Egypt Travel Hints

Health and Safety in Egypt

Ensuring Health and Safety in Egypt: A Comprehensive Guide

Public health standards are low in Egypt, with little government investment in programs to improve it. Eating in restaurants that do not regularly serve foreign clientele or drinking water that has not come from a well-sealed bottle is asking for a bout of traveler’s diarrhea or worse (including cholera and hepatitis).

Most problems are easily avoided by following a few simple rules:

Only drink bottled water. If the water doesn’t taste right, even if it was unsealed in front of you, send it back and get another.

Eat in restaurants with a high volume of foreigners whenever possible, particularly expats. Word gets around quickly when someone gets sick.

Avoid the muddy banks of the Nile and other waterways. Schistosomiasis, or bilharzia, a parasitic disease caused by flatworms that live close to shore, remains a problem in Egypt.

Specific Health Risks

Heat exhaustion This is common, given the shadeless settings of most archaeological sites, as well as a lack of sanitary restrooms, which might lead you to drink less water than is required. Symptoms include headache, dizziness and tiredness and can progress to vomiting if untreated. Drink liquids (ideally sports drinks or water with rehydrating salts) before you’re thirsty and wear a hat to keep off the sun. Treat yourself to an air-con hotel if necessary.

Heatstroke A much more serious condition, caused by a breakdown in the body’s heat-regulating mechanism, that can cause death if untreated. This leads to irrational behaviour, a cessation of sweating and loss of consciousness. Rapid cooling with ice and water, plus intravenous fluid replacement, is required.

Insect bites and stings More annoying than toxic, but look out for sandflies on Mediterranean beaches, and mosquitoes. All bites are at risk of infection, so it’s better to avoid them in the first place, with a DEET-based repellent.

Rift Valley fever A rare haemorrhagic fever spread through blood, including from infected animals. It causes a flulike illness with fever, joint pains and occasionally more serious complications. Complete recovery is possible.

Schistosomiasis (bilharzia) An infection of the bowel and bladder caused by a freshwater fluke. It can be contracted through the skin. Avoid all stagnant water, canals and slow-running rivers. Symptoms include a transient fever and rash and, in advanced cases, blood in the stool or in the urine. A blood test can detect antibodies if you have been exposed, and treatment is then possible.

Travellers’ diarrhoea This and other mild food poisoning are virtually unavoidable, as food hygiene standards are not high. The best cure is rest, fluids (best with oral rehydration salts, sold as Rehydran in Egypt) and a cool environment. Antinal pills, a widely available stomach disinfectant, can also help. If symptoms persist more than 72 hours or are accompanied by fever, see a doctor.

Tuberculosis TB is common in Egypt, though nowhere near as rampant as in sub-Saharan Africa. The respiratory infection is spread through close contact and occasionally through milk or milk products. Risk is high only for people in teaching positions or health care.

Typhoid Spread through contaminated food or water and marked by fever or a pink rash on the abdomen.

Yellow fever Mosquito-borne and extremely rare in Egypt. If you need a vaccination for onward travel to Sudan, you can obtain it at the medical clinic in Terminal 1 of Cairo airport, or at the Giza governorate building (next to the Giza Court by the train station). It costs approximately E£100.

Frequently Asked Questions about Egypt:

Is it safe to travel to Egypt in 2023-2024?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not advise against visiting Cairo, Alexandria, the Nile tourist areas, or the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada, as well as the area between the Nile and the Red Sea is also regarded as relatively safe, in fact Gallup Ranked Egypt no 8 in top 10 safest places in the world.

Do I need a visa to travel to Egypt

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Egypt as a tourist. Visas are easily attainable on arrival at Cairo airport for most nationalities for US$30 paid in cash, but please check with your travel agent or embassy before departure. On arrival at Cairo airport you buy your visa at any of the banks before proceeding to immigration. You’ll be given a stamp that you then need to put into your passport yourself. A single entry visa is valid for three months from date of issue and entitles the bearer to one month in Egypt. Multiple entry visas are not available at the airport or any border crossings

Can I apply for a visa to Egypt online?

Applicants must fill out an online visa application form and pay a fee using a credit or debit card to apply for a single or multiple-entry Egypt eVisa, Applicants should submit their applications at least 7 days prior to their trip, Applicants will receive approved Egypt eVisas via email once they have been processed.

What is the internet access like in Egypt?

Internet access in Egypt is growing, with internet cafes and Wi-Fi hot spots becoming increasingly more common in large cities, especially Cairo.


Can I use my mobile/cell phone while in Egypt?

Mobile phone coverage is good in Egypt, especially in large cities. Coverage may not be available in more remote areas, especially if travelling through the desert. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your mobile carrier before you leave home if you wish to use your mobile while in Egypt.


Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling in Egypt?

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

What is ATM access like in Egypt?

ATMs are common in large cities such as Cairo and Alexandria and are found in and near shopping centres, tourist areas and 5-star hotels. ATMs are far less common in rural areas and smaller towns so you’re advised to be prepared for this by having enough cash before travelling out of the city.

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