Transportation in Egypt

ON THE GO

Overview

Desert tours can be booked through local tour operators. It should be remembered that desert trips without an experienced guide, absolutely roadworthy vehicles and without sufficient water supplies are life-threatening. Tours outside of official routes (so-called off-road tourism) as well as individual individual trips in certain regions are subject to approval. All routes are provided with fixed checkpoints at regular intervals.

Annotation

(a) Night travel. (b) For more information see Ship.

Traveling by plane

According to cheeroutdoor, Egypt Air (MS) (Internet: www.egyptair.com.eg) flies daily from Cairo to Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel and Hurghada. The Egypt Air subsidiary Air Sinai (4D) flies to other destinations. The airline’s regional offices can provide more information.

Departure fee

The fee is included in the ticket price.

On the way by car / bus

In addition to the well-developed road network in the Nile Valley and the Delta, there are asphalt roads that run along the coast of the Red Sea and the Mediterranean. The road through the western desert oases from Asyut to Giza is paved throughout.

A toll must be paid to use the motorways in the Nile Delta. In the period from October to February there are severe storms in the desert areas (Sinai, Hurghada), which make some roads impassable; Alternative routes are mostly missing. In desert areas you should only drive yourself with a guide and appropriate equipment. Further information from the Automobile & Touring Club of Egypt (Cairo) (Internet: www.atce-ewgypt.org).

Bus:
The national bus network supplies the Nile Valley and the coastal roads. The route network is now so well developed that almost every place on a street can be reached by bus.

Main routes connect
– Cairo with St. Catherine, Sharm el-Sheikh, Dahab, Maamoura, Mersa Matrouh, Ras Sudr, El-Tour, Taba and Rafah;
– Suez with El-Tour and Sharm El Sheik; and
– Sharm El Sheik with Taba, Neweiba, El-Tour, Dahab and St. Catherine. Tour

buses run from Cairo to Agami, Marakia-Mrabila, Marina-Aidda Sidy Abd El Rahman, Matrouh, Ma’amoura Beach and Hurghada.

Taxis
are available in the larger cities (see city transport). Group taxis for long distances are relatively inexpensive, and fares should be agreed before departure.

Rental cars:
Rental cars from Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget, Thrifty and other local companies can be rented at Cairo Airport, in the city of Cairo and in large hotels. Drivers must be at least 25 years old.

Bicycles: In Cairo you should refrain from cycling in Luxor, where there are numerous bike rentals, you can get around with it.

Traffic regulations: speed limit on highways 90 km / h, on the desert highway between Cairo and Alexandria 100 km / h. Speeding violations are punishable by heavy fines.

Documents:An international driver’s license and proof of insurance are required. A Carnet de Passage or a similar security deposit is required for the temporary importation of an automobile. All vehicles (including motorcycles) are legally obliged to carry a fire extinguisher and a red warning triangle.

Note on traveling by road

Desert tours can be booked through local tour operators. It should be remembered that desert trips without an experienced guide, absolutely roadworthy vehicles and without sufficient water supplies are life-threatening. Tours outside of official routes (so-called off-road tourism) as well as individual individual trips in certain regions are subject to approval. All routes are provided with fixed checkpoints at regular intervals.

The three travel routes Safaga-Luxor, Aswan-Luxor and Aswan-Marsa Alam are free again after many years and can be used without the police protection that was ordered after the 1997 bombings in Luxor. On the Safaga-Luxor route, however, for safety reasons, convoy is still compulsory in the dark

Traveling in the city

The state-run Cairo Transport Authority operates buses, trams and ferries in Cairo. A uniform tariff applies in the city center. You can also use private buses, shared taxis and minibuses. The latter usually wait at the train stations for a full load, others have regular departure times, the prices are three to four times higher than those of the state buses. The most important means of transport in Cairo’s good local transport system are the modern suburban trains and the subway (Internet: www.urbanrail.net/af/cairo/cairo.htm), which still consists of 2 lines. Line 1 goes south from New El-Marg to Helwan, which is 30 km outside of Cairo. Line 2 runs from Shoubra el-Kheima in a south-westerly direction via Cairo University and Gizeh to El Mounib. Line 3, which will run from Embaba or Mohandiseen to the airport, is under construction. Taxis aren’t cheap in Cairo. The black and white taxis can be hailed in the street. It is common for women traveling alone to sit on the back seat and men traveling alone to sit in the front next to the driver. Taximeters are rarely used, so the price should be negotiated before driving.

On the buses and trams in Alexandria there are 1st and 2nd class, the fares depend on the distance.

On the go by train

Good connections on the east-west line from Sallom on the Libyan border to Alexandria and Cairo and along the Nile to Luxor and Aswan. Port Said and Suez are also accessible by train.

The main train connections are:
Cairo – Alexandria
Cairo – Luxor – Aswan,
Cairo -Suez,
Cairo and Alexandria – Port Said,
Cairo and Alexandria – El Alamein – Mersa Matruh

3 different types of train run between Cairo and Alexandria: Interregios, express trains and the turbo trains. Several air-conditioned luxury trains with sleeping and dining cars operate on the Cairo – Luxor – Aswan route. For the night train Reservations should be made one week in advance at a travel agency or with Abela Egypt (Address: Ramses Station, Ramses Square, EG-Cairo. Tel: (202) 25 74 92 74, 25 74 94 74. Internet: www.sleepingtrains.com). The Egyptian State Railways does not have a website. Further information on train connections is available online at www.touregypt.net/trains.htm.

Tickets are available in Egypt at train stations and travel agencies. Outside Egypt, train tickets can be purchased online from the Egyptian travel agency Egyption Travel Service (Internet: www.egyptiants.net) be ordered. Combined tickets that offer discounts in hotels are available for Aswan and Luxor. Children under 4 travel for free. Discounts for groups, students, children (4-9 years) and holders of a youth hostel card. More information from the tourist office (see addresses).

On the way by ship

A hydrofoil connects Hurghada with Sharm El Sheik on the Sinai Peninsula. In addition, ferry connections are available several times a week (travel time 1-2 hours or 5-6 hours, depending on the ferry boat).

The traditional sailing boats on the Nile (Felluccas) can be rented by the hour. The Sudanese railway company operates a steamship line from Aswan to Wadi Halfa.

Cruises on the Nileare either 3, 4 or 7 days. The shorter cruises are offered from Luxor to Aswan, the longer ones to Dendera. Cruises are best held between October and mid-April and are now possible all year round between Aswan and Luxor thanks to a lock. A river cruise operator on the Nile is Viking Cruises (Internet: www.vikingrivers.com).

Transportation in Egypt

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