Last updated: 18 Sep 2020

Egypt

About

The world-renowned treasures of this fabled country, from iconic pyramids to medieval bazaars, are sights to behold. The Nile defines Egypt as it inundates the delta in the north, slips by rich suburb and impoverished allotment in the capital Cairo, brings life to the settlements of the Nile Valley and delivers visitors in floating palaces to the great archaeological wonders of the ancient world.

No trip to Egypt is complete without a trip to Cairo's famous Khan-el Khalili Bazaar where haggling for spices, copper and brass, perfume and trinkets has been refined into an art form.

Plying the river between Luxor and Aswan, and generally lasting around three to five days, a boat trip is the quintessential Nile experience.

Egypt's six oases in the vast Western Desert offer a fascinating glimpse of Bedouin and Berber life, often with ancient ruins nearby. Don't miss the White Desert, an area of dazzling white, wind-blown rock forms scattered across the wilderness and never to miss is a camel ride in the desert.
Capital:  Cairo (El Qahira) (CAI)
Currency:  Egyptian Pound (EGP)
Language:  Arabic and English are widely spoken
Dialling code from SA:  + 20
Time Zones: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Public Holidays 2020: 

Jan 7, 25; Apr 19, 20, 25; May 1, 24-26; Jun 30; Jul 23, 30, 31; Aug 1-3, 20; Oct 6, 29

Side of the Road: Right
Best Time to go: October to May
Best For: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Historical sites, Religious Sites
Plugs: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Sockets take the continental European-style two-pin plugs.
Drinking Water: All water should be regarded as being potentially contaminated. Milk is unpasteurised. Bottled water is available, but check the seals (a popular scam is to collect empty bottles, fill them with tap water and attempt to reseal them).  The water provided in your hotel should be safe to drink.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities in Cairo and Alexandria, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. Outside of the main cities, medical facilities are very limited.
Customs: As a predominately Islamic country, dress should always be conservative: women should keep their upper arms and legs covered. When visiting religious buildings, women should also cover their hair.  Respect to religious customs should be shown during the month of Ramadan.
Local Offences / Laws: Homosexuality is illegal. Photography of military installations is illegal.
Travel Tips / Warnings: Driving in Egypt can be chaotic. Tourists should carry identification at all times.  A fee is applicable when photographing inside the pyramids, tombs and museums. Always ask permission when photographing people, as some traditionally dressed locals demand fees. Avoid political demonstrations. Check the local political situation. Women should take care when travelling alone due to incidents of harassment.
Duty Free: The following items may be imported into Egypt by travellers over 18 without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 200g of tobacco.
• 2L of alcoholic beverages.
Note: You should declare currency over E£500 on arrival.
Prohibited Imports: Drugs, firearms and cotton.
Prohibited Exports: Drugs, firearms and cotton. You may only export small quantities of locally bought gold and silver for personal use. If exporting antiquities over 100 years old, you must obtain a licence.

Travel Alerts

COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Egypt has reopened for tourism. 

  • Negative PCR test received within 72 hours before arrival required. A physical copy is required, and must be in English or Arabic. 
  • Proof of medical insurance may be required and is strongly recommended. 

This Information is intended as a Guideline.

Issuing Authorities

The Egyptian Embassy
270 Bourke St., Muckleneuk, Pretoria
P O Box 30025 Sunnyside 0132
Tel:+27 (0) 12 343-1590/1
Fax:+27(0) 12 343-1082
E-mail: egyptembpa@gmail.com / egyptemb1@gmail.com

Consular service and processing of documents:

Submissions: Mon - Fri 0900-1100 ONLY
Collections: Mon - Fri 1500-1600
No telephone enquiries. All queries & questions please email: egyptemb1@gmail.com

 

Visa Requirements

Visas are required by South African, British and all other passport holders, whether travelling as a tourist or on business.

Visas are not required if passenger remains in the transit lounge less than 6 hours, but the Embassy recommends obtaining one in case of emergencies/flight delays, etc.

REQUIREMENTS:
• Valid passport (valid for at least 6 months from date of application - passport must have at least two blank pages so visa can be affixed) plus certified copy of information page of the passport.
• 1 visa application form (completed and signed)
• Hotel booking or if accommodated by a private person, a letter of invitation and a copy of their passport. If invitee is non-Egyption, copy of residence, work or study permit as well as proof of address (eg a copy of the lease agreement)
• 2 recent passport size photos (must be in COLOUR on a white background) NO STAPLES permitted. One photo to be glued., the other is to remain loose.
• 3 Months bank statement or HR letter confirming employment
• Valid e-mail address
• Flight itinerary as well as hotel reservation confirmation and return airticket
BUSINESS: Above plus letter of invitation from company in Egypt.  Pax must provide 2 copies of letter from the company indicating  detailed purpose of the trip as well as financial guarantee of the company. 

• Children under the age of 18 travelling alone require a written letter of consent from BOTH parents, certified copies of ID and unabridged birth certificate - to be certified by a Commissioner of Oaths - the same applies if only travelling with one parent. A copy of parents marriage certificate is also required as well as a fully completed Parental Consent Affidavit 
• Group applications : in addition to above mentioned, please provide a list with names, passport numbers and name of hotel or where they will be accommodated.

In addition to the above requirements , additional information may be required by the Embassy.

Visa Processing Time

Tourist and business visas: 21 working days

Visa Validity

30 days from date of entry.

Visa Cost

FREE for South African passport holders.

SA Representative

11 Road 200/203
Degla Maadi
Cairo
Tel: +20 2 2535 3000
Fax: +20 2 2521 3261
E-mail: cairo.admin@dirco.gov.za
E-mail: cairo.consular@foreign.gov.za

Travel Health

Compulsory:  Yellow Fever (Dependant on Country of Origin/Stopover)
Recommended Travel Vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Rabies, Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio