Wind Sand & Stars journeys began in the beautiful desert and mountains of South Sinai. We have forged close friendships with the local Bedouin tribes, who always extend a warm welcome as they share their desert home with us. We have now been working with the same families over three generations. We invite you to journey with us, to revel in this beautiful land, enjoy the adventures and activities, marvel at the history or immerse yourself in silent contemplation.
Safety and FCO Travel Advice
We are monitoring current political events in Egypt very closely.
Wind Sand & Stars has operated in the South Sinai region for over 25 years and has an impeccable safety record. We carefully assess the security situation before and during each trip that we run, maintaining a professional, cautious and conservative approach. Safety is our top priority and we would not consider travelling without having confidence in the security and wellbeing of everyone in our care.
All Wind Sand & Stars groups travel with our experienced ground handlers, with whom we have been working since the company began. They are well known and respected throughout South Sinai. They employ experienced and trusted local drivers, using licensed tourist vehicles. We have built up extensive local knowledge over many years, based on a strong relationship with the Bedouin communities of South Sinai. We have been working with the same families throughout our operating history.
Direct flights from the UK to Sharm el Sheikh are currently suspended. We are awaiting the completion of a thorough review of security at Sharm el Sheikh airport following the Russian plane crash in October 2015. This is being done by Control Risks, a British company and leading global security firm. The Egyptian government has also recently signed an aviation security deal with another British company called Restrata, who will work in partnership to deliver a training programme to security staff at airports across Egypt. Once this is done there is every expectation that direct flights to and from the UK will resume. In the meantime flights operate as normal via Cairo.
As an experienced operator, we feel that Wind Sand & Stars is well placed to make an informed judgement on journeys through the South Sinai desert, including the World Heritage Site of St Catherine’s Monastery. As well as keeping abreast of local and international news reports, we receive regular updates from our network of reliable contacts on the ground. We have a close and open dialogue with the British Embassy staff in Cairo, keeping them informed about all of our trips. We also take note of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice. We recognise that the FCO Travel Advice is there to guide all tourists who may not have the benefit of prior experience or local knowledge. There are occasions that our local assessments of threats to travel within some specific areas of South Sinai differ to that of the FCO and we would not necessarily cancel a journey based solely on the FCO advice against non-essential travel there.
We are proud of our impeccable safety record. Most importantly, on their return clients have told us they felt relaxed and able to fully enjoy themselves in the very capable hands of our ground handlers:
“A great experience altogether and I am grateful to all the organisers, to the guides and drivers, to all the staff at guesthouse and hotels, to the Bedouin we visited; all contributed to a perfect trip. "
Verena Watson, Tailor Made Desert Journey, April 2016.
“I am hugely impressed with Wind Sand & Stars’ organisation and their relationship with the Bedouin family who looked after us. These local contacts made the experience especially rich."
Richard Ames-Lewis, Adventure into Silence, October 2014
“We were accompanied by a British guide, as well as an Egyptian and we benefited from both their great camaraderie and their experience. In this large group with a high degree of local Bedouin involvement, there was certainly never a moment when I didn’t feel entirely safe in their hands."
Friends of Godolphin & Latymer School, March 2013.
“I was very impressed by the company and the care you offer. I felt very safe during my time and valued the initial advice given to me by Fay regarding the security situation. My Bedouin guide Suleiman was everything I could have wanted: kind, caring and attentive."
Revd Nicholas Calver, Solo Desert Journey, January 2013.
We continue to monitor events closely and always strive to secure objective and accurate information. Should any local situation become a concern, Wind Sand & Stars would react as necessary to ensure the safety of any group, working in collaboration with our ground handlers and the appropriate authorities, keeping all parties informed.
We recommend that anyone considering travelling to South Sinai consult the following for further information:
Please do not hesitate to contact us prior to booking if you would like to further discuss any aspect of safety.