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Four Star Hotel in Khartoum, Nubian Houses, Italian operated "wild camps."

Desert Secrets of Sudan-Nubian Desert

  • Explore an undiscovered region, with temple ruins, pyramids, camel caravans, and desert tribal cultures
  • Visit Sudan’s pyramids and ancient city of Meroe
  • Connect with local people in desert markets and small, isolated villages
  • Enjoy fantastic diverse landscapes such as groves of dates, palms and guava, the Northern U-bend of the Nile and a vast desert of moving sands

Travel to Sudan on an adventurous journey visiting ancient historical sites, nomadic tribal cultures, the vast Nubian Desert, and the timeless Nile River. We will visit significant archaeological sites such as the temple of Amun, Kerma civilization, Nuri Prymids, royal city of Meroe and the important Meroetic site Nagaa.

Once we leave Khartoum, accommodations are mainly Italian operated "wild camps" (igloo tents, foam mattresses, gas lights, water basin for washing).

There may be 1 night at a new boutique hotel designed like a traditional Nubian house.

In each setting we are near local villages providing an opportunity to observe and interact with local people in an authentic setting.
Desert Nomads

Day 1: Arrival in Khartoum
Transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 2: Khartoum-Western Desert
Tour Khartoum; visit the Archaeological Museum and then travel north through the western desert and arrive at our wild camp.

Day 3-5:  Western Desert-Wadi el Milk-Jebel Peak-Dongola
We reach a mysterious fortress in the middle of the desert: Gala Abu Hamed has been discovered by a German archaeological expedition less then 10 years ago and it is dated to the Napatean time (700-400 B.C.). The place was probably used as a trade post for the caravans coming from Central Africa to the Nile. It remains a mystery how the place could have been inhabited since there is no water at all.

Driving northwest deep into the Western Desert we reach a curious mountain in the middle of the desert called by our drivers Jebel Peak. Here we can see some interesting prehistoric rock engravings.

From here, passing by small beautiful oasis rich in palm trees, we reach the town of Dongola on the Nile.

Day 4: Kerma-Tombos Villages
We journey to the small Kerma village and visit the majestic Defuffa and nearby Tombos village.

Day 6-7: Western Desert-Temple of Soleb-Amara
We reach the Nile near the Temple of Soleb, the most beautiful Egyptian temple of all Sudan, testimony of the New Kingdom in Nubia, with many walls rich in hieroglyphic inscriptions, bas-relief figures and many columns. The first settlement was an Egyptian colonization dated back 1500 B.C. Here we will spend the night in a typical and simple Nubian house.

The day after we continue north visiting Jebel Dosha where on a rock just on the Nile we can see some Egyptian stelae of Thutmosis III. We reach again the Nile near the vestiges of Amara West, an archaeological site currently excavated by a team from the British Museum. In this very nice area there are some Nubian villages and the people are not used to see foreigners.

Day 8-10: Delgo-3rd Cataract-Tombos-Kerma-Nubian Villages
We cross the Nile with a small ferry, finding ourselves sharing space with people, donkeys, camels and goats

Then drive south along the road that connects Khartoum to Wadi Halfa, the docking port for the ferries from Aswan. We pass the village of Delgo and  reach the granite boulders of the Third Cataract.

We then reach the village of Tombos where we see the remains of ancient  granite quarries and a statue of the King Taharqa, simply left there in the desert 3000 years ago. This was the southern border of the ancient Egyptian kingdom for centuries.

We stop in Kerma to visit the majestic “Defuffa” and the rest of this ancient civilization together with the little museum founded by Charles Bonnet where we can see the seven beautiful statues of the kings discovered by the Swiss archaeological mission less then ten years ago.  

Continuing southward along the Nile we get into the central part of the Nubian region.


Day 11: Old Dongola-Nubian Desert-Karima-El Kurru
We reach the archaeological site of Old Dongola, where the ruins of a suggestive Christian Coptic temple with marble columns as well as several rest of churches are situated on the banks of the Nile.

Next, the small town of Karima located at the foot of Jebel Barkal, the landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal can be seen from faraway whilst still in the open desert.  At the foot of this wonderful and isolated red sandstone mountain, there is a big temple, dedicated to Amon.  The Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list.

Onward to the site of El Kurru, ancient capital Napata.  Here we can see two tombs excavated in the rock under the pyramids - partially collapsed. They are totally decorated with amazing images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolor hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Day 12:  Karima-Cruise Nile-Bayuda-Atrun Crater
We cruise along the river among the rocks of the 4th Cateract exploring the small islands and sandy beaches along the Nile.

Afterwaqrds, we drive to the site of Nuri where several pyramids stand out near the mighty river. Among these we find the one of the great Taharqa. We walk briefly among those ancient ruins and then we start the crossing of the Bayuda Desert, characterized by sharp black basalt mountains, most of them volcanic and typically cone-shaped. They alternate with level pebble stretches and large valleys crossed by dry wadis, where little vegetation can be seen. It is very likely to meet isolated groups of Bisharin nomads, who live in familiar groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to the rare water wells, with their caravans and herds of camels and cattle.

Just in the centre of the Bayuda Desert we reach Atrun Crater, where nomads gather salt from the edge of a green colored pool.

Day 13: Bayuda Desert-Meroe
Today we finish crossing the Bayuda and we cross the Nile on a local ferry-boat; then drive on a level ground area and, all of a sudden, we see more than 40 pyramids, located on top of a hill, some of them perfectly preserved that belong to the Royal Necropolis of Meroe.

We visit the ruins of the Royal City. Most of the area where the city is located, formed by many small hills covered by red clay fragments, has still to be excavated by the archaeologists.

Day 14: Meroe-Mussawarat-Naga
Visit the royal necropolis of Meroe and Mussawarat El Sufra settlement. We then go to beautiful Naga for our last camp.

Day 15: Naga-Omdurman-Khartoum
Morning exploration of the ancient site of Naga. We reach Khartoum in the afternoon and visit
Omdurman, ancient capital of Sudan where we see Mahdi's tomb and explore the souk.Transfer to hotel, available until 9 pm.

Day 16:  Depart
Intl flight departs at midnight or very early am.



Trip Details

16 day trip begins and ends in Khartoum
November 23-December 8
December 21-January 5

2019 Dates
February 22-March 9
April 12-27
16 Day: From $4625
1 night Khartoum 4 star hotel
1 day room 4 star hotel
14 nights "wild camps"
All meals outside Khartoum

Extend Your Trip

Historic Ethiopia & the Wild Omo Valley


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