Last week I returned from a product trip around Egypt where I was searching for a selection of new Nile cruise boats to add to our portfolio. I made some amazing and exciting discoveries and I hope to have these available for you shortly, however this is not the reason for my communication today. The reason I am writing my blog is to advise how incredibly quiet Egypt is at the moments both at the hotels and more importantly around the ancient sites. This year I would have been working with the Egyptian Market for 9 years and I have been fortunate enough to travel there on a regular basis, and I can quite honestly say I have never seen the ancient sites so quite and tourist free. Whilst in Aswan I took the short trip to the Temple of Isis located on the beautiful Island of Philaeonly accessible by boat. When I last visited this temple there were around 60 to 70 boats shuttling travellers back and forth between the mainland and the island, however on this occasion our boat was the only one on the lake.

During our guided tour I spoke to our guide about the lack of visitors, she expressed that it had been incredibly difficult over recent months and explained that ever since the revolution sites like the Temple of Isis had been void of tourists. Later during my travels I spent a couple of nights in Cairo checking hotels and meeting local dignitaries. Whenever I visit Cairo I ensure I visit the mighty Pyramids at Giza and luckily I was staying at the Oberoi Mena House which is located directly opposite the Pyramids, this allowed me to wake early and walk across to the site. Once again when I walked into the desert landscape I was astonished only to see a handful of tourist mulling beneath the enormous stone structures. Normally when you visit the pyramids there are around 1000 tourists taking photos and marvelling at what’s before them; however during my visit there could not have been more than 20 people across the whole site.

There is no getting away from the fact that Egypt has been through some turbulent times over the past 18 months however with the first freely elected government now in place green shoots of positivity are certainly starting to reappear within this wonderful country. During my recent stay in Egypt I can honestly say that I felt extremely safe at all times and got the sense from the local Egyptians that they wanted to move forward with democracy and regain some normality back in their lives. Whilst in Egypt I also felt extremely lucky and privileged to have seen some of the worlds must amazing ancient site with a sense of autonomy never felt before. There is something empowering about standing beneath The Great Pyramid when nobody else is around. I’m now back in the UK and I have taken it upon myself to scream from the rooftops and let people know that now is a brilliant time to discover Egypt for yourself and avoid the crowds.

Phil Ellis

Egypt Product Manager

Bales Worldwide