CAIRO: British explorer, writer, and photographer Levison Wood reached Tahrir Square Wednesday before continuing his Walking the Nile adventure as the first person to walk the entire length of the Nile River.
“It is not just about the walk. It is also about experiencing the countries I pass through, seeing the sites, meeting several people, and getting to know more about their daily life and culture,” Wood told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
Wood, 31, former captain in the Parachute Regiment, started his 6,000 km journey from the mountains of Rwanda and travelled through six countries where he experienced the different cultures, landscapes, swathes, wildlife, and the Sahara Desert.
“It has been my lifetime adventure. There are so many ways you can see a country and I feel I am very privileged to be able to walk through six different countries and meet people of different cultures on the way,” Wood told The Cairo Post.
Levison, driven by fascination of Africa, passed through Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, and Sudan before crossing the borders into Egypt in July.
Since he began his hike in November 2013, he also encountered some safety issues while “passing through places like South Sudan with civil wars and tribal fighting along with bureaucracy, politics involved. But, finally, I am fine and happy to have made it to Cairo.”
During his nine month journey, Wood experienced physical challenges such as crossing thousands of kilometers in the Sahara Desert in the summer, where the temperature exceeds 50 degrees Celsius.
“My feet have fallen apart. I was told by an Egyptian soldier to use henna to relieve the pain in my feet and it helped,” Wood said. “I have learned so many things about myself and limitations. I pushed myself beyond anything I have ever imagined.”
Wood said his daily routine included waking up at 6:00 a.m., getting a good breakfast, and walking for 30-35 km each day.
“The most interesting part of my trip was the scenery at the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, where I was so close to elephants, giraffes, and watched crocodiles,” Wood said and that his journey was “incredible, tragic, difficult, but amazing.”
Wood, who had police escorts through different Egyptian governorates, appreciated the friendliness of the Egyptian people he met in Aswan and Luxor.
“I have experienced no safety issues since arriving in Egypt and definitely encourage tourists to visit and see all the amazing things,” Wood said.
Wood is expected to end his journey in Egypt’s Delta city of Rosetta at the shores of the Mediterranean Sea within two weeks.
Walking The Nile expedition is sponsored by Channel 4 U.K. and Animal Planet U.S. to produce a documentary about the journey in four parts, documentary director Jaime Berry told The Cairo Post.