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Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

Nottingham, United...
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Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

OK, this is my situation:

I have an egyptian friend who I met when he was living in the UK. He went back in 2009 and I have been meaning to pay him a visit ever since. My proposed time of travel will be the Christmas holidays.

Now that I actually have the money and time to carry out my visit the political climate has turned ugly to say the least. However, I am in regular contact with my friend and he assures me that there is nothing to worry about, and that he would tell me otherwise. He has lived in the same apartment in Cairo during his whole time there, it is the same apartment he grew up in, and says that he does not feel in any imminent danger in his neighbourhood.

I have zero interest in being present at, let alone documenting, any riots or demonstrations that may or may not occur during my stay in Cairo. I am 22 years old, half Iranian and have been to Iran many times, and laughed at my English friends' advice to 'stay safe' and be careful - Iran does have it problems but by and large it is a peaceful country. I just want to see my friend who I have not seen in years, any tourist attractions or anything will be a bonus, I'm not overly concerned.

My logic is that it makes more sense to listen to someone who is from Cairo and continues to live there than what the media have to say. Nonetheless, I am ready and willing to book my flights but reading the news reports makes my stomach churn.

So I am calling on the tripadvisor community for some impartial advice - any seasoned travellers with good experience of travelling in Egypt, or Egyptians who understand the implications of travelling there at this time; am I stupid to even consider going to Egypt with things the way they are now? Shall I go for 5 nights in Portugal by the sea instead? Or could I still have an interesting, heartwarming experience with my friend in Cairo despite the events that are unfolding there at the moment? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cairo, Egypt
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1. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

Generally speaking, as long as you are accompanied by someone who knows his way around the city, you should be fine. He will be able to navigate the city and avoid any troubles.

Right now there are only demonstrations and no clashes on the streets, which is a good sign... AT THE MOMENT.

Bolton, United...
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for Nile River Valley
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2. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

Hi,

There have been reports from various TA members regarding recent visits to Cairo. My own visit, less than 2 weeks ago was, mostly, written up when on the graound in the city and can be found here:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g294201-i9404-k6…

and you can find KVExploerer's report for a visit to Luxor, by way of Hurghada, here:

tripadvisor.co.uk/…53423396

If you are looking for further reports it really would be a matter of trawling through the various sub-forums and reading the individual threads.

I personally loved the, all too brief, visit and am already planning a return for next summer; regardless of the FCO advice; and no, I didn't see any trouble, riots, etc., certainly nothing like what you read about in the press or see on TV. However, you do have to bear in mind that, unless you purchase a specialised insurance policy, for dangerous/unstable countries (google travel insurance for dangerous countries and you'll get lots of results), your normal travel insurance is nullified by the FCO warning against all but essential travel to Egypt.

Once you've been through all the threads and looked into appropriate insurance, you need to weigh up the evidence and decide just how safe you feel visiting Cairo; I and others can say that we found the city to be safe until we're blue in the face, but only you can judge whether you really believe this to be the case.

Glen

Ulaanbaatar...
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for Cairo
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3. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

With some travel experience and especially a local contact, there's no reason you can't enjoy a trip to Cairo, despite the very real problems and occasional annoyances.

Nottingham, United...
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4. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

thanks everyone, you have confirmed what I had suspected all along. I am certain that the majority of the population of Cairo are simply attempting to go about their daily lives as is true of anywhere in the world that has a reputation for being unstable/violent (see Iraq, Afghanistan, perhaps not Syria at this moment in time though :/ ) Although in fairness if I didn't know someone out there I doubt it would have crossed my mind to go over, haha.

But thanks a lot, an egyptian winter it shall be for me :)

ny
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5. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

Good choice...

Nottingham, United...
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6. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

I just booked my flights! far from being scared I am now very, very excited!!

kent
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7. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

Any ideas for uk citizen to get travel insurance despite fco advice please?

Cairo, Egypt
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8. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

The situations here in Cairo are not that horrible as they try to show it , as long as you are avoiding the demonstrations routes , dealing with the normal safety precautions and accompanied by a resident in your movements then don't worry.

The greatest problem you will be facing in Cairo will occur if you are one of the mid nights and late outings fan , the curfew will be blocking your movement , otherwise , you will never note any difference in the city , also , to enrich your stay , arrange a fast day use trips once to alexandria (220 KM) and Ain Al Sukhna (140 KM) , this will make your trip better.

kent
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9. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

Hi Stephen L

Have you decided to travel uninsured?

Thanks

Nottingham, United...
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10. Re: Cairo travel advice for a British citizen

thank you for your input, M-A-Etman. I read an article that says that the state of emergency will end next month and will not be extended, so hopefully the curfew will no longer be in place at the time of my visit. I have heard that Cairo is very much a city of the night and that many businesses have suffered because of the curfew, but we will see what happens I suppose. The day trips sound like a great idea too.

truly123, yes I have decided to travel uninsured. Generally I do not take out insurance when I travel because I am young and irresponsible ;) Having an appendectomy performed by a private doctor in Iran for £400 was an experience to say the least. If anything does happen then I suppose I'll just have to be prepared to foot the bill myself - I am planning on being as street smart as possible and hoping that being shown around by a local will minimise the chances of anything bad occurring. And just hope my friend knows a good doctor! On that note, is it advisable to get innoculated against certain diseases before visiting Egypt? I remember reading something about typhoid and Hep A, how prevalent are they if at all?