Update: US Dept of State has finally issued a Travel Warning for Egypt on 30 January..
If I had a trip planned to Egypt, I would postpone it. There are riots in many of the major cities, 700 people have been arrested, and there's a pretty nasty history of terrorist attacks against foreigners at many of Egypt's top attractions. Given the fact that the Pyramids are located right outside of Cairo, and that Cairo is on every tour itinerary, it makes sense to avoid a vacation right now.
Egyptians have been fired up by recent events in Tunisia, and they have even more reason to be unhappy with their government as it stands right now. In my opinion, this is not going to get any better any time soon, but hopefully I'll be proved wrong. If you have a tour booked, or planned to travel to Egypt in the next few weeks, or months, please do not cancel your trip, just postpone it. The Egyptians who drive your tour bus, clean your hotel room, and sell you souvenirs will all feel the burden of these cancellations more than any politician will.
What stuns me a little is that the US State Department has not yet issued an official travel warning or even a travel alert. They issued one for Uganda last week, in case there are some problems with the upcoming election. For Egypt there's been total silence as of 11am this morning (January 28).
The streets of Cairo are ablaze, the internet has been disabled, some cell phone networks are out , and the Egyptian army is out in force... and, still, the State Department appears to feel it's safe enough for their citizens to be wandering around checking out the Egyptian Museum in the heart of Cairo. Ridiculous.
There is obviously way too much politics involved in these government issued "travel warnings". Kenya has been under an official travel warning for years now, and though of course there are problems, very few of them come even remotely close to affecting the areas where tourists tend to visit. The State Department was pretty quick to issue a warning against any travel to Tunisia a few weeks ago, but obviously Egypt has far more political clout in the US than Kenya, Tunisia, and Uganda.
Image © Getty Images -- Streets of Cairo, January 28, 2011 ... doesn't look very safe to me