12 days Small Group Tours 30th Nov - 11th Dec 2017Register for 2018 via our enquiry form Tailor make this journey and make it yours

Price

$9162 AUD per person twin share

$1070 AUD single supplement

Inclusions

  • Return airport transfers
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • Services of an English speaking local guide
  • Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle
  • All the camping equipment and the cook in charge of the meals (excl sleeping bags, pillows and sleeping mats)
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
  • Permits and local taxes
  • National Museum and archaeological sites entry fees
  • Photo permit
  • Passport registration

Exclusions

  • International and Domestic flights
  • Drinks unless otherwise mentioned
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
  • Inoculations
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Anything not mentioned in the itinerary

With more pyramids in Sudan than can be found in all of Egypt, the wonders of ancient Egypt are known worldwide, while those of its southern neighbour, Sudan, stand forgotten on the banks of the Nile. The stunning rugged terrain of Sudan is home to some of the most romantic archaeological sites in the world, among them several whole fields of pyramids. Join us as we discover one of the worlds oldest civilisations, brimming with history and sites that you never dreamed existed.

Day 1 - Arrival in Khartoum

Welcome to Sudan! Upon arrival in Khartoum, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure.

Built where the Blue and White Nile rivers meet, Khartoum is a boisterous, modern, flashy city with an ever-increasing number of glass tower blocks altering its skyline. As well as an excellent museum, some fascinating souqs and Nile-side views, Khartoum’s good facilities, hospitable people and laid-back vibe provide the traveller with a warm welcome to this fascinating country.

2 nights Grand Holiday Villa Hotel or similar

Day 2 - Khartoum

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Late this morning, 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. Cross the confluence between the Blue and the White Nile near the Presidential Palace where in 1885 General Gordon was beheaded by the Mahdi’s troops and reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan. Here you will see Mahdi’s Tomb from outside. Lunch today is in a local restaurant on the Nile.

In the afternoon, visit the interesting Khalifa’s House which holds a small museum about the Mahdyia (only on Fridays and Saturdays). You then visit the colourful souk of Omdurman. At sunset, move near the tomb of the sufi leader Ahmed al Nil where you will witness the Whirling Dervishes Ceremony (only on Fridays). (B,L)

Day 3 - Old Dongola – Nubian Desert

This morning you will depart northward towards Abu Dom. After a 6 hour drive, reach the site of Old Dongola, where there are ruins of a Christian Coptic temple with marble columns as well as several churches situated on the banks of the Nile. You will also visit the nearby village of Gaddar where you can see nicely painted Nubian houses. This evening, drive north until you find the perfect camping area to set up your tents. (B,L,D)

Overnight Camping

Day 4 - Kerma - Tombos

A short drive this morning takes you to Kerma where you visit the majestic “Defuffa” the monument that characterises Kerma civilisation. The museum is very interesting and was created by the Swiss archaeological mission after the recovery of seven statues of the Black Pharaohs in 2003. Further north in village of Tombos, were the ancient granite quarries with the remains of a statue of the King Taharqa, simply left there in the desert about 2800 years ago and some interesting Egyptian stele engraved on the rocks. (B,L,D)

Overnight Nubian House in Tombos

Day 5 - 3rd Cateract – Sebu

This morning, drive to the Eastern bank just north of the rapids of 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. Walk up the hill to the ancient Ottoman Fort where you will have beautiful views of the cataract. In Sebu, right on the river bank of the Nile it is possible to visit one of the richest sites of rock engraving of all Sudan with hundreds of images from prehistoric to Egyptian times. Cross the river by ferry to visit 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. (B,L,D)

Overnight Nubian House in Soleb

Day 6 - Dongola – Karima

Today drive south to the city of Dongola where you can stop at the local market. We then drive to Karima across the Nubian desert. After checking in at the Nubian Rest House, enjoy a welcome drink and after a bit of rest, enjoy a spectacular sunset at the pyramids.

These pyramids were built for the kings of Kush, as the land was known in antiquity, who – after conquering Egypt around 730 BC – adopted the old pharaonic tradition of erecting monumental tombs for themselves and members of their families. These pyramids were smaller than the Egyptian ones, and were located near the Kushite capital city of Napata, which once existed in the neighbourhood of Karima. (B,L,D)

2 nights Nubian Rest House

Day 7 - Jebel Barkal and the necropolis of El Kurru

A key landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal (“Jebel” means mountain in Arabic) can be seen from a few dozen kilometres whilst still in the open desert. 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. Amon’s ancient “Pure Mountain”, the Olympus of the Nubians, was the religious Nubian heart for more than 1000 years. Besides the ruins of the big temple there are still several sculptured granite rams that were supposed to border a long avenue that probably led to the pier on the Nile. In the mountain wall there is a vast room decorated with bas-relief. The Royal necropolis of the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian capital (from 800 to 400 B.C.) before the Meroitic period, had a large number of pyramids, located in three different places: few hundred metres north of Jebel Barkal; a dozen kilometres southwards from the holy mountain, in El Kurru; in Nuri, which is located on the other bank of the Nile. This morning you also visit the Karima Market. After lunch depart southwards to the village of El Kurru where there is one of the necropolises of the ancient capital, Napata. Here you can visit one tomb, which is excavated in the rock under the pyramids – partially collapsed – and it is decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions. (B,L,D)

Day 8 - Nuri – Bayuda Desert – Atrun Crater

After breakfast, cross the Nile to reach the Pyramids of Nuri. Take a little walk among these ancient ruins where the pyramid of the Pharaoh Taharqa dominates over the others. From here, enter the Bayuda Desert, an area bound by the loop that the Nile forms between the fourth and the sixth Cataract and characterised 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 donkeys. After a picnic in the desert, reach the Atrun Crater where nomads gather salt. Here you will find our camping place for the night. (B,L,D)

Overnight camping

Day 9 - Meroe - the Necropolis and the Royal city of Meroe

In the morning, complete the desert crossing using a ferry to cross the Nile. You then reach the Royal Necropolis of Meroe which is located at about 3 km from the Nile on some hills covered by yellow sand dunes. 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, move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal city. The excavations confirm that the town of Meroe used to cover a large area and the Royal city was located in a central position, surrounded by suburbs and a boundary wall. 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. (B,L,D)

2 nights Meroe Camp

Day 10 - Temples of Naga and Mussawarat

Enjoy breakfast at the camp before you journey southward. Leave the asphalt road and drive for about 30 km on a desert track among many camel thorn acacia trees to visit two archaeological sites. The site of Naga it is one of the two centres that developed during the Meroitic period. In Naga, in a typical Saharan environment with rocks and sand, you will 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 you can notice Egyptian, Roman and Greek styles, all at the same time. Not far away, you will reach another temple dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and beautiful gates decorated with bas-reliefs. We then go to Mussawarat, not too far from Naga. This settlement is located in a beautiful valley crowned by hills. Here the ruins of a very large temple are visible; it once played an exceptional important role. 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. After the visit, return to your camp. (B,L,D)

Day 11 - Sixth Cataract

Following breakfast at the camp, visit the small market of Kabushia to witness the everyday life of the Sudanese people. You will also visit tarabil school where we are very much involved with the local parents committee in enlarging the school complex. You will then travel south and leave the main road to visit Sabaloka gorge, also known as the sixth cataract. Enjoy a relaxing cruise and have a picnic lunch in the lush oases. This afternoon, return to Khartoum and stop at the Omdurman souk for some final shopping. (B,L)

Overnight Grand Holiday Villa Hotel or similar

Day 12 - Departure

The day is yours at leisure until it is time to be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)