Day 1: UK to Khartoum. A direct flight to Khartoum arriving late evening. Meet and greet. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight Holiday Villa or similar.
Day 2: Khartoum – Wadi Muqaddamm. Morning to visit to the town and 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 by the water. The expedition departs late morning heading North. As soon as we leave town we found ourselves in an empty desert. We drive north following the road for about 200 km and we then leave the tar road to search for a nice suitable place to set our first camp amongst some sand dunes and rocky hills. Overnight camp.
Day 3: Wadi Muqaddamm – Nubian Villages. We cross the Nile by ferry near the village of El Ghaba. These ferries, the only way of crossing the Nile in these remote regions, are a hive of colourful activity. We find ourselves sharing the space with people, donkeys, camels and goats. We drive north following the Nile through the central part of the Nubian region. Here the population speaks a different language from the Arabs, and also the Islamic religion is not as "strict" as in other regions.
The women don't cover their faces and readily speak to foreigners. The Nubian villages are beautiful, between sand dunes and palm trees; some of the houses are painted and decorated with patterns and flowers. Enthusiastic hospitality abounds, people will often invite foreigners to visit their home and share a meal or a cup of spiced tea. Overnight in the desert.
Day 4: Nubian villages - Old Dongola. We drive south to reach the archaeological site of Old Dongola. Here we can see a Christian Coptic temple with marble columns as well as several churches that are situated on the banks of the Nile, which are the remains of a small Christian kingdom that ruled here prior to the Islamic invasion. Overnight in camp.
Day 5: Old Dongola - Nubian desert–E Kurru - Karima. This morning we start crossing the Nubian desert which has sand dunes, flat sandy plains and red rocky hills eroded by the wind. We reach the Nile again near the site of El Kurru, where there is one of the necropolis of the ancient capital Napata. Here we visit two tombs which are excavated in the rock under the pyramids, partially collapsed, and they are decorated with the images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolor hieroglyphic inscriptions. Nearby we can also find a petrified forest. After the visit we reach the small town of Karima at the foot of the holy mountains Jebel Barkal. Dinner and overnight in camp.
Day 6: Karima (Jebel Barkal - Fourth Cataract – Bayuda Desert. A landmark in the Nubian desert, Jebel Barkal ("Jebel" means mountain in Arabic) can be seen from dozens of kilometers whilst still in the open desert. At the foot of this wonderful isolated red sandstone mountain considered sacred since the ancient times there is the big temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron Amon. The Amon's ancient "Pure Mountain", the Olympus of the Nubians, was the religious Nubian heart for more than 1000 years.
Besides the ruins of the big temple there are still several sculptured granite rams that were supposed to border a long avenue that probably led to a pier on the Nile. In the mountain wall there is a big room decorated with bas-relief. After the visits we drive north-east to reach the Fourth Cataract where the Nile flows through huge granite rocks with rapids. Walk along the Nile’s shore.
We cross the Nile river again and we enter the Bayuda desert. This desert is the area bounded by the loop formed by the Nile between the 4th and the 6th Cataract and characterized by sharp black basalt mountains, most of them volcanic and typically cone-shaped. They alternate with level pebble stretches and large valleys with dry wadis going through where there is little vegetation. Overnight in camp in the desert.
Day 7: Bayuda desert – Atbara-Meroe. After the desert crossing we reach the Nile and we cross for the last time in the town of Atbara at the junction of the Atbara river with the Nile. From here we drive south and after a hour drive the pyramids of the royal necropolis of Meroe become visible on top of a rise among yellow sand dunes. The Royal necropolis of Meroe is located about 3 km 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. Just in front of the pyramids there are some small funerary temples with the walls fully decorated with bas-reliefs that shows the King’s life and the gods. Then we move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal city. Dinner and overnight in tents.
Day 8: Meroe-Naga–Musawwarat. 50 km south of Meroe is the town of Shendi on the Nile where we stop for supplies of water and fresh food. We keep on driving south and leave the main road to reach the archaeological site of Musawwarat El Sufra, which is located in a beautiful valley crowned by hills. Then we reach the ancient site of Naga, where we can see the temple of Apedemak (1st century AD) a beautiful sandstone building with walls engraved with the images of the Meroitic kings and gods. Nearby there is another temple in Greek/Roman style called the "Kiosk" and another one dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and beautiful temple entrance decorated with bas-reliefs. Overnight in camp.
Day 9: Naga-Omdurman–Khartoum. Today we reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan. After a visit to the big market, the tomb and the small museum of the Mahdi (the Islamic leader of the Sudan that fought in 1885 against General Gordon and English colonization). Then we check in at our hotel in Khartoum where Day-use rooms are available. Dinner free. In the evening transfer to the airport for departure early hours the next morning.
Day 10: Departure. Transfer from hotel to airport and departure in the early hours for London.
- On our group tours, there is no single supplement, we will match you with a roommate of the same gender.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Sudan History Whiz Archeology/History