The words 'Cairo to Cape Town' conjure up images of African expeditions from days of old.
Even today there are a multitude of challenges that this vast continent can throw at you. Desert, river, & mountain crossings are inter-twined with stunning National Parks & some of the best adrenaline fuelled activities & playgrounds in the world. This is a trip that will linger in your memory long after completion.
Note: Due to the ongoing situation in Sudan we expect to overfly from Cairo (flight at your cost) and join the truck in Addis Ababa. We would complete the Egypt section using public transport and local hotels and extend our time in northern Kenya and Ethiopia. We ran our 2022/23 Trans Africa expedition in this way and it worked very well.
Discover the rich history and fascinating culture throughout Egypt
Camping 'under the stars' in the vast Nubian Desert in Sudan
Visit the magnificent monasteries and rock-hewn churches located around Ethiopia
Mountain Gorillas – Trek to see the largest living primates
Safaris through some of East Africa's most famous National Parks
Zanzibar Island, explore the coastal trading town of Stone Town or relax on the beautiful beaches
Experience scuba diving, horse riding, school visits, village meals and local craft markets on Lake Malawi
Discover the enormity of Victoria Falls
Why you'll love this adventure
- Safaris through some of East Africa's most famous National Parks
- Camping 'under the stars' in the vast Nubian Desert in Sudan
- Discovering the enormity of Victoria Falls
24 September 2024
21 January 2025
24 September 2025
21 January 2026
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
This trip includes an action packed itinerary! Please make an enquiry and we'll send you the full itinerary for each day including meals, activities, travel and accommodation.
- Accommodation – approx. 90% camping & 10% simple hostels/hotels
- Pyramids and Sphinx day tour & guide
- Lake Nasser Ferry
- Entry into Meroe Pyramids
- Lake Nakuru National Park entrance & game drive
- Return ferry to Zanzibar
- 4 nights accommodation on Zanzibar
- Lake Malawi village walk
- Private Game Ranch
- Overnight sleeper train Vic. Falls to Bulawayo (if available)
- Chobe National Park – entrance & river cruise
- Etosha National Park
- Cheetah Park
- Sossusvlei Sand Dunes
- Fish River Canyon
- Cape Cross Seal Colony
- Spitzkoppe Rock formations
- Cape Agulhas
- Meals – approx. 60%
- All transport on Oasis Expedition Truck
- Camping and Cooking equipment
- Services of Oasis Crew
Who is this trip for?
- Suitable For Solo
- Suitable For Couples
- Suitable For Children
- Suitable For Groups
- Suitable For Students
- Suitable For Business
- Suitable For Wheelchairs
DAY 1-4: CAIRO TO LUXOR
The first part of our day is spent in Cairo visiting the Great Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza with our Egyptologist guide, and also the Egyptian Museum. We then drive towards the Red Sea Coast. You will have time to relax on the beach or try your hand at various watersports such as snorkelling, windsurfing or scuba diving in the cool clear blue waters. We end our first few days in the city of Luxor where the Valley of Kings and Queens and Karnak and Luxor Temples will keep us busy exploring for a few days more.
DAY 5-14: LUXOR TO ABU SIMBEL
Here in Luxor – you have the opportunity to visit the Valley of Kings and Queens, the remarkably well-preserved tombs of ancient rulers such as Ramses lV and Tutankhamun have coloured paintings and hieroglyphics that still seem fresh even after 3000 years. Karnak and Luxor Temples are both in easy walking distance from our camp – as is the local souq where you can pick up an array of souvenirs.
A half-day drive further south brings us to Aswan. Here you will notice the first of many cultural changes on this trip. The darker Nubian people in Aswan lead a more relaxed and less hectic pace of life than their Egyptian countrymen. We base ourselves here for a few days to finalise our Sudanese visas if we haven’t already done them in Cairo and in which time you can choose to join a 2 or 3-day felucca boat cruise to Edfu and/or Kom Ombo. From Aswan, we drive to Abu Simbel where there is the opportunity to visit the massive stone monuments built by the greatest of all pharaohs, Ramses ll.
DAY 15-20: ABU SIMBEL TO MEROE
From Abu Simbel, we take a ferry across Lake Nasser to the border with Sudan. This can be a long border crossing but once the formalities have been dealt with, we drive to the friendly town of Wadi Halfa.
The hospitality in Sudan can be surprising, but very genuine. For such a poor country with so many recent problems, Sudanese people are often too willing to invite you for a meal or a cup of ‘Sudanese whisky’ – better known as tea! From Wadi Halfa we board our expedition vehicle for our drive across the Nubian Desert. Our route will see us either hugging the banks of the Nile as it snakes its way south or possibly experiencing the vast open desert plains which are dissected by the main train line from Khartoum, making this our only real point of reference. Whether passing through sleepy Nubian villages, resting in tea rooms, pottering around the local souqs or experiencing total isolation in the middle of the desert – a unique experience awaits you along with this not so travelled route.
Note: If the security situation in Sudan has not improved, then we will overfly from Cairo to Addis Ababa (flight at your cost, budget $200) after completing the Egypt section using public transport and local hotels. We will then join our overland truck in Addis and adjust our itinerary in Ethiopia. We ran our 2022/23 Trans Africa expedition in this way and it worked very well.
DAY 21-24: MEROE TO KHARTOUM
The ancient Pyramids at Meroe lie to the north of the capital Khartoum. Khartoum is our next stop and it has a fantastic setting on the confluence of the Blue and White Niles. Our stay here is on the banks of the Nile at the quirky but interesting Blue Nile Sailing Club. It houses one of General Kitchener’s old Gunboats, a relic from the British military campaign against the Mahdi over a century ago. For such a large city, Khartoum feels quite laid back. In our few days here you can visit the Hamed al-Nil Tomb or take a trip to the daily camel market. Viewing the confluence of the two Niles is also an interesting way to pass the time.
DAY 25-38: KHARTOUM TO ADDIS ABABA
From Khartoum, we drive south-east through the towns of Wadi Medina and Gedaref, on our way to Ethiopia. Many of the roads we travel on are often in mountainous areas, so travel is slow. Ethiopia has a lot more visual & indigenous history than any other sub – Saharan country. In the towns of Gondar (the capital of Ethiopia from 1632 until 1868) we spend a few days where it is possible to organise overnight trips to the Simien Mountains National Park – home to the Gelada Baboon, hikes are available in the area. You may also wish to arrange a trip to the holy city of Axum dating from the 12th Century have been kept alive by generations of dedicated priests who guard their precious religious and artistic artefacts.
Lalibela, famous for its 11 monolithic rock-hewn churches is our next destination where you have the option of a guided tour of one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities.
Our route to Addis Ababa takes us via Lake Tana and the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge and Falls. From Bahir Dar, you can organise boat trips to some of the small islands which have Monasteries dating back up to 900 years and which are still looked after by monks who live from subsistence farming. A couple of days drive brings us to the capital Addis – where we have the chance to indulge in some authentic Ethiopian coffee or explore ‘El Mercato’ – one of Africa’s largest open-air markets.
DAY 39-47: ADDIS TO ELDORET
After a couple of days in Addis, we continue our journey south heading into the Omo Valley. This little-visited region is home to some of the most colourful ethnic groups in Ethiopia. The friendly Hamar people are noted for their ornate, interesting hairstyles and the Mursi people are famous for the clay lip plates and earlobe decorations. An optional day tour will take you into the Omo National Park. We then travel through one of Africa’s greatest natural features – the East African Rift Valley. Overland trips through East Africa will allow you to experience spectacular scenery first-hand, and the Rift Valley is a definite highlight. Stretching from beyond the Dead Sea in Jordan down to Mozambique in Southern Africa – the valley floor seems to sweep on forever and is dotted with volcanic peaks, shimmering lakes and countless springs.
The north of Kenya is very remote and Nomadic tribespeople like the Rendille and Borena in Marsabit and the Samburu (cousins of the Maasai) still wear the very distinctive and often elaborate dress. We pass the foothills of Mount Kenya before tackling some mountainous driving through the Nandi Hills – taking us via Eldoret before continuing into Uganda.
DAY 48-55: ELDORET TO KABALEKampala has had a turbulent past, but these days it is a friendly and safe city. We have a free day to spend in local cafes and nightspots – where you can get to know the local people. The following day we have a long drive as we head west through swamps, patches of forest and fertile green countryside. As we travel through Uganda, we’ll pass through several small towns and villages; Mpigi, where you will see roadside stalls manufacturing and selling traditional musical instruments; Kyazanga, where we can buy fresh rotisserie and roasted meat and vegetables, as well as roasted plantain bananas. We will also be able to make a photo stop where our route crosses the Equator.
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park are home to several families of Highland Mountain Gorillas. Getting up close to these amazing creatures is truly a once in a lifetime experience and one of the highlights of the trip. You have the opportunity to trek to see the Gorillas in Uganda (bookable as an Add on). It is estimated that only around 700 of these gentle giants remain. This mountainous area on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and Zaire (now renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo) is their only natural habitat and they are periodically threatened by poachers and political instability in the area. One permit allows you to spend about 50 to 60 minutes with one of the gorilla families. Trekking to find them in groups of 8 people can take anywhere from half an hour to 5 hours. The organisations and well-trained guides that continually monitor and protect the families are conscientious and responsible.
We will base ourselves in the village of Kabale which will allow you to trek the Mountain Gorillas and visit the beautiful Lake Bunyonyi.
(Due to the popularity of Trekking to the Mountain Gorillas and the limited availability of obtaining Trekking Permits, we may do the Gorilla trek in Rwanda in Volcanos National Park, which may come at an additional cost – you will be advised in advance).
Passing over the mountain ranges we cross the border into Rwanda. The small, friendly town of Musanze is home to Musanze caves and several hiking trails, take a village tour throughout the area where you can see first-hand production of local Banana beer. There will also be an opportunity to visit the genocide memorial in Kigali, which is a moving and humbling experience.
DAY 56-64: KABALE TO NAIROBI
We then return to Uganda and make our way towards Kampala and camp near Jinja – Uganda’s adventure playground. Here, on the edge of Lake Victoria, the Nile begins its 6700km journey to the sea. We spend the next few days downstream from the source of the Nile. This is a spectacular area and a superb place to go whitewater rafting or kayaking. You can also organise quad biking, horse riding or a visit to a local education project
Re-entering Kenya, we travel through the heart of the Rift Valley – with views from atop a steep escarpment opening up some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Hills covered in tea plantations and rural scenery lead us to Lake Nakuru National Park – home to a wide variety of wildlife including Black Rhino, Hippo, Lion, Leopard, Hyena and Giraffe. However, Nakuru is a soda lake and most famous for its pink inhabitants, a flock of almost a million Pink Flamingos which feed noisily along the shoreline. A further half-day drive brings us to Lake Naivasha. We camp near the lakeshore where Hippos sometimes feed at night! Here you can walk to Elsamere, the house of Joy Adamson – of Elsa the Lion and Born Free fame, and enjoy a film of her life – and cream teas! You can also hire mountain bikes and cycle or walk through Hells Gate National Park – the only game reserve in Kenya in which you are permitted to do so. Or for a less active but equally enjoyable game viewing experience – visit the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary. Both offer excellent scenery opportunities to spot hyrax, abundant bird and plant life along with several types of antelope and a variety of plains animals.
A few hours drive brings us to the capital Nairobi.
DAY 65: NAIROBI
Free time in Nairobi – why not get up close to Africa’s tallest mammal at Langata Giraffe Centre or visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where Oasis sponsors Kamboyo, an orphaned elephant.
DAY 66-69: NAIROBI TO ARUSHA
We depart Nairobi early morning and immediately find ourselves in hot savannah grasslands with acacia trees providing the only shade. Various games, usually zebra and giraffe can be seen as we head south and cross into Tanzania – where we camp on the outskirts of Arusha town.
Here you have the option to use a local African safari travel company to guide us through the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. You’ll head down into the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater. On the crater floor, you will have the opportunity to view the abundant wildlife including elephants, Lion, Cheetah, White Rhino, Buffalo, Hippo, Antelope, crocodiles and Pink Flamingos. From here you go into the Serengeti for a day where vast herds of wildebeest roam the plains. For those who wish – there is an option to visit a local Maasai village and learn about their culture and way of life.
DAY 70-77: ARUSHA TO DAR SALAAM
After leaving Arusha we pass several small towns and villages along the way and, if we are lucky, we may see the towering peak of Kilimanjaro. We will stop off at Marangu where you have the opportunity to climb to Kilimanjaro base camp or take a walk through the lush surroundings passing through coffee plantations, rivers, waterfalls, caves and visiting a local blacksmith. A days drive brings us to Dar Es Salaam where our truck is based for around 4 nights in a campsite on a beautiful Indian Ocean beach. From here we take the ferry out to Zanzibar for four full days and venture into the narrow bustling streets of Stone Town and its famous spice markets, old slave forts and dungeons. There is also time to relax on Zanzibar’s famous white beaches, scuba dive or snorkel and swim with dolphins.
DAYS 78 – 83: DAR ES SALAAM TO LAKE MALAWI
After meeting the Zanzibar ferry we begin the journey through the interesting and mountainous hinterland of Tanzania. In the afternoon, after negotiating some appalling roads, we pass through the peaceful Mikumi National Park. African safari travel is synonymous with wildlife, and in this national park, we usually see elephants, giraffes, Zebra and Antelope from the roadside. Passing through lush mountainous landscape and plantations – we enter Malawi which is dominated by its huge freshwater lake.
Camping in Malawi sums up the spirit of an Africa overland trip with Oasis. We spend 4 to 5 days at friendly laid back campsites where most people choose to relax on the sandy beaches or try their hand at scuba diving, snorkelling or windsurfing as we follow the lakeshore south. If you are more inclined to just relax – then there is no better place than on the shores of Lake Malawi. This is a warm friendly country – making it easy to wander off and meet up with your local hosts in one of the many villages or schools nearby. You can view firsthand the talent of the local artisans and purchase some exquisite pieces of furniture and carvings out of ebony and mahogany.
DAY 84-86: LAKE MALAWI TO HARARE
From here we continue to the capital Lilongwe in the south of the country where you can check out the local markets.
Our African Overland trip leaves Lilongwe to cross into Mozambique and head for Zimbabwe. We follow the infamous Tete Corridor which was well known in the days of Mozambique’s long-running civil war as the Gun Run. Thankfully these days things are a lot different! We enter Zimbabwe and travel via the capital, Harare. Arriving in Zimbabwe’s cosmopolitan city, you can enjoy many of the sights in and around the city centre, there are many markets throughout the city from craft markets to the hectic local Mbare market, stroll through the botanical gardens, or enjoy the nightlife in one of the many bars throughout the city.
DAY 87-91: HARARE TO GREAT ZIMBABWE
Leaving Harare we make our way to the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, where we visit Chimanimani, and where you have the opportunity to take a hike through the mountain wilderness area, or hiking to the nearby bridal veil falls, or simply enjoying the stunning surroundings from this sleepy village whilst strolling through the village market. Great Zimbabwe Ruins which was once the greatest medieval city in Sub Saharan Africa and where the name Zimbabwe is derived, literally meaning house of stone is where we stop next to view this ancient city.
DAY 92-94: GREAT ZIMBABWE TO BULAWAYO
We drive across Mashonaland to Gweru, here we visit a privately run horse and game ranch where you can go game viewing on horseback. It’s our destination for the next few days. Next, we enter Matabeleland and the town of Bulawayo.
DAY 95-96: BULAWAYO TO VICTORIA FALLS
You have the option of leaving the truck for a day to venture into Matobo National Park with a local safari company. You will have a unique chance to get out on foot to try and spot the elusive Black Rhino – amongst hordes of other games. There is also the opportunity to visit Cecil Rhodes’ grave and Ancient Rock Paintings. We will then follow a journey that is steeped in history and say goodbye to our truck for the night as we board the overnight train from Bulawayo to the mighty Victoria Falls. Expect basic conditions, but the views and experience of looking out the window and watching the world go by more than makeup for it. If you look carefully you might even spot some kudu or elephant! When you get there the mighty Victoria Falls await.
DAY 97-98: VICTORIA FALLS
For some, Mosi oa Tunya – The Smoke That Thunders, is the highlight of their African safari. From the main road, in the bush 20kms away, a cloud of mist and spray can be seen against the blue sky. As you get closer, a low rumble like thunder can be heard. When you arrive it is a surprise to discover the enormity of Victoria Falls. One mile wide and hurling over 5 million cubic metres of water a minute into the Zambezi Gorge this sight is breathtaking at any time of year. The Gorge is the setting for one of the most adrenaline-fuelled grade 5 white water rafting in the world. There is something here for everyone. Why not take a day trip over the Victoria Falls bridge to view the falls from Zambia, take the Flight of Angels – a great way to get a bird’s eye view of the falls in a microlight or helicopter, enjoy a civilised afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel, join a Sunset Boat Cruise or a more sedate Canoe trip. For those who want to make the most of the adrenaline activities, get your fix with the Gorge Swing, Abseil or ‘enjoy’ one of the highest commercial Bungee Jumps in the world.
DAY 99-103: VICTORIA FALLS TO MAUNOur overland trip continues from Zimbabwe into Botswana, spending the night on the outskirts of the Chobe National Park – famous for its hordes of elephants, as well as an abundance of other wildlife. You will have a chance to spend the afternoon on the Chobe River – a less intrusive way to view game and wildlife – as well as the Namibian frontier across the river.
We then head south into the Kalahari Basin – known for its dry, desolate and expansive freedom. You will have an opportunity to leave the truck to venture into the Okavango Delta. Local poler guides will navigate the extensive waterways using canoes similar to their traditional Mokoro’s (dugout canoes). This is a great experience – and the best way to have a chance of seeing the elusive wildlife of this unique desert oasis. You will have several opportunities to go on a game walk with rangers – giving you the chance to see elephant, crocodile and hippo up close and personal. The Okavango Delta is one of the world’s largest inland waterways and its calming serenity will leave those who experience it feeling supremely relaxed. There is also the opportunity to experience the heights of African adventure travel too: see the delta from the air during an hour-long flight.
DAY 104-108: MAUN TO BRANDBERG MOUNTAINS
Travelling west we enter Namibia and continue toward Etosha National Park – recognised as one of the worlds greatest wildlife viewing areas. The semi-desert is quite a contrast to the more fertile terrain we have been used to. The night sky ablaze with shooting stars and the warm glow of our campfire makes for unforgettable camping experiences. Besides game drives, we can also game watch by night at one of the floodlit water holes where we may well spot Rhino, Elephant and Giraffe among a host of other wildlife. From Etosha, we visit a local Cheetah park before continuing to the Brandberg Mountains in Damaraland.
DAY 109-113: BRANDBERG TO SWAKOPMUND
We then travel to the stunning Spitzkoppe Rock formations. Known as the Matterhorn of Namibia, the Spitzkoppe is part of the Erongo Mt range and was formed over 100 million years ago after the collapse of a gigantic volcano. The scenery is striking from every angle – even more, stunning as the granite massifs turn red at sunset. The next stop is the world-famous Cape Cross Seal Colony, where the sight of thousands of these mammals, as well as their accompanying pungent odour, is remembered by all! The Cool Atlantic Ocean and the prominent Benguela current provide a perfect location for feeding and breeding for the Cape Fur Seal.
For the next three days, our Africa overland trip will be based in Swakopmund – Namibia’s adventure gateway. You can choose between a variety of activities and excursions here: spend a day deep sea fishing for shark and other game fish or head out to the desert and try quad biking and dune sledging. You can also go horse riding or get a birds-eye view of the dramatic coastline – either by Sky diving from 10,000 feet or take a flight over the towering dunes in the area. In Swakopmund itself, you can walk along miles of deserted beaches, visit the museum or relax in a cafe.
DAY 114-116: SWAKOPMUND TO FISH RIVER CANYONA
One day drive takes us to Namib-Naukluft Park, a vast expanse of desert that contains some of the highest dunes in the world. At Sossusvlei, we stop and explore this spectacular area and red dunes. Continuing south we enter the semi-desert, and wide-open countryside of cattle ranching until we arrive at one of Africa’s most sensational natural features, Fish River Canyon. We stop here for a couple of hours to take in the awesome scenery.
DAY 117-120: FISH RIVER CANYON TO CAPE TOWN
A couple of hours drive away we enter South Africa and across the Orange River – a rich source of diamonds. We travel south through the Cederberg Wilderness Area, an area of rugged valleys and peaks on our way to the most southern tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas, it is the dividing line between the warm Indian Ocean and the cooler Atlantic Ocean. Our final destination for this amazing expedition is the vibrant and cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. Our accommodation here will be in a backpackers lodge.
There is so much to see and do in Cape Town and we recommend if you have the time to stay a few extra days and explore the area.
When it comes to overland adventures that really do get off the beaten track these guys know their stuff. Since their early days in the late-90s with the first adventure truck fondly known as ‘Noxy’ they grew to be loved by intrepid travellers for their journeys and for taking the hassle out of complex logistics so you can spend your precious time getting out there and immersing yourself in the different cultures and regions along the route. Plus there's the added bonus of security and peace of mind that travelling as part of a group brings. Over 21 years they've provided travellers with a unique travelling experience, very different to that of a normal package holiday. No surprise why we love them then! They're small enough to offer a personalised service to their travellers and they offer full financial protection through a trust account and associated insurance provided by Trust My Travel.
Cairo To Cape Town (17 Weeks) Nile Trans
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