Vom Kap bis Kairo: Rules

Vom Kap bis Kairo / From Cape to Cairo
by Günter Burkhardt  

Jon Schultz did this translation of Adlung’s original English translation, with the help of the members of the Spielfrieks e-mail list found at

A special thanks goes to Frank Hamrick for his proofing of this copy. The intent is to have a set of English rules that cover all aspects of play and handle any questions that arise from the original quite poorly done) translation.

A card game for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up
Playing time 30 minutes  

4 trains (in 4 colors)
4 tenders (in 4 colors)
50 terrain cards (5 types of terrain with 0-3 track pieces on the front and 1 track piece on the back)
1 terrain map (showing all 5 terrain types)
1 overview card (with drawings; this translation refers to this card, so keep it handy)

1 rule booklet

Inspiration for the game:
In 1850 most countries in the world already had several hundred kilometers of railway track in use. 20 years later, track covered the American continent. Then in 1902, with the opening of the Trans-Siberian Express, Asia was also covered. But a railway network through the African continent from Cape to Cairo was still missing.  

Object of the game:
Each player must try to be the first to build a railway network through 8 landscapes of Africa. Players will bid for these landscapes (terrain) at an auction. Factors to consider are the track required to cross the terrain, the number of track pieces included with the terrain, and the payment you’ll receive for successfully building across the terrain. The first player to successfully lay track across his 8th terrain is the winner.

Getting ready to start:
Each player needs a pen and paper
 Sort the trains and tenders by color and deal as a pair to the players. Put any left over aside.
 Place the terrain map card on one side of the table visible to all players
 Put the trains in the starting position (see drawing 1 on the overview card)
 The tenders remain face up in front of each player to show which train belongs to them
 Shuffle all the terrain cards and stack them face down in the middle of the table
 Each player draws a chart with two columns on his paper (see drawing 3 on the overview card) and enters 100 pounds starting capital in the left column. During the game, players may have more than 100 pounds, but must never have less than 0 pounds.  

Terrain map:
This shows how many tracks are necessary to build across the different terrain types:

Terrain cards:

How to play:
The game is played in two alternating phases:
land buying and
track building.  

Land buying phase:

Track-building phase (see back side of the tender — though the translation is horrible):

During the track-building phase the players may build across the terrain cards lying in front of their own train.

a) the total number of track pieces shown on the terrain cards drawn from the terrain stack

b) the total number of track pieces shown on all terrain cards in front of a player’s train

c) 1 or more bonus track(s) (see “The river”)

d) Missing track pieces may be purchased for 10 pounds each (subtracted from a player’s capital)

End of the track-building phase:

If at any point in the game the terrain stack from the middle of the table is used up, the discard pile is shuffled and the cards are placed in a new stack.

The river:

End of the game:


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