Sudan - Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs


Sudan - Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 10 days
Type: GroupTravel with a small group of other travellers

Itinerary

Please note that the itinerary will run in reverse for certain departures although always starting and ending in Khartoum on the stated dates.


Day 1 – Arrive Khartoum  

Arrive in Khartoum and transfer to the hotel. Overnight Hotel Acropole.

**Depending on the time of your flight you may arrive very early on the morning of Day 2 and the room will be available for you at the hotel**

Day 2 – Khartoum – Karima

This morning we drove north through the desert to Karima and the comfort of the Nubian Guest House. Journey across the Western Desert around and cross Wadi Muqaddam with its many acacia trees. We will make a short stop at a chai house,  a very spartan motorway services in the desert where local truck drivers usually stop for a quick meal and some rest. We then reach Merowee and once on the other side of the river Nile we arrive in the small town of Karima, located right at the foot of Jebel Barkal holy mountain. (BLD)

Day 3 – Jebel Barkal and the Necropolis of El Kurru

A landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal (‘Jebel’ means mountain in Arabic), can be seen from dozens of kilometres away. At the foot of this wonderful, isolated red sandstone mountain, considered holy since the ancient times, there is a large temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron Amun. Besides the ruins of the temple there are several sculptured granite rams that supposedly formed a border along an avenue that led to a pier on the Nile. We visit the Royal Necropolis of the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian capital (from 800 to 400 BC) before the Meroitic period. It has a large number of pyramids in three different locations: a few hundred metres north of Jebel Barkal, at El Kurru, south from the mountain and at Nuri, which is located on the other bank of the Nile. At the village of El Kurru lies one of the necropolises of the ancient capital Napata. Here we visit a tomb, excavated in the rock under pyramids, partially collapsed and are fully decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and with multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions. Overnight Nubian Rest House. (BLD)

Day 4 – Nile Cruise - Necropolis of Nuri

After breakfast we visit the market in Karima to experience the sights and sounds of local Sudanese life. We then board a boat for a pleasant cruise along the Nile to enjoy the beautiful sand stretches and cultivated islands. Later we visit the archaeological site of Nuri to witness many more pyramids including the one of the great Taharqa. We will walk in this area before returning to Karima. Overnight at the Nubian Rest House (BLD)

Day 5 – Old Dongola – Nubian Villages

Follow the Nile until we reach the ancient Christian site of Old Dongola. Here we can see a Coptic Christian temple with marble columns as well as several churches on the banks of the Nile. We will also pass by a village belonging to the Nubian people, where we hope to stop and meet the inhabitants and see their colourful painted houses. Return to Karima for the night. Overnight at the Nubian Rest House (BLD)

Day 6 – Karima – Bayuda Desert – 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 may be lucky to meet nomads who live in familiar groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to rare water wells. We continue to our accommodation for this evening at Meroe and our tented camp overlooking the Royal Necropolis of Meroe. (BLD)

Day 7– The Necropolis and the Royal City of Meroe

The Royal Necropolis of Meroe stands on a hill, with more than 40 pyramids, some of them in perfectly preserved condition. 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. We then move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal City. Overnight at the tented camp. (BLD)

Day 8 – The Temples of Naga and Mussawarat – Dervish Ceremony - Khartoum

We have breakfast at camp and then set off. After about one hour driving we leave the asphalt road and we drive for about 30 km on a desert track among many camel thorn acacia trees to visit the two archaeological sites of Naga and Mussawarat. We have a picnic in the area and then we return to the main road. We travel through a desert area covered with huge round granite boulders; these are the last offshoots of the rocky formations of the 6th Cataract. We continue our trip until Omdurman where at sunset time we will attend the Dervish ceremony then head to Khartoum. Overnight Acropole Hotel or similar (BL)

Day 9 – Khartoum

Breakfast at the hotel and later in the morning we start the Khartoum city tour. We visit the Archaeological Museum which contains two beautiful temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded by the water. We then cross the confluence between the Blue and the White Nile and reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, where we see the Mahdi’s Tomb from outside and visit the Souk (if open as there was recently a fire at the souk). At sunset, we move to Khartoum North to see the traditional Nuba Wrestling. Overnight Acropole Hotel or similar (BL)

**Depending on the time of your departure flight, you may wish to depart today (Day 9) in the late evening or very early on the next morning**

Day 10 – Departure

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.


SOLEB EXTENSION

Contact us for details of our pre/post tour extension to Soleb. Depending on the departure this will either be before or after the main tour.

Example Pre-tour Extension – Soleb from Karima

Day 1 - Khartoum airport to Khartoum
Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight at the Acropole Hotel or similar (B)

Day 2 -  Khartoum to Karima
This morning we drove north through the desert to Karima and the comfort of the Nubian Guest House. Journey across the Western Desert around and cross Wadi Muqaddam with its many acacia trees. We will make a short stop at a chai house,  a very spartan motorway services in the desert where local truck drivers usually stop for a quick meal and some rest. We then reach Merowee and once on the other side of the river Nile we arrive in the small town of Karima, located right at the foot of Jebel Barkal holy mountain. Overnight at the Nubian Rest House (BLD)

Day 3 - Karima - Dongola - Soleb Temple - Tombos
Today we drive west through the Nubian Desert. When we reach the Nile and we cross the Dongola Bridge and continue north to the amazing Temple of Soleb, the most beautiful Egyptian temple in all of Sudan with many walls rich in hieroglyphic inscriptions, bas-relief figures and many columns. We enjoy our lunch in a local Nubian house nearby before we drive off road to reach the Nile. A short drive south will take us to Tombos and the ancient granite quarries with the remains of a statue of the King Taharqa.
Overnight at preset camp in Tombos (BLD)

Day 4 - Tombos - Wadi Sebu - Sai Island - Tombos
Today we drive north on the eastern side of the Nile and visit the Third Cataract which used to be the third huge obstacle that the ancients Egyptians had to face when trying to sail on the Nile River. We walk up the hill to the ancient Ottoman Fort where we can have beautiful views of the cataract. In Sebu, right on the river bank of the Nile, we visit one of the richest sites of rock engraving in all ofl Sudan with hundreds of images from prehistoric to Egyptian times. We drive further north to reach the Island of Sai, reached via a local ferry boat. This is an important archaeological area where we can find ancient remains from Kerma civilization, Egyptian and Christian culture. The return Nile crossing will be on a fisherman boat and we hope to see Nile crocodiles on the shore of the river.
Overnight at preset camp in Tombos (BLD)

Day 5 - Tombos - Kerma - Western Defuffa - Karima
A short drive this morning takes us to Kerma where we visit the majestic “Defuffa” the monument that characterizes Kerma civilization. Very interesting is the museum created by the Swiss archaeological mission after the recovery of seven statues of the Black Pharaohs in 2003. In the early afternoon we return to Karima.
Overnight at the Nubian Rest House (BLD)

Day 6 is then Day 3 of the main tour.


Other tours in Sudan

Sudan Nile Valley and Western Desert »

Sudan - The Nubian Desert and the Red Sea »