How was your Explore Tour Leader?
Mandy was very well organised, unflappable, and efficient and very good at imparting the relevant knowledge to the group when needed and getting everyone where they needed to be on time, which was difficult enough given the tight schedule of the tour. She was diplomatic when dealing with any issues that arose and resolved them with the minimum of fuss, eg at the border crossings. She got on well with everyone in the group and had good relationships with the other local guides, the hotel staff and drivers. She also appeared to have good personal relationships with many of the Bedouins in Petra and Wadi Rum and was able to give some insight into their culture.
What tips would you give to someone else booking this tour?
Be prepared for a very busy schedule - many days start early. The walking isn't too difficult but there is a good bit of it around some of the sites - particularly in Jerusalem and Petra. Depending on how busy it is, the length of time queueing in Jerusalem at some of the popular sites can affect the schedule.
Do you have anything else to add?
"The schedule was very busy with many early starts, and little time to relax or fully appreciate the places where we were staying. Our group flight was delayed few people had any sleep the first night in Amman. The shorter daylight hours also meant that we arrived at the kibbutz after dark. Likewise at the Dead Sea, we arrived just at sunset, so although we managed a float there before it got dark, we had little option but to jump straight off the bus due to another early start the next morning. The hotel was lovely with Dead Sea Spa pools and a large swimming pool but I don't think anyone in the group managed to use the other facilities.
Overall this was a really interesting and enjoyable tour, but I feel that it requires more time to do it justice. "