Explore 360

Sinai

Summit to Sea

  • Where?

    Egypt

  • Altitude

    2,285m

  • Duration

    11 days

  • Weather

  • Physical

    P2

  • Technical

    T2

  • P2 - Prolonged walking over varied terrain. There may be uphills and downhills, so a good solid fitness is required. Expect to be able to do a 6 to 8 hour walk over undulating terrain with a few punchy uphill climbs carrying a pack up to 6kg in weight.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • T2 - Consider this a trek, although there may be occasion to use hands for short sections of easy scrambling. No previous climbing or trekking experience is necessary.

    Visit our Grading Information page for a full overview.

  • Overview

  • Date & Prices

  • Pics & Vids

  • Itinerary

  • Kit List

  • FAQs

Overview

Join us on a journey through the awe-inspiring Sinai Desert. We start our expedition at the highest point, climbing Mount Sinai, before loading up our support camels and following the maze of long winding wadi’s, hidden canyons and lush oases, while spending our nights under a star-studded sky.

The Sinai is unlike any desert in the world. Forming the physical boundary between Asia and Africa, you’ll find surrealistic sandstone mountains and plateaus, carved out by the desert winds. It’s an incredible sight to walk across the soft sand at the base of these canyons and look up to the high walls and blue skies above. Over the course of the endless sunny days, these landscapes change from towering rocks through to crystal waters, as we traverse from the Sinai’s summit to the shores of the magnificent Red Sea.

Steeped in a rich, diverse history and incredible Bedouin culture and traditions, it is a place of both natural and human splendour. Our time here will touch on a simpler way of life, learning how to load camels and find water and medicinal plants; where the day starts with breakfast cooked on a fire and finishes with wild camping under the broad arch of the Milky Way.

After 8 days in the remote Sinai, we finish the trek in the vibrant Bedouin fishing village of Dahab. Adventures abound, with the opportunity to experience various amazing activities and the magic of the world-renowned tropical coral reefs, rock-climb vertical gems and wind-surf the clear waters. The Sinai Peninsula offers an adventure you will fondly remember and will want to repeat again and again.

Find out more
Sinai, Summit to Sea Sinai, Summit to Sea

Date & Prices

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.

A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

For private trips or bespoke itineraries inc. different dates, please contact the 360 office on 0207 1834 360.
A monthly payment plan is possible, please contact the office to chat through the options.

Departure & Return

Duration

Price (excl. flight)

Price (incl. flight UK-UK)

Start: 14 October 2020
End: 26 October 2020

Price without flights:  £1,450
Price with flights: £1,850

14 October 2020

26 October 2020

13 days

£1,450

£1,850

Start: 13 October 2021
End: 25 October 2021

Price without flights:  £1,450
Price with flights: £1,850

13 October 2021

25 October 2021

13 days

£1,450

£1,850

Start: 01 November 2021
End: 13 November 2021

Price without flights:  £1,450
Price with flights: £1,850

In association with Climb Your Mountain.
Leader: Tracey Parnell

01 November 2021

13 November 2021

13 days

£1,450

£1,850

In association with Climb Your Mountain.
Leader: Tracey Parnell

Included

  • International airfares departing from London
  • Local guides
  • Airport transfers: SSH-St Catherine / Dahab-SSH
  • Entry to St Catherine Monastery
  • Mt Sinai fees
  • Fox Camp 2 nights / 6 nights camping
  • All food whilst on the trek, and breakfast when city based
  • Accommodation in Dahab, doubles or twins sharing, B&B
  • All road transportation
  • 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoor
  • Monthly payment plan, on request

Not Included

  • Personal equipment
  • Staff / guide gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Trip insurance
  • Items of a personal nature: phone calls, souvenirs etc
  • Unscheduled hotels and meals
  • Lunches & dinners in Dahab
  • Visas
  • Airport transfers when not booking on with flights
  • Any additional costs associated with leaving the expedition early, including any airline surcharges as a result of changing return airline tickets

 

Please note that if international flights are booked, a supplement may be payable if costs increase due to the current situation with Covid-19.

Pics & Vids

Itinerary

DAY 1 : Depart UK and arrive in Egypt

You’ll depart the UK on a scheduled late afternoon flight and be met on arrival into Sharm el Sheikh. Once the group is together, we will then transfer to St Catherine village, nestled in the high mountains of South Sinai. We will be arriving late to our camp in the desert terrain, around 21:30, to the welcome of a crackling fire and a delicious meal before heading to bed – though many choose to sit up around the campfire and enjoy the amazing night skies.

DAY 2 : Saint Catherine Monastery, Wadi Telah and Farrag’s organic garden

We awake to our first proper views of Fox Camp and the surrounding mountains, and to our first daylight experience of Bedouin hospitality.  The day will begin with a delicious, traditional Bedouin breakfast in the fresh air before we head off to explore St Catherine Monastery, the oldest continually inhabited monastery in Christendom.  Located at the foot of Mt Sinai on the site of the Burning Bush, where God appeared to Moses, we’ll have the chance to see the imprint of the prophet Mohammed on the monastery wall, safeguarding it in the Islamic world, and the mosque inside the walls of the monastery.  After an open air lunch back at Fox Camp we will then spend the afternoon exploring Wadi Telah, with a visit to Farrag’s organic garden to learn about wild desert herbs and their medicinal properties.  The evening will be spent back at the camp with a sunset dinner and an early night – we have a 1am date with Mt Sinai!

Walking time: 4 hours

(BLD)

DAY 3 : Mount Sinai, Wadi Arada and the El Guna Plateau

Our lives as a Bedouin starts today with a day of immense variety and wonder.  Surrounded by an entrancing landscape of bizarrely shaped sandstone rock, canyons and oasis, we start the day in the early hours with tea and coffee before heading out to begin our climb.

Walking by torchlight we make our way up the ‘pilgrim path’ on Mt Sinai (or ‘Jebel Mousa’ as it’s also known). The ascent is just over 800m. Along the way we’ll stop to turn off our torches to let our eyes adjust to the dark, allowing us to see the stunning mountain landscape under a bright starlit sky. Once we reach the summit, we’ll settle onto a rocky outcrop and enjoy the sun rise over the vast pastel coloured Sinai desert and marvel at the enormity of the rolling sandscape below.

After a stop at the top, it will be time to descend the highest mountain in the Sinai, feeling energised and ready for the adventure across the rarely visited sandstone mountains and canyons of the Sinai desert.

We will take a short 4×4 transfer to the double canyon of Wadi Arada where our unique adventure starts in fine Bedouin style with a traditional lunch cooked on an open fire. There will be a hive of activity with the camel guides loading bags and supplies onto their faithful beasts.

After our desert lunch we will descend and explore the coloured sandstone canyon of Wadi Arada that leads onto the El Guna Plateau, which will be our thousand star camp for the night.

Mt Sinai climbing time: 3.5-4 hours

Walking time in total: 10-11 hours

(BLD)

DAY 4 : El Guna Plateau to Wadi Zalaga and Ein Um Ahmed Oasis

We wake with the sun and to the smells of breakfast being cooked on an open fire. One of the unexpected highlights of trekking with the Bedouin is their simple but delicious meals, often served with Lebe Naar (fire bread), which they will take delight in teaching you to bake.

We will help load the camels and then begin to cross the El Guna Plateau. This sandstone plateau is a watershed separating the East and West of South Sinai and as we cross to the east, we’ll pass dry waterfalls, observe desert herbs surviving without rain for months at a time, and be on the lookout for seashell fossils. It’s amazing to think that this desert landscape was once a bountiful sea!

The lunch spot today will be in the heart of Wadi Zalaga, before an afternoon trek to the unsuspected beauty of the fertile Ein Um Ahmed oasis.

Walking time: 6 hours

(BLD)

DAY 5 : Ein Um Ahmed, Ein Khundra and the Closed Canyon

Many of the old Bedouin routes through the Sinai move from oasis to oasis, seeking shade and fresh water. Today we’ll follow in their footsteps as we walk to the oasis of  El Barqa and Wadi Roum, before settling into Ein Khudra Oasis by mid-afternoon. There’s time to explore the oasis and the intriguing Closed Canyon – which is both captivating and mesmerizing. The evenings will be spent eating around the fire and learning to play some of the Bedouin games (often with camel dung balls) before we curl up in our sleeping bags and fall to sleep with a backdrop of stars.

Walking time: 6-8 hours

(BLD)

DAY 6 : Ein Khundra Oasis to El Hadudeh dune

Today is dedicated to the Sinai’s most spectacular sandstone landscapes: mushroom rocks, huge bizarrely shaped outcrops and entire mountains through which the elements have carved deep holes and fissures. Shortly after leaving our camp at the Ein Khundra oasis, we’ll scramble into the last of the big sandstone canyons we see on this journey, the deep White Canyon.  With the narrow walls and soft sand floor this trek through the canyon is like nothing else you might have experienced before. A further hour or so of trekking will see us briefly touch base with civilisation as we cross the trans-Sinai road, but immediately we plunge back into the wilderness beyond.

By late morning we discover the unusual burial tombs called Nawamis. These unique and ancient tombs are believed to be from the Nabataean times and are an incredibly special sight to see sprouting from the desert floor. Throughout the day, you’ll see rock inscriptions from through the centuries, documenting the passage of traders and pilgrims as they journeyed to Petra, Mecca and Medina.

By mid-afternoon we’ll arrive at El Hadudeh, South Sinai’s largest dune, where we will set up camp for the night.

Walking time: 8 hours

(BLD)

DAY 7 : El Agabi Plateau

We are now in a perfect Bedouin rhythm and in harmony with natural daylight. At dawn, the fire will be prepared and the Bedouin tea made from the desert herb, habak, will be brewed.  It’s easy to fall in love with this tea, served in small finger glasses from what always looks like a burned, old battered pot – appearances can be deceiving in the desert!

The camels will be loaded and we will say goodbye to Sinai’s rugged interior mountains and ascend into the isolated coastal range. This beautiful morning walk will take us down a huge crescent dune and out of the broad Wadi Ghraib to El Agabi, where we sleep again under the stars on a vast plateau, around a camp fire. The colours of the Sinai mountains change every few hours and we find the experience is enhanced by the relaxed emotions of being wrapped up in the simplest of living.

Walking time: 7 hours

(BLD)

DAY 8 : El Agabi to Bir El Ogda

The coastal range from the El Agabi plateau to Bir El Ogda is a vast, rocky, fractured and rarely walked landscape that even the Bedouins rarely see and, when they do, they marvel at.  We are now slowly edging closer to the coast of the Red Sea, so loved by divers and snorkellers, yet we’re unlikely to have felt more remote in our surroundings, with such a silent and peaceful atmosphere.  Stopping for our open-air lunch we can take it all in, before we trek on to reach Bir El Ogda

Bir means ‘well’, and the water from Bir El Ogda is known as the best water in South Sinai. It’s a wonderful place to spend our last open air night camping in the desert.

Walking time: 7 hours

(BLD)

DAY 9 : Red Sea

Today marks the end of not only our 7-day trek through the remote, unexpectedly beautiful Sinai wilderness, but also our Bedouin lifestyle. Together with new friends, our amazing Bedouin team and their trusty camels we have journeyed from the area’s highest summit, Mt Sinai, to the edge of the Red Sea. The only possible way to top it off is to dive right in and experience the explosion of colour and life that is the coral reef at Ras Abu Galum.

After the short walk out of Wadi El Ogda to the coast at Ras Abu Galum, we’ll spend the rest of the day in this tiny Bedouin settlement swimming, snorkelling and , if you wish, diving the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. By late afternoon we trek a final hour along the rocky coast to the world famous dive site of the Blue Hole, then it’s into the jeeps and off to Dahab. What a walk, what an experience, and what a great shower at the end of it all!

Walking time : 3-4 hours

BLD?

DAY 10 : Dahab

Local adventures or relaxing in the tranquil Red Sea town of Dahab. The choice is yours!

Dahab is the Bedouin word for ‘gold’, and refers to its incredible golden beaches. Formally a Bedouin fishing village, this tranquil town was put on the map as one of the most varied places in the Red Sea to snorkel and scuba dive. Its traveller ambiance is very different from the tourist resorts found in Sharm El Sheik or Hurghada, here you’ll find local Bedouin children playing on the beach, friendly Egyptian restaurant owners enticing you into their beautiful seaside restaurants and travellers like ourselves relaxing after their desert adventure.

But, it’s not only scuba divers who find their nirvana in Dahab, rock-climbers and wind and kite surfers too will find the sea and landscape surrounding this idyllic town offers plenty to keep them happy for months. It is a mecca for all these sports.

The next few days you will be located in the heart of Dahab, in a simple hotel with a lovely pool. Here you can soak up the ambiance of this beautiful town, lazing in one of the many colourfully decorated restaurants that almost fall into the sea, playing backgammon and swimming. You will also have the choice to partake in the many adventures, all of which can cater for beginners to the more experienced.

(B)

DAY 11 : Dahab

Climb, dive, snorkel, wind or kitesurf, freedive, wakeboard – or simply just relax. It is all possible and you can decide at the time what you wish to do – your guides will advise on costs, logistics and timings.

Rock climbing: For the climbers amongst us, we will now have the opportunity to head out for full day or half days on some awesome routes! The spectacular coastal range has plenty of granite crags where sport routes of various degrees of difficulty will keep climbers entertained, with dry granite and blue skies. We will be able to sport climb in Dahab’s Wadi Qnai, trad climb in St Catherine, and boulder everywhere.

Diving: Dahab is incredibly versatile for scuba diving. The colourful reefs that hug the coastline allow you to dive from the shore, and offer some stunning dives. Dive sites such as The Canyon and Bells, to Blue Hole, The Islands and Eel Gardens are world class.  If you are a beginner, why not try a PADI Discover Scuba Diving course, a 1 day / 2 dive introduction to scuba, or you could complete your Scuba Diver course and certification.

Snorkelling: The coral reefs just metres away from the shores offer snorkellers some of the best the oceans have to give and with the waters generally around 28°C degrees in October, you can stay in the sea for hours.  The Eel Garden, Three Pools and Marine Garden are just some of our favourites and you’ll be blown away by the quantity and variety of fish and colour.

Wind or Kitesurf: Reliable northerlies are funnelled through the mountains just beyond the national park, allowing you to have so much fun on the wind or kite surf boards. Just south of Dahab has become a hotspot for wind sports due to its world-class, reliable and safe learning conditions in the lagoons.

Freediving:  Discover the big blue world on a single breath of air! Dahab is the mecca of the freediving world, perfect for freediving training and courses in and around the famous Blue Hole!

Wake boarding: This is always fun and we love it!  You can book with our friend Franco who, with over 19 years’ experience as a rider and wakeboard instructor, will take you out in his boat to experience wake boarding, water skiing, wake surfing, and wake skating. (B)

DAY 12 : Dahab

Quite simply – a repeat of the above! Today is a day of leisure or adventure – you choose.

(B)

DAY 13 : Depart Egypt

Having experienced this stunning, laid back costal settlement we are sure you will, like many before for you, find a way to come back again and again and today may be bittersweet for many. We’ll say good bye to this magical place and we will transfer to Sharm el Sheikh and start our journey home – for those flying to the UK, we’ll arrive that evening.

(B)

These are subject to minor changes depending on flight arrival and departure times, weather, group dynamics and fitness and so on, but the itinerary outlined provides an excellent indication of the trek and what you will experience.

Kit List

Bags & Packs

Kit bag

A 90 -120L duffel bag to transport kit.  A duffel bag is a strong, soft, weather resistant bag without wheels but with functional straps for carrying. Suitcases and wheeled bags are not suitable

Daysack

A small daysack approx. 25-35L capacity. This will be your day to day pack that you carry with your daily essentials. It should be fitted with shoulder straps and, importantly, a waist belt.

Waterproof rucksack cover

To protect rucksack from rain

Dry stuffsacks

Nylon rolltop bags that keep fresh clothing and other important items like passports and cameras dry in the event of a downpour that seeps into your kitbag. Also keeps sand and dust out of electronics. Good for quarantining old socks. Please note that certain areas in Egypt are now banning the use of disposable plastic bags. We’d always advise buying re-usable and sustainable rolltop bags for keeping your kit dry and dust-free.

Small kit bag or light bag

This is for any kit you intend to leave behind during the trek and could even simply be a heavy-duty plastic bag if necessary, as you will be taking it home with you. Do note that certain districts around the Red Sea have banned the sale of single-use plastic bags so if you have something reusable this would be preferable.

Padlocks

For use on your kit bag during travel and on the expedition, plus any bag you may leave at the hotel.

Sleeping Gear

Sleeping Bag 3-4 season

You should get a sleeping bag rated to -5C and choose a sleeping bag that functions within the comfort rating of this temperature. Down is lighter, though more expensive than synthetic. A sleeping bag liner will enhance this rating on the coldest nights.

Sleeping bag liner

A liner will help keep your sleeping bag clean and provide extra warmth on colder nights. Silk is best for keeping you a little warmer.

Sleeping mat

We would recommend a full length self-inflating mat, eg. Thermarest, rather than a 3/4 length mat.

Headwear

Wide brimmed hat

Keeps the sun off exposed areas like ears and the nape of the neck. Essential in the desert.

Buff/Scarf

Essential for protection from the sun and dust.

Sunglasses

Worth spending money on good UV filters.  Julbo is our preferred supplier

Sunblock

Buy the highest SPF you can find, as the sun is strong in the desert

Lip salve

Sun cream generally does not work on your lips and they are very susceptible to burning without proper protection, so it’s important to also have high SPF lip salve.

Upper Body

Base layer

This is the layer closest to the skin and its principle function is to draw or wick moisture and sweat away from the skin. Wet or sweaty clothing makes you cold and saps your energy as your body compensates to dry it. For the desert consider loose fitting tops, with long sleeves. There won’t be an opportunity to wash them on the trek.

Long sleeved T- shirt

Quantity: 2

Mid layer

These are typically lightweight microfleeces or similar technology that provide varying degrees of warmth and insulation without being overly bulky or heavy to pack. The morning trek to Mt Sinai, for example, can be particularly cold, and building up these layers will help keep you warm – but allow you to remove layers as the heat of the day builds.

Hard Shell

These jackets (and trousers) are thin, highly waterproof and windproof and worn over all other items of clothing. They are your last line of defence against harsh weather. You’ll find these made of Gore-Tex or other proprietary waterproof yet breathable technology. Inexpensive hard shells that aren’t breathable will prevent evaporation, making you sweat intensely and are not recommended, particularly for the desert.

Lower Body

Trekking trousers

These tend to be polyester so they dry quickly after a shower and weigh little in your pack. Consider perhaps a pair with detachable lower legs as an alternative to shorts.

Shorts

Light and quick drying rather than heavy canvas.

Underwear

Merino or wicking material, not cotton, will be more comfortable in the heat. How many pairs you take is entirely up to you.

Feet

3-4 season walking boots

Well-worn in 4-season waterproof boots, with mid to high ankle support.

Trainers

For evening use around the camps and in Dahab.

Trekking socks

You can take a clean pair for each day, or fewer if you wish.

Hydration

Water bottles / bladder

Water bottles (2L equivalent) or a Camelbak that fits into your daysack.

Water purification

Water will be from fresh wells, and in the evening will be boiled – but we’d recommend bringing water purification tablets to add to your drinking water.

Toiletries

Wash kit

Keep it simple. Essentials are toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. Moisturiser is advisable, everything else is a luxury!

Travel towel

Travel towels from the likes of LifeSystems are perfect.

Wet wipes

Preferably biodegradable, these are great for washing when modern shower facilities become a thing of the past.

Alcohol gel

A must have for good camp hygiene.

Insect repellent

Toilet paper

Provided on the trek, but a spare in your daysack may be useful if you need to hide behind a rock between camps.

Nappy sacks or dog poo bags

Needed to bag your toilet paper if you are caught short in between camps (toilet paper doesn’t decompose quickly in the desert), and for keeping your rubbish tidy in your tent.

Medications

Personal first aid kit

The 360 medical kits are designed to be used in emergencies and are akin rather to an A&E than a pharmacy on Expeditions, so please come prepared with useful meds for yourself. Your kit would include: painkillers (Ibuprofen, if you can take it, and Paracetamol) plus blister plasters, plasters, antiseptic, rehydration sachets and any muscle rubs you wish to use.

Personal medication

Keep this with you in your daysack.

Miscellaneous

Head torch

Your guides will have torches for the Mt Sinai trek, but it’s helpful to have your own. Useful also for around the camp in the evenings. We recommend Petzl head torches. Bring spare batteries.

Trekking poles

These tend to be a personal preference, but can help with your stability and will dampen the pressure on the knees coming downhill.

Camera

Bring plenty of spare batteries, recharging will not be possible while camping. Bring spare memory cards too. The trek will be dusty and sandy, so some sort of protective camera bag is advisable.

Penknife (optional)

Sewing kit (optional)

Snacks

You will be fed well throughout the trek and given snacks daily, however we advise bringing a small selection as a bit of extra comfort. For longer trekking days and early starts (especially on Mt Sinai) it’s always good to have a few extra chunky bars for that extra boost.

Marshmallows

For roasting over the campfire at the end of the day. You can’t buy marshmallows in the desert, so don’t forget to bring some with you!

Solar Charger

These are useful to keep any electronics charged but are a luxury rather than a necessity, especially on a reasonably short trek. You could also consider a small power pack.

Entertainment

Pack some paperback books, iPod, pack of cards etc as you will have down time at the camps.

Documentation

Passport

Don’t forget this! Your passport should have at least 6 months validity, with your passport expiry date at least six months after the final day of travel. Your passport should also have at least two blank pages.

Copy of passport

Just in case.

Visa

A visa needs to be obtained for travel to Egypt, either online through the official Visa2Egypt portal or from your nearest embassy. For some nationalities t is also possible to get a visa on arrival. Costs may vary between nationalities. The 360 office crew can assist you with the various documentation that may be required.

Dental check up

We recommend you have a dental check-up before your trip.

Money

We recommend you take at least $100 to $150 (or Egyptian pound equivalent) on the trek in small denominations. This will allow for tip money (see FAQs) and any small purchases on the trek. Small denominations are recommended as it may be difficult to obtain change.

Travel insurance

Copy of own travel insurance details, along with relevant contact numbers.
We recommend looking into deals offered by True Traveller, the BMC, or similar insurers. Team members should take out private insurance that covers against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons and it is important that the insurance also contains coverage for medical evacuations by helicopter or other means.
Many other insurance providers are available and we do recommend that you shop around to get the best cover for you on the expedition you are undertaking. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip, including at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage for the specific location and activities of this trip. Please contact the 360 office if you have any queries about insurance for this expedition.

FAQs

Guides

Who will be guiding us?

Our guides are the best in the business. They know the environment you will be trekking through intimately and hold the highest first aid qualifications to lead groups in remote places.

Your Bedouin guide will be the highly experienced Fraig Khedr of the Aleqat Bedouin Tribe, along with a small team of camel guides.

One of the unexpected wonders of a trek through the Sinai desert is seeing how Fraig and the team move through the desert, organise their camps, cook and generally enjoy the trek as much as we all do! In St Catherine, you will also have a dedicated guide from the local Jebeliya Tribe for the monastery and Mt Sinai.

Where do I meet my guides?

Your 360 representative will meet you at Sharm el Sheikh Airport. We will let you know where and when nearer the time of departure.

Food and Water

What is the food like on this trek?

At the hotel we will be served with an open buffet with several kinds of hot dishes, salads and desserts for dinner. During the trek breakfast will include jams, pitta bread, cheese, teas and coffees, orange juice etc. while our lunch boxes will be classically Bedo with pitta bread and hummus, mineral water etc. Our dinners will be a nightly open buffet with one kind of hot dish (comprised of meat) a soup, four kinds of salads and dessert with tea and coffee served at safari tables around a fire.

Can you cater for vegetarians or allergies?

Yes, of course. A lot of Bedouin food is vegetarian so you’ll find there are generally plenty options for vegetarians. If you have any dietary requests or allergies, please let the 360 office team know when booking and we will ensure that the local teams have all of the information and can cater for your needs.

Where does our drinking water come from?

Drinking water will be sourced from mountain springs and wells, which are the main local water supplies. This will be boiled where necessary, but we do suggest bringing water purification tablets. We can bring bottled water on request for drinking, though we do encourage trekkers to avoid this due to the plastic waste. We would advise bringing your own reusable bottle on the trek. Bottles with filters to purify work well – we’re fans of WatertoGo.

How often is fresh water available for replenishing during the day?

You will be able to fill your bottles at breakfast before the start of the day’s trekking. The camels will carry water supplies along with us during the trek, which we replenish at the mountain springs and wells, so there are plenty of opportunities to fill up during the day also. Water will then be available when back at camp and during meals.

Accommodation

Where will we be sleeping whilst trekking?

One of the main charms of this incredible expedition is that we will be sleeping out under the stars as the Bedouin do. A more amazing sleeping experience is hard to imagine! On the first, and possibly last, nights of the trek, we will be staying in a semi-permanent camp and this may have a covered area in which to lay our sleeping bags.

What should I bring to sleep in?

Please bring a 3 season sleeping bag (-10 C comfort rating), a Thermarest or similar sleeping mat and, if you wish, a camping pillow. (See the Kit List for a full list.)

Will the camp be set up or will we be staying at fixed camps at set sites on the way?

The camp set-up will be a mix of the two. Fox Camp at the beginning, and Ras Abu Galum at the end of the trek, are fixed camps. The rest of the time we will be wild camping under the stars – our Bedouin team will set up the camp, a toilet area, and make a fire at each location.

What are the hygiene facilities in the desert?

This expedition is an experience of living a true desert lifestyle. Water at some camps is scarce but where available we will be able to use it to have a wash. Washing will be predominantly wet wipe washes – there won’t be showers until we reach Dahab! Basic squat toilets will be found at some camps but in the desert, we will find a convenient boulder or, as the Bedouins do, a small hole will be dug to bury waste as the exceedingly dry temperatures of the desert disintegrates it rapidly. Toilet paper will be provided and can be burnt after use, as this does not degrade in the desert.

The Trek

What happens during a typical trekking day?

We will be woken up early each morning and given a basic but hearty breakfast. After breakfast we will pack up with the help of the Bedouin guides and begin the first trek of the day for about 3 hours. A long and early lunch will be taken to avoid trekking during the hottest part of the day. We set off to walk again for another few hours or so and then we establish camp late afternoon for dinner and a well-deserved rest.

Will I meet the local Bedouins and have time to watch them cook and spend time with them in the evenings?

Yes, you will have a chance to fully immerse yourself in the local culture. One of the greatest pleasures of this expedition is to meet and learn from the Sinai’s original desert people, the Bedouin. These incredibly humble and fun-loving people are great teachers and take delight in showing you not only the ways of their lifestyle and customs but teach you desert survival skills along the way too. You’ll join this expedition for the desert, but you’ll want to return for the Bedouin.

What is the best time of the year to trek the Sinai?

The weather is best for trekking in Egypt’s autumn and spring when the daytime temperatures are a bit lower – between October and April.

What are the temperatures like in October?

The average daily temperature is likely to be between 20°C and 34°C, depending on the location and the wind. Nights in the mountains will generally be 5-10°C cooler than this.

The water temperature of the Red Sea is usually around 25-28°C at this time of year.

Health and Safety

What happens if there is a problem on the trek or if there is an emergency?

Accidents can happen and anyone undertaking these adventures has to accept there is a degree of risk due to the very nature of the challenge. Our guides are in communication with each other by satellite phone and radio and our local crew are all experienced in dealing with any problem that will arise. Our guide always carries a comprehensive first aid kit, and will be certified in Emergency First Response. In the case of serious accident or illness, the guides will arrange evacuation to Dahab or Sharm el Sheikh, and the 360 office team will be on hand to assist where necessary.

What vaccinations do I need for this trek?

Inoculation requirements can change frequently so it is important you visit your GP or local travel clinic for the latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations. A health certificate regarding COVID-19 may be required.

You advocate bringing a small first aid kit. What should it have in it?

Yes, this is always a good idea and we suggest rehydration salts, paracetamol or ibuprofen, plasters, blister treatment, muscle pain relief cream, sun protection and any personal medications. Foot powder in your socks every morning is great for preventing blisters. Please do let us know if you need a cooler box for personal medication to be stored in.

Are there scorpions and snakes?

Yes, both are found in the Sinai, but it is very rare to come across them. Like most wildlife, you will find that these animals are generally more scared of you than vice versa. Your guides will give you any necessary information on what to do if you see one during the trek.

What happens if I need to leave the expedition early?

If you must leave the expedition early then we will of course help arrange this, with the local team and the 360 office crew. All costs will be for you to cover in situ, and to then recoup from your insurance company.

Do I need travel insurance for the expedition?

Yes. When travelling with 360 Expeditions you will not be able to head out until you have given the office your travel insurance details. If you are thinking of doing one or more of the adventure activities in Dahab, for example scuba diving or climbing, it is your responsibility to make sure you are covered. Please note for diving insurance most policies ask if you will be diving to 18 metres or to 40 metres.

Kit

What equipment do I need for this trek?

Please see the kit list for this expedition. If you have any questions about any of the items on it, please do call the 360 office as we are happy to advise. Do be aware that the temperatures in the desert can fluctuate – you’ll want warm clothing/jacket for cool desert nights and for the Mt Sinai trek, but lighter clothes for warm/hot daytime trekking. As always, layers are best!

What clothing should I wear on this trek?

Warm clothing such as light trekking trousers, plus a fleece and a windstopper are a good idea for the cool desert nights, but lighter clothes for the hotter daytime trekking. You will need good sun protection by way of a hat and sunglasses. For footwear, you’ll need a good pair of well worn in boots to trek in, and a pair of sandals or light trainers to pad around the camps, and later Dahab.

(Please see the kit list.)

How much luggage can I bring?

Camels will be taking the strain for this trip, you will just carry your small daysack – but pack no more than you would want to carry yourself! 15kg is the limit. Any extra weight such as spare clothes etc. can be left with in storage to be waiting for you in Dahab. Please pack your kit into one soft duffel bag: this will be strapped to the camels to carry. Bags with wheels/hard suit cases are not suitable for the camels.

What advice do you have on travel bags?

Duffel bags are ideal for this sort of trip. Whatever bag you go for, make sure it is robust and has a large capacity. It is far better having a large capacity bag with extra room (after all air doesn’t weigh much) than having a bag too small and finding problems packing your kit. Even having a 100 litre plus duffel bag is not too large.

What should I carry inside my daysack?

You will wear your daysack every day on the trek. Your guides will advise you, but the contents should include a fleece (if we take a break later in the day when it has cooled down or weather changes), possibly lightweight waterproofs (primarily to act as wind protection), sufficient water for the day, snacks, camera equipment, personal first aid kit and medication, sun protection and a head torch.

How much should my daysack weigh? What size is adequate?

Your day-to-day sack should weigh no more than 3 – 4 kg and a rucksack of around 30L capacity will more than suffice. This rucksack can be filled to the brim with extra stuff when checking in at the airport. It is important that this bag has an adjustable waist belt to transfer the weight of your daily load onto your hips and from here onto your legs so that your strongest muscles do most of the carrying.

We’re in the desert - do we need water/windproof tops?

We always hope for rain in the desert, but it only comes 2 or 3 times a year. Wind is more common. It’s most important to be able to protect your skin from the sun during the day, and to stay warm when it cools off at night, so a lightweight windstopper is perfect.

What is the best type of footwear to use? Trekking boots or trekking sandals?

We suggest Gortex trekking boots with ankle support (make sure they’re well worn in), but you can also bring trekking sandals too. Old style heavy boots are not suitable for desert sand.

How do I avoid getting sand in my camera and phone?

Ziploc bags are perfect, or there are many specific cases available to protect your electronics.

Do I need to bring goggles in case of a sand storm?

No, this won’t be needed – but Category 3-4 sunglasses are necessary. We also suggest a cap, and a scarf or a buff.

Travel

Do I need to book my own flights to Egypt?

360 Expeditions will be booking flights on your behalf. We provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately eight weeks before your departure date. Please be aware that flight schedules are subject to change. Please ensure that you have checked flight details before setting out for your flight.

Finance

How much spending money do we need?

You will need money for tipping, and then the amount of money you will need additionally depends on how many souvenirs you wish to buy or how much you plan to drink when we are staying in hotels, or which activities you wish to add in Dahab. Aside from the activities, we would recommend approximately £100-150, in local currency.

Egyptian pounds can be purchased in the UK before travel which may make it easier on arrival as you don’t need to change money.

The women in St Catherine and Ras Abu Galum often sell homemade Bedouin crafts – to give you an idea of costs, these go from a simple bracelet for 20 EGP (just over £1) to hand spun and woven carpets for £50-100.

 

How much do we tip our local crew?

Our local crew work extremely hard to assure that your expedition runs well. While tipping is not compulsory, it is and always has been very much part of the culture, and tips are always greatly appreciated.

We would suggest you tip your Monastery guide before you leave St Catherine, and again for the trekking crew before you leave Ras Abu Galum/Blue Hole.

We suggest 200-500 EGP per guide/host in St Catherine, and 500-1000 EGP per guide/host on the trek. As a guideline, if you budget approximately 80 GBP per person in tips, and have this available in Egyptian pounds on the trek, in small dominations, this should suffice.

What currency is used in Egypt?

Egypt uses the Egyptian pound (EGP – as a loose guide 1.00 GBP = 20 EGP). However, you should keep an eye on the changing exchange rates. ATMs are widespread in more urban areas but don’t always offer the most favourable rates. When receiving local currency, always ask for small bills, as larger bills are hard to change in small towns or for small purchases. The best places to exchange money are normally foreign exchange bureaus, which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Do not accept torn money as it will likely not be accepted.

How much additional spending money do I need if I want to dive, snorkel or rock climb at Ras Adu Galum on our final day?

Snorkelling in Ras Abu Galum is included in the overall cost of the expedition.

If you are a certified diver with recent dive experience and would like to dive in Ras Abu Galum then 2 dives will be 80 euros. We will need to know in advance so the equipment and guides can be prepared. If you have not dived in 6+ months, you’ll need to start with a check dive, which costs an additional 10 euro.

If you consider yourself very rusty, we suggest you snorkel in Ras Abu Galum and then do a more thorough Scuba Review in Dahab.

In Dahab the accommodation is on a B&B basis. How much should I budget for lunch and dinner?

There are many restaurants in Dahab, serving local foods as well as a variety of international cuisine. £10–15 per meal should be plenty, although you can eat local meals such as falafel and Koshari for only a few pounds, or the local equivalent. (Koshari is a popular Egyptian street food, made with rice, lentils and pasta, which is then topped with a spicy tomato sauce and caramelised onions – it’s delicious!)

Scuba Diving in Dahab

Once in Dahab can I learn to dive?

Yes, absolutely – it’s a great place to learn!

A PADI Discover Scuba Diving course (a 1 day / 2 dive introduction to scuba diving) will be 65 euro. Otherwise, the full PADI Scuba Diver course is 225 euro. PADI Scuba Diver starts online with 3 chapters of theory before you arrive, then when in Dahab you have 3 underwater skill sessions and 2 Open Water dives. It qualifies you to dive to 12m with a professional guide. Please chat to the 360 office in advance if you would like to book this for your trip.

At any time, with any PADI Dive Centre worldwide, you can upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver with another 2 days. Unless you wish to extend your time in Dahab, you would not have time for the full Open Water course and certification.

For certified divers, how much is it to dive in Dahab?

Dives, with a guide, will be 27 euro per dive. A refresher dive or a night dive would cost an additional 10 euro. This includes your equipment rental.

If you are an Open Water Diver but would love the chance to dive the Canyon and Blue Hole, you can do the PADI Advanced course. This is a 2 day course and offers you 5 dives, for 225 euro. All theory can be completed before arrival. Please chat to the 360 office in advance if you would like to book this for your trip.

Snorkelling in Dahab

I have read in the itinerary this is an incredible place to snorkel. How much does this cost?

Many people bring their own snorkel and mask, others prefer to hire this, along with fins, in situ.  There are many options but once you have your kit you can just jump in! If you wanted to travel down the coast to an alternate snorkelling spot this can be arranged, there will be a small charge depending on the site, or if you wish to have a guide and/or rent equipment.

Climbing in Dahab

I wish to climb. How much should I budget?

Fully equipped self-sufficient climbers should budget 25 euro per day for permissions, transportation and lunch, or 20 euro for a half day.

Guided climbing with equipment rental is 55 euro for a full day, including lunch, or 40 euro for a half day. Guided climbs are suitable for all levels, including beginners. These prices also apply to bouldering, and include bouldering pads.

What qualifications do the guides have?

The instructors at our recommended climbing school are Single Pitch Rock Climbing Instructors, certified under the Austrian Alpine system, as well as certified Emergency First Responders.

What grades do you climb?

Mainly single pitch, from French 3a to 7b.

When is it possible to go climbing? is it too hot in the day?

The main climbing season is between October and April, when there are always routes in the shade. During the hotter months, half days generally start around 2 or 3pm, finishing at sunset, or you start early in the morning before the heat builds.

How far is the drive to go climbing?

Wadi Qnai climbing areas are a 20 to 40 minute drive from Dahab, depending on which crag you’re climbing.

Are drinks and food included on the climbing days?

On full days, lunch, drinking water and Bedouin tea are included. No food is included for a half day of climbing, and it’s recommended that you bring snacks and water.

Is climbing and safety equipment included?

The school is fully equipped with rental equipment and everything necessary for safety during the climb. If you are already a climber, we would suggest you bring your own shoes.

I am a beginner, is it possible to try climbing?

Definitely! A ‘Try Climb’ is 55 euro for a full day, including lunch, or 40 euro for a half day of climbing.

You could also sign up for the full Beginner Rock Climbing course, Top Rope Climber, which runs over 2 days and costs 195 euro.

I climb grade 6 and wish to do some solid climbs – is this possible?

Yes, there are climbs at this level in all 3 main climbing crags in Wadi Qnai. You might want to do a day in Wadi Qnai (Camel Canyon and Waterfall), and a second day in Wadi Hamam (10 routes 5c-7a). Wadi Hamam is a 45 minute drive outside Dahab, with high transportation costs, so to make it cost effective we suggest a minimum of 2 climbers, though the more people that join, the more to split the transport costs between. There is also world class bouldering in Dahab.

Insurance

Do I need special travel insurance for the trek?

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on this trip without proof of insurance.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip and to cover, at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage for any activities in you wish to partake in Dahab.

Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. 360 Expeditions will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.

Training

How can I best train and prepare?

Personal fitness is important for this trek, and we have included a training programme in the brochure which should see you at peak fitness! If you are struggling from day one then this is likely to impact on your enjoyment of the rest of the trip. Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardiovascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long walks (a decent six hours or 12 miles) carrying a rucksack of around 5kg in a reasonably hilly environment.

Not sure what 5kg is?

Put 5 one litre bottles of water into your rucksack! This kind of regime will not only prepare your body for carrying minor loads but will harden your body against the big days on the trek itself. In addition, it will help you break in your boots and get used to your equipment.

Electronics

Is there mobile phone reception in the desert?

Generally no, although there are a few areas where it is possible to pick up a signal. Your guide will have a satellite phone for emergency use.

Do we need a travel adapter for the plug sockets in the hotel or are they the same as the UK?

Egypt uses the standard Euro ‘C’ and ‘F’ type plugs, so you will need an adaptor for Dahab.

How do I avoid getting sand in my camera and phone in the desert?

We’re in the desert, there is dust and sand all around us, even in the air, and the last thing you want is for your camera to pack up half way through the trek so you need to take care of it. For things that will stay in your kit bag most of the time like (hopefully) your mobile phone, hermetically sealing food bags or stuff sacs will be fine for the duration of the trek and are cheap to buy. For kit that will come out more often like a camera, consider small rolltop waterproof bags from OverBoard (English) Ortlieb (German). If you go the whole hog and think about buying a Peli Case or similar, remember these are quite expensive, as well as quite heavy and cumbersome depending upon the size, although very good.

Prevention is better than cure in many cases: take a soft, small cleaning brush or air blaster to dust off your camera at the end of each day, or should you accidently drop it in the sand. Remember to take great care when wiping or dusting the lens – blow surface dust off first before polishing it otherwise you’ll end up scratching the lens. If you’re using an SLR, try to avoid changing lenses out in the open, wait until you get out of airborne dust and sand, and keep the lens cap on whenever you’re not using it.

Do the guides have solar chargers for phones and cameras?

There will be no charging facilities on the trek – if you wish to charge any electronics in the desert, we recommend you bring your own solar chargers and/or power banks.

General

Will my valuables be safe?

While we will do everything we can to provide adequate safety for the group and security for your possessions, the general rule is that if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. This includes jewellery, necklaces, rings and even watches. Your passport and money should be kept on you at all times. As with travel in any foreign country, you need to look after yourself and your possessions and be aware of your surroundings, and this is no different.

As we are going direct to the desert from the airport, where can I leave items that I won’t need for the desert?

Luggage can be left with the team after our visit to St Catherine, and this will be safely stored and brought to meet you in Dahab. If you wish, you can leave bag with swim/snorkel/dive gear that can be sent to meet you in Ras Abu Galum. While we are confident of the storage facilities, please do be aware that bags are left at your own responsibility.

I want to start by thanking you and your team for organising such a fantastic trip. I can only imagine how hard you have had to work behind the scenes to have everything booked and put in place. So thank you very much.  As with any trek there will be the occasional problem or injury/illness, but your team really worked hard to overcome these obstacles and to give us an amazing experience and I have nothing but praise for them. Overall I had a great trip, and will see you again soon.

Tom Hammond, Jordan
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