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Visiting Cairo in Egypt

Visiting Cairo is a life changing experience, especially if you have never been to Africa or the Middle East before.
The capital of Egypt is in the midst of those two regions, a city built along the banks of the River Nile and surrounded by the Sahara Desert, where around 25 million people of many creeds and colours live in hectic harmony.

Cairo at Night

It is unlikely that you will find more friendly people in any big city in the world. A real community feeling exists in Cairo and its inhabitants are always very willing to help, even if they don’t speak your language. That said, you will be on the receiving end of many a sales pitch. Anyone who starts talking to you as you enter some of the major sites such as the Pyramids will probably be trying to start a tour for which you will be charged at the end. Be firm and willing to say no if you don’t want a tour. If you decide to have a tour guide or buy anything, make sure that before going you have investigated what prices are acceptable and bargain hard – it is part of the culture and you will be more respected for doing so.

Sahara Desert

Cairo goes on and on – it is a vast city with many different districts. These include Old Cairo where there are awe inspiring mosques and beautiful citadels, as well as the world famous Giza which contains the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids.

Image of the Sphinx in Egypt

Using a car in Cairo is the only way to get about as the city is too huge to walk around and the public transport does not cover all areas. This also saves you having to haggle (and most likely get ripped off) with the local taxis. But only drive here if you are very confident, it is unlike anywhere else in the world in terms of traffic.

Great Pyramids of Egypt

The only rule to driving in Cairo is that there are no rules. Roads usually have between four and eight lanes, or at least they would if anybody paid attention to lanes. Instead drivers weave in and out of the numerous pedestrians and obstacles. Their cars are old enough not to be roadworthy in most countries, not least because few of them have seatbelts. Of course this is not the case with Rhino hire cars which come with air conditioning to combat the desert heat and comprehensive insurance to protect you against any mishaps.
Chloe Demaret
Posted: March 03, 2009 by Chloe Demaret 5 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, social media guru, Chloe keeps our readers and customers up to speed with all the car rental and travel trends on our blog. Favourite destination: Dubai.

Last updated: Monday, September 4, 2017
It was surprising to learn that Cairo is such a huge city. I had this somewhat misguided view of the pyramids being associated with remoteness yet they are so close to the city you can see them from most place in town. Amazing.
3/4/2010 11:43:55 AM
After listening to my brother's stories about his recent trip to Cairo, there is no way known I will get behind the wheel of a car.
3/4/2010 5:27:03 AM
Caitlin Nelson
Wow - that is a completely different view of Cairo than the one that I have heard from friends who have visited. I've heard that harmony can sometimes be hard to find for outsiders in a developing, largely religious city like Cairo, and that women who don't conform to dress codes can be subject to some ill-will. Guess I'll have to go see for myself!
2/18/2010 9:23:55 AM
Amanda Johanssen
Developing countries like Egypt are often very lacking in the road rules department … apart from the rules being, there are no rules ;-). Comprehensive insurance is a must if you are driving somebody else's car, but you need to keep your wits about you too. There's no way to insure your ability to walk, or use insurance to get your life back.
2/17/2010 11:44:21 AM
Really useful info!
3/18/2009 8:00:50 AM