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Alexandria to Cape Town by train and bus

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Alexandria to Cape Town by train and bus is in Africa.

Understand

This itinerary covers the overland route from Alexandria, Egypt to Cape Town, South Africa. It is one of the only land routes from northern to southern Africa that is available to foreigners. Trains are available for the majority of the route, but there are also many buses. This itinerary passes through Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

Prepare

Visas

  • Egypt: On arrival at an Egyptian airport, U.S. citizens can buy a 30-day visa for $15.
  • Sudan: To get a Sudanese visa, U.S. citizens must apply for one in advance by getting a hotel or travel agency to "sponsor" them. The processing fee is $150.
  • Ethiopia: U.S. citizens must apply for a two-year, multiple-entry visa before entering Ethiopia. The cost is $70.
  • Kenya: A one-entry tourist visa for U.S. citizens costs $50, and must be obtained before arrival in Kenya.
  • Tanzania: A one-month multiple-entry tourist visa costs $100.
  • Zambia: A single-entry tourist visa can be bought for $50 when you enter Zambia.
  • Zimbabwe: On arrival in Zimbabwe, a 30-day single-entry visa can be purchased for $30.
  • South Africa: Tourists in South Africa do not need a visa as long as the stay is under 90 days.

TOTAL VISA COSTS ARE $465

TOTAL TRANSPORTATION COSTS ARE $586

Get in

There are currently no ferries from Europe to Alexandria. There used to be a Venice-Alexandria route, but it is currently cancelled until further notice. However, there is a ferry from Aqaba, Jordan to Nuweiba, and trains linking Nuweiba with the rest of Egypt. Buses from Libya also run to Alexandria, as well as a JETT-operated bus from Amman to Cairo. Be warned, the Amman-Cairo bus travels through Israel and will deny you entrance to Sudan, as well as many other countries. Many airlines in Europe and the United States also offer direct flights to Alexandria or Cairo.

Route

Day 1

Downtown Alexandria
  • Arrive in Alexandria.
  • Spend the night in Alexandria.

Day 2

  • Spend the night in Alexandria.

Day 3

  • Spend the night in Alexandria.

Day 4

Mosques in Islamic Cairo
  • Take the 10:00 express train to Cairo--$5 for second class.
  • Arrive in Cairo at 12:55.

Day 5

  • Spend the night in Cairo.

Day 6

  • Spend the night in Cairo.

Day 7

  • Spend the night in Cairo.

Day 8

  • Spend the night in Cairo.

Day 9

The Giza Pyramids
  • Take the 12:00 train to Giza--$4 for second class.
  • Arrive in Giza at 12:20.
  • Spend the night in Giza.

Day 10

  • Take the 12:20 train to Luxor--$8 for second class.
  • Arrive in Luxor at 22:20.
  • Spend the night in Luxor.

Day 11

  • Spend the night in Luxor.

Day 12

Sunset over Aswan
  • Take the 09:35 train to Aswan--$5 for second class.
  • Arrive in Aswan at 13:15.
  • Spend the night in Aswan.

Day 13

  • Spend the night in Aswan.

Day 14

  • Every Monday and every second Friday, there is a ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa, Sudan. Base your trip on this so that you arrive in Aswan approximately two days before the ferry leaves. It costs $75 for a first-class ticket, and you get a bunk bed. (Second class costs $50, but you only get a padded bench). The ferry leaves at about 12:00 and arrives at about 07:00 the next day.
  • Spend the night in Wadi Halfa.

Day 15

Khartoum at dusk.
  • Take the 05:00 bus (the only one) to Khartoum---$20.
  • Arrive in Khartoum at 16:00.
  • Spend the night in Khartoum.

Day 16

  • Spend the night in Khartoum.

Day 17

  • Spend the night in Khartoum.

Day 18

  • Take the 06:00 bus to Gedaref---$10.
  • Arrive in Gedaref at 14:00.
  • Spend the night in Gedaref.

Day 19

  • Take a minibus to Gallabat; they generally leave at 10:00---$10.
  • Arrive in Gallabat at 17:00.
  • Cross the border to Metema, Ethiopia.
  • Spend the night in Metema.

Day 20

Gondar's royal castle
  • Take the 09:00 bus to Gondar.
  • Arrive in Gondar at 12:00.
  • Spend the night in Gondar.

Day 21

  • Spend the night in Gondar.

Day 22

  • Take a minbus to Bahir Dar---$3.
  • Spend the night in Bahir Dar.
A stone church in Lalibela

Day 23

  • Take the 06:00 bus to Gashena---$5.
  • Arrive in Gashena at 12:00.
  • Take the 15:00 bus to Lalibela.
  • Arrive in Lalibela at 18:00.
  • Spend the night in Lalibela.

Day 24

  • Spend the night in Lalibela.

Day 25

  • Take a minibus that departs at 07:00 for a two-day drive to Addis Ababa---$25.
  • Arrive in Kombolcha at 16:00.
  • Spend the night in Kombolcha.

Day 26

  • Depart Kombolcha in the same minibus at 06:00.
Downtown Addis Ababa
  • Arrive in Addis Ababa at 14:00.
  • Spend the night in Addis Ababa.

Day 27

  • Spend the night in Addis Ababa.

Day 28

  • Spend the night in Addis Ababa.

Day 29

  • Take the two-day bus from Addis Ababa to Moyale, the Kenya-Ethiopia border town. Depart at 07:00---$25-$30.
  • Spend the night in Dilla.

Day 30

  • Continue on to Moyale; leave at 08:00.
  • Arrive in Moyale at 15:00.
  • Spend the night in Ethiopian Moyale.

Day 31

The Maasai people outside of Nairobi
  • Cross the Ethiopia-Kenya border.
  • Take the 10:00 bus to Nairobi---$30.

Day 32

  • Arrive in Nairobi at 12:00.
  • Spend the night in Nairobi.

Day 33

  • Spend the night in Nairobi.

Day 34

  • Spend the night in Nairobi.

Day 35

  • The train from Nairobi to Mombasa departs Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 19:00---$45 for second-class sleeper.

Day 36

Mombasa's waterfront
* Arrive in Mombasa at 10:00.
  • Spend the night in Mombasa.

Day 37

  • Spend the night in Mombasa.

Day 38

  • Take the 08:00 bus to Dar es Salaam---$20.
  • Arrive in Dar es Salaam at 18:00.
  • Spend the night in Dar es Salaam.

Day 39

Dar es Salaam's skyline
  • Spend the night in Dar es Salaam.

Day 40

  • Spend the night in Dar es Salaam.

Day 41

  • Spend the night in Dar es Salaam.

Day 42

  • On Tuesdays, a train departs Dar es Salaam for Kapiri Mposhi at 15:50. On Fridays, it departs at 13:50---$35 for second-class sleeper. The trip takes two days.
The Kapiri Mposhi train station

Day 43

  • On the train to Kapiri Mposhi.

Day 44

  • Arrive in Kapiri Mposhi between 13:00 and 14:00.
  • Spend the night in Kapiri Mposhi.

Day 45

  • On Mondays and Fridays, there is a train from Kapiri Mposhi to Lusaka---$3. It departs at 16:42.
  • Arrive in Lusaka at 23:30.
Lusaka
  • Spend the night in Lusaka.

Day 46

  • Spend the night in Lusaka.

Day 47

  • Spend the night in Lusaka.

Day 48

The Livingstone Musuem
  • Arrive in Livingstone at 17:30.
  • Spend the night in Livingstone.

Day 49

  • Spend the night in Livingstone.

Day 50

  • Take a taxi to the Zambia-Zimbabwe border.
  • Cross the border over the Zambezi Bridge.
  • Walk to the Zimbabwean town of Victoria Falls.
  • Spend the night in Victoria Falls.

Day 51

  • Spend the night in Victoria Falls.

Day 52

  • Take the daily 19:00 train to Bulawayo---$19 for first class; $12 for second class.

Day 53

  • Arrive in Bulawayo at 10:00.
  • Spend the night in Bulawayo.

Day 54

  • Spend the night in Bulawayo.

Day 55

  • Take the Monday, Thursday, and Saturday train to Harare. It departs at 20:00---$15 for a sleeper.

Day 56

  • Arrive in Harare at 08:00.
  • Spend the night in Harare.

Day 57

  • Spend the night in Harare.

Day 58

  • Spend the night in Harare.

Day 59

  • Take the Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday train to Bulawayo. It departs at 21:00---$15 for a sleeper.

Day 60

  • Arrive in Bulawayo at 08:00.
  • Spend the night in Bulawayo.

Day 61

  • Take the Sunday and Thursday train to Beitbridge, on the Zimbabwe-South Africa border. It departs at 18:00---$15 for a sleeper.

Day 62

  • Arrive in Beitbridge at 10:00.
  • Spend the night in Beitbridge.

Day 63

  • Cross the Zimbabwe-South Africa border.
  • Take a taxi to the town of Musina.
  • Spend the night in Musina.

Day 64

  • Spend the night in Musina.

Day 65

  • Take the Sunday & Thursday train to Pretoria (economy seats only!). It departs at 15:25---$10.

Day 66

  • Arrive in Pretoria at 04:16.
  • Spend the night in Pretoria.

Day 67

  • Spend the night in Pretoria.

Day 68

  • Spend the night in Pretoria.

Day 69

  • Take the 09:00 Gautrain to Johannesburg. They depart every 20 minutes---$8.
  • Arrive in Johannesburg at 09:40.
  • Spend the night in Johannesburg.

Day 70

  • Spend the night in Johannesburg.

Day 71

  • Spend the night in Johannesburg.

Day 72

  • Spend the night in Johannesburg.

Day 73

  • Take the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday train to Durban. It departs at 18:30---$15 for economy class, $33 for a sleeper.

Day 74

  • Arrive in Durban at 07:10.
  • Spend the night in Durban.

Day 75

  • Spend the night in Durban.

Day 76

  • Take the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday train to Johannesburg. It departs at 19:15---$15 for economy class, $33 for a sleeper.

Day 77

  • Arrive in Johannesburg at 07:44.
  • Spend the night in Johannesburg.

Day 78

  • Take the Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday train to Kimberley. It departs at 12:30---$15 for economy class.
  • Arrive in Kimberley at 21:20
  • Spend the night in Kimberley.

Day 79

  • Spend the night in Kimberley

Day 80

  • Take the Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday train to Cape Town. It departs at 21:20---$43 for a sleeper, $27 for economy class.

Day 81

  • Arrive in Cape Town at 15:30.
  • Spend the night in Cape Town.

Day 82

  • Spend the night in Cape Town.

Day 83

  • Spend the night in Cape Town.

Day 84

  • Leave Cape Town.

Stay safe

Go next

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