Messages for U.S. Citizens
Security Message to U.S. Citizens No. 46: Incidents at the Giza Pyramids
In recent weeks, the U.S. Embassy has become aware of an increasing number of incidents at or near the Giza Pyramids. The majority of these incidents are attributed to over-aggressive vendors, though the degree of aggressiveness in some cases is closer to criminal conduct. Other more serious incidents have been reported involving vehicles nearing the Pyramids, with angry groups of individuals surrounding and pounding on the vehicles – and in some cases attempting to open the vehicle’s doors. While the motive is less clear (possibly related to carriage operators wanting fares), it has severely frightened several visitors. A common theme from many of these reports is the lack of visible security or police in the vicinity of the Pyramids. 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. Though other tourist locations have not been brought to Embassy attention, these measures are also recommended at all crowded or popular tourist sites.
Tahrir Square and the Sadat Metro stop remain off-limits to Embassy personnel. Additionally, Simon Bolivar Square is also an area that receives little, if any, direct police coverage and has been an area frequented by gangs who throw rocks or molotovs at police beyond the barricades, vandalize property in the square, or target individuals for robbery.
As a matter of general practice, U.S. citizens should avoid areas where large gatherings may occur. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens in Egypt are urged to monitor local news reports and to plan their activities accordingly.
The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens to review their personal security plans and remain alert to their surroundings at all times in Egypt. For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information for Egypt,Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts, can be found. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside of the United States and Canada, on a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
U.S. citizens are advised to maintain valid travel documents and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy Cairo through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website. If you enroll we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements and can also help your family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
For further information, U.S. citizens may call the Embassy’s American Citizens Services Unit at 2797-2301 during business hours, Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Please refer to the American Citizens Services Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/USEmbassyCairo. For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens can contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard at 2797-3300. The Embassy is located at 5 Tawfik Diab Street (formerly known as Latin America Street), Garden City, Cairo.