We’re often asked what makes a small group adventure holiday so special. Some say the journey of discovery; some say travelling with like-minded people; some say the element of the unknown. We couldn’t agree more, but believe that none of these moments are possible without one person… the leader. We’re firm believers in our leaders, and realise their potential to turn your travelling experiences into trips of a lifetime. With their relentless passion, unrivalled specialist knowledge and inspiring stories, leaders are often the forgotten key element of your holiday. A fine example is one Sayed Monsour. An Egyptologist leading trips all over Egypt, Sayed’s knowledge of his country is incredible, the passion for his homeland infectious and his humour hilarious. Here, we delve into his thoughts on being a leader in Egypt today… What is your favourite part of the job? When a group starts to gel and become friends. When this happens it’s amazing to see different people from all over the world creating harmony and enjoying the adventure together. How do you feel about Egypt at the moment? These things always take time, but it’s important for people to know that it is so much better, and always improving. Nothing has changed majorly, but there are always going to be side effects of a revolution – this would be the same in any country. But it’s already settling, and will continue to do so. What are your own personal highlights of Egypt and why? It is so hard to say, for me every place in Egypt is a highlight! If I had to choose just one, it would be the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. It collects all the different periods of our history in one place and showcases its longevity. For guests I would think most of them would say the Pyramids or Abu Simbel. Both of these are incredible feats, and both astounding by the very nature of their creation. What is the most amusing story you have as a leader? The most amusing story during one of my trips was at the time of the revolution. I was leading a group, and the trip had to be cut short with guests flown out from Luxor instead of Cairo. Everyone was happy, with the exception of one guest. He was so unhappy to be leaving; he kept asking why we had to leave and how he felt so safe here. It was all because he had fallen in love with one of the girls on the trip, and didn’t want to be split up from her! It was very amusing! What would you say to somebody that doesn’t have Egypt on their bucket list? Egypt is simply incredible. With thousands of years’ worth of culture, history and architecture – how could it not be on their list? I would welcome anyone to visit Egypt so I can show them the wonders of this ancient land. What is your most cherished memory as a leader? I was leading a group by the Pyramids of Giza, and a couple started to cry. I was really worried about them so went to ask if they were ok and why they were crying. They said “We’re crying because we’re so happy to be here, it’s a life dream for us to visit, and it’s even better than we could ever have imagined”. I’m glad I could be a part of making their dream happen. Do you have any unique facts about Egypt that most people wouldn’t know about? You’ll have to come and visit to find out! Our very own marketing girl Laura travelled on the Nile Cruise tour with Sayed last year. And if you want to learn more about Egypt with Sayed or any of our excellent Egyptian leaders, take a look at our choice of Egypt adventure holidays.
|Sayed Mansour was Highly Commended in our 2011 Leader Awards “Sayed was more than merely extremely knowledgeable about Egypt, its politics, religions and the history of the Pharaohs. He was patient, amusing, interested in everyone on the tour and always available for advice or assistance whenever required. He led many after dinner debates on a whole range of subjects, much enjoyed by everyone. He was always on top form and became a true friend of the group. Simply the best!”