Safety in Egypt

Old Aug 7th, 2019, 04:31 PM
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Safety in Egypt

Thinking of canceling my trip into Cairo in November due to the recent car bombing. I was planning on all the tourist areas and sites but now seriously wondering if itís worth it. Maybe this country should be on my wait list and I need to plan somewhere else. Any thoughts?
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Old Aug 7th, 2019, 05:27 PM
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If you wait every time there's violence you may never go anywhere. The bomb was not at a tourist site but certainly up to you. But consider also avoiding Walmarts, nightclubs, schools, marathons, tall buildings, airplanes, New Zealand, . . . you get the drift.
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Old Aug 9th, 2019, 04:13 PM
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You can postpone your trip, but Egypt is not going to get safer. The underlying issues(population boom) of terrorism are only getting worse. It is wise decision however to postpone your trip if you're scared. Travelling is not much fun if you don't feel relaxed. Wait until you have more courage, I think Egypt is absolutely worth the risk if you don't have children yet or they are already grown up.
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Old Aug 9th, 2019, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by BDKR View Post
You can postpone your trip, but Egypt is not going to get safer. The underlying issues(population boom) of terrorism are only getting worse. It is wise decision however to postpone your trip if you're scared. Travelling is not much fun if you don't feel relaxed. Wait until you have more courage, I think Egypt is absolutely worth the risk if you don't have children yet or they are already grown up.
I agree with the point about postponing if you won't enjoy yourself. But having enjoyed Egypt without the crowds myself, I'd encourage you to consider the odds especially if you'll be traveling on your own as I was. We really aren't very satisfying targets. I also believe that it's about as safe in Egypt as anywhere. And you might look at it this way, the longer you wait the closer you are to the next one. From that point of view, now is the safest time. Think about it.
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Old Aug 27th, 2019, 12:05 PM
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I'd also add that Egypt is a pretty safe destination. I was in Egypt earlier this year and felt completely safe, and this was a couple of months after the bombing that affected the tourist bus in December. While I can't make any guarantees, I would tend to agree that concerns about terrorism in Egypt tend to be overblown, but if you don't think you'll enjoy yourself (especially that you will worry the entire time you're there), then you should look into the implications of canceling your trip.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for this thread! I'm just beginning to think that I might make Egypt my next destination, and found this thread very helpful.

(@ MmePerdu: If I choose Egypt, you can bet I'll take a look at your trip report!)
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 07:03 PM
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Kja, do go, sooner rather than later. I guess you found my Egypt blog, long but lots of pictures so it goes fast. One chapter concerns a book I read, re-read on the trip and I leave it there for you to discover what happened, stranger than fiction. I'm thinking about going back.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 07:11 PM
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@ MmmPerdu: Thanks for the encouragement -- and for the tantalizing enticement! I find that I benefit most from reading about other people's experiences after I've done some preliminary planning, so it might be a while. That said, you've already added a notable weight to my personal scales favoring Egypt. Just one question for now: Is your argument for sooner rather than later based solely on the time since the last attack on tourists? I can think of other possibilities....
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 08:20 PM
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No, nothing to do with the security issue. The Arab Spring reduced tourist numbers to essentially zero except for Red Sea resorts popular with, I believe, mostly British sun-lovers. In the last couple of years visitors have begun trickling back though when I was there in Nov. '17 there still weren't many & I had some locations to myself. I assume numbers are continuing to rise which on the upside means the infrastructure will improve. But since it was possible to find decent places to stay, I'd trade greater choice of accommodation for lack of crowds any day. Presumably prices will also rise with improving visitor numbers. That's my reasoning for going as soon as you're able.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 08:35 PM
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I'd trade almost anything for lack of crowds! Thanks for clarifying, MmePerdu -- you've tilted my balance toward the pros even more strongly.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 08:55 PM
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Have you been to Morocco? The reason I ask is, having been to Morocco a number of times, I assumed that somehow Egypt was Morocco with pyramids. It isn't. They really don't have much in common which was something of a shock to me. Morocco is posh with few ancient sites, medinas excepted. Egypt is rich in ancient sites but otherwise poor. Having had it's main source of revenue interrupted has made it all worse. There are reasonably priced upscale place to stay, but out & about it's often scruffy. Not to say there aren't nice places to go like restaurants, but if you, like I did, expect another Morocco-like experience, you'll be disappointed from that point of view. It took me a while to get used to it & I compensated by moving to more upscale places than I'd normally choose. I don't know why I hadn't realized that that would be the case but it's a good thing to know, I think. The ancient sites are what we go for & even they aren't as well maintained as one might expect. But knowing ahead of time you can plan accordingly. I still enjoyed the towns, Luxor & Aswan, walked all around as I always do and had a very good time. I know you're an experienced traveler, too, so am sure you'll love it.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 09:22 PM
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Thank you so much for taking the time to bring this comparison to my attention, MmePerdu -- how very thoughtful of you! I have not been to Morocco yet, and your remarks are doubly valuable, as Morocco is currently 2nd on a maybe-next list that doesn't have much definition. Egypt is the front-runner for now -- I am fascinated by archeology, absolutely love roaming ancient sites, and have always wanted to see the pyramids and especially the temples of the Nile, to float down the Nile on a dahabiya, to spend hours and hours (and hours!) in magnificent archeological museums -- among other experiences that I think Egypt offers. I don't mind scruffy, as long as its sufficiently safe, and -- as a budget-minded traveler -- I'll only go upscale now and again when it's an affordable luxury that either makes sense from a safety perspective or when it's part of what I want to experience in my destination. And if I'm reading you correctly, sooner rather than later might be good for some of those potentially pricier oh-this-is-how-the-archeologists-spent-their-time-in-Cairo moments. Again, your comments are making me think even more that I should find a way to make Egypt my next destination. (I'm usually able to take the month of May off work, but I think I would need to visit Egypt before the start of Ramadan, and I think it starts on 23 April next year, so even if Egypt ends up being my first choice, I'll need to make sure I can take off then. Gosh, work can interfere with life! Growl.)
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 09:37 PM
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I can't tell if your mention of Cairo was offhand or specific. But Cairo isn't a place to linger, I was there 4 nights (no jetlag as I'd stopped for several days in Rome). I planned the 3 days to take in exactly what I wanted to see, had a guide for 2 days, then off to Luxor & beyond where I did linger. Cairo is kind of a dump, beyond scruffy, but what it has you'll want to see. Then be on your way.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 10:05 PM
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I'm not one to linger any where, MmePerdu -- at this point in my life, I don't travel for relaxation, instead preferring to see as much as I can in the time I have. And while I think there's a great deal I'd like to see and experience in Cairo, I have already considered the possibility of hiring a car and driver for at least most of my time there -- Cairo just seems so chaotic! My impression is that a car & driver would help me see what I want to see efficiently and with minimum hassle, something that I think I would find particularly valuable in a city like I imagine Cairo to be, and at least my preliminary forays into the nitty-gritty suggest that it would be a reasonably affordable luxury. If / when I go, I'll probably ask for your recommendation of a guide, if you don't name him/her in your blog. Again, many thanks for helping me think through these issues before I commit to a destination!
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 10:14 PM
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We'll talk more when you want specifics. Reading my TR will help.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 10:18 PM
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I consider myself very fortunate to be able to count upon travelers like you as I make my decisions, MmePerdu. If I choose Egypt, which seems increasingly likely, I'll read your TR and will hope that you will contribute as generously as you have already done.
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Old Aug 31st, 2019, 10:26 PM
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Very happy to help.
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 04:36 PM
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Norbert, just go. God's sense of humour was on full display when we went with friends, back in '94. But we survived and so will you.

1) the day that we departed, the front-page headline here was: 'SEVEN TOURISTS INJURED IN CAIRO BOMB ATTACK'.
2) our tour of the oases in the Western desert was accompanied by a plain-clothes cop--non-negotiable.
3) our Luxor guide had just lost his brother in a recent terrorist incident.
4) after we got back to Cairo, our rented bus was returned to the agency. The following afternoon, the same vehicle was nail-bombed by terrorists, as its new renters toured the Coptic part of the city. Apparently, one of the Norwegians inside the vehicle then lost an eye.

Plz report back to us all if you visit the new Ancient History Museum. Would love to hear all about it.
Btw, those above-mentioned friends met on this trip and have now been married for over 2 decades.

I am done. The desert matchmaker.
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Old Sep 25th, 2019, 06:38 PM
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@ zebec: If you thought your message would allay any concerns, you are sadly mistaken. Honestly, I don't know -- nor do I want to know -- your motivation in posting these comments. I can assure you that I won't make MY decision based on YOUR experience.
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Old Sep 26th, 2019, 07:56 AM
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I guess he just wanted to point out, in his own special way, that getting hit by a terrorist attack is a very low risk even in times when terrorist attacks do happen.

Getting hit by a car or getting food poisoning/diarrhea is a much more serious risk. I've seen a man getting hit by a car in front of me on a bridge in Cairo.
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