Daily Route Schedule

Day 01 Cape to Cairo Tuesday 6th September 2011.
Capetown to Vioolsdrift: Start 7.30am: 694km.

We leave the Leisure Bay Hotel at 7.30am and head for a spot at Table View Beach for a photo shoot, with Table Mountain as a backdrop.

We then head for the N7 and a long drive up the West Coast to Vioolsdrift where we overnight. There are numerous spots along the way for a decent lunch and fuel. Vanrynsdorp is nearly half way to Vioolsdrift. There is not a lot to be said for the day except the road is good and we cover a lot of distance.

We stop at Owerebos Camp for the night, which is on the banks of the Gariep River. The camp is very basic and we sleep in bedded tents. There are communal toilet facilities and a pub. They are laying on a barbecue for the evening. It should be an ideal introduction to the trip.

Included:        Accommodation.           
Extras:            Barbecue at Owerebos.           

Day 02 Cape to Cairo Wednesday 7th September 2011.
Vioolsdrift to Helmeringhausen: Start 7.30am: 491km.

Following breakfast, we leave Vioolsdrift and cross the border into Namibia.

Keep all the paperwork received at the Namibia border crossing, as you will be asked for the necessary receipts when you leave Namibia.


From the border, we head north but soon head west on gravel to the Fish River Canyon, which after the Grand Canyon in the USA, is the second largest in the world. Spend a bit of time at the viewpoints.

Fuel could be a bit tricky so fill up at Vioolsdrift and make a slight detour to Ai-Ais for tea and fuel. The next fuel stop may be Seeheim but there is a possibility that the road into Seeheim may be closed and you will have to make a detour around Naute Dam. The next available fuel should be Bethanie and then on to Helmeringhausen where fuel is available.

The overnight is at the Helmeringhausen Hotel.

Included:        Accommodation.
Extras:            Dinner.
                        Gate fees to the Canyon.
                        Border Crossing Costs.           

Day 03 Cape to Cairo Thursday 8th September 2011.
Helmeringhausen to Windhoek Start 8.00am: 444km.

Today is a relatively short run from Helmeringhausen into Windhoek. Fuel is available along the way and we head east from Helmeringhausen to the main Capetown to Windhoek road from where it is an easy run into Windhoek on tar.

The cars will have been shaken up a bit by now and the early arrival in Windhoek gives ample time for repairs etc.

We overnight at the Hotel Pension Moni where parking is very tight. Not far from the hotel is the Old Wheelers Club of Namibia who are putting on a dinner for us that evening.

Included:        Accommodation.
Extras:            Old Wheelers dinner.           

Day 04 Cape to Cairo Friday 9th September 2011.
Windhoek to Ghanzi: Start 8.00am: 534km.

Another short day from Windhoek, across the border into Botswana and on to Ghanzi for an overnight. Near the Botswana border post is fuel and food.

Beware the pot holes and do not take any meats or foods into Botswana as it will be confiscated.

The lodge we are staying at is about 5km outside of Ghanzi and is on a private game farm. Perhaps a game drive before dinner?

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Dinner
                        Border crossing fees.           

Day 05 Cape to Cairo Saturday 10th September 2011.
Ghanzi to Nata: Start 8.00am: 598km.

Today is a straight run across Botswana. Beware of game along the road, especially elephant.

Maun is about half way and is a good stop for fuel and a bite.

If you get into Nata early enough I suggest you head for the Nata Bird Sanctuary, which is a few ks southeast of Nata on the Francistown road. If there is not too much water, you can drive out onto the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Included:        Accommodation.
Extras:            Dinner.           

Day 06 Cape to Cairo Sunday 11th September 2011.
Nata to Hwange: Start 8.00am: 416km.

Today we cross from Botswana into Zimbabwe at a little known border post called Pandamatenga. Once we are over the border it may be possible to get to the Hwange Safari Lodge via the Hwange National Park but I have not been able to establish if you can get in from the west. If not, we head for the Vic Falls Bulawayo road and head east to Hwange.

If by any chance the border post is closed, we will head northwest to Kazangula and take the long way around into Zimbabwe.

On Zimbabwean roads, there is a likely hood that you may be stopped at a toll stop, a traffic police roadblock or a security police roadblock. At the toll stops, you must pay US$1.00 so have small notes ready. At the other roadblocks, you will be asked for your paperwork, which you will have received at the border crossing. Keep it handy and a dash of patience is required. Remember the front and rear reflectors for the car.

Overnight is at the Hwange Safari Lodge.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Dinner
                        Border crossing costs.
                        Park entrance fees.                       

Day 07 Cape to Cairo Monday 12th September 2011.
Day off Hwange: Start 0.00am: 000km.

Today is a day off to relax, get laundry done, and service the car, visit the Nwange Park or head off to Victoria Falls for the day.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Dinner.               
Day 08 Cape to Cairo Tuesday 13th September 2011.
Hwange to Mlibizi: Start 6.30am: 123km.


The start time is early because I have been advised that we have to be at Mlibizi to load the ferry by 8.00am.

It is only 130km but if we run into slow roadblocks or bad roads, we need time in hand.

The ferry departs Mlibizi at 9.00am sharp and we arrive at Kariba the next morning at 7.00am.

Included:        Bedding
                        All meals
Extras:            Bar.                       

Day 09 Cape to Cairo Tuesday 14th September 2011.
Kariba to Chasima: Start 7.30am: 232km.

After unloading from the overnight ferry, we head for the border into Zambia. We will meet up with a Zambian agent who will hopefully have all the necessary Comesa 3rd Party insurance for the rest of the trip to Cairo and the necessary Zambian Kwacha.

It is imperative that you obtain your Comesa insurance at this point and although it is mandatory in all counties from here to Egypt, you cannot obtain it at various border posts. You also cannot purchase the Comesa Insurance south of Zambia.

From the border, it is a short run up to Lusaka, which is a modern city with modern shopping centers, services, etc.

The overnight is north of Lusaka.

Beware the speed traps around Lusaka especially just before entering the city.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Border crossing fees.
                        Comesa Insurance, etc.

Day 10 Cape to Cairo Wednesday 15th September 2011.
Chasima to Mpika: Start 7.30am: 734km.

Today is a long run up the Great North Road to Kapishya Springs outside of Mpika in northern Zambia.

Fuel can be frequently out of stock and the quality of the fuel varies. I recommend that you refuel wherever you can. Kapiri Moshi mostly has fuel and there is a large filling station a bit further on from the town where you turn right onto the Great North Road. Miss this turn point and you will end up on the Copperbelt, as I have done.

We leave the Great North Road and head for the homestead of Shiwa Ngandu. We pass Shiwa and travel a further 30km into the bush where we will camp overnight at the Kapishiya springs. Dinner and breakfast is included at the overnight. Tonight is the first time we use our tents however there are a couple of chalets.

When you pass the Shiwa homestead, you will notice an old clock tower complete with clock. This clock was the clock that adorned the control tower at the Brooklands racetrack at Weybridge in the UK. See www.shiwangandu.com for the story. If you can find a copy of “The Africa House”, it tells a good if somewhat romantic story of the history of Shiwa. Tours around the main house are available.

Included:        Camp Site
Extras:            House Tours            

Day 11 Cape to Cairo Friday 16th September 2011.
Mpika to Mbeya: Start 8.00am: 422km.

Today we cross from Zambia into Tanzania. Not a very long day distance wise but the border post can be a chaotic shambles at times and may delay proceedings somewhat. There are many “customs agents/money changers” at the border so beware and keep your doors locked at all times. Carry only the money you want to change and be aware of the prevailing exchange rate.

On the tar road run down into Mbeya, beware of the occasional huge pothole. Our overnight stop, Utengule Lodge is situated in a coffee plantation about 15km before Mbeya. The approach road through a village was washed away some time ago and may have been repaired by now. If not you have to find your way through a native location before you can get back on the road.

There is no fuel available in the overnight area, but is freely available a bit further on at Mbeya town the next morning.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Border crossing fees.

Day 12 Cape to Cairo Saturday 17th September 2011.
Mbeya to Morogoro: Start 7.30am: 652km.

The drive from Mbeya down over the escarpment is one of my favorites in Africa. It is a long way but the terrain changes and is interesting. The halfway stop is Iringa, which is an interesting old German founded town. From Iringa you drop off the escarpment down a spectacular pass and head out across the baobab valleys towards Mikumi. The last 40k or so into Mikumi was made especially for those who like to drive quickly.

 From Mikumi the road crosses a National Park where we have often seen lots of game. Beware the speed humps!

The Oasis hotel is where we overnight in the town of Morogoro. This is an Indian owned “hotel” so the curries are good. This hotel is very very basic but is about the best one can find in the area.

Included:        Accommodation
Excluded:       Dinner

Day 13 Cape to Cairo Sunday 18th September 2011.
Morogoro to Zanzibar: Start 6.30am: 193km.

The logistics for the day are as follows:

1.    Depart Morogoro on time.
2.    Travel to Dar es Salaam New Southern Sun Hotel.
3.    Park cars at hotel.
4.    11.00am bus to ferry port.
5.    Depart ferry to Zanzibar – on time.
6.    Arrive Zanzibar.
7.    Bus to resort.

Fortunately, this is a Sunday so the traffic into Dar es Salaam should not be as heavy as it can be but we are allowing time in case.

I am hiring a room at the Southern Sun where we can leave items, which we do not wish to drag over to Zanzibar.

On arrival at Zanzibar we will be transferred to the overnight resort

Included:        Accommodation.

Day 14 Cape to Cairo Monday 19th September 2011.
Zanzibar Rest Day: Start 0.00am: 000km.

Explore. The resort offers many excursions and activities.

Included:        Accommodation.

Day 15 Cape to Cairo Tuesday 20th September 2011.

Zanzibar: Start 8.30am: 000km.

Following breakfast, we bus into Stone Town for a tour of the village and lunch. Following the tour, we head for the airport from where we fly back to Dar es Salaam and our cars at the New Africa Hotel.

Overnight at the Southern Sun Hotel.

Included:        Accommodation.
                        Stone Town Tour.
Extras:            Border crossing costs.                       

Revised 16-20, TBA.

Day 21 Cape to Cairo Monday 26th September 2011.
Nairobi to Samburu: Start 6.00am: 348km.

I hope that there have been no route changes out of Nairobi to the north. You may have noticed that there are 22 route instructions just to get out of the suburbs so you will need to concentrate. If all else fails, follow Tor Allan.

On our way to the Equator, we will stop at Nyeri to visit the resting place of Lord Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouts movement, involved in the Siege of Mafeking and various other exploits.

At the Equator, we will have the obligatory Kodak moment and watch the mystery of water draining in different directions depending on which side of the borderline you are standing. I still have not worked it out.

There is a nice little restaurant for lunch at the airfield on the left just before you arrive at Nanyuki.

It is very easy to take the road to Meru instead of Isiolo so beware the intersection when you arrive there.

We overnight at a game lodge in the Samburu National Park

Enjoy tonight as it is the last time we will be in an environment, western, that you may be accustomed to.

Included:        Accommodation.
Extras:            Park entrance fees.
                        The swirling water demonstration!            

Day 22 Cape to Cairo Tuesday 27th September 2011.
Samburu to Marsabit: Start 7.00am: 233km.

The road from Samburu to Moyale is approximately 500km long. The village of Marsabit sits approximately half way along.

The route for today is Samburu to Marsabit. Approximately 230km of the road to Marsabit has been tarred with about 20km of very bad road left into Marsabit. I had thought about trying to get on the Moyale but with reflection, I do not think it a good idea.

Although there is little in the way of facilities along the way, Marsabit does normally have fuel. Near the Marsabit village is Henry the Swiss who has a bakery and camping facilities and the Roman Catholic Mission that has rooms and we have eaten there in the past. Presume that none of this is available for two days and be prepared to cater for and accommodate yourselves for two days.

The other possibility is the Marsabit National Park, which has a rundown lodge set on the rim of an old volcano crater. The problem with the lodge is that they are not contactable and the road in is impassable if it is wet. We also have to pay park fees to get in.

My first choice will be to try to get into the National Park and if not possible, we can try Henrys or the mission.

Included:             Camping Fees where necessary.           
Excluded:            Lodge if we can find one and meals.         

Day 23 Cape to Cairo Wednesday 28th September 2011.
Marsabit to Moyale: Start 6.30am: 253km.

A very bad road, by all reports, from Marsabit to Moyale. I have put aside 11 hours to do this section.

We may be stopped at an army post outside of Marsabit and be asked to take a soldier with us to Moyale.

If we arrive in Moyale Kenya in time, we will cross into Moyale Ethiopia and find a place to camp there. Failing which we will find a spot to camp on the Kenya side.

If by some chance we get to Moyale by midday we will press on to a place called Yebelo but I do not intend to rush this day.

Included:             Camping fees where necessary.
Excluded:            Everything else!

Day 24 Cape to Cairo Thursday 29th September 2011.
Moyale to Awassa: Start 8.00am: 500km.

Today we head north up into Ethiopia for an overnight at Awassa. It is a tar road all the way and if you have suffered any damage on the Marsabit road there is a good workshop in Awassa.

At Yebelo, there is an hotel that does a good omelet and fuel is available.

There is a decent restaurant near the International Hotel in Awassa on the main street.

Included:            Accommodation         
Day 25 Cape to Cairo Friday 30th September 2011.
Awassa to Addis Ababa: Start 6.30am: 268km.

For those who don’t have a Sudanese visa you need to make a bee line to the Sudanese Embassy in Addis Ababa and be there before 10.00am to complete formalities.

From the embassy,  head for the hotel and spend the rest of the day off exploring Addis or whatever grabs your fancy.

There is a second route option, Day 25a straight into Addis for those who have visas for the Sudan.

Included:        Accommodation
Excluded:        Dinner

Day 26 Cape to Cairo Saturday 1st October 2011.
Addis to Addis: Start 0.00: 000km.

Day off in Addis for sightseeing car repairs, laundry, and a possible revisit to the Sudanese Embassy.

Included:           Accommodation
Excluded:          Dinner

Day 27 Cape to Cairo Sunday 2nd October 2011.
Addis to Lalibela: Start 4.30am: 000km.

Note departure time.

The check in time for the flight to Lalibela is 5.30am with a 7.30 take off.

We spend the day with a guide exploring Lalibela.

Included:        Accommodation
Day 28 Cape to Cairo Monday 3rd October 2011.
Lalibela to Addis Ababa: Start 6.00am: 000km.

Note Start Time.

Check in at 7.10am for 9.10 departure to Addis with an ETA of 11.00. Check with Sudanese Embassy and spend lazy day. Visit the Old Market.

Included:        Accommodation
Day 29 Cape to Cairo 4th October 2011.
Addis Ababa to Bahir Dah: Start TBAam: 560km.

We need to be at the Embassy when it opens if the passports were not ready yesterday and head north for Bahir Dah. If they were ready, we will leave at 7.30am.

The first place of interest is the Monastery at Debre Limanos about 100km out of Addis and if time is on your side make a stop.

We cross the Nile for the first time today. The soldiers on the bridge get very touchy about taking photographs. The road out of the gorge is serious climb so watch your temperatures.

Debre Markos is suitable for fuel and food.

We overnight on the out skirts of Bahir Dah at the Abu Minch Lodge.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Monastery entry fee.

Day 30 Cape to Cairo Wednesday 5th October 2011.

Bahir Dah to Gondar: Start 8.00am: 239km.

Today’s distance of 239km includes an excursion to the Blue Nile Falls, if you fancy, or head straight for Gondar.

If you have just left Addis Ababa, you can make Gondar in a day.

It is a short hilly run up to Gondar and perhaps the tanks etc littered about from their last war, are still to be seen.

Gondar is another town with a great cathedral, which is worth a visit.

Our overnight stop at the Ghoa Hotel has lovely views over Gondar.

Included:         Accommodation
Extras:            Touts at the falls.   
Day 31 Cape to Cairo Thursday 6th October 2011.
Gondar to Wadi Madeni: Start 7.00am: 591km.

We leave Gondar heading for the Sudanese border, which is about 200km away. Along this road is a huge drop off the escarpment. The road over the escarpment was being tarred when I was last there and I hope it is now complete.

The border at Metema/Galabat is a very rustic and slow affair and the time spent there can vary enormously. Patience is required.
Remember no booze into the Sudan and no women in shorts.

If things go smoothly at the border we will aim for Wadi Madeni where we will camp although I have heard of a hotel. If we are delayed at the border, we will head for Gedareff.

Fuel is available in most towns and all being well we can find a restaurant along the banks of the Nile at Wadi Madeni. We should be able to find a meal at Gedareff if necessary but there is no guarantee on this.

Included:        Camp Site.          
Extras:            Hotel if available.

US250 is allocated for a campsite. Which we can set against an hotel if we find one. 
Day 32 Cape to Cairo Friday 7th October 2011.
Wadi Madeni to Khartoum: Start 8.30am: 193km.

It is a short 200km run into Khartoum where we will meet up with our Sudanese guide. Most of Khartoum will be shut down on the Friday and our paperwork will be completed the next day.

We are based at the Plaza Hotel for two days.

Being a Friday, the Whirling Dervishes perform in the old city of Omdurman.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            We are required to pay the Sudanese for the trip through to Wadi Halfa on this day so please have your  US ready as advised.        

Day 33 Cape to Cairo Saturday 8th October 2011.
Khartoum Day Off: Start 0.00am: 000km.

Day Off. See day 32. Visit the Museums, the Nile and the markets.

Included:        Accommodation

 Day 34 Cape to Cairo Sunday 9th October 2011.
Khartoum to Karima: Start 7.00am: 425+-km.

This is the revised itinerary from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa using a guide etc as described earlier.
After breakfast, we head out of Khartoum towards Atbara, which is due north. After about 200km we go off-road at Naga to visit the Temple of Amun and then on to the Temple of Musawarat. Not too far on from there we visit the Pyramids of Meroe. The original plan was to get into Karima for the evening but as I have explained to the Sudanese, Karima is too far a distance in one day so they will be setting up camp somewhere in the desert between Atbara and Karima.

Included:       Accommodation
Extras:            Nil                       

Day 35 Cape to Cairo Monday 10th October 2011.
Karima to Kerma: Start 8.00am: 350+-km.

After leaving the previous overnight spot, we head, via Karima, for the Temple of Barkal and the Tumbos Temples. From Tumbos we head for our overnight stop at Kerma.

Refuel at Karima and Kerma

Included:       Accommodation

Revised 36-40 TBA       

Day 41 Cape to Cairo Sunday 16th October 2011.
Aswan: 0.00am : 000km.

Not a lot can happen today as its Sunday but if we can get the Egyptians to works a bit of “overtime” we may, just may have our cars today.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            As per the last couple of days.                       

Day 42 Cape to Cairo Monday 17th October 2011.
Aswan to Luxor: Start 7.00am: 273km.

I hope that we have our cars by today and we head off to Luxor.

Normally foreign registered vehicles are required to take a convoy to Luxor, which leaves the bottom end of the Corniche at 8.00am.

After checking in at Luxor, head for the Valley of the Kings etc.

Hold thumbs that we have our cars by today.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Dinner        

Day 43 Cape to Cairo Tuesday 18th October 2011.
Aswan to Hurghada: Start 8.00am: 300km.

Today’s run takes us across the eastern desert to the Red Sea. The desert can be very, very hot and we have had to stop in the past during sandstorms to cool the cars down. There is a bit of a refreshment oasis about half way across the desert.

Once we hit the coast, we head left up the coast to Hurghada.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Dinner  

Day 44 Cape to Cairo Wednesday 19th October 2011.
Hurghada: Start 0.00am: 000km.

Day off to relax in the Red Sea

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Nil           

Day 45 Cape to Cairo Thursday 20th October 2011.
Hurghada to Cairo: Start 8.00am: 450km.

Today we start the last leg of our adventure into Cairo. The road takes us up the coast and then heads west towards Cairo. Navigating in Cairo is a nightmare so stay close and watch the GPS.

We overnight at the Amarante Hotel, which is not far from the Pyramids and the Sphinx.

Included:        Accommodation
Extras:            Dinner                       

Day 46 Cape to Cairo Friday 21st October 2011.

The Finish.

So today is the end of our adventure which started 7 weeks ago in Capetown.  I hope you have enjoyed yourselves.

The day is free to do touristy things. The Military Museum near the Citadel is great as are the Cairo Museum, the Pyramids and Sphinx.

We will meet this evening for a last supper.

Included:        Accommodation