Egypt ranks number one on the 2018 List of Eight Most Dangerous Countries for Women Travelers due to high risk of terrorism, rapes, and men harassing women.
Egypt could be on the top of the list for most travelers because of its pyramids, the Sphinx, and colorful souks selling pungent spices and rich textiles. It is, however, a terribly dangerous destination at this time. Following the Arab Spring, the country became less stable and more authoritarian than in years past, and the state of women’s rights has deteriorated, making it less safe for native women and women travelers. Due to the threat of terrorist attacks, rapes, and harassment, reconsider your need to travel to Egypt overall.
According to official warnings about Egypt from the Australian Government, the Canadian Government, and the US State Department, terrorist attacks can occur in Egypt anywhere and anytime, including tourist and religious sites and other places where tourists visit. Some areas have even higher levels security issues. Some parts of Egypt are under a state of emergency, so check your potential destinations for the latest advisories. Religious celebrations have been targets for extremist attacks.
Attacks have even occurred close to the Great Pyramids and at Kafr El-Sheikh, and further attacks are expected. Avoid unnecessary road travel outside of resort areas in Sharm el Sheikh because tourists and infrastructure supporting tourists in South Sinai are likely targets.
Do Not Travel – Within 50kms of Egypt’s border with Libya and Governorate of North Sinai, including the Taba-Suez Road. Egypt closed its borders to all Qatari flights on June6, 2017 until further notice. If you’re traveling between Egypt and Qatar, contact your air travel provider for further information
Despite the above warnings, most crimes committed against tourists are crimes of opportunity (purse snatching, pick pocketing, etc.)
If you want to go to Egypt or must go:
- The resorts along the Red Sea (Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh), and the upper Nile from Luxor to Aswan are your best bets from a safety perspective. Even there be alert to your surroundings, and fly to and from your destinations.
- It is best to go with companions to minimize risk of rape and harassment.
- In general, stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners, and avoid demonstrations and crowds.
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, Best Countries in South America, and Best and Worst of North America.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamed Soliman, courtesy of the World Economic Forum
Photo: The exterior of Al Rawdah mosque, Bir Al-Abed, Egypt