Looking for a fun walking holiday to get back in shape? Here’s a challenge. Stretching 14,000 miles (22,387km) from Cape Town in South Africa to Magadan in Russia, this route might be the world’s longest walk, and it certainly sounds gruelling.
Credit for this lengthy route goes to Reddit user cbz3000, who drew it up on Google Maps in 2019. Claiming it to be the longest walking distance possible on the site, they found a route that required no flights, ferry’s or other boat-crossings: just open roads and bridges. The route takes the brave traveller up through Africa, past the Suez Canal, through Turkey, Central Asia and across Siberia to Magadan.
According to brilliantmaps, the journey would take 4,492 hours to walk, meaning 187 days. However, this is assuming you were walking non-stop. If we assumed a walking pace of 8-hours per day (no rest days!), the journey would actually take 562 days.
If this still sounds like something you might fancy doing and have an available 2-years to get on the road, then let’s take a closer look into some of the sights you’d have the pleasure of passing on your 16-country tour:
South Africa: Table Mountain
Start your walk fresh and energised with a warm-up stroll to Cape Town’s famous Table Mountain. Nestled within Table Mountain National Park, the mountain is instantly recognisable for its distinct table shape and its “table-cloth” cloud formations that hug the peak. The ascent to the top takes around 2-3 hours to hike and pays off with spectacular views of Cape Town and the southern coastline. Because of its flat shape, you can even follow one of several hiking routes that take walkers just across the top, some taking several hours to complete. If you’ve got time, you can drive South Africa’s iconic Garden Route.
Botswana – Safari Tour
Whilst in Botswana why not go on a Safari Tour to get a glimpse at some of the incredible wildlife of Africa? Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta are two of the best Botswanan National Parks, full of elephants, lions, giraffes, buffalo and zebra. From Luxury wooden lodges to spa resorts, there is plenty of opportunity to relax and unwind after your first 6 weeks of walking!
Zambia – Victoria Falls
This waterfall located on the Zambezi River at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe is the world’s largest waterfall, with a width of 1,708m. Visitors can swim in the natural pools at the top, though due to their proximity to the edge, it is not for the faint-hearted! From Gaborone in Botswana to Victoria Falls, this is a nice and easy stretch of 22 days.
Egypt – Great Pyramid of Giza
How embarrassing would it be if you did a 14,000 mile walk and forgot to check out the ultimate wonder of the world? As the last remaining classic wonder of the world, the pyramids are a must see for everyone at some point in their lives. What can be said about them? Whether it was aliens, or simply an unspeakable amount of slave labour, the sheer mathematical genius of the pyramids and the many mysteries surrounding their inner passages are the stuff of legend. I hope you picked up enough snacks for the road, since this stretch will take you a whopping 181 days (6 months).
Jordan – Petra
Just an easy stretch now after that journey. From one wonder to another, you must take a trip to Petra when passing through Jordan. Located in the south of the country, this archaeological site is remarkably well preserved and contains the world-famous Al-Khazneh (The Treasury) Temple, an ornate building cut directly into the sandstone rock. Believed to have been the mausoleum of the Nabatean King Aretas IV, it is the most popular tourist attraction in Jordan and recognisable from such works as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and the Adventures of Tintin. From the Pyramids to Petra, you’ll be on the road for a mere 2 weeks.
Turkey – Lake Van
Next stop, why not take a look at the off-the-beaten-track natural beauty of Lake Van in Turkey? With picturesque walking routes around the lake and plenty of remote hotels to stay in, this is a perfect place to relax and soak up some fascinating history. From Armenian Kingdoms to Mongol conquest, the Lake is at the heart of some of the world’s biggest empires. It even has its own equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster: the Lake Van Monster, with reports of its sighting stretching all the way back to the 1800s, so keep your eyes peeled. This stretch will take you 5 weeks.
Georgia – Tbilisi
Your final stop before Russia is Georgia, so enjoy a bit of urban respite in the beautiful capital city of Tbilisi (a popular digital nomad spot). With its cobblestoned old town and red-roofed houses, the city is wonderfully picturesque and nestles below the towering presence of Narikala, a 4th-century fortress. Wander around the city, taking in its historic churches, art nouveau buildings and brutalist Soviet blocks. With such a mishmash of styles, the complex history of this under-visited country is laced into the city’s architecture. From Van, the journey is 16 days.
Well, you’ve made it into Russia, but unfortunately the journey is far from over. As you move further North-East, the temperatures drop, the landscape gets more and more barren and the welcoming villages to stop and rest get more and more remote. With 253 days of your journey (8 months) inRussia, you’re bound to get an excellent flavour of the customs, quirks and diversity of this enormous nation. Stock up on vodka for the road (you may need it as payment when finding yourself lost in the Siberian steppe), and good luck to you.
Justine Pitcher says
Winnifred Knight says
Very interesting and interested. Need an expert in logistics.
Eugene La Grange says
I am very interested. It sounds like a very exciting challenge to tackle and it seems quite possible to do in a 2 year period of time. I am currently 66 years of age. I retired last year of a full time job, so currently I have the time available. Since I’ve been a teenager I loved walking long distances.
I was born in the shadow of Table Mountain at the Booth Memorial, situated on the corner of Upper Orange street and Prince street, Oranjezicht. When I was 21 years old I took part in the Big Walk. The route runs from Cape Town City hall to Simon’s Town and back again, a distance of 80 km. The following year on the same day, the 10th Oct. 1978 I did it the 2nd time. Then in 1990 I took part in the Comrades ultra marathon between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. I did that marathon 3 times, a distance of 89 kilomètres per race.
Over the years walking became a way of living to me. It’s for me the best form of relaxation and I enjoy every moment of it. If the time is available I’ll rather walk to my destination like shopping instead of driving there. I walk 7 days a week, so for me it’s almost like breathing, something I just do spontaneously and it also serves as therapy for the mind. I love travelling a lot, so walking this route will definitely be very exciting and also serve as a challenge, especially when doing it with other like-minded people.
Emily Ruggieri says
I’d love to try this!
Axel Forsby says
I would love to do this, not alone but with a little group.
Allyson Mckenna says
I’m sure thinking about it. Need more info.
Hugo Fernandes says
I never knew we could walk without taking any boat to cross over that’s definitely a lifetime experience and unforgettable walk it would be a remarkable to be part of the journey
Hassan Magomu Wacha says
Yeah, I’d be interested in trying this out….
Sign me up. Let’s come up with a business idea. So we can make some money while traveling for our expenses.
bakers Smith says
Would love to do this!!
Peter Cox says
I love to it by bicycle
Surely the best way to do this would be on a mountain bike, it would quarter the time period and be possible to cover up to a 100 miles a day on good roads
John Gilmartin says
Wow, the Camino pales into a Sunday stroll. What equipment etc is needed for this or is it turn up and put one foot in front of the other?