Day 1: Arrival in Aswan
Transfer to hotel.
Day 2-5: Aswan – Garf Hussein (Lake Nasser) – Soqqar - Madiq (beginning of the cruise)
We drive one hour to the fisherman harbor near Garf Hussein and board our boat. We start cruising south to the temples of Wadi es Sebua, Dakka and Maharraqa and the stunning Temple of Ramses II. During the cruise we also stop for walks through the sand dunes, swims in Lake Nasser and the Nile; bird-watching.
Day 6: End of the cruise: Toshka Island crossing – Abu Simbel
We cross Toshka Island by foot, enjoying the desert scenery and wonderful morning breeze. The boat will catch us on the other side of the island and after one and a half hour sailing, we reach the harbor of Abu Simbel where we disembark the boat.
Visit the famous rock-cut temples of Abu Simbel. A UNESCO World heritage site, these spectacular ruins were constructed by Ramses II. Without doubt one of the most powerful of the New Kingdom Pharaohs, which includes the 4 iconic 20 meter high statues of the great pharaoh himself. Day 7: Abu Simbel – Qostol – Ashkait (Sudan) - Wadi Halfa - Tombos
We take the ferry across Lake Nasser to reach the border point of Qostol. After passing the Egyptian border, we enter Sudan. . We continue to the preset camp located in a beautiful spot among the granite boulders of Tombos.
Day 8: Tombos – Island of Sai - Temple of Soleb
After a short cruise on the Nile, we reach the Island of Sai continuing to the small village of Wawa where we take a motor boat to reach the Temple of Soleb, the most beautiful Egyptian Temple in Sudan.
Day 9:Tombos – Sebu – 3rd Cataract - Kerma – Tombos
We reach the Third Cataract which used to be the third largest obstacle that the ancient Egyptians had to face when trying to sail on the Nile River. In the afternoon we arrive in 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. We then reach the ancient granite quarries of Tombos where we will see a statue of Taharqa simply left there in the sand.
Day 10:Tombos - Nubian Desert – Old Dongola – El Kurru - Karima
We continue our journey along the Nile to the central part of the Nubian region. Here the population lives in small villages amongst yellow sand dunes and palm trees. They speak 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. Some houses in the Nubian Villages are painted and decorated with colorful patterns and flowers.
We will then reach the archaeological site of Old Dongola where we see the ruins of a Christian Coptic temple with marble columns as well as several suggestive ruins of churches situated on the banks of the Nile.
In the village of El Kurru lies one of the necropolises of the ancient capital, Napata. Here we can visit one tomb, which is excavated in the rock under pyramids - partially collapsed; decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolor hieroglyphic inscriptions.
Day 11: Karima - Jebel Barkal – Nuri – Meroe >
The Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list. At the foot of this wonderful and isolated red sandstone mountain, considered holy since the ancient times, there is a big temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron, Amon. After our visit, we cross the Nile to reach the pyramids of Nuri. A short walk among those ancient ruins and then we enter the Bayuda Desert, 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.
We cross the Nile for the last time in Atbara and after a short drive, we can see more than 40 pyramids, located on top of a hill, some of them perfectly preserved that belong to the Royal Necropolis of Meroe. Arrival at the Meroe Camp with a beautiful view on the pyramid.
Day 12: Meroe - the Necropolis and the Royal city of Meroe
The morning is dedicated to the visit of the pyramids. The Royal Necropolis of Meroe. Several pyramids stand out with their sharp shapes against the clear sky. Each one has its own funerary chapel with the walls fully decorated with bas-reliefs that show the King’s life and offers to the gods.
In the afternoon we move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal city.
Day 13: Meroe - Naga and Mussawarat temples – Khartoum
We continue our journey visiting two archaeological sites. The site of Mussawarat is located in a beautiful valley crowned by hills. Here the ruins of a very big temple are visible; its' main characteristic, the “Great Enclosure” is made by many constructions and boundary walls which surround a temple built in the 1st century A.D.
We then go to Naga, one of the two centers that developed during the Meroitic period. In Naga, in a typical Saharan environment with rocks and sand, we find a temple dedicated to Apedemak (1st century A.D.), a wonderful building with bas-relief decorations depicting the god with a lion’s head, the Pharaoh, noblemen and several ritual images. A few metres away there is a small and odd construction with arches and columns, named "kiosk", in which we can notice Egyptian, Roman and Greek styles, all at the same time. Not far away we reach another temple dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and beautiful gates decorated with bas-reliefs.
In the afternoon we reach Omdurman where we attend the involving ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes
Day 14: Khartoum - city tour
We visit the Archaeological Museum that, besides many beautiful objects, contains two beautiful temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded by the water. We then visit the Mahdi’s tomb from the outside and, time permitting, the Khalifa’s house Museums (open until 13.30) in Omdurman. Then we visit the largest souk in Sudan. At sunset we reach Khartoum North to assist at the traditional Nuba Wrestling
Day 15: Depart
Transfer to the airport.