FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are tours to Egypt safe?
Egypt has served as one of the best and safest tourist destinations for many years. Surrounded by warm hospitality, courteous and kind-hearted locals - you'll feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be. With some sensible precautions and preparations, you will be able to explore Egypt tours and trips and enjoy Egypt's generally safe cities with ease. Claiming a usually low crime rate visitors are usually safe especially in areas frequently visited by tourists.
What is the best time to visit Egypt?
Egypt is visited all year round. However, depending on your preferences, there are certainly times when it’s better to go than others. In the summer, from June to August, temperatures get extremely high, sometimes unbearably so. If you aren’t able to handle extreme heat, it’s best to avoid this time. If you can, this is a great time to avoid crowds and get lower prices. This is also a good time to visit one of the popular resorts on the Red Sea coast. Cooler temperatures occur between September and May.
What is the best month to visit Egypt?
The summer months from June to August are very hot. If you can handle high temperatures, this is a good time to go, as crowds are smaller and prices are lower. November to March are cooler, and December and January are peak times for crowds. The months of April, May, September, and October are very good times to visit; it’s warm and pleasant, but not unbearably hot.
How much money should I bring to Egypt?
It is difficult to determine an exact amount of spending money to take on a trip to Egypt. However, we recommend that you budget for around 12 to 15 USD per person per day (at a minimum). Your extra expenses will include items like drinks, gifts, tips, excluded entrance fees, and laundry. You can pay with cards or some foreign currencies at many places; however, it’s highly recommended that you exchange your money for Egyptian pounds and keep cash and change on you when out sightseeing.
How much is a bottle of Coke in Egypt?
You can expect to pay an average of 14 Egyptian pounds for a 2-litre bottle of Coke in Egypt, which is equal to approximately 0.9 US dollars or 0.6 British pounds. For smaller bottles, the price, on average, is around 5-6 Egyptian pounds, which equals to about 0.3 US dollars or 0.2 British pounds.
What is the coldest month in Egypt?
As Egypt is located in the northern hemisphere, the winter there occurs from October to February. The coldest month is, in general, January. As Egypt is mainly comprised of desert, its winter days are relatively mild, but the nights can get cold, and temperatures in the desert can even drop to 0° C.
How many days do you need in Egypt?
Most typical trips to Egypt range from around 5-8 days, which is generally enough to cover a comprehensive tour of the country’s main highlights. These include Cairo (the pyramids, of course!), Luxor, Aswan, and the Red Sea. But because Egypt is a place with so much of history and significance, you would probably need a lifetime to see all it has to offer!
How many days do you need in Cairo?
Cairo is the capital of Egypt and is the largest city in Africa. There are so many attractions to see, that even a month probably wouldn’t be enough! To cover the main highlights, which include the iconic pyramids of Giza, the fascinating Egyptian Museum, and old Islamic Cairo, a minimum of two days should be accounted for.
How many days do you need in Luxor?
Luxor is one of the most important destinations in Egypt. It contains some of the most fascinating historical sites, including the Valley of the Kings (where the famous tomb of Tutankhamun is located), Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, and Medinat Habu Temple. You can also have the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing the sun rise over the Nile from a hot-air balloon. A minimum of two full days is recommended in Luxor.
How much do you tip in Cairo?
Tipping is a very important part of the service industry in Cairo, and indeed in Egypt. In places like hotels and restaurants, it’s best to give a tip in Egyptian pounds, and the amount does not need to be overly high or low (give depending on the level of service you felt you received). On our tours, we organise a tipping kitty, which covers tips for the staff you will meet across the tour. You can also tip your guide at the end of the tour if you wish to.
Can I wear leggings in Egypt?
Leggings are perfectly acceptable in Egypt. Many of the local women wear leggings as well as skinny jeans, however leggings provide a thinner layer than jeans which can be helpful with the heat. If you’re travelling in the winter time then definitely pack leggings as you will need them. It tends to get cooler as of mid November into early February and so light jackets and long pants/leggings are needed. However specific areas of Egypt tend to be a few degrees warmer than others, such as Aswan and Luxor.
What do female tourists wear in Egypt?
Due to the hot weather in the summer months, many female tourists tend to opt for long, flowy summer dresses and skirts. Most female tourists will normally opt for long summer dresses which cover the shoulders and fall below the knee. These are popular as they tend to be conducive and breezy for the hot weather. In the cooler months, many female tourists opt for leggings, jeans, t-shirts and light jackets. Jeans are common amongst locals and tourists and many local Egyptian women wear skinny jeans, although in Summer it is probably best to avoid wearing jeans as they tend to be too warm for the hot weather.
What can you not wear in Egypt?
Although the locals in Egypt are generally quite relaxed and friendly, Egypt is still fairly conservative by Western standards and therefore there are certain clothes that female tourists should generally avoid. As a rule of thumb, try to ensure that any dresses or skirts are below the knee, avoid wearing cropped tops and strapless tops which do not cover your shoulders. Whilst travellers do not need to be fully-sleeved, tank tops should also be avoided and travellers should try to opt for t-shirts and tops which cover your shoulders. Female travellers should also avoid wearing clothing which is too tight as well as shorts/skirts which fall above the knee.
How much do you tip in Egypt?
Generally in Egypt, it is common to tip between 10-15% if you are pleased with your service. If the service was exceptional, then tip closer towards the 15% mark and if you were not pleased with your service then tip closer to the 10% mark or less depending on the service that you received.
What is the best currency to use in Egypt?
The official currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE). However, it is perfectly fine to take dollars, euros or pound sterling notes with you to Egypt as travellers tend to get a better rate of exchange in Egypt.
Can I use US dollars in Egypt?
US dollars as well as other currencies such as Euros, Pounds and Canadian dollars are accepted in Egypt. However, it is best to exchange your foreign currency into Egyptian pounds as your money will tend to go much further. There are several places to exchange money in Egypt, from currency exchange shops to banks. Cairo International airport has several 24-hour banks that will provide the same exchange rates as those in the cities or towns.
Do you need injections for Egypt?
Yes, when travelling to Egypt the CDC and WHO recommend that travellers ensure that they are fully vaccinated for the following: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. The most important vaccines are for Hepatitis A and Typhoid. These specific vaccines are important as they offer protection against food and water-borne diseases which could infect you through eating or drinking contaminated food or water in Egypt.
Do I need malaria tablets for Egypt?
There have been no cases of locally-transmitted malaria in Egypt for the past 6 years. Generally there is no need to worry about Malaria in Egypt as the mosquito which carries malaria is no longer residing in or present within Egypt. There are mosquitos in Egypt, particularly as you stray closer to the Nile however these are harmless and with some long sleeve clothing and mosquito repellent, travellers should be completely fine.
Can I drink the water in Egypt?
The tap water in Cairo is safe to drink however it is heavily chlorinated and thus it tends to have foul taste. In general, in all regions of Egypt it is recommended to rather stick to drinking boiled or bottled water in order to avoid an upset stomach. Although, the tap water is safe for cleaning your teeth and so there is no need for bottled water when brushing your teeth.
How much does a meal cost in Egypt?
The cost of food in Egypt is relatively affordable in comparison to other countries, depending on the type of food you are looking to purchase. For example, a meal at a high-end establishment such as a hotel dinner would cost around 120LE per person. An average lunch in Egypt such as a sandwich and a coffee/soft drink or a pizza is around 40-45LE per person. The rate of exchange is generally 15LE for 1 US dollar.
Can I get a visa on arrival in Egypt?
Once you land, you need to go to the visa on arrival window, after getting in the queue at the immigration office. Keep in mind that when you pay for your Egypt visa on arrival, you need to pay in US dollars - you aren't allowed to use any other currency, and it is preferable if you have the exact amount. Also, you need to pay in cash because credit or debit cards are not accepted.
Can I drink alcohol in Egypt?
Egypt prohibits the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places and shops - except hotels, resturants, and tourist facilities approved by Egypt's Minister of Tourism. While the law in Egypt doesn't succeed in limiting the sale of alcohol exclusively to hotels, it does, however, hinders the growth of the alcohol industry.
Can you hold hands in Egypt?
Whether its just holding hands or any other form of public displays of affection, it is usually heavily frowned upon. Save it for the privacy of your hotel room. While things may seem more relaxed in tourist resorts, it’s good to be mindful of local customs and traditions.
What is the best city to visit in Egypt?
The historic city of Cairo is definitely one to be at the top of your bucket list when visiting Egypt - Cairo truly is a charming place with world-class sights to see. The city sits on the insubstantial River Nile and is the location of the medieval Islamic city and Coptic architecture in the old city. The world-famous Egyptian Museum boasts an incredible collection of ancient Egyptian artefacts.
What should I wear in Egypt?
Both the Islamic majority and the Christian minority dress rather smartly and are rather conservative. You will see that most men in shirts, long trousers, and leather shoes and the women are usually fully veiled, though abayas (loose overgarment/robe). If you like the style, you will find cheap cotton abayas at most souvenir shops (they are quite comfortable!). This doesn’t mean you can’t wear shorts. In the tourist regions such as on the beach or in the hotel it is acceptable to wear shorts. In mosques, women are required to cover their shoulders & wear a veil, while men should be mostly covered as well.
Can I wear jeans in Egypt?
Jeans and even skinny jeans are generally okay to wear in Egypt as long as you have a longer top to pair it with. You will find that many young local women pair their skinny jeans with longer sleeved tops that covered their bottoms. That being said, its best to save your jeans for the evening when its cooler - it is way too hot for jeans during the day.
What is a felucca?
Feluccas are traditional wooden sailing boats that have been used on the River Nile in Egypt and Sudan for centuries. The boats usually feature one or two triangular sails and the lack of a motor means you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful journey, watching traditional rural Egyptian life pass you by on the banks of the river. You sleep on the deck of the boat, with matresses, pillows and blankets provided. You may wish to bring an additional sleeping bag in the colder winter months (November-February). Mosquito nets are also rigged up at night. You do need a decent level of mobility for getting on and off the boats. At Encounters Travel we also provide a support boat to join with you several times a day, and to moor with you at night. This provides a clean and hygienic toilet, shower and kitchen, meaning the banks of the Nile are protected from human toilet waste in particular. The Nubian felucca crew will assist you during the day, and cook your meals while you are moored on the banks of the Nile. On all our tours including felucca trips you have the option to still do the sailing, but then return to Aswan to spend an extra night sleeping in the hotel there, rather than on the boat. Click here for more information about our Nile Felucca experience.
Can I take my medication to Egypt?
Some prescribed and over the counter medicines that are available in the UK and other western countries are considered controlled substances in Egypt and can’t be brought into the country without prior permission from Egypt’s Ministry of Health. If you arrive in Egypt without this permission and the required documentation, the medication will not be allowed into the country and you may be prosecuted under Egyptian law. If you’re travelling with prescription medication you should carry a medical certificate confirming that the medication has been prescribed for a medical condition. The Egyptian Embassy website states that this should be in the form of an official letter from your GP, specifying details of your condition, the quantity of medication you will be carrying and that the medication is for your personal use only. In general you should ensure medications are in their original packaging, that you only carry enough for your visit and no more than a day or two more extra as spare, and that you have your prescription and doctor's letter to hand. For further information and specific queries, contact the Egyptian Medical Office in London on 020 7370 6944.
How safe is Egypt for LGBT travelers?
Like much of the Middle East (Israel excluded!) Egypt is still a relatively conservative country, which unfortunately does still condemn homosexuality. Whilst being Gay in Egypt is not technically a crime, public acts of affection between same sex couples can lead to prosecution. In Cairo and Alexandria there is a small but underground gay scene, but it's often difficult and unsafe to try to access this as a tourist. It's generally recommended not to use same sex dating apps in Egypt as the police do often use these to target users. From our own experience of travelling to and operating tours in Egypt for many years, you are very unlikely to experience issues as a gay traveller in Egypt so long as discretion is used, and public displays of affection are avoided between couples. That being said, the same would generally apply to same sex couples too, as public displays of affection between any couples in Egypt are generally not considered the norm. Regarding hotel rooms, most hotels which regularly welcome foreign travellers will have no issue allocating a double room to a same sex couple, however when staying in lower end accommodation and in more rural areas, we would recommend requesting a twin room to avoid any unwanted attention.