Female Travel Guide In Egypt – To most people, when I tell them I’m going to Egypt as a solo traveler, it sounds a little crazy. For me, Egypt is definitely out of my comfort zone for traveling alone, fear of the unknown or a completely different culture than what I’m used to. It is the most conservative country I have ever been to and is known to be very male dominated. I read a lot of negative travel stories online about how sometimes women find it scary to travel here, but I knew there must be more to it than what I read online, I had to form my own opinion.
It’s been a month since I explored this incredibly diverse country and after seeing more than 5 cities and meeting so many unique people, I can say that this country is amazing. As always, I try to be a smart traveler, but it’s also about the people you meet in each country. I don’t think I’ve ever had an experience like I did in Egypt because of the amazing friends I’ve made here 100%.
Female Travel Guide In Egypt
My first contact and friend here in Egypt was a local content creator in Cairo named Ahmed. I initially DMed him on Instagram to ask about drone laws in Egypt because I was worried about bringing my drone and he had a viral video of a drone on the pyramids. I saw on the internet that the rules are incredibly strict and leave the drone at home, unfortunately that’s true haha. We sent a few messages back and forth and during my stay he let me stay at his family’s AirBnB and took me to a few places in the Cairo/Giza area. Strange as it may seem, it’s common for like-minded travelers to offer their homes for free or show fellow travelers around to strangers in their hometowns. Check out Couch Surfers, a great website that does just that! It’s a large community of travelers who offer their homes and experiences to travelers around the world. Sure, this site has some weird stuff, but use your best behavior when searching the site because there are a lot of real people trying to give back to their travel community!
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I arrived at the airport and Ahmed was waiting there for me as he offered to pick me up from the airport a week ago! We went to his family’s Airbnb which was very nice and in the middle of Cairo by the Nile. Keep in mind that traffic in Cairo is chaotic and noisy. Be prepared to hear loud horns and sirens day and night.
Over the next few days he showed me all the amazing places in the city including the Khalili market, many great local restaurants around the city including Prince and Shobi restaurants and the amazing tour around the Giza pyramids. Not only that, but he also introduced me to other content creators and travelers who are amazing!
Khalili Market is great to visit, but be prepared for absolute chaos. Crowds, traffic, and if you’re a woman, get ready for a big cat call. It is better not to pay attention to the call of the cat, because the more you meet, the more powerful it becomes! But definitely stop by and check out this shopping spree! Make sure you negotiate everything when buying, my rule of thumb is that the price is usually half of the original amount they give you. If you’re looking for a place to take a break from the hustle and bustle, enjoy a Turkish coffee or mint tea at El-Fishawi, the oldest cafe in the Khalili market.
Also, when you visit the pyramids, be prepared to be shocked by the guides and the people who give you horse and camel rides. We paid a total of 300 LE ($21 USD) for the 2 of us to ride a horse around the pyramids. After the horse ride they put us on the camels which looked like part of what we were paying for but as soon as we got out they asked for another few hundred LE. I refuse to pay 100% because they basically tricked us into it. Not only that, but the pyramids are 100% doable without a guide so I suggest not paying for one!
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Overall, Cairo was amazing, but a little chaotic for me! A few tips to remember when visiting Cairo:
As for your stay, I stayed here for a week, but if you’re pressed for time, the main sights can easily be seen in a day or 2.
Want to feel like you’ve stepped back in time to ancient Egypt? Go to Aswan! This beautiful city still seems to be rooted in its traditional Numbian roots. I stayed at Anakato Hotel but when you book online, Anakato has 3 locations so make sure you know when to book. I stayed in this city for 4 nights and I feel it was more than enough time to see all the major sights:
There are many Aswan tour guides that offer day trips to the above mentioned locations, but you can 100% do it yourself if you want. Hotel Anakato arranged an incredible tour for me that took me to all of the above in 1 day!
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If you have time, make sure to make a trip to Abu Simbel. Yes it’s a 6 hour trip but 100% worth it!! Many people said I was lucky to have it to myself as it is usually full of tourists. What an incredible site. You can book tours from places like the Bob Marley Hostel for $30 for a group tour or like me for $100 for a private car! However, be aware that most of these tours only allow you to stay and explore the temples for 1.5 hours, so plan your time wisely once you’re there, as both temples are absolutely stunning!
For this purpose, ask your hotels for rates and arrange a driver for you. Some hotels may try to limit the number of tours you book, so be sure to pay $100 or less for a private driver or $30 for a group tour.
There are several options for traveling from Aswan to Luxor, whether you want to save on flight time, take the slower route by public bus, or use sightseeing transportation. You can do it with a group tour or by private car, I chose a private car that is 100% worth it in my eyes! I managed to stop at 2 of the most amazing temples, Kom Ombo and Edfu, which have been completely missed by tourists and are both must-sees on your trip to Luxor. Not only will you see some incredible temples, but you’ll shave 3.5 hours off your drive so it doesn’t feel like such a tiring drive.
Surprisingly, while many people told me I should visit Luxor, I expected a lot from this city! I think I was a bit spoiled seeing Abu Simbel, Edfa and all the amazing temples before I got to Luxor. Even though I am a tourist, I worry about super touristy and overcrowded areas, almost all of the temples in Luxor. There are temples on both the east and west banks of Luxor, offering different tours that stop at each in one day. I paid $10 to visit 5 temples and was able to complete them all in one day but be prepared for a very long day haha!
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One thing not to be missed is the hot air balloon experience at sunrise! It’s only $40 and such a fun experience. This was probably my favorite experience in Luxor. I only spent 1 full day and 2 nights in Luxor and felt it was more than enough time to see all the major attractions in this very touristy city.
Marsa Alam is known as one of the most beautiful diving destinations in Egypt. It has rich marine life and lush reefs along the coast. There are many transportation options, including flights, buses, and private cars. Since I wasn’t going to the capital Marsa Alam, I took a private car, heading 1.5 miles south to a town called Hamata.