Lonely Planet Writer

Egypt updates for travellers

The unstable political situation in Egypt is constantly changing.

So if you're still there at the moment (or your friends/relatives are) - or you're planning to head to there soon - where can you go for the latest information?

As always, the Thorn Tree is an excellent spot for updates. Several useful discussions are taking place on the Thorn Tree forum's Egypt branch.

This Thorn Tree thread has the latest information, including links for different government's travel advisories - and assistance they can offer to citizens, while this thread contains useful travel updates from travellers.

The Telegraph has a good Q&A for those who've booked Egypt holidays in the coming weeks and want to know how to get a refund.

For up-to-the-minute news, there are good liveblogs on Al Jazeera, The New York Times, The Guardian and BBC. Al Jazeera also has a live stream of events.

Twitter is also a fantastic source of the latest information - note however that on-the-ground information is constrained by the fact that the government has shut the internet down (though Google and Twitter have joined forces to enable tweets via voicemail - here are instructions on how to use the service).

Useful hashtags for Twitter updates include #Mubarak, #jan25 and #Egypt. The New York Times has set up a feed for good tweets: http://twitter.com/nytimes/egypt, while Sulia is using web and human intelligence to curate the most relevant tweets.

For missing travellers, a couple of people have started a Google Document to crowdsource information about their whereabouts. Meanwhile, Egyptians across the world are gathering in Second Life to communicate.

With many nations arranging charter planes for their citizens in Egypt, the best way to know what to do is to go via your country's travel advice. Note that countries have been approaching the situation differently, with some advising against all non-essential travel to Egypt and others (like the UK) focussing its travel advice on specific trouble spots including Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria and Suez. Here are some advice links by nation:

  • US citizens - includes a useful FAQ for all travellers
  • UK citizens - If you are travelling to, through or from Egypt, you are advised to check with your airline or tour operator to confirm your travel plans. You should not travel to the airport without having a confirmed flight. British nationals in Egypt requiring assistance or advice can call 020 7008 0000 from the UK or (02) 2791 6000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (02) 2791 6000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (02) 2791 6000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting in Egypt. Airline and airport contact information is also available on the FCO website.
  • NZ citizens - NZ Embassy in Cairo: +202 2461 6000
  • Canadian citizens
  • Australian citizens - Australians in Egypt who require emergency consular assistance should in the first instance contact the Embassy directly on +202 2575 0444 or the Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305

And finally, in case you happen to be able to read this and want to get out of Egypt overland, Lonely Planet cofounder Tony Wheeler has posted his tips on how to exit the country on foot.