Most of the major airlines are flying to Cairo from the USA, Europe or Asia. From Europe, many direct flights are operated to Sharm El Shaikh and Hurgada (usually charter flights). Egypt Air is convenient and quite cheap for domestic flights. For long haul flights, it should be avoided: better comfort, service and reliability is offered by Western airlines like the ones we like to use when flying to Cairo. Among them we enjoyed very much CZECH AIRLINES: with excellent rates, good comfort, perfect punctuality, and highest security. It flies from plenty of European cities, and also from the USA and Canada. If you like something more Oriental, KUWAIT AIRWAYS is still acceptable in term of security and comfort; thought our readership tends to claim more and more about the lazy service aboard and lost luggage (which seems to be a major problem with KU). 

Note: Citizens of The United States, United Kingdom, Canada and European Union countries will be issued with a visa at Cairo airport if required. There is a charge of $15 (U.S.) for this service (fiscal stamp available at Thomas Cook exchange office, at arrivals). Get you stamp ready before crossing the Immigration. All other travellers should obtain a visa from the Egyptian Consulate in their own country (local charges may apply). Recommended tour operators, like HAMIS TRAVEL, assist their clients for this operation, as soon as they reach Cairo Airport. 



Driving conditions in Egypt are somewhat different than in the United States or in Western Europe. Traffic moves on the right hand side of the road, but this cannot be depended upon. The spirited competition between buses, taxis, and cars can create the impression of being in the middle of a football game on wheels. This can be very unnerving for any but an aggressive driver. In general, the roads in and around Cairo are fairly well surfaced but often too narrow for the heavy volume of traffic. Having a car is definitely an asset and though driving is hectic and, rarely done for pleasure, most people manage to get around very well. 

Taxis are everywhere, though sometimes hard to get, especially at peak hours. Some are metered, most are not, and sometimes you may find it necessary to share a cab with someone going elsewhere. Taxis are an acceptable, fairly inexpensive and easy way to get around. Also the Metro rail system, running from Helwan (south of Cairo) through Maadi to downtown Cairo, is also quite popular. The Metro is fast and, except during morning and afternoon rush hours, relatively uncrowded. City buses are very crowded and not recommended. 

There are various means of travel to places outside of Cairo, depending on where you are going and how fast you want to get there. Travel by car to Alexandria and beyond, to Port Said, Ismailia, Suez and Fayoum is fine. Travel by car to Upper Egypt (Luxor, Aswan, etc.), the Red Sea area and Sinai and the Western Desert is becoming easier and more popular and most roads are quite good. Travelers to these areas should be aware that some areas are off limits or require permits. At this time land travel (by auto or train) to certain areas of Upper Egypt, especially within Assiut Governorate, is not recommended for security reasons. Travellers who may be contemplating travel to Upper Egypt are advised to check with their Consular Section in Cairo for the latest travel advisory.  

Train, plane and bus travel to Alexandria is good and inexpensive. Plane travel to Upper Egypt, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea is popular. There are a number of car rental agencies in Cairo, offering a variety of models, including four-wheel drive. It is possible to rent a vehicle with or without a driver. 

Applicants for an Egyptian driverís license must be at least l8 years old. A certificate from an Egyptian ophthalmologist and physician must be obtained to verify blood type, visual and physical health. These certificates along with a valid U.S. or EU driverís license, two photographs, and LE 55 should be taken to the Traffic Department at Attaba Square in Cairo or at Giza. All applicants are now being given an oral test on international road signs as well as a road test to certify driverís capability. The applicant must provide his/her own vehicle for the test. 

If an Egyptian driverís license is lost, it must be reported to the nearest police station and a police report issued. 

Per local law, all employees must carry third party personal liability insurance (for bodily injury) on vehicles operating in Egypt. This insurance is issued prior to the release of a vehicle from Customs and is renewed as part of the annual GOE vehicle registration procedure. It is valid for l3 months plus one day. 

An endorsement must be made on this policy when plate numbers are changed in Cairo. A vehicle is not properly insured if the registration validity has lapsed. 
The current rates for minimum vehicle insurance varies from LE 80 to LE 100, depending on engine size. 

Other insurance coverage, such as third party liability for material damage and comprehensive, is also available and optional. Third party liability insurance, however, should not be confused with the mandatory bodily injury insurance obtained during registration and licensing. Insurance may be obtained from any authorized insurance company in Egypt. 

NOTE: Driverís license, registration and insurance papers must be carried in your vehicle at all times. 

The Traffic Department and the police strictly enforce speed limits throughout Egypt and, unless posted otherwise, speed limits are 60 kilometers in town and 90 kilometers out of town. The police utilize radar and motorcycle patrols on both the Desert and Delta Roads to Alexandria to enforce the law. If you are stopped, present your driverís license to the officer and remain calm. You could receive a verbal warning or have your license confiscated. If the officer keeps your license, you will receive a receipt for it. 
Speeding is a serious offense in Egypt and carries fines of LE l00 or more for minor offenses. 

If an accident occurs, use the following guidelines: 

-In the event the situation becomes inflammatory, e.g. a mob or angry crowd gathers at the scene, leave immediately and go to your Consular Section, Embassy or to the nearest police station. If this is not the case, take all possible precautions to prevent additional accidents by stationing persons to direct traffic and clear the roadway. 
Furnish your name and address upon request by appropriate officials. Do not sign your name on a card or piece of paper for anyone. 

-Do not remove the vehicle from the scene of the accident until after a police investigation is completed. 

-Do not give statements or express opinions regarding the accident except to appropriate officials. Do not admit fault or liability. 

-Get all necessary data covering any other vehicles involved. Be sure to include all necessary information including the name and address of the driver, driverís license number, and information about the owner of the vehicle if he/she is not driving. While at the scene of the accident be sure to obtain complete identifying details of other vehicles involved and names and addresses of witnesses. 

-Contact your insurance company. 

A much recommended tour operator: 

During our last stay in Cairo, we used the excellent services of HAMIS TRAVEL. Warmly recommended in the  "LONELY PLANET: EGYPT" travel guides, this is indeed one of the most efficient and honest tour operator in Egypt. Anny Abou Shaady, a gentle Dutch lady, knows fairly well what his western clients want -or might- see in Cairo and any part of Egypt. A rich variety of programs has been tailored made for groups and individuals. We could see by ourselves, from the assistance and pick up at airport before immigration control (any visitor should ask for it: it saves times and money, and assures maximum security), that HAMIS TRAVEL team is one of the most qualified we ever met in Egypt: the highly educated multilingual personnel is able to deal with any situation or requirement in the most efficient and professional manner. Always with a smile. The all staff prides itself with a long experience in the local industry of travel and tourism: matching top international standards. HAMIS TRAVEL comes with our insisting recommendation: its high quality services will definitely meet the expectation of the most exigent travellers. 

TELEPHONE: (202) 574.9275 - 575.2757 - 576.0461   FACSIMILE: (202) 5749276 

Copyright © FIRST CLASS AROUND THE WORLD, Gilles Malaisé, 1995-2013