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Eritrea Dampflok Mallett Tanago Eisenbahnreisen Erlebnisreisen


Mallets in the mountains

17. - 23. October 2019

Eritrea: Malletts in the mountains

Experience with us the most beautiful mountain railway of Africa and the authentic, genuine country life of Eritrea. We drive several times on the steep route from Arbaroba up to Asmara. Here you find the most spectacular and best photo and video motives, all locomotive series of the Italian Mallets are used before different, authentically copied train sets. 

Railfan Tours Icon
No. of participants Min. 12 - max. 28
Duration 7 days
Meals half board
Price from 1.980 Euro
Open for bookings Open for bookings
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Your itinerary:

17 October 2019, Thursday (Arrival, not included in tour price):
Fly today from various German and European airports to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. Talk to us, we will help you to book an optimal journey!

18 October 2019, Friday:
Most airlines arrive in Asmara after midnight, we offer for every arrival a transfer from the airport directly to our centrally located tourist class hotel.

Already in the morning we maneuver with the small B-coupler 202.002 in the photogenic station of Asmara, before we visit the worth seeing workshops of the Eritrean Railways in the late morning. Even though some things have been modernized in the meantime, the workshop still radiates a very special "retro" charm! If you prefer to sleep longer, you can do the same and we will pick you up from your hotel for a tour of the workshop.

In the afternoon we drive from Shegereni to Asmara with a "big" Mallet of the class 442 and a passenger train of green cars. We pay special attention to the spectacular passage at "Devil´s Gate", the curves after the last tunnel, and the long straight before Asmara for atmospheric sunset shots.
Overnight stay in Asmara.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch (packed).

19 October 2019, Saturday:
Our steam program starts in the morning in Nefasit, we will work through the many photo points in and around Nefasit (train station, mosque, village view) in the morning, use the midday highlight for a break, and then take our photo train to Arbaroba. The track is now winding in steady curves and with many tunnels through the mountain landscape, behind every curve new perspectives open up!
Overnight stay in Asmara.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch (packed).

20 October 2019, Sunday:
While we await the sunrise with our train in the clear air of the mountains in Lessa, another 442 reaches the station of Arbaroba. With two Mallet locomotives we will first work off the local views in Arbaroba, in order to then drive on to Shegereni with many photo stops on 950mm track width. This section is certainly one of the most beautiful and spectacular of the route: constant gradients, many bridges and tunnels, real Eritrean village life... 

After a lunch break in Shegereni station (or the local pub for the lovers of local fusel) we continue with both locomotives to Asmara: also here they will take us a lot of time for the spectacular drive past the "Devil´s Gate" and for sunset pictures!
We end the day with night shots at the small locomotive shed of Asmara.
Overnight stay in Asmara.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch (packed).

21 October 2019, Monday:
The day starts today at sunrise in the mountains below the capital, where we will photograph a 442 with a freight train. In the next hours we roll downhill to Arbaroba, interrupted again and again by photo stops of the then uphill moving freight train! 
In Arbaroba we take a short break to sit out the highlight and want to take pictures in the afternoon in the sections east of the train station. In the rugged mountain world, tunnel exits and rock galleries follow one outstanding motif after the next. 
Overnight stay in Asmara.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch (packed).

22 October 2019, Tuesday:
We start again with sunrise pictures, and then concentrate fully on the (almost) infinite motives around the small station Shegereni: next to lots of donkeys, camels, old trucks, local farmers and shepherds we experience a 442 with her freight train on the very photogenic sections above and below Shegereni. We have planned enough time to be able to work through all motifs in peace and without hectic rush.
In the evening we say "Thank you" for your participation at a farewell dinner, and "Thank you" to the Eritrean Railways for a certainly fantastic tour!
Overnight stay in Asmara.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch (packed).

23 October 2019, Wednesday:
Shortly after midnight departure for the airport, where our journey ends.

In most cases you will arrive in Europe around midday of the same day.

For all those who are not only interested in the railway, we offer a photo trip as an extension: we visit the fishermen at the coast of the Red Sea, the colourful markets in Asmara, and the legendary cattle market in Keren. Read this program here.



Your tourprice:
land only, per person):

1.980 Euro sharing a double room, if booked before 31 of may 2019
2.280 Euro sharing a double room, if booked on / after 1 of june 2019
   380 Euro single room surcharge

What you get:
7 days photo charter and program as decribed

  • Railway workshop visit and night photos
  • all transfers (also from the airport and back) and entry faires
  • accomoadation with breakfast, lunch (mocstly packed as a small lunch package) and dinner,
  • Tanago tour brochure
  • Experienced and knowleadable Tanago tour guide (German and English speaking) plus local guides
  • The tour price does not include tips, all expenses of private nature, international flights and visa.

Turkish airlines flies via Istanbul, Egypt Air flies via Kairo from severeal international and national airports to Asmara. Be free to ask Tanago for your best and cheapest flight to Asmara. We like to help you.

The maximum number of participants for this tour is 12, the maximum number is 36.

Please book before 30 of june 2019.

We are looking forward to another chance to experience the Mallets in Eritrea. A few years ago it seemed almost impossible to follow up our many successful trips to Eritrea with another one: Coal shortage, lack of personnel, and broken locomotives seemed to seal the end of our tours there in view of the economic situation in the country. But we underestimated the energy and enthusiasm in Eritrea - and now we can offer another trip to one of the best mountain railways on the continent.

Of course, the general circumstances in the country have not changed: the majority of our refugees come from Eritrea - and there are reasons for this. Similar to North Korea, we are aware of this, but we do not want to put it in the foreground for our trip. We drive into the country because of the steam locomotives, the uniquely beautiful landscape, the friendly people and the almost unlimited photo opportunities. We accept that not everyone shares this view, but we also ask not to abuse our tour for political campaign work. Anyone who stands out and cannot be integrated into the railway group will be sent home.

As already written in the travel text, the operation of the railway is endangered again and again by various landslides and line under- and overflows. At the moment the government has sufficient financial resources and enough interest to keep the railway running, after all the reconstruction of the railway after the civil war was already a national project.
This does not mean, however, that this will be the case forever. Nature and politics can turn away from the railway, and then it will be over just as quickly as it has started again.

We have planned our program with the knowledge of January 2018. Changes in the use of the locomotive or with regard to the routes used can also occur at very short notice; we are not liable for influences beyond our control. The Eritrean Railways Headquarters has confirmed our program and we expect to be able to do the same. Nevertheless, there is always a small residual risk. We have been working together with E.R and our local agency for many years in a very trustful way and we are sure to offer you an excellent railway programme!

The quality of hotels, roads and other infrastructure cannot be compared with Western Europe. Please do not expect luxury. Our local hotels offer simple rooms with shower/WC, working heating and hot water around the clock. Mobile phones, Internet or Wlan will not work or will only work to a very limited extent. Our buses will not meet German standards.

To make the best use of our time, we start early in the morning, at noon we usually have a small snack on the way, in the evening we eat a lot.

The costs of the land programme represent a kind of "all-inclusive". Your ancillary costs on this trip are therefore limited to additional beverage consumption outside the "all-inclusive" or potential extra wishes. In addition, there is only a contribution to the tip box.

Please also read our comments on the subject of "travel health insurance abroad". On our trip to China in February 2013, one participant fell ill. Without insurance he would have stayed in the Chinese hospital in Fuxin - and would not have been able to fly home. Four days before the start of our 2016 India tour, one participant had to cancel due to illness - the cancellation fee was 75%! Don't save at the wrong end, that's what travel health insurance is for.

Temperatures & Technology:
During the day we expect temperatures around 20° C, at night it can get quite fresh and cool. It will hardly rain, depending on the weather conditions, a westward wind presses the humidity of the Red Sea against the mountains of the Asmaras plateau, which can lead to cloud formation.

Use stable shoes (we will be out and about all day long) and also get dressed for "outdoors". Please leave jackets or trousers in bright colours in the wardrobe at home.

Entry requirements:
A tourist visa is required for entry into Eritrea. Since the visa application has to be done personally at the embassy in Berlin, and at the same time is not quite easy, we take over this task. The procurement of the visa costs us at present 120 euro. All participants require a passport which must be valid for at least six months after the date of travel and must contain at least two free pages. This information applies only to German nationals. Please check the different regulations for your home country!

See you soon in Eritrea!