When you think of Egypt, you think desert plains, extreme heat, camels, and the obvious one, the pyramids. Egypt truly is one of the most unique countries in the world, in my opinion. I mean think about it, for anyone who has travelled to Egypt, can you truly compare it, to any other? It’s beauty developed its popularity, not from green landscapes or rainforests, most travel destinations have on offer, but from it’s ability to be completely surrounded by desert sand dunes, and yet still call itself home to one of the worlds largest river’s, and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Pyramids of Giza. I feel truly blessed that in my lifetime I have been lucky enough to get to experience this truly unique country, and share with you my travel tips for travelling Egypt.
1. Get A Tour Guide
Although, I believe that with the correct research and organising, it is definitely possible to travel Egypt independently, I highly recommend you go with either a tour company, or hire yourself a personal tour guide, as getting from place to place in Egypt is not quite as easy as some other countries. Not to mention, that a lot of the most popular tourist attractions and monuments, are quite large distances away from each other, so having a tour company or guide take the stress out of getting from A to B for you, will make for an even more amazing holiday.
Even more so, I found that by having a local guide, I learnt a tone of history about Egypt, that I most likely would have never learnt if I was travelling solo, and in times where the language barrier was a little too wide, having a guide was a bit of a life saver!
2. Stock Up On Bottled Water
The heat in Egypt is unlike any other that I have experienced, and for that to come from an Australian, where our summers can reach extreme highs, that has to be saying something.
The afternoons in Egypt, I found to be the most hot and they will leave you feeling extremely dehydrated if you do not keep your water intake up. Unfortunately the water in Egypt is not ideal for tourists to drink, as it may leave you with an upset stomach, which while on holidays is the last thing you would want to have happen, so I suggest that whenever you stop off at a store thats sells water, you stock up on quite a few bottles to keep you supplied for a few days, as you may be travelling long distances between destinations, and might not get a chance to stop past a store. I recommend grabbing a few more bottles than what you would normally drink in a day, as I found myself drinking a lot more water than I would have usually.
3. Keep A Roll Of Toilet Paper Handy
Yes, you read that right. Toilet stops in Egypt, I found were one of my least pleasant experiences. The toilets in the hotels were completely fine, however once you step outside those doors, the toilet game is not very strong, and they are often without toilet paper, or you will be required to pay for a small piece of toilet paper if you do not have any with you.
Myself and the other girls on our tour quickly learnt that toilet paper was our new priority for travelling through Egypt, LOL!
4. Respect The Dress Code
When travelling to any new country, it is always wise to do your research, around what clothing is, and is not considered appropriate for people to wear. The dress code for woman in Egypt, may be considered conservative for western cultures, however it is respectful to obey this code, and will remove chances of any negative encounters. During my travels through Egypt I found wearing a long maxi skirt and a t-shirt was perfectly acceptable.
5. Be Prepared For Some Intense Shopping Experiences
The main tourist sites in Egypt such as the Abu Simbel Temples and The Great Pyramids of Giza, will typical have multiple shop keepers surrounding them selling various trinkets and souvenirs to tourists. It is always wise to be quite firm on what you want to purchase and be sure to not accept any extra “free” gifts that the shop keepers may offer you, as these are more often than not, not really a gift and you will be hassled for money when you attempt to walk away.
6. Camel Rides at The Pyramids
Camel riding at the pyramids is on many bucket lists around the world, but these rides come with an extra price! A lot of the time when you purchase your camel ride you will pay a certain price, prior to the ride, however when you ask for a photo during your experience you will be charged quite a large sum of money in order to take a photo, which more often than not was not mentioned to you prior to you deciding to go ahead with your ride. This is always a handy tip to have under your belt, so you can discuss the photo cost prior to purchasing your ride.
7. Try The Local Street Food
Although the food in the hotel can give us some comforts of home, the street food in Egypt is simply delicious. If you like herbs and spices as much as I do, you are going to love Egyptian food. Ask your guide for some tips on the best local dishes, and indulge as much as you can. I miss Egyptian food more and more each day.
In addition to the food, be sure to try some cold hibiscus tea while you are there. I couldn’t get enough of this and it was so refreshing in the Egyptian heat.
8. You May Need to Pay For Your Photographs
A lot of the ancient temples in Egypt will restrict tourists from taking photos to preserve the hieroglyphics and paintings inside of them, as the flash from our cameras can be damaging. It may be tempting to try and sneak a photo when the guards aren’t looking your way, however if you get caught the guard can and will demand money from you, and you will be forced to delete your photo. It is best in this situation to respect these rules and just savour the fact that you have been lucky enough to get to see these beautiful temples first hand.
Interested in seeing some of the wonders I got to see during my trip to Egypt? Click here