This is a unique horseback riding vacation exploring ancient Egypt. Highlights include galloping at the Pyramids of Giza, a visit to the Egyptian Museum, riding through the desert to ancient temples and exploring the Valley of the Kings as well as a boat ride on the Nile. 

Start your equestrian adventure in Cairo with overnight accommodation close to the pyramids at one of the boutique hotels in the heart of Giza, you are guaranteed to have a spectacular view! Horseback ride to the Pyramids of Giza, vehicle visit to the Egyptian Museum to view artifacts from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, then on to Luxor!

In Luxor stay on the tranquil West Bank. This is the quieter side of the Nile where fewer tourists stay. Stay in the small village of Ramlah, surrounded by farmland and close to the historical sites; the atmosphere is laid back and relaxing. Accommodation will vary from charming villa's with traditional dome rooms, to vibrantly decorated guest houses with views of the Nile, or your own fully equipped flat.  There is a horseback ride through the lush banana plantations, galloping through fields of sugar cane, then enjoy a private boat ride on the Nile River at sunset before dinner.  

In Luxor visit the Valley of the Kings and Temple of Hatshepsut, Egypt’s most powerful female pharaoh, as well as take an early ride to see the hot air balloons take off at sunrise.  This horseback riding and sight-seeing combination vaccation is not to be missed!

During the ride you will spend a couple of nights in Luxor camping under the stars. Spend the night in a Bedouin style tent alongside the horses. The tent is equipped with everything that you need, mats, sleeping bags, pillows, and camel hair blankets. In the evenings enjoy delicious, freshly cooked meals prepared by the accompanying chef.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from YC of Califon on 27/11/2023

Ride Summary
What was your overall impression of the holiday
unforgettable, magical & culturally stimulating
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

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YES
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0
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YES
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NO
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Unicorn comments: Thank you for your ride feedback - glad you enjoyed the ride! :)

Please note:  This ride starts in Cairo and finishes in Luxor.  At the end of the ride you can get an internal flight back to Cairo International Airport or fly straight out of Luxor International Airport. 

Day 1: Arrival
You have arrived at the home of the pyramids! Pickup is at Cairo International Airport. When you arrive at your hotel in Giza, take some time to get settled in, soak in the lively atmosphere, or relax with a drink. Your guides will meet you for a rooftop dinner with phenomenal views of the pyramids. Watch the Sound & Light Show as you enjoy your meal. It’ll be a relaxed night so you’re well-rested for the first day of riding!

Day 2: Pyramids of Giza, Saqqara, and Dahshur
Kick off your adventures with an exciting ride at the Pyramids of Giza! Your spirited Arabian will amaze you with their elegance, power, and speed. The desert around the pyramids is perfect for long gallops and exhilarating races across the sand. Dismount at the Giza complex to explore the pyramids and the sphinx up close. Try the national dish koshary for lunch (our personal favorite) before heading to Saqqara by car. Just south of Giza, Saqqara is a vast necropolis and the largest archeological site in Egypt, containing pyramids and tombs for the pharaohs and noblemen of the Old Kingdom. Most notably, Saqqara is home to the oldest pyramid in the world: the Step Pyramid of Djoser, built about 4,700 years ago. This was the first successful pyramid ever built and it paved the way for the later construction of the Pyramids of Giza. The next stop is Dahshur, where you will explore the inside of the Red Pyramid and visit the nearby “Bent” Pyramid. Back at the hotel, watch a once-in-a-lifetime sunset at the Pyramids of Giza from the rooftop before dinner.

Day 3: The Egyptian Museum & Flight to Luxor
This morning you’ll visit the Egyptian Museum, where you will get to explore the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian artifacts. The Egyptian Museum is one of the most important museums of ancient history and the oldest archeological museum in the Middle East. You’ll get to see incredible works of pharaonic art, mummies, sarcophagi, papyrus, and loads of ancient
treasures. A special highlight is the collection of objects recovered from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, including his iconic burial mask weighing about 10 kg of solid gold. After exploring the museum, it’s time to depart for our next destination: Luxor! Just a short one-hour flight away, Luxor feels like a world apart from busy Cairo. Unwind and have dinner at your accommodation in the peaceful village of Ramlah.

Day 4: Luxor Cultural Ride & Nile River Cruise
After breakfast, you’ll come to the stable to meet the horses and saddle up for your first ride in Luxor. Today we explore the lush farmland and quaint villages of Luxor’s agricultural west bank, showing you what daily life is like in rural Egypt. You’ll be transported back in time as we trot and canter past farmers working their fields in galabayas with traditional tools, donkeys pulling carts stacked high with wheat and clover, and water buffalo cooling off in the Nile. We ride to the lush banana plantations where we enjoy long canters on winding paths through the banana trees. As we ride into the villages, you can see women making bread in mudbrick ovens and kids waving at us in the streets. When we return to the stable, we watch as our lunch is made for us – feteer, a delicious pastry-like bread, served fresh from the oven along with an array of dishes to eat with it. You’ll get back in the saddle after lunch, this time riding to the abundant fields of sugar cane, one of the main crops grown in Upper Egypt. Narrow dirt trails crisscross the fields, and we gallop through the tall stalks of sugar cane before riding back along the canal. In the evening, you’ll have a private boat ride on the Nile River at sunset before dinner. 

Day 5: Ancient Temples Ride & Desert Camping
Visit ancient temples on Luxor’s west bank by horseback before riding into the desert and camping overnight with the horses! After breakfast, we saddle up to begin the full-day journey. We ride out  of the village and head towards the Theban Mountain, stopping to see one of Luxor’s most iconic sights – the Colossi of Memnon. Standing regally against the backdrop of the mountain, these two massive ancient statues are mostly all that remains of what used to be the largest temple on the
west bank. We continue riding to Ramesseum, a memorial temple for the great warrior Pharaoh Ramesses II. You’ll get to explore the temple on a guided tour while the horses rest nearby. We then have a short ride until lunch, which is at a restaurant nearby our next visit: Medinet Habu Temple. After lunch, you’ll have another guided tour to learn about this impressive temple built by Ramesses III. We get back in the saddle to continue riding, heading into the desert to explore the hills around
the Valley of the Kings. As evening approaches, we venture further into the desert where our campsite awaits for the night. When we arrive, we watch the sunset and relax with a drink while our dinner is cooked over an open fire. After a delicious meal, we relax around the campfire under the stars with a cup of Egyptian tea, the horses resting around us.

Day 6: Desert to Nile Ride & Valley of the Kings
Wake up in the peaceful silence of the desert, and open your tent to be greeted by a beautiful view of the desert hills and the nearby horses. If you get up for sunrise, you may even be able to see hot air balloons floating on the distant horizon. After a quiet morning enjoying nature and having breakfast with the horses, we leave camp to return to the stable. We traverse a range of landscapes, riding from the desert and mountain until we reach villages, farms, and the Nile River. Lunch is served at your accommodation upon your return. In the afternoon, you will visit one of the most famous sites in Luxor: The Valley of the Kings! You’ll explore some of the spectacular tombs hidden in this desert valley, which was the burial ground for the New Kingdom pharaohs. You’ll then visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, a stunning temple built into the foothills of the mountain for Egypt’s
most powerful female pharaoh. Dinner is an authentic home-cooked meal served by the Nile.

Day 7: Sunrise Ride & East Bank Sightseeing
Today you’ll have an early start, but this morning’s ride is worth it! We ride to see the hot air balloons take off at sunrise, watching from the horses as they float above us and over the Valley of the Kings. As the sun continues to rise, we ride to the outskirts of the desert. The terrain is perfect for galloping and we have fun racing each other across the sand. On our ride back to the stable, we stop at a local restaurant for a traditional Egyptian breakfast: falafel and ful medames. After the ride, you’ll take a water taxi to Luxor’s east bank to see the spectacular Karnak and Luxor Temples. These temples are some of Luxor’s finest and cannot be missed! Then visit the Luxor market, where you can browse colorful shops brimming with all kinds of souvenirs, from clothing, jewelry, papyrus, spices, and more. Back at your accommodation, you’ll have some downtime to relax before dinner. For your last night, we have a home-cooked dinner at the stable with a fire, drinks, and music.

Day 8: Ma'salaam (Goodbye)!
If you have the time, tack up for an extra morning ride. Otherwise, relax at the stable with the horses, take a dip in the pool, or pick up some last-minute souvenirs to bring home. Transfer to Luxor Airport to catch your flight home. 

Please Note:
This itinerary is flexible and subject to change at our discretion.

Please note your riding tour starts in Cairo and ends in Luxor, you will need to book your own transfer flight. Flights between Cairo and Luxor are about 1 hour and operate at various times daily.

  • Transfer is on Day 3: Afternoon/evening flight from Cairo International Airport (CAI) to Luxor International Airport (LXR) — We will give you the exact flight details after you’ve booked your holiday!
  • Last Day of Tour: If you booked a roundtrip ticket to and from Cairo, we recommend booking a roundtrip flight between Cairo and Luxor as well. When picking your Luxor departure flight, make sure to plan enough time between arriving in Cairo and your Cairo departure time. We advise giving yourself at least 3 hours in case of delays.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

Our horses are the local breed commonly found across Egypt, referred to as Baladi or simply Egyptian horses. These horses are native to Egypt and have mixed bloodlines with Arabian and European influences. They are spirited, forward-going, and responsive with impressive stamina for long days in the saddle.

The horses are well loved and your hosts will match horse to rider based on riding ability and personal preferences. 


Rider requirements

This is a fast, adventurous ride, so riders need to be fit and confident, able to walk trot and canter well. The itineraries are suitable for intermediate riders onwards, but beginners can be catered for on separate dates with prior notice.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

In Cairo you will stay close to the pyramids at one of the boutique hotels in the heart of Giza, you are guaranteed to have a spectacular view.  

When camping, spend the night in a Bedouin style tent alongside the horses. The tent is equipped with mats, sleeping bags, pillows, and camel hair blankets. Individual pop-up tents are also available. Delicious, freshly cooked meals are prepared by the accompanying chef.

The accommodation in Luxor is on the quieter west bank of the Nile where fewer tourists stay, in a small village, surrounded by farmland and close to the historical sites; the atmosphere is laid back and relaxing. Your en-suite accommodation might be be a villa with traditional dome rooms, a vibrantly decorated guest house with views of the Nile, or your own fully equipped flat, depending on availability. In any of the places, you will be well looked after, while still feeling integrated with the local area.

Egypt's cuisine is varied, the meat dishes are usually served with rice, whilst many local dishes such as falafel, ful medames and kosheri, are vegetarian. Sweet dishes, pastries and fresh juices are plentiful too.

There is a combination of home-cooked and restaurant meals. Drinking water is provided, soft drinks and alcohol can be purchased. Please ask your travel consultant if a special diet is required. 


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements within reason can be accommodated with advance notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests before booking.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

When visiting Egypt your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.

You can get a visa before you travel from the official Visa2Egypt portal or your nearest Egyptian consulate. A tourist visa granted using the e-visa system is valid for a maximum of 3 months. You will need a paper copy, and the e-visa must be obtained a minimum of 7 days before arrival and a maximum of 2 months in advance. It is advisable to get a visa before you travel, particularly if travelling for work or business.

If you wish to get a visa on arrival, you can do so at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. The visa fee is US$25, payable in US dollars as the preferred currency, although you may also be able to pay in pounds sterling or Euros. Visas granted on arrival are valid for a maximum of 30 days. 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.

Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Egypt.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/egypt

Climate Summary

Luxor has a hot desert climate like the rest of Egypt. Aswan and Luxor have the hottest summer days of any other city in Egypt.Luxor is one of the sunniest and driest cities in the world. Average high temperatures are above 40 °C (104 °F) during summer (June, July, August). During the coolest month of the year, average high temperatures remain above 22 °C (71.6 °F) while average low temperatures remain above 5 °C (41 °F).
The climate of Luxor has precipitation levels lower than even most other places in the Sahara, with less than 1 mm (0.04 in) of average annual precipitation. The desert city is one of the driest ones in the world, and rainfall does not occur every year. There is an average relative humidity of 39.9%, with a maximum mean of 57% during winter and a minimum mean of 27% during summer.
The climate of Luxor is extremely clear, bright and sunny year-round, in all seasons, with a low seasonal variation, with about some 4,000 hours of annual sunshine, very close to the maximum theoretical sunshine duration.
In addition, Luxor, Minya, Sohag, Qena and Asyut have the widest difference of temperatures between days and nights of any city in Egypt, with almost 16 °C (29 °F) difference.
The hottest temperature recorded was on May 15, 1991 which was 50 °C (122 °F) and the coldest temperature was on February 6, 1989 which was −1 °C (30 °F).[28]

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Tap water is NOT considered safe to drink, bottled water is widely available and reasonably priced. Bilharzia and water-borne parasites are rife in the canals and under no circumstances should guests bathe or swim in the canals or rivers.

Travellers should come prepared for heat particularly from April to October. High Factor sunscreen should be worn at all times and rehydration salts should taken and taken daily as a precaution.

Medical facilities around Cairo are good. Outside Cairo they can be basic and in case of emergency you are advised to travel to Cairo. You should ensure that your medical insurance covers the cost of local hospitalisation and medical repatriation to your country of residence.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Egypt and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Health (ride specific)

The heat may be a problem for guests in the summer especially and every effort should be taken to avoid sunstroke. Rehydration salts should be taken if required and more water than usual consumed, even if you don't feel thirsty. Try to ensure a good volume of urine is produced at least 4X daily and that it is a light colour (not concentrated). This is a far better measure of hydration status than thirst.

Electricity

In Egypt the supply voltage is 220V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 220V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Packing List

Riding helmet
A pair of comfortable boots (Ankle boot with half legs chaps are favourite for comfort)
Comfortable riding trousers
Riding gloves (if you're used to riding with them)
Personal toiletries
Sunglasses and sunhat
Sunscreen and lip balm
Mosquito repellent
Personal medications
Long sleeved, light-weight shirts and some warm clothing (nights can be cool)
Camera with strap and spare batteries
Scarf or bandana for wind and/or dust and sand
Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
Raincoat - although it rains very rarely it may be a good idea to pack a lightweight waterproof

Programmes

This is a 8 day, 7 night, 5 riding days programme with sightseeing included. This program can be run for a single rider on any date for the single rider price.

Departure Dates

2024: 6, 19 Jan; 2, 12 Feb; 8 Mar; 2, 14, 26 Apr; 11 May; 2, 21 Sept; 12, 27 Oct; 16 Nov; 01, 22 Dec

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20248d/7n5double pp1,919
20248d/7n5Single supplement accom195
20248d/7n5Single rider tour2,485
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20248d/7n5double pp2,239
20248d/7n5Single supplement accom225
20248d/7n5Single rider tour2,899
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description US $
20248d/7n5double pp2,525
20248d/7n5Single supplement accom255
20248d/7n5Single rider tour3,265
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20248d/7n5double pp25,739
20248d/7n5Single supplement accom2,579
20248d/7n5Single rider tour33,309
Wildlife

Birds are abundant in Egypt, especially in the Nile Valley and the Delta region.

Birds of prey include vultures, eagles, hawks, falcons and owls. Other large birds include storks, flamingoes, herons, egrets, pelicans, quail, sunbirds and golden orioles.

About four hundred and eighty species of bird have been recorded, the globally endangered ones being the red-breasted goose, white-headed duck, Balearic shearwater, Egyptian vulture, Rüppell's vulture, sociable lapwing, slender-billed curlew, saker falcon and yellow-breasted bunting.

Egypt is on a major bird migratory route between Eurasia and East Africa and around two hundred species of migrants pass through twice a year.

About thirty species of snake occur in Egypt, about half of them venomous. These include the Egyptian cobra, false smooth snake and horned viper. There are also numerous species of lizards.

Other Information

Egypt has a conservative social culture, and both men and women tend to dress modestly. You will find the locals wearing a mix of traditional clothing (for example, galabayas) as well as Western-style clothing.

It is not expected that tourists dress in the local attire or for women to cover their hair (unless entering a mosque). In larger cities and tourist areas, you will see tourists wearing all varieties of clothing including shorts and sleeveless tops. However, we'd suggest dressing on the conservative side to be respectful of
the local culture.

Please avoid excessively revealing clothing, military clothing, and camo.

Other Country Information

Egypt is 90% muslim (mostly Sunni) and 9% Coptic.The type of Islam practised is far more moderate than in the gulf states and very accepting of other religions. There is no requirement for women to cover up or wear the veil. Having said that it is a conservative society and both women and men should dress modestly, keeping upper arms and legs covered. We recommend loose fitting T-shirts with short sleeves (to just above the elbow), no low cut necklines or shorts, trousers and skirts ending below the knee. Public displays of affection are frowned upon. What may be acceptable in the tourist resort areas may be frowned upon in other areas. Drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar is not allowed.

Apart from visits to "must see" tourist sights much of the itinerary is off the beaten track. This means you will be welcomed and treated as an honoured guests by most villagers you encounter and be far safer than the average tourist. The Muslim relision commands its followers to honour and protect visitors and this is taken seriously in the countryside where hospitality is without strings.
At mass tourism sights you will often be besieged by guides asking you to visit a shop, and consider souvenirs to buy. Most guides make their money, not from their job as a guide, but from the commissions they earn when you buy something. Should you not wish to buy anything it is worth explaining to your guide that he will receive a good tip but it will be in inverse proportion to how much you are hasseled to buy things. In any event decline politely.
The dialling code is +20.
The time difference is GMT +2
The crime rate in Egypt is low and mostly consists of petty theft/pickpocketing in crowded areas. You should safeguard valuables including your passport and money. You should carry some form of photographic ID at all times. A copy of your passport is sufficient.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Cairo International Airport (CAI)
Transfer:
Included from the meeting point.
Flight Guide:
London - Cairo from £428
Cairo - Luxor from £114
Luxor - London £327
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