As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Egypt is a treasure trove full of historical sights and a unique culture, as well as a popular destination for a beach holiday or Nile cruise.
Travelers typically come here to relax on the picturesque shores of the Red and Mediterranean Seas, go swimming and sunbathing, or explore the rich underwater world of coral reefs and colorful fish. Of course, history fans can admire the pyramids (one of the seven wonders of the world!), explore ancient temples, and visit interesting museums,
All in all, Egypt is a colorful and fascinating country that offers plenty of things to do, but is it safe?
Before booking your ticket and applying for your Egypt eVisa, it’s important to do a little research ahead of time and learn about the current situation in Egypt, how to stay safe, and a couple of practical travel tips.
In Egypt, the security situation is not quite black and white, and, for the most part, it depends on the city (and even neighborhood) where you plan to travel.
Travelers who plan to go on a holiday to resort towns such as Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh have nothing to fear, as these places are heavily regulated and attempt to do all they can to protect tourists. For example, there is a special group of tourist police that patrol around the clock and constantly monitor the city and resorts.
Likewise, the tourist police know English (and frequently another language) and are always happy to help tourists with any questions or problems.
For those who are planning to travel to Cairo or other cities, such as Alexandria, Luxor, or Aswan, it helps to be prepared ahead of time and keep some rules in mind.
Just like any typical country, there are some areas that are better left alone. Travelers who accidentally find themselves in such a neighborhood will usually be stopped by locals or police and advised to go the other way.
The best way to avoid these situations is to hire a local guide or go on a group excursion, as these are led by knowledgeable locals who can safely show you the city.
It is also worth mentioning that protests and political demonstrations are not uncommon, especially in Cairo. Although they may seem intriguing, it is better to avoid streets that have protests in case they take a turn for the worse.
Safety at Sea
Egypt attracts many tourists with its incredible Red and Mediterranean Seas. Although the country’s waters contain many beautiful fish and coral reefs, be careful and do not let your guard down, as the sea can contain dangers that are not obvious at first sight.
For example, there are a handful of species of poisonous fish and sea urchins that can cause harm to a person if touched. For this reason, it is recommended to swim only in permitted places and not to touch anything while underwater.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to avoid damaging corals because this is strictly prohibited by law. If the local authorities catch any offenders, the fine can be up to $1,000.
In general, most seasons (except for summer) are ideal for enjoying a holiday in Egypt.
Summer in Egypt is incredibly hot — even for the locals — as temperatures can quickly rise and create muggy conditions. The weather is especially hot in July and August when the air temperature passes 40°C.
Travelers who have heart problems or cannot tolerate heat should choose a season with more comfortable weather in order to avoid health problems. Likewise, be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and drink water often while under the sun.
Typically, the best months to travel to Egypt are April and May, when the country enjoys mild temperatures and a lack of strong winds.
Food and Medicine
There are a few rules to keep in mind when handling food and beverages in Egypt.
First, it is best to stock up on bottled water and drinks. The tap water in Egypt is not drinkable and may cause an upset stomach if ingested.
Similarly, travelers should eat at established tourist-friendly restaurants with good reviews on Google Maps or Tripadvisor. Don’t try street food unless advised by a guide. Sanitary standards in Egypt are not always observed, especially in places with a lack of tourists. In resort cities, things are much better, since all hotels, restaurants, and other establishments are strictly controlled for quality.
Last but certainly not least, be sure to visit your doctor for an annual check-up before going on a holiday, as this will help avoid any unplanned trips to the doctor while in Egypt. It is also recommended to take a small first aid kit with you.