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Egypt - is it safe?

13 replies

spacemonkey · 28/02/2004 16:29

My xh is talking about taking the children to Egypt on holiday in October. He's not doing a package holiday - is talking about hiring a car and driving about.

I feel really nervous about him taking them to that part of the world. Am I right to be concerned?

Any advice much appreciated

OP posts:
Azure · 28/02/2004 16:36

It's too early to say what the political / world climate may be in October, but I wouldn't recommend self-drive at all. It's a great country and you can get quite cheap packages (e.g. to Luxor) and pick up local day-trips or a car and driver.

smellymelly · 28/02/2004 22:46

Egypt is great, went to the red sea last year, but wouldn't take kids under 8 or so?, not quite so hot in oct though. Fantastic place, the egyptians are so polite and helpful. The best service we have had anywhere - no problems, just severe tummy runs when I gulped some sea water!!!!! We didn't take the kids, too boring for them, very young. Hope that helps....

dkdad · 28/02/2004 22:58

Hmm, I used to drive in Egypt (worked for an adventure travel company). This was about five years ago now but it was impossible to drive between the tourist attractions along the Nile Valley without joining a police convoy. This was in response to the bombing of tourists at the Cairo Museum and the shootings of 58 tourists in the Valley of the Kings.

The convoys were a real nuisance - waiting around for the police to geet organised, not being able to leave when you wanted (convoy from Aswan to Abu Simbel was at 4.00 am and you had to come back at a predetermined time as well).

So, unless he knows what he's doing (perhaps he had a job like mine once?), I'd do it in more conventional fashion, not because I think it is dangerous but because it'll have less frustration.

spacemonkey · 28/02/2004 23:01

Thanks for your responses. No, he has no experience of anything like this. I've checked out the Foreign Office website, and whilst they are not warning people to stay away from Egypt, there's a general warning about travelling in that area owing to risk of terrorism. Apparently there haven't been any incidents in Egypt since the bombings in 1997 IIRC.

My instinct is that I'd rather he didn't take them - just looking for any specific info that I can use to persuade him to change his mind!

OP posts:
hmb · 29/02/2004 08:40

And from what I remember of Egypt (I agree that it is a great place and the people and wonderful and very friendly) the standard of driving is dodgy. As well as the terorist risk, there is the risk from the other drivers. I wouldn't have wanted to drive there, and neither would dh ( and he flys planes for a living).

We went prior to the bombings and at the time there was still a raised threat. The risk at the time was considered to be the same as the risk in London when the IRA were bombing mainland Britain. We decided that was a risk we were prepared to take and had a great time.

But the greatest risk (to my mind) was the crazy driving of the locals.One night saw a horse and cart going hte wrong way up a dual carrageway!

smellymelly · 29/02/2004 10:44

That's right I forgot about the driving!! We were actually warned by the reps. on the way to the hotel, it was very scary, they overtake when they like and pull out in front of other vehicles when they like. If they were going to stay at a resort like we did, then I think it would be ok, but not travelling. The government are making a big effort with the tourist industry because they need the money, so you would be looked after and the exchange rate is fantastic at the moment. The risk of dodgy stomachs is much higher than anything else, but even when I was ill, I was well looked after, and you can buy medicines for just a few pence.Don't forget you can go to Spain at the moment and get bombed!

smellymelly · 29/02/2004 11:06

by the way - we loved it so much we are going back this summer for our Honeymoon!!!!!

ChaCha · 01/03/2004 21:53

Oh, Go for it!
You can email for as much info as you like, i have lots of friends out there and visited many times x

kiwicath · 03/03/2004 18:50

Hi Spacemonkey. Don't know if you're still checking thread but here goes with my 2 pence worth. I live in Egypt, have done for the past 9 years. Have read the lovely warm fuzzy things people have said about the people which are debateable but on the whole true. Egypt however is not the country to be doing a DIY drive trip through. The distances are long, roads dodgy to say the least, other drivers manic and no handy Happy Eaters along the road side to satisfy the kids. I drive, but I'm used to the unorganised ciaos and I don't drive long distances. However, Sharm El Sheikh and Hurgarda are great destinations for the kids. You can do all the attractions from there in well organised tours. The packages are cheap and the hotels great. I personally live and work is Sharm and love it - couldn't recommend it more for a family holiday - mega safe as well. Hope this helps

spacemonkey · 03/03/2004 19:31

Thank you everyone for your replies. kiwicath - I will pass this info on to xh when we talk about his plans. Thanks again

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Beetroot · 03/03/2004 19:34

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Beetroot · 03/03/2004 19:48

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kiwicath · 04/03/2004 07:54

Great place all year round Depends really how you are with the heat. Xmas is Fab, winter but still temps around 20-25C. The water is a bit chilly lowest being about 22C where as in summer (May-September) air temps get up to 45-50C with water at 30C. I haven't learnt how to do links yet so feel free to email me and I'll give you some contacts or just jump on Google, tap in Sharm El Sheikh, Red Sea and you'ell get loads of info and links to travel agents. Many people think it's cheaper to buy tickets and accomodation seperately but don't. Always go thru agents as they have special deals going all the time. Many hotels these days are offering 1/2 board or all inclusive. Happy to give advice re hotels etc as I know preddy much all of them plus distances to Naama Bay, diving, bars, entertainment, bars, desert trips, bars etc

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