Something that has been at the top of our bucket list for years is to sail down the Nile River – and is now something we can tick off since our Egypt trip with On The Go Tours.
A Nile Felucca cruise is the traditional way to experience river cruising here in Egypt, there really is no experience quite like it! Our sailing adventure was for 2 days – spending the day jumping in the Nile and taking it easy & at night sleeping under the stars.
This is just like the way the Egyptian’s and Nubian’s have been travelling the Nile for many, many years.
What is a felucca?
Felucca’s are essentially sail boats, with no engines or power aboard. They cruise along the river with large sails, zig-zagging as it moves with the currents and wind.
The easiest way to describe this experience is to refer to a felucca as a floating mattress. The boat floor is made with wooden slats, and set on top is a layer of foam mattress, covered in a very large sheet and pillows. This is where we spent most of our time, lying around in the day and sleeping at night. Above us was a large canopy that shaded us from the Egyptian sun.
The living conditions
You may be wondering where do we wash, eat and go to the bathroom? So on our felucca tour with On The Go Tours we had a large motorboat always close by. There they had two toilets and showers, a large table for us to eat our meals and also a kitchen where the staff would cook the food.
The living conditions may have been basic, but it is only two nights and was one of the most unique travel experiences we have ever done! On our first day of sailing, as the sun was setting we all grabbed a drink and sat at the front of the felucca watching the sunset together – a moment we will never forget.
After our first day of sailing we anchored on the riverbank and that is where we slept for the night. They do have blankets on board that you hire, but we just packed a light sheet with us as Egypt is quite hot which worked perfectly for us. I guess you could say it was more like camping.
The entire staff on the felucca were Nubians, and the Nubians know how to cook delicious food! Each day we had meals full of Egyptian bread, rice, lentils, vegetable stew, tahini, tzatziki – all the traditional foods you can think of!
This was hands down one of the most unique travel experiences we have ever had! We highly recommend if you are visiting on a tour, or even coming to Egypt on your own, that you spend at least one night on a felucca. Being able to wake up in the morning to a new day and jumping into the Nile are memories we will cherish forever.
Something that really impressed us with On The Go Tours was that on our second day a sandstorm came out of nowhere. After waiting a few hours in the motorboat for it to pass with no luck we were all taken to a nearby hotel for the night free of charge. So on this rare occasion we only spent 1 night on the Nile, but so grateful that we had a backup plan thanks to our amazing tour guide.
If you are heading to Egypt on the King Ramses Tour and not sure if the felucca is your thing, you can opt to upgrade to a Nile Cruise for an extra fee. These are 5 star Nile cruisers, with their own bar, lounges and restaurants – and all meals are included.
READ MORE: TRYING STREET FOOD IN EGYPT
A big thank you to On The Go Tours for inviting Flying The Nest to visit Egypt and sponsoring this incredible trip, as always all opinions are our own.