TRAVEL IN EGYPT: IS IT SAFE?
As a result of news coverage for areas of North Africa and the Middle East, we regularly get questions about safety in Egypt. Although the Egyptian Revolution in 2011 nearly destroyed the tourism industry in Egypt, it is slowly recovering.
Since the revolution, Egypt has stabilized and is once again one of the hottest vacation destinations in the world. Egypt works hard to maintain safety and security for all its guests, and there are police located at every major historical attraction to ensure that any tourists who need assistance have it available.
The biggest risk you may encounter while visiting Egypt is being asked to visit shops, ride camels or horses, or have other vendors approach you selling their wares. Egyptians are entrepreneurial, often own their own small businesses, and gain business by asking potential clients to visit their shops.
Some tourists can find constantly being approached by shop owners to be a hassle or annoying, and that is where tour guides come in handy. Having an Egyptian guide with you helps streamline your vacation and allows you to shop when you want, rather than constantly being asked to visit shops.
To read more about Egypt's safety ratings, you can visit this link. A recent study placed Egypt at number 16 in the world for safety, which is further evidence that Egypt is not only one of the most awe-inspiring places to visit, but also one of the safest countries in the world.
If you have any other questions about safety in Egypt, feel free to contact us and ask any questions! We have an staff member from the United States that will be happy to answer any safety and security questions for you!
Egypt is a primarily Muslim country, with the majority of Egyptians practicing Sunni Islam. The other major religion of Egypt is Coptic Christianity, and often churches and mosques are built next to each other.
Islam has 5 prayer times throughout the day, and the call to prayer can be heard being played from the local mosques throughout the country. There are also extra prayer services on Fridays and during life events, such as funerals.
Egyptians are very welcoming to tourists. Egyptian culture is friendly, kind, and warm, and it is normal for shop owners to invite guests to drink tea or coffee as a gesture of hospitality. This is not to trick/trap you into buying something, and there is no obligation if you accept tea from a shop owner.
Egyptian culture is direct. If you are approached to buy something and you are not interested, say so firmly and clearly, and (in most cases) that will result in them leaving. There are some instances of persistent vendors, but usually this is in cases of people not saying clearly that they are not interested. Be clear and direct with what you need or do not need to avoid confusion.
Negotiation of prices is normal and culturally acceptable. If you see something that you would like to buy, but the price seems very expensive, ask for a better price. With Mimo Tours, our guides are already working to help you get a better price for shopping items (unless it is a set-price store), and it is helpful to have an idea of what you are willing to pay for an item before you start negotiating. Please also keep in mind that Egypt is a relatively poor country, and your purchase is helping support a family. Be reasonable with your expected prices.
Clothing questions are one of the most common questions we encounter when people book tours with us. While local Egyptians often wear Western clothing, showing skin outside of nightlife events is generally frowned upon.
Tourists are free to wear anything they like, but please be considerate of the local culture in Egypt. It is respectful to avoid wearing clothing that shows nipples, buttocks, or large portions of the midriff. If you do choose to wear skin-exposing clothing, be aware that you will likely get many stares and people will ask for photos with you.
Finally, come with patience! There are approximately 20 million people living the Cairo/Giza area, and with a population of this size, you will undoubtedly encounter traffic and delays. Remember everyone is doing the best they can.
Feel free to contact us with any additional questions! We are happy to answer any inquiries.