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trosebery

Safety in Egypt?

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I'm wanting to plan a river cruise in Egypt (from Luxor to Aswan). We would fly into Cairo and see the pyramids and the Egyptian Museum before flying to Luxor and boarding a river cruise to Aswan . . . providing I can get my husband to agree.

 

He has (admittedly, valid) concerns about the security situation in Egypt. Our government's advisory website does say, "Avoid non-essential travel" (although it does make an exception for the Nile between Luxor and Aswan).

 

So, anyone know the best way of convincing him that the risk, if we travel with a reputable company and stick to the areas described, is manageable?

 

I think part of the problem is that we'd be travelling with kids (14 and 11), and risks that we'd take ourselves on our own, he's not willing to take with kids in tow. 

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Having returned from nearly three weeks in Egypt the only word I would say is GO.

As you noted, the state department has no trouble with us on the Nile River. We also traveled to Sharm el Shekh which was fanatistic. The four seasons there is mind blowing.

i DID NOT want to go to Egypt, ever. I was sure I would get sick, be disgusted by the garbage and poverty and crowds.

All I can say is, I would return, when the new Cairo museum opens and also hit a few places we missed.

Security is excellent everywhere. Each airport we were patted down twice and our bags xrayed twice.

All hotels used dogs, and security screening.

all tourist sights are very closely patrolled and guarded.

Best of all, while tourism is picking up, the famous sights are not so overwhelming teaming with people. You will get upgrades and lots of extras, if you worked through Abercrombie and Kent like we did.

We booked an independent journey through them at the same price and we had amazing service. Upon landing you are guided through costumes, bags are picked up guided to a driver. Guide and driver to hotel. They check you into your hotel and straighten you out (we got early check in, late check out, suite upgrades and even spa credits).  No crappy early morning flight times. I left clothing behind in Sharm and they got it to me in Luxor for free.

I could go on and on.

my best advice, use A&K so you aren’t on a big group moving around from place to place  with a lot of old people!

 

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Thanks for the advice! I did get my husband to agree to a trip, and we are looking at booking independent travel through a company. It looks fascinating from the photos, and I'm sure it will be a very different travel experience than anything we've experienced to date!

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Safer than in the US of A.

Why does everybody "in the civilized workd" think that the entire Arab world is full of suicidal maniacs?

Egypt is crazy, disorganised,  mostly filthy and pretty much everybody is trying to overcharge you for anything you want to buy...

But: murderous shooting sprees by drug crazed lunatics in schools,  malls, night clubs etc are definately rarer than in the land of the free.

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36 minutes ago, buchhalm said:

But: murderous shooting sprees by drug crazed lunatics in schools,  malls, night clubs etc are definately rarer than in the land of the free.

 

To your point, when I met a little girl from Johannesburg, she asked me why children get shot in school in the USA. 

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On 4/5/2019 at 4:07 PM, Jacqueline said:

Having returned from nearly three weeks in Egypt the only word I would say is GO.

As you noted, the state department has no trouble with us on the Nile River. We also traveled to Sharm el Shekh which was fanatistic.

 

Agree with Jacqueline!!  As detailed below on my life/blog, we sailing down the Suez Canal, had one day in Sharm el Shekh and then traveled from the Red Sea port for going to Luxor.  We had two days there along the Nile, staying overnight, seeing the Valley of the Kings, experiencing the various temples, etc.  Fascinating and wonderful!!  We did not sense any safety issues or challenges there.  My sense and understanding are that Cairo can be much more "intense" and different.    

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

For my latest live/blog, see “the Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East.  Check it at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

 

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On 4/6/2019 at 7:31 AM, buchhalm said:

Safer than in the US of A.

Why does everybody "in the civilized workd" think that the entire Arab world is full of suicidal maniacs?

Egypt is crazy, disorganised,  mostly filthy and pretty much everybody is trying to overcharge you for anything you want to buy...

But: murderous shooting sprees by drug crazed lunatics in schools,  malls, night clubs etc are definately rarer than in the land of the free.

I lived in Saudi Arabia (worked for Army Corps of Engineers) and traveled extensively in the Middle East.  This was in the 80s before terrorists attacked a bus full of German and Swiss tourists at the tomb of Queen Hatchept in the 90s.  The politics in Egypt is a bit complicated.  I have studied Middle East history, studied Islam and the culture in that part of the World.

Egypt has always had a strong element of extremists.  The Muslim Brotherhood is the train that drives terror in Egypt.  That organization dates back decades.  To oversimplify the history, the MB was born in Egypt and from it spawned most of the other terror organizations in the Middle East and South Asia.   

 

Two brigades of SS came from the Middlle East and fought for the NAZIS on the Eastern front.

 

A few years ago the Arab Spring resulted in the end of President Mubarak and elections.  The MB won the elections and pushed the country into a disastrous way.  Hundreds of Christian churches were burned, Christians were murdered until the military rose up and put an end to MB rule.  The good news was that the vast majority of people in Egypt had turned against the MB, so this was a positive note.  However, the MB still exists and foments terror when it can, although now under the scrutiny of the current president (former general).   Recently, there was an attack on tourist via an IED, which were typically used by terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

 

What makes Egypt more of a risk to visit is the potential for more TARGETED attacks on terrorists.  The terrorists believe that if they can hurt the tourist industry then they can economically bring down the government.

Yes, getting blown apart by an IED is probably going to be a rare event, but in my opinion, more likely than being struck by lightening.   

 

My Wife has never been to Egypt and I would love to take her, but were are still on the borderline about going.

Saying that Egypt is safer than the USA is probably true, if you plan to visit the gang infested areas of Chicago, at night.  However, tourists are not targeted here and people know where not to go in the USA.

 

It is a personal decision that can be a hard one to make, since Egypt has so much history to see.  Many of the ancient buildings were preserved by the desert covering them.  Ancient tombs show bright colors and ancient writing with pictograms that look new.   It is hard to pass up. 

 

If you go, be prepared for the risk.  I still think traveling with a tour group is best.

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Posted (edited)

4774 Pappa:  I think you have overemphasized risks in Egypt vs the US or other parts of the world. First, you live in a quiet area, while we have lived in Chicago for many years. While you're correct that it is not wise to go into certain parts of our city at night, that nowadays can be said for almost any big city in the world. Second, while your recent history of Egypt is correct , it sounds like you haven't been there in many years. We were there a few years ago & while tourism is down, the government and tour operators have taken substantial steps to make visitors safe. One positive note is that tourist sites are far less crowded than years ago and the Egyptians are very appreciative that you are visiting their country (yes,  vendors still can be pushy). Regarding  traveling in large group travel is often they travel in caravans with armed guard. On the otherhand, large groups attract more attention. Unfortunately , it is hard to generalize about safety. Look at our country and the recent attacks at religious locations, political rallys, night clubs or even schools. Has the MB (which now is outlawed in Egypt) recently attacked as many of  these sites ?

We would suggest visiting Egypt if you desire and as always (& everywhere) use good common sense while touring.

Edited by dabear

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On 5/2/2019 at 2:36 PM, dabear said:

4774 Pappa:  I think you have overemphasized risks in Egypt vs the US or other parts of the world. First, you live in a quiet area, while we have lived in Chicago for many years. While you're correct that it is not wise to go into certain parts of our city at night, that nowadays can be said for almost any big city in the world. Second, while your recent history of Egypt is correct , it sounds like you haven't been there in many years. We were there a few years ago & while tourism is down, the government and tour operators have taken substantial steps to make visitors safe. One positive note is that tourist sites are far less crowded than years ago and the Egyptians are very appreciative that you are visiting their country (yes,  vendors still can be pushy). Regarding  traveling in large group travel is often they travel in caravans with armed guard. On the otherhand, large groups attract more attention. Unfortunately , it is hard to generalize about safety. Look at our country and the recent attacks at religious locations, political rallys, night clubs or even schools. Has the MB (which now is outlawed in Egypt) recently attacked as many of  these sites ?

We would suggest visiting Egypt if you desire and as always (& everywhere) use good common sense while touring.

dauber,

Good points.  Yes, I was last in Egypt in 1985, which was right after the Achile Lauro hijacking by terrorists.  Terrorism is difficult to predict without knowing the intelligence.  I am not privy to any of that, but because I lived in the Middle East and an fascinated with all the history, I try to keep up with the latest news.

 

I have friends that have been to Egypt in the past two years and they said the same thing that you said in your post.  Yes, most Egyptians are great people and not radicals.  However, I read sources from the Middle East and understand that there is still a struggle going on between the Government and the Muslim Brotherhood.  The MB has less support from the population since the MD President was a disaster for the country, however, the MB is still a huge factor in Egypt.  

 

There was  an attack on a tourist bus a few months ago with an IED bomb (similar tactic to Afghanistan and Iraq Wars).   If this continues, it would be a huge problem for tourism.   The main problem is that the MB is TARGETING tourists.   OK, perhaps lightening string would be a similar risk.  I am close to considering taking my Wife to Egypt, but she is not interested.  We still plan on visiting Israel, which is another great place to see.

 

Enjoy your trip and my prayers are with you.

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We were in Israel last year. It is a great place to visit and you will relive history. Safe travels to you & try not to let the terrorists win!

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Sad to hear.  From CNN news network this morning, they had this headline: “Egypt explosion injures tourists near Giza pyramids”  with these highlights: “At least 14 people were injured in an explosion that targeted a tourist bus carrying 25 South African citizens. A device exploded near the bus, Ahram reported, while the windshield of another vehicle was damaged. The blast took place outside the yet-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum, near the Giza pyramids.   Egypt's Minister of Tourism Rania A. Al Mashat called it a 'minor explosion' in a Twitter post. 'Of the 28 passengers on the bus we can confirm some minor injuries with three being treated at the hospital as a precaution,' she wrote.”

 

Full story at:

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/19/africa/egypt-museum-blast-tourists-intl/index.html

 

THANKS!  Terry in Ohio

 

For latest live/blog, see “Holy Lands, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Dubai, Greece, etc.”, with many visuals, details and ideas for the historic and scenic Middle East.  Connect at:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2607054-livenautica-greece-holy-lands-egypt-dubai-terrypix’s/

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Very sad to hear about the latest incident. There was a similar incident in December. Tourism is so important to Egypt’s economy. This might hurt the recent uptick in tourism there.

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Always difficult to know if this is a one-off incident or indicates more attacks to come.  I guess we have to balance risk v. reward in choosing whether to go to this, or any other, area.  

 

Trosebery,  Have you already gone on your cruise or do this event have any impact on your plans?

 

On 4/5/2019 at 2:14 PM, trosebery said:

Thanks for the advice! I did get my husband to agree to a trip, and we are looking at booking independent travel through a company. It looks fascinating from the photos, and I'm sure it will be a very different travel experience than anything we've experienced to date!

 

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6 hours ago, Smokeyham said:

Always difficult to know if this is a one-off incident or indicates more attacks to come.  I guess we have to balance risk v. reward in choosing whether to go to this, or any other, area.  

 

Trosebery,  Have you already gone on your cruise or do this event have any impact on your plans?

 

 

 

I haven't already gone -- we're scheduled to go next year -- but this incident doesn't affect our plans. If the frequency or severity of such incidents increases, it might (our deposits are refundable), but at the moment, I know that the statistical risk is still low. (Also, we're travelling with a private guide in for the two days we're in Cairo/Giza before heading on.)

 

I figured if the risk of violence hasn't stop me travelling to the U.S. -- over 100 mass shootings already this year and over 5000 deaths from firearms -- even though I myself was once injured (very minor injuries) in an armed robbery of a store (midday on Capitol Hill in D.C.!), the risk shouldn't stop me travelling to Egypt. 

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We visited the site of the new museum back in March. That area is pretty heavily covered by security, too.

i guess all I can say is you just never know. A local girl was killed in the Sri Lanka bombings, and I was at her wake last week. She passed away on May 4 as a result of injuries sustained. She was at the hotel with other member of the US Commerce department having brunch, when the attack occurred.

She  just finished two years or so in the Peace Corps inTanzania.  If I had to bet, her parents were probably more worried when she was in a moslem majority country with a history of terrorism than in a catholic country which up until then had been peaceful.

 

i really don’t know where is “safe” anymore. I had a little girl from South Africa ask me why American kids shoot each other at school.

 

(BTW the hotels in Cairo have bomb sniffing dogs and scan all luggage before it enters the hotel. At least the two hotels we stayed at.. the Marriot Mena House and the Four Seasons.)

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Yesterday Lufthansa and British Airways abruptly suspended flights to Cairo. While the suspension is only for a week, it does concern me about the safety of travel to Egypt.  Viking and Uniworld have almost sold out their 2020 river cruises to the region. If this suspension continues, it would be devastating to Egypt's tourism industry. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, SMNYCruise said:

Yesterday Lufthansa and British Airways abruptly suspended flights to Cairo. While the suspension is only for a week, it does concern me about the safety of travel to Egypt.  Viking and Uniworld have almost sold out their 2020 river cruises to the region. If this suspension continues, it would be devastating to Egypt's tourism industry. 

Yes, such a shame. Egypt is absolutely amazing - happy we visited when travel was deemed a tad more safe (relative to today).  We were in Cairo, 2005 (land visit) - wonderful experience then as we felt very safe - on our Egypt cruise in 2017 we definitely did not experience the same "safe vibe". Still felt relatively safe in 2017 and enjoyed ourselves.

Edited by dogs4fun

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Posted (edited)

If flights are going to be cancelled by two major carriers, with no prior warning, it does seem risky to be a place to plan for a vacation.  There is an advantage to booking a cruise, in that the cruise line would then need to figure out alternative destinations if the planned stops became unsafe.

Edited by Smokeyham

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Don't worry about safety there,because you will observe security in everywhere in Egypt

security police has been developed there and you will find security in streets, during your trip in Cairo also you will find more and more at airport 

don't worry about anything you will enjoy there

when I visited Egypt last year I enjoyed there too much and their people are very kind also it has many monuments 

Two third monuments of the world in Egypt 

If you want to make a very nice and enjoyable trip ,I will suggest to you the name company which I booked with them, last year

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