PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
In order to enter Egypt as a citizen of the United States, you will need:
A signed, valid passport and a tourist visa*. Your passport must remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the completion of your trip.
It is also imperative that your passport has enough blank visa pages available for entry and exit stamps.
Tourist visas for Egypt can be purchased either on arrival or by applying in advance through a visa processing service. While there are additional costs involved in using these services, we encourage you to obtain your visa ahead of time, as long lines can be common. The current cost of obtaining a single-entry visa for Egypt is USD $25 (subject to change without notice). For those planning to obtain their visas in advance, it is recommended that you apply no sooner than 30 days prior to departure. For those planning on obtaining their visa upon arrival, the visa fee must be paid in cash and can be paid in U.S. currency.
Please also be aware that you need a valid visa before going on your trip to Egypt. Therefore, if your itinerary has you entering/leaving/re-entering Egypt, you will need to obtain a multiple entry visa.
If you are not a citizen of the United States, your entry requirements may vary. Please consult your nearest diplomatic or consular office of the country or countries you will be visiting.
Egypt’s unit of currency is the Egyptian Pound.
Exchange money only at authorized outlets such as currency exchange kiosks, banks, and hotels. Only exchange what you feel you will need while visiting. Save all receipts from any currency transaction. You may be asked to produce them when you exit the country, and they are required if you intend to reconvert local currency.
We suggest traveling with some U.S. dollars to be exchanged for local currency and at least two major credit cards. US dollars are widely accepted. Major credit cards are generally accepted in shops, hotels, and restaurants. If you have a “Chip and PIN” card, be careful to shield your number from view while entering it on a keypad; never disclose your PIN verbally. Notify your credit card company of your travel plans prior to your departure to avoid any fraud concerns.
We do not recommend traveler’s checks as they are not as widely accepted as in previous years, and are only accepted at some banks and international hotels.
It is important to familiarize yourself with any potential health issues or concerns related to your destination, and so we strongly recommend consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for up-to-date information on required and recommended vaccines and medications. Visit them online at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel or call 800 232 4636. Plan to visit your doctor or local travel clinic at least 4-6 weeks before departure to allow time for any vaccinations to take effect or to fill any prescriptions.
A yellow fever vaccination is required to enter Egypt only if you are arriving from or have transited through a yellow fever endemic area in South America or Africa. The CDC provides a current list of all affected countries. If vaccination for yellow fever is necessary, you must carry an International Certificate of Vaccination provided by your physician; without it, you may be denied entry. If your physician advises against receiving the vaccination because of your personal medical history, he or she can provide you with the necessary documentation for the country that you are visiting.
Egypt is largely a desert, an extension of the great Sahara that bands North Africa. Save for the thin strip of watered land along the Nile River, very little could survive here. Generally, the summers are hot and dry and the winters, moderate. Alexandria gets the most rainfall, while there is very little rainfall in the Nile Valley.
Use a website such as weather.com to find average temperatures and rainfall during your travel times.
Egypt supplies electricity at 220-240 volts / 50 hertz. Please include a Traveler Electrical Adapter in your pre-tour materials.
WHAT TO PACK
Bring materials that breathe; wear layers that can be taken off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings.
Conservative clothing such as lightweight pants, loose shorts, long skirts or trousers and at least short-sleeved shirts are recommended for both sexes when sightseeing in towns.
Somewhat smarter clothing is appropriate for evening dining in city restaurants and aboard your Nile Cruise vessel.
Temples, mosques and other religious sites require conservative dress. Both sexes should cover their arms, legs, and shoulders. Wear or carry a pair of socks, since shoes must be removed when entering religious buildings.
Women should pack a scarf large enough to cover bare neck and shoulders. An umbrella – to use as a sunshade.
Pack a swimming suit; many local hotels have swimming pools.
Carry a sweater or lightweight jacket for evenings and fiercely air-conditioned interiors.
Pack comfortable, walking shoes. Sandals may not be appropriate for some sightseeing activities. Shoes with crepe or rubber soles are best for walking in the desert and temple sites.
Sunglasses, sunblock, and a sunhat. Collapsible walking stick.
A small flashlight is useful in case of a local power failure.
If you wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, be sure to pack an extra pair(s).
Simple first-aid kit. Prescriptions and medications (We recommend you carry these in their original bottles and/or packaging.)
Charging cables for electronics. Voltage converter and adapter plugs.
Laundry Service is available at most hotels and on Nile Cruise vessels. Dry cleaning is available in larger cities.
One piece of checked baggage and one piece of carry-on luggage per person are permitted on flights within Egypt. Checked baggage may not exceed 50 lbs. and carry-on luggage may not exceed 17 lbs. These limitations are strictly enforced.
As a preventative measure, it is recommended that all luggage be secured with a TSA approved lock.
What You Need to Know When You Arrive
Egypt operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 2 hours. At 9:00 a.m. in Egypt, it is:
|EST||2:00 a.m. the same day|
|CST||1:00 a.m. the same day|
|MST||12:00 a.m. the same day|
|PST||11:00 p.m. the previous day|
The official language of Egypt is Arabic, although many Egyptians with whom you will come into contact speak and understand English, as well as many other European languages.
Please consult with your guide on translations, if needed.
At international airports in Egypt, you are met by a “Your Egypt Tours” Tour Coordinator who will assist you through immigration formalities and remain with you while you clear customs. Look for the person holding the distinctive Your Egypt Tours signboard.
PROTECTION AND PRECAUTIONS
Use a safe where available in your accommodations to secure your valuables, especially passports, medications, jewelry, money, and electronics. If you must carry valuables, keep them on your person at all times. Be mindful of your surroundings and take extra caution in crowds.
Photocopy the personal information pages of your passport; leave one copy with a family member or friend and pack another separately from the passport itself. You may want to scan and email a copy to yourself for easy, online access. This will help you to quickly secure a replacement should the need arise.
ETIQUETTE & PHOTOGRAPHY
Unless you are shooting a crowded public scene, it is considered courteous to ask permission before taking pictures of local people, especially small children. Please be respectful of local people who would not like to be photographed.
Still, camera and video camera fees are applicable at most sights and museums. Local people may expect to be compensated if you include them in a photograph. It’s best to determine if your intended subject expects to be paid before taking a photo.
Photography is not permitted at some locations, which may include government buildings, museums, art galleries, private houses, etc. Photography in Egypt is also often restricted at certain sites to preserve antiquities which can be damaged by flash photography. These areas are usually clearly marked. If in doubt, please ask; this will avoid having your camera confiscated. Flash photography is prohibited in some situations.
Be sure to pack ample amounts of batteries and memory cards or film for your camera and video equipment, along with the appropriate charging cables. A dust-proof case or seal-able plastic bags and lens brush are also recommended.
FOOD AND DRINK
Do not use tap water for drinking or brushing teeth. Even “purified” water in open containers should be avoided. It is always preferable and safer to use only bottled water.
Regardless of precautions, changes in water and diet can result in mild abdominal upsets and nausea. To prevent serious illness, avoid suspect foods such as uncooked vegetables, peeled fruit, unpasteurized milk and milk products. Beware of any food or drink sold by street vendors.
Many of our guests enjoy the chance to purchase items that reflect their destination, and so as a courtesy, your guide may recommend a particular shop or arrange a shopping visit. Please note, however, that these recommendations should not be taken as “Your Egypt Tours”’s endorsement of the shop, merchandise and/or pricing. You assume all responsibility for any transactions that take place, including shipping arrangements that are made.
The decision to shop while travelling is a personal choice and shopping is never compulsory. If at any point during your journey you feel pressured to shop or make purchases, please immediately discuss the matter with your tour representative.
To avoid disappointment, we suggest the following guidelines:
- Compute the exchange rate and thoroughly review credit card receipts before
- Take your purchases home with you whenever possible. Airfreight can take many months and actual shipping charges can be excessive. Customs delays, fees and regulations can further complicate the issue. If you choose to ship purchases, we suggest taking a picture of the item(s) and/or marking them in some way to ensure you receive what was purchased. For example, you could write your name on the backside of a rug. Determine if your shipment will be delivered door-to-door or to the nearest customs facility, as is often the case. Most goods shipped from other countries to the United States are subject to Customs
- Duty taxes, if applicable, are paid as you re-enter the United States. Regardless of assurances by merchants, these cannot be prepaid on your behalf. Currently, each person is entitled to an $800 duty-free exemption, however, may only bring one liter of alcoholic beverages, 200 cigarettes and 100 cigars
- Keep all sales receipts for items purchased throughout your trip and try to pack all items that you will need to declare together. This will ease the Customs process upon re-entry into the U.S.
Contact your cellular telephone provider to determine if your phone operates on the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and what, if any, activation may be required.
If your phone is not GSM-enabled, you may find that renting a phone specifically designed for use overseas is the most practical option.
Gratuities/Tipping (recommended). In Egypt, tipping is not an obligation but it is a sign of appreciation for good service. While decisions regarding tipping rest entirely with you, we suggest the following gratuities, tips are expected from people that serve you—e.g., driver, waiter, train conductor, bellman, cruise ship staff, etc. The average tip is $10-$20 US dollars per day—this amount covers everyone. So you need to carry change. If you don’t want to deal with the tipping, you can give your guide a total sum in advance of all tipping requirements for your trip that the guide would dispense.
Please Note: In Egypt it is extremely common to encounter restroom attendants in airports, bazaars, and other sites frequented by tourists. While not compulsory, it is customary to tip these individuals an amount in Egyptian Pounds equal to approximately .25 to .50 cents.