Interested in Sharm El Sheikh?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Sharm El Sheikh each week.
Sharm el Sheikh seems perfectly safe after 4 trips during the recent troubles. The nearest problems are in Cairo, Al Airish, El Tor and Suez all a long way from Sharm. Sharm at the moment is peaceful, uncrowded and it is an excellent time to go with some amazing bargains. There are excellent updates on safety on
Despite being directed towards Sharm el Sheikh diving, it has excellent information on general safety and regular updates on the current situation in Egypt, particularly Sharm eln Sheikh. The artiicle below is older and Egypt has recently lifted its state of emergency and curfew. The curfew only applied to Sharm for one day and Sharm has never really been affected by the State of emergency.
The Foreign Office has raised its terrorism warning for visitors to Egypt from medium to high, particularly urging Britons against travel to the Sinai region, after a recent spate of militant attacks.
The change comes on the same day that a report revealed that police in Egypt had foiled a plot by al-Qaida-linked militants to attack tourists in the popular Red Sea coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The Mirror said the attack, involving firearms and rocket-propelled grenades, had been planned for Christmas.
A Foreign Office spokeswoman said she could not comment on any link, adding that changes to travel advice were based on "a number of sources".
While Sharm el-Sheikh is on the southern tip of the Sinai peninsula, it and other nearby resorts, Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab, are excluded from the Foreign Office advice against travel to the region.
The Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that on 2 November we amended our travel advice for Egypt. Our advice makes clear that there is a high threat from terrorism in Egypt."
Its website says: "Although security is tight throughout the country, especially in resort areas, there remains a high risk of attacks, which could be indiscriminate, including in public places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers such as hotels and restaurants."
The advice warns against all travel to north Sinai, where there have been attacks on security forces near the border with Gaza and Egypt, including one which killed 16 soldiers.
The advice says that even in south Sinai security has deteriorated this year, with a number of hijacks and kidnaps away from resort areas.
Egypt has been trying to rebuild its tourism industry after last year's widespread unrest ended the long rule of Hosni Murbarak as president.
Last month the antiquities minister, Muhammad Ibrahim, reopened the restored pyramid of Chefren and six tombs at Giza, using the occasion to stress the country's safety for tourists.
Since the terrorist attacks in Aug ’05, security has been stepped up by the hotels. They have electric gates & taxis must drop people outside. Coaches are allowed in the grounds but only when they have shown their permits, which they leave at the gates & collect on the way out. Hotels also have the metal detector doorways & the security guards may ask to see inside your bags when you return to the hotel. This is usually done in a light-hearted manner .Security guards also have “mirrors on sticks” so they can examine the underneath of vehicles.
Much of Na’ama Bay is pedestrianised now & there are guards at the ends of the roads to ensure that only bone fide coaches get thru to go to central hotel. There are more tourist police but it’s not intimidating. Many people say that they feel safer around Sharm than in their home towns, day or night.
Nobody can guarantee the safety of travellers 100% so it’s wise to keep an eye on the foreign office recommendations; it’s down to the individual as to whether they decide to visit an area that has had problems in the past - see http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-l...
TAXIS - Don't have child seats & driving can be erratic, without lights at night.
KERBS:- Are high in Na'ama Bay & in Old Sharm, around the market, the pavements are often covered with wares, all of which make it difficult for wheelchiar users & child buggies.MOUNT SINAI & COLOURED CANYON & QUADS & HORSE RIDING: The health &safety standards are not like in the UK. Some tour operators no longer offer these trips so they have to be booked thru local ones now.Adequate ins for risky sports should be considered before travelling, for the 250cc quads.Some places may not offer helmets for horse riding or quads; don't book with them!
HENNA ONES ~ Be very careful!!! http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-... & http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopi... & http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopi... & http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopi... & http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopi...
Most of the tattoos offered in hotels & resorts are actually harcois rather than henna; some people have a bad skin reaction, necessitating medical treatment in some cases, as reported by forum posters. Harcois last about 1-1.5 weeks and stays black, henna fades to a reddy-orange colour and lasts a lot longer (months).
The money is in circulation so long, in such hot conditions, that it gets dirty and can carry bugs. You'll get stomach/toilet problems if you touch money and then eat a chip from your fingers, or hold an ice cream cone which you then eat. A basic point of personal hygene that is often overlooked in western countries. Carry antibacterial wipes or gel; both available at chemists, Tescos etc.
DRINK LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER! (At least 1 litre per 50lbs / 22.70kg of body weight)
If you're thirsty, then you've left it too late - just get into the habit of drinking water even if you're not thirsty. In the hot season, drink about twice the amount of water you usually would. It's so dry out there that you are constantly sweating, but don't realise as you're not wet (it evaporates straight away). Please do not drink ice cold water though as it upsets the balance in your body and can promote an upset tummy. Cold yes, ice cold no.
Egyptian pharmacies sell boxes of 'oral rehydration salts' - they're in a white box with a woman and baby on the front. you mix it with water and drink it to rehydrate yourself. drink one before bedtime if you've been drinking (it also stops any hangover! - be sure to pinch your nose as you drink as it's doesn't taste great) You can also buy them in the UK; Dioralyte & they come in various fruity flavours. (Chemists, Tesco etc)
KNOW WHICH ICE CUBES YOU CAN HAVE
Everyone says 'stay away from the ice', but it's fine if it's filtered water ice. A solid cube of ice means thatit has been made with local water - avoid them like the plague. A hollow cube of ice (eg. the one with a hole running through one end of it) has been made with filtered water - you should see the huge filters they have in the Hard Rock Cafe!!!
PIPING HOT FOOD ONLY
Because the weather is hot you might be tempted to eat salads and ice creams, but unless you can be sure it is totally fresh and clean then avoid it. To keep healthy, food should always be piping hot. If it is room temperature or luke warm this will allow bacteria to develop and this is what most often causes upset stomachs, along with the sad fact that some folk (chefs or guests!) may not have washed their hands! The problem with buffets is that people may pick up an item & put it back again. Posters do report witnessing this.
DRUGS & NATURAL PRODUCTSThe following information is not intended to replace medical advice from a qualified Dr / health care practitioner who knows an individual’s family history. They are suggestions only but some of the general tips have come from qualified nutritionists, pharmacists & Drs as well as the experiences of fellow posters. Hotels have Drs on call 24/7 & they are very used to dealing with tourists & upset tummies! Having said that, there are many travellers who have never had a problem in countless visits to Egypt.
*There are some basic tips which may help prevent it & they will also apply to anyone who is suffering from it as, whatever the cause, one still needs to rehydrate, “flush the system” & also have relief from some of the symptoms:
*Swimming pools are often implicated in the manifestation of gastric ailments; particularly Cryptosporidium contamination; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/art...
*Take wipes or antibacterial handwash & carry them with you as the money is truly filthy & so many people want to shake your hand. Some bugs are picked up from things / food when others haven’t washed their hands.
* There are many chemists in Sharm. UK products are often ineffective! (“Local drugs for local bugs” principle) If you feel that you have a problem that is not just a bit of traveller’s diarrhoea, whilst you adjust to the climate, ask for Antinal (antibiotic) at about £1 a packet. It’s about 5LE to an Egyptian. If you get it for 10LE you’re doing well. If they try & charge more, then walk away & go elsewhere. Some people are caught out as they are in “dire straits” when they get to the pharmacy & end up paying over the odds. Consider buying products as a “safety net” or when you’re able to spend time haggling / walking on to the next one.
*Antinal suspension is available for kids. (Web info says it’s also known as Ambatrol (nifuroxazide)Bacifurane, Nifrozid, Endiex.& Ercefuryl, but it’s Antinal in Egypt ).
*Antinal’s not licensed in the UK but can be prescribed on a named patient basis. It’s considered an old-fashioned drug over here now & is used for animals since newer drugs have superseded it .
An alternative drug is Nifunal with an economic price 5.75 LE 14 caphttp://amriyapharm.com/nifunal_capsul...
* You may be offered "Enteroquinol" which is banned in most countries as it’s thought to cause subacute myelo-optic neuropathy (a nervous disease (neuropathy) that affects peripheral nerves & the spinal cord (myelo-) as well as the eyes (-optic), leading to a disabling paralysis, blindness).
*The newer drug used in the UK as a prophylactic & treatment is Ciprofloxacin, available from some GPs on private prescription. It can also be bought directly over the counter in Egypt.
*You may want to ask your G.P. about a private prescription for Dukoral, which is a vaccine you take orally before you travel. (It’s used for cholera too.)
*N.B. You need to haggle re: the price of anything bought in chemists. All goods have the price on, but often in Arabic, so it’s hard to tell what it should be. If whatever you’re trying to buy seems expensive, barter hard or walk away; there are enough chemists around to find one who will play fair.
*Local peppermint tea also helps with the digestion.
*One tip from a UK chemist was to take Motilium pills along, as they aid digestion & prevent anything lying heavily in the gut. It’s not a laxative but if you have something dodgy, it helps it to go thru (without making you rush to the loo.)
*Maybe take rehydration sachets with you like Dioralyte, available in fruity flavours from Tesco, Boots etc.
* Citricidal (Grape fruit seed extract – pills or drops) It’s available in Health Shops & there are several websites explaining that conventional antibiotics only kill bacteria. The grapefruit seed extract has been shown to inactivate viruses, yeasts, fungi, parasites and worms, as well as bacteria. It is therefore antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. Recommended 1-3 tablets a day, with or without meals & it’s ideal for travelling to places where food or drink may be contaminated. You can get the drops to put in water / soft drinks.
*N.B. Drink plenty of water when taking Citricidal as it can irritate some people’s stomachs.
*Lactobacillus acidophilus pre-biotic tablets may also help line your stomach in preparation for unfamiliar bacteria potentially found in the food out there. They optimise the gut flora balance. You can buy ones that don’t have to be kept in the fridge & ones for children. When taking acidophilus do not drink or eat anything really hot immediately after as heat kills the good bacteria. These are far stronger than the commercialized drinks like yakult & actimel, which are dairy-based, full of refined sugar & not ideal for upset tums!
*Lactobacillus is also good to take after any course of antibiotics since antibiotics strip the gut of good bacteria, as well as the bad. It rebalances the gut flora.
*You can buy Buscopan, over the counter here, which is great for stomach gripes & is used for horses with colic!
*Freshly squeezed lemon & lime juice, sugar to taste, topped up with still mineral water is a good kidney / system flush. If that’s not available, then just freshly squeezed lemon is still good.
* Avoid fresh orange as that’s hard for the liver to process.
*Aloe Vera is also a good & natural soother, for the inside as well as being a good topical aid for sunburn.
*Magi Cool will help children (google it). It’s good for itching (incl. insect bites), prickly heat, sunburn / minor burns, heat exhaustion, hot flushes, first aid. You can get magi cool in most chemists, Boots etc; & you can now get one that instantly removes the heat out of too much sunburn.
*There are also cooling patches, with a soothing gel, that relieve headaches & fevers, which may be useful for children.
* Consider carefully about hiring snorkelling equipment as nobody can guarantee how well it has been cleaned.
*Drink plenty of water, at least 1 litre per 50lbs / 22.70kgs of body weight.