• Lily Carlson

Is Egypt Safe? | What to Consider Before Travelling to Egypt

I’ve wanted to visit Egypt since my first introduction to the ancient world in grade 4. The vast history, rich culture, and unique experiences made it feel like a far-off dream as I watched countless History Channel specials, documentaries, and reruns of “The Mummy” (over and over again…). So, you can likely imagine the “pinch me” moment when I actually found myself arriving at this destination that greatly defined my bucket list for so long.


Workers' Village, Luxor

Upon our arrival in Egypt however, and certainly, after our return, the most prominent question I received was some variation of, “did you feel safe?”


With a turbulent history, limited experiences to draw from in social circles and online, and fear-mongering portrayed in the media, it is a legitimate question.


This blog post will breakdown my response to, “Is Egypt Safe” by addressing the following:

  • My personal experience travelling through Egypt

  • Would I recommend solo female travel in Egypt?

  • Now that I’ve been, how would I recommend one travel through Egypt safely?


Ramesseum, Luxor

Arriving in Luxor, Egypt

My personal experience travelling through Egypt


First, I’ll say that during our trip, I felt very safe and felt I had, overall, a very positive experience in Egypt. This being said, it’s important to note how my experience was shaped by the choices I made.


I travelled through Egypt with both my male partner and a small group of other travellers (about 10 in total), including an Egyptian guide. The trip was organized through G Adventures, a small group travel company focused on changing the world through authentic and sustainable travel.


Travelling through Egypt, we also stuck to main cities and tourist sites and avoided areas considered to be unsafe, like the Sinai Peninsula.


Finally, I never went anywhere on my own. There were times when we had free time at sites and in different cities during our trip, but I always stuck with my partner or went off with friends we met through our group. During these times, we still attracted attention, but it helped to mitigate unwanted advances and/or potential harassment.


Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, West Bank, Luxor

Would I recommend solo female travel in Egypt?


My short answer is no, I would not recommend solo female travel in Egypt.


As a North American woman, it would be ignorant of me to say the cultural barrier (in addition to a clear language barrier, as someone who does not speak Arabic), does not have an impact on the experience.


In certain places, the reality is that foreign women, in particular, can be subject to unpleasant attention or harassment. Forms can range from staring, inappropriate remarks, and catcalls to touching. There are ways to help mitigate these negative experiences including dressing more conservatively, being selective of your accommodations and itinerary, being cautious of your surroundings during different times of day, and, yes, travelling in a group or with a male partner.


When travelling in our group, I felt extremely safe. When wandering alone with my partner, I also felt very safe. However, I don’t expect that I would have felt the same on my own.


This is not me trying to paint a negative picture of Egypt in any way or provide sweeping generalizations because we had so many very pleasant experiences with locals, guides, and staff of hotels and restaurants.


This is me sharing my personal thoughts based on lived experiences and sharing how I feel others can have the most positive experience possible while feeling most at ease.


Alexandria, Egypt

Now that I’ve been, how would I recommend one travel through Egypt safely?


Overall, we had an incredible experience travelling through Egypt and I would absolutely recommend making the leap if it’s on your list! It truly was unlike anywhere else I had travelled to before and left us with lifelong memories and experiences we will not soon forget.


Though historically my partner and I have not joined many tours and have instead navigated our travels on our own, I would recommend booking a small group tour to travel through Egypt.


G Adventures Tour at the Pyramids of Giza, Cairo

Benefits of travelling through Egypt on a small group tour / with a guide:

  • We were able to better navigate cultural and language barriers. Our tour was also led by an Egyptian guide who was not only familiar with the culture and language, but also understood the intricacies of travelling through Egypt, including necessary permits, best times to visit sites, fair prices for avoiding scams, and navigating tip culture (which is extensive).

  • It helped to mitigate harassment at sites from aggressive vendors and other guides looking to be hired.

  • Driving in Egypt is wild. The roads are packed and chaotic, rest stops can be few and far between, and many sites worth seeing are spread far apart. Through our tour, transportation was safe, smooth, and well organized.

  • Egypt is a country with an incredibly rich history, culture, and art. As a certified Egyptologist, our guide was able to share his knowledge, explain what we were seeing, and answer any questions we had. This added a depth of understanding we never could have had otherwise and made us appreciate everything we were experiencing so much more. Because the itinerary was so well organized, we were also able to see and experience way more than we ever could have on our own, especially in the same time period.


Abu Simbel Temple

Having now been, I truly believe that going through a tour was the best possible way we could have experienced Egypt. In future posts, I’ll speak more about where we travelled in Egypt, the highlights, and what made this destination so memorable and worthwhile.


Lily x


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Disclaimer: Our trip to Egypt was partially supported by G Adventures. The content of this blog is generated for entertainment and informative purposes. All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.