Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » Trending News

Egypt Pyramids Warning: U.S. Embassy Warns Tourists of Overly Aggressive Vendors Near the Famous Giza Site

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Jun 04, 2013 10:39 AM EDT

Text Size: A A A

Great Pyramid
The U.S. Embassy has issued a travel warning for tourists visiting the pyramids of Egypt.(Photo : Wikimedia)

Vendors working near Egypt's famed pyramids have become aggressive and violent in their attempts to earn business, according to witnesses who frequent the tourist spot and spoke to USA Today.

A warning has been issued by the U.S. Embassy about the increasing number of incidents that have occurred in the area surrounding the pyramids, as vendors try to cope with difficult economic times. Some of the vendors are approaching criminal conduct, according to the embassy.

"U.S. citizens should elevate their situational awareness when traveling to the pyramids, avoid any late evening or night travel, utilize a recommended or trusted guide, and closely guard valuables," reads a security message on the embassy's website last week. While that is good general travel advice, it's more serious under the current conditions in Egypt.

Share This Story

The ancient pyramid complex is located approximately an hour outside of Cairo. Visitors are experiencing Egyptians vendors who surround tourist vehicles and pound on them, in what the embassy calls an effort to pressure visitors to ride in their horse-drawn carriages. Some more extreme situations have involved angry vendors trying to force the vehicle doors open, which frightens visitors.

The minister of antiquities for Egypt, Ahmed Eissa, insists that the Giza pyramid complex is still safe for visitors, saying that his office hasn't received any complaints, and neither have the tourism police, according to Egyptian newspaper reports.

Tourists returning from a trip to the pyramids have a different story.

"It's a new level of frightening," Graham Harman, an associate provost for research administration and professor of philosophy at the American University in Cairo.

Vendors began the intimidating practices about six months after the revolution of 2011. Even when tourists enter the gates surrounding the complex, they aren't free of harassment. Vendors selling a variety of goods services, including camel rides, horse jaunts or souvenirs, pressure visitors to make purchases where the prices have been artificially raised, and some vendors are more aggressive and demand payment for nothing.

Harman is originally from Iowa, but has lived in Egypt for the past 13 years, and says that in the current climate, he wouldn't advise anyone to go without an organized tour after the experience he had with his wife in March. His wife was harassed, and the police asked her for money. Tourists are left in an environment of corruption and bribery.

"This was something new," Harman said. "People were much more aggressive."

After the revolution, Egypt elected an Islamist government, but it hasn't resulted in economic improvements, with unemployment remaining high and income remaining low.

Ayman Hussein, who works for a travel agency is Aswan, a city in Upper Egypt near a set of ancient temples, said tourism has been dropping by more than half since before the uprising in 2011.

"Please tell people, come to Upper Egypt," Hussein said. "It's very hard."

In regard to the dangers tourists are facing near the pyramids, Hussein is dismissive of the distant tourist attraction.

"We love the tourists," he said. "Don't worry about this."

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Blogs help you keep your family and friends updated.

So You Want to Write a Travel Blog? A Guide

So you do want to write a travel blog? Do not worry, it is not as hard as it seems. There are a few things, however, that you should keep in mind while creating, writing, and keeping up your blog. Here is a helpful guide to get you started.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines Loses Dog, Owner Left Clueless: Should He Sue Delta For Misplacing 'Very Precious Cargo?'

Delta Airlines loses dog after misplacing the dog owner's precious cargo on one of its recent flights. Now the owner is upset since he is left clueless by the airlines on what really happened to his pet.

columbus farmers market veggies

Columbus Farmers Market Fire: Spectacular Blaze Fueled By High Winds Severely Damages Sprawling Building In Burlington County

Strong winds fueled a growing flame leading to severe damages to a sprawling building at Columbus Farmers Market.

See pandas up close and personal at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

Up Close and Personal with Giant Pandas: Chengdu is Calling

Settled in Southwest China is the city of Chengdu. It has lots of beautiful gardens and structures, but what it is most well known for is the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding. The research base is just outside the city center and gives tourists a chance to see giant pandas up close in a truly unique way.

Massive Delays, All Flights Halted At Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports due to air traffic control fire

Chicago Plane Crash 2014: Pilot Dies, Elderly Couple Miraculously Survive, What Led To Crash?

Chicago plane crash 2014 – Shortly after taking off at the Midway Airport Tuesday morning, a twin-engine cargo plane had crashed at the Southwest Side home. The plane's driver has been confirmed dead while the residents of the home, being an elderly couple, had miraculously survived.

Thai royal flag

Thai Radio Host Jailed: Five-Year Prison Sentence For Monarch Defamation, No Room For Appeal In Military Court?

A Thai radio host jailed recently was put behind bars for five years due to royal defamation, according to his lawyer Tuesday. The Thai radio host jailed is reportedly one of the first sentences passed by a military court for breaching the Lese Majeste Law since a May coup.

Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay: Fake Reservations At New Restaurant Are Part Of Rival's 'Sabotage' Plan

Gordon Ramsay got fake reservations in his restaurant and they were apparently from his rival restaurant.

Holiday Getaway

Why You Should Head To Europe For Your Next Holiday Getaway!

Thinking of traveling this Thanksgiving and Christmas season? But afraid spending much too much over your next last-minute getaway? Here are some of the best tips to follow if you intend to save much while enjoying the perfect European holiday getaway.

New York Pot Arrests

New York Pot Arrests: New Policy Promotes Summonses Instead Of Arrests Since Officers Want To Focus On Other Crimes

New York pot arrests are going to be different this time around after a few changes on the city's marijuana policy have been made.

USS Ross Sailors Attacked By Turkey Youth Union In Istanbul

USS Ross Sailors Attacked By Turkish Mob In Istanbul, Bags Placed Over Heads?

USS Ross sailors attacked by about 20 political activists happened in Istanbul Wednesday. Members of the Turkish Youth Union hurled objects at them, chased the three men and at one point, placed a bag over one of the heads of the USS Ross sailors attacked.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics