Fire and rescue services
Call 122 or contact the local police.
Reconsider your need to travel to Egypt overall due to the risk of terrorist attack.
Higher levels apply in some areas.
Reconsider your need to travel to Egypt overall due to the risk of terrorist attack.
Higher levels apply in some areas.
Do not travel to within 50km of Egypt's border with Libya, the Governorate of North Sinai, including the Taba-Suez Road.
Health advice due to COVID-19 is continually changing. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to and transiting through.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Terrorist attacks could occur at anytime, anywhere in Egypt. Potential targets include:
Terrorist groups have targeted Christians in recent years. They target Christians and their places of worship.
Take particular care:
In recent years, terrorists have attacked several popular tourist locations. People have been killed or injured.
Most tourist sites and places of worship have a strong security presence.
On 4 August 2019, at least 20 people were killed by a car bomb in central Cairo.
In May 2019 and December 2018, bomb attacks on tour buses near the Giza pyramids killed and injured foreign tourists and a local tour guide.
From October to December 2017:
From April to July 2017:
More attacks are likely.
Terrorists have set off small explosions in Cairo and throughout Egypt. People have been killed and injured, including bystanders. The attacks usually target security forces at:
Possible targets for future attacks include:
The greatest terrorist threat is on the northern Sinai Province, where militant groups operate with more freedom. However, terrorists are active in other parts of Sinai and mainland Egypt, including Cairo.
Cooperate fully with security officials at airports and observe any additional security measures.
Sinai Province of the Islamic State and other extremist groups have made threats using social media and online statements. Their threats target Western nationals, institutions, and businesses in Egypt.
To reduce your risk of being a victim of terrorism, be alert to possible threats, especially:
To protect yourself from terrorism:
If there's an attack, leave the affected area as soon as it's safe. Continue to avoid the area in case of secondary attacks.
Bombing attacks in South Sinai include suicide bombings. Terrorists have also kidnapped foreign nationals.
Many bombings directly targeted tourists and their transport.
If you travel to South Sinai:
There's a high threat of terrorist attacks and violent crime in the Governorate of North Sinai, including the Taba-Suez Road. Don't travel to North Sinai.
Terrorists or criminals could target you, or you might be included in violence directed at others.
North Sinai is under a long-term state of emergency.
In North Sinai:
The border crossing to Gaza at Rafah is closed most of the time. It's only open for short periods on an irregular basis. See Travel
There's a high risk of kidnapping in North Sinai.
If despite our advice, you decide to travel to North Sinai:
Kidnapping is a risk for travellers.
The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.
The security situation in the region remains unpredictable and could deteriorate with little or no warning.
Be alert and monitor local media for updates.
Protests can occur across Egypt. This includes Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Port Said and Ismailia.
Clashes between rival protesters or security forces have resulted in many deaths and injuries. Foreigners, including journalists, have been among the victims. Serious sexual assaults on women, including foreigners, have occurred during demonstrations.
Security forces have targeted foreign journalists. Egyptian authorities have arrested, detained or questioned journalists.
Protests can happen anywhere and at any time. But the following places and times are common focal points for demonstrations:
Under Egyptian law, it's illegal for:
Authorities may arrest foreigners who participate in protests.
Egyptian authorities may impose curfews and restrictions on movement at short notice.
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
Protests may disrupt transport. Contact your airline or travel agent to check.
Petty crime remains low in Cairo.
Take extra care if you're a women and alone. Women may be physically and verbally harassed or assaulted. This includes when using taxis and walking in public areas.
Taxi and rideshare drivers have assaulted passengers, including foreigners. See Travel
To protect yourself from violent crime:
If you're the victim of crime, report the incident to the tourist police straight away.
If you don't report a crime before you leave, you may not be able to seek prosecution later.
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards.
One death and 12 injuries occurred when a hot air balloon crashed near Luxor in 2017. A similar incident in Luxor in 2016 injured 22 tourists. In 2013, 19 deaths occurred in a hot air balloon accident in the same area.
If you plan to do an adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Authorities have banned safaris and camping in the area near Bahariya Oasis until further notice. This includes the western and southern parts of Oases–Siwa and Oases road.
It doesn't include the White Desert in Farafra. But restrictions applying to Bahriya Oasis may disrupt access.
Egypt, particularly Cairo, experiences earthquakes. Find out about local safety procedures in case one strikes.
Sand and dust storms occur between March and May.
If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Find out about emerging natural disasters from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. Consider whether you may be in a vulnerable category for COVID-19.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare, or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Egypt. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
COVID-19 remains a risk in Egypt.
For information on Egypt's COVID-19 vaccination program, refer to the Ministry of Health website. You should consult your local health professional for advice on vaccine options, including assistance that may be available locally. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia's regulatory process.
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common including these listed by the World Health Organization:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
Get urgent medical attention if bitten by a mammal.
In 2017, cases of dengue (Department of Health and Aged Care) were reported in Aswan and Hurghada.
There's a risk of malaria (World Health Organization) in El Faiyum Governorate from June through to October.
To protect yourself from disease:
Cairo can have high levels of pollution and dust.
If you suffer from breathing difficulties or a lung condition, get medical advice.
The standard of medical facilities in Cairo is enough for normal illnesses. Elsewhere, facilities can be very basic. Treatment can also be costly. Many require up front payment.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll be evacuated to a place with better facilities. Medical evacuation can be very expensive and hard to organise.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Authorities may treat public comments that criticise the Egyptian Government, security forces or Islam as illegal. Police have arrested foreigners who published critical social media posts.
Possessing illegal drugs can lead to the death penalty, long prison sentences or deportation.
Egyptian family law differs from Australian law. This is particularly true in relation to divorce, child custody and support.
Before you become involved in a local legal matter, get legal advice. This includes family and business legal matters.
It's important to know your rights and responsibilities under Egyptian law. See Travel
In Egypt, it's illegal to:
The Egyptian Government doesn't interfere with the practice of Christianity but preaching is illegal. If you're considering preaching in Egypt, seek local legal advice beforehand. Follow the advice of local authorities.
Same-sex relationships are not widely accepted.
Officials may detain and prosecute LGBTI persons under debauchery laws.
People have reported scams and fraud via dating apps and social media.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
If you're an Australian-Egyptian dual national, you'll be treated as an Egyptian by local authorities, even if you travel on an Australian passport.
This limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
Always travel on your Australian passport.
Dual nationals living in Egypt for long periods need proof of Egyptian citizenship, such as a national identification card.
Male dual nationals who haven't done military service usually don't need to enlist. But they must get an exemption certificate before they can leave Egypt. Get one from the nearest Egyptian embassy or consulate or through the Ministry of Defence Draft Office.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan is observed in Egypt. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws during this time.
Avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of people who are fasting.
Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in Egypt, particularly for women. Wear modest clothes that cover your legs and upper arms. Take care not to offend.
If in doubt, seek local advice.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, including COVID-19 vaccinations and tests, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
Australians can get a tourist e-visa online or on arrival. Carry a printed copy of the e-visa.
You can only pay for visas with $US or euros. You can't pay for tourist visas with Egyptian pounds.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Egypt for the latest details.
Check with your travel provider for the latest information and monitor the travel advice of the country you are planning to transit in. There are no direct flights to Australia, but some airlines fly to destinations where you can do onwards travel to Australia.
If you travel to Egypt from Australia, you'll need to present a vaccination certificate upon arrival. The vaccination certificate must specify a vaccine recognised by the Egyptian government and a QR code must be present.
Egypt’s definition of fully vaccinated is the second dose of a recognised vaccine at least 14 days before departure. Verify entry requirements with local authorities before you travel as they can change at short notice. Children under age 6 are exempt from these requirements.
Egypt has relaxed its COVID-19 restrictions across the country; however other measures may be introduced at short notice. Regularly check the advice of local authorities.
In 2017, the UK government announced new restrictions on carrying electronic devices. These apply to passengers travelling from or through Egypt to the UK.
Children under age 6 are exempt from vaccination requirements.
Children of Egyptian fathers must have their father's approval to leave Egypt. Authorities may ask for proof of this approval before allowing the children to leave.
Foreign journalists must get accreditation from the Egyptian Press Centre before arrival. You need this if your visit is for work purposes. The Press Centre is part of the Egyptian State Information Service.
Punishments are severe for journalists working without accreditation.
You need approval to bring satellite phones and radio communications equipment into Egypt.
Apply to Egypt's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology well in advance of your trip. Authorities are likely to confiscate equipment brought in without clearance.
The use of drones, for any purpose, is illegal. Authorities will confiscate drones on arrival.
If you arrive in Egypt by road, officials may check your car for pests. Follow the advice of local authorities.
You need a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate to enter Egypt if you arrive from a country where yellow fever is widespread.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The local currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP).
When travelling to or from Egypt, you can take up to EGP 5000 in cash with you.
You must declare all foreign currency amounts over $US 10,000, or equivalent. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.
If you're visiting as a tourist, you may need to pay for your accommodation in $US or euros. Most well established hotels and resorts accept card payment. ATMs are available in most established areas.
Consult your financial institution.
Consider the security situation and risks to your safety in different locations. See Safety
There are landmines in some areas, notably:
Before you go, tell local authorities of your planned travel. Ask them about current risks and precautions for your route and destination.
If you travel around Egypt, you may be stopped at military and civilian checkpoints. Officials at checkpoints have detained and harassed foreigners.
Rules apply to people entering the Sinai, including via the Ahmed Hamdi tunnel. When you enter you must present one of the following:
Travel to the Sinai in a 4WD vehicle may be restricted if you do not hold a valid permit. Check the advice of local authorities before travel.
Egypt's borders are under military control.
The military restricts and, in some cases, bans the movement of civilians and vehicles.
You need permission to cross borders off the main sealed roads. This includes at borders with Libya, Sudan, Israel and parts of the Sinai. Get permission from the Travel Permits Department of the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior.
If, despite our advice, you plan to cross from Egypt into the Gaza strip:
You must get permission from Egyptian authorities to enter and exit the Gaza Strip using the Rafah border crossing.
If you enter the Gaza Strip through this border, you must leave the same way.
You may be delayed in the Gaza Strip for a long time, possibly weeks, while waiting for approval to return.
The Australian Government can't influence the granting of approval or when the crossing will open. Our ability to provide consular help in Gaza is extremely limited.
Road travel to Abu Simbel, 40km north of the Sudanese border can be dangerous. If you do, go on an organised tour guarded by police escorts.
There's a high threat of terrorist attack within 50km of Egypt's border with Libya. Deadly attacks have recently occurred in the area.
You can't drive in Egypt on your Australian driver's licence.
Before arriving in Egypt, get an international driver's permit and get an embassy or consulate of Egypt to certify it.
Road travel can be dangerous.
Road conditions are poor. Cars, buses and trucks frequently drive at high speed and without headlights at night.
Road accidents occur often.
Where possible, avoid travelling by road. Visit regional places, including Luxor, by other means.
Take extra care if you plan to ride a motorbike. Be alert to the different road conditions.
Always wear a helmet.
Cairo and Alexandria have a lot of taxis.
In Cairo, taxis are white. In Alexandria, taxis are black and yellow.
All taxis should have a meter. The law requires drivers to use their meters. However, many taxi drivers will claim that the meter is broken and try to negotiate a fare.
Not all taxis have seatbelts, especially in the back seats. Ride-sharing services are common in Egypt.
Sexual harassment of women by taxi drivers is common.
Avoid taxis, especially if you're a woman and on your own.
If you use a taxi, travel with people you know.
The Cairo Metro subway system is generally reliable.
Maintenance and safety standards of other public road and rail transport are poor.
Train travel is generally safe but accidents do occur.
In March and April 2021, two train accidents occurred in North and South Egypt. The accidents caused many deaths and injuries.
There have been a number of train derailments on the Cairo-Aswan line. Several people were injured when a train derailed between Aswan and Luxor in 2016.
All forms of shipping are attractive targets for pirates. This includes commercial vessels, pleasure craft and luxury cruise liners.
The International Maritime Bureau issues piracy reports.
If you plan to travel by boat, be highly alert and cautious in the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
EgyptAir Flight MS804 from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean in May 2016. The cause of the plane crash remains unknown. Investigations continue.
In March 2016, a man wearing a fake bomb-vest hijacked EgyptAir Flight MS181, a domestic flight between Alexandria and Cairo. All on board were later released without harm. The incident wasn't politically motivated.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Egypt's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 122 or contact the local police.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular help, contact:
11th floor, World Trade Centre
1191 Corniche el Nil
Boulac, Cairo, Egypt
The security situation may affect Embassy opening hours.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.