since the current political situation in egypt which is less than stable since the 2011 ousting of Hosni Mubarak and the present Mohammed Morsi, the touts, assorted hawkers, sellers and the notorious pickpockets around the giza necropolis have gotten more aggressive as there are less tourists going to egypt because of the continuing political crises. don't make eye contact with these touts asking for money or the hawkers selling their wares or even posing for pictures in front of camels as these people will pester you to buy their products, for alms and even payment for posing in a camel or horse. Even our local tour guides almost had a fight with these goons as they were pestering our group and trying to surround us to force us to buy.
The Pyramids attract millions of tourists each year, unfortunately this means they also attract the dishonest which does lead to harassment by the camel drivers and touts, fortunately there are usually a number of the black-uniformed Tourist Police around.
This may be stating the obvious, but take on plenty of liquid or better still have bottled water with you and sip from it often. It really does get very hot here, averaging 35 deg. C in the high season. A hat and sunscreen are also essential.
The Pyramids of Giza must be one of Egypt's most popular attractions. Our visit to the Pyramids was part of a Mediterranean cruise and our day tour required a fleet of buses to transport the 1,000 or more people.
We caused Chaos wherever we stopped! In fact our visit to the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities was really chaos. Luckily I am a big man and was able to make a path through the crowds so my wife and several other ladies had some chance of moving around the museum.
As for the Pyramids of Giza there was a problem finding our bus after we had finished visiting the Sphinx. There is a giant carpark full of buses, maybe 50 to 100 buses. Most people forgot their bus number. In our case about 10 of us sat around together on higher ground and let the coach director find us.
We were warned that you are often offered cheap camel rides for photo shoot, say for 5 minutes.
Then when you want ti dismount from the camel they will not make the camel sit down so you can get off unless you give them 20 Euros or more.
Negotiate at beginning and make sure your payment includes dismounting. If you have a problem just call out for the Tourist Police.
I was admiring the main pyramid when an Arab man approached and offered me a gift of 4 very small plastic beads for my grandchildren, a gift he said. I said thank you and smiled. He then put his hand out for a tip and I only had 70 euro cents to offer. He said "No, not enough!".
I foolishly opened my wallet looking for a small note, he sighted a 10 Euro note and quick as an eyeblink had 9 euro coins in his hand as change. Unbelievable fast.
I thought a euro to help a poor Arab would not hurt me, however as soon as I handed over the note, the coins disappeared. No change and there was no way I was getting any money back.
My wife took a photo of the incident and I can now share it with you.
She came over and said call the Tourist Police who were 50 metres away and he immediately thrust into my hand a very cheap Arab head dress in a plastic bag to cover the transaction.
One of the most magical moments happens as the sun goes down in Giza, Egypt. The view of the Pyramids of Giza take on a mesmerizing glow as the moonlight embraces the cold stone formations. You can sit for hours staring at this wondrous man made sight of 4,500 years ago with awe and wonderment as to what was life like in those times. You are thrust back to the present as you hear the soft whisper of the local mosquitoes in your ears and then the dangerous love bites that follow.
Be careful at twilight and near dawn in Giza, as the vampire-like mosquitoes attach with a furry. You can have twenty bites before you know it. At least, in September, when my wife and I stayed overnight in Giza. The best bet is to not wear any bracelets or watches that can cause sweating, as the mosquitoes are drawn to sweat.
Camels are foul animals and they hate you. Yes. YOU. They have been waiting for weeks for a tourist to be stupid enough to get close to them to spit. Now these guys can hold a couple of gallons of spit in their huge, ugly mouths. You will be covered in the biggest goober ever. That’s not that bad. Especially when you get really close and they bite you and take a good hunk of meat out of your arm or shoulder. They will also bite your face and disfigure you if you are really lucky. See? All that spit isn’t so bad.
Follow what your guide says or stay well clear.
It is strictly forbidden to climb the pyramids, though in the past it was permissable. The stones are huge and do not make for an easy climb even at lower levels. Some adventurous tourists who did make the attempt fell to their deaths, which is why the ban was imposed.
There are so many security and tourist police around that it would be foolish to even think of trying.
It's strictly forbidden to climb up any of the pyramids... but of course people do. The tourist police will blow whistles and coming running if they see you, but apparently you can hand over baksheesh to get permission.
I'm not sure I should be recommending you do this, however, since no-one wants to see these ancient monuments damaged in any way. You do get good photos though...
You can see the like of a horse-driven sleigh we have used for a couple of hours to go around the Great Pyramid. Guess how much I paid for at least 2 hours of going round and round....650 Egyptian pounds! The amount is payment for the horse, for the sleigh, for the driver, and for the driver who act as our photographer. Isn't that expensive?
Solution: If you are doing the same we did, keep on bargaining. We did not try hard. I believe it should cost us at least 400 Egyptian pounds only. Do your assignment before going into this! I guess it is way too much.
Be aware of the people selling souvenirs round the pyramids! They'll try to sell you anything 'for a good price'. And the price isn't good at all. They'll even ask to take a look in your wallet. Don't let them!
Also, try to resist the camel-men here, because their only wish is to get you on the camel. Getting down is a totally different story. No matter how much money you want to give them is not enough, and you'll soon be screaming for help!
You know they will be everywhere, and you know they are simply making a living. That's ok, and inevitable.
But you also don't want to be hassled (and some were extremely persistent with members of my party).
Don't make eye contact, don't stop walking, make a dismissive hand gesture and say 'No, thank you'. Worked for me.
The Arabic for 'no' sounds like 'ley'. 'Imshi' means 'go away', which is a bit stronger but not really rude.
I was told that they may ask for money if you take, or try to take, a photo.
Don't know how true this is, or whether it is true of all of the guards, but discretion may be the better part of valour in this case.
I was discreet.
I wrote a similar tip of this in the general 'Egypt' page, but I will mention it again here. Of course if you read my tip for riding camels/horses you already have an idea what this means.
Okay the pyramids get loads of tourists every day.. because of that there are
always going to be touts doing what else... touting you (is that a real word?)
So if you really don't have an interest in purchasing anything the best thing is too keep walking and say no, thank you.