Women travelling to Egypt safely

edited January 2009 in - North Africa
I am really keen to take a vacation in Egypt, see the pyramids, and maybe cruise down the nile but have been warned that it is not advisable for a single American women. Is this right? I gather it is more related to unwanted attention from men - even I cover up - rather than anything terrorism linked. I'd like to go, but would welcome some reasurance that it is safe to travel to Egypt as a women! Thanks in advance. Sx
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Comments

  • edited 7:50AM
    Hi, Im an English woman and am travelling to Egypt alone in early March. I have no reservations whatsoever as I visited twice with my (now ex) partner. There are plenty of tourists around and, the same as anywhere, if you use your common sense,t here will be no problem.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Suzie, I live in Egypt and the men here are very polite when you say you are not interested then they leave you alone. If you want I and my partner Mohamed can take you anywhere you like you can rent an apartment which is cheaper than staying in a hotel the food is reasonable and the people very nice if you want more information contact me at pamelaford04@aol.com

    Take no notice to scaremongers they are only jealous that they haven't got the conviction to come themselves

    Take Care

    Pam
  • edited 7:50AM
    Dears,
    I am an Egyptian guy, lived in egypt my entire life, my advise to you is to wear clothes that are not revealing and not wonder around in a non-croweded area, other than that you won't have to worry, the egyptian people are very friendly and helpful, if u need any help u would just howler and people will help u specially if you are in trouble, what u should worry about it is people trying to sell u stuff when u go to the touristic areas.

    other than that you will have a blast,

    if it was me, I wouldn't trust that Pam person though, if u need a place to stay find a hotel you can look at Shepherd hotel - down town it is cheap and you would find hotels starting 65$ till what ever you need, don't trust person, go for hotels and travel agents

    hope that was helpful.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Scot and frequent traveller/diver: I have to agree with Shady, Suzie don't trust that Pam item......stick to booked hotels. I would say dress "normally" but actually I would mean dress conservatively.
  • edited 7:50AM
    I am also a single young woman from Canada, and I am looking to travel in Egypt in November. I've heard from numerous people who have travelled there, that women must dress conservatively. That means that if you're going in the summer, and its hot, a tank top is ok, but always have a cover up or shall with you. Remember it's primarily an Islamic nation, therefore we must show repsect to their citizens.

    I have also heard that some of the men are forward with their comments and advances, but if you respond kindly, you should not have any problems. Although one couple who went, the woman mentioned that showing confidence wouldn't hurt. This makes it harder for them to keep bothering you.

    Other than that, I cannot wait to go. Its been a dream of mine to go. Hope you enjoy your trip!
  • edited 7:50AM
    Went there last week as a single woman and the unwanted attention ruined it. Every man that I met was perverted and they had no respect for western woman. I'm British from an Indian background, very confident and able to look after myslef. I couldn't go anywhere without being hassled and this was mainly by the resort staff. (the hotel I stayed in was a respectable 5 *) There were times when I was chased on the beach by men that wanted to talk to me even when I made it very clear that I was not interested. They DID NOT take no for an answer. Also when I decided to walk around with a frown on my face I was told that I am stuck up.

    I am well travelled and love new cultures but Egypt and the Egyption men have left a bad taste in my mouth and it it not a place I would go to again unless I was travelling with a very intimidating looking partner. There are NO Egyption women there at all and whilst their women are covered up and locked up at home back in their hometowns the men are openly chasing and harrassing western women.A disgusting culture!
  • edited 7:50AM
    Hi, we are two Scottish girls who travelled to Egypt in 2006. We found it could be intimidating at times, men would jump in front of you in the street giving inappropriate comments regardless of how conservatively dressed you were. However, this sort of attention certainly wouldn't have changed our minds about visiting. We would highly recommend you take a friend with you though, even with two of us there were times we wished we had a male accompanying us! The most important tip we can give is when visiting tourist-y places always take the guide recommended to you by hotel staff etc, they may cost you a bit in the short term but will keep away so much unwanted attention it is well worth it! Happy travels, Faith and Zoe.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Dear Del,
    I am Egyptian, and I would like to apologize on behalf of my "brothers" but I would also like to point out that what you have said is a little bit aggressive, you have to respect the culture of the country you are going to and not curse at it.

    I still think that you might have made a mistake about ur choice of clothing and would also like you to contact the hotel that you were in and report the staff members that made you feel uncomfortable. and also I will agree with Faith and Zoe, if you have a companion it would have been more easy for you, and I am sure you are very attractive to have ALL the men in Egypt interested in you :)

    sorry again and hope u decide to make another visit that is advised by people who know where to go, you would love Egypt, i suggest you give it another try
  • edited 7:50AM
    My name is Maree and I am from Australia...I recently took a trip to Thailand and had a ball, but besides that, I noticed all the locals would recognise you as an aussie straight away and hound you more than I think other races (maybe because we appear to be laid back or just dumb i dont know) ..Is this the case in Egypt? Also, is anyone able to recommend anywhere else to go in Africa, I have been told Swaziland and Botswana?? Maybe a little South of though?
    As well as the scenery I would also like to know what the night life is like given im 21 and want to experience both sides.

    So anyone who has travelled Africa I would love to hear from you

    Thanks Heaps
  • edited 7:50AM
    If you loved thailand and you're young and want to party, check out Dahab on Egypt's sinai peninsula.

    Another option, you WILL love in a BIG way is the Transkei region of South AFrica. This is the rural and traditional part between Port Elizabeth and Durban. Big hippy scene, stunning beaches, strong backpacker culture.

    If you do go to Egypt, hook up with some other travellers quickly. Will make life easier. Then hire a felucca and cruise down the Nile over a few days. Really great experience.
  • edited 7:50AM
    I'm a single, middle-aged woman, who is interested in combining a 2-3 week visit to Egypt (the Nile area) and Greece. Can anyone tell me the best time to travel to the region (weather-wise)? I like it warm, but not fall-down-dead hot! Also, any suggestions for budget-minded tour operators would be appreciated. And, thanks to all of you for your opinions and suggestions on single women travelling in the area. Keep the advice coming, please.
  • edited 7:50AM
    I am a single south african woman, looking to travel to egypt (red sea) in march. I'm a bit wary of the mixed comments, as i don't particularly want to be harrassed on my holiday. also - can anyone tell me if you are able to obtain a visa before you have actually booked your holiday?
  • edited 7:50AM
    Hello, I am thinking of visiting Egypt in a month but have got reservations as well, I have blonde hair and blue eyes and from an early age was told that it would be dangerous travelling to these sort of countries, especially on my own. A lot of my friends have visited Egypt and have loved it, but they have always been in couples. I would like to explore the area I stay at but think I would need to be with someone else and not alone. It is a shame that we have to have these fears, when all we want to do is widen our travelling experiences.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Ok, you may think I'm mad. I've "met" an Egyptian man..on facebook. We've been talking for 3 months, he's in his graduating year as a law student and we've really connected. I know it doesn't sound wise to fall in love with someone you've never but we've talked so much on the phone and internet and text messaging. I know you have to be wary and cautious but I do 100% believe him.
    Anyway, the reason for this messgae is...
    He has can't leave the country because he has to do the compulsory military service when he finishes studying, so the only way to meet is if I go to him.
    My dad is terrified of me going to Egypt, he makes it sound like a terrible country and of course doesn't believe the Egyptian man's story. He said if I go there it's only if he comes with me, and only to one of the all inclusive resorts (apparantly, according to my dad, most tourists don't leave the resorts because it's too dangerous). This man lives in Alexandria, is it a safe city to visit? Is my dad's comment of "i would handcuff myself to you" a little extreme? Is there really this much need to worry??????
    Me going out there at the moment is the only hope of seeing him and I would take all sensible precautions possible to avoid putting myself in danger.
    Pleeeease if anyone can offer any positive advice please do.
    x
  • edited 7:50AM
    I am in two minds about visiting Egypt, I really want to go there to relax and get some real hot sun and warm sea, maybe even fly to Cairo and see the pyramids, but the thought of being pulled about by people and hassled is so off-putting I keep holding back from booking my flights. Are there any female travellers that have been there that can advise me on the appropriate dress code, even if just relaxing near the hotel? Is it ok to wear a bikini top, with say, shorts or does it have to be longer trousers and a t'shirt? Is it ok to wear a bikini and go topless by the hotel pools? I just want to ensure being a single woman that I don't upset anyone by being too open.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Hey Viv,
    In reply to your comments, I would be a bit wary if I was you. Your are engaging with someone over the internet and it can always have some danger attached to it. If the man is a law student and passes out, surely he can visit you afterwards, not sure where you live though. If he has to do his service first then you wouldn't be able to see him for a long tome anyway. You shouldn't just go there on your own and go out and about, I think the resorts are the best place for visitors, especially for single females.

    Danni
  • edited 7:50AM
    hey for all i'm egyptian guy 20 years study information system i'm not gonna take so much about how much egypti is safe and how my folks are so friendly but i would say ask those guys that visited egypt and those who live in egypt how its here...thou i'm kinda into know,hang with forgion folks its really one of hobbies and so if there is someone comen to egypt and need partner i really would like to give my hand and time to hang around and have good,fun time,,,,,as everybody will say this not safe stay away of this guy bla bla well this my e-mail add me we can know each other first and may be we make it thru who know!
    mostly_free@hotmail my name is mahmoud btw
    take care all
  • edited 7:50AM
    for viv just follow you'r sense and dont judeg you'r man just beacuse other say and abt alx its safe city and beautiful one trust me you can enjoy the sea there and some awesome places but advice from me dont walk alone after 11 p.m you could meet some drunk guys or stoned ones
    take care and have fun egypt is good country and people so friendly and about what you hear that its dangerious etc trust me this is indivdual cases and that normal guss every country have its bad people as it have the goodie ones..and yea i'm egyptian and that's my view believe me or no its all back to you
  • edited 7:50AM
    I have visited Egypt on three occasions. Once with my husband travelling down the Nile, and twice with my sister and daughter. The last time my neice joined us. We stayed at Sharm. Both my daughter and neice are slim with blond hair. We found the Egyptian men polite, and yes they do hassle you to buy their wares, but they are only trying to make a living. A simple La (No) in a pleasant voice usually works. We went out to eat every night and used the local mini bus to travel to the old town. It was an experience all squashed in. Everyone was friendly pointing out landmarks on the way. The girls visited the night clubs with no problems. The security guards watched them back to the hotel ,reporting to me in the morning what time they had arrived back. I think it boils down to the fact that if you are pleasant to people they are pleasant in return.
    My friend and I are going to Sharm next week, can`t wait !!!
  • edited 7:50AM
    A note to some of the comments above: Keep in mind that mainland Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula are very different. The expected behaviour as well. Sinai is a resort tourist destination, so you will be surrounded by European tourists. The areas are also very different in what you can do. Sinai is for beach resorts, mainland Egypt is for the historical monuments and the Nile.
  • edited 7:50AM
    hi i was just readin other peoples comments and i wanted know is it ok to walk around in your bikini top and a short skirt?
    also what are the men like? i have heard they are all perverted.
    thank you in advance.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Yes. Bek. you can walk in the streets wearing bikini & short skirts but for entering the religious places like Churches or Mosques, you shouldnot be dressed like that as a respectable way to these places. I don't know where did you hear that about Egyptian Men. that's absolutely of wrong source.
  • edited 7:50AM
    Bek: I am not sure if your question is a serious or not, but in case it is, DO NOT walk the streets of any Egyptian city (I don't know about Sharm) wearing a bikini top and short skirts. It's nothing like Miami or the South of France, and you'll just attract the wrong (and possibly dangerous) kind of attention.
  • edited 7:50AM
    I agree with Erika. The more skin you show, the more attention you will attract. The men are not perverted, per se, but most will assume that if you wear bikini and short skirts you are inviting sexual advances.
  • edited 7:50AM
    HAVING TRAVELLED EGYPT MANY TIMES OVER 30 YEARS - BE WARNED A WOMEN ON THEIR OWN IS EASY PICKINGS AND DO NOT WALK AROUND HALF NAKED...THAT IS ASKING FOR IT
  • edited 7:50AM
    Myself and my friend (both 'mature' women) are going alone to Sharm next week.

    Many posting are a bit old.... Again, today (March 09) what is the best currency to take? How much do I tip and to whom/when? Finally, have I got it right: no shorts except on beach; wear something 'covering' from room to pool; cover arms always (but presumably not on beach... ) women alone beware...........????

    Don't want to pre-judge but some of these emails are a bit scary - particularly to someone who is disabled.

    Welcome comments

    Mary
  • edited 7:50AM
    A friend of mine went to Cairo last year and said some men offered her parents money for her sister. Were the men just messing with them because they were tourists or were they actually trying to buy her sister?
  • edited 7:50AM
    These comments are both helpful and scary. I'm going to Egypt at the end of march alone. I'm a 24, white, brown haired female. Is it possible to meet fellow travelers there? or will I be wandering the streets being harassed?

    Actually, I was wondering what the best way to get to dahab from cairo was. bus, train, plane, caravan?
  • edited 7:50AM
    I have just come back from Sharm on my own. I'm English. I take people as I find them and had a great time, found the men very polite, helpful and respectful. It was a few Italians that I found lech's. I did meet an Egyptian man working at my hotel I really like me a lot and talked about wanting to see me in the future and asked me to go over again and stay with him next time. He seemed pretty straight about what he wanted out of life and how the age difference doesn't mean anything to him, I am 15 years older but I really don't look it. His mother is 10 years older than his dad. I know that many people who stayed at this place over the years, have made good comments about him. I think he comes from a good family as one of his parents is a doctor. Everything is screaming at me that don't get involved with an Egyptian man and how can he feel so strongly after only knowing me one week. couldn't stand the hot weather in the summer over there even if I did think about staying there anyway- and I don't know him at all really but he is such a lovely person and I can't stop thinking about him and the fact that I would like to be with him and wonder about going over again but maybe not staying with him but finding somewhere else to stay and see how we feel then. Really I am quite worldly and not an idiot. Then I read things on net about some marrying canadian women to get over to Canada and I think maybe I should forget it. I've not gone away on my own for years and I'd probably meet someone wherever I went anyway. I do find English blokes a bit boring, no passion. Only had a kiss with the bloke but there was more passion in that than anything I've experienced in England for a long time. Not really sure what I'm asking here, but surely its like anywhere and there are some men that are untrustworthy and some not.

    Would appreciate some advice.
  • edited 7:50AM
    hi Viv just a bit of advice it is safer to go with another person to Alexandra as it is a very busy. I understand u wanting to meet up with a boy there but be aware of the dangers that r there when r on ur own there, it is not safe. I was there with my husband and found the place not only intimidating but the female waitress dont like western women so for u to go with the boy if u dont know his family,if u r in trouble there will be no help for u, the boy will leave u to fend for urself as justice is hard there. Thiefs galore there. BE VERY CAREFUL. Evie
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