Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

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MrMars
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Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by MrMars »

DW and I (late 40's, good health) have about 12 days to spend exploring during the 2nd half of October. We are considering a combination of Egypt and a Kenyan safari. Generally, we are capable of planning our own vacations but this is out of our wheelhouse. We are considering using Odynovo tours to arrange this.

Anybody have any experience with this tour company and/or these two locations they would be willing to share?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by magicrat »

I have been to Egypt and done safari in East Africa. Cannot imagine doing both in 12 days. I suggest you pick one.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by an_asker »

magicrat wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 1:35 pm I have been to Egypt and done safari in East Africa. Cannot imagine doing both in 12 days. I suggest you pick one.
I've been to neither of those places. But though I doubt OP would need 12 days for Egypt, yes, most anywhere else in Africa would need at least 12 days!
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by stan1 »

If it was me I'd want to do a Nile River cruise from Cairo down to Luxor, along with the archeologic sites so that's about 6-7 nights.
I think Alexandria can be skipped (been there for a business trip).

That doesn't leave enough time to also do a quality tour of Kenya/Tanzania.

I would do an immersive Kenya/Tanzania trip for the duration of this time off, and save Egypt for another time.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by MrMars »

stan1 wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 2:23 pm If it was me I'd want to do a Nile River cruise from Cairo down to Luxor, along with the archeologic sites so that's about 6-7 nights.
I think Alexandria can be skipped (been there for a business trip).

That doesn't leave enough time to also do a quality tour of Kenya/Tanzania.

I would do an immersive Kenya/Tanzania trip for the duration of this time off, and save Egypt for another time.
I'm also a little concerned that perhaps late october isn't the best time for a safari. It is probably more optimal to time it earlier in the year. But I could be making too much of the idea the Great Migration will be "over" by then
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by rene »

Egypt and Kenya in 12 days makes no sense.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by THY4373 »

an_asker wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 2:12 pm
magicrat wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 1:35 pm I have been to Egypt and done safari in East Africa. Cannot imagine doing both in 12 days. I suggest you pick one.
I've been to neither of those places. But though I doubt OP would need 12 days for Egypt, yes, most anywhere else in Africa would need at least 12 days!
Depends what your are interested in I spent 10 days in Egypt and honestly could have used more but I also really like ancient history. I didn't even do a Nile cruise to maximize my ground time. I flew into Cairo and then flew to Luxor. Spent days there then was driven down to Aswan hitting several temples on the way. Spent a few days in Aswan including drive down to Abu Simbel to see the temple of Ramses 2 and wife before flying back to Cairo to see things around there.

To OPs questions:

I hired a private car and driver through a highly rated small travel agent.

The sights that I really remember:

Tomb of Seti 1 at Valley of Kings. This tomb is limited access with a fee in 2019 of like $50 per person but it was only me and one other person in there one day in Jan of 2019.

Tombs of the Nobles near valley of Kings. The art work in them is all about daily life so very interesting vs the more esoteric mythology in the pharaonic tombs.

Red Pyramid which is not at Giza but first non-stepped pyramid. Totally off the tourist track. When I was there they opened it up just for me and I was able to explore the inside with me being the only one in it. I didn't bother to go into the ones at Giza.

Abu Simbel.

Giza and Luxor were great but clearly on beaten path.
Last edited by THY4373 on Sat Jan 13, 2024 8:35 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by halfnine »

In general for safaris in East Africa you'll want to target the dry season just because the parks are vast (with the exception of Ngorongoro crater) and during the dry season the animals tend to congregrate in the same areas and the foliage isn't as lush making for easing spotting. Now October may or might not be fine. I don't have any experience with that time of year.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by MrMars »

rene wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 6:45 pm Egypt and Kenya in 12 days makes no sense.
well, they exist, so I thought I'd ask. Perhaps it doesn't make sense to you but it clearly not a completely off the wall itinerary.

https://www.myodysseytours.com/africa-t ... kenya.html
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by an_asker »

MrMars wrote: Sat Jan 13, 2024 6:33 am
rene wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 6:45 pm Egypt and Kenya in 12 days makes no sense.
well, they exist, so I thought I'd ask. Perhaps it doesn't make sense to you but it clearly not a completely off the wall itinerary.

https://www.myodysseytours.com/africa-t ... kenya.html
Don't misunderstand me. We spent a week in South Africa as well - but that was not because we could see all we could see in South Africa (let alone other countries). It was more like our trips was limited by us being working parents and the kids having their activities.

We have spent two days in Paris and two in Berlin. But we are woefully short of saying that we have explored either city (let alone France and Germany!). Again, our time was limited by work and kids' activities.

So, if you want just a taste of the countries, sure you can do it.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by MrMars »

an_asker wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 10:42 am
MrMars wrote: Sat Jan 13, 2024 6:33 am
rene wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 6:45 pm Egypt and Kenya in 12 days makes no sense.
well, they exist, so I thought I'd ask. Perhaps it doesn't make sense to you but it clearly not a completely off the wall itinerary.

https://www.myodysseytours.com/africa-t ... kenya.html
Don't misunderstand me. We spent a week in South Africa as well - but that was not because we could see all we could see in South Africa (let alone other countries). It was more like our trips was limited by us being working parents and the kids having their activities.

We have spent two days in Paris and two in Berlin. But we are woefully short of saying that we have explored either city (let alone France and Germany!). Again, our time was limited by work and kids' activities.

So, if you want just a taste of the countries, sure you can do it.
Unfortunately, I think that while we are in our working years just getting a taste of most places is what we will have to accept. However, we have been known to fall in love with a place and return a few times before the next spot captures our imagination.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by andy08 »

Hi:
We are Americans living in Kenya for past 3 years. Overall, October is a good choice for safari in Kenya. I personally don't enjoy the parks when they are full of tourist coming for migration. Migration in the past few years has been going on till October as it is dependent on rains and climate change has made changes to the weather patterns. I tell family and friends, "There is never a bad time to visit Mara". There is always action going on in Mara and you would enjoy it a lot more if there aren't 50 cars tracking a leopard.

Govt of Kenya has raised price for Mara from Jan 2024 to $200 per person per day for non-residents and you would be a non-resident as you are visiting Kenya. Few additional thoughts:
1. I would recommend Masai Mara, Samburu and Amboseli. Mara is one of the most concentrated parks on predators. You can see all of the big 5, except Rhino. Rhinos are in Mara but just hard to spot. Amboseli is incredible to watch elephants and their families. One can sit all day and just watch them and their family dynamics. Take time to track Craig, the gentle giant with big tusk! Samburu is up north and unique for the wildlife that is very different from the rest of the country
2. 10-15 days and two countries would be a bit too fast. I would recommend 1-2 weeks in Kenya. At least 3 days per park else you would be rushing through
3. Over the past few years we stayed in a lodge in Mara that we came to like a lot. The owner, who is a wildlife photographer, is now a friend and I would recommend this lodge (https://www.marasiligicamp.com/). Drivers are local Masai so incredible in tracking.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by Wannaretireearly »

We’ve used Odynovo in Asia before and likely again. Overall good experience using them. Good luck!
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by hvaclorax »

In late February 2020 we spent seven days in Egypt. Private auto and driver plus tour guide. There were four of us tourists. Although I’ve not used a driver and guide previously it's worth it. In Egypt it’s the only way. Period.
About $8000 per person if memory serves. No trip cruising up the Nile with all guests disembarking all at the same time to visit the same site. Sometimes more than one ship visiting that site.
Our guide got us through the checkpoints with no problem or delays. We visited shops and bazaars, museums and restaurants all carefully vetted by the travel service.
Try to avoid terrorist activity in any event, always feel safe and sound. No beheading or kidnapping for me. But just me, YMMV. Seriously the Egyptian government needs foreign travel revenue. They know tourists will go elsewhere if it isn’t safe. And the travel industry workers will bend over backwards to make certain Egypt is safe for travelers. Check with the Department of State.
For third world travel I honestly would not go any other way. I suppose a larger group would offer safety convenience and cost but the group would have different routes, priorities and needs. The ability to customize the itinerary and the time spent at each site enabled us to get the most out of our visit, leisurely.
As an aside, we were astonished when we drove through Cairo. Cars, buses, donkey cart, bikes, rickshaws, pedestrians and every other means of conveyance were on the road. We wouldn’t think of driving ourselves but would have hated to miss the delicious confusion. For me the drive through city and countryside was a highlight.
DW and DD were the driving forces behind the trip. Every detail was finely tuned to our own taste. These two enjoy the planning process. I don’t. Egypt is relatively poor as a country and a people. They have an incredible amount of ancient history, culture, archeology dating back some 4000 years. Not preserved to this degree in any other place on the planet.Yes preserved and presented to the world like none other.
We took a side trip to Jordan also. Doubt we could go there now with the war in Gaza. I hope Gaza doesn’t cause a lasting rift. Don’t want to get political, you know what I mean.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

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andy08 wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 10:48 pm Hi:
We are Americans living in Kenya for past 3 years. Overall, October is a good choice for safari in Kenya. I personally don't enjoy the parks when they are full of tourist coming for migration. Migration in the past few years has been going on till October as it is dependent on rains and climate change has made changes to the weather patterns. I tell family and friends, "There is never a bad time to visit Mara". There is always action going on in Mara and you would enjoy it a lot more if there aren't 50 cars tracking a leopard.

Govt of Kenya has raised price for Mara from Jan 2024 to $200 per person per day for non-residents and you would be a non-resident as you are visiting Kenya. Few additional thoughts:
1. I would recommend Masai Mara, Samburu and Amboseli. Mara is one of the most concentrated parks on predators. You can see all of the big 5, except Rhino. Rhinos are in Mara but just hard to spot. Amboseli is incredible to watch elephants and their families. One can sit all day and just watch them and their family dynamics. Take time to track Craig, the gentle giant with big tusk! Samburu is up north and unique for the wildlife that is very different from the rest of the country
2. 10-15 days and two countries would be a bit too fast. I would recommend 1-2 weeks in Kenya. At least 3 days per park else you would be rushing through
3. Over the past few years we stayed in a lodge in Mara that we came to like a lot. The owner, who is a wildlife photographer, is now a friend and I would recommend this lodge (https://www.marasiligicamp.com/). Drivers are local Masai so incredible in tracking.
Thanks for this. While I was hoping to get 2 experiences for the price of one intercontinental airfare it seems that might be a disservice. And while I might be okay with superficial Egyptian portion of the trip, I might be bummed if I felt rushed during the safari portion.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by MrMars »

Wannaretireearly wrote: Mon Jan 15, 2024 11:48 pm We’ve used Odynovo in Asia before and likely again. Overall good experience using them. Good luck!
I was hoping to get a couple of folks to let me know if they were pleased with Odynovo. So, I appreciate your response
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by Valuethinker »

MrMars wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 1:24 pm DW and I (late 40's, good health) have about 12 days to spend exploring during the 2nd half of October. We are considering a combination of Egypt and a Kenyan safari. Generally, we are capable of planning our own vacations but this is out of our wheelhouse. We are considering using Odynovo tours to arrange this.

Anybody have any experience with this tour company and/or these two locations they would be willing to share?

Thanks for any insight you can provide.
Not a good idea to try to do both in 12 days.

They will be hot. Dusty. Egypt is overwhelming. African Safari is a shock to the system, too.

Pick one and have a truly great trip. There are beach resorts in Kenya (caveat: see US State Department and British Foreign & Commonwealth Office re warnings about kidnappings and terrorist activities) and you could extend your trip and spend 2-3 days there at the end.

Egypt 12 days would let you do Cairo, possibly Alexandria (interesting city but I found the traffic to really diminish the quality of the experience), but also Luxor and even down to Aswan. That's a pretty full on trip. Red Sea is clearly not a great place to go at the moment, but who knows in 10 months time?
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by JohnDough50 »

We traveled to Kenya for three weeks in July 2023 with a company called Travel Beyond. Kota Kabuchi was our point of contact, and he put together an incredible itinerary for us where we stayed at a number of private conservancies (Loisaba, Lewa, Sarara, and then Naboisho near the Mara and Diani at the beach). I have not been to Egypt, but I highly recommend spending time in Kenya and working with someone to help you figure out where to stay and what to do. Enjoy!
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by HipCoyote »

magicrat wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 1:35 pm I have been to Egypt and done safari in East Africa. Cannot imagine doing both in 12 days. I suggest you pick one.
I agree. Both places are so vast and interesting that I cannot see how 12 days could possibly be enough to do both. We were unprepared for the sheer number of antiquities in Egypt. Both were amongst the best trips we've ever taken.

We used Overseas Adventure Travel for Egypt which included a private boat up and down the Nile. We like OAT and are headed to Greece / Albania with them on Monday!

Our Africa trip was done with a small local boutique travel company. Five star all the way.

One cannot do either of these trips on you own easily. Possible, but not recommended.

I am not a timid traveler. While in Egypt we had a police officer on our bus, armed with a full auto pistol. And it didn't phase me or the DW. But I am afraid I cannot recommend going to Egypt at the moment. The area is adjacent to the on-going Israel - Hamas war. People are flooding into Egypt. The potential for attacks on Americans has increased. Per the State Dept Egypt is at a level three...reconsider travel. I'd wait and see.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by MrMars »

HipCoyote wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:46 pm
magicrat wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 1:35 pm I have been to Egypt and done safari in East Africa. Cannot imagine doing both in 12 days. I suggest you pick one.
I agree. Both places are so vast and interesting that I cannot see how 12 days could possibly be enough to do both. We were unprepared for the sheer number of antiquities in Egypt. Both were amongst the best trips we've ever taken.

We used Overseas Adventure Travel for Egypt which included a private boat up and down the Nile. We like OAT and are headed to Greece / Albania with them on Monday!

Our Africa trip was done with a small local boutique travel company. Five star all the way.

One cannot do either of these trips on you own easily. Possible, but not recommended.

I am not a timid traveler. While in Egypt we had a police officer on our bus, armed with a full auto pistol. And it didn't phase me or the DW. But I am afraid I cannot recommend going to Egypt at the moment. The area is adjacent to the on-going Israel - Hamas war. People are flooding into Egypt. The potential for attacks on Americans has increased. Per the State Dept Egypt is at a level three...reconsider travel. I'd wait and see.
Thank you. The original idea for an Egypt/Kenya combo generated prior to the ongoing conflict. I think it sage advice to push a visit to Egypt to a later year.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by Maple »

stan1 wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 2:23 pm If it was me I'd want to do a Nile River cruise from Cairo down to Luxor, along with the archeologic sites so that's about 6-7 nights ...
I this logistically practical? I thought that segment of the Nile was not continuously navigable by ships of reasonable size. I hear most folks cruising between Luxor and Aswan.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by Maple »

MrMars wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 2:31 pm ... I'm also a little concerned that perhaps late october isn't the best time for a safari. It is probably more optimal to time it earlier in the year. But I could be making too much of the idea the Great Migration will be "over" by then
In 2022, I did an 11-night safari in Kenya and Tanzania which began in the Mara (Kenya) in early November and continued through the north central and north western Serengeti (Tanzania). There was a lot to see in all the locations, including migrating wildebeest crossing the Mara River. The rains and thus the migration were later than typical that year.

If October is the time you can travel ... Go! Stay in good lodges/locations and use good guides; you are likely to see a lot of wildlife and enjoy a fun safari. I travelled with &Beyond and stayed in their Bateleur, Serengeti Under Canvas and Grumeti River camps ... not cheap, but highly recommended IMO.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by oxothuk »

HipCoyote wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:46 pm But I am afraid I cannot recommend going to Egypt at the moment. The area is adjacent to the on-going Israel - Hamas war. People are flooding into Egypt. The potential for attacks on Americans has increased. Per the State Dept Egypt is at a level three...reconsider travel. I'd wait and see.
I’m in Egypt right now (OAT tour) and it feels perfectly safe to me. Not sure where you read about people flooding in - from what I’ve read Egypt has shut down their border with Gaza except for a small number for emergency hospitalization.

According to our guide crowds are down a lot due to the war scares. If so I’d hate to be here when the crowds were “normal”
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by Valuethinker »

HipCoyote wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:46 pm

I am not a timid traveler. While in Egypt we had a police officer on our bus, armed with a full auto pistol. And it didn't phase me or the DW. But I am afraid I cannot recommend going to Egypt at the moment. The area is adjacent to the on-going Israel - Hamas war. People are flooding into Egypt. The potential for attacks on Americans has increased. Per the State Dept Egypt is at a level three...reconsider travel. I'd wait and see.
Egypt is probably, safer than the USA for a tourist in terms of armed crime.

The security has been omnipresent since at least the Temple massacre (late 1990s?). On top of that the domestic political situation has been tense since the Arab Spring in 2012, so the full mechanism of state repression is at work. Translation: armed police, plainclothes, military -- everywhere.

Unfortunately there is always the danger of random attacks. Very hard to put a probability on that one. I imagine the main drag tourist sites, which are generally quite isolated from the rest of Egypt, will be alright. Cities are more of a concern - but really that's the Cairo Museum and that's it (the Pyramids and the Sphinx are actually on the outskirts.

When I went to Egypt in the early 2000s, mid Egypt was not accessible to tourists. A long term problem with fundamentalism, attack on Nile cruiseboat, attack on a Wagon-Lit sleeper train, etc. There's a couple of sites there that one could not visit, not sure what the situation is now.
People are flooding into Egypt
That is not correct. Limited numbers of refugees are crossing the border, confined to the north east of the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai itself is not a safe place for a tourist - lawlessness and fundamentalism have run amok and posed a long run problem for the Egyptian government.

AFAIK St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai can no longer be visited. This is a great pity.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by Valuethinker »

Maple wrote: Thu Jan 18, 2024 5:23 am
stan1 wrote: Fri Jan 12, 2024 2:23 pm If it was me I'd want to do a Nile River cruise from Cairo down to Luxor, along with the archeologic sites so that's about 6-7 nights ...
I this logistically practical? I thought that segment of the Nile was not continuously navigable by ships of reasonable size. I hear most folks cruising between Luxor and Aswan.
That would depend on the time of year?

Nile Cruisers used to do middle Egypt, but one was shot up in the 1990s and that was stopped - the cruisers moved empty between lower Egypt (Cairo) and Upper Egypt (where the majority of temples are -- Luxor and Karnak). From comments here, I gather some of them are now doing that cruise again?
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by THY4373 »

Valuethinker wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 3:17 am Nile Cruisers used to do middle Egypt, but one was shot up in the 1990s and that was stopped - the cruisers moved empty between lower Egypt (Cairo) and Upper Egypt (where the majority of temples are -- Luxor and Karnak).
When I was in Egypt in 2019 I went from Cairo to Abu Simbel (about 25 miles north of Sudanese border). For sure there was a much larger security presence on the roads south of Cairo and north of Luxor (so I think that area is still considered more a risk). I had a car and driver and in that area (there are some interesting sights there) at different times I had a pickup truck escort with six armed men in the back, a police motorcycle escort that split traffic so we weren't stuck in some in-town traffic and at the Meidum Pyramid they deployed a jeep with a large machine gun on the back to the pyramid from the guard station up the road when I was visiting. And for the record I was just some random dude who had paid for a private car and driver so I could see what I wanted to see. I didn't do the cruises preferring cars and flights so I could see more.

As to the safety thing despite what I posted above I never felt concerned about my safety I think the Egyptian government was putting on a strong show. My experiences above were to sights that I'd guess 99% of tourists don't go to. Cairo, Luxor and all the way down to Abu Simbel south of Aswan there was a much reduced to security presence honestly at least in 2019 I would have zero concerns in those areas. The US in 2019 also had the reconsider travel warning but the other Anglo-sphere country warnings at the time were much less concerning and more nuanced (e.g., he Brits were ok with travel except to the Sinai). The current situation in the Mid-East does represent a risk, I wouldn't be particularly more worried with the current state but who knows where this is all going. I will say I have been to 55 countries and my Egypt trip is a high point. Such an amazing country. Also you are honestly probably more a risk of being killed or injured in Cairo traffic than any other sort of a foul play.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by beardsicles »

I’ve lived in Egypt, speak Arabic, am extremely comfortable traveling in uncomfortable situations. Egypt is safe, except for corners of Sinai. Egypt can also be absolutely miserable for tourists and as much as I love the Middle East, I don’t have any desire to go back to Egypt.

I uh, I also don’t know what to say about $8000 per person for seven days in Egypt. That’s incredible.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by HipCoyote »

Valuethinker wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 3:15 am
HipCoyote wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:46 pm

I am not a timid traveler. While in Egypt we had a police officer on our bus, armed with a full auto pistol. And it didn't phase me or the DW. But I am afraid I cannot recommend going to Egypt at the moment. The area is adjacent to the on-going Israel - Hamas war. People are flooding into Egypt. The potential for attacks on Americans has increased. Per the State Dept Egypt is at a level three...reconsider travel. I'd wait and see.
Egypt is probably, safer than the USA for a tourist in terms of armed crime.

The security has been omnipresent since at least the Temple massacre (late 1990s?). On top of that the domestic political situation has been tense since the Arab Spring in 2012, so the full mechanism of state repression is at work. Translation: armed police, plainclothes, military -- everywhere.

Unfortunately there is always the danger of random attacks. Very hard to put a probability on that one. I imagine the main drag tourist sites, which are generally quite isolated from the rest of Egypt, will be alright. Cities are more of a concern - but really that's the Cairo Museum and that's it (the Pyramids and the Sphinx are actually on the outskirts.

When I went to Egypt in the early 2000s, mid Egypt was not accessible to tourists. A long term problem with fundamentalism, attack on Nile cruiseboat, attack on a Wagon-Lit sleeper train, etc. There's a couple of sites there that one could not visit, not sure what the situation is now.
People are flooding into Egypt
That is not correct. Limited numbers of refugees are crossing the border, confined to the north east of the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai itself is not a safe place for a tourist - lawlessness and fundamentalism have run amok and posed a long run problem for the Egyptian government.

AFAIK St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai can no longer be visited. This is a great pity.
I get it. And as a retired cop, I understand the threat of armed crime in the US...so when people say they're afraid of far off places, I laugh. DC is far more dangerous than Cairo (except maybe the traffic.) We were in Egypt about 10 months ago. Having traveled a lot of places, I can attest that Egyptians were as nice as anywhere I've been. Some even stopped me on the street and welcomed me. We absolutely loved it and recommended it. Cops with machine guns didn't phase me. We had a few different ones on our bus.

I can also attest that much of the Egyptian security was a sham. For instance, metal detectors at the Aswan dam were in a small building...they made people walk in, go through the detectors and then out back into the same unsecured area. At one venue, a cop (with rifle) was quasi showing tourists around and asking for small amounts of change to do so. He clearly was no town tamer. It was goofy. This played out many times over at other venues. Security at the airport was non-existent. Like many security screenings at venues in the US, most are a show. But right now, there are people fleeing the area. That has to include more than just unarmed refugees. The US is dealing with issues in the Red Sea and the area is not as stable as it once was. I'd wait to see how this plays out. Of course, that is opinion only. I'm just recommending a wait n see stance.
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Re: Egypt / Kenya safari in October. Thoughts?

Post by HipCoyote »

Valuethinker wrote: Fri Jan 19, 2024 3:15 am
HipCoyote wrote: Wed Jan 17, 2024 1:46 pm

I am not a timid traveler. While in Egypt we had a police officer on our bus, armed with a full auto pistol. And it didn't phase me or the DW. But I am afraid I cannot recommend going to Egypt at the moment. The area is adjacent to the on-going Israel - Hamas war. People are flooding into Egypt. The potential for attacks on Americans has increased. Per the State Dept Egypt is at a level three...reconsider travel. I'd wait and see.
Egypt is probably, safer than the USA for a tourist in terms of armed crime.

The security has been omnipresent since at least the Temple massacre (late 1990s?). On top of that the domestic political situation has been tense since the Arab Spring in 2012, so the full mechanism of state repression is at work. Translation: armed police, plainclothes, military -- everywhere.

Unfortunately there is always the danger of random attacks. Very hard to put a probability on that one. I imagine the main drag tourist sites, which are generally quite isolated from the rest of Egypt, will be alright. Cities are more of a concern - but really that's the Cairo Museum and that's it (the Pyramids and the Sphinx are actually on the outskirts.

When I went to Egypt in the early 2000s, mid Egypt was not accessible to tourists. A long term problem with fundamentalism, attack on Nile cruiseboat, attack on a Wagon-Lit sleeper train, etc. There's a couple of sites there that one could not visit, not sure what the situation is now.
People are flooding into Egypt
That is not correct. Limited numbers of refugees are crossing the border, confined to the north east of the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai itself is not a safe place for a tourist - lawlessness and fundamentalism have run amok and posed a long run problem for the Egyptian government.

AFAIK St Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai can no longer be visited. This is a great pity.

An update on my thoughts on Egypt as of 12Feb. As Israel pushes towards Rafah, there will be people being pushed into Egypt. Egypt fears that the millions of refuges pushed into their country will not be allowed back int Gaza. As noted, Egypt does try to control their borders and does not want to support millions of refugees. The tensions between Egypt and Israel are higher than they have been in quite a long time. One Egyptian officials says that a push into Rafah will cause "grave tensions". So, I stand by my original recommendation to let an Egyptian trip wait. The region is too unpredictable at this point.
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