Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt in 2019?

You’ve probably wanted to travel to Egypt and, undoubtedly, have asked yourself, “is Egypt safe?” I traveled there solo—and here’s what I can tell you.

Visiting The Pyramids of Giza: Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

I was startled awake in the middle of the night by a strange Egyptian man shouting loudly at me in Arabic.

He seemed angry, but I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Why was he yelling at me? I stared back with confused eyes, only finding the strength to mumble a single word.

“Huh?”

More screaming. More pointing and flailing of arms. A small pack of Egyptian men had surrounded my seat on the bus and, despite the fact that I obviously couldn’t speak their language, they seemed to think that shouting even louder would make me understand.

“Is there a problem?” a local girl across the aisle asked in English. “I was sleeping,” I told her, “and these men just started yelling at me.”

She pointed at my ticket, indicated that I had been sitting in the wrong seat, and let me know that this was very much against the rules. Apparently, bus-goers are very serious about seat assignments here.

The Egyptian mentality takes some getting used to. And after only one week of traveling there, I definitely can’t say that I understand it.

On the local bus in Cairo one day, I struck up a conversation with a lovely young Egyptian woman. Her English was nearly perfect and, after the typical pleasantries about where we were from, her next question was, “What do you think about the people here?”

I thought for a second, and I told her I had met some people who acted extremely aggressive towards me, but that I had also met some of the kindest, most genuine people of all.

She nodded slowly in thought, and then, after a few moments, she looked back at me and said, “Good. Many don’t get to see both sides. That’s the real Egypt.”

Is Egypt Safe? This is the Reality of Traveling to Egypt

Though Egypt is a common travel destination for Europeans, Egypt is not the first place most Americans think of when they’re preparing to travel. And to be honest, there’s good reason for it. Not only is it a bizarre place, far from the reaches of understanding for most Westerners, but tourism in Egypt has dwindled to almost nothing after becoming a conflict zone in recent years. Luckily, that conflict has lessened and, in 2018, there is very little to fear.

It’s true that there is terrorist activity in Egypt. Our bus was checked for bombs. Officials questioned every foreign passenger. Men with large guns and riot gear stood guard behind personal barricades on the side of the road. Giant police shields with bullet holes lay on the ground next to them.

In Dahab, I watched as a drunk Arabic man was beaten by police for causing a scene in public.

In Cairo, I encountered the most aggressive taxi drivers I’ve ever come across. At the Pyramids of Giza, the touts are more than hawkish, and they are very, very clever. You’re going to need some thick skin if you want to travel here. But trust me, it’s worth it.

Outside the El-Hussein Mosque in Cairo, Egypt.
Outside the El-Hussein Mosque in Cairo, Egypt.

If you’re considering traveling to Egypt, this is the reality. There is conflict here, and you will encounter it in various forms. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t visit—I met many other travelers in Egypt from all over the world. I met solo female travelers, scuba fanatics, and other plain ol’ regular people.

No, Egypt is not your typical holiday. If you want to travel to Egypt and visit the Pyramids of Giza, you should be prepared for what is waiting for you. It’s an inside look at a very different region of the world, and an inside look at what’s actually happening in the Middle East.

But is it safe to travel to Egypt right now? The answer is somewhat tricky to explain.

Inside Al-Hussein Mosque, Cairo, Egypt.
Inside Al-Hussein Mosque, Cairo, Egypt.

Is it Safe to Travel to Egypt?

Once upon a time, the triangular Sinai Peninsula in Egypt was a popular tourist destination for people from all over the Middle East and even Russia. They would come from Israel and Moscow to scuba dive, drink beer, smoke weed, and party on the beach.

However, these days, government websites mark the entire northern half of Sinai in blatant red. Many terrorist groups have been active in Egypt, and every travel warning for northern Sinai reads simply: “DO NOT TRAVEL.”

Though I believe many travel advisories to be over-exaggerated, the ones in Egypt should not be ignored. Point blank, northern Sinai should be avoided and southern Sinai should be traveled using caution. Once on the mainland, anything east of the Nile River is generally safe, while anything west should be traveled with prudence.

Cheeky banana man in Giza, Egypt. He was all smiles!
Cheeky banana man in Giza. He was all smiles 🙂

But I don’t mean to scaremonger. There are some regions which are not safe, but there are also regions where are perfectly fine. Look beyond the warnings.

What you should be focused on is where it is safe to travel, not where it is not safe to travel.

According to GOV.UK, “previous attacks have almost exclusively targeted the security forces, their facilities and other government buildings.” As a tourist in these areas, it’s unlikely that you’ll have any issues. But the warnings are clear, and anyone traveling in Egypt should at least be cautious.

Can I tell you it’s absolutely safe to visit Egypt? No, I can’t, because if you go there and die, it would be my fault. But I can tell you that I went there and I didn’t die. So, I guess you can make your decision based on that!

For more information on whether or not it is safe to travel to Egypt, consult your local embassy. (USA / UK)

If you are planning on traveling to Egypt—or anywhere in the world for that matter—travel insurance is your number one safeguard against anything that might go wrong. I always use World Nomads for ease of use, price and breadth of coverage. If you’re planning to travel to Egypt, use the form below to get a quote.

Meeting Rami Elshaer

The first half of my travels in Sinai were done on my own. I had just one week in Egypt, but I was determined to make the most of it. In Dahab, for four days, I relaxed in beachfront hookah bars and went scuba diving at the famous Blue Hole.

This dive site, notoriously regarded as the most dangerous dive site in the world, has taken hundreds of lives over the years.

One extremely uncomfortable overnight bus ride later (screaming Arabic men included), and I found myself in the company of Rami Elshaer, a member of a Bedouin tribe who now lives in the city just 100 meters from the Pyramids of Giza.

It was an early morning in Cairo and we sat down at a local cafe for introductions, breakfast, and a Turkish coffee.

Rami Elshaer and his son, Loai
Rami Elshaer and his son, Loai.

“When you are with me, you are my family, do you understand?”

Rami was explaining how his hospitality was going to work.

“Never take money out of your pocket. If you try to pay as a tourist, you will pay tourist prices. When I pay, I pay local prices. At the end of the day, you will pay me back. This is how it will work. Do you understand?”

I nodded.

“And I will do all of the talking. If you need something, just tell me, and I will make it happen. Do you understand?”

Rami was stern but fair. He cared. He knew how things worked and wanted to make sure I would get the most out of my time in Egypt.

In three short days, Rami became my Bedouin brother.

Thumbs up at the Great Pyramids of Giza!
Thumbs up at the Great Pyramids of Giza!

The Bedouins are a tribe of people who have been roaming the Middle Eastern desert for thousands of years. Literally translating to “desert dweller,” they are a highly respected group of people who are known for maintaining their traditional values and strong family bonds.

Rami didn’t like to tell people he was an Elshaer unless he had to. He just wanted to live out his life. But, as he explained, anytime he needed a government official to look the other way, one flash of his ID was all it took.

Camel on the edge of the desert at the Pyramids of Giza.
Camel on the edge of the desert at the Pyramids of Giza.

Rami’s father came from Libya and his mother from north Sudan and then Sinai. The Elshaer’s were among the first to settle by the Pyramids of Giza thousands of years ago, directing traffic and trade along the Silk Road, and they have remained here ever since.

It’s funny because everywhere I went with Rami, I met more cousins. More Elshaer’s. In Giza alone, I’m told his family numbers between 2,000-3,000.

Selfie at the ancient Pyramids of Giza!
Pyramid selfie!

Rami paid for my Turkish coffee, took me to his home, provided me with a bed, and allowed me to dine with his family for three days straight.

When I found out that he would be sleeping on the floor, I insisted that he take his bed back and allow me to sleep there instead. He demanded not, and refused to allow me to sleep anywhere except the large bed in his small home, which was usually reserved for him and his young son, Loai.

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.
The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt.

You see, as travelers themselves, the Bedouins are no stranger to providing hospitality. When I asked Rami why he hosted people from Couchsurfing, he told me of his international travels. He told me that the hospitality he received overseas was life-changing and that he wanted to dedicate much of his life to returning the same hospitality he had found.

Today, Rami spends his time raising his son, preparing barbecues for his family, and showing travelers the Great Pyramids of Giza.

[box type=”note” icon=”none”]Rami now goes back and forth between Egypt and Switzerland as he works to provide a better life for his son. If you wish to contact Rami, email him at [email protected]. Though he may not personally be able to meet you in Egypt (depending on his schedule), his family—all of whom I met—are happy to show you around and are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met![/box]


READ MORE:

How to Get an Egyptian Visa for U.S. Citizens

Free Climbing to the Top of the Monastery in Petra, Jordan

Looking Past the Conflict in Israel

30 Things to Do in 30 Countries Before You’re 30

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  1. Lovely article. The thing is, we’re 2 teenagers travelling alone. Do you think it’s still safe to visit Egypt?

  2. I was just there in April. Was in Dahab and was diving for a week the blue hole twice and a lot more. We stayed at Daniela resort just north of Dahab. My family and myself just loved this place and the dive master and all of the people are so friendly. Then on to Cario for three days and the pyramids and museum tours we stayed at the Guardian House a bed & breakfast right across the street from the pyramids and the view is just wonderful our guide & Mohammed our driver were just awsume and the owners of Guardian House including little mama the spark plug are just so friendly and will go out of their way to help you and make sure you have a great experience. Would I return yes. I can’t say enough about how friendly the Egyptian people are ever where we went. Except the security people at the airport cause I had some batteries and this guy was upset and took them. But other then that it was an life time experience and we had a incredibly time.

      1. I had a tour booked for Egypt for February, 2019. Ended up having emergency surgery in January so I had to cancel my trip. Imagine my surprise to find out that my insurance I purchased through World Nomads (even though the company took my money) would not have covered me for anything the entire time I was in Egypt. They don’t make any traveler aware that even though you have an insurance plan, it’s zero coverage for Egypt. Please get the word out there so travellers are aware!

      2. Please don’t advertise for World Nomads. They take your money for an insurance plan but you don’t have any coverage for Egypt even though the plan you purchased from them says you are covered for Egypt. Zero coverage. I got that in writing from World Nomads after I had to cancel my Egypt trip!

    1. It is good to know of individuals traveling in 2019. We will be doing so, in October. From what I read, I will probably only spend a few nights in Cairo — as I like the rural areas much better. We will be with a private tour, but I think safety should be ok.

      As for dress, women need to wear long pants or skirts, and men, long pants. Do you see shorts at all in Hurgada, at the swimming pools, in Jordan?

      Thanks

  3. Last month, I was down there in Egypt for 2 weeks. I have been discovered almost all the best places out there. Thanks to Travco Holidays for making my trip so wonderful and for the nice and friendly behavior towards me.

  4. What a great blog! This is such an amazing post. Thank you for sharing with us and glad to you for advice. I have visited with my family and we enjoyed our trip safely. Egypt is the best ancient place for tourist and there are very things to learn also. This is mainly famous for Pyramids of Giza, the Nile, and Cairo. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and such a wonderful place. Keep blogging like this.

  5. What a great blog! This is such an amazing post. Thank you for sharing with us and glad to you for advice. I have visited with my family to spending our vacation with the help of Ask-Aladdin and we enjoyed our trip with safe. Egypt is the best ancient place for tourist and there are very things to learn also. This is mainly famous for Pyramids of Giza, the Nile and Cairo. Cairo is the capital of Egypt and such a wonderful place. Keep blogging like this.

  6. “Egypt is not the first place most people think of when they’re preparing for a holiday” – so funny and interesting to read an American view on it 🙂
    For Europeans, Egypt was the cheap and easy getaway since early 90s’. It still is. Chartered flights and last-minute packages to Sharm el Sheik and Hurghada made it one of the three most popular destinations for package vacation and cruises on the Nile (among Tunisia and Turkey) for Polish, Germans, and French. Like seriously in Poland almost everyone and their mother has been to Egypt, it was actually the first place for me to travel solo back in 2009 because it was an obvious choice 😀

    1. That’s SO funny. For Americans, going to Egypt is like a once in a lifetime thing! Plus most Americans are nervous to travel there. Maybe it’s geography, maybe it’s the media…who knows!?

        1. The Government Travel website has it classified as the same level as spain. Level 2 (which is down from a level 3 in previous years). This is the same classifications of many different European countries. If youre smart and come prepared, Cairo is incredibly safe.

      1. I think its all of the above but I am in a place where I will be doing everything I am able to do especially when it comes to traveling.

  7. That was an awesome read.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience.
    What I’m so sure about is that you’ve got the real authentic Egyptian experience by touring like a local.

    Regards,

  8. Hi Jeremy! Thank you so much for your informative article! I’ve always dreamed of going to Egypt and I would love to go with a tour company this September. The problem is that I am a Latin American woman who looks extremely arabic, and my husband is a tall white American. We’ve had problems and harrasments in the US from Muslim men thinking that I’m a Muslim woman who betrayed her roots by going with a white man. I was wondering if you saw any Muslim woman with white men and how did people treat them? I know of a Latin woman who went with her white husband, and she had rocks thrown at her, insulted, and her hair was pulled. What do you think? Thanks!

  9. Thank you for this post and the plug to a great tour guide! I plan to contact him to set the ball rolling. I love traveling and have been fortunate that my kids have the same love. One of my college professors was from Egypt but I have lost contact with him. My 5 years old just informed me that she wants to see the pyramids and the Great Sphinx soooooo… I’m planning a trip. Thanks for the information and insight you have provided!

  10. My experience was different as I have family that lives in Egypt. My father in law is a native Egyptian and my Mother in law who now has dual citizenship. I had long blonde hair and was told don’t worry about the scarf you’ll look like a fake Egyptian and it’s generally laughed at, they know you’re a tourist and believe me they want and need tourism therr. As a tourist you don’t have to wear full hijab but I chose to be respectful and cover my legs and men cover there’s too. Noone wears shorts (men & women alike), you’ll stick out like a sore thumb male or female if you do. And we were there in a heat wave of 108 in August. Don’t book your trip due Ramadan everything stays closed for a long time. If you don’t have family you must go with a tour guide or group unless you speak Arabic you WILL be hassled and pay tourists prices. Be prepared to take pictures, they love to take pictures with Americans, never did I feel unsafe, but we did have my Father in law who is a prominent figure in Egypt, I am not sure that we would have had the same experience traveling there without his assistance. Have a local person is essential. Sinai is the contentious peninsula and noone travels there ( who knows anything about the current climate there meaning radicals etc.). We went in August 2015 and it was very hot, you can’t drink faucet water, everyone drinks bottled and you should do the same. The Mediterranean by Costa del Sol where we stayed for awhile was frought with mosquitoes, they fumigated nightly. Cairo is heavily populated and to me smelled alot like burning trash, the traffic is insane forget traffic laws etc. Therr will be donkeys andbtuk tuks alike on the roads, camels closer to the pyramids. There’s a lot of noise and honking, and the city comes alive at night ( maybe to avoid the heat).You see the cloud of smog when you leave the city, I felt better staying at the North Coast of Egypt just physically. It was an amazing trip, I ft a lot of love from the Egyptian people, no matter what I write it doesn’t compare to the actual experience, be prepared for people to take pictures of your kids and ask to take pictures with you, tourists are getting pretty rare, at one Church a child begged to have a picture in the middle of a tour and I obliged, sometimes it was exhausting as I just wanted to see the sights, but at the same time it wasn’t stares in a bad way I would hate to be a celebrity!!

    1. To Kristen,
      Your experience was extremely informative for me as I was fearing I would never be able to see the pyramids of Egypt. Obviously it helps to have a father in law from the country, but short of that, as I have no relatives in that part of the world, the way the country has been portrayed in the news makes many of us fearful of traveling there; hence the drop in tourism. Being a single woman I have never felt uncomfortable traveling anywhere by myself, but I can see it would be in my best interests to travel with a group to Egypt. Thank you again for sharing your experience.

      1. I stumbled upon this blog when doing a search of whether or not it is safe to travel to Egypt but for a very unusual reason. My 17 year old daughter is in mad, mad love with a 25 year old man living in Egypt. He’s actually from Yemen but works and lives in Cairo. They have declared their unwavering love and devotion to one another. We tried putting the ax to this by taking away any and all electronics. It was successful for a time but she found a way to keep reaching out to him. Finally I agreed to talk with the young man. He seems nice enough and genuinely cares about my daughter’s well being. They say they will wait for each other, her to graduate high school and then college. He had or has a dream to move to Canada but realistically I don’t see how that is ever going to happen. So my fear is that she will find a way to get to him eventually and so my search for just how safe can one be in Egypt. I’m still not convinced it would be a good idea for her.

  11. Before I came to Egypt I found Rami on this Internet blog and decided to contact him. From our first communication it was clear that Rami was genuinely doing all he could to show people The beauty of Egypt from a local perspective and to give everyone who came to know him the best experience possible.
    I arrived in Cairo on the 13th of September and stayed for two weeks.
    During my entire stay Rami was constantly doing what he could to make sure I got to experience all that I wanted to see. His hospitality and generosity really made an impression on me, it was as if I was apart of his family. Aside from all the places i went in Giza, Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel etc,( I was drawn to the ancient culture and spiritual/metaphysical side of things which rami and I connected on very well) Rami is very knowledgable about the places I visited, but I also got to experience things like a local and I went to many family lunches and even a wedding haha! Rami is very organised and committed to giving his guests a good time and I can honestly say that I had an amazing time. The price of things is very reasonable much cheaper than a typical tour, it also has many other beneficial aspects that really allow you to see what Egyptian culture is really about. If your thinking of going to Egypt regardless of how long or short your stay I very much recommend you contact Rami he is a lovely person that will do all he can for you, he is someone I will remain friends with for life and I know I will go back to visit him more in the future.thank you so much Rami 🙂

  12. Directly as a result of reading this article about Rami, I booked a tour with him. I believe in having rounded accounts of experiences and it is for that reason I am writing this, so that people can make informed choices, this is not a personal attack on him. My opinion, from my experience, is that Rami is first and foremost a business man and as such profit is top of his list. This contradicts some parts of this article and what Rami himself told me. Of course, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make a profit, it’s just that Rami has spiel, like most sales people, to suggest otherwise.
    I absolutely loved my experience in Egypt and members of Rami’s family that I met were very kind and lovely. If you are thinking of visiting Egypt then I recommend you do.

  13. I’m glad I found your site. We are planning a very short trip at the end of December. I’m hoping your friend Rami can assist.

  14. Hi so he say we can marry but we have to live somewhere else like spain other country because they kill americans
    I think they kill white people
    Well im native american so i don’t rhink im in the list
    What you think??

  15. Hi , my fiance is from Egypt but he dont want me to go there he say is not safe is 2016

    .its really that bad?? Or maybe excuses from him

    Can someone reply me back

  16. Hi Jeremy,

    I went to Thomson Travel Agent today to buy a trip to Egypt, but was told that you can not visit the Pyramids at the moment. Is this true?

    Kind regards,
    Gladis

    1. To be honest, I can’t remember. It varied from day to day, because we were always doing different things. He paid for everything up front and I paid him back at the end of the day. The amount is obviously going to be very different depending on what you’re doing. I suggest emailing him for further information.

  17. Brilliant to read your article. Thank you and thanks for providing Rami’s contact details. Do you pay him up front or as you go (depending on what and where you want him to take you to). Also would he meet at the airport etc?

    1. Hi Margo,

      I paid him daily at the end of every day, which meant he would actually pay for me up front. I don’t know if this is his standard practice, but it’s what he and I agreed on. He can definitely make arrangements for you at the airport—just send him an email and I’m sure he’ll take care of you.

  18. Traveling to Cairo /Dahab in November with my husband, would be interested in his information also!! This article still has me nervous, but excited!

  19. Also traveling to Cairo /Dahab in November with my husband, would be interested in his information also!!

  20. Thanks for the post Jeremy. My trip isn’t until November so I have some time to plan things out. Do you know if Rami host/assist women? Just want to be sure before I reach out to him. Thanks!

  21. I just returned from a three week stay in Cairo, and I never felt unsafe at all. I am a 5’10”, redhead from New York, so I definitely stood out, but I found the Egyptians extremely kind, although I felt like ET with the way people stared at me!!! Women would hand me their babies and take pictures!! True, I was with my Egyptian male cousin, so I don’t know if my experience would have been different if I was not with a male companion. I saw very few tourists, and that is just so sad. Egypt is hurting from the lack of tourists, and I found them to be extremely hospitable to me.

  22. Hi Jeremy!
    Do you still keep in touch with Rami?
    I’m planning on going to Egypt this summer and I was looking for a tourist guide or someone to show me around?

  23. HI Jeremy, I am booked to go to Egypt this summer with my two kids (14 & 18). It is on my bucket list and I want them to see it in case the opportunity is not there for them in the future. Does my daughter need to cover up completely? As a North American this is a strange concept to her! Also are American’s treated any differently? (we are Canadian, but we all sound the same this side of the world!) Thanks for your insight!

    1. Hi Todd,

      You and your family will definitely have an eye-opening experience! She will definitely need to be covered up at sacred and religious sites, but for just walking around, I don’t think it’s a problem.

      Having a different color skin is the big thing that sets the travelers apart from the locals. As a foreigner in a developing country, you will be targeted (sometimes aggressively) by hawkers and the like—people who want you to buy things from them. Just be prepared for it and you should be okay.

      Have a great trip!

    2. Its really fine in Egypt its not that bad for tourists im sure you will have a great experience and i advise you to visit dahab louxor and aswan its really beautiful magical places that you will never regret being there most of the people are helpful and they are not aggressive towards tourists its just their habit its they way some people are here in Egypt hope you enjoy
      Have a nice trip!

  24. hi i am from ethiopia and i wanted to ask how much will i be expected to pay from the city to giza and back…and come visit ethiopia u will love it here.

    1. hi am wondering if you ever made it to Egypt.Am an Ethiopian female who is planning on travelling there in a few months. i would like to know if it’s safe for an Ethiopian to go right now and just want to hear about your whole experience

  25. My family and I went to Egypt in 1979. Not much conflict then particularly with President Carter joining Israel and Egypt’s hands then. It was no more touristy than Cairo and Giza but I will never forget it. The people seemed very friendly, though I was a young teen, it could have been the tourist nature of it.

  26. Hi Jeremy, I’m so glad I read your post. I’ve traveled to Egipt 3 years ago and I was blessed because I also meet Rami Elshaer’s and yes he is the man. He makes you feel in home. I totally recommend to the people about to travel contact him.

  27. Thanks Jeremy for your comment. I have talked to my friend and he assures me I will be safe because I will be travelling through Egypt with a local and will definitely stay away from the areas mentioned.

  28. Thanks for the wonderful post! I’m currently living in Morocco and I will be traveling to Egypt in September and staying with a friend and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit nervous. I wouldn’t be going without her and without having other friends and contacts in Egypt.

    However, I do maintain and standby the notion that people are generally good and only want the best for you. It sounds like this was your experience as well! We, as travelers, can only hope for people like Rami to meet on our ventures!

    Thanks for sharing!

      1. It’s been nice reading everybody’s exoeriences. Im planning to travel to Egypt in late November. I have a friend who lives there. But all my friends and family are telling me not to go because women get kidnapped and raped. Also there is concern for terrorism. I really really want to go but with all this said I’m feeling scared. I have white blonde hair and I’m told this is not good. Could you please tell me is this just a exaggeration of what goes on in Egypt or should I have real fear? Thanks 🙂

        1. I would talk to your friend to get a feel for the current climate. As I noted, there is conflict in Egypt in many forms. You have to be smart and wary. But if you keep your head about you, and stick to the places I mentioned, I imagine that you will be fine. Yes, there is some exaggeration, but there is also some truth.

        2. There are lots of blonde girls there also its okay you wont be kidnapped and these stuff and having and egyptian friend make things better you will be conpletely safe

  29. Thanks for the great article! I am headed to Cairo in 21 days. Would you hesitate to return to Cairo at this point in time? I only have a short stint planned in Cairo for 3 days, but the media is messing with my mind. Any additional tips would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Kwayne, Would love to hear how you got on with your trip.
      I would love to visit in late October and am just trying to do my homework.
      Cheers

  30. Wow, a really interesting read about a place in the world that few seem to be talking about, or visiting, these days. Ive dived on the Sinai a few years ago and it seemed very safe then, but of course there’s no guarantees anywhere. Thanks for bringing the full spectrum of views to the table

  31. Egypt is in fact # 1 on my places to travel to on holiday actually. I have wanted to go ever since I learned about the pyramids when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. I am envious x1000000 of you right now, but thrilled you answered my question as to whether or not it’s safe. Sadly, even though I am an adult, and I can do whatever I damn well please, my father would shit 20 bricks if I even mentioned to him my going to Egypt… You see, he used to work in risk management, so he always thinks about the absolute worst. I just got back from Taiwan, and prior to the trip, I was to not discuss it with him because he was so fearful, but now that I am back, he is more than interested, ha ha ah!!!

    Where to go next, where to go next? 😉

  32. I adore your encounter and experience with Rami — he seems genuine and downright awesome. Gotta love that Couchsurfing community!

  33. Nice story, but it’s a little bit onesided in my opinion. So far, terrorism in Egypt is targetting security forces and military, except for one or two exceptions…. Many parts of Egypt are so far quite safe to travel to, especially Red Sea coast outside Sinai peninsular has not had real terrorist threat so far….
    As for tourist scams, it’s not more or less then anywhere else. Gizeh is indeed bad, the site is fabulous but I would recommend organized tours to visit….same for Luxor and Aswan.
    But after having visited Cairo 3 times and Hurghada 6 times and Aswan and Luxor twice in the past 3 years, I can say that I’ve never had hospitality as perfect as I have found in Egypt. Yes, security is a thing these days, but it looks we need to get used to, it seems to be more and more common that it’s necessary to have strong security in place, it seems it’s the direction where society currently goes to…..we have to deal with it or stay at home….

    1. Hi Marcel,

      That’s exactly what I said. Many places are safe to travel and terrorist targets have been almost exclusively military related. I would recommend reading the whole article. I also didn’t experience any tourist scams, just aggressive people.

  34. Lovely read. Brought back so many awesome memories of Egypt. I visited last year and my experience was similar. Thank you for sharing !

  35. Interesting take on Egypt. To be sure, scuba diving wasn’t on our list, but the pyramids were.

    I couldn’t tell you what it was, but the hairs on my back prickled while in Cairo in such a way I hadn’t felt since some iffy streets in Bangkok. A sixth sense, if you like – I was being watched, or was surrounded by people I didn’t like the look of and didn’t trust one bit. Combine that with the Egyptian manner of driving, the layers of touts, and the heat, and I was on edge virtually the entire time I wasn’t in the hotel room.

    Is it safe to travel to Cairo? Safe enough, statistically speaking. If you’re of the risk averse type, it’s probably not the best place to go.

    1. Hey Chris–Yes, there’s a strange vibe in Cairo, or just Egypt in general. It’s different, and no, it’s not for everybody. I think you nailed my main point home–if you’re of the risk averse type, Egypt may not be for you. But if you really want to get your hands dirty, it’s an interesting place to be.

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