For avid hikers, there are many long-distance trails that can challenge anyone.
The Appalachian Trail in the United States, the Greater Patagonian Trail through South America, and Te Araro through New Zealand, to name a few.
But none of them have the longest walk in the world, which is 14,334 miles (23,068 kilometers)—more than six times the length of the Appalachians.
This route takes you from Cape Town in South Africa to Magadan in northeastern Russia and is entirely walkable.
Be warned though, it traverses through 16 countries taking you through deserts, battlefields and some of the coldest places on the planet.
The world’s longest walkable route is 14,334 miles from Cape Town, South Africa to Magadan, Russia.
The route passes through the Sahara desert on its way from Sudan to Egypt
Damascus, Syria, is one of the places along the way where you’ll find yourself on the battlefield
The hike will undoubtedly give you some great views from the coast of Georgia including the Black Sea
The 14,334-mile hike would require about 4,500 hours of walking, which equates to 188 days, but a realistic — or at least slightly more realistic — time calculation would require close to three years to complete the journey at a sustainable pace. Sleep.
So, if you’re thinking of packing your bags, taking a career break, and being the first to do so, here’s what to expect.
First, according to RealLifeLore on YouTube, the world’s longest walk technically starts in L’Agulhas, the southernmost point on the African continent, rather than Cape Town.
From there you walk the length of South Africa to Zimbabwe. At this point you may meet your first big danger – the black mamba or Africa’s deadliest snake.
The next route takes you briefly through Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia and then back to Malawi.
You’ll then trek all the way through Tanzania to Uganda, your next big threat, as one of the malaria capitals of the world – so make sure you get your shot before you embark on this journey.
And once you get through it, you go straight into South Sudan which, according to the Global Peace Index, is the fourth most dangerous country in the world because it’s embroiled in a civil war.
However, you soon enter Sudan, which is a healthy five ranks higher, and you may encounter temperatures of 47 Celsius as you pass through the Sahara.
Your last stop before leaving Africa is Egypt, from where you will cross the Suez Canal to Israel and Jordan.
After a brief stint through them, you reach the last active battlefield on the route – Syria, which has been mired in civil war since 2011.
The conflict has been marked by the use of chemical weapons, bombings and other atrocities.
Given this, anyone doing this walk will be keen to get to Turkey as soon as possible, although the route doesn’t go anywhere particularly noteworthy before crossing into Georgia.
At this point you will meet the edge of the Black Sea, bringing wonderful views from the beaches around Pitsunda.
Then you enter the final country, although still more than 10,000 km to go, because it is Russia.
You start by walking through Sochi, the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympics
The route sees you pass through the breadth of Siberia which is likely to experience temperatures as low as -39C in the harsh Russian winter.
Magadan is a port city founded in the 1930s and was a major transit point for political prisoners bound for work in Stalinist Russia’s nearest gulag.
Former airport of Magadan, administrative center of Magadan Oblast, Russia
However quickly, the route leaves the Black Sea and begins its monotonous course through Kazakhstan, Mongolia and the world’s largest nation north of its borders with China.
It sees you pass through the breadth of Siberia and considering the length of the journey, it is likely to encounter temperatures as low as -39C in the harsh Russian winter.
The final stretch of the journey from Yakutsk to Magadan is along the ‘road or bones’, as the bodies of the Gulag workers who died building it were simply mixed in with the rest of the construction materials.
It would be practically impossible to walk any other way than Magadan, therefore, it is the longest walking destination on our planet.