Health and Safety

Avoid dealing with the local police. Should a problem warrant police attention, demand to speak to the specially uniformed Tourist and Antiquities Police. They are so numerous—and the oases villages so small—that you will not have to search for them; indeed, if there's a problem, they'll find you. Their English is not always good, so they may have to take you to a senior officer who speaks more English.

Medical facilities are rudimentary throughout the oases area, and there are only a few independent doctors and dentists. Every large village in the desert has a clinic with qualified staff, though services are not comprehensive. The nationwide emergency numbers aren't available throughout the oases, but anyone can direct you to these facilities. First-aid stations with ambulances have been put up at regular intervals along the main roads connecting the oases.

There is at least one pharmacy in each village and more in the major towns. Pharmacies open generally from 9 am to 1 pm and from 6 pm to 11 pm. Look for a sign of a chalice with a snake wrapped around it, which indicates a pharmacy.

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