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Egypt Travel Tips for First Time Visitors

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I am a part time writer, part time traveler, full time IT professional loving the adventures that life offers us each day.

Are you planning to visit Egypt in 2020?

If your answer is yes, then this Hub will provide you with the necessary tourist information to make your visit to this exciting country very pleasurable. I've visited Egypt a couple of times and all advice I provide, is based on my own experiences. The past seven years have been a turbulent period in the "Land of the Pharaohs" causing the tourism industry to take a serious beating.

Please always review your country's own travel advisories for Egypt, before making any booking.

travelling-the-mighty-nile

Introduction

The Mighty Nile

Felucca on the River Nile

Felucca on the River Nile

Egypt, land of mystery. Green treasure in the harsh North African desert. For millennia this mysterious land has drawn visitors to its shores, to experience the magic that is Egypt! The mighty Nile, bringer of life and key to the very survival of the Ancient kingdoms of Egypt and Nubia, has been the magnet, which has lead visitors down to Upper Egypt (Southern) and sometimes as far south as Nubia.

— ogrote

Egypt, Why Egypt?

Alley of Rams at Karnak Temple, Luxor.

Alley of Rams at Karnak Temple, Luxor.

So the question that might be asked is, "What makes this country and especially the Nile so captivating?" The answer lies in the human search for adventure and discovery. In Egypt, you will discover something new around every corner and if you plan your visit correctly, you will experience an adventure like nothing before. Most people visit Egypt to go to the Pyramids and to experience a Nile Cruise. I've decided to create the following Hub to share my opinion on what I feel are the most important places to visit in Egypt. I'll be focusing on a couple of areas of interest:

  • General Egyptian Travel Advice
  • Safety Precautions
  • Cairo and surrounds
  • Aswan and surrounds
  • Luxor and surrounds
  • Nile Cruise and the sites you might encounter

Travel Advice for Egypt

Do your research and homework before you leave home!

The Importance of planning, prior to your visit.

Sunset in Cairo, Lower Egypt

Sunset in Cairo, Lower Egypt

The first rule before visiting Egypt, or any foreign destination for that matter, is to do the necessary research to ensure you have a pleasant and enjoyable trip. This can however be quite a stressful exercise. So let's first get the stressful questions addressed, before we start focusing on the fun part of the planning.

Map of Egypt

Magical Egypt! - The People of Egypt makes every visit worthwhile!

Local Egyptians in the vicinity of the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Local Egyptians in the vicinity of the Step Pyramid at Saqqara.

Is it safe to travel to Egypt?

Egypt, as a Middle Eastern country, has gone through a lot of public unrest in the past couple of years (since late 2010), due to the popular uprising against the government of Hosni Mubarak. The tourist industry has suffered a lot due to these uncertainties. There is currently a couple of bad reports coming out of Egypt, relating to tourists being impacted. The best rule would be, to do various searches on the Internet relating to violence and uprisings in Egypt. You can also go to the British or American Governmental websites where the necessary travel alerts are posted. Your tour company will also inform you, if extra care should be taken. The most important thing to remember is that tourism is the lifeblood of the Egyptian economy. A lot of care is taken to ensure that all tourists are being looked after. Hundreds of people visit Egypt every day, having a fantastic time.

The Sphinx in the night sky.

The Sphinx in the night sky.

What is your opinion on the current situation in Egypt?

Health Watch.

1) Visit your local travel clinic, prior to your departure.

2) Take some precautionary medicine.

3) Take bottled water, with you when you go and visit the temples or Pyramids.

Do I need any special Immunisations?

The answer to this question will differ from individual to individual. Best would be to go to your nearest Travel Clinic for information. These clinics will have the latest International health warnings available and they will advise you, on any required medication. Important to always take some precautionary medicine (diarrhea, cold and flu, nausea) with you, when you travel to destinations where doctors or pharmacies might not be easily accessible. In Cairo you will not have any problem finding a doctor or pharmacy, but it will be more difficult in Southern Egypt. Always ensure you have enough chronic and prescription medicine with you. Remember to pack lots of sunblock. Purchase a lot of bottled water at the hotels, shops etc. as you will need a lot of fluid in the Egyptian heat.

Finance Matters

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travelling-the-mighty-nile

Will I be able to use my credit card?

Credit cards are accepted at most of the hotels and on most of the Nile cruises. It is however advisable for visitors to take travellers checks in U.S. Dollars, as well as, a couple of hundred Dollars in cash. Change bureaus are generally available.

What about Tipping/Baksheesh?

It is advisable to keep a lot of small denomination cash at all times. The reason for this? In Egypt, tipping (baksheesh) is a way of life. No service is carried out without the expectation of a tip. This can be become quite frustrating, if you urgently need the use of a restroom and you haven't got small cash at hand. There might be some frowns if you don't give a tip. Try to also get a feel for the local prices (e.g. the price of a can of 330 ml Coke might be L.E.3 - 3 Egyptian Pounds - but some of the small shop owners might try their luck and charge you more. It is best to question the price, if you do feel comfortable with your surroundings, if not, rather just pay the price asked.

Egyptian Weather Report

What will the weather be like?

Grand Pyramids Hotel, Giza Egypt

Grand Pyramids Hotel, Giza Egypt

Egypt has got a harsh climate, especially in summer. The best time to visit Egypt is in winter (December, January, and February). Spring and autumn are also not too bad, but you must be prepared for still some very hot days during this period. Southern Egypt does get a lot hotter than the North - be prepared!

Dress Code - Religious Respect