May 2008

Things To Know When Traveling In Egypt

This months news:

  1. VISAS

VISAS:  Visas are required for all nationalities.  Many country's citizens can obtain one upon entry however citizens of some countries are required to obtain their visa from a consulate before arriving.Although most airlines can tell you whether one is required for your entry prior to arrival, it would be best to check with the closest Egyptian consulate or Embassy to be certain.
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MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS: Normally no immunizations are required or needed. If you have recently been traveling in an area known to be experiencing problems you should obtain a health certificate before arrival.  While in Egypt drink the filtered bottle water or the mineral water.  Also besure to bring any prescriptions you might need.  And don’t forget to prepare for the “Pharaoh’s curse” with a bottle of Imodium or similar. Be careful of fresh fruit juices as they may be diluted with local non-filtered water.
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CURRENCY: The local currency is the Egyptian pound (LE). 1 LE = 100 piasters. Banks are opened in major hotels for 24 hrs. Credit cards are widely used in major hotels & restaurants. Charges will be in Egyptian pounds. The exchange rate floats and changes daily.  You can check the current rate on-line at 
You do not need to change money priorto arrival as most currencies are accepted, especially US dollars, by all establishments EXCEPT you must use Egyptian pounds for antiquity site entry fees.
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CLIMATE: The best season is from October through May when the temperature is Cairo is comfortable in the daytime, and cool or even cold at night. Weather in Upper Egypt, Luxor, Aswan and Abu Simbel is comfortably warm. During the summer months in Cairo is hot and dry, upper Egypt is extremely hot, sightseeing is done early in the morning.

Average Temperatures
  Cairo Aswan
Jan 45/67 F
7/19 C
52/76 F
11/24 C
March 55/79 F
13/26 C
59/89 F
15/32 C
May 65/95 F
18/35 C
72/101 F
22/38 C
July 73/99 F
23/37 C
80/110 F
27/43 C
Sept 70/95 F
21/35 C
80/110 F
27/43 C
Nov 55/80 F
13/27 C
60/89 F
16/832 C

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CLOTHING: Winter months: Bring sweaters, a light coat or jacket for the cool Cairo evenings. Women should bring slacks and one evening dress for nightclub visits. Men should bring at least one warm jacket. Pack a bathing suit if visiting Luxor and Aswan if taking a Nile cruise. Summer months: light weight cotton clothing. A sweater for cool Cairo evenings.
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AT ALL TIMES: Modesty in clothing should be observed.  Women should cover their arms when visiting mosques. Bring comfortable walking shoes for sightseeing and walking on desert sand. Sneakers are needed and no open sandals as it is sandy. Sunglasses as well as hats and scarves are recommended as protection against the strong sun. No shorts in the cities and women should never wear sleeveless blouses or shorts at any time.  Beaches are like beaches all over the world, much more casual and laid back so shorts can be worn.  While at hotels wear a cover wrap to/from the pool if you have to go through the hotel to reach it.
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ELECTRICITY: 220 volts, 50 cycles AC in Cairo. Wall plugs are the round two pronged European type. No adapters or transformers are provided bring your own.
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HOLIDAYS: The weekly day of rest is Friday. Islam is the principal religion of Egypt. So the “weekend” is generally Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a normal business day although a good percentage of the population is Eastern Orthodox Christian.  Islamic Holidays are based on the lunar calendar and change annually.   The Eastern Christian holidays are generally different than the western Christian ones.  For instance Christmas is on January 06.  Tourist attractions (antiquity sites) are open every day except New Years day.  Some sites that are of an active religious type (monasteries, mosques, etc.)  close for their appropriate sabbath.
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