Nov 2017   - Response to the question from two Orlando women

Jan 2018 - In response to emails coming in from people asking if they should go to Egypt or cancel their holiday.

"Is it safe to go to Egypt?" I can only offer you my personal opinion.  My name is Marie Vaughan from Co. Cork in Ireland.  I moved to Luxor in 2003 and built Mara House.  I have two amazing sons and 4 wonderful, lovable grandchildren.  Both before and since 2011 all of them (except one) have been to Egypt (from Cairo to Aswan) several times.  One grandson is now 5 years old and has been coming to stay with me in Luxor, Cairo and Hurghada since he was 9 months old....he was born in 2011.  Would I bring them here if I felt there was the slightest danger?

Initially, I came as a tourist to Egypt in 200o and returned several times before deciding to move here permanently.  I decided to go into the business of offering accommodation and tours because I had found it difficult, frustrating and time consuming to find my own way around as a tourist between 2000 and 2003.  Most of all I found it impossible to get straight answers in my search for places to see and things to do.  The built-in compulsory shopping trips and side tracking me to places not on the itineraries, for commission purposes, infuriated me,

As a person working in tourism, the bottom quite literally fell out of my world in Jan 2011.   When the trouble started in Cairo I moved from Luxor (there was nothing happening here) to our apts in Cairo, which were just 10 minutes walk from Tahrir Square.  I wanted to see for myself if the situation was as reported on the TV... it was not.  Did I feel unsafe then?  Never.  I did begin to feel unsafe shortly after the Muslim Brotherhood came to power and proceeded to run the country's economy, services and infra-structure into the ground as well as plunging us into serious foreign debt.  Thankfully, that came to an end in June 2013 when President Sisi took control and ousted them.  Have I ever felt unsafe since?  Never.

"Egypt is as safe as any country in the world and safer than most - and it has always been so for tourists"

I don't ask you to take my word for it that Egypt is as safe as anywhere else, but I do ask you to do some research into the history of Egypt since 2011 - find out how many tourists have been killed or injured, and when you find any - dig deep into the facts of those reports.

I am not a fortune teller so I can't guarantee you anything to do with the future - but the facts of the past that you will discover in your research will tell you that fewer foreigners have met with harm from terror attacks in Egypt since 2011 than in many other countries of the Western World.  I am presuming here also that it is fear of terrorism that has you asking this question in the first place.

TRAVEL AGENTS WHO ADVISE YOU AGAINST TRAVEL TO EGYPT - Dig a little deeper when you get this advice.  I am guessing that those travel agents have no contracts in place with hotels, transport companies or travel agents inside Egypt - hence they actually don't have anything in Egypt to sell you - BUT they do have contracts with lots of other places so, of course, that is what they want to sell you.  Please remember everyone in business has their own products and their own agendas - and your agenda is not their priority.

What NOT to do in Egypt as a tourist (or perhaps anywhere else in the world for that matter):

  • Don't go looking for excitement in the middle of a big crowd, regardless of what is going on
  • Don't arrive in Egypt thinking it is easy to find a hotel, a guide, or whatever at the last minute once you get here.  Do a bit of research in advance.  Know who you are hiring.
  • Don't go walking along the Nile at night or darkened streets away from the main streets.
  • Don't go off the beaten track looking for the 'hidden Egypt'.  Anything worth seeing will definitely not be hidden
  • If you are a 'party person' it can be tempting to head off to a night club other that the one in your hotel (some, but not all hotels have nightclubs which can go on til 6 am).....if you do, then at the very least make sure you let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back.  Allowing yourself to be taken from your intended nightclub etc to a second or third "better party"  is a terrible idea in any strange country.
  • Don't agree to take something out of Egypt for a "friend" you have just met.  Remember that antiquities smuggling merits the death penalty
  • Be very wary about medications you might be asked to bring into Egypt for anyone - some medications you may not be aware of are illegal in Egypt and drug trafficking carries a prison sentence.

What to do:

  • Plan your trip before you go.  I have written posts on the most frequently asked questions as well as advice on a myriad of topics on Egypt.  You can find them in my Travel Guide
  • Book trusted, recommended hotels and do it before you leave home.  Book places that offer internet and phone access.  When you arrive take their advice on where to go and where not to go if it is offered.
  • Do make sure all your documents are in order - passport valid for minimum 6 months after your departure date from Egypt etc.
  • Keep in touch with home.  Let someone know your itinerary and arrange with them that you post on FB or message them regularly during your trip.  Give them the contact details of your hotels and cruise boats.  Most people see for themselves shortly after arriving that they are safe and well taken care of.  However, do remember your family at home do not have your new insight and their imaginations can run wild within a short space of time.
  • If you have any allergies, are a rare blood type, have medical conditions such as diabetes, peanuts etc or have to take certain medication it is a good idea to have that information recorded and keep it with your passport.  Hotels don't ask for this information but at Mara House we welcome the information if you are ok with giving it to us.
    • There are a few reasons I mention this - for example if you are on medication for high blood pressure we would be advising you not to take more than one small glass of the hibiscus tea per day that you will be offered everywhere you go as it is the strongest natural product known to lower blood pressure.  Drinking too much a few days in succession could drastically lower your blood pressure beyond safety limits - I have seen this happen.
    • Apple iPhones have a Health app already installed when you buy it and the icon is a white square with a little red heart on it. This app can be accessed even if your phone is locked and awareness of this is increasing.  You can record your medical information and family contact details etc here - it's a good idea to use it.
    • If you are a recovering alcoholic be very clear when presented with refreshments - especially free drinks such as at the Captain's Coctail Party on cruise boats - be very clear with the person supervising the drinks table which coctails contain alcohol.  There is not a high awareness of alcoholism in Egypt and I have seen a waiter tell someone that all the drinks on a table were the same - they are not.
    • Don't pet stray cats or dogs - you have no idea what they may carry and a seemingly lovely, quiet and friendly cat can turn in a moment if you touch a hidden sore etc and you can end up bitten or scratched.  In which case you may not have an immediate reaction but may develop a problem within a few days.
    • ALWAYS tell your tour leader, tour guide or whatever person is responsible for you if you have received any hurt or scratch from a cat/dog or evn insect bites, have a small accident or feel unwell immediately.  At home you may pass these little things off without a thought but when you are away from home the local person will know better if it is advisable to administer a treatment in the situation.  Please don't think that you are making a fuss about nothing.  The person guiding or hosting you should appreciate that it is better to be safe than sorry and respond accordingly.
  • Keep your passport with you always - the slim document bags that hang aroud your neck are a good idea and you can also keep your phone in it.  Security at some sites have asked visitors to produce their passports and entry can be refused if you don't have it.

Get the right perspective on safety

In comparison to the risk of street muggings or violence in Chicago, to the risk of the continuous earthquakes in China, or even the risk of the common floods in Gt. Britain, the risk in Egypt is minimal. You are more likely to be run over crossing the street at home than you are to be involved in a terrorist attack in Egypt.

Group Travel is a good option.

Within the last year there has been an increase in group travel in Egypt since the tourism recovery began.  Travelling with a group can feel comforting both for the traveller and their families back home.  I have once again started taking groups around Egypt on a 10 day trip personally.  The following are my current confirmed dates if you feel like joining me.

Group Trips accompanied by Mara

  • 2018 May 1 - 12 - (SOLD OUT)
  • 2018 Sept 5 - 16 (almost FULL)
  • 2018 Oct 3 - 14 (almost FULL)
  • 2018 Nov 7 - 18 (almost FULL)
  • 2019 Feb 10 - 23
  • 2019 April 7 - 20
  • 2019 May 19 - June 1
  • 2019 Sept 1 - 14
  • 2019 Oct 6 - 19
  • 2019 Nov 10 - 23

Other Packages from Mara House

Egypt - 9 night package check available dates

Luxor - 3 night package, bookable all year

Cairo 3 night package, bookable all year

Come to Egypt and have a wonderful time! - Mara, 16 April 2018

Mara

Owner at Mara House Hotel Luxor
Hi - I'm Mara (Marie Vaughan) from Ireland...my aim is to be the best at what I do - not the cheapest so please do not compare Mara House products with others based on price...compare us on quality of service.

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40 Comments

  1. Jo-Ann Hall 31/07/2017 at 8:26 pm

    31 July 2017 – I was nervous bringing my two children and their grandad to Egypt based on the news we read about online. I have to say that the moment I arrived at Mara House we have felt very safe. The team here made sure we we well looked after, transport and all trips were extremely well organised, the guides and drivers were very experienced and we totally trusted everyone. The security in Luxor was well organised, they go out of their way to make sure tourists are safe. I only wish that the media would also show the good aspects of life here. Would I recommend Egypt to other to travel? YES I would. Things can happen anywhere in the world-Egypt was major highlight for us, a once in a lifetime experience and a time that we will never forget.

     
  2. David Bailey 06/04/2017 at 7:03 pm

    In a nutshell, Egypt is as safe as most anywhere else in the world of travel. Such a fun Country to visit and the highlight of an extended trip for ourselves. Dave and Denise, Blue Mtns. Australia.

     
  3. Kevin and Fiona Gordon 05/04/2017 at 6:30 pm

    If Egypt is on your bucket list, as it was on ours, then hesitate no longer because Mara and her wonderful crew are here to make your visit to the Land of the Pharaohs all that you dreamed of and more. All the glowing accolades you’ve read about “Egypt with Mara” are true. We’ll give you a few highlights.

    – Pre-trip communication: Before our trip, Mara answered each and every question we had, no matter how niggly, via email promptly and in great detail. We were as prepared as we could be having taken Mara’s advice on what to bring and what to expect. (And for those who wonder “Is Egypt safe?”, the answer is yes. Never once did we feel otherwise. And just to make sure, there was an armed security guard on our van,as well as a military escort.)

    -Welcome to Egypt: Mara’s right-hand woman is Fatma,a lovely young Egyptian whose smile brightened our time in Cairo. She greeted us at the airport, escorted us to the hotel and made sure we felt like part of the family. Fatma is a gifted multi-media artist, intelligent and insightful, and it was delight to learn about the life of contemporary Egyptian Muslims through her.

    -Hit the ground running: From the moment we arrived, our days were packed from morning to night with visits to the major sites up and down the Nile. Mara’s guides were knowledgeable, friendly and patient. We had a succession of Mohammeds, but the one we spent the most time with was with us from Luxor to Aswan. He looked remarkably like Barack Obama and good-naturedly crammed as much information as would fit into our whirling heads. He rounded up the stragglers, kept things moving and made sure all questions were answered.

    -Go with the flow: While we did everything that Mara promised we would do, the sequence of events sometimes had to be rearranged because Egyptian schedules can be somewhat vague.
    She advised early on that we’d have a much better time if we simply went with the flow, and that occasionally things worked out even better than planned. That being said, if someone in the group had something special in mind to do, Mara was delighted to make every effort to see that it was done.

    -Shopping: Mara is strictly about making you happy.. We were there to see the wonders of ancient and modern Egypt, not to spend time in souvenir shops or alabaster and papyrus factories. However, Mara understood that most visitors like to bring something home with them, and there is an afternoon devoted to the market Khan Al-Khalili, where guests are not directed to any shop in particular for the commission, but pointed toward the section of the market where you’ll find what you want.

    -Conclusion: Of course, a written description can never convey the experience of actually being there, but you can expect a well-organized, thoughtful, fun, and memorable experience if you throw in your lot with Mara. Her delightful Irish wit kept things light and enjoyable. She also has a deep grasp of the esoteric side of the temples, tombs and monuments of ancient Egypt and understood when I unexpectedly had what she called “a moment” in the Temple at Abydos.
    We recommend without reservation “Egypt with Mara” for your visit to the land of the Pharaohs.

     
  4. stephanie 03/04/2017 at 10:26 pm

    Egypt is a place of beauty and history that welcomes its guest with open arms. I was there for 2 weeks in Maras group Nov. 2016. I never felt unsafe or scared once and i wandered alot. The people are naturally very welcoming and warm and the kids are all so incredible, they will look at you like a celebrity wanting to talk and take pictures. Of course i think it is always important to respect their culture and beliefs as you would do in any country. Get informed and be aware, the people will appreciate that from you.

     
  5. Dawn 03/04/2017 at 1:49 pm

    I had the pleasure of exploring Egypt with Mara and her wonderful staff’s help and guidance in November of 2016. It was an amazing trip. I honestly never thought egipt could be that wonderful. Mara house is beautiful and the cruise ships were very nice as well with beautiful views of the nile every morning and sunset. While I was there I felt safe. All the people are very nice and respectful. Now the vendors are a different story lol. To buy something requires patience and negotiation. While you do want to get a good price for you it’s important to remember that these people need to sell at a fair price as well so they can provide for their family. While I was there I kept my clothing very modest and simple, lose fitting pants and lose fitting long sleeve shirts. As a visitor to their country I think it’s important to be aware and respectful of their culture. Do your research before going. Yes Egypt has a good amount of christians and churches but they still dress conservatively. Overall I had an amazing time and saw so many wonderful things in Egypt. Thank you to Mara and her staff for making my trip a truly amazing experience.

     
  6. Dianne 03/04/2017 at 10:41 am

    I travelled to Egypt late March-April of last year and I actually felt safer than a lot of other countries I’ve been too!
    The people were friendly and helpful and quite often would go out of their way to help us.
    If travelling alone get a good guide who can help you with the language barrier and show you all the great places there are to see.
    Please don’t put off going because of the things people say about Egypt as they just aren’t true! It’s a magical place that should not be missed.

     
  7. Nesa Gonzalez 03/04/2017 at 7:21 am

    I felt very safe during my entire stay in Egypt.
    I dressed very modestly. I wore very loose fitting pants with loose long sleeved shirts, to respect the Egyptian culture. I would highly recommend researching what is and is not acceptable in the country before going. However, on the Mara House Luxor page, Mara has many topics covered and honestly if you just follow her guidance you will be golden!
    I had nothing but positive interactions with many different people and honestly, I felt safer there than I do where I currently live.
    Now, feeling safe if you decide to drive over there would be a completely different area to discuss. I think I would have anxiety attacks driving over there or even having to cross multiple roads-those require some skill. Sometimes on the tour buses I would have to lye down or put my head down so I couldn’t see what was going on-HAHA!
    I was not concerned about my personal safety at all though.

     
  8. Setken 02/04/2017 at 4:48 am

    Egypt is safe, and the people are welcoming and friendly. I have had wonderful experiences in Egpyt both times I vsited, and did not feel threatened or at risk.

    It is important for western travellers to be aware of some “housekeeping”. Be aware that bargaining and commercial interest is at the forefront of virtually all relations with tourists, and the Egyptian way is a little drawn out and involved than what we are used to as westerners. A transaction to purchase a statue or arrange a tour outside of an establishment (such as Mara House for example) may take longer than you expect, which is why it is VERY good advice from Mara in this article to get it sorted BEFORE you arrive.

    For LGBTI travellers: it is important to understand that strict, draconian laws are in place here (and most Middle Eastern countries) that at best may land you in jail and deported. It is important to check all the facts regarding this before you travel, and this includes stop overs in Dubai and Qatar.

     
  9. Shimara James 01/04/2017 at 7:50 pm

    Is Egypt safe?…..in my experience I would say YES… I have been living in Luxor for nearly 5 years and have never once felt unsafe. The people here are by nature, kind, helpful and friendly…..they are always ready to talk with you and if you can manage even the smallest Arabic they are delighted. It is of course always good to follow travel safety guidlines in any country….including Egypt…but is it safe here…of course…the Egyptians would not want it any other way… ?

     
  10. Shimara 01/04/2017 at 7:49 pm

    Is Egypt safe?…..in my experience I would say YES… I have been living in Luxor for nearly 5 years and have never once felt unsafe. The people here are by nature, kind, helpful and friendly…..they are always ready to talk with you and if you can manage even the smallest Arabic they are delighted. It is of course always good to follow travel safety guidlines in any country….including Egypt…but is it safe here…of course…the Egyptians would not want it any other way… ?

     
  11. Barry Fitzsimmons 01/04/2017 at 7:22 pm

    I don’t mind surprises – I am the sort of person that will go to see a movie because a friend says it’s good. I know you should do lots of research about the culture of a place before travelling but it’s not in me to do that.
    I decided to visit Egypt because I went to see a display of replica Tutankhamun relics which came to my home town. I had to go see the real thing and more.
    Then I got lucky and found Mara and her team to help and guide me.
    So when I got to Egypt I had very little understanding of the culture and had to learn quickly. At first I was overwhelmed by the friendliness and warmth of the people. My first contact was the famous Fatma – she is a prime example of that warmth.
    I also quickly discovered that my wallet and other belongings were fairly safe. There was very little chance that I would be robbed, it is not in the nature of the general population to steal. Of course you should take all the usual precautions so as not to put temptation out there.
    Personal safety can never be guaranteed in any big city but by following the advice of Mara and her team you will soon FEEL safe. That feeling allows you to relax and enjoy what is going on around you.
    On our trip that feeling of safety was enhanced by a dedicated and discreet security presence. When necessary that presence became overt to help our bus through traffic or clear the way through security check points in the countryside. We literally felt like part of a VIP group even if the crazy traffic in Cairo doesn’t take that much notice of a police car with it’s siren going.
    I don’t think I have ever felt safer away from home than on my trip through Egypt organised by Mara.

     
  12. Misty Willits 01/04/2017 at 6:01 pm

    I have lived in Alexandria, Egypt since 2012 and I must say that I feel safer here than I did living in my home city in the US. Of course, one always has to have situational awareness — but it is no different than being out in public in the US or UK. I urge everyone to visit. The dollar and pound sterling are strong, the people are welcoming and kind, and there is no place on Earth like Egypt.

     
  13. Sarah Henzell 01/04/2017 at 2:21 pm

    I’ve lived in Egypt since 2008, when I moved here to marry my husband. I live in a quiet little neck of the woods in the Western Desert town of Bahariya. Like Mara, my experience of living here has been peaceful, aside from the everyday dramas of living in a new country with a different culture, rules and regulations. There are some hot spots in Egypt which are best avoided, but in general I would say that travel here is very safe; particularly in light of the recent terror attacks in Europe. My only advice to travelers is to do some research and learn how to be culturally respectful. Wear the appropriate clothing (nothing too revealing). if you are traveling with a spouse, try not to be demonstratively affectionate in public. Learn some arabic, even if it’s just to say please and thank you.

    Egypt is a magical country and the people here are warm hearted and welcoming. Mara has earned all her rave reviews on trip advisor deservedly and makes traveling, in this sometime bewildering country, easy.

     
  14. George Wilson 31/03/2017 at 5:36 pm

    I visited Egypt for 4 months (about 2 years ago) and think I was there long enough to get a realistic experience of what can happen to a visitor to Egypt. I believe it is safe to go to Egypt at this time. Egyptians are suffering terribly from the downturn in tourism and my experience was that you are treated like an endangered species. They go to great lengths to see that visitors leave with good experience so they will have positive stories to tell their friends back home. I never felt threatened at any time during my entire visit and I canbnot say that about Washington DC to San Diego, California. I have been interested in ancient Egypt for more than 40 years but this was my first visit. The most surprising part of my experiences in Egypt was meeting modern Egyptians – I still am in touch with several friends I met there 2 years age (and I hope one day to seeing them again). Now is the best time to visit. When I went the the Great Pyramid in Cairo, I managed to have the King’s Chamber to myself for 10 or 15 mins – I can’t promise that but I can say without hesitation – go now before the crowds return and enjoy ancient and modern Egypt..

     
  15. Jamie Polich 31/03/2017 at 1:03 pm

    Safe, Life isn’t really all that safe. Go to Egypt and get yourself a new insight on what safety should be in a country that is the cradle of civilisation. Feeling unsafe in a cradle would be most unexpected. This cradle, this very Egypt, continues to be rocked by the amazing, genuine people that are called Egyptians. Harming a visitor would be quite offensive to a people who value and treasure (and spoil Mara!) their guests.I have used this insight back here and at times I don’t feel as safe here now after experiencing that comforting cocoon of care, concern of people I am so happy and privileged to have met, ma’ashallah. If some thing is going to happen it is God’s will and second guessing that is fruitless. Have faith, take the leap and get to Egypt. If you disagree please let me know, after you have been and experienced that with people who could potentially become a good friend. Friends in Egypt will ou make and friends look after friends. Enjoy!

     
  16. Ron Kirchhoff 31/03/2017 at 12:09 am

    Is it safe? Yes–and I go there whenever I can. I love Luxor–and Mara House is an amazing place from which to experience it: great service, a wonderful atmosphere, a charming hostess, and incredible tours! You can’t go wrong when staying there–you’re in very good hands! Enjoy!

     
  17. Loreen 31/03/2017 at 12:04 am

    I went to Cairo and Luxor in 2015 as a solo traveler and had no problems at all. Everyone I met was friendly and welcoming. The staff at Mara House were particularly friendly and accommodating, but everywhere I went I saw smiles. Just use common sense, be a decent, respectful person like you would anywhere, and enjoy this amazing country.

     
  18. Mrs. Jimmie Fisher 30/03/2017 at 9:42 pm

    I have been to Egypt six times since 2005. This last time, in November, 2016, was the first time since the Arab Spring so I was not sure how it would be. The Egyptians have always been so friendly to us. Needless to say, we found an old friend in Cairo, made many new ones, and never felt unsafe. As with any place now, you have to be alert, but I will say, Egypt is one place the people have always seemed to want you to love their country. This has not changed. With Marie, Fatma, Mohamed and others of Marie’s staff, everything was very safe. We went on our own to the spice market in Aswan, no problem. We caught a cab and went to Road 9 in Maadi, no problem at all. Everyone was truly happy to see people coming back to visit Egypt. We will return as I have always had Egypt in my heart and Marie has shown me she (Egypt) is still my heart.

     
  19. Jason Fierstein 22/06/2013 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the updates, Mara. This is really helpful, especially with the governor appointment situation in Luxor. The Jones article was great and reassuring that time in Egypt will be well spent. Looking forward to it.

     
  20. Syed 15/06/2013 at 11:28 pm

    Egypt is a safe country like any other. Please don’t go where there are protests or demonstrations taking place. As a tourist you have no business being among a group of protesters in the first place. Your Egyptian guide depends on your business for his/her living and he/she will know how, when and where to avoid these places and keep you out of harm.
    Most political activity occurs in Cairo, and Luxor is a quiet town and nothing much ever happens there. So go to Egypt and enjoy!

     
  21. Carol sellers 06/06/2013 at 1:39 pm

    Mara is the ‘oracle’ of Luxor, I travelled alone in Egypt just 1 yr ago and had a life fulfilling experience enhanced by Mara and her dedicated staff.Her knowledge of the Egyptian people, ancient and current culture, and recommendations for dining, sightseeing, and making the most of a visit to Luxor were ‘right on’; I felt very safe during my travels and visit and would go back in a ‘heartbeat’!

     
  22. Mattias 31/05/2013 at 3:49 pm

    Like everybody’s saying: “Egypt is perfectly safe as long as the normal rules of safety that apply anywhere in the world are followed.”
    I can only speak for Luxor, where I spent 9 days/nights – both in the city centre and in its outskirts. Very friendly people all over. Some annoying hasslers that can easily be avoided if you just do what Mara told you to do upon arrival… Keep walking, be friendly, be strict.

    I live in Stockholm, Sweden, and comparing the two cities I can honestly say I feel a whole lot more discomfort in Sthlm on a Friday/Saturday night amongst all the drunkards than I ever did in Luxor. Go there and you might just have the best experience of your life!

     
  23. Sam 29/05/2013 at 12:04 pm

    We spent a week with Mara in April and found nothing to be worried about in Egypt. As long as travellers follow the normal precautions they would anywhere else, and, in particular the advice that local experts like Mara give, I would not anticipate any problems at all. We certainly had a really great and trouble-free trip to Luxor and Cairo and, of course, thoroughly recommend staying at Mara’s place.

     
  24. Samantha 18/05/2013 at 11:16 am

    I’m an English businesswoman now living in Luxor, Egypt – I have been coming to Egypt for the past 30 years and in 2011 decided to move to live here finally. Egypt in general and Luxor in particular is somewhere I feel extremely safe and the revolution has not changed that feeling. Egyptian people are friendly and helpful, communities and social values are still strong which keeps crime rates among the lowest in the world, and, apart from the slight nuisance of people hussling to sell boat rides, taxis touts & shopkeepers trying to entice me in to buy, I encounter no issues.

    The main advice I would offer to women in particular is to show sensitivity to the local culture and dress appropriately. Egyptian men and women dress modestly in general showing very little bare skin in public places. While everyone visitig Egypt is free to dress as they choose, female tourists would be advised to recognise that the less they wear the more unwanted attention they will tend to get. Relax, have a good time, take home great memories and stories but have a little respect for the local culture…you will have a more enjoyable time here and so much less hassle if you do.

    Other than that, and doing the normal things you would anywhere else in the world when travelling somewhere unfamiliar e.g. watching your wallet in a crowded place, using licensed taxis etc, then just have a great time. Egypt has so much to offer and so little risk in comparison to other places around the world, there is really nothing above and beyond the ordinary precautions you would be wise to take anywhere else on the planet…and Mara has some sound advice about those above.

     
  25. Edward 17/05/2013 at 11:33 pm

    Of course Mara’s right!
    Like her, we too provide specialist accommodation in Luxor, and wouldn’t dream of inviting guests to a place where they were in any particular sort of danger. It grieves me to see certain hotels advertising that they are ‘safer’, like the Jolie Ville which actually has a drawbridge on the approach road!!!! Some companies will stoop to any lengths and play on any fears (no matter how irrational) to increase their share of business.
    Being a very small and exclusive accommodation provider, we have had a constant trickle of guests all the way through from the actual revolution up to date. None have reported any frightening incidents at all. In fact, they’ve all been delighted that they have had the antiquities almost to themselves, and those that have been repeat visitors have even commented that the famous (and much dreaded) ‘hassle factor’ hasn’t been as bad as in previous years!
    Uniquely along the Nile, Luxor is devoid of any other industries other than tourism and providing for tourists in some way or another. Many of the local people here are now actually starving, and all for the want of the ‘tourist dollar’.
    No-one can give guarantees, but there are a good many foreign residents in Luxor who have no intention of getting out because they have fears for their safety! Along with Mara, my wife and I are more than happy to be here, providing the same quality services as usual for those of you who aren’t misled by scurrilous or exaggerated news reports.
    Hope to see you soon.

     
  26. Qin 17/05/2013 at 11:30 am

    Just finishing two weeks in Egypt as a sole female independent traveller and I can attest that Egypt is safe as long as one abides by normal, cautionary travel guidelines. Yes, you will get hassled and hustled in Egypt, but you get some of that everywhere you travel and they are pretty much harmless as long as you ignore them or reject their offers. Ignore the bad press coming out of Egypt; there are pockets of demonstration in Cairo but they are easily avoidable. Egypt has tons to offer – a rich history, an enviable coastline, excellent food, great weather, and etc – and this is an excellent time to explore Egypt. Discounts are everywhere and no crowds to fight through to see it all!

     
  27. Ron Kirchhoff 16/05/2013 at 7:33 am

    A month ago I enjoyed a fabulous week-long stay at Mara House in Luxor. It was one of the finest vacations that I’d ever had: Luxor and Upper Egypt is THE EGYPT that I’d always longed to see…Was it safe? Yes, of course–then again, I never worried about safety issues when staying at Mara House. The staff is excellent, the hospitality, tours and food are excellent. With tourists afraid of possible problems, there are no crowds to contend with. This is a WONDERFUL TIME to be visiting Egypt–you’ll be helping the economy to get back on its feet–and there are NO CROWDS or QUEUES !!! ENJOY–I did!

     
  28. mogg morgan 14/05/2013 at 6:33 pm

    Luxor is still one of the safest cities anywhere in the world – and lots to do – has to be said that even better with slightly less visitors – so it could definitely do with a few more to keep everyone happy but not too many or you’ll spoil all the fun : )

     
  29. Tarona Hawkins 14/05/2013 at 6:25 pm

    Egypt is a safe and wonderful place to visit, the locals are nice people and really need the tourist.
    Not to go is really missing out and the sites to see are amazing, life changing and magical.

     
  30. Julie Acosta 14/05/2013 at 5:33 pm

    I’ve been two times to Egypt alone (a single woman) and have never felt in danger or threatened. I use common sense when going out just like I would if I was back home. The people are very friendly and it is such a beautiful place to visit. I visited Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria and it truly is a wonderful country with so much to do and see. I would recommend it to everyone and plan to visit soon again.

     
  31. Menna Elhamy 14/05/2013 at 3:39 pm

    it’s a great experience to come and visit Egypyt , don’t always relay on news coz it’s safer than any other places in the world and Mara house is a great place that reflects a true Egyptian atmosphere that makes it different than any other hotels in Luxor .

     
  32. Misty 14/05/2013 at 3:20 pm

    As an American woman living in Egypt, I can tell you it is very safe. Yes, you have to use your head – Mara’s tips above are spot-on. Frankly, I feel safer on the street here in Alexandria than I did living in Seattle. I encourage all of my friends and family to visit. It is a beautiful country with beautiful people. Don’t let the narrowly-focused news reports scare you away.

     
  33. Donya 14/05/2013 at 2:24 pm

    I agree with you Mara 100%, thanks to the media and international news, the spotlight that is shed on each individual incident, makes Egypt seem like a no go place..and that’s a shame!
    Egypt is still safer than most other countries worldwide, we are living normally, with normal precautions.
    The only difference for me after the revolution, is that I have to check before heading downtown through Tahrir square if there is a demonstration or not..to make sure that traffic is smooth..!

     
  34. Mara 14/05/2013 at 1:39 pm

    Ross & Rod – R & R! so appreciate you taking the time to help us out here!

     
  35. Mara 14/05/2013 at 1:38 pm

    Osama, thank you for the support! What goes around comes around and I am so happy good things are on the way for you!

     
  36. Mara 14/05/2013 at 1:37 pm

    Yasmine – thank you for taking the time . I think I am a bit of a storyteller and you are also – I liked your entertaining snippet! http://yasminezikry.wordpress.com/2013/04/

     
  37. Yasmine Zikry 14/05/2013 at 1:29 pm

    Being an Egyptian living in Egypt, many would think I am a bit biased, and I should be. But leaving this aside, Egypt is pretty safe for travel, especially if you follow the sensible decisions you would normally take anywhere you are.
    Since being an AIESECer (a student-oriented international organization) I have many friends whom have came and went. All with great experiences and hopes of being able to come back to Egypt again one day.
    I am even proud to day that AIESEC’s biggest international conferences will be done in Egypt this summer. So, it is safe enough for students from all around the world to come and attend the conference.
    Things might not be like before the revolution but many of the stuff being said on the media either totally exaggerated or not a new thing.
    If Egypt is safe enough for it’s native residents I believe it will be safe for others as well.

     
  38. Rod Burgess 14/05/2013 at 12:19 pm

    My partner and I spent 10 wonderful days in Egypt (5 in Luxor and 5 in Cairo) in January this year. Friends and family told us not to go because it was dangerous.

    We had the BEST time. The people, the food, everything was amazing and SAFE. If you would like more detailed information, please email me burgessrod@gmail.com. Rod 🙂

     
  39. Ross Woodward 14/05/2013 at 11:08 am

    Mara is absolutely right. I have just returned from two months travelling around the Middle East with the majority of time spent in Egypt. Before I left people said that I was mad especially going to Egypt with all the trouble being reported on the news. In my experience, Egypt is perfectly safe as long as the normal rules of safety that apply anywhere in the world are followed. The Egyptian people are very friendly and devastated that the tourists are staying away. As long as you avoid any obvious trouble spots, life goes on as normal. It’s actually a great time to visit Egypt because, with the reduced numbers, prices are down and it’s possible to spend more time in some of the awe inspiring temples/tombs/pyramids etc without the bustle and crush of fellow tourists. If in any doubt, follow Mara’s simple rules and you can’t go wrong. She knows Egypt back to front and can guarantee a wonderful and safe time while staying in here hotel in Luxor. Mara House is the greatest hidden gem in the whole of Egypt.

     
  40. Osama Elhatil 13/05/2013 at 9:58 pm

    Over the last month I had two invitations to accompany visitors going to Egypt, being an Egyptian living abroad
    One of them is a business man who’s desperate to invest in exporting fishery from Egypt, we went around Cairo for 4 days, meeting businessmen, financiers and potential partners
    We would go every evening to some place on the Nile or in Heliopolis or Zamalek to have dinner and a drink
    It was his first time in Egypt, now he’s considering starting business and moving to live in Egypt 10 months a year

    The other is a multinational corporation projects director, who was in Cairo near Tahrir from 25th to 28th of JANUARY 2011 , when he noticed nothing of what was happening just because he was moving around districts rather than downtown
    He came to discuss couple of new projects in Cairo Festival City, an Emirati (UAE) development in new Cairo district
    He loved staying in the Fairmont towers, found it very sophisticated and professionally welcoming
    He insisted on visiting the Pyramids, we did, had shisha and kebabs in Menahouse hotel overlooking the Pyramids
    Business was successful and leisure was very entertaining for a 63 years old English man

    He promised to bring his wife next time, who’s been dreaming of visiting Luxor temples, ride on a carriage like old English aristocrats

    I left Egypt 10 years ago for business, for the last 6 months everything I’m working on is based somewhere in Egypt, to my surprise of course !

    What I do know for sure is, being mugged or shot dead is news for the media, they will never go on air to say: everyone is happy, this couple married and those guys opened a new successful business..these are no news material
    Violence is part of planet Earth daily life, in Cairo even the most crowded protests are marked as “peaceful”

    The only thing I am terrified from every time I go to Cairo is: Traffic
    So, avoid Cairo daytime by all means, or, go Luxor, Sharm elsheikh or Hurghada
    It’s cheap, cheerful and food is great

    I always admired Mara’s persistence and consistency is providing the best service in Southern Egypt
    She well knows her way around, and she has the most amazing stories one can hear about Egypt

     

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