A few simple rules will keep you healthy while vacationing in Egypt.
– Eat: A few simple rules will keep you healthy. At its worst, “pharaoh’s revenge” only lasts a day or two. Eat food that has been thoroughly cooked and is still hot. If you can peel it, you can eat it as far as fruits and vegetables are concerned. Avoid other raw fruits and vegetables unless you are sure they have been safely handled. If you buy fruit from street vendors, wash it.
– Drink: Bottled water is your best friend. Drink a lot to avoid dehydration and use it to brush your teeth and clean your contacts. Bottled drinks, including beer, wine and soft drinks are usually safe. Drink out of the container if possible and don’t add ice unless you are sure it was made with safe water. Water that has been boiled is generally fine. Steer clear of unpasteurized milk and dairy products including ice cream, sauces and cream-filled desserts. In general, hotels and cruise ships take great care with food handling.
– Stay: Four- and five-star hotels in Egypt offer every amenity you would expect to find, including laundry service, telephones and comfortable bars with belly dancers. All the hotels on our itinerary were of a consistently high standard, which meant never having to worry about a hot shower after a day in the desert. I used my cellphone on a regular basis and was never out of range. ATM’s are available in every major centre, although you may want to use the one in your hotel lobby for convenience and safety. The concierge can help you with changing money, finding your way around the neighbourhood and arranging for transportation. Be aware that in some areas, a security guard is mandatory, and the charge will be about the same as the cost of a taxi ride. Shopkeepers will use just about any line to get you into their shop but once inside, try to have fun while you bargain.
– Safety: One of the first questions you hear upon announcing that you’re going to Egypt is “Is it safe?,” and the answer is “Yes, definitely.” Enlightened self-interest on the part of the Egyptian government has led to some of the tightest security for tourists anywhere in the world. The first level of defence are policemen on the street. There is usually one within hailing distance and a decided lack of pickpockets. Every tourist site also has a large contingent of armed police, on foot, camel, motorcycle or jeep. In addition, tour groups are required by law to have their own security personnel accompany them to less frequented sites. On our tour, we had a security man with a very large concealed pistol. Boatloads of river police unobtrusively follow the tourist cruise ships. Given this level of security, incidents of any kind are very rare.