It was the early 1990’s, a magazine cover with The Great Sphinx was resting on a table. The photograph carried me away into the mystery of ancient Egypt. Closing my eyes, I could see humans gazing at the sunset while planning the location for this ancient tomb site. People that possessed secret codes that unlock super powerful human knowledge and potential.
A dream was born. It would be my destiny to visit Egypt one day.
SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN EGYPT
Being a solo female traveler, who is planning a trip to Islamic country, makes you a target for gender related conversation. Many people believe it is not safe for a woman to travel alone into the Islamic world. I’m well versed in topics like gender discrimination. A step back in time, I was a playful 12-year-old girl, hanging upside down in a tree that loved to play baseball. My Great Uncle approached shaking his head and waving his finger yelling at me, ”When are you gonna stop playing baseball and start wearing makeup.”
These kinds of moments shape a young girl’s life. The first book that I ever read was The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. I was determined to become a strong, fearless and independent female. I would embrace my female warrior energy by never allowing a patriarchal society to dominate my thoughts or actions. This was the moment the idea of Wanderess Bleu was born.
After an apprentice in Shamanism and finishing a graduate program in Psychology, I embarked on a journey around the world in search of meaning. I had to work through my own fears and false beliefs to finally access the courage to complete my dream of visiting The Great Pyramids and Great Sphinx. In recent years, media reports discouraged travelers visiting Egypt, especially an American female solo traveler.
Part of my journey, was learning how to trust the universe and my own ability to overcome any challenges traveling alone including loneliness, fear, uncertainty and anything else that can happen. One day, I woke up and impulsively bought a ticket to the Middle East. The plan was 4 countries including a visit Cairo.
Well intentioned family and friends were seriously concerned about my safety. Many were determined to convince me to cancel the visit to Cairo. My curious nature was the motivation to investigate these fears. What I learned is that many people possess the belief that a woman is not safe traveling alone.
Being a thoughtful person, I took all these fears into consideration. However, I didn’t cancel the trip to Egypt. Just like I didn’t stop playing baseball at my Great Uncle’s request, (although I do love wearing mascara these days!) But there were a few changes that were necessary to ensure my ultimate safety.
The original plan was bus from Tel Aviv to Eilat. Then drive 8 hours crossing the Taba border into Egypt. I discovered that this specific region was active with extremist activity. When people say, “it is not safe to visit Egypt,” they are using a very broad statement. It’s more accurate to say, “It may not be safe to travel in the Sinai Peninsula region due to extremist activity, but Cairo is a major metropolitan city and safe to visit.”
So I decided to fly from Israel to Egypt using a phantom airline. After carefully researching Cairo tour operators, I hired Egypt Tailor Made for a private solo tour. The owner, Walid Fathy, was incredibly responsive to my emails. We had a candid conversation about safety, and he expressed a genuine concern for my feelings and took the time to discuss this topic until I felt safe.
USING A TOUR COMPANY FOR CAIRO
The tour included pick up from airport, assistance in obtaining a visa and very knowledgeable Egyptologist named, Jemi, to teach me about this ancient world. We stopped at a restaurant, Abo Tarik, and ate a delicious authentic Egyptian meal called Koshary, while cruising down The Nile River watching the sunset. After this experience, we explored the old Islamic markets for shopping, talking with local Muslims and getting a unique glimpse into Islam. My favorite part of the night was a relaxing stroll in the nearby markets, while a local mosque played a light show during Islamic Prayer Calling. The total tour cost about $120 dollars and lasted about 6 hours.
I had been staying in 12 bed hostel room during my backpacking journey, I needed a break from shared co-ed bathroom scene. So, I decided to treat myself to privacy and comfort at the Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Heliopolis.
I had tears running down my face as I climbed The Great Pyramid. I was proud of the woman that I had become, because I fought hard to become her. Visiting Egypt as a solo female traveler fulfilled every childhood dream. This was a defining moment to inspire global female empowerment. My only regret was not staying longer. I would like to return to Egypt again soon!
I hope this post has inspired you to travel to Egypt and to travel solo as a woman, please share you own tips for the country with our readers in the comments below.
Do you want to share your own travel tips by guest writing for We Are Travel Girls? Please visit our Contribute page for guidelines and to submit your article.
Our Top Places To Stay In Cairo, Egypt
- Safir Hotel Cairo
- Fairmont Nile City
- Marriott Mena House
- Radisson Blu Hotel Cairo Heliopolis
- Find the best price on hotels in Cairo, Egypt
- Sign up to AirBnB with this link and receive a US $35 off your first booking
- 8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Egypt In 2018
- My Experience Taking A Tour Through Egypt
- 10 Must Do Experiences In Dubai
- First Timers Guide To Petra, Jordan
- 9 Tips For Visiting The Sheikh Zayed Mosque
We Are Travel Girls Contributor Melissa Rondeau of WanderessBleu.com
Connect with Melissa Facebook | Instagram | Twitter
Pin For Later
This website is a free resource and to keep it free for our readers we may use affiliate links in our articles. If you make a purchase via the links on our site you will pay the same price, but we may receive a small percentage which helps us to keep bringing you new and informative travel content every day! Any products we endorse we personally use and love. Please see our Disclosures for more information.
Wow! I want to visit Egypt so badly, but I’m nervous and my parents would absolutely hate it. Your trip looks amazing though. How many nights did you spend there? Did you have any experiences there that felt off or getting more towards the unsafe side? I’m so jealous you took the plunge and I admire you for it!
Hi Jackie, I was nervous and my friends and family tried to talk me out of going. I spent several nights. Nothing happened that made me feel unsafe. Cairo is a major metropolitan city and somewhat “westernized”, it felt similar to life in the United States. I explored the old Islamic markets at night with a guide and that was safe! Thank you for your kind words, I’d highly suggest choosing faith over fear and book a trip!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting Jackie – pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading Melissa’s post!
We Are Travel Girls says
This is such an inspirational post Melissa! Thanks for sharing your life and experience in Egypt with us! My mom use to talk about how visiting Egypt was one of the most amazing travel experiences of her life. I have been wanting to go forever but was worried it was not safe. After reading this I realize only parts of Egypt are not safe and if I am cautious and plan things properly I can finally visit the pyramids like my mom! – Vanessa Rivers, WATG Co-Founder
Thank you Vanessa for this opportunity to share my story! While trip planning, I was unable to find any stories similar to this post discussing solo female travel to Cairo. By sharing my experience, I hope it inspires more women to fulfill all travel dreams!
I LOVED this post!! I would absolutely love to visit Cairo and the Pyramids. This resonated with me so much. Egypt was perhaps the first place I added to my bucket list, way back in the 6th grade when we studied ancient Egyptian culture in school. I remember finding it so fascinating, and thought it was so cool you could go to Egypt and actually see the pyramids today. Thank you for the beautiful post :) I’m definitely going pop over to your blog for more!
Thank you for sharing that comment!! It’s comforting to read that another woman, like yourself, can relate a desire to explore ancient places from a young age. When I finally did make it to Egypt the experience didn’t disapoint but actually created more desire to return again. Thank you for popping over to check out my blog (its getting revamped soon) it has content with substance! Hope you make it to Egypt soon.. ??✨✈️
I can’t thank you enough for this post!!! I have a solo trip planned to the UAE later this year and contemplated adding Egypt to my itinerary, but was scared to travel there alone. After reading this post, I have made the decision to go. Thank you thank you thank you for inspiring me, and for giving me the courage to fufill a dream of seeing the Sphinx and the pyramids!!!
We Are Travel Girls says
Thank you so much for reading and commenting Victoria! I am really excited to hear that this post has helped to inspire you to fulfil your dream of travelling to Egypt – have a wonderful time! XO, Becky
You are most welcome to Egypt
Hey! I am heading there as a solo female traveller. Is it really as dangerous in terms of harassment as everyone says?
Hi, we just got back from Egypt literally 2 days ago, we’ve been there for almost a month, visiting Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Hurghada and Alexandria. Good to see your post and good to see that you went. This was my second visit, my first was as a solo woman back in 1999, not really solo because I opted for a group tour ( with Explore) and in the process met my husband. This time we were taking the kids. As you say, Sinai is still not a good idea, so we stayed in the main tourist areas. We didn’t feel any need to take a tour or guide, although buses and trains were often difficult to track down. I think as a woman I’d feel absolutely safe wandering about by day ( and did, through villages, along the Nile etc.) I’d be selective about hotels and either go up-market as you did or use places with a great reputation, we used a great little guest house next to the Sphinx with an older owner who looked after us extremely well. I’d avoid taxis, mostly because they’re so dangerous and terrifying and go with the bigger tourist people carriers and mini buses. Dress…normal rules, long trousers, modest tops, no need to cover your head although I do to keep the sun off. There are plenty of Coptic Christians in Egypt and they go uncovered. I think generally I’d feel safer there than I would in India, but all up, as a solo traveller, group tours are generally fun, but going independent this time we saw much, much more and connected more with the country. There’s lots more on our website (https://worldtravelfamily.com/egypt-travel-blog-guide/ ) about other destinations in Egypt and the problems we faced. I’m still writing it up, it was a great trip but not an easy one. Very glad you went, they need their tourists back and I was really touched by the Egyptian people. Shared to our Egypt board on Pinterest.
We Are Travel Girls says
Hi Alyson. Thank you so much for sharing so much detailed information and tips about Egypt with our readers, we a really appreciate your sharing your insights! We will be sure to check out your blog too! XO, Becky
I have just came back from a short week in Egypt. It was a dream as well and I was a little bit nervous regarding the attention I would get from men as a solo woman. I booked a guide for my entire week and I think it was the best choice considering that most places visited in Luxor and Aswan were empty and because the history is so great and huge that you need someone to explain you what you are visiting.
My guide was very knowledgeable but I still feel like it took me to those tourist traps papyrus/alabaster/perfume. I didn’t feel the experience was really genuine during those times and I somehow felt uncomfortable. I get it that he gets commission but it didn’t feel quiet right for me.
My big concern during all that time was the Egyptian guys. I have traveled to other middle eastern countries but Egypt was the only one were I didn’t feel like talking to any man. I think it was emphasize by the fact that on my first day, my guide was a little too friendly on a picture he took of us. I think he felt how pissed I was as he never did it again. Thus, it made me realized that you never can be too opened if you are a woman traveling alone, even with your guide. And by opened, the only thing I could have probably done was smiling at the beauty of the architecture of the temples. I also felt that as a solo woman traveling, you are never taken too seriously by men in this country.
Oh and funny thing. I never ate outside of the hotel but still managed to get a stomach infection that it still following me :( I guess the the Pharaohs curse xD
Overall Egypt was great, I’m happy to have seen with my eyes all of those amazing places, but i think you have to go there with an open mind. Egypt is not the UAE were you can walk alone at night and no one will bother you.
Ahmed Fayed @ JakadaToursEgypt says
Thanks so much for the awesome information.
I’ve used to plan trips and private guided vacations to Egypt. Let me start off by saying that you’ve covered many interesting points on that article. I enjoyed reading your experience up there.
Your experience at Abo tTarik exceeded my expectations for foreigners visiting Egypt because many are thinking like outside restaurants are not so good. And I agree with you that restaurants here are so good and delicious.
All the best for you!
We Are Travel Girls says
Thanks for reading and commenting Ahmed, pleased to hear that you found this post useful!
Thank you so much for the article and all comments. I am in the middle of booking flight for my first travel around the world in 2018. I was very stressed before buying my flight to Cairo, but thanks of you , all lovely girls, I did it! I am going there alone next May and I can not wait !!greetings.
Becky van Dijk says
Thanks for reading Eliza! So great to hear that you will be heading to Egypt. Its also lovely to hear that you found inspiration from this article! Have a wonderful trip – we cannot wait to see the pictures!
Hi! I am 44 years old and I am going to travel to Egypt (Cairo) with my two daugthers 12 and 15 years old in November. I have solo traveled before in Europe (which I know is very safe) but mostly stayed with friends. Now I want to take it farther, go to Egypt but I am nervous specially because I am taking my daughters and I know nobody. We have been world schooling in Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, France, UK and Ireland these past months so our next step is Egypt!!!! I have always dreamed of going. I am on a very low budget and I found a Chinese girl who will rent me her Airbnb flat at a reasonable price for me for a month and then I want us to go to Hurghada for another month to another Airbnb. Am safe doing it in this way? I can’t afford hotels and I don’t like hostals plus I feel safer if my host can help me out. I plan to do all sightseeing on our own with no guides. Any tips or advices? I haven’t booked airplane tickets yet honestly I am hesitant but I don’t want fear to get to me. Help me out girls.
We Are Travel Girls says
Hi Lila, thank you for reading – its exciting to hear that you will be heading to Egypt next year. This article was actually written by one of our contributors Melissa Rondeau of WanderessBleu.com perhaps you can contact her directly to get some more opinions and views to help with your planning. Thanks, Becky – Founder, We Are Travel Girls
Thanks for the post. I am going to Egypt as part of a tour group for Christmas. I was hesitating as I am a female solo traveller but I think I get the gist that it is safe and doable as long as we know what we are doing.
We Are Travel Girls says
Pleased that you found this post helpful. Like with many countries, I think planning your trip, researching the places you will stay and how you will travel all add to your safety and security. Make sure you are wise and do your research and you should have a wonderful time. Enjoy the trip, Egypt is beautiful! Becky – Founder, We Are Travel Girls
I’m interested to know what tour group you booked, and your experience. I’m trying to do a solo (female) trip as well.
Ahmed El Tayeb says
Hello, to all, I’m Ahmed from Egypt (Nubian Egyptian) 35 Yrs old and I’ll be happy to help any of who’s want to visit Egypt, for sure I’ll help for free because I’m one of who’s have Jealous for his country, I’ll just guide you via email or even whatsapp cuz it’s more safety for every one, no need to meet face to face, if any one have any question I’ll answer with full info.
We Are Travel Girls says
Hi Ahmed! Thanks for reading and commenting! X, Vanessa Rivers, Founder – We Are Travel Girls
Your post is lovely i have traveled to Cairo solo twice myself. I was fortunate to have a friend with a lovely family that were willing to give me a tour .The first time I was their two weeks and the second I rented a flat for a month because I wanted to experience the culture and people in depth.I was treated with great respect.As in all travel you should use precautions and show respect for the culture .If you can go its wonderful .Happy traveling fellow Lady adventures..
Christina Holthuis says
Please don’t write that the Sinai Peninsula is or may not be safe. The problems are in North Sinai, which is hundreds of kilometers away from the tourist destinations Sharm and Dahab. I’ve been living in Dahab alone for 1.5 years now and it’s really hard for the locals because everyone talks about Sinai in general instead of North Sinai. You make it sound like Sinai is not safe, which isn’t true. It’s much safer than Cairo actually.