Hi Gillian, We just spent 2 weeks traveling through Egypt (this past October) on our own, so I guess I could take a shot at your questions. Regarding Visas, USA citizens do need Visas, but there is no need to anything in advance. You simply fill out a form (given to you on a plane or ship) and you buy your Visas at the port of entry. They are simply stamps that you paste into your passports and they are not even individualized. I do not recall the cost, but it was no more than $12 per person. Going from Alexandria to Cairo (the Giza Pyramids are in a suburb of Cairo) takes as long as 2 1/2 hours each way by car (or train). With 5, you might want to check on hiring a car/driver for the day. When we went to Egypt we used a Herndon, VA travel company owned by an Egyptian...and had him make some private arrangements. In Cairo, the company that was uses is called Ancient Royal Tours and the General Manager is a gentleman named Auman Reda. He has cars and drivers and subcontracts with government licensed guides (a good thing in Egypt). His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
and his company web site is www.ancientroyal.com
. I do not know if he would be interested in handling a party of 5, but you can certainly ask him for advice. Ayman speaks excellent English and we were very pleased with his company. You should specify that you want a licensed guide, as they are all college graduates who have passed tough government exams. If Ayman's company is willing to help, I am sure he would quote you a price. We were in several of his vehicles and they were all vans with lots of room. There are also lots of other tour companies, but I can only speak to the one we used this year.