Africa Grand Crossing
An 18- Day Adventure : Tunisia, Libya and Egypt
the best way to see the best of North Africa : Tunisia , Egypt, Libya
& the Great North African Desert Tour starts Weekly in Tunisia .
far more than vast sweeps of desert. As you'll see on this tour, Libya
is a country of extraordinary and unexpected variety, so rich that it
was coveted and conquered in turn by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians,
Romans, and Byzantines-all of whom left their mark. During six days
with five overnights, we'll travel to the province known to the Greeks
as Cyrenaica, and see the ruins of Cyrene, Apollonia, Ptolemais and
Gasr. We'll ascend to Jabel Akhdar, where the precious moisture allows
a unique flora and fauna flourish. And we'll follow the route of Rommel's
famed Afrika Korps to where it met its match at Tobruk in World War
II. And then it's onward, to continue your travels through Egypt. The
connections are seamless, thanks to our inside knowledge and local contacts
among the first to rediscover Tunisia . Explore the key sites both within
the city and nearby in the old-new land of Tunisia .Fantasy,
pleasure, and enlightenment, in the Tunisia of Star Wars O yes, galactic
traveller, there is a land where fabled cities arise from the sand,
where gnomes have left behind their warrens of dwellings, where sleek
craft hover millimeters above the surface, free from gravitational bonds.
Green oases and palm-fringed beaches promise extraterrestrial pleasures.
The land is Tunisia.
with the Nile Cruise version in Egypt
1 -Tunis - Sousse - Weekly on Thursdays :
Our local staff will meet you upon arrival at Tunis Carthage International
Airport. You'll be assisted with the formalities, and escorted to or
Sousse and your 4 stars hotel , Hasdrubal Thalassa and Spa or a similar
moderate first class hotel.
2 - El Djem -Roman Amphitheater - SFAX , GABES- Friday (BLD)
Our busy day starts after an early breakfast , and a tour of Sousse,then
on to El Djem, we'll marvel at an ancient Roman amphitheater , before
we head for Sfax , Lunch will be served at a comfortable four-star hotel
tour the medina . Dinner and overnight a your Syfax Hotel ( 4 stars
) or similar .
3 - SFAX , GABES, MATMATA - DOUZ - Saturday (BLD)
After breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the coastal city
of Gabes, a Roman outpost of old and a traditional market center where,
for centuries, goods from across the sea and across the desert have
changed hands. We'll visit the oasis, where palm groves and gardens
flourish. Our route takes us through terrain of increasingly sparse
grasses and shrubs, into the desert to Matmata. We'll stop to look in
on a community of miniature underground houses, (Troglodyte dwellings
) where the earliest settlers sheltered from the extremes of the desert
above -- as do the Berbers of today. Continue on to Douz where we'll
settle in to comfortable lodgings and dinner at a four-star hotel :
El Mouradi Douz Hotel or similar.
MATMATA- Ksar Hadada - Tatouine - Sunday
A Ksar (plural Ksour) is a fortified village built in a distinctive
Usually the Berbers built their Ksour on top of a hill from mud One
of the best preserved Ksour in Tunisia is at Ksar Ouled Soltane near
Tataouine. Lucas film used Ksar Hadada for shooting some scene. It was
used as a Mos Espa background where Qui-Gon (Jedi Master ) and Shmi
( Anakin's mother) speak of Anakin's parentage .
we visit Ksar Hadada and Ghomrassen, then on to Tatouine , lunch will
be served at one of the local three-star hotels. In the afternoon we'll
visit Cheninin and Douiret villages. Overnight at Sangho Tatouine Hotel
( 3 stars )
5 - TUNISIA / LIBYA - Monday (BLD)
You'll head out after breakfast, and in short order, reach Tunisia's
eastern border. After you'll pass through the formalities of customs
and immigration at Ras Ajdir, our Libyan personnel will take over and
see to your needs for the rest of the way. Our journey continues by
road to Sabratha, site of a fine Roman city. We'll tour the ruins and
visit the classical museum, and learn about Libya's key position on
ancient trade routes. In the afternoon, we continue on into Tripoli,
the busy capital of Libya, and settle into our lodgings for the next
three nights. You can relax in the evening, or venture out to explore
the modern quarters of the town, or the winding lanes of the old city
on weather in Tripoli . The climate of
Tripoli is Mediterranean with hot dry summers, cool winters and some
modest rainfall. Weather can be variable, influenced by the Sahara Desert
and the Mediterranean Sea which moderates daily temperature ranges.
6 - TRIPOLI - Tuesday (BLD)
After breakfast, we'll take you for a drive through town to the Tripoli
Museum, housing treasures of Libyan history from Roman times and earlier.
We'll venture into the Old Town, and along the winding lanes of the
souks, where in age-old fashion, merchants and customers haggle over
local handicrafts and produce, treasures from across the desert, and
practical items from over the seas. We'll see the venerable arch of
the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, the Gurgi Mosque, and the Karamanly
Museum. Afterwards, you'll be free to explore on your own, and possibly
to return to the souks to try your hand at bargaining for some of the
crafts and treasures that you spied earlier.
7 - LEPTIS MAGNA, SILIN - Wednesday (BLD)
We'll spend most of today at Leptis Magna, about 130 kilometers from
Tripoli. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is considered the best-preserved
Roman city in Africa. The enormous amphitheater and the remains of fine
buildings testify to the city's former importance. After gaining insights
into the old city at the ruins and in the museum, we'll continue to
the delightful and largely intact Roman villa at Silin, with its remarkably
lifelike mosaics and frescoes.
8 - BENGHAZI, PTOLEMAIS - Thursday (BLD)
We'll head off after breakfast to the airport, and board our plane.
It's a flight of under an hour to Benghazi. From there, we'll set out
immediately for the ancient port of Ptolemais, founded by the Hellenic
dynasty of Egypt. We'll view the great cisterns and Mausoleum, and more
artifacts in the museum, where we'll learn about the kingdoms that vied
for Libya in ancient times. Then it's off to the surprisingly fertile
highlands of Jabel Akhdar. In Gasr Libya, we'll see a Byzantine church
with a mosaic floor, and view another mosaic with the only panels known
to show ancient Alexandria. Our stop for the night is El Beyda, where
we'll lodge in the modest and welcoming three-star Gasr El Beyda Hotel.
9 - CYRENE, APOLLONIA, TOBRUK- Friday (BLD)
We set out after breakfast for Cyrene, the Greek city that once rivaled
Athens. Impressive temples to Zeus and Apollo remain Then it's off to
Apollonia, Cyrene's ancient port, with a surviving Byzantine palace,
theater, and baths. Late in the afternoon, we'll reach Tobruk, where
we'll overnight at the comfortable Masira Hotel.
10 - TOBRUK, ON TO EGYPT and Mersa Matrouh - Saturday (BL)
We've followed in the path of Rommel to reach Tobruk. Today, we'll learn
about the titanic and bloody clash of forces that marked the turning
point of World War II, and pay a moving visit to the cemeteries where
lie the dead from both sides. Rommel's push ended here, but not yours.
You'll continue to the border of Egypt, where our Libyan personnel will
bid you good-bye, and entrust you to your Egyptian hosts. On to Mersa
Matrouh and overnight at a modest 4 stars hotel. ( Always with private
11 - EL ALAMEIN - Sunday (BL)
We'll cross into another era of history today, as we motor westward
through the dunes along the Mediterranean coast, following the route
of Field Marshall Montgomery to El Alamein. Here we'll visit the fields
of battle where Rommel's advance on Cairo was finally halted. We'll
visit the museum. Lunch included at el Alamein, before we head back
to Mersa Matrouh, remainder of the day at leisure
12 - SIWA, ORACLE OF AMON- Monday (BLD)
It's back to ancient days as we follow the pilgrimage route of Alexander
the Great to the Oracle of Amon. He marched westward along the Mediterranean
coast, then inland (south) to the great oasis of Siwa. His aim was to
visit the great temple of Amun which, tradition says, his legendary
"ancestors" Heracles and Perseus had visited. He entered the temple
and was hailed by the priests as pharaoh, the son of Amun. He then had
a private audience with the High Priestess of the oracle, who proclaimed
him to be a god, the son of Zeus. She predicted that he would conquer
vast territories. He did. Leaving Egypt, he marched into Persia conquering
all who came before him, all the way to what is now Lahore in Pakistan.
his return trip, however, he fell ill and diedat the ripe age of 33
Octavious visiting Alexander the Great's Tomb in Alexandria.
Just after he defeated Cleopatra & Marc Anthony ( 30 B.C) . He left
his coat as a token of respect to Alexander the Great. The search continues
for Alexander the Great's Tomb. According
to ancient inscriptions, Alexander's body was returned to
Egypt and buried but where?
Both Siwa and Alexandria are possibilities. His tomb has not
yet been identified for sure. At Gebel Mawta, we'll see tombs of the
Greco-Roman era, including one that's reputed to be Alexander's own
tomb. At Siwa, we'll see an ancient fortress with winding alleyways,
and the Temple of Amon, where Alexander's divinity and legitimacy were
proclaimed. Within a short distance, we'll traverse centuries as we
visit Cleopatra's Pool, a Roman outpost, and a Ptolemaic temple. Our
lunch break will be at the springs of Ain Sharouf, where we might get
to take a dip.
13 - SIWA, ALEXANDRIA - Tuesday (BLD)
We'll retrace the desert route to Alexandria this morning (the portion
never completed by Rommel), As the gateway to Egypt, the Nile and Africa,
Alexandria has been contested by armies and navies ever since. In 1798,
Lord Nelson defeated Napoleonıs navy just east of Alexandria.
In 1807 the British occupied the city. In 1941, General Erwin Rommel's
Afrika Korps stormed across North Africa all the way to El Alamein,
only 70 miles west of Alexandria. Rommel was driven back in desperate
fighting by British forces under the command of Field Marshal Bernard
Montgomery, yet another of the many generals to have struggled for control
of this strategic land.
you 'll have the rest of the day free, to stroll the Corniche, acquire
mementos of our trip, or look in on daily life in the ancient capital
of Cleopatra. Lunch is served enroute . Dinner is included at the hotel
14 - ALEXANDRIA - Wednesday (BL)
Conqueror of the Mediterranean Coast - Alexander
In 332 BC, Egypt was laboring under Persian military control when
Alexander the Great arrived to drive out the invaders without the shedding
of a drop of blood. The Persian governor surrendered and the conquering
hero was hailed as a liberator and given Egypt's double crown symbolizing
control of Upper and Lower Egypt. Alexander reinstated Egypt's traditional
government and founded the city of Alexandria at the countryıs most
important crossroads: where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. . Today,
we'll get to known Alexandria in depth, as we visit the Roman Amphitheater,
the Koum El Shougafa Tombs, and the fortress of Kayet Bey. After lunch
in an Alexandrine restaurant, on to Zanket El-Setat, the local souks
and AlManshiya district .
Bey Fort was
built on the same site of the ancient wonder of the world : the famous
Alexandria Light House. A brief stop at " El Selsela" the
site of the Underwater reserve where Cleopatra Place was discovered,
as well as Caesar Kiosk. Lunch at a local restaurant , then its off
to the new site for the Alexandria Library before heading back to your
hotel. In the evening your guide will call on you for a tour of the
downtown Raml district.
15 - ALEXANDRIA/ Wadi El Natroun / Cairo - Thursday
breakfast we 'll visit the new museum in Alexandria , the building was
originally built in 1926 for the US consulate in Alexandria and is a
masterpiece in 1920's architecture & Mediterranean style buildings
on to Wadi El Natroun monastery almost midway to Cairo in the middle
of the Sahara , where early Coptic Christians retreated here to escape
the Roman persecution in the 4th century AD. The Egyptian Pope of Alexandria
is always chosen from the Monks of wadi El Natroun. Reach Cairo late
afternoon and your hotel.
16 - Pharaonic Giza - Friday (cBL)
Today we tour Memphis and Sakkara, including the Step Pyramid of Zoser
& Nobles tombs/Mastabas, The Serapeum, Unas, Pyramid of Teti and
In the afternoon the tour takes us to Dahshour, the pyramid field
south of Cairo:only-opened few years back after Sadat signed the peace
treaty with Israel, and the Army did let go of this strategically "important"
DAHSOUR - we'll motor to the edge of Cairo, to Dahshour,
the newly-opened pyramid field south of Cairo. We visit the great pyramid
of Senfru, father of Cheops, and other structure:
The "Discovery" of Dahshour:
For almost half a century, the great field of huge pyramids near the
desert village of Dahshour, 25 miles south of Cairo, has been off limits
to the public. Confined within the perimeter of a military base were
many pyramids, including the great 4500-year-old pyramid built by Senfru,
father of Cheops. Senfru's pyramid, the largest in Egypt until his son
built Giza's Great Pyramid, is rhomboidal in shape: it tapers more distinctly
on its upper half. All the pyramids were coated in thick plaster at
one time. Most have lost these protective, decorative sheaths, but Senfru's--miraculously--is
still in place. We'll tour as well the famous "Bent" Pyramid.
17- CAIRO -Home Hosted Family Dinner - Saturday (cBLD)
The Culture of Cairo
we’ll explore deep into the heart of Cairo, and get to know its
daily rhythms, its spirituality, its history, and its modern diversions.
We’ll start early, with a visit to a local market, with an immense
variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables on offer, both familiar and
see that shopping in Cairo goes far beyond a supermarket experience.
Be prepared for whispers, gestures, shouting, and controlled chaos.
It’s all part of the bargaining process, engaged in by women in
traditional modest garb as well as others in Western dress.
it’s on to the Museum of Islamic Art, with its tapestries, textiles,
swords and other objects exemplifying one of the world’s great
decorative traditions. We’ll continue to the Gayer-Anderson House,
a serene and classic domestic oasis, right down to its central fountain
and exquisite furnishings. Our visit is also a journey into a vanished
way of life—the residence is actually two traditional medieval
Cairo houses restored by an English physician to a former king. We’ll
stop for lunch at a restaurant where Cairenes go, then visit the Bab
an-Nasr, the Gate of Victory in Cairo’s old walls. You’ll
even see graffiti that survives from soldiers of Napoleon and of the
British Empire, among the many who passed this way.
is included at a local home:
Meet the locals,
you may wish to bring token gifts to exchange with the host family (
T shirt , small souvenirs of your home town):
evening we'll venture where few ordinary visitors ever tread . . . right
into the homes of some of the people of Cairo l! You'll be invited to
a family dinner, and while you enjoy wholesome home-cooked specialties,
you'll learn about and appreciate the outlook, aspirations, and way
of life of your hosts. Be assured, as curious as you may be about your
new friends, they're sure to have questions about your own background.
Once the ice is broken, you'll enjoy a lively evening, and find that
you have more in common than you ever suspected. Of course, you may
enjoy dinner in a quiet restaurant with your travel companions, by letting
us know your preferences.
18 - RETURN HOME Sunday (B)
After breakfast, our Cairo staff will accompany you to the airport,
where you'll board your flight to start your journey home. This tour
departs weekly . Bon
person in USD
airfare is not included from / to your home country
A class hotels :
Five-star Sheraton / Hilton / Meridien in Cairo
Bab Africa in Tripoli (www.corinthiahotels.com)
Alexandria : Sheraton, Hilton, Palestine Montazah Hotel
Siwa Oases Egypt:Hilton
Borg El Arab or Safari Paradise Siwa
B class hotels :
Novotel / Maadi / Oases in Cairo
Yosser Hotel in Tripoli (newly renovated, near old town and Tripoli
: Sheraton, Hilton, Palestine Montazah Hotel
Borg El Arab or Safari Paradise Siwa
Tunisia it is four -star accommodation as listed.
accommodation with tax as listed , and troglodyte accommodation
transfers in Tunisia, Egypt & Libya .
sightseeing including all entrance fees as per itinerary , always
by air conditioned vehicle. .
set meals as listed including B = Breakfast,
(or cB, Continental Breakfast), L
= Lunch, D = Dinner
Egypt and Libya and travel guide books.
for Libya , your passport info is required 45 days in advance ,
otherwise please secure your visa prior to arrival . Issuing visa
upon arrival is is only limited to a particular number of nationalities
such as USA, Canadian, EU citizens etc , please check with us to
verify if this apply to you. Libya will not issue a visa to you
if your passport has any Israeli visa stamps. Libya may deny visa
without any explanation.
Australian, NZ, EU , Canadian , Singaporean and Japanese citizens,
do not require visas for Morocco nor Tunisia, your passport must
be valid at least for 6 month beyond the date of arrival.
International Airfare from/to your home country
Egypt-based local rep. greets you in bustling Cairo airport and
escorts you to your hotel . Egyptian visa may be secured by our
guests upon arrival at Cairo Airport for a limited number of nationalities
such as American,Canadian, Australian, NZ, EU and Japanese citizens,
please pay the $ 15 in cash upon arrival . Passports must be valid
for at least 6 month upon arrival).
exiting the terminal
hotels ( Five Stars ) :
Corinthia ( Bab Africa ) ( Five star Superior)
Al Mahari . Al Kabir . Bab Al Bahr.
The Western " Orientalists" came up with their own
fantasy about the 1001 Arabian Nights and the Harem 's Life in the Middle
you may want to enjoy a local Spa / Turkish hamam