For many, it’s a lifelong dream to visit Egypt and explore the pyramids and other iconic attractions.
Egypt is an ancient and fascinating country, spanning more than 5000 years of history, situated in the northeast corner of Africa.
Egypt is one of the most visited countries in the entire African continent. According to official statistics, Egypt receives 5 to 10 million tourists every year, making it a heavily tourist-focused economy, with visitors accounting for a big chunk of their gross revenue.
That being said, Egypt is a big and complicated country, with a tense political situation. After the 2010-2011 Arab spring protests, Egypt has undergone a major change and a hard transitional period to democracy. In the 2014-2016 period, the African country saw a dive in international visitors amidst political instability and terrorist threats.
Is Egypt safe for American tourists?
The short answer is, generally yes, Egypt is currently safe and still an amazing tourist destination. However some precautions should be taken, and common sense in dealing with potential dangers and threats goes a long way.
The harsh reality is, terrorism is a problem in the current times we live in, however, terrorists who target US citizens and other westerners overwhelmingly happen in the west, so in an interesting way, you are less likely to be the victim of one, as terrorists in the Middle East target locals.
Currently, Egyptian security forces have increased the level of security significantly, especially around populated and touristy spots.
According to the official U.S travel warning issued, you should use increased caution when visiting Egypt as a US citizen.
Areas listed to avoid are as follows: The Sinai peninsula, The Western Desert region, and the Border areas, all of those regions have terrorist activity.
Scammers, touts and harassment
Exercise caution when dealing with random people approaching you on the street, around the markets, and around the tourist areas.
Scammers hassling you on the street is a widely reported issue, and although they are not dangerous, they can be extremely annoying. Most of them will try to overcharge you or con you into giving them large amounts of money.
The so-called street hustlers might try to get you to buy trinkets, or sell you guides or tours. You should always avoid those and stick with reputable, reviewed guides you find online.
Due to the drop in tourists, Egypt has seen its economic decline, with local businesses struggling in earnings. This prompts them to overcharge you and scam you.
As a general rule, anyone approaching you on the street, offering you help, or talking to you, should be avoided. Simply walk away, and try not to engage in conversations with him.
Female travelers, especially if traveling alone, should use increased caution. As a woman, you should dress in a conservative manner. As a western female, sadly, you will experience an annoying amount of harassment, random men on the street approaching you and so on. Dealing with them is simple, learn to ignore them and move on. Using common-sense is the most important part.