Visitors book: Dear Reader

We are very proud about every word on this page. And we want to thank all who did the effort to sit down after their journey to write. We really appreciate travelogues and every comment about our website:
We hope to get incitations, critics, sugesstions, questions. We need your opinion to become perfect.
If you want Aswan Individual to continue, please write after your trip. And please tell the world about us. Without your help this project will fall asleep.

Due to requests from our guests - who dont want google to find their names - we shorten them.
Warm regards, your "Aswan Individuals"
info@aswan-individual.com

 

Olga and David (Spain), August 2016

Hello,
I am writing to thank them, the days that we spent with you on excursions, especially the fantastic guide, Ahmed, who also speak very good Spanish, explained a lot of things about the country and is an expert on the history of Egypt, we were very well welcomed and encouraged provided, congratulations, sure that we recommend.

Thank you very much
David and Olga

Dear Olga and David, thank you so much for your nice email and your wonderful review in tripadvisor, that will help us and Egypt to convince people to visit us and spend great holidays :o)

 

Marios M. (Greece), April 2016

First of all I want to thank you for your help in order to organize our trip in Aswan. You helped us to see the best places in Aswan in one and a half day. The next time we will visit Aswan we will spend more than three days.

Aswan was fantastic, an oasis in the desert.
We enjoyed at most the marvelous Kitchner island and the the Nubian village with the help of the local Nubian, Whalled arranged for us.

Aswan individual has made a perfect work for us.In particular:
(1) Whalled had perfect organized our visits. We want to thank him for his work and his suggestions for restaurants in Aswan.
(2) We want to thank the Nubian guide for the motorboat trip and his guiding in Elephantine island, in the Nubian village and for his hospitality in his private house.
(3) We want to thank Islam, our guide in the Isis temple in Philae island and in Aswan Dam.

Concluding, we spend a fantastic time in Aswan thanks to Awan individual and his hard working friendly staff. We will soon return in Aswan.

Please ask me for any extra information you need. Keep up the good job.

 

Janet B. (Germany), April 2016

danke für den tollen Trip in Assuan. Es hat uns sehr gut gefallen, es war ein toller Service mit super Auto. Wenn wir wieder mal in Assuan sind kommen wir gerne wieder auf euch zurück und empfehlen euch gerne in Deutschland weiter.


Gopakumar A. and family (India), April 2016

Thanks very much for the arrangement today, the guide Sayeed was fantastic and very passionate about ancient Egypt and was so very informative. Thank you.

Thank you Gopakumar for your very nice review about our guides Said and Abdullah!


Taric H. (USA) and family, March 2016

Egypt was wonderful and Aswan was one of the best cities to visit. Aswan was much better than anticipated.

In regards to Aswan Individual, Waleed was the perfect tour guide. His professionalism and attention to detail was superb. I have not seen any other companies or individuals in Egypt offer this level of customer service. With my parents who were elderly, he went above and beyond. He treated my parents as if they were his parents.

I would highly recommend Aswan Individual to anybody traveling to the area.

In addition, I want to thank you Petra for your prompt responses to my inquiries and quick turnaround with my questions. It was a pleasure to interact with you. Taric H.

 

Nicole G., (USA), March 2016

Egypt was absolutely fantastic!! I was heart broken when I had to leave.
Aswan was also amazing. The view of the Nile was breathtaking. The mosquitoes there were a bit annoying but the city and the people were great and very hospitable.

The tour was fantastic. Our guide was very knowledgeable. He was one of the best guides we had on our journey through Egypt. The tour did meet our expectations. I think everything worked out great. You have a great system when tit comes to booking tours. I did not really have a problem with it but I know sometimes when I am booking tours for a different country I like to pay online. That might be something future guests would prefer instead of carrying a lot of Egyptian pounds on them.

I would highly recommend this tour to anybody!
Nicole

 

Aswan Abu Simbel ScotlandJim L., (Scotland), February 2016

I had a wonderful time at Aswan and Waleed was amazing.
I can't think of anything I would change to improve Aswan Individual, it isn't possible to improve perfection!

The trip to Abu Simbel went like clockwork and I enjoyed it so much.
I have already left positive feedback on Tripadvisor. (and told all my friends)
I was thinking of another trip to Egypt in January 2017, perhaps to Luxor but, now I may be moving house, so it all depends on money
If I do book for January I will be in touch with you and hopefully you can help with the Luxor side of things.
Kindest regards, Jim

 

R.H. and family (Switzerland), February 2016

The most relaxed part of our trip was definitely in Aswan. The Old Cataract hotel an unforgettable experience.
Waleed is a great host, intelligent bussines man, who knows what his clients expect. He was very protective, calling us multiple times on the way to Abu Simbel and Luxor.
(For an European it is worrying to see so much military around.)
Waleed was great to talk to about the country and its situation. He gave us the feeling of truly meeting a local.
He kept the hasslers away, which we did not apreciate enough till we saw Luxor and the rest of Egypt.
Egypt has a great heritage, which was the main purpose of our trip to see.

 

Florence and friend (France), January 2016

Our trip was fine.
Waleed had been very helpfull.
Nothing to change!!
We particularly liked our feluca tour in aswan since we had not made a croisere. It's definatelly worthy to spend one full day sailing to enjoy it.
Our guide for elephantine was fine.
The day travelling between aswan an luxor is a big one. We regreted not to take a guide (but prices were too expensives for us)
Best regards, Florence

 

Chris M. and 3 friends (UK), October 2015

excursions AswanThank you to all the Aswan Individual team that made our stay in Aswan so special. Everything worked like clockwork. At every rendezvous Waleed was always waiting for us and could not have been more professional, friendly and gracious. Said,the guide you appointed for our Aswan day, was excellent. Not only did he have deep knowledge but he gave the impression of loving these magnificent sites.

In Cairo we had a superguide who does many celebrities, Said ranked as her equal.
The car and driver gave us a safe and secure ride.
Today I have given Aswan Individual a glowing reference on Trip Advisor.

I will recommend you to all who ask.
You are a fantastic company.
My best wishes to you all and every success for the future.
Chris M...

 

Steve and friend (USA), October 2015

Many thanks for planning an amazing trip in Egypt for us. We had a wonderful time and everything was flawless. I'll be certain to most highly recommend Aswan Individual to any of my friends or colleagues seeking to visit Egypt.
All the best,
Steve

 

Nag. S. (USA), August 2015

I just wanted to let you know that my family and I had a wonderful time in Luxor with the assistance of our driver and guide (both were named Ahmed) which Waleed arranged for us. My husband, Walid Kandeel, wanted me to share our sincerest thanks to Waleed for making sure that everything went smoothly.
We intend to make another trip to Egypt, hopefully with a trip the Aswan and Abu Simbel. We look forward to contacting Waleed again to assist us.
Sincerely,
Nag. S. and husband from California

 

Darryl G. (USA), April 2015

We had a great time in Egypt. Everything was wonderful. Waleed really took care of us. It exceeded my expectations. The cruise was good, Aswan was great, the Nubian village was wonderful. The only thing I would recommend for other guests is to bring bug spray. The mosquitoes really enjoyed biting me...lol..I would recommend Aswan Individual.

 

Peggy and friends from China, April 2015

I really want to let you know your team is great. We all have a great time in Luxor & Aswan.
The tour guides were amazing and drivers are nice too
And thanks to Waleed and you being so helpful and accommodate foR our crazy itinerary.

Really appreciated!!
 Have a good day and we will spread the good words to any friends wanna visit in Egypt

Thank you
Peggy

 

Chantal and Philippe, April 2015

we had a great time in Aswan and really enjoyed it , we hope to go back again to Aswan ,we just fell in love with the place , the people, the history, the scenery ..it was splendid . th day by felluca was wonderful and the 2 mohamed on the boat so nice and friendly, we had nice visits and meetings with people there...they even called the boat "princess Chantal " ! ! ... so sweet and charming ! !
We tell all our friends to go with us next time , the 2nd day with the guide was very nice too, each of them were really making the best to do things the way we wanted listening to our wishes , very personnalised
we feel so happy and lucky to find your site and have organised these two days with your organisation !
best regards
chantal et philippe

 

Robert A. (USA), April 2015

Dear Waleed,
Thank you for a wonderful afternoon.  Your friendship and the trip on the Nile to the cataracts has made our trip to Aswan very special!  We really appreciate you taking us on the boat to the cataracts and for the special time at Nubian Coffee shop on the west bank.  It was a very peaceful, nice and memorable afternoon. 
 
Thank you too for letting me borrow your hotspot.  It is a real lifesaver!  For my work it is important I am able to communicate frequently.  I couldn’t be doing that without your hotspot.  (The boat has Wi-Fi but it’s not working.)
 
And another special thanks for the boat!  It’s excellent!!
Best regards, Robert

 

Eryn H. (USA), April 2015

Our trip was FANTASTIC and we loved Aswan Individual. Waleed was wonderful - he was so attentive and we appreciated that he checked in with us each day to make sure things were going well. All of the drivers and guides were very good. We also really liked our guide Islam - he was very nice, knew a lot, and was very willing to be patient with us since we had our son who is just 7 years old with us. We really liked him and would recommend to use him again.

Again, thank you for all of your help! You were fantastic in setting everything up and very patient with all of my questions (I know I had a lot!). It was a great trip and you and Waleed have a great service there.
I will be going on TripAdvisor to leave a review there as well since you guys were so great.
Best, Eryn

Feluccca tour Aswan

Stephen, April 2015

Thanks Petra for the great job you have done.Somebody has to keep things straight! Your help has made my visit a great success. I am very pleased! Best wishes, Stephen

(Thank you Stephen for the great photo from the Nile Queen)

 

Parents of Amit, February 2015

My parents have so many wonderful things to say about the Aswan-Individual team. They were really pleased with the overall hospitality & well planned trip without any issues at any given point of time.
I am so pleased that I got in touch with your team who are extremely professional & humble. They also mentioned that guides provide on the trip had in depth knowledge provided them with precise information required.
Appreciate your suggestion & planning Petra. He speaks very high about Waleed as well.
We would definitely post our positive reviews on trip advisor & also recommend all friends to take your assistance whenever they are visiting Egypt.
Also wish we would have taken your services in Cairo as well.
I look forward to visiting Egypt with my family in near future & taking your assistance.

Please read Amit's review also in tripadvisor

 

V. (Indonesia), March 2015Dendera

I can now understand why some books said
many have come to Egypt and never leave.
Time stand still in some parts here.

More from V. in tripadvisor

 

Danny (Bejing), February 2015

We had great fun with Aswan Individual and the entire Egypt trip!!!! On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 represent worst experience, 10 represent the best experience, I would rate Aswan Individual 12!!!!! You guys are amazing, we were truly in the great hands and being spoiled very well by the team. My wife was very happy and been thought to return to Egypt for further adventure, I surely would recommend you guys to my friends.

 

Raj (USA), February 2015

Thank you so much for all your help. My trip to egypt was very good. Aswan Individual are excellent and was very much as you said. Will definitely recommend Aswan Individual to my friends and family. Thanks, Raj

 

Kenny J. (Hong Kong), February 2015

We had a great time in Aswan and Abu Simbel. The trip was professionally organised. We were greeted personally at our hotel, and our car was comfortable.

 

Patrick, Netherlands, February 2015

This Saturday I returned from a wonderful week in Aswan. I look back at an outstanding week. With compliments to Waleed. Everything was organized the way we agreed on; service was really good. A personal highlight of the trip was the fact that we manged to find the inscriptions I asked Waleed to look for. Which you Petra should also receive credits for, because I understood that you gave Waleed the hint that it was near his house. That was super. I didn't expect to find them, but we did. Aswan Individual transfer

The contact we had with Waleed was pleasant, it was very good he checked now and then wether everything was going as planned.
A little "stressmoment" was when he told us there were some issues with the trip to Ouadi es-Sebua and Amada, but that was solved very good.

So overall I am more than satisfied about the services you provided.

Many thakns! Best wishes, Patrick

Thank you Patrick for writing in tripadvisor also about us :o)

 

Jackie, UK, February 2015

We had a lovely trip, again, thank you. Aswan (so long as you stick to the West Bank or the islands!) was as peaceful & beautiful as we remembered, & Waleed as helpful and supportive as we remembered too. Our felucca trip was completely different from last time, but just as memorable & enjoyable. Abu Simbel is an awful long way to travel, but worth seeing. However, after our first trip, we had felt that we would like to spend longer just soaking up the atmosphere of the area and not so much to spend time revisiting the big historical sites, so we didn’t call on Waleed so much.

The big sadness of our trip was to see how much more tourism had declined, even from our first trip in October 2012, and to see the terrible effect it has had on a place like Aswan where people’s livelihoods depend so much on the tourist trade. There is still so much that the Egyptian government needs to do to help its people to have a better life.

I’m sure we’ll be back again. Many thanks for your prompt and kind help, & I hope that things may improve soon for the tourist trade in Egypt!

We are very grateful that Jackie also posted a review into tripadvisor for us

 

Tammy and 3 teenagers, February 2015

Just a very quick note. Aswan Individual was fabulous, and I would wholeheartedly recommend them. I already gave Walleed's contact information to a group of Germans while in Luxor. They were heading to Aswan and south; I hope they contacted him. I will write more later. Gotta go now.Tammy


Chris, living in Cairo, February 2015

Me and my family enjoyed our trip to Aswan, and especially the great service Waleed provided us with. I will recommend his services to my friends and colleagues here in Cairo.
Best,Chris

 

Justin L., February 2015

Aswan was fantastic! And having you and Aswan individual help us experience it was definitely a crucial part in helping us really enjoying it! I will definitely be recommending you and want to thank you again for your help :)
Regards, Justin

 

G.W. and family (USA), February 2015

Everything was great and Waleed and Mohammed were super cool. Please extend my thanks to them. We had a wonderful time. Thank you. Gw.

 

Eduardo and wife (Italy and Columbia), January 2015

Aswan Individual was simply amazing. You helped us book everything we wanted to see, and we could not have done it without you. Waleed was also a great host. He even found us a Spanish guide (Ahmed) for my wife who did not understood English very well at the last minute. The Nile Cruise was everything we expected. There is nothing I would change from your services. In fact, how I wish you had reach to other places in Egypt I have yet to visit (Amarna and Alexandria, for example) so i could book with you again. If anyone of my friends or family ever travels to Aswan or Luxor I will tell them to contact you.

Feel free to use this review on your website if you wish.

Say hello to Waleed, Ahmed (Aswan guide) and Mohammed (Luxor guide). They all did their best to make me and my wife very comfortable and safe in Egypt.

 

Aswan Nile felucca Tombs of the Nobles

 

K. (Hong Kong), January 2015

Aswan Individual is great. Everyone we met was real friendly and helpful, we will definitely recommend you to our friends.

 

Katie and family, January 2015

We had such a wonderful holiday in Eqypt. Thank you so much to Aswan individual - you helped us so much on our trickier part of our travels. We were very happy with our cruise down the Nile and guides in Luxor. The transportation back to Hurgahada was very good and took a lot of anxiety out of our journey. I felt very safe with the children and I would thoroughly recommend your company to travellers ( especially with children !) around Egypt.

It was lovely to meet you - you live in an amazing country

Many thanks, Katie R.

 

ST (Texas), January 2015

Dear Ms Dressler,
Thank you for organizing our travel arrangements through Mr Waleed. It was very well done and Mr Waleed was available via phone throughout our stay in Egypt. Please convey our gratitude to him.Kind regards, ST.
From Texas.

 

Adam R. (South-Africa), January 2014: overnight felucca tour

Hi Petra
Thanks for the follow up
Yes, it was all great thanks and I would not hesitate to recommend you guys
Regards
Adam

 

Ulrich R. (Germany), January 2014

It was a brillant Day! Thx, I Loved it. I am just loading Pictures on Laptop. Greetings to all. ULRICH

 

Olivier T. and friend (France), December 2014

We got a wonderful journey in Aswan. We stayed in old cataract hotel. Amazing hotel with so many histories
Waleed was SO SO kind with us, and his services were perfect!!!!!
if you need, i will be able to recommend him to others clients
no delay , good choices about the guides and drivers
super super super
thank you for your time to organize our travel
happy new year
thank you for your kindness
best regards
OLIVIER

 

Thomas K. (Germany), December 2014

Wird sind jetzt mit der Rundreise fertig und es war alles sehr, sehr gut organisiert.

Es hat uns alles gefallen und unser Reisführer Osman war der bestehen wir in den letzten
Jahren jemals hatten. Er hat sich ausgesprochen gut ausgekannt in der Geschichtete, konnte alles erklären und kannte auch alle Orte ohne ständig suchen zu müssen.
Man merkt, das er sehr gebildet ist und auch sehr anständig ist gegenüber seinen Gästen.

Für Gäste die einen deutschen Reiseleiter möchten, ist er mit sicher aller erste Wahl und wir
würden ihn allen unseren Freunden empfehlen.

Es gibt keinen besseren für Luxor und Assuan.

Buchen sie bitte noch öfteren und es ist sicher das sie zufriedene Gäste haben.

Vielen Dank nochmals für alles und auch Grüße an Waleed,
den wir nur wenig gesehen haben
Der sich aber auch bei einem Problem, kein Wind auf dem Nil gleich um uns gekümmert hat und uns auch das Geld für die Fahrt wieder geben wollte, was wir ablehnten, da vor allem der
der Kapitän ja nichts dafür konnte. Wir sind dann um 16 Uhr nochmals gesegelt und da hatte
es dann auch Wind.

Thank you also Thomas for the guestbook entry and your review in tripadvisor

 

Andy M. (Canada), November 2014

thank you, the felucca journey was lovely and I will recommend my friends to you when they visit Aswan.

 

Stephane S.and family from France (October 2014)

everything was perfect and very efficient . Our guide mahmoud was very nice and very professional. we called walled when we returned in louxor to say to him than we were very happy.
So talk to you soon we hope to go back !

Yves N. from USA (October 2014)

I thoroughly enjoy my visit to Aswan and Luxor and I want to thank Waleed, a fantastic host, who treated me like family,. He made sure that all the arrangements went like clock work. Who said that Egyptian are not punctual? He was particularly helpful for recovering my suitcase that Egyptianair had lost.
The guides who accompany me, Ahmed in Aswan and Allah in Luxor where the best. They spoke perfect English and they love their country and its history. They answered clearly my many questions and helped me understand the fantastic history of Egypt.
Since I returned, I have told everyone that NOW is the time to visit Egypt. It is perfectly safe for tourists, the prices are low and we can appreciate all the sites with just a handful of other people. I was by myself in the Tutankhamen tomb, was a treat.
I am glad I found "Aswan Individual" on the web and want to thank you for the wonderful memories and new friends I made during my visit.
Please forward my appreciation to all the people who helped me. You can use my testimony anyway you like on your website.
Sincerely Yves    

Stuart M. and friend from UK (October 2014)

Yes i did post the review on Tripadvisor for you. This was the best part of our trip where we had such a wonderful time and will keep those memories for ever. I know the tourist business in Egypt is suffering so i hope this review brings you much more needed business. We look forward to using your company in the future.

(Thank you Stuart so much. Looking forward to welcome you again!)


V.S. and son from USA (September 2014)

We were very happy with Waleed and the services provided.He also recommended Medhat for our Cairo travel as a guide and he was Outstanding.Thank you.


Gary C. from Australia (September 2014)

Egypt and Aswan were great, very quiet and very hot!
I was very impressed with Aswan Individual, everything worked perfectly, Waleed was extremely helpful, and we booked a felucca trip through him, for the next day which was very enjoyable.
I would not hesitate to recommend Aswan Individual. Gary

Co. C. from USA (September 2014)

Aswan Individual was great and completely met our expectations! We would highly recommend this to anyone going to Aswan! I don’t think there was anything we’d change. The sights in Egypt were great, same with Aswan in particular.

The only thing I did not like were felucca drivers, horse carriages, taxi drivers, and shop owners that continue to harass you to buy their “product.” That was the only thing in Egypt I did not like. I mean, I get where the people are coming from since they are just trying to make a living but I don’t think they realize tourists just want to be able to browse in shops hassle free or if they ask “would you like a felucca ride?” and we say “no thank you” that really means no thank you! That was the only dislike of mine in Egypt!

But, you’re company was great and highly recommended! Thank you so much for everything!

 

Ophelie from France (September 2014)

Egypt was absolutey wonderful and Aswan too! We spend an amazing time visiting Abu Simbel, Philae Temple and on our way to Luxor with Waleed. the services he provided to us was absolutely perfect! He has been so nice with us! 

Of course I will recommend Aswan Individual and I hope next time I'll go to Egypt I'll do some other trip with Aswan Individual!
Thanks again for your help, best regards,
Ophelie

 

Robyn and husband from Australia (August 2014)

We were very pleased with your service.

If I had a suggestion it would be that women are told that there is nowhere to stop on the 3 hour journey - it's a long journey when you consider that there is also the wait beforehand for the convoy to be organised.  I managed but it would be difficult for some.
Also when we arrived in Abu Simbel, the ladies room was locked and my husband had to stand guard outside the men's toilets so I could use theirs .

Other than that , the driver was good and we very much enjoyed the trip.
We hope matters improve soon in Egypt and tourists return promptly - I would definitely recommend your company.
Thank you.

And Aswan Individual wants to thank you for posting in tripadvisor for us! This is the link :o)

 

Z.G. (Italy), August 2014

Dear Petra,
as i wrote on tripadvisor, your help has been very important for us. Waleed has been very kind in taking care of us during our days in Aswan.
Anyway to answer to all your questions:
- Egypt was nice...hot and nice. The people were kind even if we didn't like the men who asked always for bakscis, and weren't happy even if we had already given them something.
- The city of Aswan is not so nice from the touristical point of view...i think that three days are enough to see the city a little bit and to make tours like Abu Simbel.
- Your service met our expectations and the italian guide was very good.
- I don't think that you have to change... your service is very good for the Egyptian standards.
- And yes i would recommend you.

Best regards to you and Waleed!

Thank you Zelda for writing in tripadvisor for everybody to see: thisi si the link

 

Nanett and Mads (Denmark), May 2, 2014

Dear Petra and Waleed
Egypt was wonderful and full of sun and warmth, almost too warm some days.

Camelmarket Crocodile Island Nile Lake NasserThe service we recieved from Waleed and co. was just wonderful and always on time. Everything promised on the website was fully to our satisfaction and even more at times.

Waleed extended a personal touch and we had a special day at Crocodile Island incl. an inspiring talk about Egypt, education etc. Thank you Waleed, for spending this afternoon with us. I shall never forget the fish....

Even when Mads fell ill, Waleed phoned and sms/texted, so I felt very secure and in good hands. It is nice to know that people care, even when business is finished.

Both the cars and the boat he provided was of a better standard than expected, no complaints at all. The drivers and Mido were all friendly and smiling people, whom you liked instantly. The driver to Daraw did not speak much English, but he followed us around the camel market, which was comforting. I was probably the only woman in the market!! I highly recommend this camel market as a ½ day excursion, because you see so many every-day things on your way there. And 800-1000 camels in one place is a special experience....

I will be happy to recommend your company - where do I do this on the internet???

Best regards from Denmark
Nanett and Mads

 

Jean Marie and wife (France), April 20, 2014

My feeling to Aswan Individual is sincere and, everywere I will have any opportunity, I'll talk about you and your agency !
I send you 3 pics. I have no negative commentary to reveal , maybe Waleed was too perfect .....

Aswan Felucca sightseeing

 

Laura R.S. and husband (Italy), April 11, 2014

Hello Petra,
our trip in Egypt was good. We enjoyed our stay in Aswan and our visit to the Temple of Abu Simbel. We found very good organization of the journey from Aswan to Abu Simbel. I'll talk to friends and if someone wants to visit Abu Simbel I would recommend him your business.
Thank you and well done!

Laura R.S.

 

Fabien, (solo traveler from France), April 8, 2014

Hello Petro and thank you for the follow-up email.

So to be honest Egypt was strange... I enjoyed my trip quite a lot but it was specials for some personal reason : I was on my own and organized, as you might remember, at the very last minute. Because of that I paid a hefty premium which I understood, not a problem.

Egypt itself was at the same time beautiful and difficult. It was beautiful both for the historical monuments of course but also for the social interactions I had, including thanks to Aswan Individuals, in particular of course the felucca trip with its unique captain and his ship's boy. I will never forget those moments of calm sailing against the wind back and forth from shore to shore. The food also was excellent.

Before that the trip to Abu Symbel was quite nice but a bit scary, I mean we were 3 in the whole place. That's great not to have to queue or push people around to see paintings but so few during what is supposed to be the high season, it was a shock, I didn't know how to feel for the locals.

After the felluca trip I reached my next stop in Luxor after a long taxi ride but that was another occasion to chat a bit before arriving. My guide in Luxor was extremely serious and I felt a bit ashamed for how uncultured I was (and still am) about those millennia of history which were completely foreign to me. yet he didn't give up and kept on asking me questions to see if I was following, he would make a great teacher.

Anyway on the difficult part excuse my frankness but the constant harassment was intolerable for me. I do understand the economical dynamics behind it, the fewer tourists who come, the more locals NEED to get out of them but I will never ever suggest to a friend to visit Egypt on his or her own for a first time, there is no time to rest when one wants to visit any slightly touristic sights. It is just so tiring to constantly have to brush off people, to argue, to negotiate, to renegotiate half-way through, etc. It is a cultural difference so I do not want to argue that the way I was brought up is "better" just that one week for me was enough ;)

I would recommend Aswan Individuals to friends and I already did when friends asked me about my trip or about Egypt in general but I also do warn them that they need to come full of energy because Egypt is intense!

Sincerely yours,
Fabien.

Annotation from Aswan Individual to future travelers. Please see also our advices for independent travelers:
http://www.aswan-individual.com/html/Before-you-leave.html

 

Karim and wife, (France), March 18, 2014

how was Aswan Individual? very good, professionnal and nice.
Did everything meet your expectations? Yes
Is there something you would like to tell me to change for future guests? No everything was ok
Would you recommend Aswan Individual with a full heart? we already did !! Some friends went to Abou Simbel last week end with Aswan Individual (Adrien and Laurene).
Thanks, Karim

 

Wenle, son and parents (China), January 24, 2014

Overall the service I got from Aswan Individual was really good – trip to Abu Simbel was good, Elephantine tour was good (although my 4-year-old son always wants to pull us to the other direction on the island), Felucca was excellent! Actually I’ve already recommended Aswan Individual to one Chinese I met in Abu Simbel, they were considering hiring a van with driver to go from Aswan to Luxor at that time. :)

Watania from Aswan to Luxor was very pleasant, probably you can recommend to people like us who doesn’t plan to visit temples on the way, and train is the first option.

Nothing to complain, just wish peace comes back sooner. Then more people can visit this country and see the wonderful things.
Best wishes,Wenle

 

Hussein A. (Cairo), January 24, 2014

Hello Petra ,
Thank you so much for the lovely day.
Fatma is an amazing professional guide . I really enjoyed my time with her . She is very knowledgeable and answered all my questions about the lovely village and the history of Nubia. The walk with her through the village alleys were wonderful as well . It couldn't have been much better . I'm quite sure that all your guests ate satisfied by the top quality of your service. Thanks again Petra for the wonderful organization .
Yours,Hussein

José and wife (Spain), January 11, 2014

Dear Petra and Waleed,
You're welcome. Good job!! Everything was perfect and we enjoyed our trip. Unfortunately, it's really sad to see how tourism has decreased over the last years. We arrived to Cairo in 2012 and, to be honest we have never felt "threatened" by anything neither anyone. This is why I do not mention the safety factor in my reviews (it's not even a concern).

I hope there is a way to change that distorted image.Best regards,José

Morgan B. (France), July 12, 2013

Hello Petra,
Everything was great, I would gladly recommend Aswan-Individual (and already did on my travel blog, actually :)).

One thing that may be interesting to tell to other travelers (maybe on your website):
when I said other tourists at the hotel that I was going to take the second convoy for Abu Simbel, they all said that was crazy because it would be too hot. But the car had A/C and the temples are inside the mountain, so heat wasn't an issue at all, and I was glad I took the second convoy since it was less crowdy.

Thanks for everything,
And good luck during those troubled times...
Yours truly,
Morgan B. (Journalist)

 

Elger H. (Netherlands), June 23, 2013

Dear Petra,
Egypt was amazing, me and my mom had a great time. The Nile cruise was excellent, we enjoyed our time on it and everything was perfectly organized. And I wanted to thank you for the great tip about the price of the horse ride to one of the temples. If I didn't know that, I would've paid too much for sure.
Aswan Individual exceeded all my expectation and I am very happy that I made use of your services. As mentioned above, the Nile cruise was great and the guide we got in Luxor was also a very good and friendly guy. He gave us a lot of extra insights and took the time for us to explain everything.
At the moment I can't really think of something you should change, and I would most definitely recommend Aswan Individual to every person I know that goes to Egypt. Thanks for the great service!
All the best,
Elger H.

 

Jose A. (Argentina), June 10, 2013

Good afternoon Petra,
Egypt is beautiful, all my trip has been perfect.
Aswan Individual is the best, the driver car has been wonderful, all perfect.
In few days i will write my experience in tripadvisor.
No doubt the would recommend
Best regards, Jose

 

Debjeet (USA), May 23, 2013

Hi Petra,
... (private) ... I had a blast in Egypt. I am very glad that I decided to visit the country, in spite of the rather negative news about Egypt spewed by our Western news media. There was some tension in the air in Cairo, but aside from that, everything seemed safe and normal. It was good to see the tourists starting to trickle back in, although much of the tourist traffic is still restricted to the major resorts on the Red Sea. Sharm was packed, as was the night hike up to Mount Sinai. I had this naive thought that I would be almost alone like Moses when the sun rose over the Sinai. Sadly, I had to share the sublime experience with hordes of other tourists :)

Thank you so much for making all the arrangements for me to travel to Abu Simbel, Kalabsha, and Philae. Everything worked out perfectly. The car was there at my hotel at the time that you had suggested. I can't thank you enough for recommending that I take the evening train from Luxor rather than the overnight one. My train was over 4 hours late; as a result of which, I got in to Aswan only around 2:15am. Had I taken the later train, I don't think I would have been able to visit Abu Simbel at all, as I would have missed the morning convoy. As I got in to my hotel at 2:45am, I barely had time for a quick shower and change of clothes before meeting Waleed and the car. Oh well, I slept comfortably in the car :D As I said, I can pretty much sleep anywhere and I don't really need that much sleep.

Abu Simbel and Philae took my breath away. The two were definitely highlights of my trip. I had mixed thoughts about Kalabsha, but this is where having a guide was extremely valuable, since he was able to bring the history of the place to life. The trip from Aswan was definitely an expensive undertaking; but then, one goes to Egypt only so many times :) And you were so correct about Aswan being a charming city. I only spent a few hours in Aswan, before leaving for Aswan; however, even in that little span of time, I thought that there was so much going on in that city. It seemed busier and more exciting than Luxor--which felt that it existed solely for the purposes of tourism. Aswan felt like a "real" city, if you know what I mean.

By the way, you are most welcome to post/share my photos on the Aswan Individual website. I will be very happy to provide a review on Tripadvisor as well. If you wish, you are very welcome to extract snippets from this email to post on the Aswan Individual website as part of customer feedback.

Once again, thank you so very much for making all the arrangements. I had only dreamed of getting to Abu Simbel, but you made dreams reality. You have my gratitude for this.
Best,
Debjeet.

 

Melissa and husband (USA), May 16, 2013
Thank you for writing a review in tripadvisor (May 14) and to us:

Petra,
Yes, you can copy any part of the review for the website. Eslam was truly the best guide we had on our trip.
(...) I don't tend to review many companies at all, mostly because I'm so tired when I return, then months later when I remember again, it seems odd to post a review in December for a trip I took in March. But for Egypt, I wanted to post reviews, hoping others who might be on the fence about going, would take the initiative and just go. I've got more reviews to do, but I felt so strongly about Aswan Individual that I wanted to post one right away.

Oh, and I wanted to share that while I was initially sad we missed seeing the camel market in Daraw, we saw lots of trucks with camels on the road down to Aswan! So I still got to see them, just not all in one place. :) I very much appreciate you letting me know that it would most likely be over, instead of letting us pay extra for it and then not seeing anything when we arrived. When I received that information, I knew I had chosen the right company to book with, as you were more concerned about our actual experience over making some extra money. Thank you so much for the prompt responses to all my questions prior to our trip. I felt so much more at ease when we left for our trip. Going to Abu Simbel was the one thing my husband wanted to see above anything else, and after researching it a bit, I was so relieved I found a company I felt I could trust to help make my husband's dream come true. He couldn't stop smiling, I've never seen him so happy on a trip before.
Thank you so much!
Melissa

 

Megumi and husband (Japan), May 15, 2013

Hi Petra,
I'm Megumi's husband, H. N. (name changed to stay anonymous for google, AI).
Because of I'm sending email to you is just want to say "thank you" to you and all of your staff.
we just finish Luxor tour now and heading to the airport.
we had a great moment at Aswan, Abu sin-bell, and cruse.
Luxor tour was also amazing. tour guid and driver was also very nice!
thanks again to give us wonderful moment!!
H. N.
Envoyé de mon iPhone5

 

Särah and husband (Cairo, USA, India), May 13, 2013

U guys r stars. U should b proud of your services. Exemplary. I am lookin forward to another stiny in aswan-luxor. And this time I promise notto b oh so last minute.
Cheers! On the Road,
SS

This is my google profile: http://gplus.to/WhyCallSarah
TA profile: http://www.tripadvisor.com/members/SarahS598
Review about Aswan-Individual in tripadvisor

 

Kitchener IslandNiki from Greece, living in Bahrain, May 4, 2013

I would like to thank the Aswan Individual team for providing such excellent services, they were fantastic!
I recently visited Egypt for 11 days, and I made arrangements with them for exploring Aswan.
Waleed replied promptly to all my messages and I was met in the train station upon arrival from Cairo, I didn't have to worry about anything as they gave me a lift to my hotel and then started the tour to the unfinished Obelisk, the High Dam, Philae temple and finally an amazing felucca ride in the Nile.


What can I say about Eslam, he is such an incredible guide, so energetic and enthusiastic in his explanations, he saw I was interested in everything (above average tourist level) and he went into depth explaining to me hieroglyphics and other details! And he was really patient with me, as I wanted to spend more time in Philae temple.
The arranged felucca ride in the afternoon was one of the best experiences I had in all Egypt... Watching the sunset on the felucca, sailing the Nile peacefully.. I was told Aswan is the best spot for a felucca ride and that's true! Botanical Garden AswaVisited the Botanical gardens and Elephantine island.

I was impressed with captain Sero, he is so skillful and took me to places where only motorboats ventured! Also I want to thank him for inviting me in his house, his family is so friendly and hospitable, and special thanks to him and his wife for the delicious and generous portion of their home-made meal! Such a nice experience, having a taste of the hospitality and friendliness of Nubian people :)

Gharb Seheyl Aswan

I recommed Aswan Individual wholeheartedly, my only regret is that I only had 2 days available in Aswan and couldn't stay more.. Advice to fellow travellers - don't use this beautiful town as a base for the Abu Simbel trip only.. It's so worthy spending 3-4 days here, it's so relaxing and such a nice atmosphere, now I have to wait until my next trip to visit the Nubian village, the tombs of the Nobles, the Nubian Museum, some more temples on the way to Abu Simbel and Nasser lake - and last but not least, arrange a 2-3 days sailing trip in the Nile with captain Sero!"

Anita and Greg from Canada, May 1, 2013

Hello Waleed
just wanted to thank you so much for the tours you organized for us in Luxor and in Aswan. I'm sure you know this already however we wanted to let you know how great we found both guides. They were both very knowledgeable and clearly enjoy their work. We very much also appreciated the fact they did not merely recite facts about the areas we visited (although of course they taught us a great deal) but they were able to offer personal perspectives and observations. Most importantly, they each had a great sense of humour and were quickly able to grasp where our interests lay and respond to our personalities.

Great choices for us and congratulations to you for having such a great crew.
Trust all finds you well.
Anita and Greg.

 

Cristina and husband from Italiy, May 1, 2013

Dear Petra, everything was perfect!
we enjoyed and greatly appreciated the support and organization of Aswan individual. The guides couldn't be more professional and considerate. The cruise was perfect, the rooms and the food were wonderful. We felt welcome and almost at home. Egypt is definitely a country that we want to revisit soon and we are very grateful for all your support.

For sure we would recommend Aswan individual to friends and anyone that we know that might be interested in visiting Aswan and Luxor. You are a trustworthy organization, with an incredible team and great partners/contacts in the region, able to provide wonderful experiences to your customers, in an easy and smooth process.
Thank you so much!
With kind regards, Cristina



Dustan from Malaysia, April 26, 2013

Felucca at sunsetHi Petra,
Egypt is fascinating. The best part of our trip besides visiting all the historical monuments was the Felucca sail boat ride. We loved the Felucca captain “Abdul” (a Nubian), he is friendly and humble. He navigated the Felucca skillfully. We just sailed down and up the Nile enjoying the breeze and the beautiful scenery. I also like the drivers and guides for the hired cars, they are friendly and helpful. Aswan-Individual did a great job organizing our customized itinerary around Aswan. They are a trust worthy tour company that I would recommend to anyone travelling in Aswan.
Dunstan.
Another beautiful photo from Dunstan made inside Abydoss Temple



Susie (living in Cairo) and parents from USA, April 14, 2013

Thanks Petra,
We had a very nice time in Aswan. Waleed met us at the airport on time and took us safely to the hotel.
We had a good, safe trip to Abu Simbel. It was wonderful to be there at sunrise.
We had a nice time at Philae and I liked our guide, Islam. He was energetic and pleasant, and he made a couple of well chosen comments about carvings. His ability to interpret some of the hieroglyphics was also interesting and helpful.
I might recommend making a separate, longer trip to Philae and Biga, if I had the time. We were all tired after the drive from Abu Simbel, so most of us needed to go through at a brisk pace, on the other hand it would have been great as a longer trip.
The trip with Mr Arabi was delightful. The setting was beautiful and truly restorative, and we saw many birds. Mr Arabi took us to Kitcheners island, his own farm, and some sites inland, so we were able to see a range of habitats and birds. He was flexible and spontaneous.
Our trip to Luxor was smooth.
Thanks so much,
Susie

Susie was also so nice to post a review in tripadvisor.
Thank you Susie, this is a big help for us!

Paul from France, March 30, 2013

Hi Petra
We are back since 2 weeks but we didn't got time to thank for the super travel that you organise for us. I have to tell you that it was perfect, your partner and your suppliers in Egypt are fine and reliable.
We enjoy both transferts Louxor to Aswan and Kombolo to Marsalam with good cars and nice drivers for a safe, confortable and fast services.
We meet Waleed at Aswan, I appreciate his friendly contact and it was good to know that he follow us day by day with his mobile taking care about our comfort !

Captain Ziro and his crew was also very prevenant and we enjoy these two days on board. Foods was delicious and the felouqua was clean

Thank a lot for all those services given for a very good prices. I'll recommand aswan-individual to my friends and you can use my comment and photo (my son and captain ziro) on your website.

Hope that situation in Egypt will be OK soon and that turism will be back in tihis fantastic region

Thank again for your help and hello to Waleed
Best regards and happy eastern
Paul

Terri from Australia, March 12, 2013

Egypt was amazing. We expereinced so much and was in awe of the temples and history.
Aswan Individual was definately a stand out for us. The service was exceptional, from the first correspondance with you, speaking and meeting with Waleed, and the guide was friendly and informative. The transport was clean and comfortable and the minibus was definately the way to go. The cost was reasonable and knowing that everything was organised and at the times we chose made experiencing the temples before the large tours arrived wonderful. It was an outstanding way to experience Egypt and I would definately recommend Aswan Individual to anyone who is wanting to go to Egypt.

The service you provided us is world class and thank you for that.
Terri :)

Erika and sister (Japan), March 7, 2013

Hi, Petra!
I really enjoyed staying in Egypt.

We met our guide Amlo at the airport entrance in one piece.Lunch on the Nile
First, we went to Isis temple.
Amlo explained the love stories about Isis at full length.We could understand the temple's background very well.
Next, we moved to the unfinished Obelisk.
I got a surprise at the big stone ocean!

After we checked in our hotel, we moved to ferucca port with Waleed.
Waleed is very funny and lovely guy.

We met our captain and got on the ferucca.
The lunch on the ferucca was excellent.
We ate much. The captain might have surprised at our appetite.
Thank you for your arrangement about beer.
It was very nice to drink beer on the ferucca seeing beautiful scenaries around Nile river.

Nubian Coffee at first CataractAfter lunch, we went to the Coffee House. Nubian coffee was very spicy. I liked it.
My sister enjoyed a shisha.
I think we had much time in Coffee House and therefore it was dark when we got to Nubian Village.

I wanted to see Nubian Village in day light.It was only one regrets.
I should have had much more time to stay in Aswan.

Otherwise, Nubian Village in night was excellent.
I appreciate having the opportunity to seeing around Nubian Village and captain's house.

Felucca sailing across the First CataractCaptain is gentle and helpful. I'm grateful to him for his hospitality.

By the way, the baloon accident in Luxor was widely reported in Japan.I am often asked "Egypt is not safe now, is it?"
I try to inform them that Egypt is very nice and safe.
Thanks a lot, Petra!
Erika

 

Derren and wife (Angola), March 5, 2013

Hi Petra
Thanks for checking up. We enjoyed Egypt very much, at least the history and the monuments.
We found many of the people (not everybody, of course) to be very pushy and disrespectful though,especially towards women. The trip was an eye-opener to us in that respect. That said, most the people who we met who worked at the hotels were very friendly.

My wife and I were very impressed with Aswan Individual. We would certainly recommend it. Waleed was fantastic. He was exceptionally attentive. And Saeed, our guide to Philae, was brilliant. The same goes for our felucca captain, whose name I can’t remember. Please extend our warmest greetings and thanks to them. We had no problems or aggravations at all during the time we spent with them in Aswan.

Many thanks Petra,
D


Benoit and Chantal (Belgium), February 28, 2013

Dear Petra,
Yes a trip with Mohamed Arabi is exceptional. The evening before, I was sceptical, thinking he couldn't show us much more birds as the ones we could see in the garden and along the rivers of the Nile. But I was wrong!!!
He has the ears of an owl and the eyes of a falcon. A little " Piiit " or "Kra" is enough to catch his attention and to instruct the boatdriver to slow down to look for a hidden bird. And then he pointed at a sunbird between the leaves or at a striated heron on the air- roots of a tree. Many times we didn't see the birds at the first time or I didn't have the opportunity to take a picture. But, no problem, he asked the driver to turn back and pointed again at the spot to look. Once, I had to admit that I couldn't find the little bird and then he asked to hand over my camera and toke the picture (of the sunbird) himself. You cann't imagine what a wonderful experience we had with him as our guide. The fact that he knows the name of the birds in other languages (such as Dutch) contributes also to the incommensurability of the excursion.

Because I love nature, out of my profession, my wife composes our holidays always with some culture, some rest and some nature. So we had bird watching experiences in Turkey, Greece, Spain and Portugal. But this was far the best we ever had. It was so good
that we considered to go for a second trip with him in the desert, the next day, but he wasn't free. He proposed to make the trip with his son, who knows as much as he. But we declined finally the offer, fearing the heat.
So, dear Petra, this is a quick report of our excursion with the birdman in
Aswan.

Let me tell you also that every cultural excursion we made was very, very good! For our excursions to Abu Simbel and Edfu our guide was Mohamed El Aswany. And he too was an expert in his field of study and with interest for explanation of the daily life of the common people.
We had a wonderful time in Aswan
Thank you very much!!
Benoit and Chantal

(answer to questions from Aswan Individual:) ... you can use it for your guestbook and I'll add a few pictures of the birds we have seen. The first one is the hidden striated heron (Butorides striatus) on the roots. The second is the Senegal thick- knee (Burhinus senegalensis) and at last a family of the Egyptian goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca).
I should mention too that Mohamed Arabi passed me a colored and folded map of the birds we had (and could have) seen.



Angel V. (USA), February 28, 2013 with sms:

I will write something on your website and tripadvisor to help get you more business. Because you do a great job, you care about people and are honest.
It was very good. Amr (her guide in Aswan and Luxor, a-i) was very knowledgabel and complete gentleman the entire time. Both drivers were great, especially the one from Aswan. It was a great trip and thank you for everything.


Chris H. and family (from Australia, living in Cairo) - 18th Feb, 2013

Hi Petra

I have posted the following “5* rated” review. I have tried to address some of your current problems / frustrations that you expressed in your e-mail, and also address some of the negative views expressed on Trip Advisor - I hope it doesn’t sound too patronizing:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g294204-d1951355-r152429968-Aswan_Individual-Aswan_Aswan_Governorate_Nile_River_Valley.html#REVIEWS

We recently organised a 3 day trip to Aswan with the help of Aswan Individual. Petra from the initial e-mail contact was incredibly helpful, full of useful ideas, and everything was clearly laid out upfront. And throughout the trip everything on the ground ran very smoothly and Waleed and his people genuinely wanted to help at every opportunity. When small problems arise (and they do - Egypt is still a 3rd world country) Waleed and his team do everything they can to help.

I have read a lot of the comments from other travellers and in your consideration of a) visiting Egypt and Aswan, and b) using Aswan Individual, I ask you to consider the following points:

1. Egypt, and especially Aswan, is a very safe place to visit. I live here with my wife and young children and provided you avoid the obvious "hot spots" as shown on CNN, then you will have a great holiday in Egypt (and especially Upper Egypt - Aswan & Luxor).

2. By travelling to Egypt you are truly helping the real people of Egypt, that desperately need your help. People in places like Aswan want to work, and by using companies like Aswan Individual (that provide a "fair product for a fair price"), this is the best help you can genuinely give. Yes you can probably find cheaper prices elsewhere at the moment, but this isn't necessary and every LE you pay truly helps. Behind the scenes each person you meet through Aswan Individual will have a lot of other local people to financially support - this extended family system of support is the backbone of Egypt.

So if you can visit Egypt and Aswan, then I highly recommend it to you. The history is truly remarkable, especially the ancient temples etc. The people used by Aswan Individual are truly local people that want to help you, and by using them you are also genuinely helping them. And every LE you spend will ultimately be spent by these local people on the basics of life that most Westerns simply take for granted.

Visited February 2013


Janine (Germany), January 13, 2012

Hallo Frau Dressler
Zurück aus Ägypten wollte ich Ihnen ein schönes neues Jahr wünschen.
Es hat alles sehr gut geklappt und wir hatten einen sehr guten,
deutsch sprechenden Guide auf unserer Tour von Aswan nach Luxor.

Mir hat es sehr leid getan, dass viele Ägypter unter dem ausbleibenden Touristenstrom leiden - völlig unnötig, denn es ist tatsächlich sehr sicher in Ägypten. Ich habe mich zu keiner Zeit in irgendeiner Form unsicher oder gar bedroht gefühlt, auch in Kairo nicht.
Besten Dank und liebe Grüße
Janine

 

Gabriel (Spain), January 11, 2012

Dear Petra,
Our trip to Egypt was great and the experience with Aswan Individual was well above the rest.
We were not asked for extra payments, backsheesh or invited to visit a "friend" workshop "just to take a look".
We are very happy with Aswan Individual and will recommend it to anyone visiting Aswan.
Best regards, Gabriel

 

Josy and Eddy (Ecuador), January 11, 2012

Dear Petra,
Eddy was tired of people trying to get the most amount of money from us in Egypt in terms of the people in the street. We are not good at barging so that was even harder for us. We truly truly enjoy our felucca day, for both of us it was great, no hurry, no people bothering you it was just amazing. Then our day with Fatima in the tour to Obelisk, Philae, etc, was so nice as well, the people I think they see you with a guide and they do not bother you as well. Aswan Individual met our expectations for sure we will recommend to other friends if they plan to go to Egypt.

Then this comment is from my own perspective and has nothing to do with Aswan Individual and I do not think is anything that you can do. But Egypt was a great experience for me of the things that we do not have to do in terms of managing tourism. It was hard for me that I come from a background of working as a guide, as a hotel manager, tour operator and studying management of tourism in university and doing a master in planning of tourism, see how Egypt manage their resources. It is a lot of garbage everywhere, lack of informative signal in the touristic places, letting people walk or pi in the Pyramids, it is something that can not fit in my mind. I guess is something cultural as well. Unfortunately I think the president now and before do not care about the tourism being a may income for the country. The worst part is the people trying to charge you a lot of money and then you get to a point that you do not know what is fair to pay anymore. I am a person that like to pay what the people really deserved but in Egypt you loose that perspective. The hostal charge you the more that a hostal in Europe and they do not have the same conditions as one in Europe and the cost of living in Egypt is a lot cheaper than in Europe. Anyway so many things that are in my mind that can not think why it works that way.

So those are my comments.
Take care

 

Ann and family (Belgium), January 10, 2012

Hello Petra,
I was wandering when I would let Waleed know how my family thought about Aswan Individual. Whoop ! Here's your mail.
So in order to answer to your questions :

To me it was a great pleasure to show this beautiful and rich country to my family.
My heart is hurt seeing so few tourists visiting Egypt this time. So bad for business, but so bad for the Egyptian people. I hope things change for the better.

For my sister and myself Medinet Habou in Luxor and Abu Simbel and the felucatrip in Aswan, the coffeehouse were number 1 on our list.
To my brother in law and his mother, Abu Simbel and the coffee experience, the lunch in the captains' house was the most amazing thing on their list.
The 2 youngsters ( 16 and 18) has some favorits : the feluca trip in Aswan ( + crocodile) , Abu Simbel, the Pyramids and Tahrir Square and the meeting with the manifestants, the graffitti wall on Tahrir Square was the most unforgettable.

I felt really comfortable organising the trip and this is only due to the great help of Walleed, the drivers he contacted, the quality of the minibusses, Walleed is always avalable,... with a smile.
The captain, was so hartwarming, a real experience.
The coffee ceremony was given by the captain and a lady (who lived there i suppose) - but we didn't get any information on what was in the coffee, thanks to the info on your website, I managed to inform my family about this. It's so a beautiful area in Aswan to discover.

To promote in Luxor :
Roma.it Restaurant ( real coffee, nice fresh food, not expensive, good service, tiramisu njam njam) - Italian Cuisine - Run by Italian Lady and Egyptian staff
Moon Valley ( westbank) nice place to have lunch between visiting tempels, sites,... (Egyptian cuisine on the toproof looking out on the countryside)

In Aswan : we tried the restaurants Walleed talked us about and we tried the only fishrestaurant ( don't remeber the name at this time) - the most expensive restaurant during our trip but nice food - to large quantities)

In Cairo whe stayed on Zamalek ( Om Kolhtoom Hotel) - I knew this from before during my trainings in Euromed - we had a top floor presidential suite with 3 big bedrooms and 2 bathrooms + the largest balcony ever on the 15th floor. The hotel provides good service, is well situated but is a little bit dated. If you have families or groups who don't want to pay to much but want to stay together...

I didn't have the time yet to focus on my 2000 photos, but I promised to send the captain some pictures,... I will do this...

Voila, I hope this gives you a brief update on or adventure and please thank Walleed again for the fine attention he provides to people, thank you for all the good and usefull info in your mails. Take care.
Ann

 

RR, January 6, 2013

I had a wonderful time in Aswan and everything with Aswan Individual worked out well. I was very pleased with all aspects. Even when Egypt Air unexpectedly changed my flights, requiring me to go back to Cairo earlier, Waleed was incredibly accommodating and I was still able to do everything I had planned. I definitely will recommend Aswan Individual to my friends and colleagues. Thanks again for helping me to have such a nice vacation and enabling me to learn about Aswan's culture.
Best,RR (shortened on demand)

Michelle, December 13, 2012

We loved Egypt and were very happy with the services provided by Aswan Individual all the way around: you, Waleed, the guide and drivers. Thank you for helping to make our trip so easy and enjoyable! Michelle

Sanjana, December 11, 2012

Egypt trip was wonderful, just really magical. We had such a great time and everything was arranged so easily. People were very warm and welcoming and Waleed was a great host.
I hope one day we can return to Egypt :)

Elisa, November 22, 2012

Dear Petra,
We LOVED our Egypt holiday and the highlight for us was our Felluca tour. Sero and Budi were wonderful hosts and it was a magical special time that we will never forget. I have some beautiful photos, would you like me to send you some for your website? I am getting some copies made to send in the post to Sero (he gave me his address).
We went to the Camel market which was a mind-blowing adventure and defiantly another highlight. We would, will and already have recommended Aswan Individual and the Felluca tour with a whole heart as you say. Thank you for a very memorable few days.
XX
Elisa
(also wrote in tripadvisor for us :o) - big thank you! - please see "Most magical Egypt")

 

Elaine, November 13, 2012

Hi Petra
Just like to say thank you for putting me in touch with Waleed for our transfers to Aswan airport.
He was right on time and made the trip very easy for us.
We really enjoyed our trip at Abu Simbel and you were right, so easy to find.
Should I come your way again, I will not hesitate to use your services and will put a glowing review on trip advisor for you.
I wanted to put a review for Waleed, but do not know his company name to do so. If you could let me know - that would be great.
Thanks once again.
Elaine

Janey (London), November 1, 2012

Hi Petra,
(...) We really had the most spectacular holiday. Islam was great and so kind to the children – they even came back with mummy pencil tins. Thank you so much for everything. Waleed was super super attentive, calling at least once or twice to check all was going smoothly.
I will email you with more details very soon.
Kind Regards
Janey

Alejandro, August 8, 2012

Dear Petra,
We had a wonderful experience in the Nile and of course in the cruiser.
I would recommend to everybody Aswan Individual.
Thank you so much for your help, it was great!!
Best regards,
Alejandro

 

Ronny and family (Germany), July 28, 2012

Hallo liebe Petra,

mittlerweile bin ich (leider) wieder in Deutschland zurück. Der Ausflug war absolut spitzenmäßig (am Rande: wir hatten mit 2 Japanerinnen in einem anderen Auto Abu Simbel nur für uns :-))))) - ein Traum). Sowohl die Begrüßung von Wahleed als auch die Fahrweise des Fahrers waren sehr professionell und gaben einem das Gefühl der Sicherheit. Auch daß der Fahrer nicht einen Smalltalk anfing, und sich dezent auf das Fahren beschränkte, kam äußerst positiv an. Der Minibus war zudem in einem Top Zustand und die Klimaanlage optimal eingestellt: weder Modus "Wüste Mittagszeit" noch "Sibirischer Winter" ;-). Zudem war ich positiv überrascht, daß Wahleed sogar noch abends auf meinem Handy anrief, um sich vergewissern, daß alles zur Zufriedenheit war. Rundum kann es nur ein Resultat geben: perfekt - nichts zu verbessern, einfach so bleiben.

Viele liebe & herzliche Grüße aus Deutschland, auch an Wahleed, Ayman und den Fahrer
Ronny

Translated with google translate
Dear Petra,

now I'm (unfortunately) back to Germany. The trip was absolutely fantastic (aside: we had Abu Simbel just for us except for two Japanese women in another car :-))))) - a dream). Both the greeting of Wahleed and the style of the car was very professional and gave us the feeling of security. The fact that the driver did not start small talk, and discreetly limited to driving, was extremely positive. The minibus was also optimally set in top condition and the air conditioning was perfect - not Mode "Desert Noon" nor "Siberian Winter" ;-). In addition, I was pleasantly surprised that Wahleed even called us in the evening on my cell phone, to make sure that everything was to our satisfaction. Round, there can be only one result: perfect - nothing to improve, just stay that way.

Many love and greetings from Germany, also Wahleed, Ayman and the driver
Ronny

 

Debbie and Dean (Australia), July 26, 2012

Hello PetraCudling a crocodile
Can just say I meant every word of that review, we had the most wonderful time in Aswan, Sero was so lovely, our friends were just blown away with the pictures of Elephantine Island and cuddles with Franco the croc. I can remember thinking as we were sailing, is this actually happening, it was so surreal. I would be back there yesterday if I could, I loved it that much.... I am actually getting teary just writing this.
I want to say Petra that apart from the problem in the souq, and a small problem with a tout at the Giza pyramids at the beginning of the trip, the whole ten weeks we were away in Egypt,Jordan and Turkey was nothing short of a magnificent holiday. Literally a trip of a lifetime.
Please pass on our thanks to Waleed, for his wonderful help and support, in helping sort out the situation in the souq, and for his friendliness and efficiency in his job. We thought he was wonderful, and when you are next talking to Sero, please tell him I look at the pictures of Aswan and sailing on the Nile, and it takes me back immediately to one of the most magical days we had in Egypt...just extraordinary. Felucca sailing in AswanYou know when I booked everything with you after reading of others adventures with Mustafa at Elephantine on TA, I so anticipated this part of our trip. Please tell Sero that our days spent with him sailing,surpassed any expectations I had, they were better than what I read with the adventures with Mustafa.

A friend of mine is a pastor in my church, his job is to work with young adults, and budding theology students on a daily basis and he places great emphasis on creating " memory events" for these young folk. A memory event is something so special it will never be forgotten. Well Aswan Individual has created exactly that for us, we will never forget out days in Aswan albeit short.
We certainly will keep in touch, please feel free to look at our albums on Facebook as they reflect what we did and how much we enjoyed ourselves, and also what we are up to at the moment, renovating our loungeroom.

With warmest of wishes Petra to all of you at AI. We WILL meet one day, for that I am sure. I am attaching a few pictures for you.
Debbie xx

Debbie's review in tripadvisor, posted on July 24

 

Quonya, husband and friend (USA), July 7, 2012

Hello Petra,
Aswan Individual was great. Waleed met us at the airport and was warm and professional from the beginning. He had the plans that you and I discussed in order to ensure that everything went smoothly. Due to the limitations of how much we can take out of the ATM within a certain time frame we paid him in two instalments, he was very understanding of this fact. He also spoke to the hotel staff before we arrived in both Aswan and Luxor and helped to ensure which was a huge help to with check-in.

On the first day we meet Ehab and after our tour at Philae Temple - Waleed checked to make sure that we were pleased with our guide and whether we wanted to continue with him. We were more than happy with Ehab and opted to use him as a guide at Abu Simbel and the remainder of the trip. I can now proudly say that I can read enough hieroglyphics to distinguish Hathor and Isis J as well as a few other common phrases that were located in several temples. My husband who does not usually enjoy guides has nothing but great things to say about Ehab - he was a really good choice, we are grateful to Waleed for finding him. I would recommend Ehab for future guests, especially if they want a guide with a good sense of humour - who will look out for you.

We had several different drivers, all of which we found to be nice and the minivans were an excellent choice as it allowed us to stretch out. Given that to reach a few of the temples required a lot of driving the extra space was much appreciated. Also, our driver to/from Abu Simbel got us back to Aswan around 12:30pm - which must be some kind of record!

The felucca ride was excellent and the fresh caught and cooked fish was amazingly tasty. We ended up taking a longer ride then originally planned as we enjoyed it so much. We also stopped by the Nubian Coffee House for some great coffee (I've been trying to recreate it at home) and tea. The talk at the coffee house was of course all about the election that had taken place only a few days before - it was a highlight of our trip taking to the men while the sunset. The following night we went to the Captain's house for dinner, he showed us the ruins on the island and then gave us time to explore Elephantine Island before visiting his house for dinner. My husband and friend both say that this was by far their favourite meal of the whole trip!

Thanks so much for suggesting Abydos and Dendera they were both extensive and very impressive. The colours of and preservation at Abydos was unlike any other place we’ve visited and with Dendera, I felt there were so many layers of the site. We visited a lot of temples and my worry was that we would get jaded after a well, but as my friend Sam said ‘We’ve seen quite a few temples. Is it just me or do they keep getting better?’ And the answer was yes! They did.

We all found Aswan to be the most relaxing part of our trip, it was nice to walk down the street, say hello to people and just enjoy the sites. Everything was organised perfectly and it was a relaxation that after coming from Cairo we did not take for granted.

I would completely recommend Aswan Individual to anyone visiting Upper Egypt. I feel that we received a personal touch that I found refreshing. Also, I spoke to the guide and drivers about how they enjoyed working with Waleed and they said that he was fair, professional and a good guy. Which are things that I find important when working with people.

Thank you so much Petra!
Regards,Quonya


Angelika, David and 6 more persons (UK), June 25, 2012
(she also wrote in tripadvisor)

Hello dear Petra and thank you for your email.
We are back home now and we wanted to say thank you to everybody on Êlephantine Island that made it so special for us. Captain Ciro and his family, Mr Kana and Mr Whaleed have all been great. Please convey a really special thank you to Captain Ciro and his nephews for an amazing felucca day and dinner at their house. We were all very touched.
Also it was such a joy to see that the island has cleaned up a great deal and the are hardly any rubbish around!
We look forward to returning back to Aswan and the Elephantine Island and certainly do hope to work with Aswan Individual again for future trips.
Best regards from both David and I, Angelika

 

Patricia and husband (UK), June 21, 2012

Dear Petra
Just a quick note to say thank you to you, to Walid, and to the nice young man that took us to Abu Simbel. Please send on our regards and thanks to him.
Walid, he is a gem, courteous and professional. As agreed he came to meeting us the day before and he even came back at 3 o’clock in the morning to meet us and introduce us to the driver.
We loved Aswan, and we will be returning shortly ( Inshallah).

(…) Please by all means add my comments to your website. We will be honoured!
Once I get home, I will write a review in trip advisor.

We have travelled all over , particularly the middle east/north Africa, and I can’t stress enough ( I have been telling friends to go and visit) how much it hearted us to see Egypt so empty and so many people suffering because their livelihood depend on tourists visiting .

I just hope the political situation gets better and people return once again to your beautiful country.
Patricia

 

Katie (USA) and parents, June 9, 2012

Thank you again, Petra, for everything. We will certainly be back in touch when we return to Egypt and in the meantime we will encourage our friends to visit Egypt and send them to you.
All the best,
Katie

 

 

Karthik (India) and family, May 28, 2012
The email below is only a part from the travelogue, Karthik sent us.
Please read its full length (including travelogue) behind this link

Dearest Petra,
As to our Egypt trip it was like a dream come true.(...)
Waleed is great facilitator and the guide he had chosen – Eslam was really out of this world. He was young but extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Egypt. He was not like guest of our family but our family for the 4 days we were with him.
(...)
Eslam (picture, right side) left (...) back to Aswan and we all were missing him as he had become part of our family during the very short time we were together.

Waleed was in constant touch with Eslam, the tour van driver as well as the tour company in Luxor and the Cruise boat. I was very much aware of his frequent interactions (at least 4 or 5 times a day) with Eslam as well as the Driver and tour Company as I was able to pick up bits and pieces of their conversation in Arabic. He was behind the scenes orchestrating everything so that we would have a great time. He was and is the star behind the scenes and responsible for our having a great time.

Last but not the least - nothing of the above would have been possible without you my dear Petra. You are in reality the unseen heroine who we did not have a chance to meet.
Me and my family thank you and Waleed with all our hearts for the excellent holiday experience we had in Egypt. (...)

Dear Karthik,
thank you for the time you took to write such a beautiful review / travelogue and the photos.
I made them small, so the faces cannot be tagged.
Thank you also for your very nice review on tripadvisor on June 4.
Thank you for your becoming friends and staying in touch.
All the best for you and your family,
Petra, Waeed and Eslam

 

Tomoko (Japan) and Mohamed (Yemen), May 17, 2012

Dear Ms Petra
I'm so sorry too late reply, and saying Thank you!
After the trip I was so busy to work because of the long holidays.

We were absolutely satisfied whole trip you arranged,
always felt safe and enjoyed very much with relyable guide and Mr.Waleed and Mr.Sero.

Especially, it was so amazing to ride Felluca, so quiet, great Relaxing experience which we've never feel in any country. Then you called me, im sorry I couldnt express my feeling well.

Mr Waleed and Mr.Sero are very responsible persons, as soon as we met them, we liked them. Maybe because we absolutelly trust you, Petra!

This message is from Mohammed;
"Thank you so much for your advise and the tour you offered.
When you come to yemen just let me know. I'll accompany you.
I think your information and advice are always right and trustful.
It's very clear, what is you can, what is with extra, offered fix price.
Thank you again for everything Petra!"

I also think same like this.
Your advice are always correct, exactly.
and you gave these advices because you have empathy with clients.
Some other travel agency give fuzzy information to clients for themselves,
Mohammed doesn't like it that way.

I do recommend Aswan Individual for every Japanese traveler.
I know they like your way to have a faithful person like you.
You know very well, that fuzzy information is causing nothing but troubles.

After we returned to Cairo, without your support, we felt uneasy and expensive for all,
we paid for each person for everything, and a guide in Cairo brought us to Papirus shop
as you had warned us :)) we wasted our time.
Then we knew again, how wonderful was the trip in Luxor and Aswan with Aswan Individual.

We enjoyed our precious moment within only 6 days - thanks to you.
THANK YOU SO MUCH! TOMOKO A.

 

Alberto (Spain and Germany), May 17, 2012

Hi Petra,
Sorry I didn't write earlier, it's one of those things you think "I'll do it later" and in the end you forget about it :)
Anyway, our trip in Egypt was really nice, we saw lots of things and had a great time there.

Regarding the felucca tour, everything was fine. The captain and the crew were very friendly, took us to many nice places and cooked excellent food!
I forgot I had to call and confirm 2 days before and only called the day before, so we had to spend the first day around Aswan and left on the second day. Consequently, after 3 days we only reached Kom Ombo and not Edfu, as we'd have liked, but that wasn't a problem at all. And we even went through a sandstorm, interesting experience! :)
We'd definitely recommend Aswan Individual to other travellers, as we were very happy with it.Thank you and have a good day! Alberto

 

Julieta and Jorge (Argentinia), May 13, 2012

Petra, we are still in Egypt but did not want to spend more time with no thank you to you for having answered all the questions you did and for their willingness to coordinate the details of our journey from this wonderful country is Egypt, including when you ask at the last minute pick up the Aswan airport, you did everything for that we did not have to worry about anything and we felt cared for and pampered by you. A Waleed, many thanks, I think the words are not enough to thank all you did for us both as regards the outstanding monetization services rendered as the unconditional support he gave us when my luggage was lost at Barajas airport in Madrid and got through with me to Aswan. They would have been a terrible vacation without your help, so I ask that you give thanks on our behalf. Always take heart.

Our best wishes of prosperity to this beautiful land and all who inhabit it.
Greetings from two Argentines take a bit of Egypt in the heart.
George and Carina
P. S. Petra, tell Waleed to check trip advisor page on criticism of Aswan Individual

Originial:
Petra, aún estamos en Egipto pero no quería dejar pasar más tiempo sin darles las gracias, a vos por haber respondido todas las preguntas que te hicimos y por la buena predisposición para coordinar los detalles de nuestro viaje desde este maravilloso país que es Egipto, inclusive cuando te solicitamos a último momento el pick up del aeropuerto de Aswan, hiciste todo lo necesario para que no tuvieramos que preocuparnos por nada y nos sintieramos cuidados y mimados por ustedes. A Waleed, muchisimas gracias, creo que las palabras no alcanzan para agradecer todo lo que hizo por nosotros tanto en lo que respecta al excelente serivicio prestado como la ayuda incondicional que nos brindó cuando mi equipaje se perdió en el aeropuerto de Barajas en Madrid y no llegó a destino conmigo a Aswan. Hubieran sido unas terribles vacaciones sin su ayuda, por lo cual te pido que le des las gracias en nuestro nombre. Siempre los llevaremos en el corazón.
Nuestros más sinceros deseos de prosperidad para esta maravillosa tierra y todos los que la habitan.
Saludos de dos Argentinos que se llevan un poco de Egipto en el corazón.
Jorge y Carina
P.D. Petra, dile a Waleed que chequee la página de Trip advisor sobre criticas de Aswan Individual

and also in tripadvisor:
El mejor viaje a Egipto, gracias a Aswan Individuals y Waleed”
Escribió una opinión el 13 mayo 2012

 

Maukik (India), May 10, 2012

Hi Petra and Waleed,
My trip was successful. Thank you for all the last minute help! I will definitely recommend it to all my friends traveling to Egypt.
Mauktik

Mauktik ("Anon A") wrote in tripadvisor even while he was still in Aswan!

 

Nick living in Cairo, April 23, 2012

We had a fantastic time in Aswan and everything - from Bet Kana to the felucca was just great.
Waleed (and yourself of course!) organised everything beautifully - buses were all on time, kept in good condition and the drivers were safe and courteous.

We loved Bet Kana and I'm very happy to say that we will definitely stay there next time we're in Aswan - the setting is just glorious - looking out over the mango trees and date palms - so much nicer than a cramped room over the corniche! The only thing I would say is that the beds and pillows were amazingly hard - apart from that it was perfect.
The highlight had to be the felucca - Sero, Ayman and Minshawee were amazing - 2 days of just doing nothing but watching the Nile slip by was exactly what we wanted. The food was excellent and they were attentive without being intrusive which allowed us to do exactly as we wished - i.e. nothing!!
We've already recommended the site to friends and will definitely contact you again next time we come to Aswan - probably early next year (...)
Thanks again for everything Petra and please pass on our thanks and regards to everyone in Aswan - all brilliant! cheers Nick

+++++++++

Tripadvisor deleted reviews from our guests after I copied them from tripadvisor and put them here (see examples below) with reference to tripadvisor, date and name (and permission from each guest). Tripadvisor sais we get punished for "duplicating content in the internet". I think, we are the only ones in the world who are not allowed to copy words from the internet although we have asked and received permissions of each author.

This is the reason, why in the future we will only give links to tripadvisor. Like this one for the review of Nick. And send best regards to these who write reviews for themselves (if you have a look it is easy to see from dates, style, etc. which ones I am talking about) and make tripadvisor delete our reviews, so they can go up in the ranking and we go down.

+++++++++

 

Jeanette & Gabriel V., Florida, April 21, 2012

One of our most treasured memories of your beautiful country was the lovely felucca sail and lunch. We can only hope we can travel to Egypt again soon.
By all means give our email to anyone that asks for references. We think of Egypt often and all of you are in our prayers for a peaceful and bright future.
Thanks!
Jeannette and Gabriel V.
Miami, Florida, USA


Pauline and husband., Netherlands, April 19, 2012

Dear Petra,
Egypt was wonderful – so much, so beautiful !!! We did see so much – and we tried to remember so much – but it is overwhelming – with alll the beautiful sites, rich history, complex timelines, all the gods and myths. What a wonderful stories.
And I fully agreed with you about Aswan being a very very lovely place – the best in the Nile - with super friendly people!
The boat trip was lovely, with the nubian coffee and lunch on the boat very special. Really a peep inside Nubian Egypt.

The service we received from Aswan Individual was brilliant! My compliments. So yes, I would more then recommend Aswan Individual with a full heart. Many many thanks for all that was done to arrange an unforgettable trip!

In the end not being on the Nile Cruise offered many advantages : following our own (little bit packed, but amazing) time schedule – and having a more quite time at the monuments (not always entering with 100 persons at once). And I enjoyed the car ride from Aswan to Luxor – as you really see the villages, sugar cane fields (and poverty). Also people waiting in the villages un the bus to mekka – surrounded by all their family and friends. Quite special. We enjoyed the camel market as well.

After your trip we went to Cairo – and saw the centre (koptic and islamitic churches), the pyramids and of course the Egyptian museum. And then we were completely FULL. Happy and full. So many stimuli. So much to see. So much to digest. Egypt is definitely a destination I recommend! What an amazing history.
Warm regards
Pauline

 

Gianpaolo & Vanessa, Italy, April 14, 2012

hi Ptera,
we would like to thank for the faboulose holiday in Egypt. Everything was perfect, from the driver to the guide. Walee and the capitan of felucca were great (... also the lamb in felucca).
we know that your country is fantastic, but we never thought so GREAT, the guides are very very preparated about the long history of the country and Walleed and the guides understand immidiatelly what we want to sse, eat, etc, etc.....
in attach we send some pictures, and in the first there is the BEST GUIDE that we never met in our travel he is great!!!!!!!!!
Absolutilly we suggest you at everybody who what to see the Egypt.
thank you so much for everithings and for your tips!!!
Gianpaolo & Vanessa

 

Laura and Kristinn, Canada, April 13, 2012

Dear Petra,
Egypt was fabulous and it surely would not have been the same without the involvement of Aswan Individual. We were very impressed with the many talented people who work with you. Firstly,
Waleed was amazing. He always arrived early and was very accommodating to whatever we wanted to do. His high degree of professionalism and efficiency never got in the way of his easy-going and personable attitude. It was very reassuring knowing he was only a phone call away.

Our felucca trip the first day was a suggestion you made and we're very glad we listened to your advice. Despite working all day then traveling for 30 hours, it was one of our fondest memories. Sero and his nephew picked us up outside our hotel, served us a delicious breakfast, then took us for a lovely sail. It was very relaxing, just as you said. It was hot that day (39C), but Sero's home was cool and refreshing as we ate the lunch his family had prepared. Sero has a great ability to know how much to talk and when to just be silent and listen to the sounds of the Nile.

The guide we had for Philae Temple (Eslam) was excellent and really made the tour worthwhile.
The excursion out to Abu Simbel in the early morning was an experience we are very glad we had. We had a great time talking with our driver and finding out about his life and experiences in Aswan (can't remember his name). We learned many things about his culture.
In Luxor, Khaled (see picture) proved to be extremely knowledgeable and he was lots of fun to be with. The Nile cruise ship was very nice. Since we were the only English couple and the only ones not a part of a big tour group, the ship employees made an extra effort to take care of us. We were so glad not to be on one of those tour groups! One full day and two nights was just the right amount of time.

Aswan Individual went beyond our expectations. One of the best aspects of our trip was the amazing people we met in Egypt, particularly in Aswan and Luxor. We stayed 2 nights and 1 day in Cairo and explored the city as much as possible (even the pyramids), but we felt quite alone compared to when we were in Aswan and Luxor.

Would we recommend Aswan Individual with a full heart? Without a doubt! Many people we talk to want to hear all about Egypt and first and foremost we feel they must know about Aswan Individual and how a challenging trip was made easy and safe. We will continue to stear any prospective travelers your way.

Once again, thank you, Petra for everything. Please thank Waleed, Sero and his family, Eslam, Khaled, and our drivers for the part they played in making our holiday so memorable. And thank you for caring about the Egyptian people. Your vision and love are very commendable and honourable.

Your friends, Laura and Kristinn

 

Emmanuel and family, France, March 31

Dear Petra
Everything was perfect. nothing to improve. The adjusted programm you proposed was very well.
I did not have time to do putting any positiv comment on the site, but we have no regret at all. All was very well organized, the guide was genial (He studied in france in the same town and the same school than I), the driver was sympathetic and Walleed was always here to check that no problems occur.

I am not a professional of web, so I put a link to a Picassa web album where I am put some photos.You can use them if you want on your web site.
This is our third stay in Egypt and for us the best. I think that we will go again in Assouan

One again thank you very much for your help that has a great part in the sucess of our stay in Assouan. Best regards, Emmanuel

 

Lisbet and Jan, March 28

Hello Petra,
We are now well back in France.
We had a really nice holiday to Luxor/Aswan this time. Everything worked well. (No bad stomacks)

Eslam Mourad Edrees and the driver showed up at 6 o'clock in front of the hotel, as we had agreed.We were surprised, that it was Eslam, who arrived. We had him 15 month ago in Aswan and we liked him very much. He is very competent and he takes his time. What we like.

We went of for the temple at Tod. But unfortunately, they have moved the ticket office to Luxor and we could not persuade the staff to let us in.
A little strange, as we normally are able to get in, all the temlpes, that is normally closed. (we did take some photos from outside)
But we decided not to go back to Luxor to buy the tickets. It would take too long time.
Insteed we choose to see something else on our way to Aswan.
We had time enough to vistit Kom Ombo with the new mummification museum for the crocodiles. Really interesting.

The new thing for us was El Kap. It was a rather interesting place. There was some nice tombs with really good paintings and 2 nice small temples and a small chapel.
Eslam is really good at explaining the paintings. We took a lot of photos and later in Aswan, Eslam copied them, as he did not have any from El Kap.

At the end of the day, we passed Daraw. There was not very many camels left. But we did get some good photos.

When we came to our hotel in Aswan, Waleed was there and we paid him. It was a really good trip.

Thank you for this time.You must have a nice day,
Lisbet & Jan

 

Sophie with family and friends, March 1

Hello Petra,
We spent nice holidays in Egypt.
Thank you very much for you help.
You'll thank you too Waleed , he was very kind and helpful.
Our trip on the felucca in Aswan was very nice and the captain was very kind and good sailor.
I send you some photos with the captain;
Best regards
Sophie


Alfred and Elena, Italy, February 4, 2012

Hallo Petra
Erstmals vielen Dank es hat alles besten funktioniert und wenn wir mal wieder etwas in Ägypten machen möchten werden wir gerne auf euch zurück kommen Sind jetzt im unserem Haus in Thailand (...) Alles Gute Elena und Alfred

English: thank you for all, everything went smoothly and when we will return to Egpt, we will contact you again (...)

 

Izabelle and Claude, Poland and France, January 29, 2012

Dear Petra, this short mail to thank you for the excellent service provided by Aswan Individual during our stay in Aswan.
All the people we met there were absolutely nice and helpful.
Thanks again to you, Waleed, Sero, Islam and the taxi drivers.
Aswan Individual performs indeed a very good job!!!
Izabela and Claude

Jack R., US, January 16, 2012

... Among my blessings was the opportunity to visit Egypt and to meet Waleed. He is a very special man with a caring heart that flows like the Nile itself. He treated my daughter and I as if we were part of his family and I shall never forget that. Egypt is such an amazing place and I think about my visit there almost daily. I wish Aswan -Individual, Waleed and you, the best of luck in 2012.
Sincerely, Jack R.

Agnes, Cairo, December 31, 2011

Dear Petra and Waleed,
We want to thank you for our fun-packed unforgettable holiday to Aswan and Luxor. I have to admit that we were a little bit skeptic to have a fun holiday in Egypt before, being newly set up our household in Cairo, but Aswan Individual really make it special!!
Thanks Petra for your advice of activities that will get the interest of our young children and thanks Waleed for getting the best deal for us on the cruise, felluca and hot air balloon. Also for arranging Islam to be our guide in the major temples, he really knows his subject very well!! It is a pity that he couldn't get in to the cruise to guide for us, but the ship had a distinguished scholar egyptologist onboard to be our guide so it was still a perfect cruise. And Waleed, you are right, the food in the Royal Lily cruise ship is excellent!!
Once again thank you all and i'll be certain to recommend you to any friend of us who wish for a perfect holiday in upper egypt.

Best regards,
Agnes, Deddy, Teresa, Zola, Mika (Moot, Nut and Bes...as Islam call them after Philae)

 

Sylvie, France, December 26, 2011

bonjour Petra
de retour en France, nous tenions à vous remercier pour l'organisation de notre programme de visites, tout s'est super bien passé,
nous sommes enchantés, le guide Abdour : très très sympa, gentil, bien francophone et notre chauffeur bien qu'un peu rapide, très sympa également
Waleed toujours présent au départ des visites pour la journée, vraiment une très bonne organisation
et vous Pétra toujours présente par mail, très efficace, rapide, un vrai plaisir
encore merci,nous n'hésiterons pas à vous recommander auprès de notre entourage
nous avons adoré notre séjour
à bientôt peut être
cordialement
sylvie

Hello Petra
back in France, we wanted to thank you for organizing our visit program, all was great,
we are delighted, the guide Abdur: very very nice, nice, good French and our driver - if a little fast - very nice also
Waleed was always present at the start of visits for the day, a really good organization
Petra and you were always present by email, very efficient, fast, a pleasure
thank you again, we will not hesitate to recommend you to our surroundings
We loved our stay
until soon - maybe
cordially
sylvie

 

V.W., UK, December 23, 2011

Dear Petra,
Just came back from Luxor. And may I say thank you for the wonder trip you and Waleed arranged for me. It was most enjoyable and most efficient.
The driver, Ahmed, was very good as well.
PS. The entrance fee for Abul Simblel is now 95LE. You may want to update your website and future email.
Merry Christmas.


The Johnson Family, USA, November 21, 2011

Dear Petra
The husband of Tamara give me nice book and he wrote this
All is ok, Waleed

 

Ian and Terry, UK and HongKong, November 20, 2011

Hi Petra,

Thanks for your email, and also for your help with organising our trip.
Everything went well. The only hiccup was the camel market - when we got there, there was no sign that it had been open. Our guide tried to make up for it by arranging for us to see the camels in the back yard of a camel trader - a nice gesture.
The guide, Islam, was very knowledgeable, and open to feedback from us.

The felucca was great, although it was too early to eat lunch, but no problem.
Also, the arrangement for Cairo was very good. Again, a very knowledgeable guide (I think he may have been a former director of the museum at Memphis).

I would happily recommend Aswan Individual to anyone going to Egypt.
Again, thanks for your help with the arrangement.
Regards,Ian

 

Richard and Julie, England, November 10, 2011

Hello Petra
We have just got back from Egypt and we had a great time thank you.
The service from Aswan Individual was very good. You were very helpful and from meeting Sero onwards the day was one of our favourites of the holiday.
We went to the tombs of the nobles, then a camel ride to St Simeons Monastery, a visit to Kitcheners island, a visit to a friend of Seros called Hobart who lives on an old floating hospital he is converting to a houseboat, lunch at Seros house and a visit to the first cataract. Quite a full day!
Again thanks to you for your help in organising all the contacts and keeping in touch. Also could you pass on my thanks to Sero and his family for making our day so enjoyable.
We didn't meet Waleed, only received a message on the morning of the trip so please pass on our thanks to him as well.
If you need any recommendations from us or anything else please let me know.
I hope the tourists come back in greater numbers soon.
Regards Richard

 

F. Liney and family, England, November 5, 2011

Dear Petra,
Thank you very much for your help. We had a super time and everything went perfectly.
We were looked after very well by Islam. It made a very happy and relaxed end to the best holiday we've had in years. With kind regards, Frank.

 

H. Grout, Australia, November 3, 2011

Petra,
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, yes i am back home and back to work and i have been very busy!
The tours i had with Aswan Individual were really awsome and fun. Waleed was helpful in setting up my tours even when I booked them when i was already in Aswan.
All my tours i did with Ezlam and he was fantastic. His english was very good and he was very knowledgeable about all the tombs, temples and other sites we visited. Not only was Ezlam a great tour guide he was also a very nice and friendly guy and he made my visit to Egypt so much more plesent. I could not recommend Ezlam highly enough.
Also there is an honourable mention to Serro, an absolutely amazing felucca captain!!

So i would like to thank you all at Aswan Individual for making my trip in Egypt something I will always remember!!

 

Steve and Meg, England, October 31, 2011

Dear Petra
Firstly thank you for the minibus on the first day it added to what was a wonderful birthday, so thank you again and thank Waleed for the complimentary guiding.

The services were excellent. Fatima struck the right note immediately, Eslam was amazing, especially reading out loud the hieroglyphics in the temples. We had really good time with him and the driver Waleed, without whom we would never have found or gotten to the monastery we were looking for in Esna.

The guiding was excellent and as it should be. Unfortunately in the past it has often been what the guide wants and not what the visitor wants!

Thanks once again for making our trip really memorable and I will at a later time post on your site and on trip advisor.

Take Care and all my thanks and best wishes to everyone at Aswan Individual.
Steve

 

Liz Rowe, England, October 11, 2011

I do of course have wonderful memories, and in fact the best ones I have are of Aswan. It was so beautiful, chilled out and relaxed; I had an amazing time and want to go back! I felt really at home in Aswan, and if I can afford it next year will try and make another visit, but now I have to go back to work and to reality :(. All I can think of is the Movenpick Hotel with its incredible views of the Tombs of the Nobles - I could sit on my balcony every evening and see this, enjoying a glass of Omar Khayyam red wine.

I was blogging on my website - www.lizrowe.co.uk while I was away, so you can have a look and see what I said there - hopefully some of it will make you laugh.

You and Waleed were the perfect guides for my time in Aswan; I have forgotten about the bad tummy and the hot trip to Abu Simbel - they do not matter; what mattered is that you were always extremely well organised, very welcoming, and nothing was too much trouble. Without having you there to look after me I'm sure that my trip would not have been anywhere near as pleasant, exciting and fascinating.

Luxor and Cairo I am not so keen on - I could cope with never going there again - the hassle in Luxor was unbelievable and in fact I had to change hotels to avoid the terrible swarm of people trying to get something from you, but it was lovely to see the Giza Pryramids and Saqqara whilst I was in Cairo.

Thanks again for making my trip to Aswan so perfect - if I know anyone who is coming I will certainly recommend you to them.
Kind regards, Liz

Julia Kamlish, England, October 11, 2011

I wanted to say a huge thank you to you and Waleed for everything. We had a brilliant holiday and a lot of that is thanks to you both. Waleed was brilliant and sorted everything out perfectly. The boat was fantastic and so was our tour guide Eslam in Aswan - he was so lovely, and we had a perfect day with him, and with the man who took us on the Felucca trip - we both feel that was one of the highlights of the holiday.

I have already mentioned Waleed to other people and hopefully they will, when all the troubles subside! consider coming to Egypt and get in touch with you and Waleed.
Thanks again for making our holiday so perfect. With best regards, Julia

 

Graeme Bean, England, July 16, 2011

The whole trip was absolutely perfect, I couldn't have asked for more, the faluca trip and lunch was excellent and great suggest, we really couldn't have been happier with the whole way that everything was arranged and how friendly everyone was. Thank you again so much for your help.
I will be putting reviews up online on the various forums and passing your details on to the owner of the villa that we were staying in so that other guests can contact you if they wish to visit Aswan.
Once again you and your team have been incredible, thank you so much Petra and keep up the good work.
Kind regards, Graeme

 

L. Bellchambers, from Australia with two friends, July 5, 2011

Hi Petra
Thanks for the help
Waleed was actually waiting for us at the train station when we arrived which was great. The hotel said he had also been here looking for us....we were very impressed he had made such an effort to track us down. we have spent the last two days doing tours / being driven around by his team and he has certainly gone out of his way to make sure that everything has run smoothly, including sorting out any small glitches quickly and efficiently
Cheers, Lynda

Jack and Caitlin, USA, June 26, 2011:

Hello Waleed my friend,
Caitlin and I made it back to our home safely. (...) I have given your email address to a couple of family friends who are thinking about visiting Egypt on their next trip. I am also going to write a review on TripAdvisor about your services and how great you are at taking care of your clients. We met so many nice people in our visit to Egypt but you are on the top of our list as the best. I hope we can remain friends and meet again someday.
Sincerely,
Jack

2nd email (after I asked if it is okay to put the first email in the guestbook): "... We were so totally pleased with our tours that you and Waleed provided and the customer service was the best I've ever had with any company. Feel free to use all or part of my email for your guest book. We are telling as many people as we can about our trip and how they should go to Egypt themselves. Of course we tell them about your company and how great Waleed is at taking care of all the details and following up to make sure we were happy with everything. ..."

 

D. (post it without my/our names bec. of google)?, UK, June 24, 2011

Thank you very much! It was all perfect and brilliant to see Abu Simbel.
Many thanks for your help and organising this trip for us - much appreciated.
Best regards,d.


Richard, Juan and John, UK, June 2, 2011: Review in tripadvisor

I found Aswan Individual through the web, and emailed Petra, who is based in Germany, and is the first contact. We knew that we wanted to stay overnight in a local house in Aswan, visit a couple of sites and then spend a four days sailing on a felucca, back towards Luxor.

Petra organised everything - in detail, all exactly priced. All we needed to do was call her local contact, Waleed, a couple of days before we left to confirm we were going, and then again when we reached Luxor. We paid nothing until we arrived, which is very trusting of them, and then only for what was completed, as it happened.

We used EasyJet from London, stayed overnight at each end in Luxor and Petra did the rest.

They could have picked us up in a car from Luxor but one of the three of us wanted to use the train to Aswan; different to say the least as we met some interesting people, and it cost 41 Egyptian Pounds, about 5 EUR each.

We visited a temple, saw the unfinished obelisk, which to be honest was much the same as when I last saw it - not a lot happening. Their guide for the day was Islam, who is tremendously enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. (We have experienced local guides here in the past, many of whom just want to get you to the brothers shop rather than impart any information). So top marks there.

The owner/captain of the boat that Petra and Waleed organised is Sero, who lives on Elephantine Island, we stayed in a house nearby (basic) and had a couple of meals in his house, which were excellent.

The felucca was a laugh from beginning to end, Sero is a top cook, and made something different each day, including camel meat, white soup and other local dishes. Mido, Minshaweee and Hamadi looked after the boat under Captain Sero's steely gaze and made constant cups of tea.

We went to a camel market, which was hot and smelly but definitely worth a visit. Sero's family is from around there so he restocked in the local market - he seemed to know everybody, while we tried the local shops for tea and coffee.

Apart from that we had nothing to do on the boat except read books, swim off the side when the breeze failed and talk to the crew about everything and nothing then sleep out under the stars. Again top marks for a great time.

Four nights on a boat was exactly right for us, but our wives/partners did not come, and they might have struggled with the toilet arrangements, which are wash in the Nile, and look after everything else in the desert, which may not suit all tastes. I think that Petra said that it is possible to do any number of nights or have a day trip which might fit some people better.

Waleed arranged a car to pick us up and we drove back to Luxor.

Nothing more to say other than that Sero is an excellent singer, and that Hamadi can't dance, but he really thinks he can. Don't bring many clothes, you can wash as you go. You need some long sleeves and trousers and socks to cover up at night and stuff to swim in. I finished two books. There is a big ice box, and you can bring beers if you like, but it is too hot to have much more than a cold beer with dinner.

Anyway, and possibly most importantly, if you visit Aswan and book through Aswan Individual, profits are not skimmed off by middlemen, the local people get the money. It costs less than any tour company, and they certainly looked after us properly.

Sadly, tourism is not going that well in Egypt at the moment, but we had no concerns or worries, and while it is not so busy, you can see the temples in peace, all the more reason to do it now.

Visited May 2011

 

Peter Betros, London, April 28, 2011

Hi Petra and Waleed,
Thanks to you both for all your help with our trip on Lake Nasser and in Aswan.

Everything was brilliant and we had a great time. Special thanks for the last minute organisation of the transfer to Luxor and the sound and light show at Philae.
Regards, Peter

Review in tripadvisor (May 2011):

On a recent visit to Aswan, I used Aswan Individual for 2 seperate airport transfers, a private afternoon's sailing on a felucca, a visit to Philae temple for the Sound and Light Show and a private transfer from Aswan to Luxor.
All of these were organised at effectively the last minute (Philae a couple of hours beforehand and the transfer to Luxor the day before). Waleed and Petra were helpful and knowledgeable and the prices were all impossible to beat.
Thanks for making our time in Aswan so easy and fun.

 

Fernando Gomez Contreras, Spain, April 27, 2011

Dear Petra,
I only want to thank you for the efficient organization of our activities in Aswan. Waleed was always available for solving any problem that might arise. The felucca and motorboat captains and the minibus driver were very friendly and helpful and, even more, very honest. I think that Aswan Individual does a great job for any individual traveler or family going privately to Aswan but wanting to avoid the usual harrasment, and will recommend it to my friends when traveling to Egypt.
Best regards, Fernando Gomez Contreras

 

Wee Chiong, Singapore, April 25, 2011

Hi Petra,
Just wanted to drop a note to compliment the great service aswan individual have provided to me during my trip in Aswan and Luxor. Both the drivers in aswan and luxor were fantastic. Driving were safe and comfortable. Car was good and comfortable as well!

And also, I want to compliment Eslam as well. He’s been a great guide and friend during my tours. Always checking if I need anything or food. He’s so knowledgeable and explains in great details. Thumbs up for him.

Hope the service level will be kept up to such high standard! Thanks for the great service!!
Best Regards,Wee Chiong


Lesley Prosser, Australia, April 17, 2011

Dear Petra, I just want to let you know that the trip you organized for me from Luxor to Aswan on the 16th of April was just terrific. My guide Islam arrived with car and driver at my Luxor West Bank hotel well before the 6:30 pickup time, so we were well on our way by 6:30. I must compliment you on the driver, who was very competent and perhaps the least frightening driver I have encountered so far in Egypt.

My guide Islam was just fantastic. He obviously has a very good education in Egyptian history and religion, and was able to explain the nuances an complexities of the religious structure very well. He also had an intimate knowledge of the temples we visited (Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo) and was able to provide extensive information on the architecture and wall reliefs.

I especially enjoyed the trip across the Nile to visit Silsila. Islam had that bit of the trip very well organized, with the motor boat ready and waiting when we arrived.

Islam is a delightful guide. it's not just that he knows his stuff so well, but more that he conveys his information with such interest and enthusiasm. He obviously has a passion and a real love for what he does. All in all, the whole trip could not have been better or more professionally run.

I have put a review on Trip Adviser, under the name GoneTravelling_2011.
Thanks to you all for a wonderful day,

Best Regards, Lesley Prosser

 

Sheila, James and kids, Canada, March 31, 2011

My husband and I and our 3 kids have just returned from a spectacular trip to Egypt. My planning for this trip was done somewhat last minute as we were unsure about the travel situation in Egypt (which turns out to be wonderful by the way). I emailed Petra at Aswan-Individual as a result of comments I read on TA, as well as from looking at their website. Not only did Petra respond very quickly to my various emails, she sent me more information than I could’ve ever hoped for! I am very much a ‘details’ kind of person and have always been frustrated with email communication in trip planning…most replies tend to ignore the questions asked, or have such vague answers that you have to waste time emailing back for clarification. Not the case with Aswan-Individual. Petra
responded to each and every question with very clear details, adding information that I would not even have thought to ask. I was grateful for this as it made my planning so much easier. I asked Petra for opinions and was given various options with recommendations, which I decided to trust and was happy that I did. Each individual cost was broken down so I could make decisions about each aspect of our itinerary, although the costs were so reasonably that I had no trouble including each of Petra’s suggestions.
We were met at the airport in Aswan by a gentleman who greeted us so kindly, even though we were quite late getting through the airport as our luggage had not come through. I was upset about the luggage situation but he assured me that it would not be a problem and that he would come back with my husband later that day to pick it up (which he did). This gentleman gave us so much information about Aswan just on the drive to our hotel! Once we checked in at our hotel we met Sero and Minshawee for an afternoon of sailing on a felucca. This was the greatest afternoon! We had planned to stop to see various sights over the course of our afternoon but soon discovered that being on the felucca was too much fun and too relaxing to want to get off. Sero was more than happy to accommodate that. The best part of all was the lunch that Sero made for us to enjoy on the felucca….seriously the best lunch of our entire 3 week trip (even the kids agreed!), and all arranged with Petra ahead of time. The kids had the opportunity to jump from the felucca into the Nile for a swim, which was again such a highlight for them. Sero and Minshawee are 2 of the sweetest, nicest men we have ever met.
The next day we had arranged to go to Abu Simbel. Waleed met us at 3:30am as arranged to introduce us to the driver. We had a great drive in a comfortable, clean, airconditioned van (we all comfortably slept on the way there). We figured the 3 hour drive back would be tough for the kids, but we were thrilled when our driver turned on a movie for them to watch! We had the same driver take us to Luxor the next day…he drove safely at all times and was highly professional.
Petra called us a couple of times during our time in Aswan to make sure everything was ok. I could tell from speaking to her that she really, honestly cared that we were enjoying ourselves and that we were happy. I had an email address and phone number for Waleed and Petra in case there was anything we needed at any time. I would very highly recommend everyone at Aswan-Individual for their professionalism, their kindness, their knowledge, and attention to detail. Of all the planning I did for our 3 week family trip,
This was truly the easiest part to arrange and I had the most confidence in how it would turn out. A HUGE thank you to Petra, Waleed, Sero, Minshawee, and our drivers!!

 

Erik Hannemann, Norway, March 23, 2011

Dear Petra,
just to say I am back in Norway after some great days in Upper Egypt. Everything went smooth and we managed to see everything we wanted.
Waleed did an excellent job arranging everything from hotel, car, big and small boats and clever guides. A very good experience, thanks a lot!
all the best, Erik

Karl Harris, March 23, 2011

Thank you to the whole team at Aswan Individual for making my recent return trip to Aswan even better than the first time I visited this beautiful city. You can be rest assured that EVERYTHING was just perfect! After some excellent pre-trip correspondence with Petra my travel companion and I found Waleed charming and efficient and he catered for our every whim and need from checking on opening times at the Museum for us to flagging us down one day when he saw us walking along the corniche and offering us a lift to our final destination that day.

The new felucca captain Sero was an absolute 'gentle' gentleman and we thoroughly enjoyed our four hours of sailing with him - he competently sailed us all the way down to the Old Dam, around several islands, organised for a local man to meet and take us to the fascinating Pharaonic and Ptolemaic carvings on Sehel Island, took us through the best parts of the cataracts for bird watching and even let us have a go at steering his boat. Listening to him talk about his life in Aswan (he remembers life before the Great Dam) was just the icing on the cake!

Our drive from Aswan to Luxor was very comfortable (I think that the driver was called Romani? Whatever, his car and driving were faultless!) and our guide for the optional side-trip to Sil Sila, Mohamed, was very good indeed. He managed to answer all my questions about the site and allowed us to indulge in quite a long visit to the Temple of Horemheb there, as with all our trips there was never any rush and the itinerary was definitely in our control. Most of all, though, we enjoyed the company and excellent guiding of Fatma for our Temple of Philae and Kalabsha visit - what a joy to be with such a knowledgable, enthusiastic, radical/free-thinking and independent Muslim woman - HIGHLY recommended!

Thanks again,
Karl


Arjan van der Meer, Netherlands, March 19, 2011

Dear Petra, Waleed,
Thank you for our very pleasant holiday in Egypt. We enjoyed your hospitality and the tour organized by your organization very much.
I'd specifically would like to thank and compliment you on our guide, Eslam - who was very inspirational and deeply impressed us with his knowledge.
We are definitely telling our friends and family about our great trip to Egypt and will recommend all of them to use your services!
Kind Regards,Arjan

Madeleine Ebneth, Germany, February 7, 2011

Liebe Petra, Hallo Waleed und Minshawee,
gestern nun sind wir von unserer Ägyptenreise zurück gekommen und es ist uns erstes Anliegen, uns bei Euch zu bedanken.
Wir sind relativ erfahrene Ägypten-Urlauber, bewegen uns sehr viel abseits der Touristenpfade und versuchen deshalb immer, unsere geplanten Tripps von einheimischen Anbietern organisieren zu lassen.
Mit Euch haben wir ein Team gefunden, das uns begeistert hat.
Die Vorabplanung der Tripps mit Dir, Petra, lief so absolut reibungslos, obwohl ich im Vorfeld viele Fragen hatte, Dich bestimmt manchmal genervt habe.
Wir führten zu Anfang ein sehr angenehmes Telefonat, in denen wir bereits die groben Eckpunkte geklärt haben und die letztendliche problemlose Buchung war nur noch der unaufwändige Abschluss.
Vor Ort durften wir dann Dich, Waleed, kennen lernen und waren auf´s neue begeistert, wie kompetent und unglaublich nett Du Dich um uns gekümmert hast.
Die Fahrt nach Abu Simbel funktionierte dank der beiden zuverlässigen Fahrer ohne Probleme und wir wurden auch von den beiden Jungs sehr herzlich behandelt.
Minshawee, Du bist der grösste Felukka-Captain, mit dem wir je unterwegs waren, mit Dir haben sogar wir noch Plätze kennen gelernt, die wir noch nicht gesehen
haben. Die Stunden am Nil werden unvergesslich bleiben.
Was wir angesichts der aktuellen Situation in Eurem Heimatland besonders zu würdigen wissen, ist, dass Ihr alle trotz der angespannten Lage Euch gesorgt habt,
dass unsere Ausflüge schön sind. Es ist nicht selbstverständlich, da Eure Gedanken in dieser schwierigen Lage bestimmt viel lieber woanders wären als bei uns
Touristen. Wir denken jetzt, da wir wieder zuhause sind, sehr viel an Euch, hoffen, dass schnell wieder alles gut wird, dass schnell alles besser wird.
Shukran für tolle Stunden mit Aswan-Individual – wir werden uns sicherlich wieder sehen
Liebe Grüsse aus Deutschland
Madeleine & Jens mit Anhang

In English:

Dear Petra, hello Waleed and Minshawee ,
yesterday we came back from our trip to Egypt and our first concern is to thank you.
We are relatively experienced Egypt travelers, prefer to travel beside the tourist beaten tracks and therefore always try to get our trips organized from locals.
With you we have found a team that has impressed us.
The preliminary design of excursions with you, Petra, ran so very smoothly, although I had many questions in advance, you maybe were sometimes annoyed.
At the beginning we had a very pleasant phone conversation in which we have already clarified the rough outline and the final booking was so easy.
In Aswan we met you, Waleed, and were amazed again how competent and incredibly nice you cared about us.
The trip to Abu Simbel was great thanks to the two reliable drivers and we were treated very well by the two guys.
Minshawee, You are the greatest felucca captain, with whom we have ever been sailing, with you we even got to know places we have not seen when we were in Aswan before.
The hours on the Nile will be unforgettable.
Considering the current situation in your home country, we especially appreciate that you provided all this despite the tense situation for you and took care that our trips are nice. Which probably was not easy for you, because we think your thoughts were probably elsewhere in this difficult situation, but you didnt let us know or feel.
Now that we are back home we think very much about you, we hope all will be well again soon, that things will get better fast.
Shukran for great hours with Aswan-Individual - we will certainly see you again
Best regards from Germany
Madeleine & Jens with Annex


Helen Lewis, UK, February 6, 2011

Re: 3 hour Birdwatching Trip from Aswan

A rather belated but notheless heartfelt thank you for arranging our superb birdwatching trip on December 4th 2010. There are many glowing reviews on the Aswan Individual website, but surprisingly none that I could find for this trip so I wanted to record our experiences to encourage visitors in the future. It was the highlight of our week!

Mustafa came to meet us off our cruise boat, no mean feat as we'd had to change moorings, and within minutes we were gliding away in his motorboat across to the far bank of the Nile. Instantly we relaxed as we left the noise and crowds of the cruise boats behind and made our way upstream, captivated by the amber coloured sands rising high above the river. So began a perfect boat trip, one of peace and calm, full of wonderful sights and sounds. Mustafa skilfully steered the boat through the ever narrower channels of fast flowing water between the rocky islands of the first cataract. 'King fish' he cried out, as the ubiquitous pied kingfisher flew past. Slowing down we were delighted by close up views of many birds including little bittern, squacco heron, purple heron, purple gallinule and even an osprey - magical. The return route passed by a colourful Nubian village and local fishermen mending their nets, Mustafa singing and pointing out interesting sights. Although we had been very glad of the shade provided by the roof of the boat, the three of us couldn't resist climbing up to sit on the roof of the boat for the scenic ride past the Old Cataract Hotel and all the feluccas lined up on the shore of Elephantine island. A fabulous trip, one which we highly recommend.

Very best wishes,
Helen

Joanne Lee, England / Canada, February 3, 2011 (sms to Waleed)

Hello Waleed,
Thank you so much for taking care of Carol and I in Egypt.
I have arrived home safely and my family are all glad that I have evacuated.
It was very nice to meet you and hope you and your family well.
Best Regards,
Joanne

Anne Hamilton, USA, February 2, 2011

Hi Petra,
Rich and I arrived back in the USA yesterday. Despite the protests, we had a wonderful trip, and it was very exciting to be in Cairo as history was being made. I wanted to let you know that our two tours booked with Aswan-individual were just fantastic. The ASW->LUX day with Mr. Mohamed and Mr. Eslam was wonderful. Mr. Mohamed is a fantastic driver, and did everything to ensure our comfort. Mr. Eslam was so much fun! We really appreciated his depth of egyptological knowledge, and the passion with which he makes the history so accessible to the uninitiated. I had read a lot beforehand, and Eslam was great in adjusting his guidance to take our basic knowledge much further. It's a talented guide who can "read" his clients and provide them with the level of detail and information they'll best appreciate. Mr. Eslam has that down.

Our LUX->Aby->Dendera day was equally wonderful. The Luxor driver Mr. Eslam was very good and took good care of us. Having the other Mr. Eslam as a guide for another day was a real treat. We felt like old friends by then.

All up, I give high marks to Aswan-Individual for their responsiveness through the booking process, their accessibility in country via Mr. Waleed, and the quality of the drivers and guide. Thanks so much for a wonderful experience. Please thank the whole Aswan-Individual team for us for making our holiday so memorable and exciting.
Best,
Anne Hamilton

Gerard Somers, England, January 28, 2011

Hello Petra
I am just writing to thank you and your two drivers for the excellent service on our trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel.
It was particularly good to visit the two temples on our journey back as it is unlikely we would have seen them otherwise - Edfu was particularly
impressive but the whole journey was well worth it.
I trust your driver got back to Aswan OK - a long drive, especially at night.
Once again, many thanks.
Regards
Gerard and Christine Somers

Jason, New York, January 22, 2011

Hi Petra,
I had a terrific time! I have never been anywhere that matched my expectations exactly. Everything was just as amazing as I expected. One of the best vacations I have had. Probably in all of Egypt - the thing that I liked and was most surprised by were the people. They genuinely wanted to talk to you and help you and not ask for something in return. Yes, there were lots of touts, and in Aswan, everyone wanted to offer you a falucca ride or some souvenirs. However, if you were polite and just said "no thank you" or "la shokran", they smiled and did not bother you. It was not like India, China, Thailand or other places where people won't leave you alone no matter how many times you say "no." So, we were all very happy about that - we came expected and hearing about how terrible it is to be a tourist in Egypt, and we found the people to be wonderful!

With respect to Aswan, it was all great. It's hard to pick a favorite thing. Mustafa was awesome - he showed us all kinds of things in a non-touristy kind of way, and he brought us to his house to enjoy his mother's cooking. The whole time with him, we felt like visitors or guests - not tourists! He also brought us to this great little spot to have Nubian coffee during sunset. In Aswan, there was no particular high point - it's not like Cairo, where the best thing is the Pyramids and Museum, or Luxor, where the best thing is Karnak. In Aswan, we just enjoyed all of the sites (Tombs of Nobles, Monastery of St. Simeon, Nubian Musuem, islands, etc.) and after a very hectic trip, we just relaxed and had such a nice time (especially on the falucca). It was just what we needed!

The only thing I think that disappointed us a bit were the hotels and night life but that has nothing to do with you and isn't anyone's fault. I know what Aswan is a traditional, conservative place, so it there would not be discos or anything like that - in fact, when I travel, I don't like to drink and party, like a lot of people do. However, we just found that after dark, there really isn't anywhere to go. There's not a restaurant culture like in Cairo or any relaxing bars, so we usually just wandered in the souk and then went to bed very early - even on New Year's eve, we were alseep by 10pm! The other thing that Aswan needs is better hotels. They have some very expensive 5-star hotels like the Movenpick (which I heard is actually not that good), but all of the cheaper accomodations are loud, dirty and actually not very cheap! Our hotel, the Nile hotel, was in a great location, but it cost US$120 and was very loud and dirty. All of the other hotels in town seemed like that. We heard about some nicer and cheaper ones, but they were far outside of the town. There seem to be some new hotels coming up, so let's hope they can be built without destroying the peacefulness and authenticity of Aswan but also offer people a nice affordable place to stay.

Now that I have time, I want to write a review for you on Trip Advisor this weekend. I would highly recommend your services. Everything you arranged was organized, much more authentic than a typical tour agency and MUCH CHEAPER than what we would have paid elsewhere. I would also like to either write a separate review for Mustafa or include it in the review I write for Aswan Individual.

Sorry we didn't get a chance to meet, and thanks so much for all of your help. Other than writing the reviews online, I wish there was something I could do for you!

Happy new year.
Jason

Gianluigi and Matilda, Bologna, January 19, 2011

Hi Petra
Back home, I and my daughter Matilda would like to thank you, Waleed and all the Chantal's crew for the great time we had.
Everything was well organized and all the persons we came in contact with were very kind.
Sailing downstream the Nile was a very intense experience. The wind was just perfect for sailing, days were warm and nights cold but very dry, and watching the people's daily life on Nile's banks was a bit like setting the time clock back by thousands years.
Matilda loved the journey and had great fun climbing on the mast, playing cards with the crew or simply watching the landscape.
The Capitain (I am not sure i can spell his name right) was a real gentleman and made everything right to make us feeling comfortable. He and his mate Ahmada (hope I remember the name correctly) seem to know the Nile as they backyard and their ability in maneuvering the boat without an auxhiliary engine amazed me. I wish I could have just a small fraction of their sailing skills.
Please pass on to them all my warmest regards
All our trip to Egypt was great but the two days we spent on the river were definitely the highIight. I would recommend this experience as must-do to any indipendent traveller coming to Egypt !
I attach a few pictures All the Best !
Gianluigi and Matilda Bologna, Italy

Anne Oudinot, London, January 15, 2011

Hello Petra,
We are now back in London after a wonderful trip in Egypt.
I wanted to thank you for your services, it was perfect. The driver was really nice and such a good driver. He seems to be going to Abu Simbel a lot, he knows all the bumps and holes in the road! Thanks again, Anne

Megumi Ishikawa, Japan, January 10, 2011

Dear Petra,
Hello. I'm Megumi Ishikawa. I just wanted to thank you for organizing the Nile cruise!!
We enjoyed a lot and relaxed in the cozy room. It was perfect to finish our trip and we had a very good memory on the boat.
I appreciate all of your work and Waleed. Thank you so much! and nice to meeting you guys!!
Best regards,Megumi Ishikawa

Simos Bakas, January 9, 2011
Dear Petra,Just to say we had a wonderful time on the Felucca trip from Aswan to Kom Ombo. This was largely thanks to the tireless efforts of our captains Sero and Minshawi. They looked after us throughout our trip, sparing no effort to make our sail enjoyable and fun. A lovely touch was when they secretly decorated the boat for Christmas, complete with balloons, tinsel and Santa!
They were warm, friendly and yet discrete so it was easy to relax with them. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have met them. Also we appreciated the fact that both you and Waleed called us during our trip to see if everything was okay. Please pass on our thanks and best wishes to all.
We attach a few photos.
We will definitely recommend Aswan-Individual to our friends,
Kind Regards, Simos, Roz, Lily and Alex

Jake and Alison, January 8, 2011

Thank you again for a wonderful day in Aswan and on Elephantine Island! We have told all of our friends that this day was one of the highlights of our trip. I wanted to share some pictures with you. They are attached to this email. If you have any trouble receiving them please let me know.Ali and I wish you all the best.
-Jake


Tejas Doshi, USA, January 8, 2011

Petra,Happy New Year! I am back from Egypt. My family and I had a wonderful time there. The airport transfer and sightseeing arrangements at Luxor and Aswan were spotless. WIsh we could spend more time there. It was pleasure to meet both Walid (in Aswan) and Hassany (in Luxor). The tour guides and taxi drivers were very professional and helpful. All in all, we had fun. Thank you so much. You could use my name as referral for your prospective clients. I would be happy to spread good word around.
Thanks,
Tejas Doshi, USA

Helen (studies Egyptology in London), December 28, 2010

Dear Petra
We had a lovely week in Aswan.The hotel (Isis Island Hotel) was extremely nice with beautiful gardens, and excellent value for money. I have posted a full trip report on the TA website and a hotel review.
We both enjoyed the trip to Silsila very much indeed. It was a lot of fun.
I will certainly contact Aswan Individual again for my next trip and will happily recommend them to others.
The old museum was closed, as we had realised. I bought a copy of the guide to the excavations of Elephantine published by the German/Swiss team from the bookshop in the souk and very much enjoyed looking over the excavations.
Karin loved Aswan as well, and said she hopes to return! I hope you had a very good Christmas and wish you all the best for the New Year.
Helen

Maurilo, Brasil (December 17, 2010)

Dear Petra thank you so much for your cooperation, especially to Walled!
Everything was perfect and the team provided us all support to make this time a great experience in Egypt.
Thanks again e we hope see you in the next trip.
Maurilo Vilas Boas.

Manisha & Stephen, Canada (December 15, 2010)

Hi Petra,
I am a bit late with this, but wanted to thank you for organizing our day trip to Abu Simbel. Everything was perfect, in fact, better than we expected. The Kia 4x4 was a great vehicle and Hamada, our driver, was fantastic. Not only was he a great driver he was also very personable and we enjoyed speaking with him during the drive.
Thank you to you, Waleed and Hamada for everything!
Best wishes, Manisha

By email: Mrs Boettcher, Germany (December 11, 2010), translated by Google

Hi Petra!
Only a day back in Germany but I would love to return to Egypt-Aswan immediately! I once again want to thank you very much for your efforts, it was super nice. All we have planned with you ran very smoothly and was stress free but with a lot of fun.
Although I have been to Aswan several times, I was able to discover many new places and my husband was very impressed, despite initial skepticism he liked everything. The trips Walled organized were very good and we enjoyed it very much. The guide was very nice and spoke pretty good German, but also technically he was very good, ... We had to laugh a lot with him! But much praise for Mustafa !!!!! this man is a real guy! We are glad that we could get to know him.
The trip with him and his boat was incredibly beautiful and relaxing. The food his mother prepared was awesome !!!!!!!!!! After Christmas stress will be over I will send you some pictures via mail! I really hope we keep in touch!
My conclusion: It was a perfect vacation and we were able to experience things that we have not yet seen like that. And when I will visit Aswan in about 7 weeks I would like to again take advantage of your offer for other trips!
MANY MANY THANKS!


By email: Kristina Jacobs, USA (December 10, 2010)

Hi Petra,
Thank you again for the wonderful experience provided in Aswan. Waleed was an incredible help and Fatima, our guide to the Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan Dam, and Philae, was amazing. She was very friendly and knowledgeable - when we return to Aswan (not if!), we would very much like to have her as a guide again.
Our tour of Elephantine Island with Moustaffa was also a huge highlight of our trip. The Nubian people are warm and make the most beautiful scarves I have ever seen. It was very interesting to see the differences in art and architecture of the Nubian village and we would definitely like to spend more time exploring the island on our next trip. Abu Simbel is well worth the 3am departure - I will never forget watching the sunrise over the desert on the way to Abu Simbel. The temple is just enormous - we were awestruck by the size and beauty of the place.

After traveling to Luxor and Cairo, we agreed that Aswan & Abu Simbel were our favorite parts of our 2 weeks in Egypt. The people and atmosphere in Aswan is relaxed and friendly, everyone wants to ensure you have a wonderful time and enjoy all that Aswan has to offer. We really can't wait to come back and meet with Waleed and the rest of the Aswan Individual team again.
Thank you!
Kristina Jacobs & Sarah McGuire


By sms: Kristiana Jacobs, USA (November 25, 2010)

Hello waleed,
We are here and well! Please tell our driver from yesterday thank you again for putting up with us for 15 hours.
I cannot wait to come back to Aswan someday, we really loved the city and the people.
Thank you again for everything!
Kristina

Anthony Monaghan, Irland (November 25, 2010)

Hi Petra, I was very happy with Aswan-Individual. Very good service and very good cars.
The guides were all excellent and very professional. I was happy with each of them. I definitely will use Aswan-Individual when I return to Aswan again, but that will probaly be in one or two years from now.
(... private ...)

I liked the tombs at El-Kab, great colour. Also the Mudbrick walls are very well perserved. very suprised to see the walls, as I did not know they was there before I went.
Esna Temple is also very well perserved, glad I went there. Gebel Silsila was also very good. I enjoyed the drive from Aswan to Luxor. Again the guide and driver were top notch.
I have to give a special special mention to the driver, because I forgot my Camera and left it in the car in Luxor, but he came back to the hotel with it after he saw it in the back seat.
I was very happy to get it back!

Overall I was very happy with everthing, 5 stars for Aswan-Individual!
I will send on the Abydos photos now,
Thanks for all your help Petra,


Hugo Bastos, Portugal (November 22, 2010)

Hi Petra,
Thank you for the assistance in the planning of our Egypt trip. Overall it was a very positive experience.

The most typical nuisances that we came across were all from the expected sources, that is, they were either related with hassling, haggling and/or baksheesh. Regardless, we overcame them fairly well in general.

Everything went according to plan in Aswan and Abu Simbel, except getting to Abu Simbel, we bought plane tickets because the sleeping trains were booked full.

Waleed greeted us personally and took good care of us (even took us out for sheesha and tea). He was always aiming to make us happy with everything and trying to solve every little problem that might emerge. At Luxor we actually had some problems, because one of our two days in Luxor coincided with the Islamic festival so with was hard to get a guide, but after a number of calls Waleed actually managed to get us a guide, and even though we actually started the tour that day a bit late, we both loved that guide so everything worked out ok.

I just feel sorry for Waleed and his family because he had to spend a good part of the festival day sorting out these kind of problems, when he should be just relaxing with his family and enjoying the holiday.

Concerning Mustafa, regretfully there was no wind on the suppose-to-be-fellucca-day. However, he took us on a motor boat, and although the sound of a motor ruins a bit the mood, it was perhaps the loveliest and most relaxing day of our trip. Using the motorboat allowed us to move around quite a bit, but we also lounged about in some of the places we stopped. Most noteworthy, were the Nubian coffee house and Mustafa's village on the Elephantine island. We also rode a camel for about 20-30 minutes, it was a dreadful experience, but hey, at least now we have a check mark on our things-done list :)

The nubian coffee is very tasty indeed, but not that strong in terms of caffeine as you (or the site) made me believe, which was a good thing because I actually like to slumber and sleep ;) The space itself was quite enjoyable, and I could imagine myself lounging about there often :) and then we have the Nubian village and Mustafa's house, the roof view is just delightful... and the lunch cooked by Mustafa's mother was quite tasty :D

I just needed to be more careful with low archways, because I bumped my head there (at Mustafa's mother house) :P
...but fortunately at the time I was wearing my sunglasses on top of my head and they absorbed the shock.

Mustafa himself is a simple and honest man but proud of his river life, and it was very enjoyable to have him as our River Captain/guide.
A little request, if you could provide, I would like to have his postal address so that we could send him prints of some of the pictures taken that day and perhaps something about Portugal.

Well I could go on and on about Waleed and Mustafa but there's no need to bother you with endless details, the comments left by the people before us, hold true to the men they are.

Well, from what I heard we just missed the chance to meet you for a few weeks or so. Perhaps next time, or if we ever go to Germany.
Regardless, I wish you a nice trip for next month :)

~Hugo

P.S. - I was shocked with the state of the horses there at Egypt (first at Edfu and then at Luxor). Most of them were all ribs showing and looking underfed and overworked. It broke my heart. Many people would dismiss my feelings for the poor horses, saying that people's suffering is more important, however the poor animals don't have any choice at all in the life they have :( I rode a horse carriage to reach the Edfu temple, but nevermore. At the end of the trip I would have given baksheesh for the horse, if the driver haven't tried to cheat us with the old piasters-for-pounds trick :( Regardless, I plan to contribute with a donation to the Brooke Animal Hospital in my next round of bill payments...

Bruce Wallace, Canada (November 15, 2010)

Hello Petra,
We had a marvellous day on the felucca with Mustafa. The bird life on the river is outstanding. Mustafa took us to a cafe under the trees on the west bank where we relaxed and enjoyed the company, and the coffee, of his friends. Seeing the Nubian village and enjoying Mustafa's hospitality was a highlight. I'll write something up on the website once I get home and have some free time. But it was a great day on the boat. Actually, with no wind, we opted for a motor cruise instead of a felucca, but it was not a disappointment. A wonderful day.
Bruce

sms to Waleed from Jacek Kallaur (November, 2010)

Thank you once again, Waleed and especially for your care today during our trip Abu Simbel to Luxor. Best regards, Jacek Kallaur

Natarajan and Nrithika, India (November 12, 2010)

Hi Waleed and Petra,
This is Natarajan and Nrithika from India. We had a great cruise in the Semiramis II last week (Nov 1-3 boarded from Aswan)
Thanks to both of you for helping us get a reservation and specially thanks to Waleed for getting us a great room on the cruise as well.
It was a great trip and memorable trip for us and would like to thank you again
Regards,
Natarajan & Nrithika

Virginia and Scott, Virginia / USA (October 31, thank you for the picture)

Please tell Waleed we were very satisfied with the way his organized tours turn out, and were pleased with our guide. Reminiscing it all, Scott and I can't believe to have seen all the major sites and temples from Luxor to Abu Simbel including Abydoss and Dendara -- all thanks to your thoroughness and patience in dealing with my questions and Waleed's hard work.

Virginia and Scott
in tripadvisor (November 19):

For those embarking for the first time on an independent tour--extensive or not--of Egypt beyond the pyramids of Cairo, Aswan Individual is the answer. We were first time visitors in Egypt, aiming to do an extensive tour in one visit (to see most of the ancient, colossal temples in Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel), and Aswan Individual helped us fulfill our trip of a lifetime.

Having read everything and researched about destinations in Egypt, I felt apprehensive at first on how to go about with our itinerary. It felt daunting booking trips with the unknowns (tours, agents), let alone embark on this trip and navigate Egypt on your own. From the moment I've read about Aswan Individual on TripAdvisor, I quickly visited their website. Convinced, I immediately emailed Petra. True enough, she promptly responds to emails and will let you know if she cannot. I presented her our customized tour itinerary, and she replied with the same quote as in their website. I had so many questions and each time she was quick and patient to answer them. Never did I have to anxiously wait so many days for her reply. Her prompt answers enabled me to quickly frame our Egypt itinerary. No deposits required, all were done in good faith. Final payment is collected when you meet Waleed. Any changes to itinerary/tours should be communicated in advance.

Note that I booked separately our accommodations. When a problem surfaced regarding a paid booking at Seti Hotel, I frantically emailed Petra for help, and her team in Aswan (Waleed) contacted the hotel for me. Although their site promotes Aswan, they can also help with tours in Luxor; even provided me with a link to desirable hotels in El Gouna for the Hurghada/Red Sea segment of our trip. She gives her honest opinion and knowledge of Egypt based on her experiences, and with her advice, it seems like I already have a trusted Egyptian friend. My apprehensions gone, nerves calmed.

With nearly three weeks in Egypt, we were able to see and do everything, including a day tour to Abydos and Dendara (impressive!), a 3-nt Nile River cruise (with visit to Edfu and Kom Ombo temples), and half-day felucca sailing (with visit to the Botanical/Kitchner Garden), and motorboat. The weather was perfect and we have the felucca all to ourselves, along with Mustafa and his assistant. Other tourists packed in crowded feluccas must have looked at us with envy. We just lounged there, enjoying the passing views as the wind carried our nice and spacious sailboat around the Elephantine Island. We would love to do it again someday. Mustafa is a humble Nubian with a genuine character. On our way to a delicious lunch (Nubian style) at his mom's place, he showed us his neighborhood on Elephantine Island. After lunch he invited us to his own rental place. Much to my surprise, I didn't expect my husband would be delighted with this brief Nubian immersion experience. We then boarded his motorboat up the cataracts. All these at a fraction of the price than most other tour companies, and with added peace of mind.

Aswan Individual price, quality, and service met our expectations. Their website presents fair price for both tourist and tour provider, and gives you an idea of the entrance fees to help estimate your budget. The 3-nt Nile River cruise that Waleed helped pick for us at the last minute was reasonable---a huge savings than booking in advance online. We were on Semiramis III, rated 5-star, presentable, and although a bit dated, our stateroom is adequate and nice, cleaned daily---not bad for the price. The ship was fully booked, and found ourselves among the company of Thomas Cook guests from Belgium and France; and an American family of five.

Aswan Individual team operates in a professional fashion and will make sure that you're not disappointed. Petra and Waleed would call you to check how you're doing to see if you're happy with the tour, guide, and driver. They welcome your feedback; are open to suggestions, and consider them seriously. In Luxor our guide was Eslam. He is young, always punctual, well-educated, enthusiastic and proud of his country's history, knowledgeable of ancient gods and goddesses, can decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs, speaks English well, and patiently answered our questions. We were already comfortable with him so we asked Waleed not to replace Eslam when we get to Aswan. We were extremely happy to have him all along. He didn't take us to any papyrus or perfume shops as we've indicated to him right from the start that we're not interested, thus we were able to maximize our time touring around.

Overall, we were very pleased with Waleed's personalized service...highly recommendable.

After enduring the scorching heat, thirst, and exhaustion touring all the temples along the Nile, we capped our Egypt tour by quenching in the refreshing, colorful waters of the Red Sea, and basked in the El Gouna sun and sands.

Edited: 4:17 am, November 19, 2010



Melissa, New York (October 8 in tripadvisor)

My husband and I recently came back from a two week trip to Egypt. It was fascinating but a bit overwhelming with so many vendors haggling you. The best part of my trip was in Aswan- a place that is often overlooked by many travelors. I should have stayed two full days there. I highly recommend Aswan Individual-they have a website with all the information and also provide helpful hints for travelers.

Mustafa, a nubian native and upmost gentleman, gave us the best tour of the nubian villages- haggle free- and a private fellucca ride down the nile river. Absolutely breathtaking and most of all peaceful. If I had more time, I would of loved to visit another village and ride a camel to the monastery. Mustafa knows the area inside out so you are in very safe hands. And he know how to treat his clients and knows exactly where to go.

I also visited the Nubiam Museum, High Dam and Philae Temple, all which I recommend as well.

As for hotel, the best there is the Movenpick- clean, hospitable and centrally located. You do have to take a lil ferry to get to it but is is very simple and short ride.

if you want to enjoy you trip haggle free and visit areas that many tourists overlook, or even more, avoid get jam packed icrowed in a boat with overpriced rate, do yourself a favor and just go to Aswan Individual website.I foudn them through my research on trip advisor b/f I booked my trip.


Monica Grabin (September 13, 2010)

At any rate, I wanted to thank you for a wonderful stay in upper Egypt. Waleed, Mustafa, and our guide, Islam, were all excellent. You were right about Abu Simbel, and our driver was so fast getting there that there were times when we were in both temples all alone. An incredible experience. We had similar good luck in the tombs and temples in Luxor. Mustafa's rides in his boats were a real highlight, and we saw wonderful birds.

When we get home, we'll take the time to write a real review and sign the guestbook. But for now, I just wanted you to know how much we appreciate what you offer and how well you met all expectations. I only wish similar services were offered elsewhere.


Xiaolin, Bejing (September 10)

I like the way Aswan Individual arranges the trip - people can pick up and put together 'modules' that they like with reasonable prices. The website is informative, one of the best that I came across searching on the internet for my Egypt trip. All of you whom I contacted were very helpful. Waleed is good at reassuring people when they have difficulties like when I ran into trouble in drawing cash. He is resourceful. Minshawee and Zero were enthusiastic showing me around - I was impressed with what I saw. Both of them and Waleed were considerate as well during the felucca trip - cooking various types of food to make sure I was comfortable and relaxed.
All the best, Xiaolin

Sian, Dirk-Jan, Sanne, Dylan and Finn, Netherlands (August 1, 2010)

“We’re so glad that we used Aswan Individual for the Aswan part of our trip to Egypt. It’s the perfect solution for independent travellers (and even people on an organised tour with some free time on their hands). You can organise as much or as little as you want during your stay. It’s comforting to know that you can always contact Petra or Waleed if you want help planning something or just need advice. Waleed is the perfect organiser and will never let you down. He felt more like a good friend. During the overnight felucca trip Mustafa and Minshawee looked after us well, were good company and cooked delicious meals. We would sail with them again - but next time not in the summer - 55?C and no wind is tough-going! With Aswan Individual we felt we were in good hands, came into contact with genuine and honest people and yet it was nice being able to make the decisions per day and take it easy when we felt like it, particularly important when travelling with children. We will recommend the team to anyone travelling to Aswan. Best regards”.
Sian, Dirk-Jan, Sanne, Dylan and Finn

Mohamad Ashmi, Singapore (July 7, 2010)

Hello Petra, we really enjoyed our stay in Egypt, particularly Aswan. It was breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful in Aswan compared to Cairo or Luxor.
Mr. Waleed greeted us when we were in Aswan and the services given were impeccable. Many thanks to you for arranging our tour in Aswan. It was well coordinated. Mr. Mostafa is superb. I have never met a more honourable man in Egypt than him.

Thank you again Petra. Hope to deal with you guys again. I will definitely spread the good service rendered by you guys to my friends who are planning to visit Aswan. Take care and do send my regards to Mr. Waleed and Mostafa.
Yours, Mohamad Ashmi, Singapore

Gary Timoshenko (July 5, 2010)

Hello Mr. Waleed,
Just a quick note to thank you for all the work you did for us. We made it safely in Luxor on the boat (which was very nice).
It was a pleasure to meet you, and we'll put a nice note on the Internet for you.
We are taking the overnight train tonight from Luxor to Cairo, and we'll be leaving Egypt on Wednesday. We had an amazing time in Egypt, and the people of Egypt is what will leave a mark on us.Thanks!
Gary and Elise and Alex

Jim & Christine from Australia (June 16, 2010)

Hi Petra,
We are writing to you from Dahab where I have finally got internet access again.
Just wanted to update and thank you (and Waleed) for organising everything so perfectly for us in Aswan.

Waleed was very professional and helpful from the beginning. He was there to greet & collect us at the airport, explained our itinerary (including the last minute changes that I asked for due to my wife's illness) and basically was just very reassuring for us to know that everything was taken cared of and we didnt have to stress about anything.

Aswan itself was beautiful, looking back I think it was the best part of our first week in Egypt (Cairo, Aswan, Luxor).

Day 1: Airport pickup at 10:30am. We were met by Waleed & driver in a very nice (new and smooth) air conditioned car. Check-in at hotel where we rested for 2 hours before taking Waleeds advice and visited the Philae temple/high dam. After Philae, we had a slight rest at the hotel before meeting Mustafa for our 2 hour falucca ride during sunset. Mustafa is a star and a gentleman and we loved his company. His knowledge of the area and its history and the nile was one of the highlights of our trip - enjoyed every moment of that falucca ride and the sunset was quite spectacular.

Day 2: Abu Simbel, second convoy. Again, the nice air conditioned car was used for this long jouney which made a big difference for my wife as she was starting to recover from her fatigue. In fact, she slept very comfortably in the car and did not feel any motion/travel sickness at all. Very courteous and professional driver too - I think he's name is Mohammed.

Day 3: Transfer to Luxor via Kom Ombo and Edfu: We are so glad that we had a chance to see the countryside and also these 2 towns.

Overall, we are extremely grateful for the quality of the services we received from Aswan Individuals. We found you from recommendations from friend and also from Tripadvisor and I must say that you have exceeded our expectations and made our 3 days in Aswan very enjoyable and stress-free. I just wished I could have employed your services for Cairo and other parts of Egypt too. I will not hesitate to recommend you to others on TA and look forward to returning to Egypt and seeing Waleed and Mustafa again.

Thanks Petra.
Jim & Christine

Ray and Sue Jones, June 4th 2010

I just wanted to say a big thank you to you, Waleed and Mustafa for making our Aswan time memorable. We really enjoyed the camel market, and like your own vists, we were the only foreigners. At times we felt transparent, as everyone virtually ignored us, which was just the way we loved it. I really can't understand why more people don't go - a great experience. And apart from the mobile phones and 'take your camel home' trucks it looks as if it is unchanged for hundreds of years.

We loved walking on Elephantine with Mustafa, again no-one disturbed us and we enjoyed visiting his Mum's and his own place. Sadly, we didn't have time for a Felucca ride.....maybe next time.

Just so you know, there was no problem at all with the dahabiyya about going with someone else. The only issue was that when we arrived on the dahabiyya very late at night, our on board guide wanted to make sure that we were being looked after properly the next morning and insisted on calling Waleed at about 11.30pm, which we felt was way too late to call.
Many thanks again, Sue

M. Dorota and Eric, May 12, 2010

Your website is fantastic! You take away many hustles and prevent many headaches for many independent travelers - thank you!!!
dorota


John and Annette Jordan, UK, posted in tripadvisor
May 12, 2010, 5:34 AM

We go to Luxor at least once each year to see our many friends, both expat and Egyptian, there. This year we added just a few days south in Aswan and happily we have made more new friends....Mustafa and Petra of Aswan Individual.

It was amazingly hot in Aswan, mid forties, so we just wanted to chill and do nothing too strenuous....Mustafa provided the perfect answer for two Nubian experiences. One morning there was no wind for felucca and we had asked to do the coffee making trip. Mustafa suggested that he take us for a slow cruise around the islands of the cateract in his small, and very clean and smart, motor boat; and then go to the coffee making. The trip more than met our expectations with beautiful scenes, abundant birdlife, wonderful freshly made traditional coffee, and a thousand photo opportunities.

On another evening we took advantage of the opportunity to have dinner, Nubian style, at his mothers house in Mustafas village. He collected us in his motor boat from our hotel and took us south along Elephantine Island to his village. He proudly showed us his own very nice house right near the waters edge then took us on a walking tour of his village before arriving at his mothers house where his sister had prepared dinner for us.

Everything was perfect.....Relaxed, friendly, and feeling welcome. The village is lovely with many painted buildings and fascinating antique front doors, so, many more photo opportunities.
We send a big Thank You to Mustafa and Petra and hope to use the services of Aswan-Individual when next in Aswan..inshahla
John and Annette...Canterbury...UK

John and Annette Jordan, UK, May 11, 2010:

Hi Petra
We just want to let you know how much we enjoyed spending some time with Mustafa last week.

On Thursday 6 May there was no wind but as we had asked to go on the coffee tour, Mustafa suggested that he take us around the islands of The Cateract in his small motor boat and then go to the coffee making before return to our hotel. We spent a very relaxed three hours cruising slowly around the islands seeing the wildlife then sitting under a shady awning while coffee was prepared for us in the traditional way with freshly roasted beans and added spices...very, very nice indeed.

On Saturday Mustafa collected us from the hotel in his motor boat in the early evening and took us along elephantine island to his village. He proudly showed us his very comfortable house with accommodation to let and made us tea. He then took us on a walking tour of his village which was very enjoyable. People were friendly and the houses are brightly painted, with lovely old antique front doors. At his mothers house his sister prepared a very tasty dinner for us served in a room set aside for such entertaining. He then returned us safely back in his boat. He must have x-ray eyes because it was quite dark and no boats on the water were using any lights.

Mustafa is a wonderful host and a really nice guy and we were very comfortable in his company and thank him most sincerely for showing us some aspects of Nubian life.

Please extend our thanks to him and we hope to meet again, inshahla
With best wishes to Aswan Individual
From Annette and John Jordan

Iris Montiel, USA, May 8, 2010 in tripadvisor:

We were in Aswan back in March 2010. I arranged a trip to Abu Simbel with this company. The whole time i dealt with Petra. I kept emailing with Petra back and forth regarding different concerns/questions about the trip. She responded to each one of my questions with an impressive professionalism and friendliness. In addition, once in Aswan, we had an amazing service as well. Our taxi driver was very professional and friendly just like Petra. Plus everything went according to plan. I would highly recomend Aswan Individual for any trips. Thanks Petra !!


Evan Elliot, USA, April 18, 2010

Hi Petra, (...) My father and I really enjoyed our trip to Aswan, and I would highly recommend you and Waleed to anyone we know who is going there. We really appreciated the personal attention we got from Waleed. It definitely made our first trip to Egypt go a lot more smoothly than it could have otherwise. For one thing, I think the falucca ride with Mustafa was a lot more pleasant than if we had set one up with one the captains who hang around the corniche. And we really enjoyed lunch at his house on Elephantine Island.

I've attached one picture that I took from Mustafa's boat when we were on our falucca trip, and another two that we took along the Nile while we were on the cruise that Waleed booked for us.

I hope all is well in Aswan. Please let me know if you or Waleed is ever traveling in the USA; hopefully we'll be able to return your hospitality.
Best, Evan Elliott

Odile and Lauence, Cairo, April 18, 2010

Hi Petra,
Just to thank you for your good services. We had a super time in Abu Simbel, and the temples for ourselves between 16:00 and 17:30pm. It is well worth spending the night in a crap hotel just to avoid the crowds and be able to appreciate the temples in peace and quiet, but honestly, Nefertari wasn't that bad, it is very run down, overpriced of course, very 60s, and old, and too quiet, the bed not too comfortable, but the pool was very clean! We had dinner at Escaleh, which was great. Escaleh is quite far from the temples (I would estimate 30 to 40 minute walk), so our choice of Nefertari paid up in the end.

I will certainly advise your site to other travellers in the future. Waleed was on time, very profissional, and the driver Meena did his best to please us.

Take care and hope business is good for you
Odile and Laurence from Cairo

Diethild and Winfried Mohr, Germany, April 14, 2010

Dear Mustafa!
We promised you to send greetings and a picture when we are back in Germany. Here it is!
It was a lovely afternoon with you looking pictures in your house and sailing with your boat on the Nile. Your flat looks really inviting and if we ever travel to Egypt again (what we really would like to, because all people we met there were very friendly and charming) we will contact you.
In the meantime we had a look to the web site and found so many good and helpfull informations!
Very good to see fix prices as well, because germans are not used and untrained to bargain for anything and find a price which is fair for both sides.
We wish you all the best and good luck with your guests!
Shukran and ma as'salam,
Diethild and Winfried Mohr from Germany

Jessica Williams and husband, UK, April 14, 2010

Hi Petra, we just returned back from Egypt on Sunday. Our daily tours with Aswan Individual and with Mustafa were fantastic. We were very pleased with the vans for transfers, and with our guide Islam on the trip to Luxor. I am just busy catching up with
work that has piled up while I was away, but I will be sure to post reviews on Trip Advisor to let everyone know that I would highly recommend Aswan Individual to anyone visiting Aswan. Jessica

Iris Montiel and friends, USA, March 15, 2010

Hello Petra, I just wanted to Thank you for your excellent treatment. You were of amazing help for us. Thanks a lot. Also, our driver is amazing. He doesn't speak much English, but he does an excellent job at communicating with us. He is very nice, friendly, and kind. We will definitely reward him with the best tip we can. We are students so money is a little tight, but we will do our best. Please let him know his job is excellent. I will make sure when I go back home to write a review for you guys. Thanks again :)
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Pipwright in tripadvisor, March 1, 2010

My husband and I have just returned from Egypt. We enjoyed our time in Aswan the most, partly due to Aswan Individual the team we used to book our excursions and accommodation on Elephantine Island. I really recommend them for anyone heading to Aswan and need a place to stay or help with day trips or felucca ride. I was probably the most annoying person in the world before we left, sending a million and one emails with questions and queries about Aswan but they were prompt to reply and full of very helpful information.

We stayed with on Elephantine Island and it was a great escape from the touts and husslers on the mainland always calling for Felucca rides etc. The sunsets were beautiful and the island such an interesting place to explore. Its an 2 minute easy trip over to the island (1 dollar each way on the ferry) so a good option to stay.

We went on a felucca ride with our host Mustafa and we had dinner cooked by his mother (delicious!). It was great staying with a local because we learnt so much and really felt like we were able to experience Nubian life. Aswan Individual also organised a last minute cruise for us to Luxor in addition to all the local sights (Abu Simbel and Philae etc). I would recommend this to anyone heading to Aswan.

More pictures Philippa sent to us (thank you so much for your posting and the pictures for us to use for our website).


Mary and Tony Newton, February 22, 2010

Dear Mustafa,
Just thought we would write a very quick note of Thanks to you for giving us such a great day out in both your family's village and the trip on your wonderful falucca. It was a pleasure to meet your mother also and to enjoy her home cooking, all of which was very good.
As Petra identified in setting up Aswan Individual it makes a huge difference to tourists if they can feel comfortable with their tour guide and not feel intimidated during their time on a trip. You accomplish these things and are a very honest man which puts your guests at ease from the first time they meet with you.
We were very fortunate to be your only guests for today and we spotted other tourists looking on with envey when saw the space we had on your very comfortable boat.
We wish you good health and continued success with your house rental and your Falucca tour business!
Kind Regards, Mary & Tony Newton

Anne Duquenne (Belgium) and Kare Annaniassen (Norway), February 22, 2010

Dear Petra, Mustafa, Minshawee and Waleed,

We had an absolutely amazing trip in Egypt and this is partially thanks to Aswan Individual! As my partner and I were planning to cruise the Nile we were scared of mass tourism settings, as we prefer to experience the more local life and culture instead of the fake traditional life presented on tours. In our quest of a more genuine travel we found your website and instantly knew this could match our aspirations. We daydreamed about the three-days felccuca trip and contacted Petra directly who very quickly and friendly answered all our questions. Though it is always hard to judge things on internet we decided we would go for it, which was our best decision after choosing Egypt!

We contacted Mustafa upon arrival in Aswan who picked us up at the train station and brought us to his house on Elephantine Island. We liked Mustafa directly! He is this friendly, easy-going man who makes you feel at home without ever being pushy or overwhelming. We stayed two days in Aswan before our felucca trip and had the opportunity to walk around the village with Mustafa and have dinner at his mother's place which is an absolute must do if you stay at his home because the food was wonderful!

About the felucca trip well it was just completely amazing! We didn't imagine it would be so nice and comfortable at all. The back of the boat was covered with planks with cushions on it where we could just lay down and admire the passing landscapes. It was pure comfort really! Aside Mustafa there were two other crew members helping with the sailing and the food and they were really friendly and professional as well. Mustafa is a very experienced captain and we felt very safe with him. At some point we had to go under a bridge which seemed quite tricky and we could see other feluccas were blocked but Mustafa and his crew managed to pass without trouble at once. I must say we were very proud to be on that boat! I don't know how they managed it but the food was really really delicious! It was fresh and variate for every meal. A pure delight!

We also had the opportunity to visit some friends of Mustafa in small villages which is of course a unique experience.

We also had the chance to benefit from Waleed's expertise twice. Once for going to Abu Simbel and once when in Luxor we wanted to go on a hot air balloon ride. The companies we contacted seemed to overprice the service so we called Waleed who immediately fixed us a contact in Luxor and we ended up having a very nice deal with someone as professional as him. Again we were very happy we knew about Aswan Individual! All in all we had a wonderful Aswan and Nile experience and would recommend it to all people enjoying unique experiences with local people.

Wish you all the best for the future!! Sincerely Anne&Kåre
More pictures, please click here

 

Andrew Quinn, USA, February 22, 2010

Petra: just got off the phone with my sister, who was absolutely rhapsodic about the guide you arranged for us in Luxor. the sights were of course great, but she couldn't have been more positive about the guide himself -- friendly, informed, adjusted to their speed (a seven year old girl), helpful in the markets as well as the tourist attractions. I told her to write up some brief message that we can send and you can add to your website.

I made it into Egypt this evening, am in Cairo, and will meet my sister and niece here tomorrow. So at least I'll get to see Cairo, and Giza. And my sister has told me we must all go back to Luxor ... so perhaps that's in my future as well.
Thanks again for everything. Drew


Philippa Wright, New Zealand, February 10, 2010

Hi Petra, Thanks so much for everything, and sorry for my little flip out! Cairo was a huge shock to our system. In Cairo we were taken to shops, pushed towards $800 camel rides and other various scams and the hotel really made me panic about Aswan!

We had the most wonderful time with Mustafa! I am already thinking that will be the highlight of our trip. We had such a good time, we are just wishing now we were able to stay for longer. Our uncle and aunty are heading to Egypt soon and we will definitely send them to Mustafas.

And Waleed was great, Fatima was an incredibly informative guide and we learnt a lot. We really appreciate everything and have already passed on recommendations to people we have met on our cruise.

Thanks again for all your help (and putting up with my millions of emails).
Kind regards, Philippa

 

Mitsuko in tripadvisor, January 30, 2010
and photos she sent to our email-adress

Absolutely impressed with Aswan-Individual from the beginning to the end. What luck to find them in this Forum!!! We stayed Mustafa’s brothers flat upstairs in Elephantine Island for three nights in November 09. The view from Mustafa’s flat is absolutely magnificent. One of the best photos of our holiday is from their roof top balcony. We sat and had breakfast, tea and coffee on balcony every day. We also loved the public ferry trip every day and we’ve got a discount fare on the third day as a local. That was really funny. My husband put Aswan as his most favourite place we visited during this trip. He was full of praise that I found the flat and Aswan individual. Felucca sailing with Mustafa was one of the most relaxing and enjoyable memory of the trip. I tombed and templed out my husband in Luxor and he couldn’t be tempted to visit another one except Abu Simbel (What a magnificent sight!) while we were in Aswan. So it was a perfect solution for us to just enjoy sailing and Mustafa was a perfect host for us. I’m so glad to take Petra’s advice to make the plan on the second day really flexible. Mustafa’s wonderful personality, relaxed, friendly and un-intrusive, contributed to our enjoyment. We laid down on deck with thick cushions soaking our feet in the refreshing water admiring the views Aswan offer for our last leg of 5 weeks holiday.

Their quick response to rectify the problems we caused twice was amasing, too. They communicated with us really well to make sure everything is OK. Petra even called us from Germany. What a dedication! Most of all I enjoyed the correspondence with Petra by Email in planning stage. Her quick email reply with thoughtful and sincere advises made my planning extremely easy. I wished there are Petra in all other cities. It would have made my trip planning much easier.

Their fixed price is more than fair for the service we received. They also hire really nice people to work for them. We had a wonderfully knowledgeable and gentle guide at Sil Sila and we talked to him not only about Egyptian history, temples and tombs, but world history and int’l politics. He even knew Australian Aboriginal history really well. We really enjoyed his company.

I also have to give praise for their driver who drove us to Abu Simbel. He moved us up to one of the earliest in convoy to arrive at Abu Simbel (He drove very safely). We were able to buy tickets without crowd and were able to have photos of Abu Simbel without too many people and it was nice to be able to move around inside with less crowd. And we had time to have a cup of tea at the end.

I must not forget mentioning about Mustafa’s mothers meals. They were much better than the meals we had in restaurants in Aswan. We wished we were more organised to order dinners in advance. Laundry service was god sent as there was none during Nile cruise and very expensive at the hotels.

We sincerely appreciate the effort of Petra, Waleed and Mustafa to make many travellers like us enjoy visiting Aswan. I recommend them whole heartedly. Mitsuko

 

Simon Monk, January 23, 2010

Hi Petra, just a word of thanks for a wonderful stay in Aswan: Mustafa's house made for a very special experience as did his Felucca. Now we are back home it seems more special than ever. I'll recommend anyone going there to your web site.
Regards and thanks again. Simon, Yuki, Riu and Kai

Christine Willis from Greece, January 21, 2010

When I asked my 3 kids what was the highlight of their visit to Egypt, by far the answer was the felucca trip with Mustafa around the Aswan area. We arrived at the Aswan train station at 9am and met Mustafa at the river crossing. After settling into his humble home on the Nile where the roof top view is breathtaking..better than any 5 star hotel in Aswan, we took a lovely tour of the small streets on the Elephantine Island. We had both lunch and dinner at his mothers house and a wonderful breakfast on the roof.
The next day we were treated like royalty..or rather Cleopatra..on The Love Boat, Mustafa's felucca. We stopped on a desert beach where the kids all rode a camel and I felt like I was in Lawrence of Arabia.
Mustafa's cooking was extraordinary what he managed to accomplish on a tiny 2 burner stove.
That night we pulled up to a remote beach and after dinner Mustafa's Nubian friends came by with their drums and tambourines and sang as we danced..to the light of the full moon.
One can choose to travel first class in the best hotels or travel as we did by meeting local people and sharing their food and lifestyle. I always prefer the second choice and look forward to returning to Aswan and having more time with Mustafa and his family. Thank you Mustafa and Petra for making it all possible! Christine Willis

Diane Boddie in tripadvisor, January 19, 2010

Aswan by Felucca: Far From the Maddening Crowd.

My sister and I decided to book a felucca ride with Mustafa through Aswan Individual based on wonderful comments left here on TripAdvisor and we were not disappointed. In fact, the time spent sailing lazily on the Nile on two separate days (12-13 Jan) was the most relaxing and tranquil highlight of our time in Egypt, which to that point had been spent dodging the throngs of salesmen in various temples, museums and markets from Cairo to Abu Simbel.

I contacted Petra to let her know that we had 1.5 days set aside at the very end of our two-week trip for something purely restful once we reached Aswan. She arranged for the most excellent Captain Mustafa and his assistant Minshawee to whisk us away from the crowds. The felucca was spotlessly clean, shaded, and had comfy seat cushions. More than once I felt rather sorry for the other feluccas loaded with 20 people or more – as my sister and I each claimed one entire side of the felucca and stretched our legs out on the cushions. I’m a landscape painter and so I can vouch for the pure beauty of the landscape that we passed for hours on end along the river. I did manage to get some exercise as I raced from one side of the boat to the other, snapping photos of the scenery on one bank only to notice something possibly more scenic on the other side before spotting something on the other side, and so on. Along the way we visited Mustafa’s village where his mother prepared a fantastic lunch for us. My sister had never been to this region and she was completely captivated by the Nubian village.

I never imagined I would enjoy the felucca ride so much, but I would have gladly stayed in Aswan longer simply to drift along the Nile and have Minshawee pour tea or juice for us and serve snacks and otherwise ensure that our time was perfect in every way. We were completely spoiled and carefree and that’s what a vacation should be about, even if for only a few hours or days. Diane

Diane Boddie, January 19, 2010

Hi Petra,
I wanted to let you know that we had a great time with Mustafa and he took very good care of us. It was definitely the most relaxing 1.5 days of the entire 2-week trip and I wish I could have spent more time on the felucca and less in any of the urban centers trying to press my way past the sellers. You have definitely lived up to your TripAdvisor forum reputation for making sure things went smoothly --despite my maddeningly vague initial overtures about what we might be able to book in our vague timetable. (...) But again I would like to thank you for your excellent oversight of our trip and for your continued contact with me throughout the process. Warm regards,Diane

Gauri Mohan (Familiy of 8 from India), January 2, 2010

Hi Petra Thanks for your help with organizing our Luxor to Aswan and Abu Simbel trips. We had an excellent time and Waleed was very helpful. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas vacation in Germany! Gauri

Lisa Andres, November 30, 2009

Thanks again for your help Petra. We had a wonderfull time in Aswan and Waleed and Mustafa were great. Lisa Andres

Lisa in tripadvisor - thank you so much Lisa:

I recently went on an a trip to Aswan with seven extended family members. We are independent travelers and didn't want to travel with a tour group. We did, however want to connect with local guides to experience the real Aswan. Luckily I found out about Aswan Individual (http://www.aswan-individual.com/) before the trip. It is a great group of local service providers who provide professional and wonderful individualized tours and transport for reasonable prices and no hassle. Waleed, arranged for transport and accompanied the driver in picking us up at the airport. It was all done very professionally and we felt very welcome. Waleed even gave us a welcome to Egypt call to make sure that our stay in Cairo was going well. We spent a lovely couple of hours exploring the Nile on Mustafa's felucca and visiting his Nubian village on Elephantine Island. We had a delicious lunch prepared by his mother and sister. Unfortunately we were unable to stay at Mustafa's flat as it was booked but we had a chance to take a look at it and we would recommend it. We took the train from Aswan to Luxor against Waleed's advice and I have to say we should have listened to him. It took a couple of hours longer because of delays and we were only able to buy our tickets on the train and not ahead of time. I think it’s better to go by mini-van or plane between Aswan and Luxor. One last note; we were easily able to arrange everything ahead of time through email through Petra. She was very reponsive to all emails and very helpful.

Martin and Linda Beavis, Bristol, UK, November 10, 2009

After a week cruising Lake Nasser on the Prince Abbas, we checked into the Movenpick early in October to enjoy Aswan at more leisure than our previous tour group visit a few years ago. Among other things archaeological, we particularly wanted to visit Sahel and see the ancient inscriptions on the rocks, but were disappointingly told that, despite a good breeze, we should do that upstream trip by motor boat. But, having seen your website and read about you on Trip Advisor, we phoned Mustafa to arrange a felucca instead -- no problem! He came early to the hotel, checked what we wished to see and do, and we had a great trip on his new ("only secondhand") felucca, tacking up the Nile, seeing lots of birdlife, alongside the sweeping desert sands and into the rocks and swirling waters of the First Cataract. That really is the best way to enjoy the Nile -- in your own felucca, at your own speed. We had not travelled all that way back to Aswan to be packed in like sardines singing ee-i-ee-i-ee-i-oh on a quick trip round Kitchener Island, especially not wearing the red lifejackets that one British tour operator insists on! (Been there, done that, got the photo -- not uploaded!)

Mustafa offered us the opportunity to stop at the beach or visit a small camel market, before stopping at a Nubian village and then sailing between the islands around to the other side of Sahel, to be closer to the rock inscriptions (more sailing, less walking!). Like the Tombs of the Nobles that we visited on another occasion (and well worth seeing) they are not much visited, so we woke up the guardians and set off up the hill. The most must-see stela is at the very highest point of the island, as are the fantastic views over the river to the north and the village to the south. Back on the felucca, hot and dusty from our ascent of Sahel, we enjoyed refreshing mint teas in the shade of the canopy as we sailed back to
Elephantine.

We moored below the ruins of Yabu and Mustafa walked us through the village and proudly showed us his house and holiday flat -- very spacious, attractive Nubian decor, with a great view from the roof, across the river to the Mausoleum and St Simeon's Monastery on the skyline, every bit as good as the much more expensive Nile view from the Movenpick. Would we recommend it to our son who likes his holidays unpackaged? Most certainly, yes! Mustafa then led us along the irrigation streams, through the narrow streets, the shady fruit trees and vegetable fields, and back to the Movenpick through the gap used by the village goats.

Many thanks to Mustafa for a fascinating and unforgettable day -- highly recommended!
Martin and Linda Beavis, Bristol, UK

 

Rita O., Germany, November 1, 2009

Liebe Petra, mit vielen wunderbaren Erinnerungen sind wir aus Ägypten zurück. Zuerst einmal möchten wir dir sehr herzlich für deine gute Organisation unserer Reise in Assuan danken. Es hat alles fantastisch geklappt. Dank deiner guten Tipps waren wir auf alles vorbereitet und konnten die Zeit ausgiebig genießen. Deine Kontakte zu Waleed und Mustafa haben uns unvergessliche
Erlebnisse ermöglicht und unser Herz berührt.

Da wir einen fast windstillen Aufenthalt in Ägypten hatten, holte Mustafa uns mit einem Motorboot zu einer Nilfahrt ab. Das leckere Essen seiner Mutter haben wir dann aber auf seiner Feluke zu uns genommen. Am nächsten Tag zeigte er uns voller Stolz sein neues Haus und ging mit uns zum wieder sehr guten Abendessen in das Haus seiner Mutter. Wir wurden mit viel Herzlichkeit und Wärme aufgenommen. Seine Nichte Mayra (s. Bild), du kennst sie, sagte uns Mustafa, hätten wir am liebsten mitgenommen. Obwohl der Motor des Bötchens auf der Rückfahrt ins Hotel des Öfteren aussetzte, schipperte uns Mustafa zu unserer Freude singend und die Ruhe selbst -inschallah- zurück. Mustafas Wissen und seine Sorge um den Nil haben uns sehr beeindruckt.

Die Treffen mit Waleed werden wir immer in Erinnerung behalten. Zuerst seine humorvolle, freundliche und absolut professionelle Art, Dinge zu regeln. Obwohl unsere Zeit in Assuan doch recht kurz war, haben wir Dank Waleed sehr viel gesehen. Alles war perfekt organisiert, Ausflüge ,Minibus, Fahrer und der Transfer ans Rote Meer etc. Auch abends haben wir mit Waleed die Zeit in Assuan genossen. Seine Aufrichtigkeit, seine Fürsorge um uns und sein freundschaftliches, familiäres Verhältnis zu uns werden wir nicht vergessen. Er ist für unsere Familie wie ein lieber Freund.

Liebe Petra, du siehst, dass wir eine unvergessliche Zeit hatten und wir sicherlich nach Assuan zurückkehren werden (mit mehr Zeit). Du und "aswan-individual" habt maßgeblichen Anteil an dieser schönen Reise gehabt. Nochmals vielen, vielen Dank. Damit du eine Vorstellung von uns hast, anbei ein Foto.
Mit sehr herzlichen Grüßen, Rita

 

Steven Bangs, New Zealand, October 24, 2009

(...) The Aswan section of our trip is the only time we've booked guides or used 'tour operators'. Normally I don't even like to deal with travel agents, as I despise package tours, especially ones that wrap you up in cotton wool and let you experience the culture and country from behind a tour bus window. If I wanted to do that, I could just watch the Discovery channel! However, the services that Waleed, Mustafa and yourself provide via the website are exactly what I'm looking for. Tailored for the individual with a personal way of going about things.(...) Not long to go now, we're getting pretty excited :)

Once again, thanks for all your help so far. You've been fantastic to deal with.

 

Deb (and John, Hayley-anne & Declan), Adelaide (Australia), July 29th 2009

Hello Petra,I have been meaning to write to you personally to thank you for providing
everything for us for our perfect visit to Aswan, and to let you know about
my Trip Advisor review. It is the least I can do to let other visitors to
Aswan know about your wonderful service. Of course you are welcome to use
my review on your website. I have attached a few photos that you also might
like to use.

It was lovely to meet Waleed and Mustafa and we hope to visit Aswan again -
for a longer period next time! I will be sure to let you know if we come to
Berlin, and we would love to see you if you should ever come to Adelaide!
Regards and best wishes, Deb (and John, Hayley-anne & Declan)

 

Deb (and John, Hayley-anne & Declan), Adelaide (Australia), July 29th 2009
in tripadvisor

My family of four have recently returned from our first trip to Egypt and I would like to share my experiences with, and express my gratitude to, Aswan-Individual for helping to make it a most memorable and enjoyable journey.

We are independent travellers, always do our own bookings for flights and hotels, and use a guide book or private guide in preference to joining large tour groups. I was lucky to come across Aswan-Individual’s excellent website during my research and the information it contained gave me enough details to form a basic plan for the Aswan part of our trip. After checking all the positive reviews here on TA I made contact with Petra via email. Petra was very helpful and professional and answered all my emails very promptly and in a wonderfully personal and friendly manner. She suggested an itinerary that included all we wanted to see, and gave prices (the same as the website) so we knew exactly what we would have to pay – no surprises or haggling. We agreed on a plan and Petra made all the arrangements with Waleed and Mustafa in Egypt.

When Waleed sent us a text upon our arrival in Cairo we felt confident we were in safe hands, and when we were met by his smiling face in Aswan we felt we’d found a long lost friend! Waleed organised everything perfectly for us in Aswan (including an excellent guide, Abdulla) and for our drive up to Luxor via Daraw, Edfu and Kom Ombo. He happened to be staying a night in Luxor while we were there and made contact with us and took us to an Egyptian coffee house for shisha and coffee – his shout! This was above and beyond what we expect from a ‘tour organiser’ and we really enjoyed and appreciated the experience and the time he took to be with us. We felt we could call on Waleed for anything if the need arose, and we did in fact text him when we were back in Cairo and he responded promptly with some very useful advice.

Our afternoon trip on Mustafa’s felucca (just our family – not a big group like we saw on other feluccas) was the most relaxing time we spent in Egypt. We had a lovely lunch on the felucca (cooked by Mustafa’s mother), visited the botanic gardens, and enjoyed a refreshing swim in the Nile. Mustafa is a friendly and generous captain and took us wherever we wanted to go. Petra phoned while we were on the felucca and it was lovely to talk to her and let her know that all was well.

I would absolutely recommend Aswan-Individual to anyone travelling to Aswan. It is so nice to have everything organised and ready for your arrival, and in such a professional but relaxed way. More importantly though, they have shared with us their love of Aswan and given us a desire to return. I sincerely hope I will return, and if I do I will definitely spend more time there as two days is not nearly enough. Thank you Petra, Waleed and Mustafa!

 

Polly, London, July 15th 2009

Hi Petra (...) Thank you so much for your hospitality. We had the great time of our lifes. WALEED was excellent so kind and always on time. We made great friends and HOPE with you to. Thank you so much we are even thinking to set up as a tour operature in the uk hope maybe in future we can all work together. Kindest Regards, Polly.

 

David Holman, Toronto, July 6th 2009

Good Afternoon Petra, I hope this day finds you well.
I just wanted to thank-you for the wonderful service that you provided us while travelling in Luxor and Aswan. Waleed and Mustafa were incredible and are truly amazing tour operators. They both made our trip very successful and everything was perfectly arranged. The day on the Feluca was incredible and our day trips were always on-time and went off without a hitch. Again, it was a real pleasure to have this service available to us and I will recommend it to anyone I know that is travelling to Egypt – You should try to expand your service to Cairo as I am certain many people travelling there would appreciate a similar service as Cairo can be at times extremely challenging. We received much better service from your organization then we did from many of the hotels we stayed at. I will forward you some pictures when I have had an opportunity to go through them all.

Please give my regards and thanks to both Waleed and Mustafa for being such wonderful hosts. Kind Regards, David


LHolley, San Francisco, CA & Kakamega...
Posted on tripadvisor: 6:13 am, May 02, 2009

I just recently got back from a 10 day trip to Egypt and wanted to take the time to highly recommend Mustafa and Petra at Aswan-Individual to anyone planning a trip to Egypt. I especially want to recommend that anyone traveling to Egypt includes a felucca trip down the Nile from Aswan in their itinerary.

When we originally planned our time in Egypt, we only planned to visit Sinai, Luxor and Cairo. After meeting some other travelers in Sinai that had just come from Aswan and said their 2 night felucca trip down the Nile was the highlight of all of their time in Egypt, we decided to add Aswan to our itinerary at the last minute. Instead of flying from Sinai to Luxor, we decided to fly to Aswan and take a 1 night felucca trip down the Nile from Aswan, followed by a private mini-bus trip to Kom Ombo and Edfu on the way to Luxor.

We had a phone number of a felucca captain in Aswan from the friends we met in Sinai, so we didn't make any bookings before arriving in Aswan. After arriving in Aswan exhausted from all of the hassling we experienced in Egypt, we decided to go online and look for a felucca captain that had good reviews from previous travelers - we didn't want to be on a boat with a crew that was going to endlessly propose marriage or try to change the price for 20 hours. After seeing some great reviews of Mustafa and his team at Aswan-Individual, I called Waleed at 10am in the morning to see if we could book a felucca for that afternoon! Not only were Waleed and Petra incredibly responsive (Waleed met us at our hotel 15 minutes later!), they were able to put an incredible trip together for us with fresh food on the spot for a great price.

We left Aswan that afternoon, sailed down the Nile, read books, had a wonderful dinner, played cards with the crew and then slept on the boat. The next morning we sailed a bit more, had a great breakfast, took a swim in the Nile and then was met by our private mini-bus to go to Kom Ombo, Edfu and Luxor. We arrived in Luxor by 1pm and even had enough time to go to the Valley of Kings before dark.

The trip to Aswan was the best decision we made, as our felucca trip really was the highlight of the entire trip to Egypt for me. And, most importantly, the Aswan-Individual team on the ground was the most respectful, informational and kind group of people I met in all of my time in Egypt. My favorite part of traveling is always getting to know new people and talking about interesting local and global issues with people from the places I am traveling in, so this was a memorable part of the trip. I only wish I learned about Aswan-Individual sooner, so i could of planned some of the other parts of our trip with them and that I was able to visit Mustafa's home!

All in all, I highly recommend the team at Aswan-Individual when planning your trip to Egypt. Petra (the owner) is very responsive to email and can help you set everything up very easily and professionally, all at a great price.


Jerri, April 28 2009

Petra. I have finally caught up on everything and will send you some photos and a "report". Kathy is coming over tonight, but as I have a few minutes, will add something personal ... just from me...to you.
Without question, my highlight of Egypt was Aswan and staying on Elephantine Island wit Mustafa, visiting his family, exploring his village, and just hanging out with him. He is most gracious and his flat was great. We spent a day and a half on his felucca with incredibly good sailing and company. The food, weather, and views were excellent. I can hardly believe I was sailing on the Nile, around the islands, rocks, birds.
I'm sending you a picture from his roof terrace where we had breakfast one morning, that his mother prepared. The picture of the goats was taken from his front door. I would get up early and just wander around the island, visiting and enjoying. Everyone seemed to know him and were pleased that we were staying with him.
I would HIGHLY recommend this as a part of an Egyptian vacation.
Oh, and the special guides you and Waleed found for us were great. I probably could have spent the entire week just roaming around the island, but realized that I needed a bit of the ancient culture, as well as Nubian culture.
When I tell my friends what I did, I must admit they think of Egypt as rather unsafe and think I was daring. That is not true. I never once felt threatened. Isn't it a shame that sensational journalist tend to print only the negative. I would have stayed longer if I could have.
Thanks so much for making this experience possible. Jerri

 

fiona-bs, Coventry, United Kingdom
Posted on: 6:50 am, April 27, 2009

Aswan-individual.....excellent guide Mustafa.
I was in Aswan last week as part of a Nile cruise. I had been in contact with this company before leaving the UK and had exchanged emails with Petra.
We arranged to meet with Mustafa on both the Saturday and Sunday. However, I fainted from the heat on the Saturday so didn't get to meet Mustafa that day. I contacted Petra and she in turn let Mustafa know what happened. He phoned to see how I was and wew arranged to meet the next day.
On the Sunday morning, Mustafa met us at the public ferry point with his felucca. However, there was very little wind and the felucca was "becalmed" so we swapped to a motor boat. Mustafa asked us what we would like to do or leave it to him. He took us down to the 1st cataract, where the river was quite choppy, across to the Aga Khan Mausoleum to take photos, then onto Elephantine Island, where he was born and still lived.
I had taken loads to little toys and pens/pencils for the children. We were taken to a local prep school where we had a long chat with the science teacher and were shown into some classrooms. Then on through a Nubian village, drink at Mustafa's house, handing out toys and finally holding baby crocodiles.
We had a great time and it was lovely to see "proper" Egypt rather than be herded around the usual sites and "hassled". I would not hesitate in contacting Mustafa again or using this website.
Reply to this post

 

Maryse et Jean Francois, France, 26-4-2009

Hi Petra, We are now back at home (here in Toulouse it is rather cool (even cold) and it rains!!) and we have re-started our activities without too much time to send you a feedback of our cruise on felucca with Mustafa
We had a great time there and as promised we will send you more about it with pictures as soon as we have selected some of them and written some "report" about our adventure (we plan to do that next WE)
Thanks also for your support, We keep in touch, Kind regards
Maryse J François and Lou

 

Laura Parker, England, 22-4-2009

Hi Petra, We are safely (if sadly!) home now, after a wonderful week in Luxor and Aswan.
As promised, I am putting a post up on Trip Advisor, and this is what I’ve said:

We were in Aswan last week, and I had been in email contact with Petra at Aswan Individual to organise a couple of trips prior to going to Egypt - one a boat trip down the Nile with a couple of stops to visit ancient sites, and the other to visit the temple complex at Kalabsha.
They were very helpful in all communications, and we had everything agreed before leaving the UK.
Unfortunately, on the morning of our first trip we were hit by 'Egyptian tummy' and so I called Waleed at 7a.m. to tell him that we couldn't possibly do the boat trip that day. I asked if we could forget Kalabsha and instead reorganise the boat trip for the following day.
Our last-minute cancellation posed no problem - in fact I had a text from Petra to enquire how we were feeling later in the morning, which I greatly appreciated - and they rearranged the following day as I'd asked, and confirmed this with me within hours.
Mustafa was our 'captain' for the boat trip, and it was all I had hoped it would be. In fact, as it was not my first time in Aswan, he was determined to find things to point out that I hadn't seen before, and to his delight he succeeded!
They are a very reliable and helpful company, and I would heartily recommend them to anyone wishing to go exploring Aswan and the surrounding area.

I really did appreciate all you did for us, and will be in touch next time I come to Aswan (which I hope will be at the end of the year, perhaps with Helen Style again!).
All the very best Laura


Helen Style, England, 21-4-2009

Dear Petra, I enjoyed Silsila tremendously. It was like an adventure and the tombs etc were very interesting as well. I think it would make a very good excursion from Aswan combined with Kom Ombo as they are a contrast with each other and could be done together before a late lunch. Or it would make a wonderful place for a picnic.

The guide Walid got for us was fine. I gathered he was usually based at Kom Ombo but he had done all his homework and was well able to explain the chapel of Horemheb and other tombs for us. He had borrowed a camera and took a large number of photos to add to the paperwork he carried round with him. He took the whole thing very seriously and I am sure next time the tourists will get an even more detailed explanation. You should not hesitate to use him again. He also brought a friend who was a sort of trainee guide. I am sure the people in Kom Ombo are aware that Silsila is an opportunity for them to expand their expertise. I wonder if there are other places as well? I get a UK magazine called Ancient Egypt which mentions a few places which are now accessible from Luxor now the convoy system has been abolished, and there may be some near Aswan as well. I might do some research on this. I also think people do not go much to Sehel, where there are hundreds of inscriptions, or to the old museum and excavations on Elephantine. You could easily design excursions round these. Who cares about the High Dam?

I agree, like you I was not able to find much on the internet about Silsila. I did go on a tour by Ancient World Tours which went there but on the day I did something else.

Anyway, I sent my friend Laura Parker and her husband to Walid. They return tomorrow and I will let you know what they thought. (...)

I'd be interested to know if AI can get cheap rates at the Movenpick Hotel as it is currently my favourite hotel.

Do tell me more about yourself. What is your work? How exactly do you work with Walid? I am a student of Egyptology at London University, and a member of the Egypt Exploration Society, as well as the Sudan Archaeological Research Society. I would like to go to the Sudan and see the hundreds of pyramids there. Walid might look at getting people down to the Sudan from Aswan, as there are regular queries on Tripadvisor about this. Again, it would be quite an adventure. I look forward to hearing from you, Helen

Rainer Gumpert, Netherlands, 20-4-2009

Dear Petra, (...) let me start by saying thank you for arranging what turned out to be the best and most interseting day of my whole vacation. The driver was very kind and the guide that was arranged was excelent. He knew so much and his information was so good, it made me look so much different at the hyroglyphs. He was able to read the storries for me at Sil-Silla which made it so special.

It wasn't easy to find, as you told me. We had to drive over some farmlands until we found the boat that took us across. There we where welcomed by the guard and some friends of his (who obviously also wanted a "baksjish") who opened the gates. They also saidd they do not get many tourists there and at the time I was there we where all alone, no other touristst at all, excelent.

The temple itself was gorgeous. Not to big but the fact that it was so quiet made it so special. And also to see the digsites was very interesting.

The rest of the day was also perfect by the way, Kom-Ombo and Edfu where beuatiful and Daraw was also so lovely. Especialsy again since there were no tourists at Daraw and the people are so much more friendly then in the big cities. I found the egyptians near the tourist attractions only to be nice because they were hoping to get some money from you. In the smaller places they are just friendly not for money but because that is how they are.

And at last the trip to Abu Simbel, long drive, prety hot but nice airco in the car and a very kind and fun driver. I also had a very nice and interseting talk with a police captain who came with us in the convoy. Captain Hamat Hassan, a very young captain and he spoke very well english. We talked a lot about politics and religion and it was the most interseting conversation I have had in Egypt. And Abu Simbel itself, well, do I need to say anything, it is so so gorgeous.

Anyway, I have some beautifull pictures which I will share soon. I have my own internet domain where I will upload them and send you a link.

I will also recommend you (Aswan Individual) on tripadvisor and to anyone who I meet and wants to travel to Egypt. The way that you can arrange that what the customer asks for is excelent. Also the prices that we agreed upon beforehand where more then reasonable. I will probalby use you myself again within 2 years as I didn't have enough time to see all I wanted in Egypt. In other words, I enjoyed it so much (thanks also to all of you at Aswan Individual) that I am most defenitly going back there soon. Kind regards, Rainer
PS: give my regards to Mr Waleed, he was so kind!

Fiona, England, 19-4-2009 (with sms)

What a fantastic morning!! Went to school on Elephantine, Mustafas house, held baby crocodile and round the islands. Am glad I found the website Petra. Thanks

From tripadvisor: Manusoaz, Spain
Posted on: 08:20 am, March 25, 2009 (posted in French, translated later for me in English)

We are two French people who like to travel on their own and open air. We’ve decided to go to Egypt from the 9th to the 23rd of March 2009.

Because we wanted to visit THE great monuments, we had no choice but to cross the same way as big groups travelling in buses ships. Before leaving, we’ve been looking and booking places to sleep as guest houses and small hotels that we’ve found in the Guide du Routard. Afterwards, we were looking for different sailing Nile cruises from North to South but, in the end, we decided to do it the other way, from Aswan to Edfu: it was the easiest way (with the run of the current) and most of the offers where going that way if you want to sail several days.

We had several steps in the Internet with European and local travel agencies and we were quite desesperate because the Nile tours were mainly offered for groups of 5 to 20 people or – for less people but double prices were required. For travel agencies, it seems not possible to offer a Nile cruise without cabins, bathrooms... (the only choice for sailing was felucca or dahabieh). Another option was to find a felucca tour once in Aswan but we were afraid to loose our time bargaining with the captain, how would be the communication during the trip, we felt uncertain about the quality - for example, about food - (4 days is long...) and we were not happy at all. Finally, we found the web page of Aswan INDIVIDUAL. We were convinced by their offer, their spirit and their guest book. We booked 4 days and 3 nights Felucca as well as 2 overnight stays in the holiday apartment of Mustafa on Elephantine + two drives with a private car.

Here is our journey: Arrival at Elephantine, meeting with Mustafa. Uups, one has been deceptive: a stranger stated, he would be Mustafa and put us aboard in the wrong Felucca! Fortunately, we had an Egyptian Sim card (vodafone, 20 EGP for the SIM card and 25 EGP conversation credits which was enough for 15 days of local calls) and „the real Mustafa" found us. The first contact was very warm. We went to his flat which is ideal if one likes to have it quiet: Right beside the Nile and opposite the mausoleum of Aga Khan.

First we started a small felucca tour to sail around the islands Kitchener, Sehel and Seluga. Mustafa is a good guide and a good sailer, the tour was very nice. In the evening a meal was prepared from his mother in her Nubian house, what could be more authentic?

The next day we went to Abu Simbel with the public bus at 8:00am (25 EGP), no convoy, very easy and no need to wake up too early. We stayed a night in Abu Simbel and came back with a rented car from Waleed. The driver, Nagui, is very nice. We stopped in Kalabsha (only few tourists, nice discovery) and Philae (the haggling around the boats is difficult, then we had joined some English people to make a group to the chagrin of the captains), more crowdy but the spot is spacious and wonderful. We spent the rest of the day in the Souk, a Nubian cafe in the restaurant Panorama (which we love!) and swept back to Elephantine for the night.

Then came our tour with the Felucca with Mustafa and Mishawi, and we all felt like a group of cheerful friends. The mattresses are with all comfort and many cushions, and this is the nicest ambience to the rhythm of the water.

We stopped at beaches for a walk along the plantations or purchased living fish which we had received from fishermen. We also visited the village from Mishawi, we met his family, a very nice moment. Beside this, the temples seemed rather pale. Especially when arriving at Komb Ombo, with two rows of dozens big Nile Cruise ships. Though we stopped there, we decided to look at the temple only from the outside: there were too many tourists! A big waste of time, this is my opinion. Quite different is Silsila: an old stone quarry with caves, graves and hieroglyphs, and the thin, fine desert sand. No big ship in view: a dream.

During these 3 and 1/2 days, Mustafa has conquered our hearts with different set meals, he has shown us charming places, listened to our desires, offered his friendship. He has made it very hard for us to leave. It was very sad when we had to say goodbye.

The return to Luxor was with stop in Edfu (very nice, but full of tourists) and Esna (the Souk is very authentic), without stop in Al Kab; the driver spoke no word English and was in a hurry to go back home, a pity, because we paid the same price like for the return from Abu Simbel, this seems to us a little expensive ... After all, we should have remained one day more on the Felucca!

To make things short, we are very happy about the quality of the service of Aswan Individual with organisation of Petra and we keep the memory of our evenings by candlelight with Mustafa and Mishawi. We will come again inch Allah! Emmanuel & Soazig

Colleen, Canada
Dear Petra. Thank you our trip was wonderful and Waleed was exceptional. He got us the trip to Abu Simbel and it was the best part of the cruise. I was not very please with the Marhaba Hotel. In my opinion it was dirty and noisy and would not stay there again. But it was only for one night and we were up at two o'clock so we were fine. Thanks again for all your help, we really appreciated it. Best Regards, Colleen

Dr. Herbert Lechner, Germany, 20-3-2009
Sehr geehrte Frau Dressler, unsere Ausflüge haben hervorragend geklappt. Wir können Ihre Agentur nur weiterempfehlen.
Nochmals vielen Dank, Dr. Herbert Lechner

From tripadvisor: LeanaV, Australia
Posted on: 11:48 am, March 18, 2009

My recommendation is this: If you come across Aswan-Individual and you don't give them a go, you are missing out on one of the best Egypt experiences you will ever have. Petra was thoroughly professional, quick to reply to all emails and fantastic with information about what and where we wanted to go. Waleed met us at the airport and helped arrange our trip to Abu Simbel, thankyou Waleed, the transportation was fantastic and without any hassles or problems. Mustafa - what can I say - renting his flat was the best thing we did (4days out of 29 in Egypt), completely personal, clean, and with million dollar views from the rooftop who could ask for more. Mustafa's mother and sister were amazing, the food was some of the best we had on our whole trip and everything done for a fair and reasonable price. I will be back for sure, no question about it, thank you Petra, Waleed, Mustafa, family and friends... us Aussies just love you all and Aswan too!


From tripadvisor: susannobody, toronto
Joined: Aug 2008, Forum posts: 73
Posted on: 12:38 pm, March 06, 2009

I supposed to write my trip review about Aswan and my tour guide of Aswan (and Luxor too)at least 2 weeks ago since we returned from Egypt (Cairo part has been done and posted in Cairo Forum). Anyway, after I saw this post, I had no reason not to response too.

We visited Egypt in Feb and just returned 2 weeks ago. We had Aswan Individual arranging our private tour at Aswan, Abu Simbel and Luxor. From the first email that I sent to Petra of Aswan Individual, I got lots of information and suggestions from Petra, but without any pressure to use Aswan Individual's service. We chose AI because we felt good about it. To be honest, AI's price is not the lowest, but my husband and I believed quality goes with the price.

Waleed greeted and picked us up from the airport, took us to the Movenpick Hotel and helped us to check in there. Honestly, he has no obligation to do it because we booked our own hotel. Then he offered to take us to a sunset tea which was totally unexpected (complimentary). We had the best time there. We had Egyptian coffee and watching the sunset at an Egyptian coffee house located at the top of a hill by the Nile River. The scene was gorgeous. Since it was the prayer time too, we could hear the prayer bouncing between the hills along the Nile River. This was really nice and cultural.

We had a private van going to Abu Simbel at 4:00 am on the following day. Waleed was there, introducing us to the driver and then left. What a man....I think he must be very sleepy and going back to his bed immediatly. We did not think Waleed needed to do it, but we apprecaited a lot for his above and beyond expectation service. It took us almost 3 hours to Abu Simbel, but it was worth it. We returned around noon.

We had our free time in the afternoon. We had our rest by the pool and then went to see Nubian Museum.

Then Waleed came to see us again in the same evening, took us to a complimentary carriage ride in Aswan. It was also unexpected too!! We saw the old town and waved to many children in narrow streets. We saw smily faces of many old Egyptians. The driver of the carriages even took us to try the sugar cane juice mixing with banana. What a strange combination, but it was delicious!!!

On the 3rd day, before boarding the boat, we had our private tour to the Unfinished Obelisk, Philea Island and High Dam. Our guide was good and knowledgeable. She was a quiet woman but she gave very detailed information and history of all sites to us. After the tour, the van took us directly to the dock of the boat, Waleed was standing there waiting for us to check into the cruise. Then another unexpectation, he gave us a basket of Egyptian spices as gift, and also a small gift to my daughter. We felt we made a friend rather than an travel co-ordinator. We really appreciated his warm hospitality which add lots of colour to our Egypt trip.

By the way, Waleed was able to book us to a cruise (Royal Lily) at a very good last minute discount price. We picked the boat after a lot of research and reading many reviews from home (one choice only and no flexibility), and then we asked Waleed to get it for us. He also got us a free upgrade to a suite at the boat. My whole family was very happy with his service and absolutely agreed that his service was great.

Waleed also arranged a private guide and van for us at Luxor, through another Luxor agent. Unfortunately, it turned out not to our satisfaction, I meant the guide that we had. I think AI could provide very good service if it is in Aswan, because it was under Waleed and Petra's control; however, if it is out of Aswan, I do not think AI could really do much, and it strictly depends on our luck. But one credit goes to AI, as soon as Petra heard my complaints of the Luxor guide, both Petra and Waleed took it very seriously and conveyed it to the Luxor agent. I think and hope my bad experience in Luxor would not happen on other TA memebers.

As a conclusion, we felt we made a good choice on Aswan Individaul for Aswan. Both Petra and Waleed had provided above and beyond service to us. We could feel both of them were doing their job with a whole heart.

Keep going, Petra and Waleed.......your great service is noted and a mouth of words are important in this business.

Posted on tripadvisor: 10:02 pm, 04-02-09: marilynswar
west covina, Joined: Sep 2008, Forum posts: 4

Just have the urge to write about the wonderful experience I had with aswan-individual. I contacted the website sometime last year because I wanted to see Abu-Simbel and immediately I got a response from Petra of aswan-individual.com. She made all the arrangement for me and my group (Total of 5). Waleed picked us from the airport and delivered us to the hotel. Waleed even took the time to find out the itinerary in Aswan of the Nile cruise we were using so that there is no duplication of sights to see. Mustafa then took us to the felucca ride. He had dates and strawberries prepared for us. We stopped and rode the camel to see the ruins of St. Simeon Monastery. After that Mustafa invited us to tea and then we visited the Nubian Village. In the morning, Waleed introduced us to the driver who will take us to the 3:45 am convoy to Abu-Simbel. Anyone who is in the Aswan area should not miss Abu-Simbel.It is a sight to see. Am glad I get to know aswan-individual.com website from Tripadvisor.com. It made my travel to Aswan memorable and really thankful that everything went without a hitch. Travel can be downright difficult and excruciating when you do not know who you are dealing with but I heard a lot of good things about Petra, Waleed and Mustafa of aswan-individual and I felt I can not go wrong dealing with them. I am truly pleased with the service they provided. They tell you exactly what is at stake and they did not even demand any deposit and mind you, the price is very very reasonable. They operate their business based on mutual trust and common decency. Madeleine

04-03-2009, Tsang and 9 friends from HongKong
Hi Petra, Mustafa and Waleed,
We returned safely to HK last week despite that we were no more than 500 metres from the bomb in Al Azar, Cairo the other day. Thank god!
We had a wonderful unforgetable time in Egypt. We still miss the beautiful scenaries, the impressive historic architectures and stories, the delicious Aswan Moon Guava juice, the cutie desert fox in White desert ............................
We are so glad to have your assistance and information during our planning and when we're in Aswan. You guys are so nice. Please accept our hearty thanks once again.
Masasalam, Tsang

02-03-2009, Madeleine (Los Angeles)
Hello Petra, Yes, we are back to reality again. Our vacation was almost perfect except for the occasional rain in the Jerusalem area and Tel Aviv but our vacation in Egypt was marvelous., just the right time to be there, not so cold.
I would like to thank you for the kind assistance you have given us for our trip to Aswan to visit Abu-Simbel, experienced a felucca ride to see the Elephantine Island and a visit to a Nubian village, a camel ride to St. Simeon Monastery, at a very reasonable expense. By the way, I got your name and website info from Trip Advisor website.
As soon as I saw Waleed at the Aswan airport to meet us, I was relieved and felt safe along with my husband, sister, aunt and cousin (Five of us). Waleed dropped us at our hotel. Waleed took the trouble of inquiring the sights that Radamis Nile Cruise will take us in Aswan so that there is no duplication of the places to see especially that we have a very limited time over there.
As agreed with Waleed, Mustafa was there at 3:00 pm to take us to the felucca ride. Mustafa offered us fresh dates and strawberries during the ride. That was our first time to eat fresh dates and since then we were buying/eating dates every chance we got because they were so good in every part of Egypt that we visited.. Just being in the felucca is so relaxing; the air clean, the water clear and the sights just fascinating. We passed the Elephantine Island, the Botanical Garden but when we got closed to where the St. Simeon Monastery, we opted to stop to see its ruins. We took the camel ride to the ruins. We were quite late and the guards were closing the entrance already but we begged to see the ruins so the guards let us in. After that, Mustafa took us to his colorful house and offered us tea.The view from the roof-top balcony is so beautiful. As it was a holiday that day, a parade of boats glided by with; music and cheers you could hear. Mustafa must be proud of his house, very good location and the view of the Nile River and surrounding area and Elephantine-like Area unobstructed. Mustafa explained to us the culture of the Nubians and later took us to the Nubian village. We met his mother, sister etc. We were wondering why he is not married yet when he has so much to offer. We supposed that he was so attached to his famility. Before we parted with Mustafa, he gave each of us a box of tea which we had a chance to taste at his house.
The next morning at 3:00 am., Waleed was at the hotel to introduce us to the drivers who will take us to 3:45 convon to Abu-Simbel. I was worried that the round trip (540 km) will be too much for us but it turned out ok. Nobody complained. The drivers were polite and very careful and alert which was very important to us. I could hear that Walee was always in contact with the driver to check how everything was going. The sight of Abu-Simbel temples exhilirated us. I am glad aswan_individual could offer it. Our driver took us to our ship to start our Nile cruise.
Knowing I can count on your assistance, I will gladly go there again. Waleed and Mustafa are very reliable people to deal with and I salute you Petra for making our visit to Aswan very memorable. If anyone wishes to contact me, feel free to give my e-mail address. I did not mention to you that we are originally from the Philippines and we live in the Los Angeles area.
Thank you so much! My warmest regards to Waleed and Mustafa. Madeleine

Chen (Australia) 25-02-2009
Hi Petra! I'm currently in China visiting my relatives - will be back to Australia next week.I have also posted on tripadvisor about our experience:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294204-i9480-k2152099-l16201766-Aswan_Individual-Aswan_Nile_River_Valley.html

I would like to thank you on behalf of our group - the Aswan to Luxor leg was the highlight of our trip. The Felucca river cruise was so beautiful, I wish we had the luxury to take an afternoon nap on the boat... 2 hrs was not enough! Nubian lunch was great too - the onion soup was superb! But I had forgotten to take pictures of the food.... we must have been too hungry.... hehe sorry...

Like I said in my post in tripadvisor, I felt very assured about our arrangements with you. This is my first time planning an overseas trip for a rather big group, and i felt a lot of responsibility which even became a little stressful - couldn't even sleep very well the first few nights in Egypt - but I never had to worry about Aswan, Waleed (and Mustafa) has called me as soon as I emailed you my number, and letting me know everything has been taken care of. It was a great feeling.

If I have to pick on something, that would be the cruise boat we were on had very few foreign tourists, and we were too shy to approach any local families, so didn't have much interaction with other passengers. But I understand it was probably all like that due to Egyptian school holidays. The cruise boat was very good in facility and services, and provided us a very important opportunity to relax (recover for me), I'm glad we've chosen to book the cruise with you. :) I hope Waleed went OK in his exam. In the end I loved Egypt, and pretty sure I'll go back again (didn't get "ancient egypt overload" at all and already felt like crying in the last few days there), next time I will know where to go and will certainly spend more time in Aswan...
Again thank you for the help from all of you - wish you all the best in the future! Please send my regards to Waleed and Mustafa! Regards, Chen

Cameron and Kristi, 23-02-2009, copied from tripadvisor:
There really are no more superlatives to use when talking about the services od Aswan individual. Turly a professional service with authentic people who truly want to show off the best that Egypt and its people have to offer. We have no hesitation reccomending their services and would use them again with out question next time we came to Egypt. Do not waste your time with other services, your expectations will continually be exceeded

sms from Alistair, 20-02-2009
Hi Petra, we had a great trip to Abu Simbel followed by the most amazing afternoon with Mustafa. We have had a wonderful day! I will drop you an email when we get back. Regards, Alistar


copied from tripadvisor, feb 11 2009
atmktravel, USA, Joined: Sep 2008
I cannot think of any superlatives that would adequately describe Petra and what she did for us. She responded promptly to all the numerous e-mails I sent her and answered each and every question I had regarding the trip with great care and warmth.
She arranged our tour (Jan. 28-31, 2009) for Philae, Obelisk, High Dam, Abu Simbel and then on to Luxor with stops in between for Edfu and Komombo.

We met Waleed at the Aswan airport. Waleed is a fabulous man with a frank smile. He is one of the most pleasant individuals one can meet. He looked after us with great care and, with Petra, even arranged for us very nice accommodations in Aswan when we were having a bit of a problem.
Although we missed meeting Petra because she was in Germany at the time, she was in continuous touch with Waleed to know how we were doing.

Our memory of Aswan and Luxor is much more memorable because of Petra and Waleed. We may perhaps see her on our next visit.

feb 10: Ajit and nephew from Washington and India
Dear Petra & Waleed:
I have just returned home last night from my trip abroad.
It is very good to hear from you and I promise I will write about my trip as soon as I get over the jet lag.
It was simply wonderful the way you had arranged the trip; there is no other way to phrase it and it couldn't have been done better.
Thank you very very much and I will be in touch.
Warm regards, Ajit

28-01-2009, Andrew Smith, UK
Whilst travelling around Egypt in January I enjoyed a 5 day stay on the fascinating and beautiful island of Elephantine situated on the River Nile close to Aswan.
My congenial host was a Nubian gentleman by the name of Mostafa who provided basic, but very clean accommodation in his own home on the edge of one of the 2 fascinating Nubian villages on the island. The facilities and excellent breakfasts provided were very good value. Mostafa and his family always took great care and pride in the preparation of local cuisine for their guests and were able to supply comprehensive and delicious evening meals as and when required.
The property included an amazing upstairs terrace with uninterrupted and romantic views of the river and the passing feluccas, pleasure and working boats.
St Simeon s Monastery and the Tombs of the Nobles on the west bank could also be clearly viewed.
A felucca would be on hand for pre-planned or ad-hoc river trips whether for one hour or a full day s excursion with picnic. All trips are tailored to client s specific needs.
Mostafa was always there to answer any enquiries and to offer localised knowledge and friendly help and suggestions with regard to excursions both in and around Aswan.
All in all a highly enjoyable and memorable stay in this unique, beautiful and tranquil location. Thoroughly recommended. Andrew Smith, UK

18-01-2009: Andy, South Wales
Dear Petra.
Many, many thanks to Moustafa and yourself for making possible some magical experiences in and around fascinating and exotic Aswan.
You showed me their region, not as a tourist might see it, but as an idependent traveller wanting to experience and fully appreciate the beautiful landscapes of the Nile, the incredible antiquities and, of course, the unique culture and lifestyle of the Nubian and I can only look forward, with impatience, to my return visit in the autumn.
My grateful thanks and best wishes until we meet again, yours sincerely, Andy (South Wales)

14-01-2009
Dear Petra, A very happy new year to you and Waleed. Our trip went off perfectly all through - thanks again to you and Waleed for the Luxor/Aswan/Abu Simbel sector. You can have a look at pictures here (...) Regards, Swapnesh.

12-01-2009, Eric
We did enjoy the felucca cruise very much and appreciated the help Waleed gave us in getting my friend to the German hospital. It turned out that he had appendicitis so was flown back to Cairo that night for surgery.
The cruise was great and Mustafa a congenial host and good cook. We were disappointed that so little actual sailing was involved but you had intimated that winds could be a problem and shorten the distance covered. You might make this caution clearer when you redo your website. An initial briefing by Mustafa on sailing conditions and expected progress would have been useful in putting us completely in the picture.
As it turned out, the withdrawal of one couple from the trip was beneficial overall as six people sleeping on the felucca would have been a bit crowded.
So overall we enjoyed the trip, appreciated your communications, were well looked-after by Waleed and Mustafa, and would recommend you to our friends.
Best wishes, Eric

08-01-2009, Fei Xue, HongKong
Hi Petra, We just got back last night. The tour of Abu Simbel was spectacular and Waleed was there right on time to pick us up as expected. The car we got was very comfortable for the ride and our driver on time both to and from. We are very happy with the trip and your sevices. Many thank you's! No pictures yet as we haven't had a chance to download and sort through them....will do so once we get to them.
Happy holidays to you as well! Fei Xue

08-01-2009
Hi Petra, ... We had a fanstatic time in Egypt. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I spent half our time in Aswan in bed, but once I felt better we really enjoy Aswan. Mustafa was a great guide. He was very nice and patient. Our train was a couple hours late and then it was only a couple of hours before I felt too sick to continue, but he never seemed upset and was very understanding. He was very kind, very knowledable, and really good at helping you enjoy your time in Aswan. He made it very clear that all we had to do was ask and he would make it happen. I only wish I hadn't gotten sick, because I really wanted to finish our day with him especially to try his mother's cooking. I did get a chance to try Nubian food later, but I think a home cooked meal would have been very special. If I'm ever back in Aswan, I will definately look forward to spending the day with him...
Again, please let Mustafa know what a wonderful host he was and extend my apologies for having to cut our day short. Thanks, Robin

07-01-2009: Ora from Israel
dear petra,... thank you for everything. we had a wonderful time in Aswan and mostafa and waleed were so great.
mostafa was wondeful and the felluca and his house and his mother. we thought to come back to eat there but we were so tired when we came back from abu simbel. I am pretty sure we will be back there soon. I want to be there again and again
also I am going to give his phone to everybody I know who want to travel to egypt. since I am travel agent I am going to spread their name to all whom I know.
I want to start arraging trips for people to egypt so he is on top of my list.
i have beautiful photos and I am trying to send them to you. hope you get them I am not sure how to do it in the best way
if you do not get them or can open them let me know.
send mostafa my best regards and I believe that the way they are working with tourists will lead them to success. yours in friendship
ora
i will like to hear from you more and if you need me to write something on mostafa and waleed on the web let me know becuase really it was so nice
(please see photos)

05-01-2009, Pittsburgh, USA
Dear Petra, Waleed and Mustafa!
You made our Aswan visit a real delight. We are very grateful to you guys to make our stay so nice.
Petra you got us going with the very useful and accurate information. The short afternoon with Mustafa was a real treat. His Mom's cooking was definitely the best food we had in Egypt apart from the sweets in Waleed's favorite pastry shop.

What can we say about Waleed? He is an incredible guy and he treated us as family or lifelong friends throughout our Aswan stay and beyond. We have been in many places and continents before making many friends along the way but we never met someone like Waleed. We will miss him, never forget and we already passed his phone number to some of our friends.

Thank you again friends! You are wonderful. Attached are few pictures. They speak for themselves.The very best to all of you, Csaba, Hermina, Andras and Sara

05-01-2009
Dear Petra: Thanks for your help on our visit to Aswan. You did a wonderful job as did Waleed. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Egypt and hope to return soon. Thanks again and take care. Nick Strozza

05-01-2009, USA
Mustafa
Thank you so much for yesterday and showing me your culture and home. I consider you a friend, my first local friend in Egypt. I hope to visit you again soon and will spread word of your small hostel. Keep in touch, Ryan Batterman

05-01-2009
Dear Petra: Wish You A Happy, Healthy & A Prosperous New Year.
I wish the Cairo guide I am trying to work with was as pleasant and organized as you are. It's a struggle. Warm Regards & Thank you again. Ajit

03-01-2009 (posted in tripadvisor)
We just spent a wonderful week at Aswan, thanks to Petra and Mustafa.
We don't like "packaged" holidays, we always try to find an alternative way of traveling that suits our style. Its not always easy to achieve that, especially when traveling abroad. In this case we were lucky to run into the aswan individual website, and realize that it was compiled by somebody who truly loved and respected Nubians and their culture. We contacted Mustafa and booked his lovely house, with the wonderful view and unique location. After living there for a week, we feel we spent time with a long known friend. Simos Saltiel and family

05-12-2008: Greece
Hello Mrs Petra,
We had a fantastic time - great experience - in Egypt and would like to thank you for everything you had arrange for me and my family. Everything was on time and very well organised! Abu Simbel was unforgetable in deed. I still look at my pictures and can not believe we were there... talking to you on the phone when I was still in Aswan was another nice surprise. Many thanks once more from all of us,
Maria

01-12-2008: Agnes from UK
We had the most fantastic time in Aswan.
Once I had found Aswan-Individuals on the Internet, I knew I had found the right organisation to help me with my travel preparations and I was anxious in case it was not as good as it sounded on the web.
In fact, I need not have been afraid, because it was every bit as good as promised. Not only was the planning made easy with Petra's good advice and ample experience, but Mustafa's hospitality and kind, relaxed personality surpassed every expectation. We stayed in Mustafa's house on Elephantine Island, which was not only very good value, but also very authentic. We felt privileged to gain insight into the daily life of a Nubian Village and it s inhabitants. We were served the most wonderful meals by Mustafa's mum Sahara and his sister Fattimah, and later on by Mustafa himself on the Felucca. Highlights of the trip were the outings with Mustafa and Mushawi on the felucca- we felt like princesses being taken on these private trips- everything was done to make sure we enjoyed ourselves - all that for a very acceptable and honest price!
Overnight stay on the felucca was out of this world- we moored just underneath the floodlit Tomb of the Nobles. However, do bring cream to keep the muzzis at bay- we were nearly eaten alive!
I very much appreciated the honesty and transparency of a "price list" where we knew exactly what to expect to pay -just wonderful if one considers the hassle one has otherwise in negotiating anything in Egypt! Well done everybody who was involved to make this trip so memorable and enjoyable!
Tip: if you have time, do visit the Museum of Nubian Life in Aswan- it was shortlisted for an award and is extremely well presented and informative. A high quality experience if your interest has been stirred after staying in a Nubian village like us. Agnes Temper, UK

17-11-2008
Hi Petra -
Mike and I did have a wonderful time in Egypt, especially in Aswan, and the two things I mentioned did not affect our wonderful memories, or the high regard we have for you, Waleed, Mustafa and the excellent service provided by all of you. We don't blame Waleed for the cruise experience, and, as I mentioned in my email, we are not frequent cruisers, so it's possible we set our expectations too high. We had just finished a terrific stay at the Movenpick, and perhaps we'd been spoiled by all that luxury! : )
Waleed was always courteous, professional and well-organized, and we will recommend Aswan Individual without hesitation to anyone travelling to Egypt. I haven't had a chance to put a review on Trip Advisor yet, but I will get that done by next weekend. I will also send the pictures by next weekend, and you're welcome to put them on your website if you'd like. Thanks again for your help in making our Egypt trip one to remember for a lifetime!
Best regards, Samantha : )

27-10-2008
We had a wonderful time. We sailed around in the felluca for some time which was fantastically relaxing and scenic. Mustafa negotiated a camelride for us to the Monestary of St. Simeon and then to the Tomb of the Nobles where Mustafa picked us up again. Afterwards, we visited the Nubian Village where he lives, enjoyed a wonderful meal that Mustafa's
mom prepared, walked around the island and visted the new house that Mustafa is building. Spending the day with Mustafa was certainly one of the highlights of our trip and would highly recommend it to anyone.
Thanks for your wonderful service and for making this part of our trip so enjoyable. Please thank Mustafa again for us the next time you speak with him.
Best Regards, Alan and Dolores (my wife, shown in some of the photos)

05-10-2008
I am sorry its taken so long to write back! We have been back now for a few weeks.....
We had an amazing time in Aswan! Waleed was fantastic in organising our tours for us, picking is up from the airport and showing us around Aswan. The driver he organised to transport us to our tours and to Luxor from Aswan was lovely and very friendly, we enjoyed his company.

Mustafa was a fabulous captain! So lovely, gentle and friendly. The felluca cruise along the nile was relaxing and the sightseeing just perfect. Visiting the Nubian Village was truly amazing. It was such a privilege to eat lunch at his mother's house, she is a wonderful cook.
Thank you again Petra for organising such a wonderful and unique experience with Aswan Individual. We would not hesitate in recommending Aswan Individual to our friends and family. Thank so much....Shakra!!
I will try and send photos soon. Regards, Despina and Christian

01-10-2008
In early summer I was in Aswan with three friends and we stayed in the house of Mustafa. Fantastically looked after by his mother and sister. They have cooked for us excellently, and served, and washed our laundry. We were enthusiastic about the care from Mustafa, his mother, sister, his brothers and his friends - we have been absorbed in the family. The trips with the felucca ort he motorboat had been beautiful. Our vacation was outright successful, and aswan-indivudal.com is highly recommended! Ursula Steinborn

28-07-2008
Hi Petra & Waleed
Just to say thankyou to you & Waleed for all your help in organising and looking after Rebecca & Sam so well. They are now safely on the train heading back to Luxor.
Waleed was wonderful. Thank you so so much.
I will be recommending your services on tripadvisor. Thank you once again. Nicki (see below:)

Posted on trip advisor: 10:18 am, July 31, 2008 Wow, Wow, Wow. So impressed with everthing Aswan-Individual organised for my daughter & her boyfriend. Every request was dealt with in a professional manner and everything worked to plan.
Would whole-heartedly 100% recommend them to anyone.
This is off their website - Aswan-Individual:
Services are described in detail and with a fixed price. There is no haggling nor hassle. Aswan Individual is a network founded by a tourist, who - after years of experiences in Aswan - put together trustworthy people: to honour their hospitality and honesty by publishing their services: with low prices for visitors, but which are also fair for the Egyptians.
Their website is pretty amazing too.
Petra who dealt with the administration was amazing. (She is in Berlin. She organised with Waleed that Rebecca & Sam were picked up and taken to Abu Simble from their hotel in Aswan. The following day Waleed had booked & collected their tickets for their train back to Luxor and he dropped them off at the station. Waleed was wonderful and looked after them really well.
Nothing was too much trouble. Petra was in constant email contact with myself. Absolute first class service. Bex

23rd June 2008
Hi Petra,
how wonderful, we had the big chance to have you as a guide and organizer for our beautiful trip to Egypt. We want to thank you very much for your strong commitment. You have made a lot possible and shown us so much beauty.
It started in Luxor with the dreamlike balloon ride near the Valley of the Kings, while the sun was rising above the Nile, the tour with the carriage and the very nice carriage driver (Ragib) you had ordered, driving us through the bazaar and we still remember his invitation for (Assir Assab), the refreshing juice made from sugar cane. During this heat in May – delicious!
The reception in the house of Mustafa from him, his familiy and especially his mother, was very very warm. His mother has coddled us with fantastic meals in different variations, with the result that we have felt wonderful. We have been affiliated with the family and learned a lot about traditions of Nubian life on the island Elephantine.
There is so much to see in Aswan, one vacation is not enough, and I am sure we will be back some time.
A real highlight were the flight and stay in Abu Simbel. We stood at Lake Nasser and have been overwhelmed by the size of the lake. In the evening we saw the Sound-and-Light Show at the temples from Ramses II. One cannot imagine, that the temples have been sawed and moved, to save them from the water. (We are astonished: 17 (!) temples have been moved – what a big effort by the Unesco and the State of Egypt.). On the way back we marveled at the great Highdam and understand now very well, that the Egyptians are worried about attacks from foreign forces.
Big big praise to Mustafa for his skill to sail us up and down the Nile, he has shown us his home country admirably. He was tireless there for us, and we also want to thank his sister (Fatima), his brothers (Ahmed Cico, Ashraf, Mumin) and – of course – his mother.
It was a beautiful holiday, individual and very different, and so beautiful!
Much obliged, dear Petra, your Brigitte, Ursel and Guenter from Stuttgart
(May 21 to May 30, 2008)

5th June 2008
Hi all,_Having not long got back from our most recent trip to Luxor & Aswan we would like to thank all at Aswan-Individual for their help in making the Aswan part of our holiday run so smoothly._From the transfer between Luxor and Aswan and the return from Edfu to Luxor to the nice walk through Mustafa’s home village on Elephantine Island and tea at his lovely house while the Sun set._But most of all we would like to thank Mustafa and Nasser for making the 3 day felucca trip so memorable.
From the excellent crewing of the boat, the lovely food, the spotless state that Mustafa kept his boat in, to the visit of Nasser’s home near Edfu.
Possibly the highlight for us though was mooring up over night at Sil Sila and the early morning visit of the quarries and tombs. We have seen Sil Sila many times from passing cruise boats, but have never been able to actually visit the sight. It was great! Allan and Kathy Morris (UK) please see photos

(And as notice to the captain Mustafa after the trip:) We have found the trip extremely enjoyable. Both Mustafa and Nasser were very helpful and attentive. The food was very very good and a surprise at the variation with the meals dished up. The boat was kept immaculately clean at all times. The handleling of the felucca was excellent. They both made us feel very welcome.
Allan and Kathy Morris (UK)

29th May 2008
We had a fantastic time - 5 of us on the boat – were treated like family - guests of the captain. The whole crew went out of their way to help us, the experience was great, food excellent, lots of laughs. We all highly recommend to anyone looking for a life experience to put your trust in Mustafa, Cico and Misso. Cameron Merer, Australia

25th May 2008
Hi Petra, we just arrived home from Egypt a couple of days ago.
If you could please pass along our thanks to Mustapha and Waleed for their services in Aswan. Both Gosia and I greatly enjoyed the portion of our trip in Aswan the most. Gosia loved the Ramses II temple in Abu Simbel and I especially enjoyed our time on the felucca with Mustapha. We would not hesitate to recommend both of their services to fellow travelers (as both went the extra mile for us). I have included a few pictures from these parts of our trip for your website. (The one of the felucca sail is a view of Mustapha sailing around the botanical garden island to pick us up at the other end - he didn't know we took this one =) ).
...
Anyways, we'd like to thank you as well for your coordination efforts and once again please pass along our thanks to Mustapha and Waleed. Hopefully these comments are helpful. Thanks, Michael and Gosia (please see photos)

04-05-2008
Dear Petra -
I feel so lucky to have found Aswan-Individual while planning our recent family trip to Egypt in March, 2008. We (myself, husband and two teenagers) wanted to travel independantly, have unique experiences where we could connect with the real people of Egypt yet still have some assistance with making our plans. And you, and your local people in Egypt - Waleed and Mustafa - really made the Aswan part of our trip one we will forever treasure. We got to see a slice of Egyptian life and culture that I know we would never would have experienced if we had been on a big group tour or on a nile cruise boat and we felt like we made some new Egyptian friends in the process. Mustafa ("the Nubian Eddie Murphy") and his friends and family were so warm and invitiing in both the Elephantine Island and Westbank Nubian Villages. He was the perfect laid-back but highly skilled felluca captain and we loved our time on the Nile. Waleed (the "man with the plan") was so dedicated and so totally attentive to our needs, the changes we made to our schedule were easily handled and he made sure all was well during our entire stay. Whatever we needed - a place to find change for small EP bills for baksheesh, a place to get my broken glasses fixed - he was genuinely happy to help. Both Waleed and Mustafa made us feel like family and we are happy and grateful to have had the chance to meet them in this beautiful part of Egypt.

And of course, you, Petra, made all this possible because of Aswan-Individual and your interest in having others experience the real Aswan that you clearly know and love. Making these kinds of plans over the internet at first seemed intimidating, but you were always so prompt with your follow up to any questions and were so eager to make sure we had a great time, I just knew that I could trust your advice and your guidance. Thanks again to all of you at Aswan-Individual for making our trip to southern Egypt a fantastic one - its only been a month since our visit and I am already longing to return. Carol Waller, Idaho, USA (please see photos)

(If anyone wants to contact me directly for any recommendations and/or information, Petra can provide you with my email)

Posted on tripadvisor: May 03, 2008 from Marty49
During our recent vist to Aswan (my third) we availed ourselves of the services of
www.aswan-individual.com/html/luxor.html
We used them for airport pickup, a trip to Abu Simbel and for land transportation to Luxor. The prices were fair and the vehicles were very comfortable. Highly recomended. Moshe Bar Zev (photo on the right)

21-03-2008
Dear Petra, ... the Aswan trip was one of the best in my entire Egypt experience... it's great to hear your business is growing and by the fact that someone asked about your company means you are getting well known. So keep up the good work and reputation! (I am sure you are already doing this really well)
...Vincent.
PS I didn't go anywhere interesting since my trip to Egypt last year, will let you know if I have good photos!
PPS I can see you have been working hard on the website, now that people are attracted by words of mouth, so as long as your website looks professional and have good contents, it should be ok to give them the confidence. Good Luck!
Please, see Vince photos: http://www.fotop.net/vipro/EgyptFelucca

20-03-2008
Thank you Petra for helping us arrange our trip around Aswan, you were incredibly helpfull. It was also nice meeting you in Aswan. Waleed arranged everything we'd asked for in Aswan, and our two days & two nights aboard Captain Mustafa's felucca were amazingly relaxing. Mustafa keeps a very clean boat, and is also an excellent cook; the food we ate on his boat was delicious, part of our Top 3 for Egypt !! Thank you Mustafa, and Menchaoui also.Pierre-Olivier Duval, Montreal City, Canada
(please, dont miss his photos!)

18-03-2008:
Just wanted to let you know we are here in beautiful aswan and to thank you so much for hooking us up with Waleed and Mustafa, it has been great so far, one more day to enjoy, will write more later. Carol Waller and her family, USA

23-02-2008
We travelled on a convoy on 14th Feb 2008 arranged by Waleed and was met by the driver at our hotel on time.  The bus was clean and comfortable and the driver knowledgable, courteous and friendly.  Petra had given us some extremely useful advice on trips to take when making our booking and we used this information to best use while we were out in Aswan, contacting Waleed directly.  We found the trips (to Sight and Sound; Higher Dam and Feluccia) all very good value for money, but the Feluccia did take some beating! Mustafa was able to take us for a wonderful 4 hour trip on teh Nile which was just magical.  He also took us to visit his family and his home where we enjoyed amazing views and had tea and bread and at his mothers house.  Petra contacted Mustafa while we were on the boat, to make sure that all was well and it most certainly was!
Waleeds main aim while we were there was for us to be happy and he did this with such professionalism and genuine care.  He helped us find alternative accommodation when we had a problem with our booking (not done through Aswan-Individual I hasten to add), but just because he wanted us to enjoy Aswan as much as he, Petra and Mustafa do.
 
I would not hesitate in recommending their services and would like to thank them all for making our trip a truly relaxing and memorable experience.
Linda Milton, Essex (beautiful photos, which Linda has sent to us)

19-02-2008
Hallo Petra You have never dealt with me through email but I am Linda's sister and visited Aswan with Linda, her husband and my husband. Its my first day back at work today but I thought I would use my lunch hour to thank you so much for introducing us to Waleed and Mustafa in Aswan. We arrived in Aswan after travelling in the convoy from Luxor which was organised by your company. The car was punctual picking us up, comfortable with a knowledgeable and able driver. We had a very comfortable and interesting trip to Aswan, arriving spot on the time we were scheduled to arrive. Waleed was there to greet us and helped us transfer to our hotel. When we arrived at our hotel we realised there had been a problem with the booking and we were booked in a sister hotel of far inferior quality and we rang Waleed as we couldn't make anyone understand what had happened. He was very kind, taking us to an internet cafe so we could look up the number of the tour company, then he helped us to organise another hotel. We arranged all our trips through Waleed and every trip the cars were punctual picking us up, were well maintained and comfortable and all the drivers were very polite and helpful. We had a lovely trip to the light and sound show at Philae and also to the Unfinished Obelisk and the High Dam. Then came the highlight of our time in Aswan, a trip on a felucca with Mustafa. Mustafa's English was superb and at no time did we have any problems understanding him. The trip was wonderful, all the time Mustafa was giving us options of things to do and let us tailor the trip to our tastes with his guidance. Our trip to his home, his mother's home and his village was very interesting and everyone gave us a very warm welcome. It was a shame we did not have any longer as we could have had a much longer trip on the felucca. Also we could have eaten with Mustafa's mother, but we met him on our last day and our time was limited. The food smelt wonderful, shame we had no more time to partake of it. We have lots of options in mind for another trip to Aswan! We ended the trip with another convoy trip arranged by Waleed back to Luxor, with a very good driver and a very comfortable car.
Overall we were very impressed with your company and I would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone visiting Aswan. The prices were very reasonable, everyone was punctual and polite and Waleed couldn't have been more helpful to us. We have some photos of the trip with Mustafa that we would like to send him. Could we send the photos through you?
Thanks again and please convey our thanks to Waleed, Mustafa and everyone concerned for making our trip to Aswan perfect.
Sue Medlycott, Swindon, England.

Posted on trip advisor: 8:45 pm, February 19, 2007 from pottypolly, London, United Kingdom
I have just returned from Aswan and used Waleed via Aswan -individual to organise our transfers between Luxor and Aswan and can highly recommend them. The Bus arrived punctually at our hotel in Luxor and then joined the convoy for the direct route there. Yesterday we returned with the early morning convoy and had the two stops. Again the driver was punctual and very courteous and knowledgable. Waleed was just so helpful during out time at Aswan helping us with any query at any time as he just wanted us to be happy in Aswan, which we were. WE also went on some trips organised by Waleed and these were excellent value for money and extremely reliable. The felucca ride with Mustafa is not to be missed!
I have had a wonderful week in Egypt and our 4 days in Aswan were all the better for Waleeds help.
I would highly recommend it!

Wed, 13 Feb 2008
The last days in Luxor were nice, but not as nice as the time spent on the felucca !! I guess after 3 weeks of visiting tombs and temples, we had seen enough !! Now, we're back in the snow back at work, ... and we only have good memories from our trip.
I was wondering if it's possible to send mail to Mustapha ? I wanted to send him a few little things (like a proper Bob Marley tape, the one he has is WAYYYY to old and bad sounding !!), but I only have his phone number... not very useful !!
Talk to you soon !! Pierre-Olivier, Canada

21-01-2008
Petra, Happy Monday morning here from LA. Me and my brother arrived back safely, and still fondly remember our time in Egypt. Mustafa and his felucca, is one of memories we most cherish. Please express to him our greetings for the new year. I must say that Mustafa and his warm personality made our trip. I only wish we could have spent more time on his boat, enjoying his superb meals. I have many pictures from the trip that I'd be happy to send to you. ... Hope all is well with you.
Shouvik Biswas

Posted on trip advisor: 3:36 pm, December 07, 2007 from dipban, London
Hi, We got back from our holiday in October.
The cruise ship we ended up on was called MS Renaissance. We paid $300USD for 3 nights (min stay) and booked through the wonderful Waleed (from aswan individual).
Comment on Waleed: Absolutely fantastic and very honest (which is quite a rare thing in Egypt).
The cruise ship was very nice, the food was ok (we are vegetarian) and the staff were excellent (except one guy in reception who was - lets just say - not a very nice person to put it politely).

Mon, 8 Oct 2007 (Group of 24 people)
Hello Petra, thank you for everything you arranged it was perfect. I will soon get back to you with the pics etc.

22-07-2007
This is Vince ... thank you again for providing the felucca trip and Mustafa really provided an excellent service and I certainly had a great time. Thank you! Unlike most other Egyptain service providers who believed in earning quick money, Mustafa truly believed in good service and reputation, and he managed that really well, so please pass my gratitude to him next time when you see him. I am sure who I will be recommending next time my friend goes to Aswan.

Anyway here are photos of my trip, please have a look at them if you are interested:
http://www.fotop.net/vipro/Egypt
and for the felucca trip
http://www.fotop.net/vipro/EgyptFelucca
Vince Poon (Hong Kong)

25-06-2007
... we couldn't enjoy the trip as much as we did without your help. i'll definitely ask my friends to contact you if any of them decide to go to egypt!!
Joyce Li (Hong Kong)

Mai 2007
Danke, Danke - mehr ist nicht zu sagen..., abgesehen davon, daß die Reise von Petra super organisiert war, wir Waleed und Mustafa ebenso wie das Land fest in unser Herz geschlossen haben. Danke.
.. so wünschen wir allen Ägyptenfans das Glück die Reise mit Unterstützung von Petra antreten zu dürfen.
Andreas (bei Interesse könnt Ihr gerne bei Petra nach meiner Mailadresse fragen)
please see wonderful pictures

23-03-2006
I had a wonderful time in Aswan but I just wished I had longer there ...
I will definitely recommend to any one else I know who goes to Egypt to get in touch with Mustafa.  I also have mentioned him to someone I know who works for a travel company that specializes in small group travel and who like to make sure they support local people, in case they need any more contacts to organize things for their groups – as obviously this would be more regular work.  Obviously if I ever get back to Aswan I will definitely make sure I get in touch with him and maybe stay on the island. 
... I didn’t have any photographs of me in Aswan, hence the camel shot so he (and you) can put a face to a name! ...
I hope you get back to Egypt soon – it is a fantastic country!
Best wishes, Lyse (United Kingdom)

01-10-2006
Leider ist unser Aegyptenurlaub seit gestern Vergangenheit.
Der Ausflug nach Abu Simpel war ein super Erlebnis.
Dazu hat auch die Fahrt im Microbus beigetragen.
Es war perfekt, wie alles geklappt hat. Herr Talat war am Vortag bei uns auf der MS Carmen und hat uns gesagt, wann wir bereit sein sollen, am frühen Morgen, war Herr Talat
persönlich anwesend und nahm das Geld entgegen.
Der Fahrer war sehr zu vorkommend und es stöhrte uns nicht, dass er einen Kollege auf der Rückfahrt mitnahm, denn der neue Fahrgast schlief bis Assuan.
Ich danke Ihnen für Ihre Bemühungen und kann Sie an Aegyptenreisende weiter empfehlen.
Mit freundlichen Grüssen, Peter Kolp (Schweiz)

29-10-2006
Relaxed, welcoming and pressure-free. An evening sail up the Nile turned into a 2 day felucca trip with Mustafa and his friend Minshawi to Kom Ombo, where we saw the delights of the Nile, ate delicious home-cooked food and slept on the felucca under the stars. We have fond memories of this rich experience. Away from the haggling, you truly get a taste of the Nubian life style. Mustafa and Minshawi were great company and very informative. Good times! Thankyou.
Its good to hear that you are going back to Aswan soon and that Musafa and Minshawi will be able to see the pictures. The visit to Daraw was one of the highlights of our trip and it would be great if they received a copy.
Derrin and Hannah (Bristol, U.K)

06-11-2006
Dear Mr. Waleed, we wish to thank you for the organisation of our Nile Cruise trip from Aswan to Luxor and the tours in these areas during the last seven days.
During this period we experienced very well-conducted tours and excellent service. You and your business associate in Luxor, Mr. Mohamed Ali, provided at customised service according to our expressed interests and wishes.
We are exceedingly pleased that we have seen all the major cultural and historical sites of these two areas, in a fairly relaxed and enjoyable fashion. The tour guides - Mr. Rubie El Ammary on the Nile Cruise, and Mr. Mahmoud Hassan of Luxor, were particularly knowledgeable Egyptologists.
You and Mr. Ali did your utmost to ensure that the daily hour trips ran accordingly to the program, and you checked daily with us that all was well. Your travel service is highly professional and efficient, and also flexible when we decided to visit other sites in Luxor.

We appreciate that you both quickly organised tours on a moments notice and that you ensured comfortable and spacious vehicles for the longer and the short trips. (...)
Sandi and Akksandra Ceterin, Melbourne, Australia

27-11-2006
Dear Waleed, lieber Waleed, wir haben bestens mit Ihnen verhandelt und haben es besser vorgefunden, als wir es je erwartet hätten. Wir wollen uns auf diesem Wege ganz herzlich für Ihre Geduld und die viele Mühe, die Sie mit uns hatten, bedanken. Wir werden Sie weiter empfehlen. Auf Wiedersehen - inshallah - Rita und Bernd Raick, Deutschland
Dear Waleed, we thank yo
u very, very much for all the work and trouble you had with us. It was even better than we did expect. We will recommend your name to other tourists. They will be happy with for your service. We hope to come again - inshallah! Rita and Bernd Raick, Germany

From tripadvisor
March 2008

Davao, france
(Joined: Jan 2007, Forum posts: 52)
Posted on: 10:43 am, March 11, 2008

I've visited the website of Aswan Individual and they offer interesting excursions in Aswan but i would like to have some insights from travellers who already had a personal experience with their services.
Thanks in advance! Davao

Pottypolly, London, United Kingdom (Joined: Feb 2006, Forum posts: 82)
Posted on: 8:34 am, March 20, 2008

We were in Egypt in February 2008 and they arranged our transfers to Aswan from Luxor as well as trips to the Dam, sight and sound and a majical day on the feluccia wtih Mustafa.
We found them to be very attentive to detail both pre, during and post visit and I would not go anywhere else.
They were also helpful when our accommodation booked caused problems and we hadnt even booked with them. Waleed took us to see other accommodation and sorted out our booking even though he was due to take his wife out for a meal!
Having someone who knows the area, cares about their clients interests and is pround of the area makes all the difference.
Have no worries you wont be disappointed!

QuebecVFR, Montreal (Joined: Mar 2008, Forum posts: 1)

Posted on: 9:25 am, March 20, 2008
Hi,
A colleague at work who sometimes looks at TripAdvisor forums told me somebody was asking about Aswasn Individual. Since I just came back from Egypt (January. '08) and arranged my trip around Aswan with Petra, Waleed and Mustafa, I though I'd let you guys know about my experience with them.
Petra was incredibly helpfull in preparing my trip around Aswan, answering every email quickly and thouroughly. Yes, you can probably get the same trips Aswan Individual offers for a bit cheaper (not a lot), but then you have to haggle and sometimes won't get "exactly" what you paid for (this is Egypt after all...). Waleed arranged our trips to Abu Simbel, Light & Sound show at Philae Temple and got us a good price at the Marhaba Palace Hotel in Aswan. Everything was as we'd agreed, and on time.
We also did a 3 days/2 nights felucca tour with Mustafa. Very relaxing, the food was excellent (some of the best we've had in Egypt), and Mustafa is very friendly and a gerat captain. We actually rented the boat for ourselves only (my spouse and I), and since we were sleeping on the boat it was MUCH appreciated (there is ONE big mattress on the boat... so everyone sleeps on it, except the captain who has a small cabin). Very clean boat also, and we did a few nice stops in Nubian villages.
I just sent a few pictures and comments from our trip to Petra so she can add them to her website. I guess they should be posted there pretty soon.
I definitively recommend Aswan Individual if you'd like to arrange your trip around Aswan and are not too tight on your budget. It's a big load off your shoulders not having to haggle with the many felucca captains, taxis and "supposedly" official tour guides. And Petra is really a nice person (we even got to meet her in Aswan !!)
If you have other questions, feel free to ask, I'll be coming back for the next few days, just in case sombody needs more info.
Cheers, Pierre-Olivier Duval
Montreal City, Canada

Vince_HK, Hong Kong, China (Joined: Mar 2007, Forum posts: 32)
Posted on: 1:49 pm, March 20, 2008

Just to share you some experiences: I went to Egypt around this time last year and I have tried various local tours, and "Aswan Individual" was one of them. I got some good recommendations of AI from fellows of this forum before and decided to try it out. Because of time constraints I only booked a felucca nile cruise + fishing + supper with Aswan Individual.
Ok, I got the whole felucca for myself because I travelled alone. Mustafa was a good captain and a good guide. His english was surprising good (trust me, I couldn't understand the english of most local guides in Egypt) so I wasn't bored even with just chatting to him during the whole journey.
Then he offered to show me his home and the Nubian village, I also had some authentic Nubian dinner on the boat while I enjoyed the sunset and the mosquitoes soon afterwards. The dinner was sure local because it tasted very differently. But it sure was an experience. But I must say Mustafa wasn't a great fisherman but at least we "tried" fishing in the Nile. As of today I still wonder if there are really fishes in the Nile. (I hope Mustafa has really improved his fishing skill by now)
Yes, the price for booking through Aswan Individual is not cheap compared to those locals who offer you a felucca cruise on the streets of Aswan. But I had spent over 10+ hours to travel from HK to Egypt and I wanted to have a good time there... I have heard of many stories before where the captain will stop the felucca in the middle of the Nile and raised his fee or wasted your time and spoiled your mood..
Enough said, u can check out my pics in http://www.fotop.net/vipro/EgyptFelucca and see for yourself if you like the style.

Lalsey, UK (Joined: Dec 2006, Forum posts: 4)
Posted on: 7:02 pm, March 19, 2008

Hi! Yes I spent a morning/afternoon with Mustafa from Aswan Indivdual. Unfortunatly I didn't have enough time to do any of his excursions but I am sure he can sort out pretty much anything you're interested in doing!
For me I'd rather support local 'small' outfits like Aswan Individual than big companies.
Have a great time in Aswan! Lyse

Davao, france
(Joined: Jan 2007, Forum posts: 57)
Posted on: 4:38 pm, March 24, 2008Hello Quebec and Vince HK!
Thanks for sharing your experiences with AI...i'm assured now! I've been corresponding with Petra and i've got responses right away. I will surely use their services...I can't wait for our in Egypt! Davao

heather_1m
Edinburgh, U.K
(Joined: Oct 2006, Forum posts: 4)
Posted on: 5:21 am, April 03, 2008

Hi Davao,
Our experience of Aswan Individual was good. We spent about 6 hours with Mustafa sailing on the felucca, visiting sites and going to his home in the Nubian village. We asked him to drop us off at the Temples of the Nobles and the botanical gardens, both worth visiting. We also sailed to the First Cataract. His brother and cousin also joined us for the trip.
You could probably get a felucca trip for a little less than they charge, but it was worth travelling with Mustafa as he is so keen to show you his family home and Nubian life, which was very interesting.
Unfortunately both me and my boyfriend fell ill the next day. We cannot say for definite what caused our illness, but we did drink some tea on the felucca. We don't know where the water came from, but if it was from the Nile this could have caused our illness. According to our guide book the water should be boiled for 10 minutes to prevent illness. However, we're not pointing pointing the finger of blame at the tea as our stomach upset could just have easily stemmed from the meal we had that night at the Panorama restaurant, we simply don't know.
We met Waleed two days later as he organised a last minute cruise for us. This worked out extremely well. The cruise boat was managed by Thomas Cook so it was of a high standard and the cost was very low. He managed to find us the cruise during the Easter weekend so I feel Waleed can be relied on and have no hesitiation in promoting him! Also, the manager of Thomas Cook, Egypt, spoke to us and sang Waleed's praise saying what a good man he is, etc.
Have a good trip and if you have any further questions don't hesitate to contact me.

Mustafa wants to emphasize, that the water which is used for cooking or making tea is never from the Nile!

And many more
since then in the forum
of tripadvisor:

For example here

or (older) here


 

 

 

 

Some notes about guides

To visit a temple is like listening to a beautiful meloday of a song, to have a guide with you is like a friend who is tranlating the lyrics for you to make you understand the feelings

For example Mansur took me to a wall full of writing. If I saw that wall alone without a guide, it would be just a grey dull wall with boring writing. But of course when he told me it was a wall listed down the names of the kings then it was no longer just a grey wall. It was an ancient database with interesting story like about how the name of Hatshepsut was not there (you love Isis and Osiris story but I love love love Hatshepsut story better). Because of a guide like Mansur, I could see beyond that boring grey wall and I could spend days just learning that wall of names.

Aswan guideAnd then there was Said. If I saw the unfinished obelisk alone without a guide then it would be just a huge stone partly digged from a stone hill. But he made me see hundreds maybe thousands of ancient Egyptians working on that site. I could see the impressive impossibly hardwork. Maybe we are a so much more weaker less creative generations compared to those ancient Egyptians.
(V., Indonesia, 2015)
More from V. in tripadvisor


... the guide Amr

in attach we send some pictures, and in the first there is the BEST GUIDE that we never met in our travel he is great!!!!!!!!! (Gianpaolo, April 14 2012)

I like Amuro very much. Excellent English. Not just like a guide, but a teacher to teach us many things other than the spot. Not just describing the pictures, but teach us how to read the pictures, the acient Egypt words etc. EXCELLENT!!! Extremely interesting and bring back my interests. (Tony from HongKong in his diary, February 2013)

The guide and driver were wonderful. They were friendly, not pushy (as some of my other guides were), more knowledgable than some of my other guides had been, and took great care of me. It can be hard traveling by yourself, but they took care of me and were completely professional and honest. If I go back to Egypt, I won't contact anyone else. (Angel in tripadvisor, March 2013)

... I'm sure you know this already however we wanted to let you know how great we found both guides. They were both very knowledgeable and clearly enjoy their work. We very much also appreciated the fact they did not merely recite facts about the areas we visited (although of course they taught us a great deal) but they were able to offer personal perspectives and observations. Most importantly, they each had a great sense of humour and were quickly able to grasp where our interests lay and respond to our personalities. ...
(Anita and Greg, 1st of May 2013)
the guides were Amr in Aswan and Mansour in Luxor

... the guide Eslam

... Pls thank Waleed for assigning Eslam today as our tour guide again (as I have requested). Being new in his profession, he seems enthusiastic and knowledgeble of Egyptian history, even patient with our questions. He speaks English well to our understanding...no problem at all. He acts in a professional way, and punctual. We've been comfortable having him all along. It would be a disappointment if it were a different guide. Virginia (September 2010)

... Mr. Eslam was so much fun! We really appreciated his depth of egyptological knowledge, and the passion with which he makes the history so accessible to the uninitiated. I had read a lot beforehand, and Eslam was great in adjusting his guidance to take our basic knowledge much further. It's a talented guide who can "read" his clients and provide them with the level of detail and information they'll best appreciate. Mr. Eslam has that down. Anne (February 2011)

... Islam is a great and knowledgeable guide who really makes the things come to life!
We look forward to continue the trip tomorrow. (March 12, 2011, Arjan from Netherlands)
... I'd specifically would like to thank and compliment you on our guide, Eslam - who was very inspirational and deeply impressed us with his knowledge. ((March 19, 2011, Arjan from Netherlands)

... My guide Islam was just fantastic. He obviously has a very good education in Egyptian history and religion, and was able to explain the nuances an complexities of the religious structure very well. He also had an intimate knowledge of the temples we visited (Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo) and was able to provide extensive information on the architecture and wall reliefs.
I especially enjoyed the trip across the Nile to visit Silsila. Islam had that bit of the trip very well organized, with the motor boat ready and waiting when we arrived.
Islam is a delightful guide. it's not just that he knows his stuff so well, but more that he conveys his information with such interest and enthusiasm. He obviously has a passion and a real love for what he does. All in all, the whole trip could not have been better or more professionally run. (April 17, 2011, Lesley from Australia)

... And also, I want to compliment Eslam as well. He’s been a great guide and friend during my tours. Always checking if I need anything or food. He’s so knowledgeable and explains in great details. Thumbs up for him. ... (April 25, Wee Chiong from Singapore)

... Their guide for the day was Islam, who is tremendously enthusiastic and very knowledgeable. (We have experienced local guides here in the past, many of whom just want to get you to the brothers shop rather than impart any information). So top marks there (Richard, June 2).

... Our tour guide Eslam in Aswan - he was so lovely, and we had a perfect day with him (Julia, October 11),

All my tours i did with Ezlam and he was fantastic. His english was very good and he was very knowledgeable about all the tombs, temples and other sites we visited. Not only was Ezlam a great tour guide he was also a very nice and friendly guy and he made my visit to Egypt so much more plesent. I could not recommend Ezlam highly enough. (Hayley, Nov 3)

Eslam was amazing, especially reading out loud the hieroglyphics in the temples. We had really good time with him (Steve, Oct 31)

thanks Waleed for getting the best deal for us on the cruise, felluca and hot air balloon. Also for arranging Islam to be our guide in the major temples, he really knows his subject very well!! (Agnes, 2011 Dec 31)

... We were surprised, that it was Eslam, who arrived. We had him 15 month ago in Aswan and we liked him very much. He is very competent and he takes his time. What we like. (Jan 2012, March 28)

... The guide we had for Philae Temple (Eslam) was excellent and really made the tour worthwhile. (Laura, 2012, April 13)

Eslam was really out of this world. He was young but extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Egypt. He was not like guest of our family but our family for the 4 days we were with him.
(... When) Eslam left (...) back to Aswan and we all were missing him as he had become part of our family during the very short time we were together. (Karthik 2012, May 28)

What can I say about Eslam, he is such an incredible guide, so energetic and enthusiastic in his explanations, he saw I was interested in everything (above average tourist level) and he went into depth explaining to me hieroglyphics and other details! And he was really patient with me, as I wanted to spend more time in Philae temple. (Niki 2013, May 4)

... On our return to Aswan, we picked up our guide, Eslam, for a guided visit to the High Dam and Philae Temple. By this time I was tired and 'templed out'. But Eslam is such a natural at guiding, and his passion and energy for what he does was contagious and I found myself fully enjoying the time at the sites. I highly recommend Eslam as a guide, and Aswan Individual for arranging our day trips. (Review on May 14 in tripadvisor - published here with kind permission from Melissa:)
Yes, you can copy any part of the review for the website. Eslam was truly the best guide we had on our trip. (see middle column to the left, May 16, 2013)

We also really liked our guide Islam - he was very nice, knew a lot, and was very willing to be patient with us since we had our son who is just 7 years old with us. We really liked him and would recommend to use him again (April 2014)


... the guide Abdullah

It was a lovely day, made so much more interesting by my Nubian guide Abdullah, ... (, Liz in October 2011) please see her full comment on our website about Philae or in her blog)

Könntest Du uns auch nochmal die Adresse von dem Archäologen schicken der uns damals Kalabsha gezeigt hat. Der war ausgezeichnet, mein Vater würde sich gerne nochmals mit Ihm treffen.
Could you please tell us the name again and send the address of the archaeologists has shown us time Kalabsha. He was excellent, my father would like to meet with him again.
(Katharina, Geneve, 2011)

Guides: We had Said for the Aswan day tour (Philae, Kalabsha, unfinished obelisk) and Abdul for Kom Ombo & Edfu en route to Luxor. And they were just amazing. You could pick up knowledge of these places from the web or just being in the tourism industry for a long while - but the infectious passion with which they immersed themselves in the history of the place and brought out the magic of each temple made each stop memorable. You could see in them both the earnestness & the desire to explain more and not just gloss over. (Gopakumar, April 2016, review in tripadvisor)


... the guide Abdur

the guide Abdur: very very nice, nice, good French (Sylvie, 2011 Dec 26)


... the guide Ehab

... Ehab who truly made our trip special!!! He was with us from Aswan to Luxor and was funny, insightful and told us things that weren't in the guidebooks. We even secretly asked both Said and Ehab the same questions to "fact check" as we call it and their stories and all their facts matched up. Sadly we couldn't use Petra in Cairo and our guide there had a different take on things that both Said and Ehab had told us. We checked google to see who was right and of course Said and Ehab were correct. (Christina, tripadvisor, April 15, 2012)

Guide in Aswan and Luxor... We were fortunate enough to have Ehab do this for us without the extra charge on both nights while we were in Luxor. He really went out of his way to take us around at night. He took us in a local taxi/bus used only by the locals shared some of the customs and traditions, showed us a local market and then took us to a local flafel stand and we ate like the locals in the park. We had such a great time and I totally would have paid extra for this had he not offered to do it for us without having us pay. He spent all day with us and then offered to meet us at 6p nightly to show us more of Luxor on his personal time. He did so many extra things for us that I didn't want to add it to my review (in tripadvisor, inserted by Petra) and have others think that all these "extras" should be expected. I like to think that he liked us and that's why he took the extra time to make it extra special for us rather than it being obligatory. We all enjoyed his company so much I cried when we had to say goodbye. (Christina in a private email to Aswan Individual, April 15, 2012. And yes, please forgive us, that it should not be expected to become such good friends, that the guide will spend his free time during all evenings with their guests :o)

... On the first day we meet Ehab and after our tour at Philae Temple - Waleed checked to make sure that we were pleased with our guide and whether we wanted to continue with him. We were more than happy with Ehab and opted to use him as a guide at Abu Simbel and the remainder of the trip. I can now proudly say that I can read enough hieroglyphics to distinguish Hathor and Isis J as well as a few other common phrases that were located in several temples. My husband who does not usually enjoy guides has nothing but great things to say about Ehab - he was a really good choice, we are grateful to Waleed for finding him. I would recommend Ehab for future guests, especially if they want a guide with a good sense of humour - who will look out for you.
(Quonya, July 7, 2012)

 

... the guide Fatma

Fatma is an amazing professional guide . I really enjoyed my time with her . She is very knowledgeable and answered all my questions about the lovely village and the history of Nubia. The walk with her through the village alleys were wonderful as well (2014 Jan 24, Hussein)



... the guide Fatima

... Waleed was an incredible help and Fatima, our guide to the Unfinished Obelisk, Aswan Dam, and Philae, was amazing. She was very friendly and knowledgeable - when we return to Aswan (not if!), we would very much like to have her as a guide again. (Kristina Soriano-Jacobs, Dec 25, 2010)

... Fatima was a wonderful guide and we were extremely happy with her (Amanda Slayton-Joslin, November 25, 2010)

... Fatima was an incredibly informative guide and we learnt a lot (February 10, 2009)

... Fatima impressed us as much as the sights she explained to us (May 2008, Brigitte Löschner, Germany. Thank you for the picture!)

The services were excellent. Fatima struck the right note immediately,(October 31, Steve)


... the guide Mohamed El Aswany

Let me tell you also that every cultural excursion we made was very, very good! For our excursions to Abu Simbel and Edfu our guide was Mohamed El Aswany. And he too was an expert in his field of study and with interest for explanation of the daily life of the common people
(Benoit and Chantal, 2013, February 28)

... the guide Said

Said was our guide for the day and he is a gem!!!!!!!!!!! His passion is apparent, his knowledge exceptional and we had the best time with him. He even had the driver stop at a local market to buy water for 3EGP rather than the 15-20EGP at the sites which is a small gesture but it made us feel like he didn't look at us as "rich" tourists. (Christina, tripadvisor, April 15, 2012)

Saeed, our guide to Philae, was brilliant. ...
(Derren, March 5)

Thank you Gopakumar for your very nice review in tripadvisor about our guides Said and Abdullah! (please click link to read more)

 

... Spanish speaking guides

Say hello to Waleed, Ahmed (Aswan guide) and Mohammed (Luxor guide). They all did their best to make me and my wife very comfortable and safe in Egypt. (Eduardo, January 2015)

 

.. the captains

... we met Sero and Minshawee for an afternoon of sailing on a felucca. This was the greatest afternoon! We had planned to stop to see various sights over the course of our afternoon but soon discovered that being on the felucca was too much fun and too relaxing to want to get off. Sero was more than happy to accommodate that. The best part of all was the lunch that Sero made for us to enjoy on the felucca….seriously the best lunch of our entire 3 week trip (even the kids agreed!), and all arranged with Petra ahead of time. The kids had the opportunity to jump from the
felucca into the Nile for a swim, which was again such a highlight for them. Sero and
Minshawee are 2 of the sweetest, nicest men we have ever met.

... The new felucca captain Sero was an absolute 'gentle' gentleman and we thoroughly enjoyed our four hours of sailing with him - he competently sailed us all the way down to the Old Dam, around several islands, organised for a local man to meet and take us to the fascinating Pharaonic and Ptolemaic carvings on Sehel Island, took us through the best parts of the cataracts for bird watching and even let us have a go at steering his boat. Listening to him talk about his life in Aswan (he remembers life before the Great Dam) was just the icing on the cake!

... Minshawee is fun, chatty and sociable. Finn, our youngest, really liked him. Mustafa and Minshawee balanced each other and we thought they were a good team, so choosing one or the other would be difficult...
(Sian, Netherlands, July 2010)

... Minshawee and Zero were enthusiastic showing me around - I was impressed with what I saw. Both of them and Waleed were considerate as well during the felucca trip - cooking various types of food to make sure I was comfortable and relaxed. (Xiaoin Wang, China, July 2010)

Minshawee, You are the greatest felucca captain, with whom we have ever been sailing, with you we even got to know places we have not seen when we were in Aswan before.
The hours on the Nile will be unforgettable. (Madeleine, Germany, January 2011)

... The felucca was a laugh from beginning to end, Sero is a top cook, and made something different each day, including camel meat, white soup and other local dishes. Mido, Minshaweee and Hamadi looked after the boat under Captain Sero's steely gaze and made constant cups of tea.
... Nothing more to say other than that Sero is an excellent singer, and that Hamadi can't dance, but he really thinks he can. ... (Richard, June 2011)

I was impressed with captain Sero, he is so skillful and took me to places where only motorboats ventured! Also I want to thank him for inviting me in his house, his family is so friendly and hospitable, and special thanks to him and his wife for the delicious and generous portion of their home-made meal! Such a nice experience, having a taste of the hospitality and friendliness of Nubian people :)
(Niki 2013, May 4)


Travelogues from our guests

Diaries are most appreciated but rare.
info@aswan-individual.com

Please read:

Henree and Jeff in Egypt
(the most poetic travelogue I ever received)
Nov 2009

 

 

 

Karthik and family
in Aswan, Nile Cruise and Luxor (May 2012)

 

 

 

GieOct07 writing in tripadvisor (November 20, 2010)

For those embarking for the first time on an independent tour--extensive or not--of Egypt beyond the pyramids of Cairo, Aswan Individual is the answer. We were first time visitors in Egypt, aiming to do an extensive tour in one visit (to see most of the ancient, colossal temples in Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel), and Aswan Individual helped us fulfill our trip of a lifetime.

Having read everything and researched about destinations in Egypt, I felt apprehensive at first on how to go about with our itinerary. It felt daunting booking trips with the unknowns (tours, agents), let alone embark on this trip and navigate Egypt on your own. From the moment I've read about Aswan Individual on TripAdvisor, I quickly visited their website. Convinced, I immediately emailed Petra. True enough, she promptly responds to emails and will let you know if she cannot. I presented her our customized tour itinerary, and she replied with the same quote as in their website. I had so many questions and each time she was quick and patient to answer them. Never did I have to anxiously wait so many days for her reply. Her prompt answers enabled me to quickly frame our Egypt itinerary. No deposits required, all were done in good faith. Final payment is collected when you meet Waleed. Any changes to itinerary/tours should be communicated in advance.

Note that I booked separately our accommodations. When a problem surfaced regarding a paid booking at Seti Hotel, I frantically emailed Petra for help, and her team in Aswan (Waleed) contacted the hotel for me. Although their site promotes Aswan, they can also help with tours in Luxor; even provided me with a link to desirable hotels in El Gouna for the Hurghada/Red Sea segment of our trip. She gives her honest opinion and knowledge of Egypt based on her experiences, and with her advice, it seems like I already have a trusted Egyptian friend. My apprehensions gone, nerves calmed.

With nearly three weeks in Egypt, we were able to see and do everything, including a day tour to Abydos and Dendara (impressive!), a 3-nt Nile River cruise (with visit to Edfu and Kom Ombo temples), and half-day felucca sailing (with visit to the Botanical/Kitchner Garden), and motorboat. The weather was perfect and we have the felucca all to ourselves, along with Mustafa and his assistant. Other tourists packed in crowded feluccas must have looked at us with envy. We just lounged there, enjoying the passing views as the wind carried our nice and spacious sailboat around the Elephantine Island. We would love to do it again someday. Mustafa is a humble Nubian with a genuine character. On our way to a delicious lunch (Nubian style) at his mom's place, he showed us his neighborhood on Elephantine Island. After lunch he invited us to his own rental place. Much to my surprise, I didn't expect my husband would be delighted with this brief Nubian immersion experience. We then boarded his motorboat up the cataracts. All these at a fraction of the price than most other tour companies, and with added peace of mind.

Aswan Individual price, quality, and service met our expectations. Their website presents fair price for both tourist and tour provider, and gives you an idea of the entrance fees to help estimate your budget. The 3-nt Nile River cruise that Waleed helped pick for us at the last minute was reasonable---a huge savings than booking in advance online. We were on Semiramis III, rated 5-star, presentable, and although a bit dated, our stateroom is adequate and nice, cleaned daily---not bad for the price. The ship was fully booked, and found ourselves among the company of Thomas Cook guests from Belgium and France; and an American family of five.

Aswan Individual team operates in a professional fashion and will make sure that you're not disappointed. Petra and Waleed would call you to check how you're doing to see if you're happy with the tour, guide, and driver. They welcome your feedback; are open to suggestions, and consider them seriously. In Luxor our guide was Eslam. He is young, always punctual, well-educated, enthusiastic and proud of his country's history, knowledgeable of ancient gods and goddesses, can decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs, speaks English well, and patiently answered our questions. We were already comfortable with him so we asked Waleed not to replace Eslam when we get to Aswan. We were extremely happy to have him all along. He didn't take us to any papyrus or perfume shops as we've indicated to him right from the start that we're not interested, thus we were able to maximize our time touring around.

Overall, we were very pleased with Waleed's personalized service...highly recommendable.

After enduring the scorching heat, thirst, and exhaustion touring all the temples along the Nile, we capped our Egypt tour by quenching in the refreshing, colorful waters of the Red Sea, and basked in the El Gouna sun and sands.

 

 

 

 

 

Other
traveler forums where we
have been recommended
(and that we
know about)

http://www.ivebeenthere.co.uk/tips/31193

http://www.holidaycheck.de/reisetipp-Reiseinformationen+Aswan+Individual-zid_67888.html