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Do Not Travel to Egypt During Revolution Warning

Since the political conflicts in Egypt began earlier this year (2011) I have been receiving updates on the situation from my friend Mary Mimouna, who distributes reports out to her wide array of contacts from an associate by the name of Pat, who has been living in Egypt for a number of years. I chose to share [...]

Since the political conflicts in Egypt began earlier this year (2011) I have been receiving updates on the situation from my friend Mary Mimouna, who distributes reports out to her wide array of contacts from an associate by the name of Pat, who has been living in Egypt for a number of years. I chose to share the report that I received this morning as it is a direct, first person warning to potential tourists planning trips to Egypt.

Egyptian revolution

Update from the Egyptian Revolution

DEAR FRIENDS:

I am just sitting down to my computer this evening wondering how I am going to get a message out to potential tourists – information that I am just finally figuring out and confirming. Egypt is not safe at all, not even for Egyptians, never mind foreigners that live here or potential tourists. My American friend just went to Alexandria to visit her daughter’s family with a new baby and she said no one goes out after dark – because there are no police at all.

Just imagine your country/ city with no police force at all. For the last couple of weeks, we have slightly noticed that there are no police around. There are no police at the front of banks, traffic police, normal police, security police – no police cars or trucks on the street or parked in front of police offices. I walked to the new large supermarket yesterday in the middle of the day and did not see any police or police vehicles anywhere – a distance of one mile each way.

So, I called a tourist police friend today and bluntly asked him what is going on? He said the police feel that they do not have the respect or appreciation of the people and since the military is in control of the government, then let the Army protect the people.

So, please inform everyone you know via e-mail, facebook, etc. that the bottom line is that now is not the time to visit Egypt. Many hoodlums running around especially on motorcycles and I am no longer carrying a purse. Just have a pouch in my clothing with money and phone and keys. You could also call any travel agents you know. I know for a fact that Grand Circle Tours is planning on sending groups soon and their clients are usually retired people and then need to be stopped from doing so.

I have also been told that some travel agencies are starting to send groups and this is a big mistake!

The Tourist Police are working – except not much because there are no tourists except in the Red Sea Resorts – perhaps 10% occupancy.

Additional reports from Egypt

News, Politics, and Current Events in Egypt

What do you think? Would you travel to Egypt right now?

Filed under: Africa, Egypt, Politics, Travel Problems

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 88 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 3411 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Rochester, New York

10 comments… add one

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  • Caitlin March 5, 2011, 12:59 pm

    I like how right underneath that article you have an ad that says “Go there now! Check flights!”

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com March 6, 2011, 1:25 am

      That is in the template. No way to adjust for content. Also, this article is not my opinion.

      But it is funny though.

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  • Bob L March 5, 2011, 1:35 pm

    “Just imagine your country/ city with no police force at all.”

    If it were my town, I imagine there would be no real change other than people would drive a little faster on the streets. If it were the closest city, there would be some mayhem for a short bit, but then the local population would take things under control. The bigger cities, and those states where private ownership of firearms is difficult, well, all bets are off there.

    Bob L

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com March 6, 2011, 1:27 am

      I have to agree here with Bob to a point. I believe that in the initial stages people would pull together and fend for their own, but if it were a drawn out situation — such as what is going on in Egypt — it is my impression that this would fall apart pretty quick. We are people who have been cultivated to be ruled by police and government, all of a sudden if the switch was turned off it is my guess there would be a long adjustment period.

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  • Dave from The Longest Way Home March 5, 2011, 9:04 pm

    expats always get a level headed panic attack during tensions. Though the average tourist will already be warned. Good point about that ad though!

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com March 6, 2011, 1:31 am

      This is just a base warning for tourists. If things were real bad I am sure that most foreigners would already be gone. The line about walking down the street without a purse shows the type of danger and the level of perceived risk: she is still walking down the street, in public. This says something.

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  • jim johnston March 6, 2011, 6:59 pm

    I found this very unconvincing as there was absolutely no mention of anything dangerous having happened–it’s all about what might occur. Has it? Check out this blog for another point of view–http://www.salon.com/news/egyptian_protests/index.html
    I spent two weeks in Cairo last year and was told many times how safe it was. I wandered down many dark, garbage strewn alleys–just the kind of places your mother told you not to go–and found nothing but friendly, hospitable people.

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  • Nicholas Gilman March 8, 2011, 10:26 am

    I found little in this poorly written letter to convince me not to travel to Egypt, and in fact, I plan to go in April. I want to see what is going on and to support the people in businesses catering to travelers, i.e. hotels and restaurants who are surely hurting. I do not live by fear and think it is shameful to advocate this form of thinking.

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    • Wade | Vagabond Journey.com March 8, 2011, 12:14 pm

      I am the editor who posted this letter, though I must say that I agree with you nearly completely. Though on the ground observations are probably the best directives a traveler could go off of if the situation was truly dangerous in Egypt I doubt that ANY foreigner would still be there. That fact that the reporter here is still in Egypt speaks volumes.

      I just did a radio interview last night where the host of the show asked me if I would travel to Egypt and the Middle East right now. I thought of this entry and paused for a moment before answering (I almost laughed) and then tried to put the question off by saying, “I have traveled through Iraq, Syria, Jordan . . .” but then I cut the BS and just answered, “Yes.”

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  • Betty March 25, 2011, 2:32 am

    There are some key things you should know:
    1-Those foreigners who say it is safe to visit and come now the loudest have tourism businesses that are losing money and they want that money back and are willing to say anything to get that money back, even if it means putting tourists at risk. They do not represent all that work in the tourist industry. Some foreigners working in the tourist industry are actually discouraging foreigners from coming now as they feel a responsibility for their safety above all. Ask yourself, which ones are more likely to be telling the truth?
    2-Those who encourage tourists to come back now and tell them it is safe are risking the entire tourist industry for a much longer time. One attack on tourists and the reputation of Egypt will be destroyed for all that work in tourism here for a long time.
    3-Those foreigners who choose to stay do not necessarily do so simply because it is safe. Some have jobs, families, homes etc. here and are not going to walk away from them just because of a decrease in safety. Instead, they are going to modify their lives to the extent that they stay as safe as they can. But the extent that is required could put a damper on a vacation for someone coming for ten days. Don’t compare apples and oranges.
    4-In short, it is not safe yet and those who discourage tourists from returning at this time are responsible, caring and thoughtful individuals who want what is best for the tourists and the tourism industry. If you wish to come now, you are free to make that choice, but if anything happens to you then those who convinced you it was safe for you to come deserve to be held responsible.

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