Top 3 Scams You’ll Run Into At The Pyramids Of Giza & How To Avoid Them
The Egyptian Pyramids are a symbol known worldwide to the old and young alike. Standing majestically tall as a testament to the prosperity of the ancient Egyptian civilization, the pyramids welcome 14.7 admirers to their grounds every year.
To those who visit, the pyramids act as a portal into history. Being from Rome myself, I understand what it means to grow up and live steeped in tales of the past and surrounded by ruins of once-glorious monuments. Something unique about it reaches into your soul and connects you through a spiritual line to your ancestors and those gone before you.
However, the pyramids stand out. There’s something mesmerizing about them with their unique sense of mystery and unparalleled wonder. You simply stand and stare at their lofty sides and grand peaks in awe.
While you’re doing this, there’s a lot of hustle-bustle around you. Noise, movement, people zipping every which way, and it can get overwhelming – fast. Especially if you’re not familiar with the area. This is when the danger of being scammed arises.
If you’re not prepared, your dream trip can turn into a nightmare. Taxi drivers conspiring with rogue sellers to get a commission; touts trying to sell you a statue or papyrus for extortionate prices. You might even meet the odd seller or two who’ll give you a nice upfront price and charge you three times as much after!
While it’s not prevalent, it’s just present enough that you need to be aware of it.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most common scams you might run into. We’ll go through the signs to look out for and how to avoid them.
The most common scams you’ll run into at the pyramids
You could come across the first scam before you even get to the pyramids. It’s important not to fall at this hurdle because a domino effect of scams could follow shortly behind if you do.
If you’re not traveling with a tour, you’ll likely reach the pyramids by taxi.
Without thinking, it’s tempting to just flag down a street cab, negotiate a price, and then go.
After driving through Cairo traffic for a while, the pyramids appear on the horizon. As you continue on, you can feel them getting closer. THEN suddenly, the taxi takes a turn, and before you know it, you’re stopped on an unknown street surrounded by horse and camel barns.
It’s here that the taxi driver will inform you that the only way to get to the pyramid’s entrance is by horse carriage. Subsequently, he’ll invite you into a dingy office where a suspicious co-conspirator will offer you outrageously expensive trips. For this, the taxi man will walk away with a share of whatever you pay.
How do you avoid this?
The simple answer is Uber. It’s my go-to service no matter where I’m going in Cairo, and the price is thankfully fixed. Be sure to demand to be dropped off at an official ticket booth and accept no other suggestions.
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Overcharging Camel Rides
The freedom and fun of riding a camel at the Giza pyramids are irresistible. You’ll be surrounded by other’s enjoying the ride and will likely be tempted to follow suit. However, there’s one thing you need to keep in mind before mounting.
While most ride vendors are honest, you’ll find a few bad apples among them. So, it’s essential that you’re sure of a fixed price before you sit down atop the camel. Be sure to repeat the fixed price many times and determine whether the vendor is dealing with you in Euro or Eqyptian Pound. You may agree on a price in Egyptian Pound only to be told after that it should be Euro. If all fails, bring paper and a pen with you to write it down in front of the seller.
Bonus: 400 to 500 Egyptian pounds is a reasonable price for a standard camel ride. You shouldn’t agree to pay more unless you have special requirements or want to keep the ride for your entire visit.
No Access To The Pyramids
Before you think that there’s a one-size-fits-all ticket for the pyramids, think again. There are actually 2 tickets: one for the Giza Plateau and the other to the inside of the Great Pyramid.
Whether you’re buying from a tour agency or a third party, it’s imperative that you tell them you want an inside ticket if that’s what you’re after. Otherwise, you could end up paying extra charges to get into the pyramids on-location. The guide may even prevent you from entering the pyramids, claiming they’re closed simply because they don’t want to go in.
And there you have it, the scams to keep an eye out for on your trip. If you can avoid all of the above-listed dangers, you’re in for the journey of your life! Have fun!
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