6 Days in Egypt during Covid-19: the benefits of traveling to Egypt during the pandemicIt took sometime but the Egypt video is finally here! I hope you enjoy my very first vlog on a destination during COVID-19.
This vlog reflects travel from Dubai to Egypt from 17 to 24/09/2020.
1. Requirements for travel:
- Negative PCR certificate for a test taken with a maximum of 72 hours prior to departure (exceptions apply to some destinations where a 96hrs deadline is granted). The certificate must display date, time and details of the sample collected and must have been stamped.
- All passengers must complete a health declaration form and provide contact details.
I retrieve all my travel information from the COVID-19 travel hub which is timely updated by Emirates under the link below. It is reliable and constantly updated.
2. Our itinerary:
Arrival in Cairo and trip to Luxor
We landed in Cairo in the evening and proceeded directly to Ramses train station to catch an overnight train to Luxor.
Day 1: Luxor
We arrived in Luxor early morning and proceeded to the Hotel to freshen up and hit the road.
We chose to do a very intense day and cover all Luxor temples in one day. This was possible because during COVID-19 most sites are empty and you are able to got through everything quickly without compromising the experience. Also, during our visit, all sites were granting 50% discount on entry (student price).
- Valley of the Kings
- Hatsepsuit Temple
- Colossi of Memnon
- Karnak Temple
- Luxor Temple
Our hotel was the Hilton Luxor and we paid USD 75, including breakfast.
Day 2: Road trip to Aswan
On day 2 we needed to rest and only left the hotel in the afternoon to start our road trip to Aswan.
On the way to Aswan we visited two temples:
- Kom ombo
We reached our hotel in Aswan in the evening. We chose the Old Cataract hotel and, by signing up for the Accor loyalty program, we paid USD 70 per night (excluding breakfast). Moreover, the membership offered us 50% discount in F00d and Beverage across all outlets in the hotel, including room service.
Day 3: Aswan
We used our third day to enjoy the hotel and visit a nearby temple:
- Philae Temple
We spent the evening in the hotel as well as visited their french restaurant - It was a very good meal!
Day 4: Abu Simbel
We hired a taxi to take us to Abu Simbel. The trip takes approximately 3 hours and, during these days, you are able to visit the whole site and both temples (Ramses and Nerfetari) within an hour.
We arrived back in Aswan in the evening, just in time to catch our overnight train back to Cairo.
Day 5: Cairo
On the morning of our first day in Cairo we had to take care of the PCR test in order to be able to get the negative results in time for our return flight. We had been told that the ministry of health is conducting tests for approximately USD 80. Nevertheless, we didnt find the set up very organized or safe and hence proceeded to one of the private clinics, which cost us USD 160.
With the test taken, we went to explore the pyramids:
- Saqqara pyramids
- Red and Bent pyramids (at the Saqqara site, very close to the Saqqara pyramids)
- Giza pyramids
We went to see the sunset from the beautiful Marriot, where you get the best view and atmosphere from the pyramids of Giza.
For dinner, we visited Khan El Khalili at the central market. Great food and authentic experience.
In Cairo we stayed at the Kempinski nile.
Day 6: Cairo
On our last day in Egypt, we chose to visit the Egyptian museum and the Citadel.
With the construction of the new Egyptian Museum, much of the displays are already being moved. This includes most of the royal mummies and in fact, that section of the museum was closed.
The citadel is a great place to visit in the afternoon before sunset.
We reached our hotel in time to enjoy sunset by the pool, with a beautiful view of the Nile.
In Summary, I personally recommend travel to Egypt during COVID-19 for mainly three reasons:
- You basically have the sites for yourself! Egypt is amazing, but also one of the most visited places in the world - and that normally means chaos. During COVID-19, everything is very quiet and your experience (and photos!!!) will be much better :)
- There are good COVID-19 controls in place for tourism. While the day-to-day life of the local egyptian doesnt seem to have changed much, the government has introduced guidelines and inspections that apply to airports, hotels, restaurants, transport and tourist sites.
- You will get great value for money. We only stayed in 5 star properties and never paid more than USD 80 per night (for 2!!!). Demand is low and hence prices are very competitive.
I hope my experiences help you be better informed and more confident to travel! Drop a comment if you have any questions or need any help.