Useful Hints

Photo: Some places it will cost you an extra fee to use photo or video cameras. It is LE 5 or 10 for the photo and LE 20-30 for the video. You shall ask for photo or video ticket at the cashier where you buy your entrance ticket.

In Egypt you can take excellent photos even with the simplest, fix focused cameras but if you are a photo-guru with a camera equipped with everything under the sun, you will find your challenge. Every kind of object lens with any zoom will find its job to do. For outdoor sites in daylight, rolls of ASA 50-100 are recommended. Inside the monuments, you will often find yourself - and your camera - in half-light or darkness so films of ASA 400 or faster are recommended. It does make sense to take two cameras with you. For outdoor pictures, you are suggested to use UV-filter or polar filter. The use of tripod is seldom allowed, and sometimes charged for extra fee. It is strictly PROHIBITED to use flash inside the monuments since it can cause serious damage on the wall paintings. The local guards may encourage you to use it while they look to the other side for some ‘baksheesh’ but we kindly ask you not to accept this opportunity. It is worth taking film with you; the quality and expiry date of the products locally available can not be guaranteed. You can have the photos developed in the most populated places but you had better bring the rolls and have them developed at home. During winter and spring you have to pay extra attention to the protection and cleaning of your cameras since the sandstorms can make terrible damage on the machines. Don’t leave the fluid cleaning set at home! You will need it! During the summer time the extreme heat and strong sunlight endangers your cameras. Pay attention on the necessary protection! Sometimes I experienced that the shutter, the auto-focus or the film feeder had not worked properly because of overheating. If you intend to take a sophisticated camera with you, which used rarely, it is definitely recommended to have it cleaned by an expert before leaving for Egypt. You depend on the proper function of the shutter and the lens moving mechanism.

Video

When you enter to Egypt, at the customs they register your video camera by its serial number. Be sure to have it at hand. It is no use to smuggle the camera in, the registration is for your safety. (Literally, they register the make and serial number to your passport, so if anything happens, you will have it.)

You can use it with or without extra fee on most of the places, but some sites you cannot even enter with your camera (e.g. Valley of the Kings) - the safekeeping is reliable. Have enough battery with you, you probably won’t have difficulties in charging them at the accommodation. Most kind of cassettes is available in souvenir shops for a fair price and you don’t have to worry about the quality. Use UV-, sky- or ND-filter, but don’t panic if you have none of these. In case of video cameras, it is even more essential to have heat protection and your cleaning set at hand.

Photo themes are plenty, but you have to count with some restrictions. The natives don’t like to be photographed but this reluctance disappears if you show them some baksheesh of LE 1 or 2 (don’t give more!). If somebody is volunteer to be a photo-subject with our without his camel that will always cost you money!

In the Valley of the Kings, the photo-ticket is valid only for one tomb. Think twice which one you’ll choose. Well ... you can take photos without ticket. The guard will be happy to accept your baksheesh.

There are some military-areas all through Egypt where it is strictly prohibited to use zoom lenses or video (e.g. Aswan High Dam) but this restriction changes time to time.

(All technical descriptions are brought to you by Born. This Born-boy knows something about it! – ESzAH’s remark.)

Egyptian phone card - valid for international calls from Communication Centres.Phone Card: LE 30 (It is enough for 3-4 “I’m fine” - calls.) More companies issue phone cards but these fit into only the phones of that company. You can identify the phones by their colour. (The card on the picture is OK for international calls, but you can use it on Communication Centres only, from the yellow   public phones.)

Cellular phone: You can use it only in Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and on the most densely populated parts of the Valley and sea-side. Ask for availability and charges at your local mobile phone provider.

It's a line.

Back to links Previous page Next page To top