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Deserts & Mountains of Sudan & Ethiopia Khartoum - Addis Ababa

Trip Overview

This 30 day overland tour journeys from Khartoum to Addis Ababa through Ethiopia, Sudan
30 DAYS THROUGH Ethiopia, Sudan
RATING:
of 0 reviews
PRICE FROM:
$3,930 (USD) + 1,030 KITTY (USD)
DURATION:
30 days
TRANSPORT:
Overland expedition vehicle, Boat
CREW:
2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary, 1 local crew in certain areas
ACCOM:
35%
65%
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE:
LIFESTYLE CHALLENGE:
TRIP CODE:
AKA
DEPOSIT:
$350 USD

Highlights

  Visit Kushite temples and climb Jebel Barkal mountain

  Visit to the Meroe pryamids and temples of Naqa and Musawwarat

  Visit the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids

  Witness the wild antics of the Omdurman Whirling Dervish

  3 nights in the fabulously scenic Simien Mountains National Park

  Spot geladas, ibex, Ethiopian wolves and many other endemic species

  2 day 4 x 4 adventure to the spectacular Danakil Depression

  Drive the dramatic roads of the Blue Nile gorge

  SHOW MORE HIGHLIGHTS  

Itinerary

Day 1 - Khartoum ( 4th Jan 2020 )

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 10:00am - 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 today.

The rest of the day will be free to independently explore Khartoum, including possible optional visits to the impressive Grand Mosque and the bustling Omdurman market.

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.

In Khartoum we stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Daily Activities

Optional Activities

These activities are not included in the itinerary, however they are available to book and/or payable locally.

Explore Omdurman market in Khartoum

Free

Witness the confluence of the Blue and White Niles at 'The Mogran' near Khartoum

Free

Learn all about the Islamic Mahdist era with a visit to the Khalifa House Museum and the Mahdi's Tomb in Omdurman

USD 1
Visit the various interesting museums of Khartoum - the Presidental Palace Museum, the National Museum and the Ethnographic Museum
SDD 1
Day 2 - Dongola ( 5th Jan 2020 )

Today our journey begins with a drive out into the Sahara deserts northwest of Khartoum. We will arrive at the historic site of Old Dongola, once an important city in medieval Nubia. After an included visit to the site, we will wild camp in the stunning deserts nearby.

Estimated Drive Time - 6-8 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!).

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the curious medieval ruins of Old Dongola in the western deserts of Sudan

Included in Kitty
Day 3 - Wawa, Dongola ( 6th Jan 2020 )

Today we will journey through the remote areas of northern Sudan and the vast Sahara Desert. En route we will visit the Deffufa of Kerma near Dongola, once of the site of the capital of the Kingdom of Kerma, an incredibly ancient civilisation that flourished in the area as long as 5,500 years ago. In the afternoon we will arrive in the small village of Wawa, and will have an included visit to the deserted ruins of the Temple of Soleb on the opposite bank of the Nile.

We will wild camp near the village of Wawa.

Estimated Drive Times - 5-7 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit the pre-Kushite Temple of Deffufa, a 5,500 year old Nubian archaeological site built by the Kerma civilisation

Included in Kitty

Explore the ruins of the Temple of Soleb

Included in Kitty
Day 4 - Karima ( 7th Jan 2020 )

Today we will journey to the town of Karima, where we have an included visit to the mysterious site of Jebel Barkal. A very distinctive flat-topped mountain in the desert, the site has some well preserved ancient paintings in a small temple underneath it and a few Nubian pyramids nearby.

We will wild camp in the deserts east of Karima.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Visit to the Kushite temples and climb to the summit of the distinctive Jebel Barkal mountain

Included in Kitty

Explore the ancient Kushite Royal Pyramids at Nuri, near Karima

Included in Kitty
Day 5 - Meroe, Nuri ( 8th Jan 2020 )

Today we will visit the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids of the Kushite era, east of the town of Karima. We will then continue our drive towards the famous site of Meroe, wild camping in the deserts nearby.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours.

Day 6 - Naqa, Musawwarat, Meroe ( 9th Jan 2020 )

This morning we will visit the incredible deserted Kushite pyramids of Meroe, one of the most iconic and haunting sites in Sudan. In the afternoon we will move on to the other magnificient Kushite sites of Musawwarat and Naqa - we will visit both highlights and then wild camp in the deserts nearby.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Explore the ancient Kushite temples of Naqa and Musawwarat

Included in Kitty

Guided visit of Meroe Pyramids

Included in Kitty
Day 7 - Khartoum ( 10th Jan 2020 )

Today we will complete our journey back to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where we have a much-deserved refresh and relax in the hotel after our time in the desert!

In the evening we will meet up for an included visit to Omdurman to see the weekly gathering of Whirling Dervishes, a magical cultural experience to see in the sunset.

In Khartoum we will return to our comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

Daily Activities

Included Activities

Witness the spectacular Whirling Dervishes of Omdurman

Included in Kitty
Day 8 - Gedaref ( 11th Jan 2020 )

Today we will drive from Khartoum to the small town of Gedaref, en route to the Ethiopian border.

In Gedaref we will either stay in a basic local hotel in the town or bush camp in the deserts outside.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Day 9 - Gondar ( 12th Jan 2020 )

Border Information: Exit Sudan at Metema, enter Ethiopia at Metema.

Today we have a full day's drive to cross the border into Ethiopia and reach the ancient royal city of Gondar.

In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.

Day 10 - Gondar ( 13th Jan 2020 )

Border Information: if joining in Gondar, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Gondar Atse Tewodros Airport (IATA code: GDQ).

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 continuing to Kenya or beyond, your leader will need to check the validity dates of your Ethiopian visa.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Gondar 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 Gondar.

Day 11 - Gondar ( 14th Jan 2020 )

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. 

In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Day 12-14 - Simien Mountains National Park ( 15th Jan 2020 to 17th Jan 2020 )

Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains National Park. We will first drive to Debark, where we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options we will have during our excursion, before heading into the National Park.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

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 National Park. 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.

On our first day, we aim to wild camp at the area of Sankaber. On our second and third days, we aim to wild camp at the area of Chenek (underneath Ras Bwahit, the second-highest mountain in the Simiens, which we hope to get the opportunity to summit).

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 national park 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 National Park 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.

Day 15 - Simien Mountains National Park, Debark ( 18th Jan 2020 )

Today is our final day in the Simien Mountains National Park, and we make our way back to Debark for the night.

In Debark we will stay in a basic local hotel.

Day 16 - Axum ( 19th Jan 2020 )

Leaving Debark behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!

In Axum we will stay in a basic hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 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 17 - Axum ( 20th Jan 2020 )

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 have the time to optionally visit other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

Day 18 - Mekele ( 21st Jan 2020 )

Today we will continue through the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains and visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church) near to Mekele.

In Mekele we will stay in a decent local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

Day 19 - Danakil Depression ( 22nd Jan 2020 )

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. 

In Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectactular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to witness the beautiful salt flats. 

We will stay in a local homestay during this excursion. The final day we will then make our way back to Mekele visiting villages along the way. 

This is an extremely intense enviroment and a very adventurous two 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.

Day 20 - Mekele ( 23rd Jan 2020 )

Today we will finish our time in the beautiful Danakil Depression. We will make our way back to Mekele to stay in a basic hotel overnight. 

Day 21-23 - Lalibela ( 24th Jan 2020 to 26th Jan 2020 )

Today we will have a full day drive to the town of Lalibela. 

Estimated Drive Time - 9 - 10 hours.

On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included full-day guided tour of its world-famous 13th-century rock churches. 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 our 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.

Day 24 - Awra Amba ( 27th Jan 2020 )

Today we visit the unique village of Awra Amba. This village values every member equally and everyone is encouraged to participate in all affairs of the community. This a stark difference to the traditional ideas of the other settlements in the area. We will stay within the village itself and take a tour around the community with a village elder. There is a chance we will be able to meet the enigmatic founder, Zumra Nuru, if we are lucky!

Day 25-27 - Bahir Dar ( 28th Jan 2020 to 30th Jan 2020 )

Today we will drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 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 full 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 28 - Debre Markos ( 31st Jan 2020 )

Today we will continue our journey south towards Addis Ababa. We will break the journey with a nightstop in a basic local hotel in the small town of Debre Markos en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.

Day 29 - Addis Ababa ( 1st Feb 2020 )

Today we will complete our journey to the bustling Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side!

In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours.

 

Day 30 - Addis Ababa ( 2nd Feb 2020 )

Border Information: If finishing in Addis Ababa, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Addis Ababa. 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.

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Trip Notes
Departing: 13 Dec 2019
Returning: 11 Jan 2020
Duration: 30 days
Route: Addis Ababa - Khartoum
$3,930 USD + $1,050 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: Full Payment
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FULLY BOOKED
Departing: 4 Jan 2020
Returning: 2 Feb 2020
Duration: 30 days
Route: Khartoum - Addis Ababa
$3,930 USD + $1,030 Kitty (USD)
DEPARTURE GUARANTEED
Deposit: Full Payment
limited
Departing: 27 Nov 2020
Returning: 26 Dec 2020
Duration: 30 days
Route: Addis Ababa - Khartoum
$3,970 USD + $1,050 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 26 Dec 2020
Returning: 24 Jan 2021
Duration: 30 days
Route: Khartoum - Addis Ababa
$3,970 USD + $1,030 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 26 Feb 2021
Returning: 27 Mar 2021
Duration: 30 days
Route: Addis Ababa - Khartoum
$3,970 USD + $1,050 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 3 Dec 2021
Returning: 1 Jan 2022
Duration: 30 days
Route: Addis Ababa - Khartoum
$4,015 USD + $1,050 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 1 Jan 2022
Returning: 30 Jan 2022
Duration: 30 days
Route: Khartoum - Addis Ababa
$4,015 USD + $1,030 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available
Departing: 25 Feb 2022
Returning: 26 Mar 2022
Duration: 30 days
Route: Addis Ababa - Khartoum
$4,015 USD + $1,050 Kitty (USD)
Deposit: $350 USD
available