Egypt has been in the news a lot lately. As we all know, that’s not always a good thing. Clashes between protesters and government forces have become the norm, and, unfortunately, it seems that violence against women has too. Women have always had a tough time dealing with sexual violence in Egypt, and as the country becomes more unstable, it seems that the problem is getting worse.
So what if you want to go to Cairo? After all, it’s an amazing destination, and there is so much to see and do. But people are wondering, and asking themselves the all important question: Is it safe?
In my opinion, it’s as safe as you make it. Here are some tips if you want to go to Cairo.
Join a Tour
Most people pride themselves on their ability to navigate a new destination on their own. It adds a great deal to the experience as a whole. However, sometimes it’s just smart to put the decision making in the hands of the professionals. With an all-inclusive tour everything is taken care of. You’ll be picked up from the airport, shown to your hotel, picked up for activities, etc. It eliminates the possibility that you will be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people.
Know Your Surroundings
I don’t mean that you should know where you’re going, I mean that you should be aware of where you are. It might not be the best idea to go out wandering by yourself. If your tour guide or hotel staff advise against it, it might be wise to listen. If you must go out, don’t go alone, especially if you’re a woman. Stick with a group, or don’t go at all. Also, if a situation doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut.
Keep To Yourself
It may seem rude to ignore people, but that’s sometimes what you have to do. Egypt is full of aggressive touts, especially near the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Don’t make eye contact, and, if at all possible, try to speak a different language with your companions. Most of them have very good English skills and can pick you out of the crowd just by hearing your voice. I made a point of speaking Chinese or Spanish to my husband when we were there. While it didn’t completely prevent us from getting hassled, it did help. Also, remember this in regard to touts… you don’t pay to get ON the camel, you pay to get OFF. Don’t be suckered in if you’re not willing to pay.
All of this being said, it’s ultimately up to you if you feel secure and confident in a destination. Cairo is a beautiful city with a lot to see but it’s always best to be safe.