Egypt is one of the most desirable destinations in the world. It is home to the iconic Pyramids of Giza, the Sphynx, and countless temples and burial sites paying homage to famous Kings, Queens, and Pharaohs.
Aside from Cairo, Luxor, or Aswan, Hurghada is the next most popular travel destination in Egypt. With one of the most beautiful coastlines and proximity to the desert, many visitors are drawn to Hurghada because of its sunshine, beaches, and unique and adventurous excursions. One of the most popular trips is the 3-hour Hurghada desert safari.
But before we delve into what to expect on this quad bike adventure, let’s look at where Hurghada is located and why it is a desirable tourist destination.
So, where is Hurghada in Egypt?
Hurghada, 500 km south of Cairo, is a stunning port city along the Red Sea’s sandy shorelines, providing all the magic and tropical paradise anyone would want on vacation. This city of 248,000 people is divided into several parts, but most tourists will head to the resort areas along the coast in the Sigala area. This seaside community attracts not only foreign tourists but native Egyptians as well.
Since the 1950s, various foreign international companies have invested in Hurghada, and the building of hotels and resorts has transformed this region into an internationally renowned destination. With its incredible coral reefs, underwater sea gardens, and magical sea creatures, the Red Sea is now recognized as one of the top snorkeling and diving destinations worldwide. The blue waters and sandy beaches lure visitors to this enchanting place to forget their troubles and live in the moment.
Not far inland from the coast is the beginning edge of the Sahara Desert. Some visitors will go out of their way to catch a glimpse of this behemoth of wasteland that has captivated explorers throughout history. A 3-Hour Hurghada desert safari offers this adrenaline-rushing opportunity.
Other visitors will acknowledge the existence of the desert and be just as happy to lie on the beach by the sea.
How do I get to Hurghada?
There are a few different ways to get to Hurghada.
- Flight – One of the best options is to fly to Hurghada. Between Cairo and Hurghada, there are several flights a day served by Egypt Air (search for flight options here), and the flight is about one hour. The costs are around $125 USD. Once you arrive at Hurghada Airport, you will need to take a taxi for about 30 min to reach your hotel on the seashore. Get your Guide offers airport transfers starting at $20 USD. Direct flights from Europe are also available to Hurghada International Airport.
- Bus – For those willing to save a few bucks and take a long way, bus transportation is available from several different companies. The journey is about 7 hours long, and costs range from $14 to $40 USD depending on the time of the year. Blue Bus is one of the better companies in Egypt for its safety and security, and its buses are more comfortable, air-conditioned, and have a toilet on board. They can be booked using an App.
- Private Tour / Taxi – Taxi-driven transportation is available, and the journey will take almost 5 hours to go the 458km and will cost around $75-95 USD. Be sure to verify the price before departing and select your driver through recommendations from your hotel or travel agent. Get your Guide also has transfer options available from Cairo airport.
What to wear on a 3-hour Hurghada desert safari
As you can well imagine, this quad bike experience in the Egyptian desert will come with a little bit of dirt. But do not despair; with the correct clothing and accessories, you will be able to enjoy this fantastic experience without too much discomfort.
Before you embark on this exhilarating ride across the sands, be sure to include the following clothing items:
- Long pants
- Long sleeves
- Closed to shoes
- Extra water
Regardless of the time of year (summer can be scorching), it is recommended to wear long pants and long sleeves for this type of excursion. Not only will they protect you from any sand or debris that may be kicked up during the adventure, but they will also protect you from the relentless sun in the desert.
If you opt for shorts and short sleeves, lather on the sunscreen liberally before departing and at any stops along the way. The constant wind from the activity will dry out your skin, and the SPF factor will diminish quickly. Sunburn is a significant concern for desert activities.
A hat and sunglasses will also provide protection from the flying sand and relentless rays of the sun on your head. A scarf is nice to have to cover your mouth to avoid eating too much of the sand during the ride. Depending on the company you choose, they may provide a helmet for this activity.
As far as accessories go, a camera is nice to have to capture the excitement of the excursion but be sure to have it in a backpack or otherwise zippered pocket as you do not want to lose it in the desert. Depending on the tour you choose, a photographer may be entwined within your group to take photos and videos of you along the way. They may be a better option for remembering the true essence of the experience.
As a safety reminder, be sure to bring extra water for the ride. The desert is very dehydrating, and the heat can overwhelm some people.
What to expect on a Hurghada 3-hour desert safari
Choosing the adventure
Once you have decided that you want to go on a quad bike tour into the desert, you will have to decide what type of adventure your want. There are several to choose from. Some companies will offer a three-hour morning tour, while others offer a longer dinner safari that includes the dinner. Others still have options that use dune buggies or jeeps instead of quad bikes. Most people will select the Hurghada 3-hour morning quad safari as it is the most economical excursion to catch a glimpse of the Egyptian desert. For even more variety, how about a Sea and desert tour by horse?
How would you like to experience the desert?
Picking the day
Picking the day of your desert safari can be an important one. You will want to look for a cooler day and one with less wind. If you decide to do your tour in the middle of the summer, in the afternoon, and on a windy day, you may find yourself extremely hot and sandy. There may also be visibility and speed restrictions due to blowing sand. Many morning tours are preferred simply because they will be cooler with a lower risk of blowing sand.
You also want to be sure that you are healthy and not feeling the effects of the night before, as the movement of the activity and the heat will accentuate any unwell feelings.
Starting the ride
For many Hurghada desert safaris, a representative from the company will pick you up at your hotel to take you to the starting point of the excursion. Ensure this service is included in your tour details to avoid missing it. At the starting point, your tour guide will brief you about the tour details and how to use the vehicle. Take a test drive to be sure that you are familiar with the quad bike’s features, including starting, stopping, and turning correctly. Injuries can occur if vehicles are misused.
Using the quad bike
For many, driving a quad bike is not an ordinary occurrence, and there are some skills involved and a few instructions to operate a quad bike safely. Remember that although these bikes are fun, they are still somewhat heavy motorized vehicles and can be dangerous if not used correctly.
First, there is a key to turn them on, a button to get the engine going, and a thumb-operated throttle to control the speed. Essentially, your thumb is the vehicle’s gas pedal, and to move forward; you will use pressure the entire ride. If you want to go faster, you push harder. If you want to go slower, you ease off a bit. On a personal note, after spending a few hours pressing this lever, you may get a blister on your thumb. (Bring gloves). Furthermore, if you have mall hands, this can be a challenge. I had to alternate with slower drives using my alternate hand to complete the ride comfortably.
Second, the brakes are located on the handlebars as well. Be cautious gripping too tightly and skidding to a stop.
Thirdly, when turning on a quad bike, this is done cautiously, as sudden turning can cause the ATV to skid and fall over. Some may find turning a challenge due to the required upper body strength. Be sure to follow any other instructions from your guide, including following distance, riding beside one another, or crossing roads.
Finally, drive in a way that makes you feel safe, and you’ll enjoy yourself better.
What to see on a Hurghada desert safari
If you are taking the 3-hour desert safari from Hurghada, your tour will likely include visiting a Bedouin camp. This camp will be a welcomed rest stop approximately 25km from the starting point. The Bedouins are the dwellers of the desert who live in tribes and still hold onto some ancient Egyptian traditions and customs.
At this stop on your quad bike tour, you will experience the warmth and hospitality of the Bedouin people. Here you will share a welcome drink of Egyptian tea while you relax and explore the village. Opportunities to ride a camel are also available at this stop. If you choose a desert safari later in the day, your tour may include a barbeque dinner and a show within this village.
Following your visit to this village, you will return to the starting point. Some tours will have you ride the ATVs back, while others will provide you with an air-conditioned bus directly to your hotel. Be sure to read the details of your Hurghada desert safari to know what to expect.
The below tour includes a hotel pick up, quad bike riding, camel riding and a traditional Bedouin experience – plus the option to capture the entire experience on a GoPro! Look for availability and book below:
Other locations for a quad bike adventure near Hurghada
If you decide to fly into another port city on the Red Sea for some water-based activities but still want to experience a desert adventure, Marsa Alam is a great option. Many hotels along the coast between Hurghada and Marsa Alam offer desert safaris directly from the hotel.
This means that your excursion costs can be somewhat lower as there is no need for additional transportation to a starting point. Furthermore, by booking directly with the hotel (or its designated vendor), you may be able to discuss different timing options depending on your requirements. Day and time changes can be more easily customized with staff on-site.
The verdict on a quad biking tour in Hurghada
If you can set aside your sweat, exhaustion, and the feeling like your arms will fall off, then you will absolutely love a 3-hour desert safari adventure in Hurghada! There is nothing like the adrenaline rushing through your veins as you churn up the sand in the desert heat. Seeing the endless desert in front of you is an incredible experience.
So, if you’re looking for things to do in Hurghada, Egypt, I’d definitely recommend quad biking in the desert!