An expedition through the heart of Africa from days of old.
From crossing deserts, rivers and mountains and overcoming a multitude of challenges this continent can throw at you, inter-twined with stunning National Parks, adventure activity play grounds and UNESCO World Heritage sites, this is a trip that will linger in the memory long after you finish.
Note: Due to the ongoing situation in Sudan we expect to extend our time in northern Kenya and Ethiopia somewhat, and then leave the truck in Addis Ababa. The group would overfly from there to Cairo (flight at your cost) and then complete the Egypt section using public transport and local hotels. We ran our 2023 departure in this way and it worked very well.
Listening out for the groans of the hippo whilst camping on Lake Naivasha
Raft or kayak part of the longest river in the world – the Nile
Make a difference in the local community and get involved in a Volunteer Project
Trek to see the largest living primate, the Mountain Gorilla
Experience the chaos of Kampala traffic with the movement of minibuses, cars, motorcycles and people
Navigating Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa
Visit the magnificent monasteries and rock-hewn churches located around Ethiopia
Camping 'under the stars' in the vast Nubian Desert in Sudan
Why you'll love this adventure
- Enjoying sunset at the Pyramids at Meroe surrounded by golden sand dunes
- Set sail down the Nile, one of the world's most iconic rivers on a traditional felucca sailboat
- Visiting the magnificent monasteries and rock-hewn churches located around Ethiopia
28 June 2024
30 August 2024
13 June 2025
15 August 2025
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
- Lake Nakuru National Park & game drive
- Entry into Meroe Pyramids
- Lake Nasser Ferry
- Pyramids & Sphinx day tour & guide
- 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 1-9: NAIROBI TO KAMPALA
In Nairobi, you have the opportunity to visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where Oasis helps support one of the elephants (Kamboyo). A great experience to see the nursery animals come out for their daily mud bath and comical play and to see the amazing work the centre does with rescued and injured elephants and rhinos. Nearby is the Langata Giraffe Centre, where you can learn more about these gentle and majestic creatures – hopefully getting the chance to get up close to feed them.
From Nairobi, we head north into one of Africa’s greatest natural features, the East African Rift Valley. Stretching from the Dead Sea in Jordan down to Mozambique in Southern Africa, our first view is from the top of a steep escarpment. Overland trips through East Africa will allow you to experience some of the most dramatic scenery in the world, and the Rift Valley is a definite highlight. The valley floor seems to sweep on forever and is dotted with volcanic peaks, shimmering lakes and countless springs. Our journey takes us into the heart of the Rift Valley 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 & plant life along with several types of gazelle, impala and eland.
A further half-day drive through hills covered in tea plantations and rural scenery drive brings 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 Pink Flamingos which feed noisily along the shoreline.
A mountainous drive with spectacular scenery through the Nandi Hills brings us to our next stop at Eldoret. From here we cross into Uganda and continue west to the capital.
Kampala 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.
DAY 10-17: KAMPALA TO JINGA
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.
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.
DAY 18-26: JINGA TO ADDIS ABABA
Re-entering Kenya, we travel around the foothills of Mount Kenya. before embarking on the next phase of our journey. This leads us into the remoteness of northern Kenya. Nomadic tribespeople like the Rendille in Marsabit & the Samburu (cousins of the Maasai) still wear a very distinctive and often elaborate dress.
As we cross into Ethiopia – 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.
We continue our journey north heading into the Omo Valley. This 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 make our way north to the capital, Addis Ababa.
DAY 27-33: ADDIS ABABA TO BAHIDAR
We spend a couple of days in Addis Ababa where we have the chance to indulge in some authentic Ethiopian coffee or explore ‘El Mercato’ – one of East Africa’s largest open-air markets. We also spend the next few days organising our Sudanese and Egyptian visas – before heading onto Bahir Darvia the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge & Falls.
DAY 34-42: BAHIDAR TO SUDAN
Bahidar is based on the southern edge of Lake Tana – 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 or take a trip to Blue Nile Falls. 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.
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. The border with Sudan is not far from Gondar and the first town after the border is Gedaref & Wadi Medani.
Note: If the security situation in Sudan has not improved, then we will adjust our itinerary in Ethiopia and then fly from Addis Ababa to Cairo (flight at your cost, budget $200), leaving the truck behind. We will then complete the Egypt section using public transport and local hotels. We ran our 2023 departure in this way and it worked very well.
DAY 43-49: KHARTOUM TO 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! 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. Here you can visit the Hamed al-Nil Tomb or take a trip to the daily camel market or viewing the confluence of the two Niles are also interesting ways to pass the time.
The ancient Pyramids at Meroe lie to the north of the capital Khartoum. Our drive across the Nubian Desert will see us either hugging the banks of the Nile as it snakes its way north 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 to Wadi Halfa.
DAY 50-56: WADI HALFA TO LUXOR
Upon reaching Lake Nasser and Wadi Halfa in Northern Sudan, we enter Egypt and board the ferry to Abu Simbel – our ultimate destination on our expedition. We arrive in the small village of Abu Simbel, where you will notice you will notice one of the many cultural changes on this trip – the darker Nubian people lead a more relaxed and less hectic pace of life than their Egyptian countrymen. You have the opportunity to visit Abu Simbel – the massive stone monuments built by the greatest of all pharaohs, Ramses ll, after spending the night we will travel in convoy to the city of Aswan. Philae temple, Nubian museum, an evening boat cruise to a Nubian village and walking through the colourful souk, is a great way to spend your days here. You can also join a 2 or 3 day felucca boat cruise to Edfu and/or Kom Ombo before arriving into Luxor.
DAY 57-64: LUXOR TO CAIRO
You will be kept busy exploring Luxor – where we visit the Valley of Kings and Queens. Here, the remarkably well-preserved tombs of the ancient rulers -namely Ramses ll 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 the last of your souvenirs. The following day we drive out 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.
Our final destination, Cairo is only a days drive away. Visiting the Great Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza with our Egyptologist guide and also the Egyptian Natural History Museum in the afternoon is a fitting way to end this amazing expedition.
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.
Nairobi To Cairo (64 Days) Nile Trans
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