Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Private Tour: Abu Simbel by Minibus from Aswan. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
While Abu Simbel was fantastic and is a must see, the six hour drive (3 hrs there, 3 hrs back) seemed excessive for the short time you are actually at the temple.
Abu Simbel was great. The guide was ok, but considering we spent hours with her, she gave us a 10 minute briefing we could have gotten from any tour book and that was it. They were gracious enough not to insist we stop at the Papyrus factory on the way back. It's a long drive, and while the private car was nice, we could have gotten one with a guide through our hotel for the same price that we paid for 1 person with Viator. We were concerned we wouldn't be able to get a tour for all 4 of us on the 1 day we were in Aswan, but once we arrived, it was clear we would have had no issues finding an alternative tour for much cheaper.
Abu Simbel is amazing. A must-see for anyone traveling to Egypt. I was not impressed with the guide at all. We were with him for 8 hours and he gave us a 10 minute overview of Abu Simbel. I learned more by reading my guide book. Also, the second driver in the van entitled himself to take an entire row of seats to sleep during the trip down while one of our group members was forced to sit up in a sit for a 3 12 hour pre-dawn trip. I would not recommend the local tour company for anything....
It was wonderful except the driver was going extremely fast, as was everyone else, and at dusk did not turn lights on unless another car was coming, as did everyone else. That was extremely scary.
The guide was not so good, the drivers were sometimes pretty scary, the time at the site too short, and the requirement to tip everyone a pain in the bum esp. given how much we already paid.
Our English speaking guide had a very strong accent and it was hard to understand him. guides leading other groups had better visual aids for the explanations. We we not aware that the tour included some stops at shops. At the end of the day I felt rushed through amazing Abu Simbel so they could drive us to the stores.
The driver/guide picked us up on time. Viator was in touch and communicated with us as to what our responsibilities were. We enjoyed the early morning ride to Abu Simbel. The bus was OK. The guide slept on the back seat while we were in transit. Had hoped he might visit with us a bit more. When we arrived at the site, he hurried us to the temples and talked too fast to grasp easily all he was saying. We enjoyed seeing the temples. We wouldn't have wanted to miss them. We had some difficulty finding our van to return. Although we were not the last to arrive, we were the last van in the parking area and finally discovered where it was parked. As we got near to Aswan, our guide told us he was in the process of getting into the perfume-making business and wanted to take us to his factory as a side trip before delivering us to our destination, I do believe, he was just trying to sell fragrance for some company. It was OK, but it could have been better.
We were a little concerned with the style of driving to and from the site. Turning the head lights off and then on and driving on the other side of the road is not a good look or feel. Sure it may be the way one drives in Egypt but to us it was very worrying. Our guide seemed to be in a real hurry and after giving us a few minutes talk about the photos he wanted to sell, his involvement seemed to be over. However Abu Simbel was great to see.
Unfortunately the guide can not go inside the temples to explain what you are looking at. After our guide told us what to expect inside and explained things with pictures he had, he just left. All the other guides where hanging out and talking pictures for their groups.
The car was old and not maintained properly, we blew a tire on the way. The driver drove on the wrong side of the road the whole trip going 150 km/hour. It was dangerous. They made us stop for a cigarette break. The guide was not useful and whole 'tour' took 5 minutes with poor explanation. It is shame such a magnificent place was let down by a badly organized tour. I would not recommend anyone use these services, which is a shame because I live in Dubai and all of my work colleagues travel withing the middle east a lot.
Fly to Abu Simbel-do not take the minibus tour. It was 3 hours going and four hours coming back. As long as Egypt is insisting on "convoys" it is a waste of time. Also very dangerous. Driver was going 140 km on a two lane road and on the way back played "chicken" with another tour bus. Abu Simbel itself is well worth seeing.