The Pyramids...need I say more<br> Photo by: Leonardo Barbosa (Stock Exchange)

The Pyramids...need I say more
Photo by: Leonardo Barbosa (Stock Exchange)

Good day, all! As promised, I’ll be covering Egypt in today’s installment of the Disabled Travelers blog. This has been a topic in great demand recently, and I knew I had to do it as soon as I saw this travelogue set in several Egyptian cities which depicts not only great accessibility in Cairo, Luxor and elsewhere, but also documents handicapped travelers – both wheeled and not – doing some great scuba diving at one of the world’s most sought-after locations for just that. So before I get carried away, let’s head out to the desert and see what else we can find!

I always recommend a good tour operator when you’re going beyond the bounds of familiar wheelchair access standards, and there’s an usually diverse range of good options for Egypt. Egypt For All is a pretty high-profile choice, and they’ve been providing tours focused on the needs of handicapped travelers for years. Their itineraries include Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, and other breathtaking sites around the country, as well as the opportunity to take a dip in the Red Sea. You can cruise the Nile, go ballooning, or go on a desert safari. Accessible transportation is available, and for sheer breadth of things to do, I think you’d be hard pressed to beat these offers.

The site also links to a bunch of disabled travel reports, including this helpful one published in Travel Today Arabia: “Accessible Egypt: Traveling By Wheelchair Has Its Ups and Downs.” Apparelyzed, a peer-support site for those with spinal cord injuries, has a few users who’ve also shared disabled travel experiences in Egypt, including at least one person who used Egypt For All: here’s a piece about the Pyramids, and there’s also one offering a quick glimpse at Luxor. From the best reports I can find, a lot of ancient sites – including the Valley of the Kings, but not the interiors of the Pyramids – are accessible with assistance. Many of the more modern sites in major cities are accessible as well, and things are best, as you’d probably expect, in the capital: Cairo.

Accessible Journeys has an overview of basic information about traveling in Egypt, including a quick list of attractions and their level of accessibility (or lack thereof). At another location, they’ve also provided a list of wheelchair accessible hotels. It’s not really clear right now if Accessible Journeys will be traveling Egypt regularly in the near future, but another good alternative is Memphis Tours Egypt. This tour operator has both short and long-duration packages (as little as one day, and as long as eleven) to meet any desire in Egypt, including all of the country’s most famous attractions. Uncover Egypt offers detailed descriptions and photos of even more wheelchair accessible hotels. Finally, AOL Travel has another useful list of accommodations.

Naturally, pretty much all of these tours can include a peek at the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx. Some of them, such as this one, focus on it pretty intently. However, there’s also great accessible travel opportunities for those who want to experience city life: here’s one example of a tour spending lots of time in Cairo. For the most part, you’ll be making two major decisions to shape your Egyptian trip: how many of the ancient monuments you want to see and whether or not you plan to cruise the Nile. Once you’ve come up with that, the rest of your itinerary falls naturally into place with these great tour operators. Bear in mind, though, that a few of these focus exclusively on disabled travel and a few offer it only in addition to the rest of their services; get in contact and get on the same page with whatever company you choose, so you know just what’s included.

Phew! That was some trip! Looking at all those photos almost makes me want to head off to Egypt – but I think I’ll wait for the “cool” season (whenever that is.) Speaking of cool, we’ll be visiting you again with another great report from Disabled Travelers real soon. Until then, keep it fun, keep it safe, and adventure on!


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