Last month I returned home from my second exploration of Egypt. My first visit was in 1986.
A few things really struck a chord with me. The first is just how vast the historic legacy of ancient Egypt is. The second is the incredible lack of tourists in Egypt at the moment.
I traveled with 3 family members, including my 10 year old niece. During our visit to the pyramids in Giza we had the grounds practically to ourselves. We walked through Tahrir square and talked openly with the friendly locals. On our journey to the oasis of Siwa we saw virtually no one. At the Valley of the Whales (UNESCO; 40 million year old whale fossils with 4 obsolete legs which theorizes that whales were once mammals which lived on land and returned to the sea) we explored the landscape and fossils without another person to be seen. We found tourism to still be alive from Luxor to Aswan but, even here, tourism was down 70 percent.
With the exception of some aggressive street vendors, I found everyone we met to be polite and welcoming. When talking to other travelers, they all expressed the same sentiment. "What a great time to come to Egypt!" No one we met had the slightest trepidation about being in a country which has been so inaccurately portrayed by news networks regarding current safety. Surprisingly, even the normally over-cautious US State Department does not have any travel warnings for Egypt. To put things in perspective, the only real concern for safety on our travels were crossing some streets and navigating through the congested and hectic Egyptian traffic. Granted, that's a common, courageous experience in many developing nations.
For anyone interested in traveling to Egypt, you may want to consider traveling on our October 26 - Nov 16, 2013 departure to see the magnificent sites, minus the hustle and bustle of crowds of tourists. To add an extra incentive, ElderTreks will be using Mena House hotel for 5 nights in Giza (formerly 1 of the top 10 hotels in the world), a former sultan's palace, with views directly in front of the pyramids. If you've ever dreamed of discovering this great country, 2013 may be the perfect time to visit Egypt!
Speak to one of our travel specialists or ask to speak to ElderTreks's president Gary Murtagh about his recent trip and any safety concerns that you may have.