As Sharm-el-Sheikh has grown the need to travel around has grown as well. In the old days when the only tourist area was Nama Bay there was little need for anything more than walking. The area of Sharm-el-Sheikh now stretches over 40Km and makes the need for taxis to get around. The minimum cost of a taxi is now 10LE
You can get around in Nama Bay by walking, but in the summer you must take it slow as the heat is very oppressive, in the winter it can be a pleasant stroll. It is possible to rent scooters, but please be careful as the driving over in Sharm works on a who dares wins
There are numerous companies offering rental. For a small car it will cost approx. $50 per day with 100km included. Then any extra km at about $0.20 It is also possible to rent either a little scooter or a motorbike. I don’t know the cost at present.
WARNING: riding or driving around Sinai is easy for navigation but dangerous especially at night. The road surface (ie. pot holes, gravel) can be common. The drivers tend to have a habit of driving with no lights and then putting the lights on full beam when they are 50m ahead of you (don’t ask me why, as I haven’t got a clue!). There is also a tendency for the vehicle in front to either stop (with no brake lights) or change direction (no indicators) without giving a thought to any other road user. It works on a ‘Who dares wins’ or a ‘who is biggest wins’ basis. So beware!!
Airplane; There are internal flights available to and from Cairo which leaves about 08:00, you would have to check with Egypt Air as the schedule changes often.
Train; These are only available along the Nile, there is no railway in the Sinai. If you are traveling along the Nile then buy a first class ticket, unless you really want to have a traveling experience to remember!
Bus: The buses are a cheap way to get around. There are about 8 buses a day to Cairo from Sharm, this is a trip of about 6 hours covering 500km. Popular buses are the night ones which gets you to Cairo first thing in the morning. They cost 55LE for a ticket. There are also regular buses to Dahab, Nuweiba, St Catherine’s, Suez and Taba.
Ferry: There is a ferry between Hurghada and Sharm. This runs on a very variable schedule, with a catamaran which takes about 90 minutes or the ferry which takes about 6 hours. There is a ferry from Nuweiba to Aqaba which leaves at 11:00 and 18:00, again patience is required to handle the flexible timetable.
Taxi: This is the main way of getting around, with a minimum charge of 10LE this covers most journeys around Sharm. It is also used to travel longer distances but then you must sort out the price before starting the journey. The technique is to not mention the amount if the journey is around Sharm. Then when you arrive, just get out and pay them 10LE. (If you have to ask the price then you don’t know the price and they will charge what they can!!)
Approx cost of a taxi to Nama Bay
|Coral Bay area
|Hadaba / Um Sidd
Tuf-tuf: This is the local open sided bus, this goes between Nama Bay to Sharm all day until about midnight. It costs 1LE.
Mini-bus: These cruise between Sharm and Nama Bay, just stick your arm out and join the locals. They cost about .5-1LE. They are only allowed to go along the main road and are not licensed to carry foreigners.
Pick ups: These trucks cruise around sounding their horns and offering to give you a lift. They try and work the same as taxis, but are not licensed to carry any guests.
|Approx Kms from Sharm to
|El Tor 100Km
Baggage allowance: Normally the limit for luggage on flights is 20kg. Some of the air lines allow 10kg excess for dive gear, you would need to check with them. The airlines are starting to check on hand luggage a bit closer with a 5kg limit. Generally on flights out of Sharm they do not weigh the luggage to accurately. Remember that some airlines do not allow pony bottles on board, while others insist that the tanks are empty or the valves removed.
Passports and immigration: A full passport is required to enter Egypt, which must have at least 6 months validity left on it.
There are 2 types of visa available for Egypt. The main one is a 1 month visa which can be obtained at the Embassy in your country or is available on arrival at the airport. This visa costs approx. $20 (£15) and comes in the form of stamp, looking like a postage stamp. This visa gives you access to anywhere in Egypt.
On arrival in Sharm the visas can be purchased as soon as you enter the arrivals hall. They are available in the banks which are directly across from the door. If you did not purchase a visa in your own country this is where you must go to first on entering the hall. If your holiday is planned to stay in the Eastern half of the Sinai (not going to Ras Mohammed or Thistlegorm) then a Sinai only visa is possible for you. This visa is free and gives you a 2 week stay. It is obtained directly from the immigrations officer in his booth to the right of you as you enter the arrivals hall. He will ask you to write ‘Sinai Only’ on the back of the arrivals form then underline it, and then you are in.
The immigration officer will require your passport and the filled in arrivals form, usually given to you on the plane.
Once the officer has stamped your passport you are free to go on to the baggage carousel to retrieve your luggage. Here trolleys are available for a cost of 2LE (don’t get conned into giving them £2)
Once you have your bags you go through the red or green customs channels (it does not matter which one you go through). Here they may stop you to search your luggage and it is common for the officers to write in your passport any videos or expensive electrical items. This is only to make sure you leave the country with them and don’t sell them. Beyond the customs is the exit.
Before exiting the building there is a Duty Free shop by the baggage reclaim. They only accept major foreign currencies, this is the main supply of imported beer and whisky, you are only allowed to use the free shop with in 24 hours of arrival (there is another one in Nama Bay, next to the Kahramana Hotel).
East Delta buses
The East Delta Buses use the terminal that is behind the Mobil petrol station between Nama Bay and High Noor. As well as the terminal at Ras Kennedy. They have buses going all over Egypt, a rough timetable is below:-
Buses to Cairo: 07:30, 10:30, 12:30, 13:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:30, 22:00, 23:00, 23:30, 00:00
Tickets need to be purchased beforehand on most of these and at present (Dec02) cost 55LE
Buses to Suez: 07:00, 09:00, 10:00, 14:00
Buses to Dahab: 06:30, 07:30, 09:00, 14:30, 15:00, 17:00, 21:00, 23:30
Buses to Nuweiba: 08:00, 09:00, 14:30, 17:00
Buses to Taba: 08:00, 09:00
Buses to St.Catherines: 07:30
Avis Car Rental
Avis Car Rental has locations around Egypt. The Sharm el Sheikh office is in the Morgana Mall. Which is on the main road just South of Nama Bay.
Below is from their price list for 2003
Daily Rate $
|Daewoo Lannos 1.5
Diahatsu Terios 1.3
Toyota Corolla 1.3
|Citroen Xsara 1.6
|Toyota Corolla (Aut) 1.3
|Opel Vectra 1.6
Daewoo Leganza 2.0
|Mercedes C 180 (Auto)
|Cherokee 4 x 4 (4Cyl)
|Cherokee 4 x 4 (6 Cyl – Auto)
Chevrolet 4 x 4 (6 Cyl – Auto)
|Mercedes E 200 (Auto)
BMW 520 I (Auto)
- Daily rates include 100Km
- Rates are subject to car insurance (CDW) service and local taxes
- Chauffeur drive service is available for $20 for 10 hours