I read this article just a few days before Christmas and was wondering if, as a solo women traveler myself, I would be keen to travel to Egypt or if I should take some precautions. Instead of only trusting the media, I preferred asking a woman who has been living in Cairo and therefore has a better perception of the country. Here are her tips and recommendations if you want to wander around.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt right now?
Well, there are some security issues in Cairo, and a few weeks ago, a church was attacked not far from where I live. But I would say that Egypt is still safe to visit – even for solo female travelers; you just need to have your wits about you. When you arrive in Cairo, it can be daunting as they do not have a dedicated taxi rank set up; just people outside shouting “taxi taxi” who see that you are a tourist and will ask for a silly amount of money to take you where you want to go. It would probably be better to have the hotel arrange transport for you. Overall, Egyptians are friendly, and some are very helpful. But you have to keep in mind that there are times where it might seem like they are just willing to help, but actually will be demanding a fee for their services. It’s always best to ask “How much” first.
What would you recommend?
As a solo woman traveling, I think this is essential to not draw attention to yourself. It’s better to dress modestly in long linen trousers, a t-shirt and possibly keep a scarf in your bag. In some of the resort areas such as El Gouna and Dahab, you can walk around all day, in a vest, top, and shorts without any problem. There is Uber in Egypt which may feel like a safer option than the white cabs. If you use the local taxi, always always check they are using their meter. Also, I would recommend not to take the local bus for long distances and to fly or hire a driver to take you instead.
What are the must-sees and your favorite places in Egypt?
The must-see places in Egypt include the Pyramids, Khan el Khalili market, the cave churches and the citadel. Outside of Cairo, you can take a train and visit Alexandria, north of Egypt or choose to sunbath and snorkel in El Gouna or Hurghada which is one-hour away. The Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan is a must as well, as you’ll enjoy the panoramic views and the local cities with amazing temples.
Dahab is my favorite place so far because it combines sun, beach and there are lots of bars and restaurants on the seafront: ideal to chill, relax and smoke sheesha while watching the sunset. Nuweiba, one-hour from Dahab is a great option and probably less crowded than Dahab. From Dahab, I took a trip with friends to climb Mount Sinai which was fantastic and last year, I went to the black and white desert with nine friends for the weekend – all females, and we had the most wonderful time.