Cairo to Cape Town overland tours

Dispelling easy stereotypes every step of the way, on an overland tour from Cairo to Cape Town you’ll quickly learn the truth behind the saying that ‘Africa is not a country’. Naturally, exploring the big ticket locations: the Nile, the Great Rift Valley, the Sahara, will captivate you, but this is also an opportunity to really delve beneath the headlines and catch sight of the ‘real Africa’ on a continent that is often visited but rarely well explored.

Cairo to Cape Town itinerary & highlights

Traveling the length of a continent, some 10,400km as the crow flies, it can take up to 20 weeks to get from Cairo to Cape Town, or indeed the other way. Luckily, for those with more ambition than time, it’s easily possible to break this route up into shorter stages that you can tackle over several years if you wish.
Michael Battley from our supplier Dragoman on the flexibility of overland Africa itineraries:

“Often you can make a tour as long or as short as you wish. For example we have had passengers that have completed Cairo to Cape Town but done it over a five year period as they come back and rejoin at the point they left last time. Each individual leg is designed as a trip in its own right, which then just has the benefit of tying together with other legs to form the longer itineraries.”
Over the course of an odyssey from Egypt to South Africa you can pass through countries including Botswana, Rwanda, Zambia, Ethiopia, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Kenya. The breadth of landscapes and cultures that you will experience is immense.

In respect of activities, you might be raising your adrenaline levels with white water rafting, or scuba diving in the Red Sea. You will equally be gaining valuable insights into the realities of life in different parts of Africa, by meeting Maasai communities, taking bush walks with San tribespeople, and eye opening, ethical tours around townships.

Our top Overland Vacation

West Africa explorer tour, Marrakech to Cotonou

West Africa explorer tour, Marrakech to Cotonou

An epic journey from Morocco to the voodoo coast of Benin

From £15799 to £15999 8 weeks ex flights
Small group travel:
2023: 18 Nov
2024: 7 Mar, 11 Nov
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Overland or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.


On a Cairo to Cape Town overland tour, you can definitely expect to be roughing it for the most part. Wild camping, or bush camps with limited toilet facilities are the norm, and by the time you reach the finish line, you’ll be an expert at setting up tents, collecting water, and choosing food at local markets.
Roads can be dusty, waterlogged, pitted with potholes or blocked by bad tempered buffalo, making progress slow. But travel in Africa is rarely fast, and its unpredictable nature should be embraced. The luxury comes from the experiences you’ll have as you travel, such as sleeping beneath a starry African sky every night. That is something that never, ever gets boring.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Phil Whitehouse] [Intro: Ferran Feixas] [Itinerary & highlights: ray rui] [Practicalities 1: Gopal Vijayaraghavan] [Practicalities 2: Maxim Medvedev]