Replies: 33 - Last Post: Oct 17, 2012 10:51 AM Last Post By: catw
Sep 13, 2012 5:33 PM
Egyptian SafetyHey all,
I am traveling to Egypt next week for 9 days. I plan on doing a nile cruise, Alexandria, and Cairo. Oh and I am American. Is there any reason to think violence will get further out of hand and they will pull US citizens. How safe is it to travel around Cairo? I am Mexican American so I don't think I will stand out TOO much and I don't plan on participating in demonstrations, however a lot of my loved ones have been asking me to look into the safety. Would appreciate any feedback from people who are out there now.
Sep 13, 2012 7:49 PM
1Obviously no one here has a crystal ball, but in my experience traveling throughout Egypt last year during their problems as long as you use common sense and avoid any areas where demonstrations are taking place (which is pretty easy to do as they all take place in and around the same general areas) you should be fine.
The vast majority of Egyptians are not taking part in this violence and want it to stop.
Sep 13, 2012 10:07 PM
Sep 14, 2012 12:54 AM
Sep 14, 2012 3:36 AM
Sep 14, 2012 4:08 AM
5A response by Matthew Teller, Middle East travel writer/blogger in response to Frommer's blog warning about Egypt travel for US citizens:
Sep 14, 2012 8:53 PM
6Just a quick comment on Mathew teller's response " ALL THE ACTION IS JUST AROUND THE EMBASSY, 2 streets away you fell nothing, just day to day life" I think wonderfull, then Americans are beter making Egypt their first touristic destination. They will be totally safe bringing in hard currency to the very country in which their embassy is being assalted and attacked....Yes it is safe after all.
He also mentioned Egypt's tourism industry is $ 833m down....I guess that is for a reason...a very solid not so good reason and as long as this reason is valid pleasure travel should not be encouraged... Really anyone likes to be where he knows he is hated..even if his safty is guaranteed
Sep 15, 2012 8:00 PM
7The comparisons of safe to unsafe should be apples to apples, such as Egypt to Syria, Egypt to Libya, Egypt to other middle eastern countries, not comparisons to New York. We have family who left Egypt for New York years ago. It is a safe city without mobs breaking into government buildings, rampant protests, constant encampments, etc. So, stop comparing safety in Egypt and other areas of the "spring" to New York.
Family and friends are telling us not to travel to Egypt. We've been asking Egyptian taxi drivers, airport workers with family in Egypt, Egyptian restaurant owners, etc., and they say the same - wait.
The state department is more concerned in forgiving debt and politics than an individual traveler's safety. It even says on the state department website they do not help out individuals - they warn to have travel insurance and other ways to get help. For a more official take, see the Australian and New Zealand websites for what are warnings to individual travelers. Others (not all) posting on this site seem to live there or be in tourism. We have followed posts by pretty much the same people for about two years. They like to say it is safe and slam people who have alternate views.
We want to visit Egypt and had planned to go in February, right when the "spring" occurred. We were going to try again in December or January. But really, why worry about being in a "mob" that might hurt you. The blogs and posts say it is small group. But it would truly suck if you are in that mob and are killed or injured.
There are other places to visit in the world, like New York.I don't work in the travel business so I don't profit. I'm not a travel writer who needs sources for blogs. Stay safe, think of your family, and wait. Egypt has been there for thousands of years. Hopefully it will get it's a act together like New York has and it will one day be safe to visit and a great tourist destination Right now is not that time. Sorry this is long but there are safer places to go right now.
Sep 16, 2012 7:19 AM
Sep 16, 2012 11:54 AM
Sep 16, 2012 5:56 PM
10I've never posted to this forum before, but I've been watching the situation in Egypt very closely since we're hoping to make our first visit next Summer. As an American, of course I've been concerned.
Thus said, it seems like the situation has been resolved. There has been nothing new ordered by the US about not visiting, no updates on the State Department website, and there have been no reported cases of violence against Americans during this embassy protest. I've read numerous reports from tourists on the ground during this all, and other than a few people stuck in hotels close to the embassy for a brief period of time, it looked okay. I'm hearing now that it's pretty back to normal.
I haven't heard of any protests in Egypt at all other than at the embassy and in Tahrir Square. So if someone wanted to go to Cairo, which is a huge city, and felt nervous about it, couldn't they just fly in and immediately scoot over to a hotel in Giza. Conceivably, you could even fly into Luxor or Alexandria by transfer.
Thus said, unless something major happens, this American still looks forward to visiting Egypt next year. I hear tourism is low, and so many of the sites have few crowds.
I don't think anyone would avoid coming to the U.S. because of the Occupy Movement protests in Oakland or New York last year, would they? This strikes me as similar to that.
Hoping things stay alright. Thinking good thought for the citizens of Cairo.
I hope to travel for three weeks throughout Egypt next May-June, independently, as an American woman with my husband.
Sep 16, 2012 7:01 PM
11We're still monitoring all the posts as well. Considering there are more than 750 people viewing this safety question, it shows there is a great, well-founded concern for safety. There are other threads concerning safety, especially for Americans. There are reasons tourism is low.
Occupy movements are a totally different concept in a stable country than are the storming of embassies or violent protests in unstable countries. Comparisons like this show a lack of political and personal safety comprehension, and are quite sophomoric. This should be a forum to truly help people make safe, intelligent choices.
The problems with my post, or any responding to these questions, is there is no way to tell if the people responding are just trying to increase tourism to Egypt or their area. We can all feel sorry for those losing income due to a lack of tourism. However, for those of us trying to make a fair assessment on safety that is truly not our problem. It is the problem of an unstable, unsafe country. We want to make a journey to Egypt, but we don't feel we should be the pawns used to prop up an economy nor should we feel nervous during a "vacation."
As for the State Department site, they rarely warn against traveling anywhere. During the "spring" it took them a while to discourage travel even when there were violent protests in the streets.
Sep 16, 2012 7:24 PM
12The U.S. State Department website lists exhaustive and detailed warnings for every country in the world. These are incredibly specific, and the only update there is to avoid large demonstrations in Cairo, which has been an update for a long time: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1108.html
Again, there have been no attacks to Americans, so it's hard to decide why I should be concerned, particularly were I to avoid large riots, which is sensible advice in any city in the world where there is political instability.
There is a warning in place for North Sinai which is long-standing.
The British FCO site mirrors what the US says, with their embassies next to one another, and specifically states to avoid demonstrations near the embassy, but nothing more: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-living-abroad/travel-advice-by-country/middle-east-north-africa/egypt
I haven't read one thing -- other than what Frommer wrote -- saying that there is any danger for Americans. I could be convinced that it was dangerous if someone explained precisely what the danger was.
Disclaimer: I have zero stakes in Egyptian tourism and am an American teacher. My opinion could shift if things grow more unstable, but as of right now, I would personally feel comfortable traveling to Egypt. I'd keep on my toes and leave if unrest occurred. I've had two friends who were in Egypt during the big Tahrir protests, and they were blogging from there at that time, and they simply waited and then got on a plane and came home without incident. Everyone's understanding of "danger" is different. I personally find America to be a fairly unsafe place in parts given that I've been mugged here twice.
I'm sorry if you find my comparison "sophomoric." Since I teach in Higher Education, I'm not really interested in playing tit-for-tat about this. My analogy sprang from the fact that there was property damage with mass crowds who were not controlled despite a large police presence, and who intimidated some visitors, citizens, and business owners, particularly in Oakland.
This is my fairest of fair assessments. Should the situation change or be certifiably volatile, I'd be interested in knowing that. However, I'm not seeing evidence of that yet.
I hardly feel like a pawn when I choose to visit a country which I've wanted to visit for decades during a time when tourism is low and thus so are crowds, which suits my travel style (I hate tourist crowds with a passion). Again, personality styles and tolerance for "unrest" -- or even the perception of it -- can vary widely from one individual to the next.
Sep 17, 2012 5:11 AM
Sep 17, 2012 11:38 PM
14Molsons / Linny / Kalimera are the same person, known for attacking Egypt and Muslims in every post by spreading false rumors on this website.
Molsons wrote that he had never set foot in Egypt in his life, which is enough to show how misinformed and weird he is.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$255.15 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night
Des MoinesBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$129.00 per night