Egypt travel advice

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Risk level

Egypt - Exercise a high degree of caution

Exercise a high degree of caution in Egypt due to the unpredictable security situation and the threat of terrorism.

Northern Sinai - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to northern Sinai due to terrorist activity and ongoing military operations by the Egyptian Armed Forces. This advisory includes all of the Governorate of North Sinai and parts of the following governorates east of the Suez Canal :

  • Port Said
  • Ismailia
  • Suez

This advisory excludes the Al Qantra Shark – Ras Sedr road between the border of the Governorate of South Sinai and Al-Ganayen, in Suez Governorate, on which you should exercise a high degree of caution.

 

The Western desert and Libyan border area - Avoid all travel

Avoid all travel to the following areas, due to smuggling, terrorist activities, the presence of armed groups and ongoing military operations:

  • within 50 kilometres of the border with Libya
  • the Western Desert, west of the Giza-Luxor-Aswan-Abu Simbel road, including the oasis of Dakhla

This advisory excludes the following areas where you should exercise a high degree of caution:

  • Marsa Matruh via the Marsa Matruh Road only
  • The White and Black deserts via the Oasis Road only
  • The oases of:
    • Siwa via the Masra Matruh-Siwa Road only
    • Bahariya, Farafra and Bawati via the Oasis and the Farafra-Dairut Roads only

 

Northern part of the Governorate of South Sinai - Avoid non-essential travel

Avoid non-essential travel to the northern part of the Governorate of South Sinai, north of St. Catherine – Nuweiba – El Tor Road, due to the threat of terrorism.

This advisory excludes the following locations, where you should exercise a high degree of caution:

  • the Dahab – Nuweiba – Taba road
  • the towns of Nuweiba and Taba
  • the Al Qantra Shark – Ras Sedr road up to the border with the Governorate of Suez
  • cities between Ras Sedr and El Tor

 

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Safety and security

Security incidents in the South Sinai Governorate

Since October 27, 2023, projectiles and suspected drones have fallen at various locations along the Gulf of Aqaba coast in the South Sinai Governorate, including near Dahab, Nuweiba, and Taba. The incidents have caused injuries.

If you are in or near the affected areas:

  • exercise caution
  • follow the instructions of local authorities, including air-raid sirens and evacuation orders

If you encounter debris or fragments:

  • don’t get close to or touch them
  • move away from them immediately
  • contact local authorities

Due to recent events in Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, tensions could escalate with little notice and the security situation could deteriorate suddenly. Monitor developments, remain vigilant and follow the instructions of local authorities. We strongly recommend that Canadians register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive the latest updates.

The security situation in Egypt is unpredictable and certain regions of the country (for instance, North Sinai, Western Desert, etc.) are particularly volatile and should be avoided. There is a significant risk of terrorist attacks throughout the country. Attacks can be indiscriminate and occur with no warning, including in Cairo. While attacks in the North Sinai are frequent and mainly target security forces, terrorists have also targeted popular tourist destinations, places of worship, and other places frequented by foreigners throughout Egypt.

Terrorists have targeted Coptic Christians and their places of worship, in both urban and isolated areas. Terrorists also attacked a mosque in the North Sinai on November 24, 2017, killing over 300 people. Avoid all religious institutions in Egypt.

There is a significant presence of armed security forces and police in most governorates throughout the country. Curfews may be imposed on very short notice.

On May 19, 2019 and December 28, 2018, attacks on buses carrying tourists took place near the pyramids of Giza. The explosions resulted in multiple casualties.

There is an increased risk of incidents and attacks on and around dates of national significance, including:

  • January 25, the anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian revolution;
  • The week of Orthodox Easter;
  • June 30 to July 3, the anniversary of the removal of former president Mohamed Morsi in 2013;
  • August 14, the anniversary of clearing protesters from Rabaa and al-Nahda squares in 2013; and
  • Other religious observances and holidays.

Exercise increased caution during these periods.

Be particularly cautious in commercial establishments, government facilities, public areas, tourist sites, the vicinity of churches and mosques at the time of religious services and any other areas frequented by foreigners. Avoid police stations, security installations and government buildings, as well as all crowds and demonstrations.

Western Desert

Borders with Sudan and Libya are porous, and bandits and armed groups are active in these areas. Attacks on security checkpoints and forces are expected to continue. Egyptian military and security personnel are also engaged in security operations in the area. If you intend to travel to these areas, consider the risks to your personal safety and ensure you have made appropriate security arrangements. Travel to these areas requires a permit from the Travel Permits Department at the Egyptian Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Siwa Oasis

To visit the isolated oasis town of Siwa, take the Marsa Matruh-Siwa road. Access to essential services such as medical care, ATMs, fuel and mobile phone coverage is limited on the Marsa Matruh-Siwa Road and in Siwa itself. There is only one gas station on the 300km road between Marsa Matruh and Siwa. The road is poorly lit, unpaved in some areas and has a number of significant potholes. Traffic accidents are common.

If you are travelling to Siwa:

• carefully plan all road travel in advance
• fill up in Marsa Matruh and make sure to have enough fuel to reach your destination
• be sure to have sufficient water and cash with you
• travel during daylight hours only
• consider renting a vehicle with four-wheel-drive
• expect military checkpoints along the way
• do not travel off-road outside of the Oasis

North Sinai Governorate

The security situation in North Sinai Governorate, particularly the areas bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip, is extremely unpredictable. Terrorist groups regularly carry out attacks against Egyptian security forces. A curfew is in effect from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m., due to ongoing Egyptian military operations against terrorist groups in the region. Road blockades by unsanctioned groups, kidnappings, robberies and carjackings by armed groups and terrorists occur.

South Sinai Governorate

While attacks are significantly less frequent than in North Sinai, terrorists have carried out attacks in South Sinai Governorate, targeting both security forces and tourists. Terrorist groups may expand targeted areas to include coastal resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh. While enhanced security measures are in place to protect the tourism infrastructure in Sharm el-Sheikh, the area may be seen as a high-value target by terrorists.

Coastal resorts in Sinai, including Dahab, Nuweiba and Sharm el-Sheikh, have seen incidents of petty theft.

Tensions between security authorities and local Bedouin tribes may rise unexpectedly, affecting tourism.

There are several police checkpoints along the highways in South Sinai.

You need a permit from the Ministry of the Interior to travel in a 4x4 vehicle from mainland Egypt to South Sinai through the Suez crossing.

Local authorities may ask for identification and search your vehicle. 

When travelling in the area:

  • always use main highways
  • avoid uncontrolled and poorly maintained roads
  • stop at designated checkpoints and comply with authorities’ requests
  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • follow the advice of local authorities

Red Sea resorts and Upper Egypt

Exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to Red Sea coastal resorts (such as Ain el-Sokhna, el-Gouna Bay, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Safaga and Soma Bay) and to the Upper Egypt cities of Aswan and Luxor.  While the beach resort areas are generally considered safe, sporadic terrorist attacks have targeted foreign tourists in recent years. Pay particular attention to local conditions if you are visiting Upper Egypt and the historic sites of the Nile Valley. Sectarian, economic and family-related disputes have occurred and can quickly become violent. Travel in large groups and by organized transportation, and follow the advice of local authorities, hotels and tour guides if you are travelling to rural areas.

Demonstrations and Civil unrest

While the size and frequency of demonstrations has decreased significantly in recent years, they can still occur anywhere at any time without warning, but are most likely to occur on Fridays following noon prayers.

Be extremely vigilant. Avoid all demonstrations or large public gatherings. Keep well informed of developing situations by monitoring local news reports and follow the advice of local authorities. Women should take particular care, as there is a serious risk of sexual assault during demonstrations; once surrounded by a group, it can be difficult to escape.

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Crime

Rates of violent and petty crime have historically been low in Egypt, although there are reports that such crime has been on the rise given the economic downturn since 2011. Crimes such as pickpocketing, bag and purse snatching and home invasion, while rare, have become more common. Purse snatching and pickpocketing occur most often in tourist locations and on the metro. Be aware of your surroundings and vigilant for thieves using different strategies to distract and rob you.

Reports of carjackings are extremely rare, however they do occur. They generally target sports utility or other high-value vehicles. Although isolated areas and night driving present the greatest threat, there have been reported incidents in daylight hours and in busy areas of Cairo. Assailants are usually armed, and a variety of tactics may be used to get vehicles to stop, including throwing objects at the windshield, feigning a traffic accident or minor collision with the target vehicle, or “sandwiching” the target vehicle to force it off the road. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not resist as carjackers are typically after the vehicle and, if the carjacking is successful, will leave the driver unharmed.

If you are a victim of crime, report it to the Tourist Police or at a nearby police station as soon as possible. Request a copy of the police report at the time the report is made. Failure to report the crime while in Egypt makes it much more difficult to seek prosecution.

Women’s safety

Women, particularly foreigners, are frequently subject to unpleasant male attention, sexual harassment and verbal abuse. This often takes the form of staring, inappropriate remarks, catcalls and touching. The risks increase around public holidays, when more men are in the streets.

Advice for women travellers

Landmines

Unexploded landmines remain a risk in some desert and coastal areas, notably the Mediterranean shore, the Western Desert, the Sinai Peninsula and the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. Known minefields are not marked by signs, but may be enclosed by barbed wire. Seek local advice, especially if travelling off-road.

Road safety

Road conditions are often poor and the rate of vehicular accidents is one of the highest in the world. Drivers generally have little regard for traffic regulations and do not follow safe driving practices. Be cautious when crossing streets as drivers do not give pedestrians the right of way.

In the event of an accident, do not move the vehicle until the police arrive, unless you are in immediate danger, such as from a crowd and need to move to safety. Exercise caution when using taxis and the metro. There have been robberies and accidents involving both. Many taxis do not have working metres, and back seats are rarely equipped with seat belts. Women should not sit in the front seat, as this could be misinterpreted by the driver. The metro can be overcrowded and is not climate controlled but does have cars for women only on most lines.

Use vehicles and hire drivers from reputable travel agencies.

Public transportation

Safety standards for rail travel vary throughout Egypt. There have been major accidents in recent years, attributed to aging infrastructure, poor maintenance and human error. Exercise a high degree of caution.

Avoid microbuses because of hazardous driving habits.

Overcrowding and poor safety standards on ferries have caused accidents. Use reputable ferry operators.

Air travel

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Scuba diving / aquatic activities

Sharks and other potentially dangerous aquatic animals are present in the waters off Egypt. Certain beaches and dive areas may be subject to temporary closures. Exercise caution and seek advice from local authorities, and ensure to dive with reputable and licensed operators.

Water safety abroad

Israeli Border

Due to recent events in Israel, West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the land borders could close with little notice.

Crossing at the Taba land border between Egypt and Israel is possible at this time. Cross-border movement regulations and restrictions are subject to change at any time and are the prerogative of the responsible authorities.

The Rafah border crossing point to the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by border authorities in both Egypt and Gaza, opens and closes intermittently due to the ongoing armed conflict in Israel. Global Affairs Canada continues to advise against all travel in this area due to ongoing military operations against terrorists. Consult local authorities and refer to the travel advice for Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip for further information.

Beyond the provision of a travel document (the passport), the Canadian government does not facilitate the crossing of borders by private citizens. It is the citizen’s responsibility to meet the entry requirements of the country where they wish to travel, in most cases either through application for a visa or simply by going to a point of entry. Authorities at the Rafah border crossing from Egypt to Gaza have sometimes requested a letter or witnessed declaration from the Embassy of Canada to Egypt as a requirement to cross the border. The Canadian embassy is unable to provide such a letter or declaration. You should avoid all travel to Gaza. Furthermore, the Canadian government has very limited ability to provide consular services to Canadians in the Gaza Strip and once there, it may be difficult to leave.

General safety information

Although most tourist sites are open, the situation across Egypt remains unpredictable and less consistently safe than it was before January 2011. There is a potential for rapid escalation into violence where large groups of people are assembled

Egypt has a special police force to assist tourists. Officers wearing a distinctive arm band saying “Tourism Police,” can be found in hotels and at tourist sites.

Carry identification at all times. Photocopy your passport and other identification in case of loss or seizure.

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Entry and exit requirements

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from the Egyptian authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the Foreign Representatives in Canada.

Passport

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Egypt.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

Diplomatic and Special passport holders are required to have visas before arrival in Egypt.

Travelers attempting to enter Egypt with diplomatic or official passports who do not have visas will be required to remain, at their own expense, in the airport transit area until their immediate departure from Egypt can be arranged. The Embassy of Canada in Egypt cannot intervene in such matters.

Visas

Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required

You must obtain a visa from an Egyptian embassy or consulate near you before your departure.  Electronic visas issued  before October 1, 2023, remain valid until their expiry date.

If you wish to extend your stay in Egypt, contact the Immigration Authority of Egypt. You may be fined upon departure if you overstay your 30-day visa period without proper authorization.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Entry and exit stamps

You must show proof of an entry stamp in your passport when you leave Egypt. If you cannot provide proof of entry, you cannot obtain an exit stamp and will be denied exit.

If you have entered the country with a Canadian passport and have obtained a new one while in Egypt, you must have the entry stamp transferred to the new passport by the Egyptian Immigration Authority.This requirement also applies to newborns and dual citizens.

If a child is born in Egypt to a Canadian parent, a data stamp proving that the child was born in Egypt must be added to the child’s Canadian passport before the child can exit the country. Since there will be no entry stamp in the child’s passport, you must submit both the child’s birth certificate and Canadian passport to the Egyptian Immigration Authority to obtain what Egyptian authorities term the “data stamp.” Parents are advised to contact the Embassy of Canada as soon as possible to apply for citizenship and a passport for their child, so as not to further delay what can be a lengthy process.

Regional travel

If you are contemplating onward travel to other Arab countries, bear in mind that Canadians have been denied entry because their passports bore an Israeli visa, an Israeli border stamp or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel, which would indicate they entered from Israel.

Medication and cosmetics

Egyptian authorities consider some prescription and over-the-counter medicines medications controlled substances. They will seize all narcotic and psychotropic medications, even if you have the original prescription. For all other prescription and over-the-counter medications:

  • Carry the original prescription
  • Ensure the medication is in its original packaging
  • Don’t attempt to enter with more than 3 months’ supply.

Authorities also regulate the import of cosmetics and veterinary products.

Health entry requirements

All foreigners planning to study, work or train in Egypt for longer than one month may be required to undergo testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Egyptian immigration authorities in Cairo’s Mogamma building provide information on this procedure upon application.

When entering from another country you may be required to provide proof of immunizations. Please verify with the Egyptian Embassy nearest to you before travelling.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

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Health

Relevant Travel Health Notices

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your routine vaccinations, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

 

Practise safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

Risk

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

Rabies

In this destination, rabies is commonly carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions, including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. In this destination, rabies treatment may be limited or may not be available, therefore you may need to return to Canada for treatment. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Polio

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified this country as no longer poliovirus-infected but at high risk of an outbreak. Polio can be prevented by vaccination.

Recommendations:

  • Be sure that your polio vaccinations are up to date before travelling. Polio is part of the routine vaccine schedule for children in Canada.
  • One booster dose of the polio vaccine is recommended as an adult.
Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

Hepatitis B

 Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

COVID-19

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Influenza

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Travellers' diarrhea

Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.

The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.

Typhoid

Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Schistosomiasis

There is a risk of schistosomiasis in this destination. Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease caused by tiny worms (blood flukes) which can be found in freshwater (lakes, rivers, ponds, and wetlands). The worms can break the skin, and their eggs can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, flu-like symptoms, or urinary problems. Schistosomiasis mostly affects underdeveloped and rural communities, particularly agricultural and fishing communities.

Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers should avoid contact with untreated freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and ponds (e.g., swimming, bathing, wading, ingesting). There is no vaccine or medication available to prevent infection.

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

Chikungunya

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Dengue
  • In this country, risk of dengue is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Rift Valley fever

Rift Valley fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can be fatal. It is spread to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, from the bite of an infected mosquito, or eating or drinking unpasteurized dairy. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from insect bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock, and unpasteurized dairy. There is no vaccine available for Rift Valley fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Avian Influenza

Human cases of avian influenza have been reported in this destination. Avian influenza is a viral infection that can spread quickly and easily among birds and in rare cases it can infect mammals, including people. The risk is low for most travellers.

Avoid contact with birds, including wild, farm, and backyard birds (alive or dead) and surfaces that may have bird droppings on them. Ensure all poultry dishes, including eggs and wild game, are properly cooked.

Travellers with a higher risk of exposure include those: 

  • visiting live bird/animal markets or poultry farms
  • working with poultry (such as chickens, turkeys, domestic ducks)
  • hunting, de-feathering, field dressing and butchering wild birds and wild mammals
  • working with wild birds for activities such as research, conservation, or rehabilitation
  • working with wild mammals, especially those that eat wild birds (e.g., foxes)

All eligible people are encouraged to get the seasonal influenza shot, which will protect them against human influenza viruses. While the seasonal influenza shot does not prevent infection with avian influenza, it can reduce the chance of getting sick with human and avian influenza viruses at the same time.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette, which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •  washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV, and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Medical facilities are below Canadian standards.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

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Laws and culture

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.

Driving

You should carry an international driving permit.

International Driving Permit

Drugs

The use of drugs and open consumption of alcohol (other than in licensed facilities such as hotels and restaurants) are prohibited. Transgressions could be punished by detention or other penalties.

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are strict. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines. Capital punishment is a sentencing option for certain drug-related crimes.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Demonstrations

Local law prohibits protests without a permit.

Being near anti-government protests may subject you to scrutiny from Egyptian police and security forces.

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Drones

Drones are strictly prohibited in Egypt; anyone convicted of unauthorized import or use of drone technology could be subject to lengthy jail terms and deportation. Unauthorized possession and usage of drones in Egypt may carry similar charges to espionage.

Electronic devices

Egyptian officials will likely confiscate electronic devices upon entry if you did not obtain prior approval to import them. This includes:

  • large video cameras
  • filming equipment
  • satellite phones
  • radios
  • certain equipment like binoculars

You may face interrogation on the intended use of your devices due to their potential use for military and surveillance purposes.

Contact the nearest Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt for further information on regulations and requirements on electronic devices.

Foreign Representatives in Canada

Photography

Photography of bridges, canals (including the Suez Canal), government, police and embassy buildings and vehicles, as well as military personnel and establishments is prohibited.

Social media

Publishing or posting social media or other content that could be perceived as critical of Egyptian society, government, security forces or the President may be considered illegal under Egyptian law. Convictions can carry heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences. There is a high risk of arrest in connection to social media posts considered critical of Egypt.

Behaviour

Due to the current security context and political sensitivities, be conscious of your behaviour and how it may be interpreted by Egyptian authorities. Visitors including researchers, journalists, activists and development workers could encounter problems with authorities, if their activities are perceived as suspicious. Meeting with members of or expressing support for organizations banned in Egypt could be perceived as criminal behaviour.

Suspects may be detained without charges or access to immediate legal counsel during investigative stages of a criminal case.

Customs

Strict duties apply on the importation of expensive electronics, including video and photographic equipment, laptops, and computer software and hardware. Such equipment should be for personal use and you should list it (model and serial number) and check it upon arrival and departure, in which case no duty will be collected. Appropriate permits and authorizations are required for the commercial importation of any type of electronics.

It is prohibited to export any antiquity or any item older than 100 years without a licence. Contact the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Ottawa for further information regarding customs requirements.

Money

The currency is the Egyptian pound (EGP, E£).

A maximum of E£5,000 can be brought into or taken out of Egypt. You must declare any amount of currency equivalent to US$10,000 or more.

Traveller’s cheques and foreign currency are easily exchanged in hotels and banks. U.S. dollars are preferred, particularly at tourist sites. Some travel agents and tour operators request payment in U.S. cash only.

Major credit cards are accepted in larger stores and for larger purchases, but many merchants will only accept cash or may charge a fee for payment by credit card.

Forced marriages

There are reports of Canadian citizens being forced into marriage without their prior knowledge or consent.

Marriage Overseas

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Egypt.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Egypt, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.

Travellers with dual citizenship

The Egyptian government considers Canadians who also hold Egyptian citizenship to be Egyptian while in Egypt, therefore our ability to offer consular services may be limited. You may be considered an Egyptian citizen if you were born to an Egyptian father, regardless of birth place.

Egyptian-Canadian men may be subject to military service when in Egypt. In order to be exempted, dual citizens are required to present many documents before leaving Egypt, including a document of discharge due to dual citizenship. This document does not necessarily provide an exemption, and obtaining it may be a lengthy process that could affect your departure date. The Government of Canada has no jurisdiction in the process, as the decision on military service rests solely with the Egyptian government. You should contact the Egyptian embassy or consulate in Canada before travelling.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Egypt.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Egypt by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Egypt to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre.

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

Useful links

Culture

The work week is Sunday through Thursday. Egypt’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. Exercise common sense and discretion in dress and behaviour.

Dress conservatively: for women, knee-length or longer dresses and long sleeves are preferable, and men should not wear shorts outside tourist areas. Respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. Overt public displays of intimate affection are frowned upon in Egyptian culture.

In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, be discreet when:

  • drinking
  • eating
  • smoking

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

Egyptian laws doesn’t criminalize sexual acts or relationships between persons of the same sex.

However, 2SLGBTQI+ travellers could be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or sex characteristics.

You could be arrested for indecent exposure, public nuisance or scandalous acts.

The Egyptian police target apps and websites popular within the 2SLGBTQI+ community. They have used fake and legitimate accounts from community members who had their phones confiscated. Assaults and arrests by the police have occurred as a result of encounters set up through dating apps.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Egypt.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

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Natural disasters and climate

Egypt, particularly Cairo and Eastern Sinai, is located in an active seismic zone. The country is also subject to sand and dust storms.

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Need help?

Local services

Emergency services

In case of emergency, dial:

  • police: 112
  • medical assistance: 113
  • firefighters: 110
  • COVID-19 inquiries: 105

Consular assistance

Cairo - Embassy of Canada
Street AddressNile City Towers, 2005 (A) Corniche El Nile, South Tower, 18th floor 11221Postal AddressP.O. Box 150 El Gezira, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt, 11568Telephone+20 2 2461-2200Fax+20 2 2461-2201Emailcairo.consular@international.gc.caInternethttps://www.Canada.ca/Canada-And-EgyptFacebook@CanadaEgyptTwitter@CanEmbEgypt

For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Cairo and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

Disclaimer

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services.

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