the most spectacular tombs in the valley. With the most beautiful variety of decoration and intact hieroglyphs and paintings, it truly is spectacular. End your tour in the Valley of the Monkeys, a fairly simple tomb that is surrounded in unanswered mystery.

    After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, enjoy a few hours of free time and relaxation. This evening, you will swap your saddles for a 4x4 and head out into the desert. Uncover the hidden caves and fossils in the stones, before watching the sun set over the golden sands from the most magnificent view point at the top of the mountains! End your evening in the heart of the desert. Enjoy a Bedouin dinner by candle light under the starlight night sky.
  • Day 9 9: LAND OF THE PHARAOHS

    A full day in the saddle as you set off on the beautiful Arabian and Baladi horses. Start your morning with a peaceful ride through the idyllic landscape as you pass the farmers working in the fields. As you continue on, let your sure-footed horses guide you behind the Valley of the Kings before you reach the top of Mount Thebes where you will see a breath-taking panoramic view of Luxor. After another delicious Egyptian lunch, end your day with a ride past the Colossi of Memnon, two spectacularly grand statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III- a perfect backdrop for a photo of you and your horse, before heading home for one last evening in Egypt.
  • Day 10 10: EUROPE

    Flight back to Europe from Luxor airport

    If you are interested in a sunrise hot air balloon tour this morning, please enquire for details.

Dates & prices

Price details

- International and domestic flights are not included, but can be booked upon request. You will need to arrive in Cairo, a domestic flight between Cairo and Luxor, and depart from Luxor.

- Rates are per person and based on two riders sharing a twin or double room.

- The group is made of 2-15 riders maximum plus local team.

- Single room supplement: £400. Not applicable if willing to share.

- Transfers: not included and invoiced before you go for a total of £120 per person:
Luxor airport to/from Luxor hotels: approx. 1 hour – £25
Cairo Airport to/from Cairo Hotels: approx. 2 hours – £35
Cairo Airport Meet and Greet: £35 per person (to go through immigration and find your driver)

- Hot air balloon over Luxor: guideline is around £135 per person (payable locally)

- Children aged 8+ are welcome on this ride provided they match the riding requirements. Families with children will be offered "family weeks" independent from our normally scheduled weeks that are tailored for adults and solo riders. Please contact us for more details.

There is a small entry fee to the temples that may feature on your visit. Prices payable locally:

East Bank:
Karnak Temple – 100le
Avenue of Sphinxes – Free
Luxor Museum – 100le
Luxor Temple – 100le
Mummification Museum – 100le
West Bank:
Valley of the Kings – 150le
Seti I Tomb – 1000le
Tutenkamun Tomb – 200le
Carters House – 60le
Hatshepsut Temple – 80le
Colossi of Memnon – Free
Habu Temple – 60le
Stone Factory – Free
Valley of the Queens – 150le
Tomb of Queen Nefertari – 1000le
Nobles Tombs – 80le
Workers Tombs – 80le

Cairo:
Cairo Museum: 60le admission
Royal Mummies Room 100le
Centennial Gallery 10le.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

Price includes

Support Team

English-speaking horse guide

Logistics

1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 support vehicle
A team of grooms

Inland transport

Land transfers mentioned in the programme

Meals

Full board accommodation in guesthouses or hotel
Mineral water

Price doesn't include

Meals

Beverages and personal extras
Breakfast and lunch on day 1, lunch and dinner on the last day

Transport

International flights
Return airport transfers
Domestic flight from Cairo to Luxor

Extras

Tips to the local team - $100 given on the first day to the guide
Entry fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary (around £30-50)
Hot air balloon over Luxor (£135 per person)

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurance are not included in the above listed price. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked to cover you in case of cancellation
Visas and personal purchase. You will have to purchase a tourist visa at the airport (around £20)

Optional

Accommodation

Single room supplement
  • November - December 2020

    Departure Return Price without flights Price including flights Status
    27/12/2020 05/01/2021 £1,850 Guaranteed departure Book now

Equestrian info

Horses

You will find three types of horses: Arab, Arabian Cross and Baladi. They are renowned for their stamina and are ideal for long distance rides in the Egyptian desert. Each location has its own stable so you will be riding different horses during the trip.

Minimum riding ability

Minimum riding ability

You must be a rider of at least an intermediate level, meaning that you must be comfortable on a horse at all paces (walk, trot and canter). You should be used to riding over different types of terrain. The horses are sensible and well mannered but they are fit and forward-going, not suitable for novice riders.


There is a maximum rider weight of 90kg/ 14st/ 198 lbs.

Pace

The main pace of the trail is the walk, with good opportunities for trots and canters. The hours in the saddle are not long and there are some non-riding days as well.

Tacking ability and participation

Everyone normally helps looking after the horses and tacking up, although this is not mandatory.

Trip conditions and Requested experience

Having some trail riding experience is a bonus, but this is not mandatory. Reasonable health and fitness levels are required. Please note that some of the days are non-riding days: this holiday is designed for you to embrace the Egyptian culture, their local customs and ancient history.

Equestrian equipment

English or Endurance tack.
Treeless and Western saddles are also available. No saddlebags.
We recommend our riders to wear a helmet to the correct standard and you should bring your own to ensure a proper fit.

Travel info

Comfort

In Luxor: Standard guesthouse next to the stables. You will enjoy a host of traditional home cooked meals and our local chef’s delights will be available each day. There is a small garden and a swimming pool is available to use at a neighbouring hotel.

In Cairo: you will be offered a 2-3* hotel based on availability.

Meals

All meals are provided for on this riding holiday.

Breakfast: Pancakes, juice, bread, cheese and eggs, tea and coffee.
Lunch: salads, falafels, rice, aubergine, grilled chicken.
Dinner: hot meals (tajines with chicken, meat or fish), rice, salads, mussaka

Water and soft drinks are provided.

Climate

Hot temperatures are common all year round. Temperatures generally range from 18-25C during winter and spring. This ride does not run in the summer as it is way to hot for riders and horses. Rain is not common, and blue skies with sunshine is the norm every day.

Even though the day temperature is usually very hot during the day, it will become much cooler at night once the sun has set. For this reason we recommend you take some warmer clothes to keep you warm during the evenings and nights.

Guide and local team

Your main guides are Ganun and Emma, accompanied by their team. They speak English and Arabic collectively. Your hosts and drivers all speak English.

Tips

Tipping in Egypt is a way of life. It is considered a norm to leave small tips in services you have received, such as restaurants, hotels, drivers, tour guides, etc. A tip envelope of $100 will be given to your guide on day 1 and distributed during the week to cover all of the tips mentioned above. This way you don't have to worry about currency exchange and wondering if you should have tipped or not.

Packing list

Head
- A riding helmet is strongly recommended. We recommend you take your own to ensure the right fit.
- Sun hat when not riding
- Sunglasses-with a cord attached so they don't fly away when galloping.
- Buff or bandana for protecting your neck and face from the sun and dust.

Upper body
- Thermals (long or short sleeved)
- Long sleeved shirts to provide protection from the sun.
- T-shirts
- Lightweight fleece or jumper.
- Warm polar fleece or equivalent
- Waterproof jacket- rain is difficult to predict, it is better to be prepared.

Legs
- Lightweight riding trousers or jodhpurs. We recommend riding in them at home to ensure they won't rub during your holiday.
- Casual clothes for the non-riding days (jeans or walking trousers)
- Thermal leggings.
- Swimsuit

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps but you may take long chaps or long boots.
- Lightweight shoes or trainers for the non-riding days.
- Several pairs of socks
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun, wind or rain whilst riding

Nightwear
- Pyjamas

Other useful items:

- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Water bottle (2 litres or 2 x 1 litre)
- Ear plugs (for light sleepers)
- Swiss army knife or equivalent (in your Check-in Luggage!!!!)

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - should be high factor
- Insect repellent - a must in Egypt, please take a high quality spray
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Eye drops
- Imodium or similar anti-diarrhoea medication
- Re-hydration sachets
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand wash gel

Our Recommendations

- Backpacks cannot be worn whilst riding. We recommend a small bumbag or a coat with pockets so that you can carry small items with you during the day (passport, camera, sunscreen, lip balm etc)
- Any liquids in your hold luggage, such as shampoo, moisturizer, over 100ml should be decanted into small, clear, plastic ziplock bag. We recommend biodegradable washing products where possible.
- In your hand luggage take any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes is highly recommended - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!
- We recommend taking a copy of your passport and insurance documents with you in case you lose your originals

Visa & Health

Formalities

British passport holders travelling to Egypt normally require a visa.

For visits of up to 30 days, you can get a visa on arrival by cash payment. The visa fee is US$25 at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. There’s no need to buy a visa from an agent. In many cases agents will charge more than US$25 for a visa. If you’re harassed by an agent, report the incident to the tourist police in the airport terminal.

Alternatively you can get a visa from an Egyptian Consulate outside Egypt before you travel.

Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Egypt.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

Addresses of consulates

  • Ambassade d’Egypte
    56, avenue d'Iéna
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.53.67.88.30
    Fax :
    paris_emb@mfa.gov.eg
  • Ambassade en Egypte
    29 Sharia al-Giza (Gizeh)
    BP 1777 Le Caire
    Tél. : +20(2)570 39 16
    Fax : +20 (2) 571 02 76
  • Ambassade d'Egypte
    Avenue de l'Uruguay 19
    1000 BRUXELLES
    Tél. : +32 (0) 2 663 58 00
    Fax : +32 (0) 2 675 58 88
    eg.sec.be@hotmail.com
  • Ambassade d'Egypte
    Elfenauweg 61
    3006 Bern
    Tél. : +41 31 352 80 12/13
    Fax : +41 31 352 06 25

Health

Contact your GP around 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.

Some prescribed and over the counter medicines available in the UK are considered controlled substances in Egypt and can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from Egypt's Ministry of Health; if you arrive in Egypt without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the country and you may be prosecuted under Egyptian law; if you're travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate from your GP confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition.

Medical facilities outside Cairo and other major cities and resorts can be basic and in case of emergency you are advised to seek treatment in Cairo or the nearest town/city. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

You can find a list of most commonly used hospitals in Egypt on the British embassy website

In an emergency dial 123 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your travel company and your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

There are reports of some hotel doctors overcharging for treatment and medicines. Examine your bill closely and challenge excessive charges. Pharmacies outside hotels will often supply medication at lower prices.

Access to specialised treatment for psychiatric illness is limited and may not be available outside major cities.

Source: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt/health

Insurance

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

Voltage

In Egypt the standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. In Egypt the power plugs and sockets are of type C and F (two prongs)

Budget and money

The Egyptian pound is the currency of Egypt. It is divided into 100 piastres, or ersh

Telephone and jetlag

Time zone: GMT+2
Phone code: +20