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Israel/Jordan/Egypt

Hello guys. I'm considering of joining a group of friends traveling in May 2018 to Israel, Jordan & Egypt. They arranged accomodation through Airbnb.

I know this is a trip of a lifetime. However, I have concerns about safety. Anyone traveled to these countries recently? Your thoughts, anyone?

Posted by
487 posts

I have not been to Egypt, but Israel and Jordan are very safe. They, particularly Israel, are in the news a lot but the clashes are not focused on tourists. Tourism is important and they will not want to jeopardize one of their sources of income. The TripAdvisor forums for Israel and Jordan are very active and a great source of information. They are beautiful countries and one of my favorite trips!

Posted by
2120 posts

We were in Egypt in January and felt safe. It's a fantastic country and I would not hesitate to go back. Tourism was slow there - but it's been picking up as most of the major tour companies have started up their tours again. We had no lines anywhere and it made for a fantastic journey. Go see it - we loved it.

Posted by
38 posts

I was in Egypt in March and felt safe. I agree with everything else Valerie said.

Posted by
5345 posts

I lived in Saudi Arabia for five years and traveled to Egypt twice in the 80s.
I had a lot of Egyptian friends as well. I keep up with new and events in that area of the World as well.

Even in the 80s there were risks associated with travel in Egypt. For example, when I got into a cab at the Cairo airport, before we exited the area, a policeman had the taxi driver provide his license and other papers, as well as my identification and destination that was documented in a book.

I wondered about such bureaucratic nonsense, but found out later from my Egyptian friends that the police enacted those protocols because taxis were taking tourists out to the desert, raping the women, robbing and murdering the men.

My friends warned me about a few things, never eat food from street vendors, in fact they said only eat at high level restaurants like four or five star hotels. They warned me about wandering around Cairo alone, not knowing what area that I might be entering. They advised me to only take taxis from the hotel or take tours with a tour company with a bus either mini or large.

Armed guards were not provided for our tours or the River Cruise that we took in Southern Egypt. That started in the mid to late 90s after a Bus full of Swiss and German tourist were attacked at the famous tomb of Queen Hatchept. (SP).

A few years ago the country deposed the long time strongman, Mubarak and elected a President from the party of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that sponsors terror, just not as overtly as Al Qaeda. That President was a total failure and the Egyptian people, at least most of them were happy that the military deposed him.

The new government has brought some stability to the country, but Christian churches are still burned and Christians attacked by terrorists.
Further, tourist have been targeted.

Security measures seem to work fairly well now, but there are still a fair number of terrorists in that country that may target your tour. The risk may be modest, but I am not prepared to take my Wife there at this point. (she has not been to Egypt).

Just be aware that Egypt as wonderful as it is, is not Europe and risks are more than slight.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for your thorough response.

My friends are staying in Israel for about a week and head off to tour Jordan via Lady Egypt Tours. They also booked a tour to Wilderness jeep adventure. From Jordan, will fly from Amman to Cairo to see the pyramids, sphinx bazaar. From Cairo, fly to Luxor to tour the Valley of the Kings, cross the River Nile then back to Cairo.
I am thinking of joining them until Cairo and not taking the Valley of the Kings tour. I have concerns about Egypt though. A missionary priest from Egypt told us about a tour bus being hijacked by terrorists and shot them when they refused to denounce their Christian faith.
Another story was from a friend's coworker who was so stressed during her vacation. She was so relieved when she came back home.
Its a scary thought. A vacation should be a time to relax.

Posted by
11280 posts

I haven't been to Egypt or Jordan.

Before I went to Israel, I was of course concerned about safety - both the reality, and my perception of it (whether I'd "feel" safe). Once I got there, I found what everyone who had actually been had said was correct. It feels totally safe, and the only adjustment is having to go through security checks to go into supermarkets or train stations (always be prepared to open bags, purses, etc). If you want something to worry about in Israel, worry about being ripped off by cab drivers - now that's a realistic problem!

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks. I believe my friend already made arrangements with Lady Egypt.

For those who have been in Jerusalem, I made reservations in Dan Boutique. Any word on this hotel? We thought of doing Airbnb but hotel is just easy. Looking at the map, it's easy for us to walk to the Old City.
Also, we are planning to use Viator for tours around Jerusalem. Any thoughts? Or recommendations?
Thanks guys!

Posted by
14796 posts

For those who have been in Jerusalem, I made reservations in Dan Boutique. Any word on this hotel? We thought of doing Airbnb but hotel is just easy. Looking at the map, it's easy for us to walk to the Old City.

The Dan Boutique is an okay location. It's sort of walking distance to the Old City. According to google maps, it's about 1.5 km (nearly a mile) and "mostly flat" which makes me laugh, since it's not. There's one way that is just a fairly gentle uphill walk, but the more scenic walk is down the valley known in Hebrew as Gay Hinome - which was turned into Gehenna (hell) in English. So you have to walk through hell ☺. It's a nice walk but a definitely steep downhill/uphill for most of the walk to Jaffa Gate.

I don't know what the rates are, but check out these other options:

  1. Notre Dame of Jerusalem. It's a lovely hotel (with great views from the roof) and located a 2-5 minute walk (depending on the traffic light) from the Old City. It's also a short walk to the heart of West Jerusalem - shops, restaurants and sights.
  2. St. Andrews Guest House. It's more basic than the Dan but very close to it.
  3. Harmony Hotel. In the center of the city, a shorter walk to the Old City than [2] or the Dan. This is possibly the most upscale. It used to get rave reviews on TripAdvisor . . . I don't know whether it still does.
  4. Consider Abraham Hostel. It may be the cheapest. It's well-located in the center of town, a bit farther from the Old City, but right on the light rail line - that goes to the Old City in minutes. They have some good tour options to see more of the city and especially the Dead Sea/Masada.

BTW there's a lot to see and do in Jerusalem besides the Old City.

Posted by
4645 posts

I was in Jordan and Israel last month and have been to both countries previously. Both countries are incredibly safe. Why do you have concerns? I have also been to Egypt and felt very welcome there as well as safe.

Posted by
11 posts

You will probably be quite surprised once you arrive in Israel/Palestine that your concerns about safety will quickly fade away! I had some reservations even though we are fairly adventurous travelers and I laughed at myself the first night in Nazareth as we ventured off by ourselves for dinner! Consider some private tours and also consider a more balanced tour that includes both perspectives that many Christian-based tours don’t include. You may have caught one of Rick’s remarks in one of his Israel/Palestine videos that hinted there is more than one perspective to peace there and hopefully you will be open to seeing the Palestinian perspective. I don’t mind saying I did a 180 on my position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Consider day tours (or longer) with Green Olive Tours that has been mentioned. Their owner is a close friend of a dear friend of ours and we spent an 8 day private tour with their guides----you cannot learn everything from reading and touring on your own, there is just too much.

We thought Israel would be a one and done for us, checking it off our list (we are in our early 60s), but we are off again in May for about 13-14 days, adding Jordan as well. I figure I absorbed about 20% of the information I was given by the expert guides and look forward to soaking up some more! Email any questions!