Anyone have suggestions as to how visit Abu Simbel without a tour group? I would like stay over night but the hotel prices are very high for the area. Is renting a car possible and practical? Or do we just pay for the room.
Hello Don, I visited this site without a tour group quite a few years ago. I was staying in a cheap hotel in Aswan and I cannot remember if they organised road transport for me to Abu Simbel or if I saw a travel agency on the street. Either way, it is cheaper to organise once you are there - but you will need to shop around as the prices range from cheap to expensive.
The journey along the road used to be part of a convoy due to security concerns, so there is no way of travelling down to Abu Simbel unless you are in the convoy - I do not think this has changed. The convoy on the morning of my journey was over 50 vehicles and it leaves before dawn, plus it returns just after midday so you only have a few hours at the site. Thus, it is better to go on a bus and share costs than to hire your own car.
If you decide to stay overnight, there are a few hotels there, and they vary in price and quality. The area around Abu Simbel is deemed safe so it is easy to wander freely I believe. I have heard that the Sound and Light Show at Abu Simbel is the best in Egypt, so it may be worth staying there for the evening just to see that.
The other option to get to Abu Simbel is to fly, but that is certainly not a cheap option.