Along Sudan’s remarkable Nile Valley, a wealth of archaeological treasures awaits the intrepid traveller. Join us and discover a land of preserved temples dating back to ancient Egyptian times, painted tombs and numerous pyramids.
From Khartoum we head north through the Western Desert to Karima, for a comfortable stay at a rest house, built in traditional Nubianian style. Our accommodation is in a stunning location, right at the foot of Jebel Barkal, which means ‘Holy Mountain’ in Arabic. This great sandstone butte dominates this stretch of the Nile and whilst in the desert, can been seen from a few dozen kilometres.
Using the rest house as a perfect base, we explore the surrounding area, travelling by 4WD. We will visit the ruins of a temple dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and their patron Amon, before travelling southwards to see the tombs of the ancient city of Napata, richly decorated with hieroglyphic inscriptions and images, housed in pyramids.
There will be time to visit a local market, giving us an ideal opportunity to meet the welcoming Sudanese people, before travelling into the Nubian Desert for an excursion to the granite boulders and rapids of the 4th Cataract of the Nile.
From Karima we will begin our trip back to the capital travelling through the Bayuda desert via the town of Atbara. This area of Sudan is characterised by sharp volcanic black basalt mountains. During our drive we are likely to see gazelles and meet camel caravans of the Bisharin nomads. We reach the town of Atbara, located on the confluence between the Nile and the river Atbara, where we cross the Nile for the last time. Continuing our drive south will bring us to Meroe and the Royal Necropolis, standing on a hill, which rises up among yellow Saharan sand dunes. More than 40 pyramids, some of them in perfect preservation stand proud.
During our two-night stay at an excellent permanent tented camp, with hotel like facilities, we explore the ancient site of Naga and Musawwarat, visiting the beautiful sandstone temples. Finally we will have time to explore the interesting souk of Omdurman, an ancient capital of Sudan, before reaching the present day capital, Khartoum.
Day 1- Khartoum
Arrive in Khartoum and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight Grand Holiday Villa hotel or similar.
Day 2 - Khartoum – Karima
We visit the Archaeological Museum that, besides many beautiful objects, contains two full temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded following the construction of the Aswan Dam. After lunch, we begin the journey northward through the Western desert, reaching the Nile and the small town of Merowe from where we cross the river to reach the Nubian Rest House, located at the foot of the Jebel Barkal. Dinner and overnight at the rest house. (BLD)
Day 3 - Karima, Jebel Barkal and the Necropolis of El Kurru
Visit the ancient monuments around Jebel Barkal, including its pyramids and temples, before heading towards the royal cemetery at El Kurru. We then head into the desert to an area that contains numerous fossils, before heading back to Karima. Overnight at the rest house. (BLD)
Day 4 - Karima - the Nubian Desert and to the 4th Cataract
This morning we make a short visit to the market in Karima, an ideal opportunity to meet the Sudanese people. We then head north, travelling into the Nubian Desert. It is an almost sterile area, where little vegetation survives. We then reach the beautiful granite rocky formations of the 4th Cataract, with its many rapids. Among the rocks are some villages whose inhabitants cultivate small fields on the edge of the desert. The sense of hospitality of these people is very high and they often invite travellers into their houses to drink a cup of ‘chai’, usually made with spices. Later we return to Karima. Overnight at the rest house. (BLD)
Day 5 - Karima – Meroe
Cross the Nile by local ferry, giving us a great opportunity to meet local people and to experience some of their kindness and hospitality. After the river crossing we enter the Bayuda desert, an area bounded by the loop formed by the Nile between the 4th and the 6th Cataracts. We then reach the pyramids of the Royal Necropolis of Meroe standing on a hill, with more than 40 pyramids, some of them in perfectly preserved condition. Finally we arrive at our tented camp, where we spend the night. (BLD)
Day 6 - Meroe - visit to the Necropolis and to the Royal City of Meroe
We spend today visiting the Necropolis and the Royal City of Meroe, giving us a fascinating insight into a culture and civilisation long since passed. The Royal Necropolis of Meroe is located about 3 kms from the Nile on some hills covered with yellow sand dunes. More than 40 pyramids stand out with their sharp shapes against the clear sky, most of them in a perfect condition. We then move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal City. Overnight at the tented camp. (BLD)
Day 7 - Meroe - the Naqa and Musawwarat temples
We spend the morning visiting the impressive archaeological sites of Naqa and Musawwarat. After a picnic lunch we then return towards the Nile and stop at the town of Shendi to visit the market, once famous for its slaves. In the afternoon return to the camp at Meroe where we will spend the night. (BLD)
Day 8 - Meroe – Omdurman – Khartoum
After breakfast we drive south and after about 50 km, we enter a desert area covered with huge round granite boulders; these are the last offshoots of the rocky formations of the 6th Cataract. A detour off the asphalt road leads us near the Nile where these formations are even more impressive. Late morning arrival to Omdurman, ancient capital of Sudan. Visit the interesting souk, where it is possible to buy some typical local handicrafts. We transfer to Khartoum and our hotel where day rooms are provided until departure. Later transfer to the airport for your flight home. (BL)
All transfers and tours
All accommodation, based on twin share
All meals as shown in the itinerary
English-speaking guide/tour leader
National Archaeological Museum entry fee
Travel, Archaeological and photo permits
Archaeological sites fees
Price Does Not Include
Drinks, laundry and all items of a personal nature
All meals in Khartoum, except breakfast on day 2
Sudan Entry Visa
Visa Authorisation Fee, payable locally on your arrival - USD120
Regular departures between October and April
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