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International dialling code: +20

Driving on the right

Emergency services: 122 for police, 123 for medical attention. Traffic Police 128.

Plan to arrive in Alexandria by sea freight from Greece. 

Border Crossing(s)

Entry: Alexandria Port

Exit: Abu Simbel, Egypt / Wadi Haifa Sudan

Additional information: Access by ferry from Aswan (once per week - Sunday?). Take own food & water for trip. Alternative may be Abu Simbel. (Understand a new road is being built direct to Wadi Haifa but may not yet be open.)  

Exit Fee EGP60 approx per person.There are reports of a scam with Sudanese requiring 60SDP for ' transport fees'; this may not be required so try standing for ground. 

Approximate time to clear:​ 3-4 hours Egyptian side then Sudan entry - expect chaos and all bags / vehicles and trailers to be searched and checked. 

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Documentation:

Passport: You should keep valid photo ID with you at all times.

Drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar is not allowed and can lead to arrest.

VISA's. For Egypt can be purchased on arrival.  

For Sudan (~$150USD) can be obtained at the Sudanese Embassy in Cairo.  Can be done same day if you go early. (It may be possible to obtain VISA in Aswan but this is reported to be unreliable.) 

Temporary importation of vehicles: You can bring your vehicle with you from your country or from any other country and use it while in Egypt. Car can be any make/model any year. You can use it for 6 months/year. Note: any duty is payable  in Egyptian Pounds. Egypt has a vehicle import duty / tax of 800% on the base value of the vehicle. This makes the cost of a Carnet for Egypt very expensive. It would be cheaper to ship the vehicle(s) and trailer(s) to either Port Sudan or Djibouti and leapfrog Egypt. 

Driving licence. Road or other taxes. Costs

International Driving Licence: Required. 

Vehicle Insurance: Purchase on arrival at border.

V5: Check Owner and vehicle details are correct. Especially engine and VIN Numbers match. Only submit copies, retain the original.

Carnet de Passage: Not required but Carnet's are accepted. Vehicles can be imported using a Temporary Import Permit (TIP). A deposit may need to be paid.

Letter of Authority. Should the vehicle not be owned by the Driver, a letter of authority authorising Drivers and Passengers to use the vehicle should be available.  

Logistics

Roads: Road accidents are quite common in Egypt, make sure you drive with extra caution and care particularly at night. There are some toll roads in Egypt, the most relevant one being the Cairo-Alexandria road. There are also a handful of other toll roads in the country.

The only way for foreigners to travel between Sudan and Egypt is to take the Nile Navigation Company (NNC) ferry down Lake Nasser from Wadi Halfa to Aswan, and to book a separate passage, on freight barges, for their vehicles. This journey holds a special place in the mythology of African over-landing – and the stories are enough to scare away even the brave.

Things to Bring Along. Here's a breakdown of some things to take along when driving in Egypt:

  • Full UK Driving licence

  • International driver's licence

  • Warning triangle in case of an accident.

  • A road map of the local area that you are planning to drive in.

  • A first-aid kit inside a car is required.

Rules & Regulations. Please read through this guide before you start driving in Egypt.

  • Drive on the right hand side.

  • The use of seat belts are mandatory in Egypt for all occupants of the vehicle.

  • Children under 7 years of age are not allowed to sit in the front seats.

  • The use of a mobile phone while driving is prohibited, with the exception of a hands-free system.

  • The drink driving Blood alcohol level allowed is 0.05.

  • Traffic lights in Cairo do not always work, if that’s the case there will be police officers at intersections signalling what cars have right of way.

  • Pedestrians have right of way.

Please make sure that you are aware of all the road regulations before you start your trip in Egypt.

Speed Limits. The Standard legal limits, which may be varied by signs, for private vehicles without trailers when driving in Egypt are as follows:

  • 60 kph in built up areas.

  • 90 kph on motorways.

  • 100 kph on the desert highway between Cairo and Alexandria.​

Parking. Parking in Egypt can be difficult particularly in big cities. There are plenty of people who can help you in exchange for a tip.
 

Fuel: Most petrol stations can be found in the cities, along the coast and Nile Valley. 

  • Mobil petrol stations in Egypt.

  • Total runs a network of 239 service stations throughout the country. Initially, TOTAL chose to develop its network in the Delta (with an average of seven new stations per year) with a large diesel offering. Given the rapid urbanization within the past few years, it has also launched a new type of station, such as Maadi Cornish , Marina on the Mediterranean coast or Katameya in New Cairo, which is cropping up in the newly formed cities. These stations offer gasoline, a large shop with a coffee corner in partnership with Cilantro and various food offerings as well as many integrated services such as tires, in partnership with Bridgestone.

  • Emarat Misr petrol stations in Egypt

  • Eni / Gastec are to establish modern service stations with natural gas dispensers. Gastec currently have 89 gas stations in Egypt.It is not clear whether they will allow filling of bottled gas cylinders. 

Water: Tap water in many locations is not potable. It is best to drink bottled water or water that has been boiled and filtered. Well-known brands of bottled beverages are generally considered to be safe if the seal is intact.

Food: It is generally safe to eat freshly prepared cooked food in hotels, on Nile cruise boats, and in mainstream restaurants. When selecting a restaurant, select a clean and reputable place,eat only freshly prepared, cooked foods, avoid all uncooked food including raw fruits and vegetables.

Tyres: TBC

Vehicle / trailer repairs: Main cities / truck and trailer engineering companies. 

Bottle Gas or Refills: Gastec TBC (see Fuel above). Campinggaz Egypt:

MISR INTERCOMMERCE

Address: Multitrade Building, Street # 17, Tajamouh Khames Service Area, El Hay El Awal, Postal Code 11477, New Cairo

Tel: +20 2 26 18 27 41

Email: contactus@bouri.net 

Website: www.bouri.net

Currency: The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP). Cash machines are common, especially in the main tourist areas. Take care and be aware of your surroundings if you are taking out large amounts of money, especially in deserted areas or at night.

Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes are not exchangeable in Egypt. Travellers’ cheques are not easily cashed. Most banks, including international banks, will not accept them. Major hotels will usually accept payment by credit card. However, smaller hotels may expect payment in cash and in hard currency. Medical facilities will usually accept payment by credit card or cash.

Health

 

Medical care in Egypt falls short of UK standards. Emergency and intensive care facilities are limited. Most Nile cruise boats do not have a ship's doctor, but some employ a medical practitioner of uncertain qualification. Hospital facilities in Luxor and Aswan are inadequate, and they are nonexistent at most other ports-of-call. The Egyptian ambulance service hotline is 123, but Egyptian ambulance service is not reliable.

Beaches on the Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts are generally unpolluted. However, persons who swim in the Nile or its canals, walk barefoot in stagnant water, or drink untreated water are at risk of exposure to bacterial and other infections and the parasitic disease schistosomiasis (bilharzia).

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information regarding entry with specific medication, please see the medication section in Entry requirements

There are reports of some hotel doctors overcharging for treatment and medicines. Examine your bill closely and challenge excessive charges. Pharmacies outside hotels will often supply medication at lower prices.

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Routing

Driving 'in the green'

Tip Toe's provisional route remains in the 'green' lower risk areas (see map) but the border area with Sudan lies adjacent to an area recommended against non essential travel. Extra vigilance will be required in this area:

The FCO advise against all but essential travel:

  • to the Governorate of South Sinai, except the area within the Sharm el Sheikh perimeter barrier, which includes the airport and the areas of Sharm el Maya, Hadaba, Naama Bay, Sharks Bay and Nabq.

  • by air to or from Sharm el Sheikh. See Air travel

  • to the area west of the Nile Valley and Nile Delta regions, excluding the coastal areas between the Nile Delta and Marsa Matruh (as shown on the map).

It may therefore be appropriate to seek support of a 'Fixer' in these areas and / or to employ a Fixer in Sudan and to utilise their knowledge to guide the Convoy via the best routes. The security situation and infrastructure in Sudan is poor. Whilst it is intended to visit a couple of tourist attractions, it is proposed to transit Sudan quite quickly.   

Places to stay 

Name / Point of contact / Email / Tel No / Website

Price per night

Hotels

 

Campsites

Campsites including places (like hotels) that allow camping within their

grounds

Most campsites are for holidaying Egyptian families on the coast, often
shadeless, with few facilities, and not recommended. Rather better are
the occasional campsites attached to hotels, which may offer ready-
pitched tents with camp beds, plus the use of hotel showers and toilet
facilities.

 

Wild camping

As for wild camping, you should always check with the authorities about any coastal site – some beaches are mined, others patrolled by the military. In the oases it’s less of a problem, though any land near water will belong to someone, so again, ask permission.

Things to do and places to see

Companies

  • Cargills. Cargill Trading Egypt
    Down Town Katameya 11835
    Area A- Building S2 A - City Center, 5th District
    Road 90, New Cairo
    Cairo, Egypt

Any other suggestions / Information: 

Local laws reflect the fact that Egypt is predominantly an Islamic country. Respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend other cultures or religious beliefs. This is especially important during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas. Dress modestly, especially in rural areas, mosques and souqs (markets). Public displays of affection are frowned upon. What may be acceptable in the tourist resort areas may not be in other areas.

In 2020, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 23 April and finish on 23 May. See Travelling during Ramadan

Safe Havens. Know the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and other places to relocate to feel secure. If you are concerned for your security, you should exercise personal responsibility, remove yourself from the situation, and relocate to an area where you feel secure. Avoid urban areas after dark. 

Safari travelers must obtain permission and a travel route from the Egyptian Military Intelligence and the Tourist Police Headquarters via a local or overseas travel agency to access Egypt's frontiers, including the borders with Libya, Sudan, Israel, and parts of the Sinai off paved roads. Police escorts are assigned to accompany foreigners during their tour. 

All photography requires a formal permit, which you can get from the External Information Centre in Khartoum (part of the Ministry of Information). Don’t take photographs or use a mobile phone camera close to government buildings, military installations, public utilities (including petrol stations), and other sensitive areas (bridges, airports etc). Many plain clothed public security officers operate.

Photography of, or near, military official installations is strictly prohibited. This includes the Suez Canal. Don’t photograph officials without their consent. There are sensitivities about taking photographs of public buildings or infrastructure. British nationals have been arrested for photographing electricity stations, train stations and bridges if you are in any doubt seek permission before taking photographs. Don’t use radio controlled helicopters or ‘drones’ to take photographs.

The import, production or use of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) is banned in Egypt unless you have prior authorisation from the Egyptian Ministry of Defence. Citizens who use, manufacture or import drones without the approrpriate authorisation will be punished by prison terms ranging from one to 7 years and/or fines ranging from EGP 5,000 to EGP 50,000.

Explosive Remnants of War. Travelers should be aware that landmines have caused many casualties in Egypt, including deaths of U.S. citizens. All travelers should check with local authorities before embarking on off-road travel. Known minefields are not reliably marked by signs, but are sometimes enclosed by barbed wire. Heavy rains can cause flooding and move landmines, and travelers should be exercise caution when encountering sand drifts on roadways. Though mines are found in other parts of Egypt, the highest concentrations are in World War II battlefields along the Mediterranean coast west of Alexandria, the Eastern Desert between Cairo and the Suez Canal, and much of the Sinai Peninsula. Travelers are urged to be especially prudent in these areas.

Local Media

Keep informed of local developments by following local press, radio, and television reports prior to and during your time in Egypt.  This might include: