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Egypt, Israel and Jordan.

Hello everyone,

I know I keep asking questions about practically every country, but here is yet another one.

My parent's and I would love to see Egypt, Israel and Jordan but due to the recent demonstrations and killings we are concerned these countries will never be safe again. I know that the media always posts the negative news about these countries, so I would love some incite from locals and people who have been to these countries and post some news (Hopefully positive). I know no one can predict if things will die down or become worse, but we are wondering when is the best time to plan a trip to have yhe safest trip possible. We will of course be taking a tour, but do terrorists attack American tour groups? We will be likely be going in November, do not know which year yet, when it is not too hot. Of course we want to see all the touristsy places and sites. Can anyone recommend a tour group or guide of these 3 countries? Thanks! We will be going for about 3-4 weeks.

Posted by
15570 posts

Look into open-jaw flights into Cairo and out of Amman if you decide to include Egypt. If not, you can fly round-trip to Israel or Jordan and cross the border easily overland. There are regular flights between Cairo and Tel Aviv and between Tel Aviv and Amman.

March is probably better than November just because there are more daylight hours. Really hot days are rare in either month. Israel tends to be a bit warmer in November than March. Spring is a great time to be in Israel, everything is green and there are wild flowers popping up all over.

There was at least one tourist bus that was targeted in Egypt, but that was a number of years, and a couple of regimes, ago. Tourists have not been targeted in Israel, as far as I can remember, and I can't think of any terrorist activities in Jordan in recent years at all. The truth is that you can never have a guarantee in the Middle East. This week it feels like we are on the verge of a mini-war. I imagine that a lot of tourists in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem were pretty unnerved by the air raid sirens yesterday, but daily life in those areas continues as usual. Tour organizers know what the current situation is and readily adjust their itineraries if needed. I would be very surprised if the current situation lasts more than 2-4 weeks.

Look at Desert EcoTours http://www.desertecotours.com/English/index.asp which have small group guided tours to Jordan and a couple of tours from Israel to Egypt as well.

PM me if you have any other questions.

Posted by
24 posts

My husband and I have used the travel company called 'Explore' for Egypt, Jordan and Syria. I notice they currently offer a 17 day trip doing the highlights of Egypt and Jordan. Even pre-9/11 the tour buses traveled in convoys led by guys toting machine guns. I never told my Mom.
You might want to look at Explore's Tunisia tour. It's awesome--you get fantastic Roman ruins, the ancient city of Carthage, a camel ride in the Sahara and best of all, a visit to the set of the original Star Wars movie.

Posted by
1994 posts

Archaeological Tours is a great company that uses well qualified academics to accompany you throughout the trip and explain things. I had a great experience with them in Egypt. However, although I been to Egypt several times (including during the second Gulf War), I would not go at this time. My concern would be that, knowing only a little Arabic, I could stumble into a dangerous situation very easily by not recognizing the signs of danger. Security for tourists is very tight; it's a key element of the economy. However, despite the security, I. would be concerned about the possibility of accidentally wandering into brewing civil disobedience and getting caught in it.

I've also been to Israel during a time when there were significant skirmishes on the northern borders. However, the security in Israel is the tightest I've ever experienced (and dramatically more organized and systematic then another parts of Middle East). I felt no sense of danger during that visit. At this point I am planning to go to Israel and Jordan in October/November. However, given the current turmoil and violence throughout that immediate area, I'm considering delaying the trip to next spring.

Posted by
15570 posts

Hi Sherry,

Let me know when you're planning to be here! As I said, chances are good that in a month this whole flare-up will be history.

On the other hand, March is a great time to be here, though not usually warm enough for beaches and swimming, spring is the best season. Just avoid being in Israel between April 3-10, Passover and Easter when everything is crowded and high season prices.

I have been to Israel a number of times and have always used the same, fabulous tour guide. Her name is Esti Herskowitz and
you can e-mail her at st_tours@netvision.net.il She is a private tour guide, certified by the state of Israel. She has an
encyclopedic knowledge of every place in the country and presents it in the most enthusiastic manner. She is great with
people of all ages. You can rent a car and she will drive and take you to all the sites you wish to see. She is not inexpensive - the largest part of our budget went to pay her. She makes the country come alive - you can see the historic events occurring as she
speaks. She is extremely well versed in any area you wish to know about - be it history, religion, culture,wars, politics..
Esti will get bulletins on her phone if there are any areas that need to be avoided. BTW, although Israel is a small country which can be driven from north to south in less then a day, it is so filled with history that you can spend 2 weeks in a small portion of the country and not see everything. Plan to spend a few days in Jerusalem and then decide what other area of the country you want to see, You can drive south and cross over to Egypt from Eilat. Eilat is a beautiful resort and its fun to spend time there but if you are going to Israel for the first time, I recommend concentrating on history and religion and maybe just taking a quick
dip in the ocean and a little snorkeling on your way to Egypt. I would advise you not to miss Masada, Ein Gev and the dead sea-
but that is just a my preference.

Personally, I believe a cease fire will need to take place within the week - but I am not a seer. If your budget is limited - I would
highly recommend splurging and have Esti take you around Jerusalem - especially the old city for a day. You will really get a feel for the people and the culture.

Posted by
1 posts

I don't know about Egypt since we don't hear so much about it in the media. But Israel and Jordan should be fine. It looks like we're going to have a more permanent ceasefire now.
Anyways, if you come to Israel you can check out the various tour companies, such as desert eco tours someone recommended. When my boyfriend's parents came to visit from the US we went to Jordan with Egged Tours and they have a Petra Tour from Eilat (in Israel) that I can warmly recommend.
I've never heard of terrorists attacking tour groups. They usually refrain from attacking Americans as it simple wouldn't be in their interest. They have nothing to gain from it, but everything to lose. So I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. You should come here with your family and enjoy your trip!

Posted by
8293 posts

In February of this year a tour bus was attacked in Egypt, in Sinai. Apparently no one from the West was on the bus or we'd have heard a lot more about it. Several Koreans were killed and others injured. When I first heard of the attack the report said that Saudi tourists were on the bus, as well as other Middle-East tourists.

Posted by
655 posts

I have been to Israel and Jordan twice, both on tours. I have never felt more safe in my life. Security is very tight and you will feel well protected. I have visited in November and also February. The February weather was better-sunny and warm, the Galilee had wildflowers popping up everywhere.
On my last visit (2005) we were in Tiberius when there was a hotel bombing in Amman Jordan (approximately 50 miles away). We never experienced any issues and were still able to visit Jordan 3 days later. Good luck and enjoy. The Holy Land is like no other place you will visit!

Posted by
1 posts

I have been to Egypt the last month. I really enjoyed so much. ETL Egypt Travel Link was the company who handled our tour in Egypt. I recommend this company for anyone would like to visit Egypt. I found this travel agent by chance through searching the internet. I got a big surprise when I browsed through the website. It is an encyclopedia about Egypt. Yes it is. The site has huge information about Egypt, hotels, Nile cruises etc. It has even the smallest details about Egypt. I contacted them and I got an immediate reply. In Egypt I really got very high standard of services and punctuality. Hereunder the website of the company and the email contact
www.etltravel.com
etltravel@etltravel.com