How is Egypt to travel right now? 1/12/12
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Dec 12, 2012 8:46 AM Last Post By: Crashdummy
Nov 30, 2012 8:27 PM
How is Egypt to travel right now? 1/12/12Hello,
My girlfriend and I are flying into Egypt on the 4th. We really want to go but of course I don't want to bring her into a bad situation.
I understand there is no way of predicting the future but I am curious of what people have to say that are traveling there now. Any news/advise is much appreciated. Thanks.
Dec 1, 2012 12:16 AM
1Where are you flying into? If you're in Cairo it would be common sense to stay away from Tahrir Square.
You will notice intense security as you travel around the country. For example the bus from Cairo to South Sinai stops at many checkpoints. Everyone's passports are studied. At the Sinai Tunnel/Suez all passengers need to disembark, remove all their luggage, stand next to it while a sniffer dog checks it. They also check the bus underneath with mirrors etc etc. The checks should give you peace of mind regarding security. However the constant stops do make the journey quite long. If anything the checks get annoying if you're trying to sleep.
If you travel by private car, you'll still experience the checkpoints but go through them a lot faster.
Dec 1, 2012 7:01 AM
We also plan to visit Cairo in the 3rd week of December. we plan to stay there for a day and visit the Pyramids and take an overnight train to Aswan where our 4 nights cruise to Luxor begins. However, we have not confirmed our tickets as yet because of the safety concerns.
Although, i have not come across any news where a tourist has been attacked, but still would like to get an idea of what exactly is the situation out there? all the news reports that i have read relate to demonstrations at Tahrir Square in Cairo.
#Crashdummy, have u visited Egypt recently? and do you have any idea how safe it is to travel by a train (during the night) from Cairo to Aswan? thanks.
Dec 1, 2012 9:33 AM
3I'm in Cairo at the moment. I've been up to Tahrir Square a few times, yesterday and Tuesday there were big rallies. During the day, there are typically a thousand or so people hanging out. It's a little tense at the square and one time whilst I was there the government forces fired off some tear gas canisters into an area where lots of people were gathered. This aside, away from Tahrir Square, life seems to be going on as usual. Our hotel is only a couple of blocks from the square and although this is my first time in Cairo, everything seems pretty normal. There aren't lots of tourists around at the moment, not as many as I expected anyway. It's obviously a personal decision whether you want to go or not. I decided I would and am glad I came. It's a very interesting time to be here and Egyptians have been very keen to find out my views on the current situation. The best advice I could offer would be to stay informed. Talk to those around you and check Aljazeera which has pretty up to date coverage.
Dec 1, 2012 9:40 AM
4There's really no need to worry, the political situation is kind of unstable, but you won't even notice it if you don't go to Tahrir Square when there are protests (90% of the time even Tahrir is fine to hang out in). The worst you're likely to get is some overly pushy shop owners, especially if you're going to Luxor and Aswan. Like Crashdummy said, the Sinai is still dangerous at the moment, but you're not going to be in the worst areas if you're only going to Sharm or Dahab, there are lots of checkpoints along the way, and your bus/transportation should have some security on it. Aside from Sinai the country is pretty safe, just use common sense and you'll be fine.
The train to Aswan is safe, but make sure you get a first class ticket, because there's a HUGE difference between first class and the crammed and dirty second class. Also, try to buy your train ticket at least a week or so beforehand, because the overnight trains fill up really fast. I can speak from experience that showing up to the Cairo train station and asking for an overnight ticket to Luxor/Aswan for that night is not going to work.
I've been living in Cairo for a few months, so if you have any other questions I'd be happy to answer them.
Dec 1, 2012 10:58 AM
5Some good advice at #3 and #4. I'm living rather than visiting here, but would agree that there's no need to cancel. Stay away from Tahrir, any marches / protests, and in downtown Cairo, if anything is going on in Tahrir, preferably stay away from the area south of Talaat Harb Square altogether. Keep informed, listen to what the staff of your hotel say to you, and if things stay as they are, you should have no reason to be particularly concerned.
Dec 1, 2012 7:39 PM
6We are travelling soon too, thank you for the up-to-date situation report. Avoiding Tahrir, does this mean we should avoid the Egyptian Museum as well? Or is there a way to visit it without risking to find ourselves in the middle of a demonstration / clash?
On samiam19's comment about Aswan trains. Is it that hard to book even with less tourists? I would have expected a lot of vacancies ...
Dec 2, 2012 4:05 AM
7Hello everyone! I'm travelling to Cairo for New Years Eve and, while I am not too worried about the situation myself, my parents are - in fact, they are terrified by the very idea. Now while I am aware that it is impossible to predict the future, German newspapers are painting a somewhat dreary picture about the situation getting much worse in the next couple of weeks, and I was wondering - what do you guys think about that (especially those in Cairo at the moment)? It might be helpful to know that I will be visiting friends who have lived in the city their entire lives and should therefore know which places to avoid and so on. We will most likely spend some time at the sea, too, so I'm looking at two or three days in Cairo max - would you advise me to cancel my plans or do you think things should be alright?
Dec 2, 2012 6:09 AM
Dec 2, 2012 6:36 AM
9Good info people! (travelling to Cairo on 11 dec) This is why I visit this website so much :)
Dec 2, 2012 10:05 AM
10#6 - I would take reliable advice on the day. If Tahrir is free of protests, there is no reason why you wouldn't go. If you're on an organized trip, they will make the judgement and if anything will probably err on the side of caution (which is what you would want them to do). Otherwise, you could check with your hotel, or even your embassy what they say the situation is like.
Re the Aswan trains, the Cairo-Aswan line is the main means of passenger transport for all long distance trips in Upper Egypt, and I wouldn't think that tourists have ever been a huge share of its passenger numbers - though I'm just speculating.
#7 - " It might be helpful to know that I will be visiting friends who have lived in the city their entire lives and should therefore know which places to avoid and so on."
Take their advice! They probably know the city and the situation much better than most if not all of those posting here, certainly including myself. Between whatever they tell you and I assume that travel advice is also available from the german foreign ministry, you should be able to work out how things are.
Lots of horrible things have happened over the past year and a bit, but by and large, life has gone on as normal in cairo outside the areas immediately affected by demonstrations - which are usually more or less the same ones (Tahrir, Muhammad Mahmoud Street, Maspero, and recently around the court buildings in Isaf and Maadi).
Dec 3, 2012 12:01 AM
I'm booked to arrive in cairo on Dec 18, and am hoping to get to the pyramids that day. Can anyone recommend/give email details for a tour service/guide to pick me up in the morning and take me thoughfor the day? I fly to luxor the next morning so I'll probably want to come back to the airport and spend the night in a hotel there (again, recommendations would be good? Something witha shuttle service back to the airport would be good, even if's it not close to the airport but of course not too close to the square, a little ambience would be good.)
I saw on the Daily Mail there was a streetfight in Luxor with stones and petrolbombs thrown. Can anyone tell me where this might have taken place in relation to the spots I'm likely to visit in my threee days there?
Then I'm flying to Sharm, but I've managed to have all my questioned answered so far, ie, I must find transport to Dahab and not pay more than E250 for this max. Because of time constraints i don't want to wait around for the bus.
I just booked the holiday 4 days ago and I've never been to egypt before. I think a part of me is scared I'll never get another chance if I don't go now. I'm not afraid of terrorists in sinai and being south african I'm not afraid generally. It's a fact that when people are preoccupied with their own business, they tend to leave everyone else alone. That said, part of me wonders what the hell I'm thinking!!! I'm not a maverick extreme tourist or anything, I just want a nice, quiet, interesting holiday. I'm a bit worried about the buildup to this referendum, it has all the hallmarks for big trouble. The army is going to pull in if things get out of hand, would be my guess. Still, my sympathies are with the people looking to embrace tolerance and diversity and I guess it makes it a historical time to visit, irrespective.
I value input from those of you there and will keep myself posted
Dec 3, 2012 12:07 AM
Dec 3, 2012 12:50 AM
13"I saw on the Daily Mail there was a streetfight in Luxor with stones and petrolbombs thrown."
I was quite shocked to read this, as I haven't heard anything about it previously! Usually, I'm in Luxor, but I'm currently on holiday in Britain where I'm reading the 'Mail Online', but haven't seen this. Can anyone tell me more? (Apart from friend molsons, that is, LOL)
Dec 3, 2012 2:55 AM
14well it is the daily mail ... it's from a report yestery
"The week-long unrest has already seen clashes between Islamists and the opposition that left two dead and hundreds injured. On Friday, Morsi opponents and supporters rained stones and firebombs on each other in the cities of Alexandria and Luxor."
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2241374/Muslim-Brotherhood-paying-gangs-rape-women-beat-men-protesting-Egypt-thousands-demonstrators-pour-streets.html#ixzz2Dz8pQPVe
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