I recently returned from a two-week trip to Egypt with my family. To assist us with our vacation, I employed the services of Ahmed Hamed Yousif to guide us in Cairo. I prefer to hire an individual rather than taking large organized tours. Ahmed turned out to be more than a guide; more of a family friend.
Prior to our trip, I had combed several websites in search of an independent tour guide. A few times I ran across reviews of Ahmed’s services; each one described him as a fantastic guide. I emailed Ahmed; he quickly responded – giving his credentials, an itinerary of things to do in Egypt and a price list. Since we take several trips a year, I explained we needed to do things on a shoestring budget. That was no problem for him; he agreed to a very reasonable fee and was willing to drive us rather than hiring a car and driver to reduce our cost.
Why you should add Cairo to your Round the World trip itinerary.
Ahmed, a great guide – no, make that an exceptional guide
When we arrived in Cairo, Ahmed was waiting for us at the airport. Having traveled to Egypt several times before without my family, I knew throngs of tour companies would be at the exit to greet us in an attempt to sell us their services, or try to pull one of many infamous tourist scams. It was nice to be able to skirt the offers and be driven to our hotel after 24 hours of travel by a kind gentlemen. Ahmed explained that he would make suggestions of sites to visit, but the ultimate decision would be up to us. After checking into our hotel, Ahmed took my entire family out to dinner to discuss our itinerary.
Over the next two days Ahmed took us to the sites we wanted to visit, and explained each of them in detail. He has a great love for guiding and his country. Ever since he was a small child growing up in Giza, he wanted to be a professional tour guide. Ahmed graduated from Cairo University with a BS in tourism and Egyptology, and has been guiding for over 12 years. He speaks excellent English, probably because his father was an English teacher. At each site he allowed us to spend as much time as we wanted, and he kept the hustlers away. Ahmed took us to many stores to purchase souvenirs, but at each location, he reminded us not to buy anything if we didn’t like the people, or we thought the price was too high.
Through his kindness and easy going nature, we developed a close friendship. After two days in Cairo, we had arranged to take the overnight train to Luxor. We had not planned on a guide in Luxor, but Ahmed said he had a friend who arranged tours. He called his friend and organized two days of private touring at a price that was significantly less than the prices I had received from other tour organizers in Luxor. At the train station, Ahmed bid us a farewell and my wife began to cry, because of her fondness for him.
Upon arriving in Luxor at 5:00 A.M., he called the tour organizer to make sure we had arrived safely. Later in the day he checked to make sure we were happy with the services we had received. The following day he contacted us again for feedback. After Luxor we traveled to Sharm El-Sheik to scuba dive. Again he checked on us. During our six days in Sharm, he telephoned or emailed us. When we returned to Cairo for the remainder of our vacation, he greeted us for dinner one evening and continued checking on us. After only two days of his guidance and advice, we felt acclimated to Egypt enough to easily travel on our own.
When we returned in the USA, Ahmed contacted us to ensure we had a safe journey home. I can’t state strongly enough what an outstanding guide and ambassador for Egypt Ahmed is. While you frequently hear of the scammers and hustlers in Egypt, Ahmed is the polar opposite of them. Any visitor to Egypt will find Ahmed to be an individual of high character, extremely knowledgeable of his country, and may even leave having gained a great friend.
You can reach Ahmed at firstname.lastname@example.org.