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Safe for Americans

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Los Angeles...
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Safe for Americans

Hi travelers! I want to book my trip to Egypt however there are caution alerts for americans on the us ambassy cairo website. They mentioned especially Sinai and south of cairo and the palestine/isreal border. I havent done much research yet so I was hoping that some of you can give me some pointers. Here's some questions:

-Is it safe for Americans?

-Is there a any nice beaches to go to-(what city)

-How much time is needed in order to get a good feel for the country?

-MUST SEE CITIES/EVENTS?

-Dangers?

-ok for single traveler/ 30 year old female???

Thank you all!

Luxor, Egypt
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1. Re: Safe for Americans

I'm an English Christian, living in Luxor, and consider myself safer here than in England, and certainly safer than in I would be the USA! Nevertheless, I am not an American. Your government's arrogant attitude towards other cultures does breed a certain dislike (and pity for the ignorance which spawns the arrogance) throughout the world in general. This does not necessarily mean that any particular place will be unsafe for Americans as individuals, especially a poor country like Egypt, where your dollars are always a good ameliorative! Resentment does not usually preclude trade, and trade often leads to real friendship. In my opinion, (which is bolstered by observing the attitude of my friends, the common folk, in Luxor souk and elsewhere) I would say that you would be safer in Luxor than in most big cities throughout the world.

Beaches....I believe that the beaches on the Red Sea at the likes of Hurghada and Sharm-el-Sheik are world class. (They hold no interest for me, so I have no personal experience of them)

Getting a good feel for the country depends greatly on how perceptive you are personally. You may well fall in love with Egypt within a few days, as do a great number of foreigners! But to get a "feel" for it may take rather longer.

Must see's....Personally, the Antiquities of Cairo and Giza, Luxor, Aswan and the astonishing Temples at Abu Simbel, as well as the everyday. (The time difference between Luxor and San Diego is not the few hours which your guide book will tell you, it is more like 1 or 2000 years!!!) But I,m sure that your research will point you in the right direction.

Dangers....I honestly expect that the worst dangers that you will encounter are the sun and the heat, along with some very sharp salesmen!

Single female....Look through postings on TA regarding clothing, attitude etc. and I'm sure you'll be as safe here as anywhere.

Most of all, have a wonderful, wonderful time.

Best wishes, Edward.

UK
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574 posts
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2. Re: Safe for Americans

I could be wrong...but unless you wave your passport in the air no Egyptian would recognise an American from a Brit or a Norwegian.

I have travelled in the company of Americans in Egypt - absolutely no attention paid to nationalities.

As above - safer than London or New York, don't even consider this as a problem... major research in the Valleys has been conducted by Americans for years as far as I am aware.

Matt.

UK
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574 posts
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3. Re: Safe for Americans

PS

Read here...

http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/

Matt.

UK
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495 posts
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4. Re: Safe for Americans

think they might know when she spoke!!

Copenhagen
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5. Re: Safe for Americans

Hi Gsan,

Edward and Matt are definitely right - Egypt is not more un-safe for an American than for a Brit, Swede or Chinese. Bad things happen to good people all over the world, unfortunately also in Egypt from time to time, although luckily it is rare and Egypt has a large security-industry. Bottomline is that tourist-dollars are VERY important and they do take good care of their visitors, no matter where they come from.

Beaches: you will not find those pearly white beaches in Egypt like those you see in th Caribbean for instance. But along the Red Sea coast you will find some amazing coral reefs and many, many good beaches. The coastal town of Hurghada on the mainland is the largest of the Red Sea destination towns. Some find it more authentic than the other large resort in Sinai, Sharm el-Sheikh. But there are also the upscale El Gouna (close to Hurghada on the mainland) or the more rugged beach towns Dahab and Nuweiba (in Sinai). So depending on your mood and budget, you can find a beach in Egypt.

Time: if you want to experience Egypt and also have to time by the beach, you should consider 2 weeks. Specially since you are travelling from San Diego, which is a loooong way from Egypt. No reason travelling so far for just a week. And considering money, the differences between one or two weeks are not that great.

Must sees are in my humble opinion Cairo and Luxor. They are located some 750 kilometers apart, so some travelling will be needed. And if you choose to go to the beach after visiting Cairo and Luxor, more travelling is needed.

In Cairo you have, of course, the pyramids, but also The Egyptian Museum, Islamic Cairo, Coptic Cairo, shopping etc. A packaged tour usually include 2-3 days in Cairo, and for the sightseeing and a general feeling of the chaos and wonder of Cairo, that is enough.

In Luxor you have so many things to see and if you want to cover most of it, you should spend about a week there seeing all the tombs and temples and experience life in Luxor.

And then you can head for the beach for the rest of the time, trying to digest everything you've seen so far.

Some also take a cruise up the Nile from Luxor to Aswan (or the other way round) and cover more interesting sites along the way.

Dangers: I'd rather call it scams. Petty theft and random crime is very, very rare in Egypt, although it would be wrong to say that it doesn't happen. But like the others have said, you will feel safer in all towns and cities of Egypt, including Cairo, than in San Diego! Scams are numerous in Egypt where there are many tourists. None, and I repeat NONE, are dangerous, but they are EXTREMELY annoying and you feel like a huge fool when you realize you have been scammed or ripped off.

Single female travelling: Yes, you can travel as a single female. All visitors to Egypt, men or women, attract a lot (and I mean a lot) of attention and interest, and it can definitely wear you out. 998 out of 1000 Egyptian men know how to behave themselves and minimize their "abuse" to more or less friendly cat-calls, which can, however, feel offensive or at the very least very tiring. If you dress modest and act street smart, you should not experience anything which the female visitor travelling in a group does. But you WILL attract attention and interest and you will not blend in no matter what.

I recommend that you book your tours with a guide. Not because it is dangerous to do it all yourself, you can do that, but you will waste incredible amounts of time bartering for prices, being sidetracked and hassled to visit an endless array of shops and stables and cafes.

Hope this answered some of your questions. Don't hesitate to ask again :-)

Louise

Adelaide, Australia
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394 posts
21 reviews
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6. Re: Safe for Americans

Re: Safety - if it is any consolation to you, the Australian Government posts the same travel warnings regarding the Sinai and South Cairo and advises extreme caution in these areas. I have travelled to Egypt many times and feel safer in Luxor than on any street in my home city. Crime against people is very rare in Egypt as the penalties are severe and whilst I would not walk down my own street at night at home, I have no problems walking the streets at night in Luxor.

Re: Being an American - not a problem as you are a tourist with money to spend and play a small part in bosting the Egyptian economy.

Re: Beaches - try Safaga on the Red Sea (about 3 hrs from Luxor) as it is generally unaffected by the commercialism of Hurghada and Sharm.

Re: Dangers - the only danger is not having a good time and making the Egyptians feel sad. Egyptians love happy tourists and people having a good time. Just enjoy your Egyptian experience to the full and not worry unneccessarily.

Re: Single female - also not a problem and great for the ego as you will get more marriage proposals from handsome youung Egyptian men than you can handle!

Re: Must see - all that Luxor has to offer, including Karnak, Luxor Temple, Valley of the Kings, Vally of the Queens and much more. The same goes for Cairo, Alexandria and Aswan. Do a Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan and get yourself a travel guide book to pick out the best of Egypt in the time that you have.

Re: Time - 3 weeks will give you a comprehensive view of Egypt for a first trip and then you will want to return to explore more.

Summary: A fascinating country which is full of history, antiquities, culture, colour and friendly people with a great sense of humour.

Enjoy!

Los Angeles...
8 posts
1 review
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7. Re: Safe for Americans

Hi all, first thank you for your replies. It was much help. Its a good start now i can do some reserach on my own.

@@@@@-----CAN ANYONE SUGGEST WHAT TO WEAR------@@@@ Going in OCT 5-25th

ourluxorflat- about the american government thing, I understand, ignorance is all aruond us but to be fair, the US is a multi-culture society and some of us do get it here. Ignorance is all over the world unfortunaly. Now our president, I wont even go there, his foreign policy's are as good as his vocabulary! Trust me, half the country is divided, and half of us all knew from the begginning that the cowboy from Texas was no good.

Anyways, I wrote as an American but I have dual citizenship. Born and raised in Argentina, I am latina however educated in the States. I speak fluent spanish/english however my English does sound like that of an American, but I will be subtle.

But in all it looks as if the country is probally 100times safer than Argentina by far. I am an experienced traveler, but never traveled to a muslim country. I feel safe now by your comments, and suggestions, thank you all.

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIVE ME ANY MORE ADVICE AND SUGGESTIONS. My traveling style is budget/mid range. I do not like to be mixed in with a flock of tourist therefor I prefer some off the beaten paths locations. I do offcourse do all the special site seeings, but then i try to go where the locals live. (But is that safe???) Those are the places I need most help in. Places I can go, tours i can do that are offererd by the local egyptians, this way I can help a local and not give away my money to the rich elitist of Egypt.

Well if anyone needs advice on other countries I am well traveled and speacilize in Argentina and Uruguay where I still have a home and family/friends there.

Gracias, Gabriella

Los Angeles...
8 posts
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8. Re: Safe for Americans

LOUISE- I got your suggestion, I will book with a guide, thanks!!!!!

anyone have suggestions on good guides for tours. (on a budget) Preferably family owned egyptian company.

New York, USA
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1,067 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: Safe for Americans

American citizen weighing in . Everyone else has made great comments so I'll just add that the most that will happen is that someone might tell you that they love Americans but don't like our president/politics...which, hey, most of us don't either. I've never felt unsafe, never felt singled out as an American...though I will say that saying you're American means that they'll try to rip you off more. Whenever vendors asked where I was from, I said 'a very poor country'. That was always good for a laugh. :-)

What I found amazing was that, in March, I was in the Siwa oasis - 10 hours through the desert from Cairo - and as soon as I said I was American, two guys started talking about our elections! One was an Obama supporter and one was for Hilary, and they had all the talking points down pat - change, experience, foreign policy. I was amazed. I left them and they were still talking about it! I mean the place had dial up internet - DIAL UP! As Darsh (a fellow poster) has said on here before, many Egyptians have family in the US and there is a fascination with American culture. I caught a few eps of Prison Break on MBC2. I also remember being in Cairo my first time there with a guy in the car next to me bumping 50 cent's music! Another girl in Cairo had a long conversation with me about her admiration of Oprah - a 'strong woman'. She was practically swooning. So there is no need to be subtle about your American citizenship. Most can distinguish between the American people and the American government. You, and your dollars :-) will be welcomed.

TB08

New York, USA
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4 reviews
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10. Re: Safe for Americans

Re the ripping off, I meant more than a non Western country. Americans, Canadians, British etc - they tend to think we're all rich and wouldn't miss our money too much if they helped relieve us of it. :-)