When announced to my friends and family that was my first destination of my indefinite trip around the world travels was Egypt I was greeted with mixed reactions. Some people called me brave, others thought I had lost my mind, and others tried to talk me out of it, citing that Egypt was unpredictable and dangerous.
Honestly all these warnings affected me a little bit, it made me concerned about my decision and I debated starting in Egypt was a smart idea, but I held fast believing in the goodness of people and disregarding what the media.
Well I went to Egypt. I saw the sites, ate the food, experienced the cultural, but did I think Egypt is safe. Here is the current situation in Egypt that will help you deiced if Egypt is a place you want to visit right now.
Is Egypt Safe for Tourist?
Almost everything that is happening in Egypt right now Stems out of the 2011 revolution, which started in Cairo, made national headlines and spread throughout the Middle East.
If you talk to a local for more than 5 minutes, chances are that will hear about the revolution. I talked to people in Cairo, tour guides, hostel staff. One night I drank tea in the desert with a group of farmers. They didn’t speak English nor I Egyptian, but it was obvious that the conversation was about Mubarak and the current situation. Politics is on the tip of everyone’s tongue everywhere in Egypt.
This is what I have gathered from the locals. Before 2011 Egypt was a police state. The law enforcement held the real power of the country. The Police could pull anyone over, for any reason, and hold you for any amount of time they deemed necessary. This is one of the reasons the Egyptians revolted, and when they people “won” their freedom the police backed away and as a punishment they have never come back. This can explain a lot of the Chaos in the city, a lot of aren’t enforced and know people look on them like suggestions.
What’s this mean for tourist?
When the revolution started the Egyptian government had to evacuate all the tourist, and the tourist has never come back.
Overnight Egypt dropped, from 8th in the world for tourism to not even being ranked, and 25% percent of the country’s economy. People working in tourism, or selling souvenirs went from making a decent living to making nothing overnight. Now tourist get hassled everywhere they go as the Egyptians are competing for the few tourist that visit.
So is it safe to travel to Egypt right now.
Honestly, it depends how you define safe.
Are the streets filled with riots? No.
Is your life in danger? You have to be more careful, but No.
Will you get hassled, conned, and taunted? Yes.
I felt safe in most parts of Egypt, with the expectation of certain parts of Cairo at night. Egyptians want the tourist to come back badly.
However, the locals that con and hassel you try to make you feel safe.Also, foreign women are not treated with respect and will get taunted.
You should still take some follow a few rules for safety when going to Egypt. Most of these precautions apply to Cairo; alot of the locals I talked to said that they don’t even recognize the city anymore. They would point to street vendors hassling tourist, and people fighting. Everyone one of them people I talked to told me that before the revolution, it wasn’t like that. Cairo is chaos; you will see that before you even get out of the airport.
You can still visit the city and if you follow these tips you will be safe.
Always be street smart.
Go out in groups at night, or let people know where you are going. If I was out by myself I made sure I was back to my hostel by nine or ten.
Outside of the major markets some street vendors, will try to charge for looking. I found it easier to avoid eye contact and ignore most street vendors.
For a female to visit Cairo alone. Although I did meet two females that were both solo traveling it and they were safe.
The Rest of Egypt
Outside of Cairo the Egypt seemed like a different world.
You get hassled and you have to accept that you are going to get conned out of a few dollars here and there, but you’re not in more physical harm than you are anywhere else in the world.
However, I would recommend doing a tour if you are visiting Egypt now if you are visiting Egypt. I love and hate tours, but they will always keep you in large groups, away from bad areas, and get you to certain sights easily.
If you backpack by yourself there are certain areas in Northern Sinai that you want to avoid. Mainly because of bickering between soldiers.
Egypt is a country that is hurting, but they want to recover, they want the tourist back, and they are hungry for more. You don’t need to stay away for safety reasons. There are so many things to do in Egypt that it is a country that you don’t want to miss, but you do need to have you guard up, plan things out, and learn some safety tips.
If you are heading to Egypt then there is a good choice chance you are heading to Jordan as well. Check out if Jordan is safe for solo travelers.