Egypt Travel Information
Egypt, the cradle of history and culture, can trace its beginnings to the civilizations that developed along the banks of the Nile River. It was the Nile that molded the character of the people and made them the most civilized among any nation of ancient times. From time immemorial, the mystique of ancient Egypt has drawn fascinated travelers from across the globe. You are about to embark on a journey that will enable you to capture the beauty and soul of this fascinating country!
Egypt is located in the northeast corner of the African continent. About the size of California, Nevada, and Arizona combined, it’s a large country, yet most of the population lives along the fertile Nile River. The Nile flows south to north through the eastern portion of the country and empties out into the Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, most of the destinations you will likely be interested in Cairo, Luxor and Aswan are on the Nile.
Cairo, the largest city in Africa, is a combination the exotic and the sophisticated. With a thousand minarets, oriental bazaars, and gracious residential districts, it is also a rare blend of a time long past and a vibrant, modern present.
Western Egypt, making up the bulk of the country, is desert and largely uninhabited. The nation’s eastern border is marked by the Red Sea where the Gulf of Suez to the west and the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, help form the border of the Sinai Peninsula desert. The Suez Canal lies to the north between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean.
The Pyramids, the Sphinx, the mosques, the bazaars, and the overwhelming wealth of Tutankhamen’s treasures in the Cairo museum will provide memories to last forever. Upper Egypt has many delights to offer you when you plan a diversion in this historic region, including the outstanding temples at Karnak, Luxor, Thebes, and the mystical Valley of the Kings.
Cairo (in Degrees Farenheit)
Luxor (in Degrees Farenheit)
|Jan. 41 – 73
Feb. 43 – 77
Mar. 50 – 84
Apr. 59 – 93
Oct. 63 – 95
Nov. 54 – 84
Dec. 45 – 75
Clothing and Dress Codes
Most people have the impression that the weather in Egypt is always hot. Although it is much warmer than most people are used to, many are surprised to discover how much the temperature varies from one month to the next, or even within a given day. Therefore, guests should plan their wardrobes according to the time of year. In early summer and fall, cotton and cotton blend clothing are most comfortable. In summer, only pure cotton clothing is recommended, especially for those who suffer from heat. From December through March, a lightweight coat is needed for the early morning and late evenings.
|Electricity||220 AC. 50 cycles. Wall plugs are the 3 pin or 2 pin European type. American appliances: Hair dryers and “American” shaver plugs should be found in the hotel rooms. If you plan to use your own “American” hair dryer or curling iron, bring an adapter plug and current converter (high capacity – approx. 1600 watts).|
|Language||The official language is Arabic. English and French are widely spoken.|
|Currency||Egyptian Pound. 1 US Dollar = 5 to 6 Egyptian Pounds.|
|Time||Egypt is generally nine hours ahead of Mountain time and seven hours ahead of Eastern time.|
|Health Requirements||Generally, no shots are required; however, a current tetanus booster is recommended. We recommend you consult with your personal physician for specific information.|
|Customs||Personal items are admitted duty free. If your video cameras are recorded in your passport when you enter Egypt, you may be subject to customs fees if you leave Egypt without them.|
|Airport||Cairo International Airport is located 14 miles from the city center.|
|Shops||10:00 am – 1:00 pm & 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm.|
|Business Hours & Banks Hours||Mon. -Thu. & Sat.:
8:30 am – 1:00 pm.
Sun.: 10:00 am -12:00 noon.
|Foreign banks operating in Cairo have the same hours except they are closed Fridays and Saturdays. Banks are also closed on official holidays|
|Passport and Visas||Passport authorities at Cairo International Airport are empowered to grant visas at the airport. Your flight attendant should give your visa forms to fill out before arrival into Cairo. The approximate cost for an Egyptian visa for US citizens is $30. A valid passport is required when flying into Cairo. For land crossing into Egypt a valid passport and visa are required. For further information, please contact ISRAEL REVEALED.|
|Photography & Video||Some places visited in Egypt charge a special photography/video fee. At Luxor and Aswan, there is an hourly fee for video filming. There is no video filming allowed in the Valley of the Kings. There is a charge for still photography in the Valley of the Kings and there is absolutely NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY!|
Hawkers and Bargaining – The intense hustle and bustle of Cairo, and aggressive salespeople may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but Egyptians are among the friendliest and most helpful people to tourists. If the hawkers are too persistent, saying a firm, loud ‘NO’ is appropriate and is not considered to be rude in Egypt.
Tips and Handouts – Many people (especially the poor) expect small tips, 2 or 3 Egyptian Pounds (approximately 50 cents). This is referred to in Arabic as “baksheesh”, and it’s appreciated when favors are done. This includes favors such as letting their photographs be taken; they will often place themselves in a photograph for this reason! Gratuities for maids, maitre d’, guide, and driver are not included with your tour package. We recommend $1 for maids and maitre d’ per person per day, $3-5 for the driver per person per day, and $5-7 for the guide per person per day.
Directions – Do not get confused by up-and-down river directions on the Nile (such as “up river” being south). The Nile flows north from Upper Egypt to Lower Egypt, where it empties into the Mediterranean.
Shopping – The best bazaar to see in Cairo is the Khan El Khalili bazaar. The tour operator will also take you to other shopping opportunities. You must not feel that you have to buy anything you do not want.
Camel Rides – We suggest that you only take camel rides arranged by your guide. Other camel drivers charge little to get on and then a lot to get off the camel. (A tip for the camel owner is also expected after your ride is through!)
Snacks – We recommend you carry a few snacks and water while you tour to keep your energy up and because eating times may vary. This is especially important for anyone with blood/sugar level sensitivities.
You Can Keep Yourself in Good Health in Egypt!
Two General Rules
Drink Only Bottled Water
Eat Only Hot Cooked Foods and Foods You Peel Yourself
|Rule||Situation||What to Do|
|Drink Only Bottled Water||Brushing Teeth||Use Only Bottled Water to Brush your Teeth|
|Drinking at Meals||Drink Only Bottled Water or other Bottled Soft Drinks. Make sure the bottles are opened in front of you.|
|Drinking at Breakfast||Avoid orange juice (any drink) that is not in a bottle that is opened in front of you.|
|The waiter brought ice in the glass||Ask the waiter to bring a fresh glass with no ice. (The ice is not made from bottled water.)|
|Hot Cooked Foods||Salad Bar||Avoid any salad that is cold. Eat only hot cooked salads.|
|Dinner Buffet||Choose only hot cooked food.|
|Served Food||Eat only food that is hot and cooked. If there is a fresh tomato (etc.) as garnish, remove it and only eat the hot food.|
|Vegetable||No: to fresh vegetables.Yes: to cooked vegetables.|
|Bread||Is generally the only exception to this rule. If it is kept in a clean and dry place it can be OK.|
|Foods You Peel Yourself||Fresh Fruit||No: to apples, kiwi, strawberries, fruit salad etc.Yes: to un-peeled bananas, un-peeled oranges.|
|Yogurt||No to opened bowl of yogurt.Yes to un-opened cups of yogurt.|
|Potato Chips/Crackers||Only if you open the package yourself.|
|General Foods to Avoid||Vegetables in Hot Cooked Omelette||Usually omelettes are not cooked long enough to cook the vegetables.|
|Complimentary Drinks||No: to any drinks that are not opened in front of you. It is OK to be rude and not accept the drink.|
|Mayonnaise||Mostly in uncooked food. Avoid it as it tends to spoil.|
For your own health, you are responsible to adapt your habits to the culture,
country and society of where you are.
This table is only intended as a guideline for your convenience.