When we started telling people we were moving to Cairo many were shocked that DH was allowed to bring his wife (aka ME!) and kids there. I got questions about the safety and whether or not I was afraid. Honestly, no, I was not afraid. And I am still not afraid. Are there security concerns? Yes. Do we take precautions? Yes. Do I feel it is more dangerous than some of the big European cities? No.
The US Department of State issues travel warnings for various countries. Egypt has a travel warning. Let’s take a look at what it entails and what that means.
The warning (dated July 19, 2017–so this can and will change in the future) starts off stating that attacks by terrorist groups and violent political opposition groups can happen anytime anywhere, including tourist sites and major cities. It also says that the Sinai Peninsula, the Western deserts and the border regions are particularly at risk.
It goes on to state that US Mission personnel (aka the people who work at the embassy in Cairo and the consulate in Alexandria) are not allowed to go to the Western deserts or overland to the Sinai Peninsula. Sharm El-Sheik resort town in Sinai is allowed if flying there. Religious sites outside of Greater Cairo are also prohibited. This is due to the recent attacks on several Coptic Christian sites.
There is increased security at many of the tourist sites in Cairo and Egypt as a whole. Most of these sites are along the Nile River Valley or along the Red Sea, including Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Hurghada, and Alexandria. These are marked in green on the map above.
So, given all that, should you visit? Yup! It is a great time to visit as long as you take basic precautions.
Avoid the Western deserts and the Sinai Peninsula except for Sharm El-Sheik (and fly there from Cairo).
Keep up to date on travel warnings.
Let someone else know your daily itinerary.
Vary your route and routines so as to be unpredictable.
Avoid crowds and protests and leave the area quickly if a protest starts.
Be aware of your surroundings and if something feels “funny” take that seriously.
If you do all that, you can get some great deals and experience Egypt with way fewer crowds previously. Lines are shorter, crowds are smaller, and prices are lower.