Day 1: UK to Khartoum. Day time flight to Khartoum arriving early evening. Meet and Greet. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight: Holiday Villa or similar.
Day 2: Khartoum – Western desert. Morning visit of the city, including the Archaeological Museum. The expedition departs late morning heading north. A flat desert will be the only landscape for 200 km. Overnight in the desert.
Days 3-5: Wadi El Milk – Western Desert. We continue across the flat desert until we reach Wadi El Milk, where sand dunes and acacia trees show the presence of underground water. In this area it is easy to find some settlements of the Bisharin Nomads. They are usually situated near wells which supply water for their large herds of camels and goats. We continue to drive into the Western Desert, one of the most unknown and unexplored areas of the whole Sahara.
This area is huge; stretching from the Nile to the Chad border in the West and from the Egyptian border in the North to the Sahel area towards the South. The total surface area is larger than Germany. No roads cross this area. We drive using GPS satellite navigation and we will have a satellite telephone for our use. It is a total desert with very little animal or plant life. The landscape is some of the most spectacular the Sahara has to offer; sand dunes, flat sandy areas, and rocky hills. Overnights camp (3 nights).
Days 6-7: Dongola – Temple of Soleb – Jebel Dosha. We reach a group of small oasis about 70 km west of the Nile. On arrival in the town of Dongola, we take on supplies of water, fuel and food. Continuing north we arrive at the Temple of Soleb. This is one of the most beautiful Egyptian temples in Sudan, testimony of the New Kingdom in Nubia, with walls rich in hieroglyphic inscriptions, bas-relief figures and many columns. Overnight camp (2 nights).
Day 8: Temple of Sesibi- Delgo – Third Cataract – Tombos - Kerma. On arrival at the village of Delgo, we cross the Nile. The ferries are the only way of crossing the Nile in these remote regions, and are a hive of colourful activity. We find ourselves sharing the crossing with the local people and their donkeys, camels, goats and other livestock. Driving south we reach the rock formations of the Third Cataract, close to the village of Tombos. Among the rocks we can find a statue of the black Pharaohs Taharqa. We continue and reach the site of Kerma where we can visit the remains of a pre-dynastic civilization and the "Defuffa" a strange and mysterious building made of mud bricks. Overnight camp.
Days 9–10: Nubian villages – Old Dongola – Nubian Desert. We now head south following the Nile. This area is the central part of the Nubian region, where the local people speak a different language from the Arabs, and the Islamic religion is not as evident. The women do not cover their faces and they readily speak to foreigners. The Nubian villages are beautifully scattered between sand dunes and palm trees; the houses are painted, decorated with patterns and flowers.
Hospitality abounds, people will often invite foreigners to visit their home and share a meal or a cup of spiced tea. We arrive at the site of Old Dongola, a Christian Coptic temple with marble columns, as well as several churches situated on the banks of the Nile. We continue and head deeper into the Nubian Desert; it is different again from the other areas of Northern Sudan with sand dunes, flat sandy plains and brown rocky hills eroded by the wind. Overnight camp.
Day 11: Nubian Desert – El Kurru–Karima-Jebel Barkal. After the desert crossing we reach the site of El Kurru, where there is one of the Necropolis of the ancient capital Napata. Here we can visit two tombs which were excavated in the rock under the pyramids and are richly decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the Gods and with multicolor hieroglyphic inscriptions. A short drive through some local villages and we arrive in the small town of Karima at the foot of the holy mountain Jebel Barkal.
A stunning landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal ("Jebel" means mountain in Arabic) can be seen from dozens of kilometers. At the foot of this red sandstone mountain there is a large 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. You will also see several sculptured granite rams that were said to have bordered a long avenue that probably led to the pier on the Nile. Overnight camp.
Days 12-13: Karima – Bayuda desert – Meroe. We cross the Nile and enter the Bayuda desert, an area bounded by a 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.
We should meet isolated camel and donkey caravans of the Bisharin Nomads, who live in family groups in small huts made of intertwined branches, near the rare water wells. We reach the Nile and cross the river to the town of Atbara. After a one hour drive south, the pyramids of the Royal Necropolis of Meroe become visible in the distance. Here there are more than 100 pyramids, some very well preserved. Overnight camp.
Day 14: Pyramids of Meroe – Temple of Naga and Musawwarat. The Royal Necropolis of Meroe is located at about 3 km from the Nile on some hills covered with yellow sand dunes. Several pyramids stand out with their sharp shapes against the clear sky. We follow the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal City. We then drive south to visit two important archaeological sites In Naga, there is the Apedemak temple (1st century AD): a wonderful building with bas-relief decorations with the image of the god with the lion head, of the Pharaoh and of the noblemen and several ritual images of the Apedemak god.
Close by there is a small construction with arches and columns, named "kiosk", in which we can note Egyptian, Roman and the Greek styles. Not far away is another temple dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and a beautiful entrance decorated with bas-reliefs. In Musawwarat, the ruins of a very large temple are visible. Its main characteristic, the Great Wall, surrounds a temple built in the 1st century AD. The large number of elephants represented on the walls indicates that the animal used to have an important role in this area. Overnight camp.
Day 15: Omdurman – Khartoum. In late morning we arrive at Omdurman, ancient capital of Sudan. Visit the interesting souk, where it is possible to buy some local handicrafts. Transfer to Khartoum. Return to the Holiday Villa Hotel (or similar) where day use rooms will be available until 2100. In the evening transfer to the airport for departure early hours the next morning.
Day 16: Departure. Transfer from hotel to airport and departure to Europe.
- On our group tours, there is no single supplement, we will match you with a roommate of the same gender. Our policy is to avoid supplements unless requested by you.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Sudan Outdoor: Land Rambler Desert Expeditions
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