Cairo, safe for Americans?

Jul 14th, 2003, 11:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1
Cairo, safe for Americans?

Hie everyone,
My husband and I have noticed a few good travel deals to Cairo. Does anyone know if its safe for Americans?

Thanks for your help!

4769018 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 12:32 PM
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Very safe!

There is security everywhere - at your hotel, at sites, on the Nile cruise boat. Bags have to be opened before entry everywhere, you pass thru scanners at sites. There are security personnel mixed in with tourists - in everyday clothing - at sites, as well as security on camels high in the hills.

When we were there, we had the opportunity to attend performance of Aida at the Pyramids, and here they even had dogs sniffing out all vehicles that entered.

After the massacre at the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut back a few years, the Egyptians have been extra cautious re security.

Jul 15th, 2003, 06:55 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 102
We were there right after Sept 11 (first week of Oct) and wow - I have never seen security like that in my life. All major hotels have metal detectors at the entrances, and most of the museums do thorough checks of your belonging. We felt incredibly safe and everyone was very friendly to us. We enjoyed it so much we are going back to Soma Bay in December.

One note, I would arrange for hotel transfers from the airport through your hotel, by the way. It is more expensive, but much more pleasant.
melissaom is offline  
Jul 17th, 2003, 09:53 PM
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We just got back yesterday, and I agree with the above posters that it's absolutely safe for Americans. We experienced NO anti-American sentiment. One of the first questions everyone asks tourists is "Where are you from?" - upon hearing we are American, without exception, everyone said something positive about America. Obviously, they say something positive about your country no matter where you come from, but everyone was extremely friendly.

As the above posters mentioned, since the earlier terrorist attacks, the Egyptian government has gone out of its way to increase security, and they have been suffering greatly because of 9/11 and the Iraq war, so they're working even harder now.

And the deals are ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!! Highly recommend the Oberoi Philae cruise ship (absolutely the best on the Nile after the hopelessly expensive Abercrombie yachts) and the Old Cataract in Aswan. We just did a 2 week trip all in 5-star accommodations, including some extensions and tours, for $135 US per night (for 2 people). GO - you will have a great time - you couln't pick a better time for deals, and if you go SOON there will be far fewer tourists than normal, which is much better for seeing the sights.
Andrea_expat is offline  
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:34 AM
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The security described by above posters post-9/11 is not that different than what we encountered 6 months pre-9/11. Even then, bags were inspected, x-rayed at many indoor historic sites, our tour bus was bomb-dog-sniffed and inspected underneath at the Aswan Dam, many armed guards on all streets (they all looked bored, about 19 eyars old and smoked cigarettes continuously).

While I can obviously not comment on specifics of safety now, most Egyptians working in the tourist industry (from hotel owners to the guys selling water at the pyramids) just want to make a living. Statistically you are probably at greatest risk getting run over by crazed drivers in Cairo than anything else. (The traffic and drivers in Cairo are not to be believed!)

If you decide to go, have a great trip - I will go back some day - it was an incredible experience.
gail is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 02:18 PM
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There's not enough money on this planet to make me travel to the Mideast!!
WalStro is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2003, 02:33 PM
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WalStro -

Then you're missing a world of history, friendly people, great food, welcoming hospitality. It's your loss.
Jul 23rd, 2003, 01:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 84
Message: WalStro

I have to concur with Sandi and add that you are also missing incredible value, exceptional hotels, a chance to observe a radically different culture, crystal clear weather (albeit a little smoggy in the cities), sites that are still alive after thousands of years and the natural, but stark, beauty of the Sahara and the Sinai peninsula which is incomparable. Your position/opinion just leaves more room for the rest of us. Take care.
David is offline  
Jul 25th, 2003, 10:22 PM
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Posts: 32
HI Sandi - see my response in the greece forum re american's safety. Was in Egypt last Oct and EXTREMELY SAFE. DOnt be put off by military personal and tanks and machine gunbs - they are for your benefit. Just remeber that American openess and frankness is often interpreted as rudeness by many other cultures - behave a little more reservedly and keep any criticisms to yourself unless you have a specific issue (such as poor allocation of hotel room) to yourself. DOnt make those comment in general conversation. Egyptians are very proud of their country and this is embarrassing and / or offensive as similar comments from a foreigner re USA are for you...
Otherwise the level of precaution is unseen elsewhere. Every shop hotel and site has guards and metal detectors. Do not photograph sites or instal;lations or military or police personal. Tourist police are there but variously helpful. People in the streety trying to be helpful should be viewed wiuth caution - but only as a danger to your wallet as they will invarioubly take you to their "shop" for tea, then sell you something. Decline politely and explain youve already bought one and are late for an appt. If you are "gypted" take it as part of the experience, learn from it, but dont get angry...
BEST ADVICE AND TRAVEL DEALS are found at the Amex Office Travel Desk in Qasr El Nil off Talaat Harb. Buy Lonely Planet EGYPT and DK Eye Witness Travel Guides EGYPT - Fantastic. We stayed in Helnan SHepherd which is kitch but great. However as frequented by Saudis perhaps youd prefer the Ramses Intercontinental across road. both are around the corner from American Embassy, on the Nile front, 5 mins from Egyptian Museum and McDOnalds (Good, safe food if you suffer from the delicate stomach longing for home style food. ENJOY - Im in love and cant wait to go back!!!

PerthGirl is offline  
Jul 31st, 2003, 11:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Perthgirl has got the names of the hotels mixed up. It is the Semiramis Intercontinental that she is referring to, but when I was in Cairo in March it was one of the few hotels offering little in the way of discounts. There is the Ramses Hilton further up the river, but horrible location next to tatty bus stops and past its sell by date compared to some others. We stayed at Royal Nile for under $100 a night with great rooms - new tower is less than a couple of years old. Brand new pool -opened April looked like it would be great. Also consider Nile Hilton - bit dated but a lot of regualrs favourite, or Conrad for good locaiton next to major shopping mall and couple of trendy restaurants. But Royal nile for price was great value.
Travelnick is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2003, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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yep - i had an awful feeling as i posted that id done that - semiramses not ramses...
its beautiful hotel though...

but honestly for value for money - the helnan shepherd was lovely and soooo cheap - we had room (double with two double beds) more like small suite for only $US35 per night per room.

their breakfast room their is lovely too overlooking the nile...
PerthGirl is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2003, 06:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 32
yep - i had an awful feeling as i posted that id done that - semiramses not ramses...
its beautiful hotel though...

but honestly for value for money - the helnan shepherd was lovely and soooo cheap - we had room (double with two double beds) more like small suite for only $US35 per night per room.

their breakfast room there is lovely too overlooking the nile...
PerthGirl is offline  

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