A trip to Egypt has been something I’ve dreamed about since I was a child and watched excitedly on television as they explored the Treasures of Tutankhamun on National Geographic in the 1970’s. It probably helped that half my 2nd grade class was singing the Steve Martin song from Saturday Night Live and his comedy tours. Sure, I know that Egypt isn’t really like that, but the song is so damn catchy.
Anyway, the idea of going to Egypt, exploring the Nile, climbing the great pyramids, and of course getting a bullwhip and wearing my funny Indiana Jones hat while walking through the souks and bazaars looking for the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Yeah, perhaps no other land in the world is as filled with odd stereotypical perceptions as that of Egypt. So, aside from the curses of mummies – what else should you be careful of if you are planning on discovering Egypt?
There are still demonstrations happening in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, Alexandria and other cities. It’s advised that you avoid demonstrations – by and large foreigners have had no major problems in Egypt though there have been several arrests of foreign nationals since the Arab Spring, but still, as the song says “Mind your own business.”
Terrorism is a big concern right now in Egypt, especially the Sinai resort areas, expat areas, and touristic destinations. That’s not to say an attack will happen, but the chances are higher than normal. I’m not saying that you will have problems if you go to Egypt now, but simply that it is better that you should expect trouble than it find you unaware. A million and a half Brits visited Egypt last year and most of them had no problems.
My advice is to carry a copy of your passport with you at all times and to keep your passport itself in a hotel safe or secure location. Avoid the border crossings with Palestine and Israel since these are extremely tense areas
All of that being said- if you go to Egypt right now, you can see the pyramids and museums at Luxor without the massive tourist crowds, you will probably experience Egypt in a more authentic way than visitors have been able to since the 1970’s and on top of that, the prices are at rock bottom right now.