Regrettably, Egypt retains its #4 spot on the 2017 List of 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Women Travelers due to a dangerous combination of terrorism, a high rate of rape, sexual harassment, kidnapping, and robbery.
Rating: Dangerous and Obnoxious
Egypt has a Global Peace Index listing of 142 (out of 163; higher numbers are worse than lower), which puts it in the company of countries like Venezuela. The US has issued a travel warning due to terrorism from multiple groups such as Isil. The US notes recent attacks, including one on December 11th, 2016, at a church next to the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo. On December 9th, 2016, two roadside bombings targeted police in Giza and another on the Nile Delta. Particularly dangerous is the Western Desert (West of Cairo and the Nile Valley) and the northeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula. For example, there was an attack in the North Sinai Governate on March 10th, 2017 by ISIS with two fatalities.
Contrary to the above warning, the Aussies advise reconsidering your need to travel for most of Egypt due to threat of terrorist activities and kidnapping which they say can happen anywhere in Egypt, including tourist areas. The Aussies advise not to travel to the Governate of North Sinai due to high threat terrorist attacks and violent criminals.
The New Zealand government agrees with the Aussies’ view, additionally advising its citizens that there is high risk to traveller security in Egypt, including Siwa Oasis, due to the unpredictable political situation, civil unrest, threat of terrorism and kidnapping, and advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.
The Canadians suggest avoiding non-essential travel to Egypt due to an “unpredictable security situation” with the exception of the red sea coastal resorts of Hurghada, Sharm el Sheikh, Luxor to Aswan along the upper Nile. They suggest you arrive and depart by air to these destinations because of the hazards of getting there.
In 2017, sexual harassment and violence remain endemic. The Egyptian government is helping by advising women to not talk or laugh loudly in public and to be careful how they dress. There is also the perennial problem of being followed and hounded because you are a woman. Unless you are with a good Egyptian tour guide or group, this is not the country to travel solo.
If you want to go to Egypt or must go: The US warning notes that there is a heavy Egyptian military presence protecting Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, and other beach resorts located on the Red Sea, as well as, on the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria. Likewise the temples and archeological sites in greater Cairo and the Nile Valley like Luxor, Aswan, and Abu Simbel are guarded by the military. Because tourism is so critical in these areas, the locals and law enforcement are allocating extra security to keep things safe despite the turmoil elsewhere in the country. It is wise to wear loose clothing that covers you completely and consider wearing a hat or scarf.
Conclusion: Perhaps you are thinking it would be better to go where a woman can travel freely and safely, if so, please refer to our 10 Safest Countries for Women Travelers, Best Countries in Africa, Best Places in Oceania, and Best Countries in South America.
Cover Photo: Mohamed el-Shahed, photographer, via Getty Images published by Huffington Post
Description: Car Bombing Hits Italian Consulate in Central Cairo