My epic overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town

My Cairo to Cape Town journey through 15 countries in East Africa.

In 2015 I flew to Cairo to start my 19 week overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town.  This was the adventure of a lifetime driving overland from Cairo in Egypt to Cape Town in South Africa. This is an epic adventure which will provide amazing opportunities to see wildlife, awe-inspiring scenery, tropical beaches and islands, and to experience African cultures, from nomadic tribes to crazy capital cities.

Cairo to Cape Town

Here are some of the highlights on this 20,000 kilometres journey across 15 countries overland from Cairo to Cape Town.


  • arrive in Cairo and a visit to the Cairo Egyptian Museum and the iconic Pyramids & Sphinx of Giza
  • Travel along the shores of the Red Sea and stop off for a bit of beach time
  • Explore Luxor, the former Egyptian capital of Thebes, visit the Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, Hatsheput Temple and the Luxor Museum
  • Board a felucca for an overnight Nile Cruise
  • Visit the Temple of Horus in the ancient settlement of Edfu
  • Explore Aswan and its Nubian culture, and take a day trip out to Abu Simbal

Cairo to Cape Town


  • Be one of the few travellers to explore Sudan – this stunning and friendly country is a pleasure to travel in, but is sadly often confused with its troubled neighbour, South Sudan. We follow the banks of the Nile and venture into the harsh desert
  • Visit the Kushite pyramids and temples at Jebel Barkal
  • Let a local guide explain the Pyramids of Meroe
  • Explore the Naqa and Musarwarat Temples
  • Camp out in the desert, a star-gazers paradise


  • Stop over in the ancient capital of Ethiopia, Gondar, and explore its fantastic castle
  • Go trekking in the Ethiopian Simien Mountains, with amazing landscapes and wildlife
  • Spend a couple of days exploring the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela including the unforgettable church of Bete Giorgios (St George), with a local guide to explain it all
  • Explore the capital city, Addis Ababa
  • Take a boat trip out onto Lake Tana and explore the island monasteries and churches
  • Take a guided trip into the Omo Valley looking for the local tribes who maintain a traditional lifestyle


  • Travel south down the Rift Valley looking for the local indigenous tribe, the Samburu, and exploring the Samburu National Park with its great wildlife including the gerenuk (“giraffe-necked antelope”)
  • Camp on the slopes of Mt Kenya, enjoy a great walk and interacting with the local community
  • Enjoy a guided game drive in Nakuru National Park with a good chance of spotting white and black rhino and a wealth of other game
  • Explore Nairobi, the bustling heart of central Africa, a crazy mix of Africa with its colonial past, or visit Karen Blixen’s House and an elephant sanctuary


  • Camp at the source of the Nile, the longest river in the world, with a chance to raft the White Nile, or take part in one of the many other adventures
  • Go trekking in search of wild chimpanzee


  • Visit the Genocide Museum and understand more of this country’s sad past
  • Wander the streets of the vibrant capital city, Kigali
  • Head into the Ruhengeri National Park and go in search of the Mountain Gorillas, sure to be a trip highlight.  Check out this post on where to go on an African safari?

Gorillas in Rwanda


  • Take a jeep safari into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorogoro Crater Reserve
  • Have the opportunity to interact with the local Masaai tribe and support the local community projects
  • Four nights on the exotic island of Zanzibar, with time to explore the cobbled streets of Stone Town, relax on the white sandy beaches, snorkel or dive over coral reefs and do a spice tour explaining all the exotic spices which gave Zanzibar its name of the “Spice Island”
  • Camp for a night in the shadow of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa
  • Take a slow drive through Mukumi National Park


  • Beach hop along the shores of Lake Malawi, meet friendly people, explore great traditional villages and find some top souvenirs to take home


  • Visit South Luangwa National Park, one of our favourite parks in Africa with a great chance for leopard, elephant, buffalo, and lion, not to mention hippos and crocodiles
  • Take a cruise on Lake Kariba and possibly try your luck at tiger fishing
  • Explore the mighty Victoria Falls where you can try bungee jumping off a bridge, white water rafting or take a microlite or helicopter flight over the falls, and so much more in this adventure centre


  • Explore the Okavango Delta on a two-day/one-night mokoro (dugout canoe) trip
  • Spend a day exploring the bush and salt-pans of Botswana
  • Take a boat cruise or game drive in the Chobe National Park


  • Join a true game ranger and go off on foot tracking white rhino in the Matopos National Park, also the site of Cecil John Rhodes’ grave
  • Visit a private game and horse ranch and go horse riding, game driving or take a walk with lions
  • Take a guided tour and ponder at the majestic Great Zimbabwe Ruins, only surpassed by the Pyramids of Egypt in size and scale


  • Exotic Mozambique, home to amazing beaches, diving, seafood and a blend of Portuguese and African cultures
  • Take a boat trip out into the Bazaruto Archipelago in a traditional dhow (sailing boat)
  • Go looking for whale sharks and dolphins and have the chance to join them in the water
  • Dive the reefs of Tofo, some of the best diving on the Mozambique coast
  • Sample the local seafood and traditional Portuguese-influenced food


  • Explore this green mountainous kingdom, one of only three kingdoms in Africa
  • Visit a community project which empowers local women, and sample the local cuisine
  • Visit the Mliliwane Nature Reserve and see examples of traditional houses and a great assortment of plains game


  • High up in the mighty Drakensberg mountain range, this small mountainous country has been the refuge of the Basotho people. With its alpine-like feel, amazing mountain scenery and friendly people, it is worlds apart from other destinations in Africa


  • Visit the coastal town of St Lucia and enjoy a game drive into the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, a world heritage site and a great place to spot rhino and leopard
  • Visit the Nelson Mandela Museum
  • Travel along the Garden Route and enjoy another great coastal town, Knysna, with great walks and a funky vibe
  • Stop off at Cape Agulhus, the southernmost point in Africa, and the point where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet
  • Explore Hermanus, a funky town with stunning coastal walks, and the opportunity to get a bit of underwater adrenalin with Great White Shark cage diving
  • And finally, beautiful Cape Town, the “Mother City” whose skyline is dominated by Table Mountain

I’m so excited to go to Africa and visit these 15 countries on an overland trip from Cairo to Cape Town.


Nicole LaBarge is a travel expert who has been traveling internationally for over 25 years and she has visited over 115 countries all while working a 9-5. She has lived in England, Scotland, Japan and New Zealand. Check out her detailed destination guides and travel product guides.

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