Depths of the Desert

£2250 per person – 10 days / 9 nights based on 2 sharing. (Single person supplement £400pp)
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Designed for trail riders and longer hours in the saddle this 10 day trip takes you on a journey by horseback starting in Cairo, to Fayoum and ends in Luxor.

ON HORSEBACK

  • Cairo, Luxor & Fayoum in one holiday · several full days in the saddle
  • Designed for trail riders · ride off the beaten track on a glorious Arabian stallion
  • Ride to temples and pyramids deep in the heart of the deserts · ride through villages and historical sites
  • Experience our farming techniques for our horse food · learn natural remedies used for medicine & healing

HISTORY

  • Explore the rarely visited tombs & a hand-picked selection of the best temples in Luxor
  • Knowledgeable guides
  • Retrace the steps of the pharoahs
  • Visit the 7th wonder of the world at Giza

CULTURE

  • Home cooked meals & cookery lessons
  • Home stay villa and small cultured boutique hotel
  • Ride on a Tuk-Tuk · visit the mosques
  • Drink sundowners sailing the Nile

Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival in Cairo and overnight

Day 2: Giza Ride & Fayoum Introduction

When visiting Egypt there’s one ride on everyone’s wish list – a ride to The Great Pyramids of Giza. After an authentic breakfast we will set off by horseback to the plateau – this ride is exhilarating due to the scenery and the varied paces we can enjoy across the open desert. After our ride we will visit the Sphinx with a guide before visiting a local restaurant for lunch.

After this it’s back to the hotel to pack up and hit the road to Fayoum. The drive is around an hour and a half enabling us to arrive in time to enjoy a sunset trail ride through the picturesque villages of Tunis.

Dinner and overnight at our guest house.

Day 3: Full Day Ride to Wadi El Hitan’s Magic Lake

The Magic Lake is an obscure but beautiful lake – it got its name because it changes its colours several times each day, depending on the time of day and amount of sunlight it receives. It is a brilliant place surrounded by desert where you can enjoy riding and racing through the open landscapes, go swimming or simply relax and sit by the amazing waterfall.

Dinner and overnight in the desert or guest house.

Day 4: Full Day Ride with Desert Dinner

You are in the perfect place to ride and explore the stunning desert and its rock formations. We will drive for around 20 minutes with the horses to start our trip in the heart of the national park! The scenery is picturesque and goes on as far as the eye can see, it’s THE place for riders to enjoy plenty of fun canters and gallops. This really is an epic day in the saddle.

Dinner and overnight in the desert or guest house.

Day 5: 4 x 4 Safari at Wadi El Hitan

Today we are going off-road by 4 x 4 safari to play on the sand dunes and visit Whale Valley, home to invaluable fossil remains of the earliest, and now extinct, suborder of whales, Archaeoceti. These fossils represent one of the major stories of evolution; the emergence of the whale as an ocean-going mammal from a previous life as a land-based animal, about 37 million years ago. This is the most important UNESCO site in the world for the demonstration of this stage of evolution.

Late afternoon we will drive by car back to Cairo. Overnight at our guest house.

Day 6: Speedy Giza Trail & Flight to Luxor

Our last ride in Cairo this morning is at the back of the Great Pyramids. Blessed with tons and tons of open ground it is the ideal spot to enjoy a last blast with the horses before lunch and departure to Luxor.

We will fly from Cairo to Luxor at around 17:30 (flight not included), arriving at our guest house in time for dinner and some time to relax overnight.

Day 7: Cookery Lesson and Pharoahs Temples Trail

Today is all about real Egypt. After a short tuk-tuk ride (or walk) through the village, you’ll arrive at a local home where you will cook fish in a traditional stone oven. The ladies of the home will also teach you to make bread to accompany your meal This is a relaxed morning with ‘the family’ at their home where you will also learn about the Egyptian way of life, how they grow their own food, why they prefer to build homes from mud instead of concrete and of course the wonderful cooking techniques that stem back thousands of years. You might even pick up a few words of Arabic!

Around 2pm, you’ll get back in the saddle and set off on your afternoon adventure to retrace the steps of two of the most powerful Pharaohs to ever rule; Seti I and his son Ramses II. The ride will take you deep into the Valley of the Kings and with incredible views from horseback, you’re sure to get a feel for the vastness of the Valley. Upon arrival, the team will tether up the horses and wait outside in the shade as you head off to explore the Mortuary Temple of Seti I and Ramesseum.

Both Seti I and Ramses II were incredible builders and have temples which have stood the test of time and still stand today. Seti I was one of Egypt’s greatest rulers and builders, he constructed one of the land’s most magnificent temples at Abydos and the Great Hypostyle Hall in Karnak next to Luxor.

The artwork and architecture commissioned during Seti’s rule is rich and no expense was spared – the attention to detail is evident within his mortuary temple. It also includes a royal palace and a chapel for Ramses I. Ramses II like his father was one of the greatest Pharaohs in ancient Egyptian history. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom. His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor”. Dinner that evening will be prepared at home for you by a local chef.

Day 8: Valley of the Kings (Non-Riding), 4×4 Safari Dinner

Without giving too much away, your morning visit today is to the Valley of the Kings; no trip to Luxor would be complete without spending some time here. However, your hosts have chosen tombs that are rarely visited by tourists.

During Egypt’s New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), the valley became a royal burial ground for Pharaohs such as Tutankhamun, Seti I, and Ramses II, as well as queens, high priests, and other elites of the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties. The tombs are evidence of elaborate preparations for the next world in which humans were promised continuing life and pharaohs were expected to become one with the gods. Mummification was used to preserve the body so that the deceased’s eternal soul would be able to reanimate it in the afterlife.

Throughout the morning, you’ll visit Thutmose II Tomb, which is the earliest tomb constructed in the Valley. You’ll head on to Seti I, whose tomb remains eye-popping and elaborately decorated with rich colours. Next you’ll see KV14 – Tausert – Setnakht, known as the tomb of Tawosret and Setnakht. It’s one of the most unusual tombs in the Valley of the Kings and encompasses two complete burial chambers. It is rumoured Nefatari may be buried here but has not been discovered to date.

Your next stop is the tomb of Ramses VI (KV 9). With some of the broadest corridors, longest shafts (117m) and the greatest variety of decoration, KV 9 is one of the most spectacular tombs in the valley. Started by Ramses V and finished by Ramses VI, it is a feast for the eyes, much of its surface covered with intact hieroglyphs and paintings. The burial chamber has an unfinished pit in the floor and a magnificent figure of Nut and scenes from the Book of the Day and Book of the Night.

The final tomb is in the Valley of the Monkeys – The Tomb of Ay. Ay is the rumoured uncle of Tutankhamun and is the most popular choice when it comes to who murdered young King Tut (booo! Hisss). His tomb is located approx. 2km inside the valley. You will leave the main part of the valley and by car pick up the Guardian of the Tomb along the way. The tomb was rumoured to be built for Tutankhamen originally but instead he was buried in a much smaller tomb due to his early and unplanned death. Ay was a high ranking General during this time. It’s a fairly simple tomb but a very exciting one to visit as it’s so surrounded by mystery.

You will stop for lunch at a local restaurant during the tour and once you have finished, you will return home for a few hours to relax. At 4pm you will be picked up by 4 x 4 and head into the desert. Your guides will show you hidden caves in the desert and fossils in the stones. We advise you wear good hiking shoes so you can watch the sunset from the top of the mountains!

After sunset you will drive a little further into the heart of the desert where local Bedouin friends have been preparing dinner over a fire. The camp is lit up by candlelight and the twinkle of the stars in the night sky. After a wonderful dinner you will leave the desert around 10pm to allow for a good night’s sleep ahead of the following day’s big adventures.

Day 9: Ultimate Trail Ride to the Land of the Pharaohs

Prepare to fall in love with both Arabian and Baladi (local breed) horses who are famed for their beauty and endurance. These wonderful mounts are chosen for their ability to form cooperative relationships with humans and they are good-natured, quick to learn and willing to please. Longer trails allow you to experience the horses and country life here in more depth. From horseback you will see the farmers working the fields just as their ancestors did.

Mid-morning prepare to be amazed as these sure-footed horses will take you behind the Valley of the Kings and guide you to the top of Mount Thebes so that you can see panoramic views of Luxor.

Lunch will be served at a local restaurant before your trail home takes you past the Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III who reigned in Egypt during the Dynasty XVIII. They have stood in the Theban Necropolis for nearly 3400 years (since 1350 BC)! This is a wonderful opportunity for photos together with your horses. This ride is approximately 6 hours from end to end.

Day 10: Optional Balloon Tour and Departure

No trip to Luxor would be complete without a sunrise balloon tour. If you’re interested in this optional extra (not included), Ride Egypt will arrange and time it perfectly for you to hover above the Valley of the Kings and the West Bank farms as the sun rises and casts spectacular shadows over this exquisite piece of history in Egypt; the perfect grand finale for your stay in Egypt.

Then, it’s time to pack and say ma’salama to Egypt…until next time!

Accommodation

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Information

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  • Price & Duration: £2250 per person based on 2 sharing accommodation for 10 days / 9 nights. Single person supplement: £400. Optional Red Sea Extension: £499 per person
  • Board Type: All meals & water.
  • Type of Ride & Paces: Multi centre guest house based riding holiday. Paces: Trail. Full days riding. Confident riders only in English saddles.
  • Riding months: October to May.
  • Saddles: English.
  • Weight limit: 100kg.
  • Recommended airports: Cairo for arrival & Luxor for departure.

Our information page has more details on what is and isn’t included as well as useful general advice.

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