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Driving in Egypt

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Driving in Egypt

1. Posted by guide-bg (Full Member 15 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone,

This year me and my wife are planning to visit Egypt. Get a cheap package to Hurghada and once there rent-a-car and drive along the Red Sea coast to Marsa Alam, then go across the desert to the Nile valley and drive north to Luxor and then again across the desert to Quseir and then back to Hurghada.
My question is:
- is it possible and safe to drive around Egypt?
Many people say it is impossible to leave Hurghada and that the police will not let you go out of the resort without a convoy. I recently spoke to a guide in Egypt and he said that they stopped the convoys, so now everyone is able to go around ...

Any help will be appreciated,
Thanks in advance,

2. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I was in Egypt back in June. I did not drive but I would not recommend it unless you speak arabic. They may have security checks anywhere and if you dont speak the language you could have problems getting around. Not to mention the traffic in the cities is disaster and with the desert heat you dont want to break down. I would suggest taking the buses..

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

They abolished the convoys a few months ago, but they might re-introduce them again anytime.

Renting a car and driving on your own is possible, but not recommended. The way it is usually done is that you arrange things with a local taxi driver. It costs the same to hire a local to drive you in his car than to rent your own, so why not have the driving done by somebody else?

Also note that there are buses for the route you want to go (Hurghada-RedSeaCost-Luxor-Aswan). These buses are relatively easy to use and very cheap. The 10-hour ride from Hurghada to Aswan was approx. 10 EUR per person in Dec 2005 and prices won't have changed much since. (The same distance would have been around 50-100 EUR in Europe.) It is a lot cheaper to use the buses and the train than to go by rental car.

4. Posted by guide-bg (Full Member 15 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the great help!
Thank you very much;)

5. Posted by joey22 (Respected Member 561 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

If you are still thinking of driving it is possible.

I haven't been to Egypt but recently drove a 3.5 tonne Ambulance all the way from UK to Gambia. This included driving in some pretty sketchy places, through cities, at night sometimes and all with limited French, let alone no Wolof or any local languages at all! haha.

It isn't easy driving in Africa but it isn't impossible. I loved every second of it to be honest.

As for driving in congested cities - we drove in several big cities in Morocco, notably Casablanca during the evening rush hour and it wasn't too hard. Slow, stressful and frustrating but not difficult as you are creeping forwards a matter of metres at a time and waiting for the traffic to subside a bit.

I agree that it is probably cheaper taking local transport mind you.

Hope this helps

6. Posted by wouterrr (Travel Guru 3379 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I agree with Joey. I also drove to Gambia with my own car;). I also travelled in Egypt (not by car though) but as far as i can estimate its really not a problem to drive there. Even Cairo would be doable although it would be wise to not start from there (and get some experience on Egyptian roads in the first week).

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 14, 2009, at 4:10 PM by wouterrr ]