Driving in Egypt is an unforgettable experience. Below is some information that will help you avoid any possible problems and make you aware of what to expect when driving in Egypt.
For many visitors, driving in Egypt is definitely not like “back home” and you will find great congestion in and around the main cities, while Cairo, with the world’s largest population, is particularly busy and often hazardous.
Egyptian drivers use their horns much more often than in other countries and may just be greeting each other while using them. Drivers circulate according to a law unto their own and donkeys and oxen can often be seen walking along the road. Driving in Egypt is therefore not for the faint hearted but if you prefer to keep away from the wheel, many city taxis are available and you will enjoy an exciting ride from the back seat!
Driving on the out of town highways throughout the country is less stressful and, provided you keep your wits about you, it should present few problems. Most traffic going south from Cairo uses a route running along the western shore of the Nile. In recent years a new road along the east bank of the river has been under construction. Although it too is a single lane road, it is less congested and currently it is passable from Cairo to Minya and from Asyut to Luxor.
It is not advisable to drive at night. Cars sometimes just stop on the road and turn out their lights. Donkey carts move very slowly and usually not seen until it is too late, and long distance taxis and overloaded trucks travel too fast.
Petrol stations can be found throughout the country, including Mobil, Esso and Shell offering full services with mini-markets. Fuel is inexpensive and sold by the litre. It is available in 90 octane (tisa'iin) which is super, or 80 (tamaniin), regular. 90 octane is better for most purposes.
Road signs are similar to those used throughout Europe and speed limits are posted on major highways. Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.
Car Hire - Car rental agencies exist at most major hotels. Foreigners must have an International Driver's License and be at least 25 years of age to rent a car in Egypt. Some agencies offer 4x4s, with or without a driver for desert travel. You will need your passport, driver's license, and pre-payment. Credit cards are accepted.
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