Egypt – the pyramids are calling but is it safe?
THERE is a big ongoing debate in the travel media right now about the safety of independent travel to and around Egypt.
The historic cities of Cairo and Alexandria hold a timeless appeal to the traveller but, with all the recent upheaval of the Arab Spring, many tourists are staying away and the country’s travel industry has been hard hit.
I am not an expert, only having visited this part of the world on a handful of occasions, but it seems to me that historic Egypt always was, and always will be, an exciting country to visit for an independent traveller and maybe not a destination for mums with their tots and toddlers seeking a relaxed sunshine holiday.
Egypt’s tourist trade is desperate for things to get back to what they used to be and this can only be good news for the traveller. They can expect a big welcome and good deals from this quarter.
Cairo is a bustling metropolis where western visitors stand out as people with money to spend and the usual rules apply about your safety when in a foreign country but possibly the biggest single thing to take care about is crossing the road. as traffic is chaotic.
Giza and the Nile
If you’re in the city the Cairo Museum is a must. From Cairo it’s a short trip to Egypt’s biggest tourist attraction, the pyramids of Giza The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three Giza pyramids which stand in the area bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt.
It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one to remain largely intact. Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu over a 10 to 20-year period which ended in around 2560 BC.
Initially at 146.5 metres, the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Just nearby is Egypt’s largest and most famous sphinx, the Great Sphinx of Giza, sited at the Giza Plateau on the west bank of the Nile River and facing due east.
Travelling in this area also gives the opportunity to take in the lush greenery of the River Nile, the lifeblood of the country. Cruise operators are desperate to win back the tourists.
Here’s the verdict of America’s CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg, who last year visited Cairo, the Pyramids and took a cruise on the Nile. “People are truly happy to see you and they show it. And from the moment I arrived, I knew I had made the right decision to come.”
Travellers from the UK should study the advice of their own Government’s Foreign Office. The link is below.