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Egypt now Level 3: Reconsider Travel

I just received an email from the State department that asks citizens to reconsider travel to Egypt due to terrorism.  It urges those who do go to "...exercise increased caution in Egypt due to  the Embassy’s limited ability to assist dual national U.S.-Egyptian citizens who are arrested or detained."

Do not travel to: 1) The Sinai Peninsula (with the exception of travel to Sharm El-Sheikh by air) due to terrorism. 2) The Western Desert due to terrorism. 3) Egyptian border areas due to military zones.

Country Summary: Terrorist groups continue plotting attacks in Egypt. Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, and have targeted diplomatic facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, western businesses, restaurants, resorts, and local government facilities. Terrorists have conducted attacks in urban areas, including in Cairo, despite the heavy security presence. Terrorists have targeted religious sites, to include mosques, churches, monasteries, and buses traveling to these locations.

For more information, click here:

Posted by
7168 posts

This warning focuses on the Sinai Peninsula except for Sharm El-sheikh, the Western Desert and borders.

A Nile cruise and visit to the Cairo area or Alexandria are NOT in these areas.

All tour groups have armed security traveling with them. We just did a two week tour with Gate 1 of Egypt that included two Nile cruises. It was great. There are tens of thousands of foreign tourists visiting Egypt.

Don't be afraid to go, it is amazing.

I do strongly recommend taking a tour if your go. Price several before you pick.

Posted by
5102 posts

I did point that out, geovagriffith, but still thought that anyone considering a trip there would want this information. And it did say that there have been attacks in urban areas, including Cairo, and tourist locations. I'm not saying anyone should not go, but I've been considering a tour there in 2025, and will definitely be reviewing all relevant information about it.

Posted by
1071 posts

We are scheduled to do a Egypt tour in April 2024, as long as you stay with your tour group and don't wander off into places you shouldn't, I feel travel in Egypt is no more dangerous than any other place I've been in Europe.

Posted by
4358 posts

Egyptian border areas due to military zones.

Assuming that Abu Simbel is OK.

Posted by
236 posts

It is sometimes difficult to figure out the actual risk to one personally. It would seem tour companies will provide adequate security and we may feel perfectly safe.
However , sometimes the fact that the threat level changes to level 3 there may other issues one has to deal with.
For example, insurance.

For those who use MedJet Assist evacuation insurance this is the language that might affect your coverage: ( Other policies may have similar language and that would not surprise me one bit, but I just recently reviewed this as I am considering purchasing.)

"Due to the high risk of sending registered aircraft and personnel into countries where the United States
Department of State has issued a travel advisory of level 3 or 4, membership services are subject to
exclusion or limitation in these areas. A complete list of travel advisories for every country in the world
may be found at the U.S. Department of State’s website

Posted by
5102 posts

MA Traveler, I never even thought about that, but it makes sense. Thanks for mentioning that - definitely something to be aware of.

Posted by
7168 posts

We visited Abu Simbel by flying into a small nearby airport from Aswan. We then boarded our cruise ship. After visiting AS, we stopped a more places on our way to Aswan.

We were not that near the border with Sudan. Frankly, it was probably the safest place we visited on our trip.

Posted by
4358 posts

We were not that near the border with Sudan.

Abu Simbel is about 20 km from Sudan. That’s close for me.

Posted by
1980 posts

This kept us out of Egypt until 2008
I asked the guide if this was the temple where the massacre happened (Hatshepsut Mortuary Temple) and she finally said it was indeed the spot! She was hesitant to confirm. I recognized the temple from the news reports.
Security was heavy every place we went. I was a bit uncomfortable the entire trip. It is an amazing place though.

Two years later was the Arab Spring.

Posted by
1894 posts

As another poster mentioned, many travel/health insurance policies limit where and when their services can be used. Definitely look at the fine print of any policies.

Unfortunately traveling to Egypt is not the same safety-wise traveling to Europe, but then neither are places like Mexico and Africa. It's best to register with the State Department AND read your travel/evacuation insurance carefully before making the journey.

Posted by
641 posts

If I recall correctly, the text of the travel advisory is pretty much identical to the advisories from early 2020: terrorism can happen with no warning, avoid demonstrations, and don't travel (Level 4) to the Sinai and the Western Desert. In 2020 the tourist areas were still classed at Level 2 (same as most of Europe). I wonder why they bumped the tourist areas up to Level 3. Maybe the instability in Sudan has something to do with it? I dunno.

Anyhow, I traveled to Turkey multiple times while it was Level 3, and never had any issues.

Posted by
641 posts

Abu Simbel is about 20 km
from Sudan. That’s close for me.

Agree 100%. Abu Simbel is frighteningly close to Sudan. It's still worth the visit, though.

Posted by
7168 posts

Abu Simbel is actually on an peninsula that is almost an island. It is very near the small Abu Simbel airport that is basically just for tourists coming to visit the site.

The site is on Lake Nasser that was formed by the Aswan Dam in the early 60s where the temple was actually moved, since it was to be flooded by the new lake.

Don't miss it if you go to Egypt. I have been to Egypt three times, in 1983, 1985 and this January. My wife hadn't been to Egypt, so we booked the tour and great, I got to see Abu Simbel that I had missed earlier.

Egypt for decades has had to deal with terrorists, since the Muslim Brotherhood originated in Egypt and what has poisoned the Middle East. I lived in Saudi Arabia for five years (81-85) and have studied the history and culture extensively.

The vast majority of Egyptians have no sympathy with terrorists. The political situation in Egypt is complicated, but frankly, the military is the one force that has stabilized the situation and fought terrorism.
In an election during the Arab Spring some years ago, Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected as President, because the people were seeking something more than the long term President Mubarak. He was a disaster for the country, and he allowed the persecution of Christians (about 10% of the population). Many churches were burned and destroyed by terrorists and little was done to protect Christians.

Morsi was removed by the military and it was a very popular move for the Egyptian people.

Yes, terrorists in the late 90s attacked a bus with Swiss and German tourists at the Tomb of Queen Hatchept in Luxor. After that, all guided tours were secured by armed guards.

On our visit this January, I saw way more tourists visiting the country than when I visited in the 80s.
Also, the country is way more developed. The infrastructure is significantly improved. That includes highways, housing and more. The airports are rather new and clean (they were not in the 80s).

The people are friendly and yes, the worst problem is that the hawkers will chase you at the Pyramids or on the street to have you buy something. Just say La, which means NO in Arabic.

Our guide was a university educated woman with a fantastic knowledge of Egyptian history and culture.

Go and enjoy your trip, but avoid independent travel. Go with a tour group and don't go off on your own.