Egypt & Red SeaTravel hints



Best time to dive in Egypt
(Last updated April 2017)

The Red Sea is a year-round dive destination with 2 distinctive seasons. During the months of May thought October water temperatures reach a very comfortable 29°C (84°F), with air temperatures hovering around 40°C (105°F). The hottest time is also the busiest time of the year, particularly the school holiday months of July/August. The rest of the year air temperatures drop to more comfortable levels, and some rainfall is expected, while water temperatures drop to rather chilly 20°C (68°F). From October until May many divers bring a 7mm wetsuit with hoods or semi-drysuits.

In Hurghada, on the Sinai and in the southern parts of Egypt a dry desert climate prevails, there is little rain and in mid-summer (July-August) the mercury can rise over 50°C (122°F). However there is almost always a cool breeze which makes the temperatures bearable, especially on and close to water. In winter (Dec - Feb/Mar) it can be chilly at night.
Visa & Passport requirements
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Egypt for the most up-to-date information.

A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for entry into Egypt if you have come from or transited an area where there is a risk of transmission.

Make sure your passport has at least six months validity from your date of arrival in Egypt. Australian, US and most West European passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival for a max. stay of 30 days at a fee of USD 25.00. Please check with your local Egyptian Embassy or Consulate for the most up-to-date visa information.
Special Travel Advisory
We are unable to accept reservations from guests traveling on an Israeli passport due to Egyptian maritime regulations. Due to the political and cultural climate in this destination, travel is also strongly discouraged for guests with last names commonly associated with the Jewish faith and whose passports have a stamp indicating they have travelled to Israel. There is a risk that when the Port Authority is clearing your liveaboard to depart Port Ghalib, travel may be delayed and/or denied by the authorities.
Health
When entering from Europe, no vaccinations are required. In general, Egypt is free of malaria. Diphtheria, polio, hepatitis A and B vaccinations are recommended. You should have also an active immunisation against tetanus.

The standard of medical facilities in Cairo are adequate for routine conditions, but outside of the capital facilities can be very basic.

Decompression chambers are located in Sharm el Sheik, Hurghada, El Gouna and Marsa Alam.

By far the greatest threat to health is sunburn. Give this your most careful attention. Always wear a sunscreen. Sunburn, seasickness, fatigue, coral cuts, fire coral burns, cuts and bruises are health hazards to be anticipated and can be avoided with common sense and care.

Medical kit suggestions
- Analgesic
- Insect repellent
- Anti-seasickness medicine
- Suntan lotion
- Sunblock cream
- Band aids (some large ones)
- Ear Drops alcohol/vinegar based. Daily use will prevent outer ear infections.
- Antibiotic ointment for coral cuts. Please your physician.
Currency
The currency of Egypt is the Egyptian pound. At ATMs and most major banks you get cash easily with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard) or debit card.

Incidental charges can be paid by Visa, Mastercard or cash local currency with most dive resorts and liveaboards. Operators in more remote locations may only accept cash. Some permit fees may only be paid in cash. For credit card payments, service charges will apply.
Departure tax
All departure taxes from Egypt are included in your international flight ticket.
Local time
Egypt has only one time zone, which is 2 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
Language
National language is Arabic. English is spoken in most tourist areas and well understood.
Ramadan
During August/September the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan is observed. During this period all Muslims refrain from eating during day time. For tourists this might result in different service levels and some alcohol restrictions.
Electricity
Standard electricity supply is 220 volts. It is recommended to bring international adapters. Some liveaboards offer 110V outlets.
Certification requirements & dive gear hire
Please remember to bring your certification card with you. All certified divers must present their certification cards in order to dive.

Dive operations in Egypt offer the possibility to hire dive equipment at extra cost. Please email us for advice. Tanks, weights and air fills are included in all cruise packages.

Please note that most Egyptian dive operators have DIN tank fittings. If you have INT fittings on your regulator, make sure you bring an adaptor.
Dive insurance
All dive operators promoted by Diversion Dive Travel adhere to very high standards for safety and equipment. A current Diver Evacuation & Accident cover is recommended for all diving arrangements. For a nominal yearly membership fee, the DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) provides year-round diver evacuation and accident cover. For more details on membership and insurance options, please contact your regional DAN office according to your area of residence:

North America: www.diversalertnetwork.org
Europe: www.daneurope.org
South-East Asia/Australia/Pacific: www.danasiapacific.org
General travel insurance
In view of the heavy cancellation penalties applied to cancelled travel arrangements, Diversion Dive Travel strongly suggest you consider taking out suitable travel insurance at the time of booking. Travel insurance policies are designed to cover losses such as cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances, sudden illness or serious injury whilst abroad, and lost, stolen or damaged baggage and personal items.

Travel Insurance for Australian Residents:
www.diversiondivetravel.com.au/travelinsurance.html
Clothing suggestions
Casual & comfortable clothing including a light jacket is recommended, as evenings can get cool and liveaboards usually keep their airconditioning high in all indoor areas. Please keep sun protection in mind and be advised to respect local customs by not wearing swimsuits, short shorts, or other inappropriate clothing in towns, villages or public places.
Tipping
The Egyptian term for 'tip' is 'Backsheesh'. A 'Backsheesh' will be requested of you from anyone who offers you a service. Egyptians will express their disappointment or comment rudely about the amount of your tip, implying that it is too low. Don't let this affect you; it is simply part of their culture.

A service charge of between 10% and 15% is applied in most restaurants and hotels, to which value-added tax (VAT) and municipal taxes are also added. In other words, the price that you are quoted at a hotel or read on a menu could be almost 25% higher when it comes to paying the bill.

Tipping your liveaboard dive crew is recommended. There are no set rules, give as much as you see fit. If you are unsure, check with the cruise director before settling your bar bill at the end of the trip. It is customary to give the tip to the skipper or cruise director and ask it to be distributed amongst the crew.
Safety
Egypt's Red Sea and South Sinai diving regions, around Hurghada and Marsa Alam, are safe for travel. Current civil unrest and political tension mainly focuses on the capital of Cairo and the Governorate of North Sinai. Before you travel, check with your local Department of Foreign Affairs for advice on the current situation.
Links to more information
The following information is supplied by the foreign affairs section of the relevant country or the tourism authority of the destination. Please check the links for up to date information on visa and safety requirements, embassy and consular contacts, general information:

Australian Travel advice for Egypt
UK travel advisory for Egypt
US travel advisory for Egypt
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