Do's & Don'ts
The desert is a benign environment – until you make a mistake- then it can be lethal. In summer you can expect to last less than three days without water. In winter, much longer, probably a week. It is the very lack of water that makes the desert a dangerous place to make a mistake. Also its remoteness. I would not include dangers from snakes and scorpions because they are rarer here than in more built up areas of the Mediterranean. I have seen more scorpions in the South of France than in the Sahara!
Do take care of the environment and make sure you leave the campsite as you find it.
Do feel free to tell drivers and tour guides to take away rubbish rather than burn it.
Do take two or more vehicles. When making a long trip into the desertwhich means any trip where you will be more than 25km from a road it is advised that you take two vehicles.
Do ask to see the camels first on a camel journey. Do they look reasonably healthy? Do they have humps or are they skinny and emaciated? For a long trip you want a healthy camel. Next ask to mount a camel (if it is your intention to ever ride- many camel travelers never ride- they simply walk alongside their beasts) and see if the guide holds down the neck until you have mounted properly. Most accidents with camels when mounting or dismountingwhen the camel suddenly bucks and throws its load- you- off. If a guide is attentive at these moments he knows.
Do plan on drinking between 1 and 3 litres of water a day in winter in addition to any tea, coffee or soup.
Do drink in long bursts when you are cool- early morning and early evening and lunch being best.
Don’t take away anything that damagesor reduces the landscape in anyway.
Don’t bother with forcing three vehicles on a trip when you only have two. For a trip to the Gilf Kebir the old advice was to take three vehicles, but this was in the days of less reliable cars. Two will suffice as long as they are not overloaded.
Do check out the guide. When hiring a guide with vehicles see how he loads the car- does he store fuel next to food? Is the vehicle itself dirty and in need of attention? Are the tyres worn and inappropriate? Thankfully poor guides are rare. The desert is recognized by all as a serious place to have a breakdown and almost all guides go well prepared.
Don’t wear trainers for walking – the sand will get inside the lining and make the show too tight. They also let too much sand in going down dunes. Sandals and boots are better.
The country has been welcoming guests for thousands of years, and making visitors feel welcome comes naturally.
You will find that Egyptian love of family life means that children are treated like VIPs.
Egypt is a very safe country and you will see many people in uniform (like tourist police and security staff) who are there to help and give you peace of mind.
Do stock up on sun cream and moisturiser, Wear sunglasses and a hat.– it’s particularly important to be protected between 11 am and 2 pm when the sun is hottest.
Do keep your passport with you whenever you are away from accommodation place.
Do take care of Underwater treasures, it is human heritage and worthy to preserve.
Do have a good idea of where you are going and keep a map or guide book at hand.
Do respect local customs – there are dress rules when visiting mosques and Churches, so be aware.
Do visit the local Tourist Information Office to get the most from your visit.
Do check opening times for places to visit – they can vary during Ramadan & national holidays.
Don’t forget to take your camera.
Don’t go for desert excursions without experienced guide & good driver.
Don’t take anything from the National Parks, and don’t leave anything behind you.
Don’t miss courses for golf & diving for you & your children.
Enjoy your time in Egypt and let the calm, the kindness and respect for people be part of your life too – and you are welcome to take that home with you!