Do like the locals and settle in with a coffee or mint tea in Cairo, relax on the sun deck on a four-night Nile cruise, discover Nubian hospitality and lose yourself in Cairo’s fascinating Khan al-Khalili Bazaar.. Experience a real safari camp in the Serengeti, and witness the panoramic views from the rim of an extinct volcano at World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater, with game drives at both.. Take some time out from your safari adventures in search of the Big Five with a few days spent on the white sands of Zanzibar – a colourful island paradise in the Indian Ocean.. Visit the majestic and magnificent cascades of Victoria Falls, and glide through the Okavango Delta in a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe), experiencing the ambience of these beautiful waterscapes.
This grand adventure takes you from one end of the African continent to the other and offers an in-depth experience that combines ancient history with wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Uncover the mysteries of Egypt and admire pharaonic treasures on a cruise up the Nile, witnessing the local rural life along the river as you meander along. Explore some of Africa’s top national parks makes for one of life’s most rewarding adventures, join expert Peregrine local leaders on safaris to see Africa’s Big Five and rugged landscapes, and discover diverse cultures and local communities throughout the journey. Your 48-day epic journey through the heartlands of Africa will take you past nature teeming with wildlife, cities bursting with colour and communities with so much to share. Find your time to explore the diverse, spectacular and grand Africa.
Breakfast Included: 46 Lunches Included: 30 Dinner Included: 37
Welcome to Cairo! On arrival at the airport, take an included transfer to your hotel. You are free to arrive at any time today and you may like to get out and explore the busy streets, finding a hole-in-the-wall eatery for a snack like ta’ameya – Egypt’s take on falafel. Cairo is one of the great cities of antiquity and its history can perhaps be symbolised by two imposing landmarks – the Pyramids of Giza and the Mosque of Mohammed Ali. You will have a short meeting with your leader tonight, usually held at around 6pm. A full welcome with the rest of your fellow travellers will be held tomorrow evening.
Today, immerse yourself in ancient history with a trip out to Memphis – the ancient capital of Lower Egypt and the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Head to the ancient site of Saqqara, the oldest complete stone complex known in history, which also served as the burial ground for kings and officials that lived in this ancient Egyptian capital. Continue to the legendary pyramids of Saqqara, including the famous Step Pyramid and King Unas pyramids. The walls of his pyramids are covered with texts or so-called magic spells to assist with the Pharaoh’s journey in the afterlife. This concept continued to evolve into what was the Book of the Dead. Many of the Book of the Dead texts can been seen in the Valley of the Kings' tombs in Luxor. Keep in mind that an important welcome meeting will be held at 6pm where you will meet the rest of your fellow travellers. After this briefing, perhaps head out for a meal at one of the trendy restaurants down in the Zamalek district where you can enjoy a drink with views of the Nile.
Cairo – Overnight Train
This morning, tour the mighty Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx with your small group. Seeing these structures up close is captivating, and for an additional charge, you may be able to go inside the Great Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops). After stopping to purchase some lunch, continue to the Egyptian Museum – home to an incredible array of artefacts and antiquities. Your expert leader, who is a trained Egyptologist, will take you through some of Egypt’s dynastic history, and will have plenty of time to explore on your own – perhaps purchasing a pass into the Royal Mummy Room. Afterwards, return to your hotel to freshen up before transferring to the railway station for a comfortable overnight sleeper train to Luxor.
After an early breakfast on board, arrive into Luxor. It's a vibrant place with an excellent bazaar, situated close to some of ancient Egypt's most important sites. Travel to Karnak – one of the world's most celebrated temple complexes built over a period of some 200 years, and some of it dating back to 2055 BC. Your guided tour of the temple reveals its finest sections. Later today, transfer to your Nile cruise boat, which will be your home for the next four nights. You can relax by the pool on the boat or explore the town. For the rest of the afternoon and evening, you are free to relax, shop in the bazaar or perhaps experience the atmosphere of a local tea house.
Valley of the Kings – Luxor – Nile Cruise
Rise early this morning and head into the Valley of the Kings. Buried under the arid hills here are over 60 tombs of pharaohs, many richly decorated with reliefs and paintings. Tutankhamun's final resting place is also located here, and you'll have free time to visit it. Your guide will explain the funerary rites of the ancient Egyptians and significance of the many paintings and hieroglyphics. You will visit three royal tombs and then continue to the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, set in a spectacular natural amphitheatre. Your final stop is the Colossi of Memnon – giant statues that were once part of an impressive colonnade. Enjoy lunch on return to the boat and relax on deck as you set sail from Luxor to Edfu, taking most of the afternoon and evening (approximately 1 pm to 11 pm), and passing through Esna Lock on the way.
This morning, you will be moored near Edfu and may have the option to venture independently into town to see the nearby temple. Continue along the river, relaxing in the sun on deck and taking in the desert hills forming a backdrop over the lush riverbanks. This afternoon, arrive at Kom Ombo Temple, sitting spectacularly on the river’s edge. The temple was built in approximately 181 BC and is dedicated to two gods – Horus (god of protection) and Sobek (god of fertility, linked to the Nile’s water). Each god has a dedicated section – north or south – and there have been recent discoveries of mummified crocodiles in the Sobek section. Afterwards, board your boat around 6 pm and continue to Aswan, arriving at around 9.30 pm.
Explore Aswan today – Egypt's southernmost city. Its relaxed charm is due in no small part to its large Nubian population. Depending on time, you might visit the beautiful Temple of Isis – the goddess of health, marriage and wisdom – rescued from the rising waters of the Nile and relocated on Philae Island. It's a marvel of decorative pylons featuring some of Egypt's finest carvings – definitely one of the real gems of Upper Egypt. The rest of your day will be free to wander, and Aswan is a great place for it. The Nubian Bazaar and the Nubian Museum are both recommended. The waterfront promenade, or Aswan's 'corniche', runs alongside one of Nile's most appealing stretches and is the perfect place to stop for a mint tea. Watch the waterfront come alive at dusk, with people strolling and socialising all evening.
Depart early this morning and visit the iconic Abu Simbel by plane. With four gargantuan statues of Ramses guarding the Great Temple, this is one of Egypt's most memorable sights. After your return, the rest of the day is free for you to make your own discoveries. A popular option in Aswan is a sailboat ride around the islands in a traditional felucca, stopping off at the botanical gardens on Kitchener's Island. Alternatively, travel to the Monastery of St Simeon – an abandoned seventh-century fortress monastery located in the desert on the Nile's west bank. You might even prefer to simply relax by the hotel pool or do some shopping in the local bazaar. Your group leader will be on hand to help you arrange any excursions. In the evening, visit a Nubian village with your group and enjoy the warm hospitality and cuisine of this local community. After dinner, watch some traditional Nubian dancing, perhaps attempting some moves yourself!
After breakfast, transfer to Aswan Airport for a short flight back to Cairo (approximately 1.5 hours) where you will be met and taken to your hotel. Drop your luggage and head with your group to the Al-Azhar neighbourhood to visit Khan al-Khalili Bazaar – a sprawling maze of alleyways with myriad products on sale, including the gold market, cloth market, 'perfume street' and the spice market. Continue to the ninth-century Ibn Tulun Mosque – one of the oldest and largest in Egypt. Its perfectly proportioned courtyard and distinctive minaret make it a masterpiece of Islamic architecture. Nearby stands the Gayer-Anderson Museum, housed in two fine old villas with a fascinating collection of Arabic artefacts, furniture and memorabilia. Stop off for an Arabic coffee or mint tea, and in the evening, share a meal with a family, gaining an insight into local Egyptian life. Here you will farewell those in your group who are not continuing on to Kenya. Your transfer driver will pick you up from the house for your unaccompanied flight bound for Nairobi – Kenya's capital.
Land in Nairobi very early in the morning and look out for your Peregrine representative and be driven to your hotel, which will take approximately 45 minutes. An early check-in will be ready for you in order to catch up on some sleep ready for another group meeting at 6 pm this evening. Here you will meet new travellers who will be joining you for this stage of your adventure. More details about this meeting can be found at the hotel reception. Spend free time today at your leisure.
Lake Naivasha / Lake Nakuru
Depart Nairobi for Elsamere after breakfast and head north, driving along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley (approximately 4 hours of driving in total). Elsamere is the former home of the writer Joy Adamson, whose 1960 book 'Born Free' helped bring wildlife conservation into the mainstream. The house is a veritable museum that dedicated to the works of Joy and George Adamson, with many photos of Elsa, the lioness that started it all. You'll then embark on a boat trip on Lake Naivasha, the highest of all lakes in the Great Rift Valley and home to many a hippopotamus. Later, enjoy lunch with the lake as a serene backdrop. After lunch, continue to your Lake Nakuru lodge, arriving in the early evening.
Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning you will visit Lake Nakuru National Park by 4WD. Mornings can be cold so it's important to bring warm clothes. You might see why this great soda lake has been described as the world's greatest ornithological spectacle; it amazingly turns into a sea of pink on occasion. Flooding in recent years has unfortunately caused a decline in birdlife. The park boasts substantial numbers of other species, including waterbuck, reedbuck and gazelle. Leopards are also to be found here, and the chances of sighting one is significant. Keep your eyes peeled too, for one of Africa's most endangered creatures, the elusive black rhinoceros (white rhinos are much easier to spot).