Are you wondering if you need to get vaccinated before traveling to Egypt? Which diseases should you be aware of? What minor illnesses may arise during your trip? Is travel insurance mandatory? These are important health-related questions that we address on this page dedicated to providing you with essential information for your travels.
The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted global tourism in 2020. With Egypt gradually reopening to foreign travelers, prevention measures have been evolving over time. Please note that the entry requirements for the country may differ from what is listed on this page at the time of your trip. To stay informed, we recommend contacting us or consulting your country’s Foreign Health Service to determine whether vaccination is required for entry to Egypt.
The following four Covid-19-related aspects may affect the organization of your trip, as they may be required for visa processing to Egypt:
In addition to the above aspects, it’s crucial to strictly follow pandemic-related recommendations, such as:
It’s important to follow these guidelines regardless of your personal situation, including if you’re already vaccinated, have previously had the disease, or still maintain antibodies in your blood. The emergence of new variants of the coronavirus may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines or antibodies, so it’s recommended to act responsibly at all times.
Egypt’s proximity to sub-Saharan African countries, uneven hygiene conditions among the population, and the presence of wild and exotic fauna in certain regions have historically led to the prevalence of some diseases among the population. Therefore, certain vaccines are recommended for travelers to Egypt, and one of them is mandatory in some cases.
Yellow fever is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, which can cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin), fever, fatigue, muscle pain, and headaches. In severe cases, it can lead to hemorrhages and death.
While yellow fever is extremely rare in Egypt, as the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are not present in the country, they are found in neighboring countries to the south, such as Sudan.
Therefore, of all the vaccines mentioned on this page for traveling to Egypt, the yellow fever vaccine is the only one that is mandatory. However, this applies only to travelers coming from countries where the disease is endemic or when a prolonged stopover has been made at an airport located in those countries.
Tuberculosis is a respiratory infection that can spread through close contact with an infected person or sometimes through dairy products. While the disease is present in Egypt, it is not as widespread as in other African countries. Vaccination is not required to travel to Egypt, and in the unlikely event of contracting the disease, there are effective medications available for its treatment.
You can consider other vaccines to travel to Egypt, regarding certain documented diseases in the country. But they are not mandatory in any case. In addition, some of them may already be inoculated as they are part of the mandatory vaccination schedule in your country of origin, without the need for booster doses.
In any case, we recommend that you consult your own medical history, and for informational purposes, we show you these other possible vaccines to travel to Egypt, classified as “Generally recommended” and “Recommended in special situations” by the Spanish Association of Vaccinology:
Although the risk of contracting the previously mentioned illnesses is low, there are other minor illnesses that travelers may encounter during their trip to Egypt. These illnesses may impact the overall travel experience negatively. Here are some common minor illnesses and tips to prevent them:
One of the most common health-related risks that tourists face when traveling to Egypt is intestinal problems caused by water or food poisoning. Even a slight change in diet can cause a health imbalance in anyone, and if we add a sudden change in the food or water consumed, the risk of suffering from such imbalances increases.
Typical symptoms of these imbalances include stomach pain, diarrhea, or vomiting. Rest and stomach antiseptics can help alleviate these symptoms, and it is recommended to carry such medication or purchase it from a nearby pharmacy. However, if the symptoms persist after three days and/or are accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, it is advisable to visit a specialist to rule out a more severe problem such as dysentery.
The best preventive measure is to drink bottled water at all times, especially in areas where the water quality is questionable. While it may not always be feasible to have a bottle on hand, it is recommended to carry water purifying solutions to purify tap water. Although the population in Cairo and other large cities drink tap water regularly, it is still wise to be cautious. As for food, one should rely on their instincts and avoid restaurants and places that do not meet acceptable hygiene standards.
If you travel with Egipto Exclusivo, you can rest assured about the latter, as we take our clients to local restaurants where hygiene is a top priority. We have been doing this for years and have received positive feedback from our clients.
As explained in the Egypt Climate page and in each destination guide, temperatures in this country can be very high, especially during the hottest months and in the central hours of the day. This is compounded by intense sun exposure, caused by the low cloud cover typical of the desert and the absence of shaded areas in archaeological sites.
Therefore, two adverse health effects can result from this. The first is heat stroke, which can manifest as dizziness, headaches, tiredness, or even vomiting. The second, more serious, is sunstroke, which involves a disruption in the body’s cooling mechanism, making it unable to generate sweat. This can result in a loss of consciousness and should be treated immediately by a specialist.
To prevent both adversities, it is important to continuously hydrate yourself more than you usually do in your home country. You should also cover your head at all times, either with a cap, a hat, a Bedouin-style scarf, or even a hijab or veil in the case of women. A hand fan can also be useful, an accessory that was already used in Ancient Egypt.
In addition, it is recommended to organize your day so that you avoid spending the central hours of the day visiting sites in full sun. It is preferable to visit outdoor monuments and sites very early in the morning or at night, as there are numerous light and color shows in them. From midday and after lunch, it will be better to visit an air-conditioned museum, remain in your vehicle with the air conditioning on, take a dip in the pool or the beach, or retire to rest, as the local population does.
The intensity of the sun’s rays in Egypt can be extremely high, especially during midday in the southern part of the country where the sun falls vertically. It should be remembered that, for example, in Aswan the latitude is 24º N. This puts your skin at risk of sunburn even with short exposure.
In addition, the desert sand’s reflective capacity, combined with the low cloud cover and southern latitude, increases the risk of ultraviolet radiation. The UV index is typically “very high” (from 8 to 10) or “extremely high” (above 10) between April and September throughout the country and almost year-round in the southernmost destinations.
To avoid these problems, it is essential to take protective measures. For sunburn, use a high SPF sunscreen (SPF 50), even if you have dark skin, and cover your arms with lightweight, cotton fabric.
To protect your eyes, wear sunglasses with a high protection index (index 4) that are polarized to block horizontal or reflected rays from surfaces like the sea or Nile River.
Egypt’s fauna includes many exotic species that are nonexistent in other parts of the world. While these species often generate interest among travelers, it’s important to take basic precautions as they can pose a threat to health.
Mosquitoes are a common insect in warm and humid places, such as the banks of the Nile River or coastal environments. Although their bites are annoying and can become infected, they generally do not lead to more serious diseases in Egypt, unless the affected person has some type of allergy. The most “aggressive” ones are sandflies, which are found on Mediterranean beaches.
It should be noted that despite its name, there is no incidence of West Nile virus in Egypt, a disease transmitted by insects. This disease was identified and researched in the mid-twentieth century, and outbreaks have occurred in humans in southern Europe, but not in Egypt. Also, yellow fever, which is caused by mosquito bites, does not originate in Egypt but in nearby sub-Saharan African countries.
For all these cases, the main precaution is to apply a good mosquito repellent to the skin or clothing and carry creams to relieve bites if they occur.
Finally, we include here the most wild animals for knowledge rather than real risk, since unless you enter remote places, you should not have problems in this regard. They include a variety of snakes, some of them poisonous, such as the famous Egyptian cobra (or Cleopatra’s asp), and the mythical Nile crocodile, abundant and sacred in Ancient Egypt but now relegated to the shores of Lake Nasser.
When it comes to medical infrastructure in Egypt, private hospitals and healthcare centers generally offer good conditions, although the cost of treatment or intervention can be high. However, public hospitals are often limited in their ability to treat complex conditions.
Pharmacies in Egypt are usually well-stocked with medications, and their staff is accustomed to serving foreign travelers in English, providing good service.
It’s important to note that boats that cruise the Nile River typically don’t have hospitals or doctors on board, and only higher-end ones may have a nursing room with basic medical equipment and supplies.
While not mandatory, travel insurance is highly recommended when visiting Egypt. It provides peace of mind and helps you deal with unexpected health-related issues, such as medical treatments or surgeries. Additionally, travel insurance can be useful for security-related issues like theft or accidents if you plan to drive.
It’s important to carefully read the coverage included in the policy as they can vary greatly from company to company. Some policies may require certain vaccinations prior to travel, while others may have a deductible or limit on hospital interventions, ambulance care, and transportation.
It’s worth noting that Egypt is accustomed to receiving millions of visitors each year, and the majority do not experience any problems. However, having travel insurance can help you deal with any issues that do arise.
At Egipto Exclusivo, we plan trips with all the necessary guarantees and the ability to react to any eventuality. All of our trips include insurance that covers cancellation costs and medical attention, among other things. If there is a COVID-19 alert during your trip, we offer special coverage to help you face any risks, such as quarantine in your destination.
If you need more information on this issue, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help!