Is Egypt safe?
This is what I googled before I decided to take a trip of a lifetime. A trip I dreamed of since I learned about the ancient Egyptians in school. Just days before my trip, 2 churches were bombed on Palm Sunday. My family and friends told me not to go, especially since we’d be in Egypt during Easter weekend. While I was a little hesitant, I knew what I wanted. My response to their concern: “Living in fear is not living. If I die, it’s my time to die.” And it was not my time. I did not die. I was safe. And here I am still alive, wanting to and share the Egypt Travel 2017 tips with you!
Egypt is amazing. Rich in history and culture, diverse in religion, and welcoming. Way more “City-Like” than I expected in Cairo, and not all desert as most would think. There is so much to see, but I made it a goal to go back soon to finish seeing the rest. I spent a total of 7 days in Egypt. 1 day in Cairo, where I did a tour that included The Great Pyramids of Giza, Memphis, and Saqqara. It was reasonably priced and spent $60 USD per person. I recommend Egypt Pyramid Tours who will pick you up at your hotel and provide you with a private tour. You can book online before you go and you pay after the tour is complete.
And the Nile. The Nile River is huge! And relaxing to take a nice cruise on. The photo below is the Nile River in Cairo. As part of our Luxor tour, we took a boat from one side of the river to the next. There is so much to see in Luxor.
There’s the Karnak Temple, Valley of Kings, Valley of Queens, Temple of Hatshepsut. I recommend researching the sites worth seeing and shop around for pricing. I spent $100 USD per person for a group tour which was not worth the money (I say this just because if you find a local place, and not the tourist mafia, it should only cost around $40-50/person for a group tour. I recommend a private tour and you should not spend more than $120 USD for a private tour. There’s always room for negotiation!
The remaining 6 days I spent in Hurghada which is by the Red Sea. The sea is not red, it’s aqua blue! It looks like the waters you would find in Hawaii or the Caribbean. It’s so salty that you float! I do recommend wearing lip protector and rinsing off as the salt can dry out your lips and skin. You wouldn’t think Egypt had beautiful waters, but they do! And the corals! The fish! Absolutely amazing.
We only saw a few sites, but we need to go back to see the Cairo museum, Valley of the Kings, as well as to Alexandria and Aswan.
As far as security, I always felt safe. There is security and metal detectors at every hotel/resort/tourist site. At the airport, I think I went through security 2-3 times. While it is annoying going through, the repetitive security and customs is for our own safety. The people are nice, diverse, and know how to live with one another in one peace. Most speak English and most tour guides speak other languages as well. Even if they aren’t fluent, they know enough for you to get by.
My only complaint is how insistent the vendors are at souvenir or tourist sites. Be prepared to be asked for a tip if they take a picture of you or if they help pick up or move your luggage/bags.
My tour guide explained to me that Tourism has died in recent years so when vendors see tourists, they get desperate for your attention. My advice, unless it sounds like a really good deal, ignore them all. I found a Cleopatra Bazar where all souvenirs were so affordable and cheaper than any shops on the street or in tourist areas. They seem to have many shops throughout different parts of Egypt. The only thing the Bazar didn’t have was clothing so negotiate clothing at souvenir and tourist shops that you see when traveling.
Other than that, it’s a beautiful place with beautiful people. Book the trip! It’s worth the money and memories. Every place is dangerous, we see danger in our own country! The advice is to always be aware of your surroundings, don’t flash your money in public, don’t walk alone at night, and stick to tourist areas if possible.
Can I just say that Taxi’s, especially in the tourist areas can become your friend? Hotels have their own taxi’s, but if you find yourself using an external taxi, make sure to ask the price before getting in.
Can you take a camera? Yes! We took our Canon 5D II camera on our tours. It’s totally safe. Just make sure it’s in your backpack when walking in public. And if you have a GoPro or waterproof camera, take it if you’re visiting the Red Sea! The waters, fish, and coral reefs will make your jaw drop and it’s totally worth you bringing the gear that will help you share all the unforgettable memories with your loved ones.
Happy traveling! Hope you enjoyed Egypt Travel 2017 Tips!
Here is a highlight video of our trip:
Adriana & Nima