Security in Egypt
This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.
The crime rate in Egypt is much lower than in most Western countries. Serious crimes in general are very rare. In cities and tourist areas, only petty thieves and pickpockets should be feared. Tourists rarely become victims of crime: it is believed that criminals are afraid of tourists and are more likely to steal something from their compatriots. You can walk around cities and tourist areas day and night without much worry, and you are more likely to be afraid of inadequate compatriots or foreign tourists than local residents.
A special tourist police has been created for tourists in Egypt, which is present in all tourist areas. It is easy to find a tourist policeman by an armband with the inscription tourist police. If you can not find a representative of the tourist police, then feel free to contact any policeman. However, in this case, you will have to overcome the language barrier, since not all policemen speak foreign languages.
Unfortunately, despite the security measures taken in 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2006, terrorist acts against foreigners were committed in Egypt, resulting in many victims. After these events, the Government of the country has made repeated significant efforts to improve the level of security.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of thefts from hotel rooms and even from safes at the reception. Some recommendations on ways to keep money and documents safe are given in the article "Questions of the safety of money and documents".
The events of January-February 2011 in Egypt may significantly change the face of the country, including for visiting tourists. Most likely, the changes will affect both security and relations with tourists. To remedy the situation with the outflow of tourists, residents hold peaceful demonstrations in tourist places to express their kind attitude towards tourists. The government is also making efforts to return tourists. We hope that the situation will remain calm and there will be no recession of events, and Egypt will again become a tourist "Mecca" for Russians. However, before you go on a trip to Egypt, study the latest news about the situation in Egypt.
Rules of conduct, traditions
The Egyptians are a very hospitable people. Do not be surprised if they help you, offer to drink tea, eat or give you a ride for free – these are generally accepted traditions.
However, in the resort areas, around the sights, everything is completely different. Unfortunately, for the businessmen who trade there, tourists are a bag of money, and therefore the attitude towards tourists on their part is appropriate. Very often you will be swamped by a lot of molesters who will sell trinkets at fabulous prices, offer guide services, ride a camel, etc. In these matters they are very inventive. If you still fell for the "divorce" and understood it, then do not be rude, do not swear and do not insult anyone. Just apologize, say that you don't have any money, you don't need anything, or you don't understand anything in a foreign language. If they cross the border, start looking for a policeman. It has a very sobering effect on them.
previously, it was believed that in order to get rid of molestation, it was enough to say: "i am russian," because everyone knew that russians never have money. it was this way of getting rid of molestation that was recommended to european tourists – to impersonate russians. Now this method does not work, because our compatriots showed themselves in the matter of spending money not much more prudent than more well-off foreign tourists. But still, if you are not dressed provocatively richly and hung with jewelry, you will not sparkle with a tightly stuffed purse and an expensive camera, you have less chances to be the object of molestation and subsequently deceived.
But do not think that all Egyptians are very often scammers and crooks. The majority of the population is still very friendly and always ready to help for free.
- Do not communicate with the local population rudely, do not swear, do not flaunt wallets full of money.
- Do not offer locals to drink alcoholic beverages with you. This will offend them
- Observe the rules of decency in clothes: with bare shoulders, in miniskirts, shorts, in a swimsuit or with a bare torso, you can not walk on the streets of cities. It is not necessary to go on excursions in this form. On the territory of the hotel you can dress at your own discretion.
- If you want to take pictures of local residents, do it only with their permission or at least discreetly. If you take a picture of someone without permission, it is possible that they will demand money from you or raise a scandal.
- Show respect for religion. Egypt is an Islamic country and the people here are believers. Never criticize religion, do not disrespect it in any way. Always observe silence in mosques, and take off your shoes when entering.
- Coral reefs are a national treasure of Egypt; they are protected by law, and a large fine is threatened for their damage.
The behavior of local drivers on the roads can be called outrage and chaos. It is no exaggeration to say that traffic rules simply do not exist here, and if they do exist, then no one is going to comply with them. Drivers here absolutely ignore the road markings, do not use the turn signal, the high beam in the evening and at night is considered by them to be an act simply indecent and causes a violent response from drivers of oncoming cars. Egyptians practically do not use rear and side view mirrors, so your car can be cut off or "boarded" at any time. It is almost impossible to adapt to the logic of driving Egyptians. Moving as a pedestrian through busy streets is also not easy and you should be careful.
If you, despite all the chaos on the roads, decide to rent a car, then keep in mind the following information:
You can rent a car for an average of $50 per day. If you take it for a few days, you can save money. In addition, it is necessary to find out all the terms of the contract before concluding the contract, since often the rental price includes a limit of a certain number of kilometers, and you will have to pay extra for everything on top. You can rent a car with a chauffeur, it will not be much more expensive.
Another problem may arise with insurance: the specifics of insurance are such that in case of any damage to the car, you will have to pay a penalty amount of several hundred dollars, regardless of the severity of the damage and how it happened. Do not believe the words of agents that you will have to pay only in case of a serious accident – this is not true. In addition to the fine, you will most likely lose the amount of the deposit.
You will not have complete freedom of movement by car, because there are roadblocks everywhere on the roads (especially after the events of January-February 2011), and according to the rules foreigners cannot move independently around the country without protection. Most likely, you will not be released anywhere from the zone (city) where you took the car.
There is also a big problem with paying fines. In the event that you are stopped for violating the rules, your vehicle registration certificate will be withdrawn from you. To return it, you will have to pay a fine, and this procedure is as long and dreary as in Russia: you will need to pay the fine at the bank and personally submit it to the police station where you were fined. If you do not do this and do not return the passport to the owners, then, thanks to their efforts, you simply will not be released from the country.
In order to rent a car you must:
- have an international driver's license (Russian plastic ones are accepted) issued at least a year ago;
- you must be at least 22 years old;
- leave cash or a credit card as collateral.
Medicine and pharmaceuticals in Egypt are very well developed. Pharmacies in Egypt are located everywhere, medicines are inexpensive and meet international standards. Usually both a salesman and a doctor (pharmacist) work in pharmacies. In pharmacies you can find all the necessary and common drugs, hygiene products, hair and skin care products.
Medical services in Egypt are very expensive, so it is better to have insurance. Calling a doctor without insurance costs approximately $ 30.
There are no mandatory vaccinations for entry into Egypt, but WHO recommends that you get the following vaccinations before traveling: against tetanus, diphtheria, rubella and polio, hepatitis B, measles, mumps.
- Do not drink tap water. Buy bottled water in stores, or boil water. Brushing your teeth and washing fruits is also recommended with boiled or purchased water. When buying water, make sure that the protective seal on the neck is intact.
- Drink plenty of water, especially in the heat.
- Be careful about food. In the heat, it deteriorates very quickly. If there is the slightest suspicion of its freshness, it is better to refuse.
- Do not wander barefoot through slow channels or stagnant reservoirs, do not swim, do not wash your hands in them. There are many pathogenic viruses in stagnant and slow-flowing waters. The same rules apply to the Nile.
- Do not swim in the sea at night: there is a great risk of getting hurt by nocturnal animals that come to the shore at night.
- On the beach, have light shoes, bathing slippers with you, do not walk barefoot on the beach and in the water, so as not to hurt your feet on corals, sea urchin, glass, etc.
- Do not forget to use sunscreen. If you forgot to bring the cream with you, you can buy it at a local pharmacy.
- Use hats, protect your head from the sun where possible.
- If you go to Egypt in winter, be prepared for the fact that it will be cold in the dark. Grab some warm light clothes.
- Do not forget about the possible shark attack. Choose places designed for swimming, where measures are being taken against shark attacks.