On January 24th, somewhere between Aswan and Luxor, Egypt, I wrote in my journal;
“We have made it to the Felucca sailboat. It slips slowly down the Nile’s black, evening waters, almost not moving. The sun has set, and the silhouette of the palm trees outline the banks of the river. One of our three Nubian captains is cooking a pot of stew. The aroma of saffron, cumin, and tomatoes fill the air. Our Egyptologist Guide, Sam, and our accommodations manager, Tom, speak together in Arabic, erupting into loud bouts of laughter without warning A lone, mud colored cow, calls out along the grassy banks. A camel grazes behind him. Beyond the palm trees is miles of desert, stretching long and wide. There is a peace in this moment that I have not experienced any where else. This is sailing down the Nile.”
This is my photo essay of sailing Egypt’s Nile River with our kids on a traditional Felucca. We went beyond the pyramids and had the most unexpected, amazing experience.
There are three ways to sail down the Nile; ancient practice of Felucca Sailboats , the more luxurious Dahabiyas, and the Nile Cruise Tours. Being a family, we opted for the relaxation and adventure that the Feluccas offer. You board the sailboat, and this is your world for the next three days.
Your Felucca crew is made up of Nubians.
In Nubian culture, men cook dinner and then sing and play the drums after!
Every meal was this wonderful spread of Egyptian and Nubian foods with a light breeze and the sound of water lapping against the sides of the Felucca.
I couldn’t resist taking a photo of our Nubian sailor as the sun started to set behind him.
At first you’re super excited to get on the Felucca. And then the first hour or two drifts by and you realize life is about to slow way down for the next three days. Unplugged, sailing along the Nile, we had the most wonderful conversations with the kids. Talk about quality family time.
There are no restrooms on the Felucca. Egypt Uncovered had a small boat follow us that had washrooms on it. One of my favorite captures in this photo essay of sailing Egypt’s Nile River with our kids.
Bring mosquito spray!
We forgot to buy some and both our kids woke up the next day looking like they had the measles! LOL! But sleeping along the banks of the Nile River was worth it!
Brian was up before sunrise capturing the wildlife and recording the sounds of all the birds. Sleepy eyed and living the dream on the back of the Felucca. His photos are throughout this photo essay of sailing Egypt’s Nile River with our kids.
The kids have no games or smartphones. Creativity ignites! They begin to imagine their sailing down treacherous waters, looking for someone to save them. I LOVED watching their creativity stretch with only the surface of the Felucca to play on.
At the end of the day, kids only need some string, an action figure and their imagination.
The second day your Felucca anchors, and if you’re brave you can swim in the Nile. But watch out for those Nile crocodiles!
Local children meet you on the beach. It’s so fun to buy their handmade treasures and practice speaking each other’s languages.
After lunch on the beach, restrooms utilized, we’re back on the Nile River.
The best kind of school, world school, is in session.
Sam, our wonderful Egyptologist, gathers our kids and quizzes them on everything he’s been teaching our family about Egyptian history.
There is plenty of peaceful downtime to hang off the side, sings songs to yourself, and let the imagination wander.
Since The Alchemist takes place in Egypt, it seemed like the best reading to bring on the Felucca. What an amazing book!
Brian and Sam celebrate Egypt’s revolution with local brew.
This is one of my favorite moments captured. I had to include it in this photo essay of sailing Egypt’s Nile River with our kids. By the third morning everyone was relaxed. I love Pascaline laughing in the background. Brian’s face is light and refreshed. Three days of not being plugged in served our family well.
You may think there is now way your kids would survive a three day Felucca trip down the Nile River. But if your kids are seven years and older, I highly recommend it. This was the experience of a lifetime.
And who can beat watching the sunset along the Nile River. If you close your eyes, you can almost picture yourself in ancient times.