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Nile Route between Cairo and Addis Ababa

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  • Cairo
  • Abu Simbel
  • Meroe
  • Addis Ababa
  • Marsa Alam
  • Eastern Deserts
  • Port Said
  • Khartoum
  • Gedaref
  • El Quseir
  • Naqa
  • Lalibela
  • Mekele
  • Debre Markos
  • Gondar
  • Axum
  • Aswan
  • Wadi Halfa
  • Alexandria
  • Luxor
  • Bahir Dar
  • Nile Felucca
  • Karima
  • Debark
  • Simien Mountains National Park
  • Wawa
  • Musawwarat
  • Edfu
  • Dejen
  • Woldiya

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!

  • Day 1 to 2 Addis Ababa

    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.

  • Day 3 Debre Markos

    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!).

  • Day 4 to 6 Bahir Dar

    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.

  • Day 7 to 9 Lalibela

    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.

  • Day 10 to 11 Mekele

    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.

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