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  • Writer's pictureWalter Ponce

Dahabiya Nile Sailing, Egypt - Review

During our trip to Egypt, we were keen on experiencing the Nile in a unique and immersive way. After extensive research, we chose to book our journey through Dahabiya Nile Sailing (Authentic Nail Sailing) https://dahabiyanilesailing.com.


The reviews on TripAdvisor were promising, and the package price of $940 per person seemed reasonable for the experience on offer. What truly appealed to us about this company was their commitment to supporting local communities along the Nile, offering a distinct and culturally rich adventure.


The package of $940 included:

  • All Tours on board (professional English speaking guide on board the Dahabiya).

  • Transfers

  • Dahabiya accommodation in a double cabin 4 nights

  • All meals and drinks included (Shared Dahabiya).

  • All Entry Fees to Temples and Museums

Here is the intenary and experiences we had during our trip:


Day 1: Exploring Esna and El Hegz Village

Our adventure began with a scenic drive from Luxor to Esna (pick up from the hotel included), a part of the Luxor governorate. We visited the Temple of Esna, a historical site that set the tone for our cultural journey. This temple was empty! Withouth any doubt, one of our favorite temples to visit.

After our visit to the Temple of Esna, we checked in to the Dahabiya and began our journey towards El Hegz Village. Due to some issues with the Dahabiya, the group we were supposed to share the boat with was split into two separate Dahabiyas.


Unfortunately, this division meant that we couldn't fully spend time with our intended group, which was a bit disappointing.


Nonetheless, the Dahabiya experience itself was exceptional. These boats typically feature six to ten cabins, each with ensuite bathrooms. Life on board a Dahabiya Nile cruise is serene and idyllic, offering a variety of pleasures. You can relax in a deck chair, immerse yourself in a good book, or observe local life as children play and women tend to their daily tasks.


Meals are freshly prepared on board and can be enjoyed on the sundeck, in the dining room, or at picturesque locations along the riverbanks. There's a unique charm to dining under a starlit sky by the warm glow of a campfire, a stark contrast to the extravagant parties on larger cruise ships.

In the eveining, we had an interaction with a local family, offering us a deeper understanding of village life and culture. The day ended with a delightful dinner on board, setting the stage for the days to come.


Day 2: El Kab and Edfu Exploration

After a satisfying breakfast on board, we sailed to El Kab, a place steeped in history dating back to 3,000 BC. We explored ancient settlements, impressive mud brick walls, and New Kingdom tombs.


Our journey continued to Edfu, where we visited the grand Temple of Horus via horse-drawn carriages (which we don't support but aparently there was no way to avoid this).

Dating back to the Ptolemaic era, the Hours temple, constructed between 237 and 57 BC, stands as one of Egypt's remarkably well-preserved ancient relics. Safeguarded by the desert sands, which enveloped the site after the prohibition of pagan worship, the temple holds its dedication to Horus, the vengeful offspring of Isis and Osiris. Notably, the temple's roof remains intact, lending it an exceptionally evocative ambiance and making it one of the most atmospheric structures from antiquity.


The day ended with dinner and traditional music, creating a magical atmosphere that immersed us in the spirit of the Nile.


Day 3: Bisaw Island and El Selsela

We began the day with breakfast and a visit to Bisaw Island and its village. A very traditional breakfast prepared by the villagers. It was sweet to stroll around the small village and see how they live their days.


We had the privilege of joining local fishermen on their boats, witnessing their unique way of life, and even enjoying the fruits of their catch during dinner.

The day also included a visit to El Selsela, an ancient sandstone quarry and shrines, where we learned about the immense historical significance of this site. A moonlit barbecue dinner added to the enchanting experience.


Day 4: Kom Ombo, Daraw, and Nubian Village

Our journey continued with a visit to the Kom Ombo Temple, dedicated to Sobek and Horus, along with a stop at the Crocodile Museum. In Daraw, we learned how to shop like locals and visited a camel barn to gain insights into the camel trade.


Additionally, we had the unique opportunity to explore a Nubian village, providing us with a profound insight into the cultural richness of this ancient civilization. It was an incredible experience, as we were entrusted with the responsibility of procuring the ingredients for our dinner from the local market.

During this visit, we acquired the necessary vocabulary to inquire about prices, identify various vegetables, and even haggle for the best deals. Overall, it proved to be one of the most engaging and interactive experiences of our entire journey.


It's also worth mentioning that the residents of this village were remarkably respectful and welcoming, in stark contrast to the sometimes pushy and intrusive behavior encountered in other towns and cities.


The day ended with the opportunity to swim or kayak.


As we sailed closer to Aswan, we reflected on our incredible Dahabiya experience, and by the farewell dinner, it was clear that our journey had left us with a deep appreciation for the rich tapestry of Egypt's history and culture.


Conclusion Dahabiya Nile Sailing review

In conclusion, Dahabiya Nile Sailing provided us with an unforgettable journey through Egypt's heartland. The focus on local communities, unique excursions, and the tranquility of the Nile made this experience truly exceptional. We left with a desire to return and explore more of Egypt's wonders, with gratitude for the memories created during our Dahabiya adventure.

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