Before you get on a camel or horse, have a look at how the operators handle their animals. You may alter your mind. If you do decide to accept one of the horsemen’s or camel men’s offers, be careful to negotiate the price and the location beforehand. Inquire to ensure that it covers two people/two horses. Negotiate the price that you want. When you return to the agreed-upon location, dismount the horse/camel, deliver the guy the agreed-upon money, and walk away. They will devise various schemes to extort further money from you. If you are satisfied and desire to leave a tip, do so at your discretion. Do not feel compelled to make more contributions. Simply walk away. They will not pursue you.
If at all possible, avoid taking a camel ride around the Pyramids; the experience is loud, stinky, and overrated. If you must, there are many better spots in Egypt to take a camel ride. Things are run a bit better than they used to be, and the practice of bringing visitors out into the desert and refusing to return until “tipped” is becoming more unusual.
Go horseback riding in the desert to feel the spirit of the Egyptian horses as well as the genuine magnificence of the Pyramids as viewed from beyond the ‘circus ring’ wall. However, be wary of touts; it’s advisable to ride from one of the higher-quality stables, such as FB Stables. Riding under the shadow of the Great Pyramids or venturing farther afield on a half-day tour to Saqqara or Abu Sir, or camping out overnight with a grill and fire. The Sound and Light performance may also be seen from FB’s rooftop patio! If you ride with a tout (which they will encourage you to do if the area is closed for entry, for example), they will claim that you will have a great view of the pyramids (which you will not), charge you a fortune, ride at high speed through the streets without a helmet (or any regard for safety), demand a tip as you ride back, and try to take you to a’museum,’ which is actually a shop (where you will be pressured to buy stuff).
See the sunrise
View the dawn and the first light rays coloring the Pyramids from the terrace on the third floor of a café or the roof terrace of the hostel located near the second western entrance and ticket office.
FB Stables, Gamal Abdul Nasser St, Sphinx (Turn left after the sphinx KFC, then right in Gamal Abdul Nasser Street. FB is the last stables on the left), +20 106 507 0288. Karim at FB Stables is popular with expatriates who keep their horses at livery, but he’s also wonderful for a “tourist” style ride to see the Pyramids and Sphinx from the desert. Longer journeys to Saqqara and Abu Sir, as well as dawn, sunset, and moonlight rides, may be scheduled in advance. Aside from the horses and nice company, one of the finest aspects of FB is their beautiful rooftop patio (with BBQ) with unrivaled views of the Pyramids – a perfect location to unwind with a drink while watching the Sound and Light displays. At FB stables, there is no slapping or beating of the horses. Aside from the fantastic vacation, the shisha, and Karim’s incredible support, it was a safe location to say yes without being ripped off later! The second stables at FB’s Abu Sir are also quite pleasant!
Pyramids Sound and Light Show (Son-et-Lumière)
Admission: foreign languages shows LE 130, 90, 75 with discounted 45 ticket only available in the 75 section. The LE 130 and LE 90 tickets are for the first and second to third rows, respectively, and may not be worth the extra cost. Arabic show LE 11, foreign language private shows LE 65 + LE 300 (covers running costs), Arabic private show LE 16.50 + LE 150 Although little cheesy and usually wrong in historical accuracy, this is a good evening activity. As a spectacular laser show pulls out the features of the Pyramids and portrays historical images on the side of the Great Pyramid itself, the “voice of the Sphinx” explains the history of the Giza Plateau and its significance in Egyptian history. If you dine at the Pizza Hut restaurant close outside the entrance to the Sound and Light Performance, you may be invited to view the show from the restaurant’s roof in exchange for a modest tip. While it isn’t as wonderful as seeing it from within the walls, it is amazing value for money. As of November 2009, incredibly bright lights were directed onto the top of the Pizza Hut and other buildings in order to entice guests to attend the spectacle. They directed projection lights towards the Pizza Hut, making it difficult to see anything. Pizza Hut has responded by erecting a barrier on the roof in an attempt to obscure the light.