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Egyptian Visas vs Sinai Travel Permits

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Egyptian Visas vs. Sinai Travel Permits – Crossing Border to Egypt part 3 of 3

There are two types of visas that are issued for crossings between Israel or Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt: one is a 15 day travel permit that is good for Sinai only, and the other is a full visa that is good for all of Egypt.

I never figured that, as a US passport holder, that I would not need a prearranged visa to enter Egypt. If I enter by air, there are no hassles — I get a visa and go on my way into the country. Crossing a land border into Egypt seemed different. It seemed as if I may need a visa prior to arrival if I wanted to cross between Israel and Egypt at Taba.

But we had little choice but to try the border and see if we could get in.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Egypt- May, 2009
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The Lonely Planet PDF said that I could buy a visa at the Sinai sea border crossing point in Nuweiba, the US Government Travel Info site said that I could buy a document from a tour agent at the Taba border and then get a visa, and I consulted other travelers in Aqaba about this route — who in turn consulted their Lonely Planet guidebooks — and the overall consensus pointed to the fact that I should — somehow — be able to get a full Egyptian visa at the Taba border.

I have traveled long enough to know that no travel information can be trusted — not even Vagabond Journey.com — and I use a fishing net tactic for collecting notes on the road ahead. I toss my net out into the river — I ask questions of everybody I meet, loosely consult the travel guides and internet — and then I reel in the net and evaluate the contents of what I’ve caught. Most of the fish in the net are not big enough to eat, too ugly, or are diseased, so I toss them back into the river. But I need to eat something, so I pick out the best fish, cook them up, and gobble them down. Speaking outside of metaphor, I evaluate my findings and act upon what makes the most sense. I take the information that seems to be the best — the most consistent — and ride it out.

It made sense to me that we would somehow be able to get full visas at the Israel/ Egypt border at Taba — most signs were pointing in this direction.

We had no other choice: we were on the Egyptian border with a single day to make Cairo, with nowhere else to go.

But, yet again, we thought wrong.

It is not possible to get a visa for Egypt at the Taba border, travelers must first get a visa at the Egyptian consulate in Eilat.

As you shall read in this coming narrative, this was a misjudgment that lead into a spiral of drastic measures.


Egyptian visa stamp.

Read about the full journey crossing the border from Israel to Egypt
Part 1- Egypt Denies Travelers at Border
Part 2- Crossing back to Israel
Part 3- Egyptian Visas vs. Sinai Travel Permits

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Egyptian Visas vs. Travel Permits

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Filed under: Africa, Egypt

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3048 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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