Egypt has seen massive change in the revolutionary period since January 2011 and even today in 2014 it remains in transition. Tourism has suffered hugely in Egypt and especially in South Sinai, whose image is tarnished by the instability in North Sinai. Without tourism – or income – many hotels, cafes and other local businesses have closed down and some that were good when the book was researched may now be suffering and in need of a makeover. Public transport schedules always vary but even these have become more variable since the revolution. We will post important updates here when we have them. If you see anything you think needs updating please CONTACT US and let us know!
The winds of change are blowing through 2014 – updates below.
– One month tourist visas to Egypt are now US$25. Available ON ARRIVAL at any airport.
– To renew your visa in the Sinai it now takes THREE WORKING DAYS (so think two separate trips of several hundred kilos). You have to go to the visa office in El Tur with a photocopy of your passport ID page and last visa. You fill in some paperwork, leave it all with them. Then return after three working days to get the extension stamp in your passport.
– Wadi Feiran is closed to foreign tourists at the moment. Meaning various treks can’t officially be done. Travel through the wadi in private cars is also banned. To get to St Katherine from the Gulf of Suez in a private car you now have to go all the way around the Sinai, via Sharm and Dahab on the Gulf of Aqaba. Conversely, if you’re using the East Delta Bus from Cairo, everything’s fine. Foreigners can travel on the bus through Wadi Feiran no problems. It’s inconsistent, poorly thought out and bad for tourists AND local people. The sooner it changes, the better.
– The bus from Cairo to St Katherine/ St Katherine to Cairo via Wadi Feiran costs LE65. And just to re-state, you ARE allowed to use this bus as a foreigner.
– For when you CAN hike again in Wadi Feiran, daily guide costs have rocketed up from LE200 to LE300. Mostly because the locals are trying to recoup lost income since the closure.