I'm starting to plan a really big trip for next year. I'm starting out in Jordan, then Egypt then Greece. I was wondering if anyone knows of any reputable guides or tours in Jordan (mainly Petra) and Egypt (for Giza and Aswan). Its my first time overseas and I don't want to go with a shady company and end up lost in the middle east somewhere.
I'd only been to Egypt. For Giza, we just ask our taxi driver to take us there to get the horses or camels. The price would include the entrance fee, guide & horse/camel. In Egypt, you must bargain for everything........especially taxis. Sometimes, you can just pay whatever you think is reasonable for the ride.
For Aswan, you can ask the tourist info center near the train station. They can give you a lot of info. Some hostels also have tours so you can ask them too. I would like to recommend you to take the felluca at Aswan. It's a terrific experience!!
I stayed at the New Palace Hotel in Cairo, and when you get there, a guy who arranges tours, takes you up to the rooftop garden, and shows you loads of available tours around Egypt. It seems a bit iffy with the way it was operated, but it worked out good for me and for one other person who I met up with when I was in Egypt. The tour I got, included all transport throughout Egypt (including a felucca up the Nile from Aswan to just outside Luxor) and all accommodation. It didn't include entrance fees to the attractions, food or drink (except on the felucca where you eat the traditional Egyptian food on board prepared by some very unconventional manners and using the water from the Nile for two full days). I saw Cairo (including Giza and the step pyramid of Saqqara), got a night train down to Aswan. Saw Abu Simbel, then caught a felucca up the Nile to near Luxor. Saw all the tourist attractions in and around Luxor. Then I got a night bus from Luxor to Dahab in the Sinai region. Saw the sunrise at Mt Sinai (which is very spectacular) and got a bus back to Cairo. All of that was $240US + the costs of entrance fees and food. The guy told me if anyone asked how much it cost it was $300US, because he only gave it to me that cheap because his friend recommended me (a person I chatted to through a travel forum like this). Down the road a very similar tour was going to cost $500-$550US so I got a good deal! He only accepted US Cash for the tour, and I didn't get given a receipt or anything to even say I paid. So it all seemed very suspicious, but I took the risk and it paid off.