Once again, Egypt is making headline news as the army has stepped in to oust President Mursi, and has pledged to hold elections sooner rather than later. So, is it safe to travel to Egypt right now?
I was asked the same question two years ago, because the streets of Egypt were ablaze, and the US Department of State had not issued an official "Travel Warning". That's what happens when there's politics involved. However, being cautious before saying "don't go" is smart since many Egyptians rely on tourism to earn a living. An off the cuff remark about lack of safety can do a lot of unnecessary damage (think Kenya in 2008). So, is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Right now, most national governments (including the US) are warning their citizens not to travel to Egypt. Even if you are just taking a Nile cruise, or planning to spend time on the beach, chances are you will be passing through Cairo, and it's more than just a little combustible right now. This is a serious political situation and there's no telling how it is going to shake out.
The revolution has brought a lot of change, but it is an ongoing process. And what generally tends to happen when you overthrow a dictatorship is that the crazy security system they upheld to stay in power, also goes out the window. Hence incidents like in February (2102) when an emotional soccer match ends up in a tragedy.
If I was booked on a trip to Egypt right now, I would check the news, and the US Department of State travel advisories. Also check other countries' foreign offices like Canada or Australia. Call the agency that booked you. Their people on the ground will have the best idea of what's safe. And once a travel advisory or warning issued, here's what to do...