Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).
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.
If you are travelling to the Sudan and have arranged to pick the visa up in Addis Ababa, you will need to arrive at least 2 working days early to collect the visa.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa 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 Addis Ababa.
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!
Today we will complete our drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.
On our first full 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 take optional visits to some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial.
Today we will drive to the ideological village of Awra Amba. Run by the infamous Zumra Nuru the village operates with the belief that everyone is equal and should have a say in how their home is run. We will take a tour of the village and camp on the outskirts.
Today we have a full day's drive through the beautiful scenery of central Ethiopia to reach the small medieval town of Lalibela.
On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included 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 Yemrehana Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace.
Leaving Lalibela behind us, we have a full days drive through increasingly mountainous scenery to reach the town of Mekele.
After breakfast meet your 4 x 4 vehicles and drive to Hamed Ella. On the way you will pass through the beautiful Tigre Villages and the escarpment of the Afar depression, this is commonly known as the cradle of mankind and is part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Along the way you will see camel caravans going to the traditional salt mine or to the North Eastern highlands of the country, loaded with salt bars in the old traditional way. We will also stop at Brehalle where we will get our permits and scouts for the trip into the Danakil Depression.
On the second day we drive to Dallol. Here in Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectacular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to witness the beautiful salt flats. This is an extremely intense environment and a very adventurous three days, certainly a once in a lifetime experience. However, if you feel like your personal fitness can not withstand this pressure then there is a chance this may not be the trip for you.Today we will make our way back to Mekele ending our time in the stunning Danakil Depression.
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.
Today we will have an included 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 make optional visits to other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
Leaving Axum behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the small village of Debark. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!
Debark is the gateway to the Simien Mountains NP, and on arrival we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options that we will have during our excursion starting the following day.
Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains NP. 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.
We will spend 3 nights in the incredible Simien Mountains NP. 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.
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 NP 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 NP are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night (often dropping below freezing), so please be prepared! You will need to bring a suitable sleeping bag and mat with you from home to ensure you are ready for this environment.
Today we once again have the choice between joining a short trek or a long trek. Each one will have a guide and a superb route showing off the best the Simiens have to offer.
This is our final day of treking in the National Park. Once again there will be a choice between short and long routes as we soak in the final moments of the mountains.
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!
Today, we will have an included half-day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church.
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.
Today we have a full day's drive to Sudan's capital of Khartoum.
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 the following morning.
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.
Today will be free to independently explore Khartoum, including possible optional visits to the impressive Grand Mosque and the bustling Omdurman market.
Today we will head out of Khartoum to explore the Kushite temples of Naqa and Musawwarat.
Today we will head north to visit the incredible and haunting Meroe pyramids of the Kushite era. We will then continue on to Karima.
Over the next 3 days we will journey 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 Deffufa of Kerma near Dongola, and the Temple of Soleb near Wawa.On all of these nights we will wild camp out in the remote deserts, which is the true highlight of travelling overland through Sudan!
Today we continue on our journey visiting the relics of the Kushite era on our way.
Over today we continue our journey into the heart of Sudan, visiting the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids and Meroe pyramids of the Kushite era. We will then continue south to visit the Kushite ruins at the sites of Naqa and Musawwarat.
Today brings our journey in Sudan to an end. We will spend the morning driving into the city. In the afternoon we have free time to spend in the city itself or exploring the hill surrounding us.
Our final day in Sudan gives us time to explore the city of Wadi Halfa and enjoy the sights and sounds of Sudan for one last time.
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).
Today we continue our drive 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.
Today we have full day in Aswan to visit as many of the historical sites as possible! Museums, Obelisks, Tombs and Temples are commonplace here. Which ones will you choose to visit?!
Today we will board a traditional felucca sailboat for an overnight adventure exploring the Nile by boat.
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.
Today 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 our final day here 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.
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.
We will have 2 days in Marsa Alam to relax on the beaches, enjoy many optional activities on the Red Sea, or to take an optional overnight camel safari out into the nearby deserts of Wadi-el-Gamal!
Today we will continue to enjoy the activites on offer in Marsa Alam. There are plenty of options for once in a lifetime expereinces, both on land and in the sea!
Our final day in Marsa Alam. This is the time to enjoy realaxation on the beach before we continue our journey towards El Quseir.
Today we will spend some more time at Marsa Alam, before heading up the coast to explore the nearby Ottoman fort at El Quseir.
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.
Today we will head further north, and follow the Suez Canal to its northern outflow into the Mediterranean Sea at Port Said.
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.
Today we will have the chance to visit the beautiful modern Alexandria Library, explore various historical sites, and to go diving in the Mediterranean.
Today is our final drive day to the colossal, bustling 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.
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.
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 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.