Itinerary | Cape Town to Cairo – Nile Expedition
What’s it like? As we will be camping and travelling for an extended period of time, you must be prepared for an adventurous challenge. It can be hot and dusty, and will sometimes be out of contact from the rest of the world. This means no telephones, shops or any other mod cons. We need you to participate and work with all members of the expedition. For the Trans we use sturdy purpose-built vehicles for these rugged off-road conditions.
Due to the nature of the trip, we do not have a specific day-to-day itinerary.
Cape Town It’s a beautiful city, nestled at the foot of Table Mountain; plenty of cafes, pubs, clubs, markets and sights. You can climb the mountain or take the cable car to the top for some wonderful views of the city and the Cape Peninsula and visit Robben Island
Week 1: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Departing Cape Town we head north towards Namibia and Windheok, its capital city town.
Botswana and the Kalahari Desert. We travel along the edge of the Kalahari Desert to Maun. A small town on the edge of the Okavango Delta, and the starting point for the Mokoro trip. A Mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe and your transport into the Delta. As you glide through the waterways, you will see a fantastic array of wetland wildlife, birds in particular and you are also likely to come across hippos or elephants taking a drink from the shore. You can go on a walking safari to look for giraffe, buffalo and rare antelope such as the tsessebe. This overnight stay is a great wilderness experience.
We spend a night by the banks of the Chobe River, in Kasane. Here hippo, buffalo and crocodiles share the river bank and occasionally pay us a visit through the night. Here you can take a sunset cruise on the river or take an afternoon game drive through the park, to see Africa’s largest elephants and big cats.
Week 2-3: Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi Entering Zambia, we reach the Victoria Falls, where the Zambezi River plunges 100 metres down a mile wide chasm, creating one of the most incredible natural wonders of the world. The local name for the Falls is ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ which means ‘the smoke that thunders’ and you’ll soon find out why. When the river is in full flow, the falling water causes a huge roar and sends a cloud of spray up to 500 metres into the air.
We stay near Livingstone beside the Zambezi and above Victoria Falls, for a few days, as there is so much to see and do. Adventure activities abound – you can bungee jump, white water raft, take a Microlite flight above the falls, sky-dive and go game-viewing on horseback. More sedate excursions include canoeing, light aircraft or helicopter flights over the falls, and the sunset cruise on the Zambezi. Of course, the falls themselves are the main attraction and you can walk through the rain forest along the cliff opposite for an excellent view.
Crossing the border into Malawi, we soon reach the shores of its huge lake. The campsites and small resorts along Lake Malawi offer sandy beaches, swimming and snorkeling, water skiing and walking in the surrounding countryside. You will also find markets selling beautifully carved Malawi chairs, tables and other souvenirs.
Week 4-6: Tanzania Heading north through Tanzania, our route takes us through Mikumi National Park where we may well see giraffe or pygmy elephants grazing along the roadside. At Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast, we can cross to Zanzibar Island. Here is the old stone capital of the Omani Sultanate and away from the town are stunning beaches, and World Heritage Listed buildings, forests and ruins. You can take a spice tour of the island, go diving, swimming with dolphins or visit remote islands by the traditional dhow boats. Heading inland we pass Africa’s highest peak, that of Mt Kilimanjaro. From Arusha we hire Landrovers to visit the Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti National Park, which has the heaviest concentration of plains game found all over East Africa.
Kenya From Tanzania we cross in Kenya the Athi Plains, passing gazelle, giraffe and troops of baboons on our way to Nairobi. Leaving Nairobi we pass the dramatic landscape of the Rift Valley to the highlands of Kenya.
Week 7: A weeks break in Nairobi – take the express train to the coast
Week 8-9: Uganda Crossing the border at Malaba we drive through rain forests and tea and sugar plantations to Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Crossing the equator we camp on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi, the deepest crater lake in Uganda. We climb through lush terraced hills to Kisoro, from here we trek the famed mountain gorillas or you could visit Mgahinga National Park for a day hike up a volcano or a guided nature trail. We meander back to Lake Bunyonyi to canoe, mountain bike and swim.
In the modern bustling city of Kampala you may wish to visit the National Museum, the Kasubi Tombs of the Buganda people. Crossing the Owen Falls dam we arrive at Jinja on the shores of Lake Victoria. Spend an action-filled day white water rafting down the Nile, bungee jump, fish on Lake Victoria, take a guided village walk; or volunteer for the local community education project.
Week 10-11: Kenya Returning to Kenya and Nakuru Town, the capital of the Rift Valley Province. You can visit Lake Nakuru, viewing game in a park famous for its soda lake surrounded by thousands, sometimes millions of pink flamingoes. We move on to camp on the shores of Lake Naivasha where hippos come to graze in the evenings.
Close by is Hell’s Gate National Park and Elsamere, once the home of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lion of ‘Born Free’ fame. From here we return to Nairobi with the chance to feast at the renowned Carnivores Game Restaurant.
We visit the base of Mount Kenya and continue north through the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, a restricted area; semi arid with a spectacular diversity of people, wild game on the road side and a warm dry climate
Week 12-14: Ethiopia. We enter Ethiopia and we climb the mountains into the highlands. We follow the Rift Valley Lakes north to briefly visit the capital Addis Ababa. Take boats to visit Bahir Dar Monasteries on islands on Lake Tana the source of the Blue Nile, with hippos and crocs at the outflow of the river. You can take Landrovers to visit the Simien Mountains where you can horse trek and see grazing Gelada Baboons. Tissisat Falls is the source of the Blue Nile. We visit Gondar; a city of castles and churches.
Week 15: Sudan We follow the Blue Nile to Gedaref in Sudan. In Khartoum where the Blue & White Nile join watch dervish dancing or even join in the Nubian wrestling – safer just to watch.. From Khartoum to Wadi Halfa we cross the sandy Nubian and Bayuda Deserts stopping at time forgotten friendly villages on the Nile. We visit the Pharonic Pyramids of Meroe in an un-spoilt, seldom visited desert setting.
Week 16-17: Egypt – Cairo – Pyramids & Sphinx. We cross the desert and near Wadi Halfa we leave Sudan for Egypt and see Lake Nasser and visit Abu Simble overlooking the lake. In Aswan we visit the High Dam & Philae Island Temple. Most take a felucca sailing boat on the river for a few. Luxor, we visit Karnak Temple the Colossi of Memnon & Valley of the Kings & Tutankhamen’s Tomb on donkeys. Cairo where we spent a few days to look at the great pyramids in Giza and the immense collections of the Cairo Museum with treasures and chariots and golden masks thousands of years old.
We cross the desert to Alexandria on the Delta of the Nile and the Mediterranean Sea, originally a Greek city founded by Alexander of Macedon. Not over visited by tourists, it has some great sites to visit; including its city beaches. Other must sees are; the rebuilt library of Alexandria, Fort Qaitbey, a Mamluk fortress on the harbour, Montaza Palace gardens and many museums
Just one hundred kilometers west of the Alex is the railway halt of El Alamein. In the WW2 this was the site of two decisive battles between Commonwealth and Axis forces. It is considered to be the turning point of WW2.
We return to Cairo, the end of our trip.
Of all the trips we run this is the most likely to have a change of route due to local conditions and visa requirements. Africa is an unpredictable continent. We do not have a fixed itinerary so please treat the information given as a guideline only. Although our information is written in good faith at the time of printing, our route may vary at any time due to weather, politics or road conditions.