Boasting some of the ancient world’s most famous monuments and pieces of art, Egypt is at the top of many travelers’ bucket lists. As a Middle Eastern country with a complex past, you might be wondering before you book your ticket – is Egypt safe to travel to? While there are a handful of precautions and limitations that any tourist should be aware of, Egypt is a safe destination for travelers.
Planning a voyage to a new destination can be a nerve wracking experience, especially if that destination is in the Middle East, which can have a bit of a negative reputation in terms of personal safety for tourists. If you find yourself searching “how safe is it to travel to Egypt 2023” and “how safe is Egypt right now,” it could be worth considering a group tour to the country.
There is safety in numbers, and especially if you are a solo female traveler, going as part of a guided tour group could easily help to provide you with some peace of mind. However, it’s not just female travelers who could benefit from a group tour, for reasons looked at later.
Last updated November 2023
How safe is Egypt for American tourists?
The United States State Department’s advice about travel to Egypt is predictably cautious. But, when compared to other countries in the world, it becomes apparent just how cautious it is. For example, Egypt’s “Level 3” travel safety rating is a rating shared with other countries such as Hong Kong, Honduras, China, and Jamaica, all considered to be safe by many experienced travelers. Furthermore, the State Department has not updated their assessment on Egypt since October 5, 2022, so it’s not the most up-to-date information for travelers wondering whether Egypt is a safe destination to travel to in 2023.
Still, the State Department’s website provides some helpful information for those concerned with whether Egypt is safe. For example, the State Department advises staying alert in destinations which are frequented by Westerners, avoiding protests and demonstrations, and obtaining medical insurance before leaving for your trip. The majority of the advice is common sense, but it can be helpful to see it all in one place if you find yourself wondering how safe Egypt is for American tourists.
Tour groups, such as a seven-day excursion that will bring you to the tombs of Luxor, the temples of Aswan and the citadel in Cairo, also allow for that sort of consolidated safety approach. Group tours are well appraised about the security situation in the country and will ensure that the advice laid out by the State Department is followed without you needing to worry about it at all. If you hear about something that concerns you or read something frightening in the news during the trip, you’ll have resources available through your tour group, such as a group leader who has a good deal of experience in the country, to put your mind at ease.
What to avoid in Egypt
As with almost any other country, there are some parts of Egypt which are less safe than others, so it’s also important to consider what to avoid in Egypt or where to avoid in Egypt. The areas that are often considered no-go zones include the lawless Western Desert, the restive northern Sinai Peninsula, and the Hala’ib Triangle.
As you can see, most of Egypt’s land mass is not where you’ll be going as a tourist.
Luckily, these areas are not places which are on the radar of most travelers. The Western Desert is a vast expanse of sand bordering Libya, mostly void of tourism sites, and all of the beautiful beach sites that travelers associate with the Sinai Peninsula (such as Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba) are in the southern part of the peninsula. The Hala’ib Triangle is a small chunk of disputed territory on the country’s southeastern border with Sudan. Even those who have been to Egypt many times might have a hard time pointing it out on a map and there is no reason to consider going there.
How Egypt keeps tourists safe
As travelers, it is completely natural to wonder if visiting a new country like Egypt is a safe option, but it is also important to consider this question rationally. It has been a long time since well-publicized events that resulted in tourist casualties, and the Egyptian government has made security improvements since these disasters. One of the first things you will notice when you arrive in Egypt is all the security measures in place for tourists. When you walk into any hotel, museum, tourist site, or airport, you’ll need to pass through a metal detector first.
Is Egypt safe to travel to in September 2023?
- The Foreign and Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) for Egypt
- The US State Department travel warnings for Egypt
As the United Kingdom’s Foreign Travel Advice website points out, some 500,000 British tourists visit the country every year and the vast majority of these visits go off without a hitch. This year, the Grand Egyptian Museum is scheduled to be finished and once its doors open, it will be the largest archaeological museum in the year.
As a result, security around the country, which is already quite robust, will likely be even more present. Statistically, your chances of having a trouble-free trip are very good and odds are that the worst thing to befall you on your visit to Egypt is a sunburn. Of course, anxiety about travel may not be allayed by statistics. Another reason that traveling with a group is a plus is that it will provide you with other travelers to commiserate with and air out any concerns you might be having.
So, should you travel to Egypt?
If you have been considering a trip to Egypt, you should not let safety concerns put you off. Egypt is one of the most stunning destinations the world has to offer, with a huge array of natural and man-made wonders, ancient history, and vibrant cultural experiences which are truly unmissable for any travel lover. For those who feel more comfortable in a group, a group tour is the best option to feel totally at ease in a new country. We also recommend checking out our Egypt clothing guide before traveling to ensure you blend in seamlessly with the locals. To get a preview of what Cairo, or Umm al-Dunya (The Mother of the World), as it is commonly known in Arabic, has to offer, check out our Cairo Travel Guide.
See you at the Pyramids!