Yes, all foreigners entering Egypt must obtain visas from Egyptian consulates in their own country or at the airport or port of arrival in Egypt. Getting a visa upon arrival is easy – the whole process takes only a few minutes. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your day of departure from Egypt; a photo is not required.
Vaccinations for Egypt are not mandatory; however, vaccinations against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A are recommended. Contact your local Municipal Health Service for detailed information. Malaria does not occur in Egypt.
The official currency is the Egyptian pound, in Arabic ‘guinea’ (LE or E₤). You can exchange money at banks, hotels and exchange bureaux. You can find ATM machines in most cities, airports and in the larger hotels. Credit cards, including VISA, Mastercard, American Express and Diners Club, are widely accepted in major hotels, restaurants and stores. Make sure you have enough money in cash when travelling to remote areas, such as the desert.
In terms of weather, the best time to travel to Egypt is between October and April, especially November to February. Winters (November to April) are mild and summers (May to October) are warm. Temperatures vary greatly, depending on season and region. Daytime temperatures range between an average of 14° C (57° F) in winter and an average maximum of 30° C (86° F) in summer. The Christmas and New Year period is High Season in Egypt. Airlines, most hotels and cruises will increase their prices, and there are surcharges for special events like gala dinners on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve in the luxury hotels.
- Ensure you have a travel and health insurance
- Copies of your passport and insurance documents
- Camera, binoculars and flashlight (for dark archaeological sites)
- Comfortable shoes, cotton or linen clothes and warm sweaters for cool evenings
- Contact-lens solution, spare glasses and sunglasses
- Sun hat, high-factor sun screen, insect repellent, after sun lotion, etc.
- Personal medicine and toiletries
Travelling in Egypt
In Egypt, Arabic is the official language, but English and French are widely spoken.
In Egypt, keep public displays of affection to a minimum. Also be careful when taking photos. Always ask if it’s OK to take photos of someone or something before doing so. People in rural areas will naturally be suspicious of foreigners taking pictures of them, so it’s best to ask and be friendly first. At archaeological sites and museums, signs will guide you. Do not take photos of military officers, soldiers or government buildings. Please be advised that Egyptians are in general conservative, especially in the smaller villages. We advise women not to wear tight-fitting or revealing clothing when going on excursions. When visiting religious buildings like mosques, churches and monasteries, we recommend a shirt or blouse with long sleeves and trousers or a skirt below the knee.
Make sure you take enough time to get used to the climate, local cuisine and the atmosphere in Egypt. Stomach problems are often the result of a mix of fatigue, climate and unfamiliar food. It is important to drink plenty of water and juice because of the heat. Hot drinks such as tea are better than cold drinks. Drink only bottled mineral water, which is widely available. Anti-bacterial hand hygiene gel is very useful for washing your hands when there is not water available.
Tips in Egypt are not mandatory; they are just a sign of recognition for a job well done. However, it is an important and widely accepted part of Egyptian culture to give a tip, even for minor services. Tipping is not customary for tourists only, but also a daily event for Egyptians. Take in consideration that tips are a necessary and indispensable complement to the low-income of the population. Tipping is sometimes difficult to understand – the relationship between the tip and the salary may on occasion seem disproportionate. It is difficult to give solid guidelines for tips; it all depends on the services provided, how long the excursion lasts and / or the travelled distance, group size, etc.
During your time in Egypt you get support from our local Djed staff. They make sure your trip runs smoothly from start to finish. Our team will welcome you on arrival in Egypt. They arrange all practical matters such as transport and hotel vouchers. Furthermore, they help you with the formalities at the airports, both on arrival and departure, and with the check-in at hotels or cruise ships. As well as organizing the practical things, they introduce you to contemporary Egyptian society and give advice on local etiquette, restaurants, shows and special sites.
Our drivers are experienced in their field and have completed all the Driver Improvement Programmes offered by the Egyptian authorities. All the vehicles we use comply with local safety standards and are fully insured. All our vehicles are equipped with seatbelts, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and Automatic speed control devices. Before all transfers and excursions, our local staff will contact you to discuss best times and will let you know when you have to be ready for departure.
Wireless internet is available in most restaurants, hotels and internet shops.
Mobile phones are widely used across the country at cheap rates. You can only use your mobile phone if you have a roaming facility, and don’t forget there is always an extra roaming surcharge. If you want to avoid high cost we recommend using an Egyptian SIM. You can buy these SIM cards and top-up cards almost everywhere in Egypt.
Egypt has a voltage supply of 220V. You need a two pin plug, the type that is common throughout Europe (though not in the UK). Check whether you need a converter and/or an adapter before departure.