With the security issues that North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa are recently finding so challenging, we thought you may like to hear about the thoughts of one of our female trainers, who recently worked in Egypt. She offers her advice and thoughts about how to stay safe during our holidays or work trips to the capital city of Cairo.
Statistically Egypt is a relatively safe country. With its awe-inspiring ancient relics and endless opportunity for cultural immersion, it is a fantastic destination for any traveller. Read our top tips below and if you want to attend one of our Travel Awareness courses, then please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
- As a British Citizen you do not need a visa. Other nationalities would need to check their specific requirements with the Egyptian Embassy.
- It is advised not to drink the water. Either drink bottled water or the cheaper option is to take water purification tables or a water filter bottle or pump.
ATMS / Cash Withdrawals
- The local currency is on the foreign exchange mechanism. The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE). Don't change your money before you go to Egypt. You will get a better rate once you get there. Euros, dollars and sterling are accepted (notes not coins) but your money will go much further if you change it to Egyptian pounds.
- There are ATM’s in main cities (Cairo) but these are rare outside cities. Try to use ones inside banks to avoid scams/card cloning.
- Hotels have both electronic keys and normal keys, so we recommend keeping your key with you when you go out.
- Most hotels do have safes. Have a plan for what you are going to do with your valuables. Divide up your valuables and leave expensive watches and jewellery at home.
- Bring a surge protector to protect your all electrical items from power outages; electricity can be notoriously unreliable, and this will protect your equipment
- Do take a headtorch with you.
Clothing to wear
- Ladies should avoid wearing tight fitting or low-cut clothing. Covering up conveys your respect for Egyptian culture. Wearing skimpy clothing will undoubtably draw attention to yourself from males and females alike. Modesty and sensibility will allow you to blend in far easier.
- Loose fitting tops, trousers or longer skirts will also be more comfortable in the heat as well as deflecting attention. Remember to bring a scarf or shawl to cover your head if you intend to visit mosques during your trip.
- Organised tours are a good idea if you are new to the country and find the prospect of exploring alone daunting, if you are on holiday. Do a little research and find an exciting adventure. You may make some friends along the way!
- If you wish to use public transport, then do a little homework beforehand. Check the transport system of your chosen area. For instance, if you want to use the underground system within Cairo then you need to be aware there are underground carriages specifically for women.
- If taxis are more your preference, then be sure to arrange taxis through your hotel wherever possible or consider Uber.
- Agree a price before entering the vehicle and sit in the rear seat with a seatbelt as you normally would. You will also find ‘pink taxis’ within the cities. These taxis are driven by women, for women.
- On any public transport, it is advisable to be vigilant and confident.
- If you can, avoid city buses at peak times. The crowded nature of them creates close and sometimes unwanted contact.
- Do not be afraid to explore on foot. The streets in Cairo are buzzing with families until the small hours. A lone female traveller may attract some curious looks, but navigating downtown is relatively easy and a great opportunity to soak up the atmosphere!
- It is not recommended to visit the Baladi (local neighbourhood) bars unaccompanied. Also be sure to observe the clientele in some neighbourhood coffee shops. Some establishments are strictly men only.
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, or a venue leaves you feeling uncomfortable then leave and walk away.
As with any country be aware of cultural differences and use your common sense.
Should you need any further advice RPS partnership will be happy to help. We organise bespoke travel workshops for lone female travellers and have a wealth of experience gathered from our female consultants worldwide.
It is worth being prepared for an eventuality, so do get in touch with RPS Partnership and we can create a bespoke travel awareness course for you.