Tour itinerary can be seen below.
Arrive at Khartoum International Airport and transfer to your hotel in the heart of Sudan’s legendary capital city. Depending on your time of arrival, the day will be spent at leisure and you will join your tour group in the evening for dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. Your tour guide will provide the group with a pre-tour briefing and you will have an opportunity to meet your fellow travellers over a tasty meal featuring local delicacies, including vegetarian options.
We have an early morning departure in an air-conditioned vehicle north from Khartoum along the Bin Laden Highway to the ancient centre of Naga'a. This complex houses the Meroitic Temple of Amun, the Roman Chapel, and the Lion Temple. We then proceed to Musawarat as-Sufra, an extensive temple complex where you can see rare depictions of elephants from thousands of years ago. After a traditional Sudanese lunch enjoyed together with our guides at a nearby oasis, we continue on to the small town of Shendi and eventually to Meroe to visit the largest pyramid cemetery in the Nile Valley, the Meroe Pyramids. You will have an opportunity to take a camel ride through the dozens of black pyramids that rise prominently from the orange desert sands as the sun sets to the west. We will set up camp overnight in front of the pyramids of Meroe and have dinner, drink coffee and fall asleep under the Milky Way shining brightly above us. If you prefer non-camping accommodations, you may upgrade to a nearby hotel for extra comfort for a small surcharge.
We will wake up early this morning and watch the desert sun rise over the windswept dunes to the east. The sun will bathe the pyramids in the early morning light which is perfect for taking photos and videos of these magnificent structures. You will have an opportunity to walk alone among the pyramids and take photographs during the morning hours as there are generally no other tourists in the area. Later in the morning, we will join a brief guided tour to learn more about Meroitic history. During the afternoon we will drive to El Damer, crossing the Nile to Umm Tuyur on the west bank, and moving into the Bayouda Desert, where we will visit a cemetery containing the pyramids of the 26th Dynasty, including that of Pharaoh Taharqa. We then cross the Nile once again to visit the necropolis of el-Kurru and race the sun to Jebel Barkal, where we may be able to catch the beautiful sunset from atop this ancient, sacred mountain. We stay overnight in the northern city of Karima at a traditional Nubian guest house.
We take a short morning drive to Jebel Barkal where we visit the Great Temple of Amun of Napata, which dates back to the 12th century BC. The temple was the most important religious centre of the Kingdom of Kush and you will see ancient stele and sculptures still standing today. We may also explore other Nubian ruins before making the drive back to Khartoum. We will stop at various points along the way for lunch and snacks, to experience “truck stop” coffee and tea with locals, and to purchase hand-made gifts from native vendors. We will arrive in Khartoum in the early evening and have dinner at a restaurant near our hotel.
The morning is yours to spend at leisure to explore Sudan’s lively capital, Khartoum. You will be within walking distance of many shopping areas, mosques, cultural monuments, and other areas of interest. Your tour guide can provide you with many points of interest in Khartoum. In the afternoon the group will venture across the Nile to Omdurman. You will visit the Souk and then on to the Hamid el-Nil Cemetery, where groups of Sufis come together each week to hear stories about the prophet, and to pray and dance together in an inclusive ceremony open to all faiths. This once in a lifetime experience will not only allow you to observe but to participate in a traditional religious ceremony. Here you are likely to meet many college students and young Sudanese who come here each week to speak English with the few foreigners who manage to attend this spectacular event.
Today we take a tour of Khartoum including visits to Sudan’s National Museum, the convergence of the Blue and White Nile, the Mahdi’s Tomb and Khalifa's House. We then spend early afternoon at the Ethnographic and Republican Palace Museums before heading to the Corinthia Hotel. Known as ‘Gaddafi’s Egg’ because construction of the hotel was funded by Libya’s leader decades ago, the hotel offers panoramic views of Khartoum from the 17th floor along with cold refreshments and a restaurant offering a wide variety of dishes. The tour ends around 16:00 and you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight home.
We will issue you an invitation letter to enable you to obtain your Sudan visa from your nearest embassy. Alternatively we can issue a letter of invitation that enables you to pick up your visa on arrival at the airport for an additional £50 (and $100 visa fee). We strongly advise you obtain your visa in advance to avoid queues of up to 2 hours at the airport. The visa only takes a couple of days to be issued at the Sudan embassy in London.