Tour around Africa: Stage 26 - Tobruk - Gamal Abd El Nasser (HLTQ) to Mersa Matruh (HEMM)
MS Flight Simulator VFR Flight Plan
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In this VFR - GPS Flight Plan we take off from the airport of Trobuk - Gamal Abd El Nasser (HLTQ) [Libya], near Tobruk and land in the airport of Mersa Matruh (HEMM) [Egypt]. It is mainly a transit stage to what will be our next country, Egypt.

Find below a short extract and screenshots of the main points of the route. In this journey around Africa I have used the Cessna 172S (Skyhawk)

After taking off from the airport of Tobruk - Gamal Abd El Nasser we take to the east in order to fly in parallel to the coast.

Tobruk International Airport (IATA: TOB, ICAO: HLTQ) is an airport serving the Mediterranean port city of Tobruk, capital of the Butnan District of Libya. The airport is 23 kilometres (14 mi) south of Tobruk, at the town of Al Adm. The airport formerly had an ICAO code of HLGN. The Tobruk non-directional beacon (Ident: GN) is located 3.2 nautical miles (5.9 km) southeast of the airport. The Nasser VOR-DME (Ident: TBQ) is located on the field.

The airport was previously named Gamal Abdel Nasser Airport, after the president of the former United Arab Republic.

The airport was officially opened as Tobruk International Airport on 29 April 2013. The oldest airport in Libya, it had previously offered only internal flights. The first international passenger flight was to Alexandria, Egypt, operated by Libyan Airlines. The airport operates domestic flights to Benghazi and Tripoli.

A new passenger terminal is currently under construction. The airport will have a duty-free zone. Plans are currently underway to establish cargo service to Tobruk's International Airport. (*1)

Did you guess what would be the landscape we would find next?  Yes, the desert! What else would you expect in Libya?


Leaving Libya behind and entering the Egyptian territory.


Getting closer to the Egyptian coast, near Sidi Barrani.


Flying near Sidi Barrani.

Sidi Barrani (Arabic: سيدي براني‎) is a town in Egypt, near the Mediterranean Sea, about 95 km (59 mi) east of the Egypt–Libya border, and around 240 km (150 mi) from Tobruk, Libya.

Named after Sidi es-Saadi el Barrani, a Senussi sheikh who was a head of its Zawiya, the village is mainly a Bedouin community. It has food, gasoline outlets and one small hotel, but virtually no tourist activity or visited historical curiosities. It is the site of an Egyptian Air Force base.

Located close to the Roman city of Zygra, in the Roman province of Libya Inferior, Sidi Barrani is often mentioned in historical records to mark the limit of the initial Italian invasion of Egypt from Libya. The Italian Tenth Army built a series of forts in the vicinity.

American Field Service volunteers, providing ambulance services and serving with the British 8th Army were based in the area, in June 1942, 30 miles east of Sidi Barrani.

Sidi Barrani was a destination during the total solar eclipse on October 3, 2005, as expeditions travelled to the best observation point, Zawiet Mahtallah, 27 km (17 mi) east of Sidi Barrani. (*1)

Sidi Barrani
Maher A. A. Abdussalam

Flying in parallel to the M40 motorway.


The rest of the flight passes through an area of scattered houses, without any important village.


Overflying The final approach to the airport of Mersa Matruh takes us to overfly the city.

Mersa Matruh (Arabic: مرسى مطروح‎), also spelled Marsa Matruh, is a port in Egypt and the capital of Matrouh Governorate. It is located 240 km (150 mi) west of Alexandria and 222 km (138 mi) east of Sallum on the main highway from the Nile Delta to the Libyan border. The city is also accessible from the south via another highway running through the Western Desert towards Siwa Oasis and Bahariya Oasis.

In ancient Egypt and during the reign of Alexander the Great, the city was known as Amunia. In the Ptolemaic Kingdom and later during the Byzantine Empire, it was known as Paraitónion (Koinē Greek: Παραιτόνιον). During the Roman Empire, it was called Paraetonium in Latin, which became Al-Baretoun (Arabic: البارتون‎) after the Arab conquest of Egypt. As a British military base during World War II, several battles were fought around its environs as the German Afrika Korps attempted to capture the port. It fell to the Germans during the Battle of Mersa Matruh, but was recaptured following the Second Battle of El Alamein.

Mersa Matruh is served by Mersa Matruh International Airport. The city features soft white sand beaches and calm transparent waters; the bay is protected from the high seas by a series of rocks forming a natural breakwater, with a small opening to allow access for light vessels. 

It  has a hot desert climate (BWh) according to Köppen climate classification, but winds blowing from the Mediterranean Sea greatly moderate the temperature, making its summers moderately hot and humid while its winters mild and moderately wet. Summers are sunny and dry, while in the colder months, there is some rain and cloud cover. Sleet and hail are common in Winter.

Mersa Matruh and Port Said have the coolest summer days of all Egyptian cities and resorts, although not significantly cooler than other northern coastal places. Additionally Rafah, Alexandria, Abu Qir, Rosetta, Baltim, Kafr el-Dawwar and Mersa Matruh are the wettest in Egypt. (*1)

Cleopatra beach
By Mujaddara - CC BY-SA 3.0
The city of Mersa Matruh
Ahmed Hussien ph - CC BY-SA 3.0
Castle near the coast
By Mujaddara - CC BY-SA 3.0

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(*1) Credits: The descriptive texts are mainly an excerpt of those provided by Wikipedia. Visit Wikipedia to read the full descriptions.

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