Are you traveling to Egypt and need information on how to remain safe during your trip? Below are nine tips that will keep you safer in Egypt as you tour your dream destinations.
Since the fall of President Morsi during the Arab spring, incidences of Terrorism are on the rise. Most occur in the North Sinai against government security agencies. Where Jihadi groups like Wilayet-Sinai are battling military forces.
A Russian plane also went down over the Sinai on its way to Russia, though the Egyptian/Russian authorities have not accepted that it was a terror attack, the crash was claimed by daesh and is widely believed to have been the result of terror bombing.
Explosions were also recorded in Coptic churches in Tanta and Alexandria during the Palm Sunday (April 2017). Another gun attack was recorded in Monya in May 2017 where 30 Christian pilgrims were killed. Daesh has claimed responsibility for both attacks.
In response the Egyptian authorities have upgraded their airport security while President Sisi declared a 3-month state of emergency following the attacks. If you find yourself in any terrorist attack situation, do you best to look for the nearest secured sancconciergestake cover.
After the ouster of Mubarak, a 2014 law has made it harder to organize protests, though the law was intended to deter the Muslim Brotherhood from gathering en masse, they are still pockets of protests in flashpoints across the country. The most recent of which was the spring protest against the government’s plan to hand over red sea islands to Saudi Authorities. If caught in a protest, quickly find your way to safety.
Crime and theft
Despite the negative media, crime is less prevalent in Egypt than in most Europeans countries, you can safely leave your belongings with guards and concierges and still get it back intact. Locals frown against stealing from guests. They would rather steal from; locked hotel rooms and even safes, so keep your belongings safe in a locked suitcase.
Scams and hustles
Egyptians have always been hustlers who as far back as the 14th century, fleeced the King of Mali of all his Gold so much that he had to borrow money to get back home. Most Egyptians will offer you tea on the streets in genuine interest but in areas heavily frequented by tourists, ‘hello my friend’, might also mean ‘I have goods I wanna sell, your bag of money. They have also taken up the “don’t you remember me?’ and ” I work in your hotel” line used in other third world countries. Always be wary of people pushing themselves on you, as all they will be after might be your patronage.
Taken for a ride
Most taxis in Cairo have up to date meters that bill accordingly. But there may be drivers who take advantage of a visitor’s lack of familiarity in the area and overcharge them in the process. Be sure you know how much you will be paying before you embark on a ride. Another safe option is to take an Uber. Most tourists say the safest option is to have the hotel where you are staying book you a taxi.
Most shop owners in Egypt will sell you items they claim are hand-crafted, but most are hand produced an imported from China. Also, you will be offered antiquities as souvenirs. Truth is, most of the Antika are only as old as the time they were covered in dust and left under the sun to fade. Egypt has a law banning the sales of antiques, so if they were real, you would be breaking a law without even knowing.
When in the land of the Pharaohs, mind what and where you eat, avoid unfamiliar and large meals. Also, use bottled water for teeth brushing and drinking. Be sure to drink enough water during the day to avoid dehydration.
There are unexploded landmines from World War II along the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts. Those areas are often closed off and designated with signs, whenever you are in doubt ask a local for help.
Recently bag snatchings have been on the increase, always carry your bag across your body or on the side away from the road. Don’t go out between 1 am and 2 am, don’t go to an ATM alone at night and also be conscious of your surroundings.
Above all else:
- Be sure to check in with your consulate/ Embassy after arriving if they have any issues in the news lately.
- Keep your wallet and passport in a safe place.
- Always be vigilant in cities and keep clear of large gatherings to be on the safe side.
Nonetheless, Egypt is a place we highly recommend to travel as it has some of the world’s most unique historical attractions. Just bear in mind that just like anywhere else, there are safety issues in Egypt that all travelers should be aware about.
Happy travel planning to Egypt!