Final Up to date on February 1, 2024 by Nellie Huang
Is it secure to journey Egypt now? On this put up, I focus on issues of safety in Egypt, significantly for solo feminine vacationers.
Having lately returned from a second journey to Egypt, I’ve discovered that the nation’s historic treasures are nonetheless as spectacular as ever — however its tourism business is struggling tremendously because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nation wants vacationers now greater than ever.
So is Egypt secure to journey now? It’s a fancy query to reply for a lot of causes, however I’ll break down the topic and focus on what it’s wish to journey Egypt through the pandemic.
Is Egypt Protected to Go to?
I all the time advocate getting journey insurance coverage, even for those who’re touring Egypt for simply 2 weeks. With journey insurance coverage, you’ll get lined if any incidents, lack of baggage, flight delay or cancellations occur.
Security Wing is the most well-liked journey insurance coverage firm for COVID19-coverage. I exploit their Nomad Insurance coverage plan, which covers COVID-19 as another sickness so long as it was not contracted earlier than your protection begin date. Check with my journey insurance coverage information for extra particulars.
Why is Egypt Thought of Unsafe to Journey?
After I first traveled to Egypt in 2008, the nation was nonetheless a reasonably secure place to go to. None of my associates or household expressed any concern for my security.
However within the final decade, Egypt has sadly suffered from political unrest and terrorist assaults, and tourism numbers took a nostril dive. The upheaval through the 2011 Arab Spring sparked widespread demonstrations, strikes and violent riots. Then there have been the Islamist insurgency on its borders with Israel and Gaza. After which one terrorist assault after one other positively made issues worse.
Today, many nations’ journey advisories warns in opposition to any journey to Egypt.
Latest Terrorist Assaults in Egypt
- 31 Dec 31, 2022 – ISIS-SP claimed duty for a checkpoint assault in Ismailia that killed 4 and wounded 16.
- 18 Nov, 2022 – ISIS-SP attacked the city of East Qantara, killing seven Egyptian troopers.
- 28 March, 2022 – ISIS-SP alleged snipers killed two Sinai Tribal Union militiamen.
- 31 October, 2015 – 224 individuals had been killed when a Russian airplane was bombed leaving Sharm El Sheikh.
- 8 January 2016 — militants stabbed two overseas vacationers from Australia and Sweden in a lodge in Hurghada.
- 14 July 2017 — a pupil stabbed 5 German and one Czech vacationers in Hurghada.
- 2 November 2018 — gunmen opened fireplace on a bus carrying Coptic Christians in Minya province, killing 7 individuals.
- 28 December 2018 — a roadside blast killed 3 Vietnamese vacationers and an area tour information on a bus close to the Giza pyramids.
- 18 February 2019 — 3 safety personnel had been killed by a suicide bomber in Central Cairo’s Darb al-ahmar district.
- 19 Might 2019 — 16 individuals had been injured after an IED assault on a vacationer bus close to the Giza pyramids
- 4 August 2019 — 20 individuals had been killed by a automotive bomb in Central Cairo’s Manial district.
The place is Protected to Go to in Egypt?
Whether or not you do determine to journey Egypt or not, you’ll want to think about the dangers and whether or not you might be keen to take calculated dangers to journey Egypt.
The one areas that journey advisories contemplate unsafe to go to are:
- The Sinai Peninsula, as a consequence of terrorist exercise and ongoing army operations by the Egyptian Armed Forces. This doesn’t embody the coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
- Space near the border with Libya, the Siwa Oasis, the Western Desert, together with the oases of Bahariya, Bawati, Dakhla and Farafra, and the White and Black deserts, as a consequence of smuggling, terrorist actions, the presence of armed teams and ongoing army operations.
My Private Journey Expertise in Egypt
I traveled with my husband on my first journey to Egypt in 2008 after which solo on my latest journey in March 2021. On each journeys, I by no means felt that I used to be in peril or that I used to be placing my life in danger at any level. Thoughts you, I’ve been to locations the place I felt on edge (resembling Afghanistan and Iran), however I positively didn’t really feel that manner in Egypt.
Additionally, I’ve discovered there may be now much more police presence in Egypt than earlier than. There are many police checkpoints on the roads and armed army tanks stationed in each metropolis. This makes me really feel that a minimum of the police is doing their half to make sure security.
Ought to You Journey Egypt Independently or E-book a Tour?
This actually relies on how a lot journey expertise you’ve. Egypt is mostly fairly a straightforward place to journey — the vacationer path is effectively marked, and also you’ll typically discover many vacationers round you.
I traveled independently on each of my journeys to Egypt, and I discovered it manageable to navigate Egypt by myself. That stated, I did guide day journeys to be taught from knowledgable Egyptologists. I do know guided excursions could be a hit or miss; some guides aren’t precisely Egyptologists as marketed. However for those who’re fortunate and get a great information, it may possibly make a world of distinction.
For instance, I booked this day tour to the Valley of the Kings and my feminine information, Shaimaa, was knowledgable, enjoyable and interesting! Listed below are different excursions I like to recommend:
Issues to Watch Out for in Egypt
Hassling and Vacationer Scams
In Egypt, it is not uncommon to come across persistent and relentless distributors. I don’t assume I’ve been wherever with worse hassling than in Egypt (and I’ve been to 140+ nations).
I’ve had distributors drape scarves over my neck and insisting to receives a commission, and women shoving t-shirts into my bag once I wasn’t wanting and asking for cash. I additionally heard cat calls from Egyptian youngsters, who would shout out “China?” to me. Simply keep away from eye contact, ignore them and preserve strolling.
Virtually all the archeological websites in Egypt may have safety guards standing round. Their precise duty is to guard the ruins, however their side-hustle is to sneak individuals into restricted areas, and supply unfastened guiding after which they’ll ask you for ideas. Don’t comply with them.
Sadly, sexual harassment is kind of a typical prevalence in Egypt (as confirmed with my Egyptian feminine associates). Whether or not you might be dressed modestly or not, ladies typically expertise males making inappropriate advances in Egypt.
After I went on a felucca experience in Aswan, the sailor made me uncomfortable by speaking brazenly about intercourse. He finally requested me to rendezvous on his boat at evening (pictured). In Luxor, a taxi driver tried to promote me cannabis and supply me “a horny good time”. In case you had been questioning, I used to be wearing lengthy pants and unfastened t-shirt.
For feminine vacationers, a instrument that may be useful is Harass Map. Within the map, you’ll discover the areas the place vacationers have skilled some type of harassment.
Loopy Site visitors
That is primarily a problem in Cairo. Due to the insane congestion, site visitors strikes at a frantic, lawless tempo. A 30-minute journey would possibly take three hours. All the time head out with ample time to get to your vacation spot.
Roads are poorly marked, and site visitors guidelines are sometimes ignored and infrequently enforced. Watch out when crossing the street — you would possibly come throughout an area who provides that will help you cross the street. A few of them have a motive (both to indicate you their papyrus store or jewellery retailer), simply say thanks and transfer on.
Protests and Demonstrations
Individuals take to the streets in Egypt, and typically peaceable protests can flip violent. Bystanders can get caught up within the mass arrests that may comply with violent protests.
There are extra spectacular – and safer – issues to see in Egypt than protests. As all the time, transfer alongside and keep away from being caught within the crowd. Hold your self knowledgeable by following the information and asking round for information.
There are lots of police checks on the roads — they’ll even board the bus for inspection. On the street from Aswan to Abu Simbel, the police man vacationer buses have to drive in convoys to be secure.
At nearly each metropolis’s busiest spot, you will notice a police automotive stationed in a nook, together with armed officers with their weapons in place. All of the Egyptians I spoke to all stated they’re there to maintain everybody secure.
In nearly each attraction in Egypt, you’ll discover steel detectors and safety checkpoints at their entrances. Some inns even have them, although they often whisk you thru with out asking you to place your baggage by way of the belt (which make you surprise why they’ve them within the first place).
Do not forget that Egypt is a Muslim nation and alcohol consumption is banned exterior of licensed bars and eating places. Please don’t even consider bringing alcohol from overseas or shopping for them from people.
Solo Feminine Journey in Egypt
Of the 140+ nations I’ve visited, Egypt is without doubt one of the worst locations for solo feminine vacationers. Be ready for some sexual harassment for those who’re a solo feminine traveler.
Some Egyptian males will be persistent and even aggressive. The taxi driver who supplied me cannabis bought indignant once I requested him to cease earlier than reaching my vacation spot. He began shouting at me and insisting on extra money than what we agreed on. I threw him the cash and left operating.
In the event you’re a solo feminine traveler who has by no means traveled in Muslim nations, it is likely to be clever to guide a gaggle tour resembling this one. Alternatively, you possibly can journey independently and guide day journeys. Ask for a feminine information while you’re reserving day excursions. Feminine guides are few and much between, and also you’ll be supporting them and offering them with work.
The way to Gown in Egypt
Egypt is a Muslim nation, and it’s greatest to decorate conservatively when touring in Egypt. In Cairo, the place many western ladies tour and dwell, you possibly can simply get away with a gown. I wore clothes a couple of occasions however all the time made certain to have a scarf or jacket on me.
The way to Keep Protected in Egypt
This brings us again to the query, “is Egypt secure to go to?”
In my view, sure it’s secure to journey Egypt, however solely with the suitable mindset and expectations. So long as you’ve accomplished your analysis and apply widespread sense, there’s no purpose why you possibly can’t journey Egypt safely.
Listed below are extra Egypt security ideas to assist guarantee your journey goes easily:
- Keep away from eye contact – Egyptians see eye contact as a type of flirtation. Simply smile, preserve transferring and ignore the vacationer touts. I used to assume it was impolite, however I’ve realized that’s the one technique to cease them from following you.
- Say ‘no’ all provides – Anybody providing to take your photograph or provide help to in anyway goes to ask for a baksheesh (tip). Simply say no or “shukran” (thanks) they usually’ll depart you alone.
- Don’t take up on provides to go wherever alone with an Egyptian – Solo feminine vacationers ought to keep away from being alone with a person with nowhere to flee. After all not all Egyptian males are usually not reliable, however I like to recommend erring on the secure aspect.
- Gown conservatively – As Egypt is a Muslim nation, dressing appropriately will provide help to keep away from drawing an excessive amount of undesirable consideration. Cowl your knees and shoulders if attainable.
- E-book a information at archaeological websites – At sure websites like Giza Pyramids and Valley of the Kings, having a information will chase away the annoying touts. These websites have a lot historical past to them, you’ll want a information to actually perceive the tales behind them.
- Don’t deliver a drone – You want particular permission to fly a drone on most components of Egypt. In the event you deliver it to the airport, possibilities of getting it confiscated may be very excessive.
- Keep away from any show of affection – Egypt is a conservative nation, so keep away from kissing or hugging your accomplice in public.
- All the time ask earlier than taking pictures of individuals – That is particularly so in crowded locations just like the souk. Some locals won’t like that, and would possibly get aggressive for those who do snap pictures of them, so please keep away from that.
Additional Studying on Egypt
I hope this text on journey security in Egypt will provide help to prepare in your journey. In the event you’re desirous about studying extra on Egypt, take a look at these articles I’ve written on the nation in addition to neighboring nations:
Let me know in case you have any questions beneath. I’d be very happy to assist!
Disclaimer: This put up accommodates affiliate hyperlinks i.e. I’ll get a small fee while you click on on these hyperlinks, at NO EXTRA COST TO YOU.
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