Egypt has long been a favorite vacation destination. For thousands of years, people have flocked from all around the world to see the pyramids, cruise along the Nile, or to relax on pristine Egyptian beaches.
However with all the political unrest in recent times, it leaves many would-be travelers asking, is it safe to travel to Egypt? However, before you book a trip to Egypt, it is important to note that the World Economic Forum has released a report that ranks Egypt below countries like Pakistan and Yemen for “safety and security.”
The political unrest plaguing Egypt and the increased threat of gunfire and tear gas in popular cities does raise a red flag. As recently as March, Bedouin gunmen kidnapped a British couple who were on the way to the beach. They released the couple but are known for taking hostages and other violence.
If you do decide to visit Egypt, customized vacation packages are available that allow you to choose where you want to go and stay. Companies such as Tour Egypt can take care of all the details for you, but before you book, talk to them explicitly about your safety concerns.
Turn to Twitter for Current News
Twitter is one way to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s really going on in Egypt. Tahrir on Twitter offers instant access the latest news. As of the writing of this article one recent post said, “Tear gas with nerve agent & live ammunition being used against civilians in Tahrir.”
In contrast, Memphis Tours which specialized in Egypt vacation packages says, ” Egypt generally has a very low crime rate. Travelers will be safe in Egypt if they take sensible precautions that would apply to any tourist destination around the world.”
With so much contrasting information out there, it can be confusing, however, the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a Travel Alert on March 29, 2013, warning U.S. citizens planning to travel or live in Egypt about “the continuing possibility of political and social unrest, incidents of which have led to recent violence,” but the Travel Alert expires on June 27, 2013.
Egypt has a lot to offer as a travel destination, but at this time in history, it pays to be careful and to research to find out what’s really going. It might be best to postpone your plans and to select a different destination this year.