This classic overland route between Cairo and Addis Ababa will take you from the splendours of ancient Egypt through the vast desert of Sudan and to the historical and cultural highlights of Ethiopia. After exploring Cairo with its world famous Pyramids of Giza and phenomenal Museum of Antiquities, we'll visit the fascinating city of Alexandria, and follow the Red Sea down to Luxor - here we will visit the Valley of the Kings and the colossal Karnak Temple before taking a sailing trip on a traditional felucca. Most Egypt trips end here, but with Dragoman you'll be much more adventurous and continue via the iconic Temples of Abu Simbel into the vast desert wilderness of Sudan. Travel in this part of the world is tough and frequently challenging, but as a reward we get unparalleled access to places such as the Pyramids of Meroe and the ruined temples of the Kushite kingdom, as well as enjoying some of the most remote and atmospheric wild camps in the world. From there we head into the wonderful country of Ethiopia, an extraordinary land with a unique cultural heritage of opulent monasteries, stunning churches carved out of the mountains, and incredible scenery. In Ethiopia you'll visit all the historical sites such as the ruins of Axum and the phenomenal rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and trek in the spectacular Simien Mountains. Finishing in the cultural hub of Addis Ababa, this unforgettable trip will leave you with many lasting memories - overlanding is truly the best way to explore the Nile Route and beyond, join us on this incredible adventure!
Duration: 49 Days
Activities: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites
Guide (Language): english
Start City: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Guaranteed Departure: No
Physical Demand: Demanding
Trip Rating: 0%
Trip ID: 158008
End City: Cairo, Egypt
|Duration: 49 Days||Guaranteed Departure: Yes|
|For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites||Physical rating: Demanding|
|Accommodation standard: Budget%||Traveller Tour Rating: 0%|
|Your Guide: English speaking||Tour code: 158008|
|Starts: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia||Finishes: Cairo, Egypt|
Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting.
On the next day, we will have a free day to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city's many museums and sights. If you are travelling to the Sudan and have arranged to pick the visa up in Addis Ababa, this day will be spend arranging this visa.
In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
We will start our journey today with a drive to the small town of Debre Markos. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side!
In Debre Markos we will stay in a basic local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Today we will complete our drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.
Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.
On our first day in Bahir Dar, we will have an included boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the famous old monastery of Gabriel Ure Kideth and to visit the spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile.
On our second day, we will head off in the truck to visit the Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to visit some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial.
In Bahir Dar we will stay in decent local hotel.
Today we have a full day's drive through the beautiful scenery of central Ethiopia to reach the small medieval town of Lalibela.
Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.
On our first day in Lalibela, we will have full day guided tour of the world-famous 13th-century rock churches of Lalibela. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within.
On the second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yimrehane Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace.
In Lalibela we will stay in a local hotel.
Leaving Lalibela behind us, we have 2 days of driving through increasingly mountainous scenery to reach the town of Mekele.
On the first day of this journey we aim to wild camp near the town of Woldiya or Korem. On the second day we will stay in a decent local hotel in Mekele.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours each day.
Today we will visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church), then continue through the increasingly breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia.
Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours.
The next day we will have a half day guided tour of the incredible historical sites of Axum, the capital of the once-mighty Axumite Empire - included in this tour will be seeing the Stelae Field, the Tomb of King Kaleb, and the Palace of the Queen of Sheba. We will have a free afternoon to visit other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
In Axum we will stay in a basic local hotel.
Leaving Axum behind us, we continue our journey with 2 days of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the small village of Debark, via a wild camp en route. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!
Debark is the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, and on arrival we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options we will have during our excursion starting the following day.
On the first day of our journey we aim to wild camp somewhere nearby to the village of Adi Arkay. On the second day we will stay in a basic hotel in Debark.
Estimated Drive Time - 6 hours each day.
Today marks the start of our 3 day excursion into the Simien Mountains National Park. The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views!
The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves.
On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking.
On our first day we aim to wild camp at the area of Sankaber. On our second and third days we aim to wild camp at the area of Chenek (underneath Ras Bwahit, the second-highest mountain in the Simiens, which we hope to get the opportunity to summit).
Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather.
Please also note that the camping areas in the national park are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the national park are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night, so please be prepared!
Today we head back out to the mountains to Debark, and then finally join the tarmac road again to reach the ancient royal city of Gondar!
Estimated Drive Time - 7 hours.
On the next day, we will have a half day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church.
In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Border Information: Exit Ethiopia at Metema, enter Sudan at Metema.
Today we will leave Ethiopia behind us and drive to the small town of Gedaref, en route to the Sudanese captial of Khartoum.
In Gedaref we will either stay in a basic local hotel in the town or bush camp in the deserts outside.
Estimated Drive Time - 9-10 hours.
Today we have a full day's drive to Sudan's capital of Khartoum.
In Khartoum we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
Border Information: if joining in Khartoum, you will most likely enter Sudan at Khartoum International Airport (IATA code: KRT).
There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm - please look for a note from your leader at the hotel reception when you arrive with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to collect your passport in order to get everyone's visas registered on the following day.
On the following day you will have free time to explore Khartoum, including the the impressive Grand Mosque and the bustling Omdurman market.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Khartoum before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Khartoum.
In Khartoum we stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.
Today we will head north out of Khartoum to explore the Kushite temples of Naqa and Musawwarat.
Tonight we aim to wild camp in the deserts near Musawwarat.
Estimated Drive Time - 9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Today we will head north to visit the incredible and haunting Meroe pyramids of the Kushite era. We will then continue on to Karima.
We aim to wild camp in the deserts near Merowe or Karima.
Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.
Over the next 3 days we will journey north through the remote areas of Northern Sudan and the vast Sahara Desert. En route we will visit many ruined temples of the Kushite era, including the Nuri pyramids and the pyramids at Jebel Barkal mountain near the town of Karima, the Temple of Deffufa near Dongola, and the Temple of Soleb near Wawa.
All of these nights we will wild camp out in the remote deserts, which is the true highlight of travelling overland through Sudan!
Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours each day.
Today we will come to the end of our long journey through the wilds of Northern Sudan and reach the dusty frontier town of Wadi Halfa on the southern shores of Lake Nasser.
The rest of the day will be free for us to explore the hills above Wadi Halfa, or to relax in the shade!
In Wadi Halfa we will stay in a basic local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.
Border Information: Exit Sudan at Qustol, enter Egypt at Qustol.
Today we will cross the border into Egypt, and take the first available transport ferry across to the west side of Lake Nasser and the small village of Abu Simbel. Here we will have an included visit to the phenomenal Temples of Ramses and Nefertari, with a possibility to visit the sound and light show after sunset (if it is running).
In Abu Simbel we will stay in a basic local guesthouse.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.
Today we drive on with the 11:00am convoy to Aswan, where we will have 3 full days to enjoy to wealth of history and culture that Aswan has to offer, and to make optional visits to Philae Temple, Elephantine Island, the Nubian Museum, and the Aswan Dam.
In Aswan we stay in a comfortable hotel in the centre of the town, next to the Nile River.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.
Today we will board a traditional felucca sailboat for an overnight adventure exploring the Nile by boat.
Accommodation tonight will be on board the felucca.
This morning we start our journey north through Egypt and visit the incredible Temple of Edfu, an awe-inspiring temple dedicated to Horus built during the Ptolomaic era, which is considered to be the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt.
After this we will head to Luxor, a beautiful modern town built on the site of the Ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes, where we will spend 3 nights exploring the incredible historical sites here.
Estimated Drive Time - 10 hours (including the Edfu temple visit).
On the following day we will have an included guided tour around the world-famous Karnak Temple, which is walking distance from our hotel. This temple contains some remarkably preserved painted walls and many awe-inspiring pillars and obelisks, and was the centre of religious life in Thebes. Our tour will last about 2 hours, and then we will have free time for the rest of the day to explore the temple independently, and to visit the other sites in Luxor such as the smaller Luxor Temple in the town centre, and the small but beautiful Luxor Museum, which is filled with priceless treasures from the area.
On the following day we will have an included tour to the West Bank, which will encompass the Hatshepsut Temple and the phenomenal Valley of the Kings, the location of the tombs of the Pharoahs of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.
In Luxor we will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Today we will drive to the beautiful southern Red Sea village of Marsa Alam. We will also have an included visit the remarkably preserved Temple of Hathor at Dendara en route.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.
We will have 2 days in Marsa Alam to relax on the beaches, enjoy many activities on the Red Sea, or to take an overnight camel safari out into the nearby deserts of Wadi-el-Gamal!
In Marsa Alam we will stay in a basic local beach guesthouse.
Today we will spend some more time at Marsa Alam, before heading up the coast to explore the nearby Ottoman fort at El Quseir.
In El Quseir we will stay in a pleasant campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 3 hours.
Today we will travel up the stunning coast of the Red Sea and into the Eastern Deserts, visiting the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Anthony en route.
We will aim to stay in a simple local guesthouse in Zafarana en route.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 hours.
Today we will head further north, and follow the Suez Canal to its northern outflow into the Mediterranean Sea at Port Said.
In Port Said we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours.
Today we will follow the Mediterranean coast across the Nile Delta to reach the bustling city of Alexandria, where will spend 2 nights exploring the sights. We will have the chance to visit the beautiful modern Alexandria Library, explore several historical sites, and to go diving in the Mediterranean.
In Alexandria we will stay in a local hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours.
Today is our final drive day to the colossal, busting Egyptian capital of Cairo. We will aim to arrive in the later afternoon. Please note that if the traffic is particularly heavy, we may not be able to safely drive right up to the hotel due to parked cars blocking the streets; in this instance we may have to take the truck directly to a parking area and take taxis to the hotel.
In Cairo we will stay in a comfortable hotel located in the pleasant district of Dokki, a short taxi or metro journey from downtown Cairo.
Today we will set off in a local chartered minibus for an included full-day guided tour to Memphis, the pyramids at Saqqara, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
We will aim to be back in Cairo for around 4:00pm today and stay overnight in the same hotel.
Tonight is the last night of the trip so we will go out for our final night group meal together!
Border Information: if finishing in Cairo, you will most likely exit Egypt at Cairo International Airport (IATA code: CAI).
This morning we will head out on our final activity, an included half-day guided visit to the Egyptian Museum. We will go to the museum by metro or by taxi, and be shown around the vast and breathtaking collection of historical relics and treasures, including the sarcophagus of Akhenaten, the mummy of Ramses II and of course the incredible golden mask of Tutankhamun!
Please do not book flights out of Cairo before about 6:00pm if you would like to make sure you have enough time to fully explore the museum before the trip ends.
Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Cairo. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
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Trip Name: Addis Ababa to Cairo
Duration: 49 Days
From Price: 4520
Trip Code: 158008
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