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What do you wish you had known before you went to Egypt?

So I'm about 2 weeks out from my first trip to Egypt. I've done my typical research and, for this trip, we have a private guide with us for the entire 10 days. I'm following TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet threads etc. But I am curious about what tips you all might have on the RS site...there's a lot of you that seem to travel like I travel and I am curious for your input. Any sage tips that might be helpful?

We're just doing the typical Cairo, Nile cruise, Aswan and Luxor route. Many thanks!

Posted by
1368 posts

You are going to have a great time! The street vendors can be very pushy and bothersome. Don't take a camel ride at the pyramids. A few shady guys running a money grab when they get you out aways. Go to the valley of the kings and visit several tombs. Just fascinating.
Take normal food and water precautions. I did and still got sick.
Have a great trip.

Posted by
1068 posts

Agree that it is easy to get sick in Egypt. Go with an open mind. A few things I thought would be good were great and most of the things I thought would be great.... were great too! Egypt is a lot of fun.

Posted by
31319 posts

I haven't been to Egypt yet but I have researched it for a future trip. One of the concerns in visiting there are the health issues. Be sure you have all the necessary vaccinations, and review routine vaccinations such as Tetanus. There are a number of tropical diseases there that you'll need to watch for such as Cutaneous Leishmaniasis and Schistosomiasis. You might want to take some Dukoral or similar prior to the trip, and pack along some OTC med's. Using bottled water most of the time would be prudent.

Have a look at this website......

You may have already checked this, but you might also have a look at the U.S. State Dept. website.....

There's also this website.....

Posted by
5016 posts

I visited Egypt twice when I lived in the Middle East, 1983 and 1985. Aside from the increased risk from terrorist attacks, I offer this advice:

1) I did the camel ride at the Pyramids of Giza twice and no one tried to rip me off. I even had the camel's owner take my photo. No problem. I think that I didn't pay until after the ride.
One thing if you ride the camel. keep a good grip on the saddle,
2) Don't drink any water that doesn't come from a bottle that is sealed. Also, if you eat, don't eat in any restaurant that is not in at least a four star restaurant or cruise ship. If you buy a beer, make sure they open it in front of you.
3) Don't wander off by your self, especially in less traveled places. Stay with a group.

Posted by
430 posts

Valerie please post a trip report when you return! I want to go to Egypt very badly but am struggling with safety concerns for that part of the world. We haven't let it stop us so far and I would like to know if I am being unduly influenced by alarmists. Thanks and have a wonderful time!

Posted by
1985 posts

I absolutely will! We're pretty excited to go! I blog my trips - PM me and I'll give you a link to my site.

Posted by
5016 posts

I have been to Egypt twice in the 80s and loved it. The history is amazing.

I am very familiar with the Middle East and the terror problems in the area. Egypt's government is trying to crack down on the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, but there is an increased risk in going to Egypt.

I know people that have been there in the past couple of years and they loved it, since there were fewer tourists.

Still, the risk is a concern. I would love to take my wife there, since she has never been there, but not right now. Just my opinion.

Posted by
1368 posts

I took a tour when we went, just before the Arab Spring. We had armed guards with us at all times. I had no idea that that would be the case. I asked the tour director why and she said our (US) and her govt., decided to do so to help keep Americans safe. These men followed us in two cars and walked with us as we toured sites. Also, in certain areas of Cairo, men with guns (military or police?) stood at corners and up inside little shacks that look like lifeguard towers. We didn't see that much security the further south we went.

Posted by
5016 posts

Diane,
The armed guards have been standard for foreign tourist in Egypt since the very nasty terror attack in the Tomb of Queen Hatshepsut in 1997.
70 tourists, mainly from Germany and Switzerland were massacred.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/32179.stm

Terrorist are still targeting tourists to hurt the economy and bring down the government.