From special experiences, to reduced crowds and almost zero COVID restrictions, find out why you should visit Egypt, NOW.
After years of operating on basically zero travellers, Egypt is back, but it’s not all the way back and this is a good thing. Like other major destinations where a large part of the economy is dependent on tourism the major attractions pre-COVID were once swarming with visitors. People have started to return to Egypt, but visitor levels have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels, meaning if you’re dreaming of seeing the Pyramids of Giza in the silence of the great desert untouched by the sands of time, that dream is just a little bit closer than it would be if you waited a year. In a year these attractions will be back to being crammed full of travellers and you will have to share your experience with hundreds of people.
Less travellers also means the people in the tourism industry, who have been doing it just as tough as the rest of us in travel, are extremely welcoming (not that they weren’t before) and ready to get back to work in one of the country’s chief industries.
Another reason why you should visit Egypt now is that travelling in Egypt has also never been easier. Egypt rolled back the last of its pandemic restrictions in June meaning you no longer require a PCR or a RAT to enter the country. There is no check in system in restaurants or museums and masks are no longer required. Vaccinated or unvaccinated you will be welcomed with the only requirement a health declaration on arrival at the airport. While pandemic requirements are obviously on the decrease all over the world, we do recommend adequate travel insurance to cover you in the event you do catch COVID-19 overseas.
Egypt has also instituted an online visa system for Australians and some other nationalities. This means you no longer need to either apply for a visa from an embassy or deal with the convoluted visa on arrival process when you arrive in Cairo.
Unlike some destinations closer to home, flights to Egypt via middle eastern carriers have also gone back to some sort of normal and are back close to pre-pandemic levels.
Egypt has been doing it tough for the past ten years, prior to the pandemic Egypt was still dealing with the fallout from the 2011 Uprising. In order to attract visitors back, the Egyptian government instituted a number of measures which included relaxing the general rules at archaeological sites and museums. One example of this is at the Cairo Museum where you can now actually take pictures, whereas prior to the 2011 Uprising, if you even thought about taking a camera, the security would confiscate it prior to entry. Since then, they have also allowed non-flash photography in the ‘Valley of the Kings’ and opened other monuments which have been closed for years.
Monuments that are now open include the spectacular Tomb of Nefertari in the ‘Valley of the Queens’ which has now undergone extensive restoration, the Tomb of Seti I in the ‘Valley of the Kings’ the most extensive tomb in the valley and the underground chambers of Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara which has been under restoration for years. The Egyptian government has also instituted a program whereby you can pay to have virtually any temple or tomb opened for your viewing pleasure. While a private viewing of the ‘Valley of the Kings’ after hours might be well out the price range of most individuals, specialist tour companies to Egypt are picking up on this, spreading an experience like this across a group of travellers lessens the cost for everyone and makes it affordable.
If you’re looking for somewhere to explore that won’t break the bank, or make your head explode trying to balance all the rules and regulations of this new travel world Egypt is definitely worth investigating.
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