ENQUIRE

KINGDOM OF THE BLACK PHAROAHS

Travel deep into the desert of northern Sudan to explore some of Africa's most fascinating archaeological sites. Stay in a Sahara Desert camp, venture into the dunes to explore the ancient ruins of The Kingdom of the Kush and intriguing rural settlements, and spend time in the vibrant capital where your expert guide will bring the museums and religious ceremonies to life.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Staying in the desert overlooking the pyramids of Meroe.
  • Cruising the Nile to the ruins at Nuri.
  • Seeing the colourful souks, museums and Whirling Dervishes in Khartoum.
  • Visiting Nubian villages and Bisharin nomad settlements in the desert.
£4,150
per person

Price from

SAMANTHA GEE

Africa Specialist

VIEW PROFILE

  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Arrive in Khartoum

    On arrival you will be met by our local representative and taken to your hotel to relax after your journey.

    Overnight: Grand Holiday Villa

  3. Day 2 Explore Khartoum

    Your first stop with your local guide will be the Archaeological Museum, which holds a number of historic artefacts as well as two temples rescued from the floods at Lake Nasser by UNESCO. Cross the confluence of the Blue and White Rivers near the Presidential Palace to explore Omdurman, the former capital. After lunch on the banks of the Nile, visit the museum at Khalifa's House which contains information about the Mahdyia Revolution (Fridays and Saturdays) before exploring the souk of Omdurman and a sunset visit to the tomb of Sufi leader Ahmed al Nil in time for the Whirling Dervishes Ceremony (Fridays).

    Overnight: Grand Holiday Villa

  4. Day 3 Naga and Mussawarat Temples - Meroe

    50 kilometres north of Khartoum lie the rocky offshoots of the Nile's 6th Cataract. Further north still, two of Sudan's most important historic sites are hidden away in the sands of the Sahara. At Naga, visit the Apedemak temple - built in the 1st Century and wonderfully decorated with symbolic bas-reliefs - and the 'kiosk', a fascinating blend of Egyptian, Roman and Greek styles. Next travel to the impressive temple ruins at Mussawarat, which also date back to the 1st Century and lie in a beautiful valley. After a picnic in the shade, continue north to see Meroe, where more than 40 pyramids rise from the sands; though there are actually around 200. Meroe was the capital of The Kingdom of the Kush for several centuries and is recognised as a World Heritage Site due to its historical significance. Your accommodation for the evening is the atmospheric Meroe desert camp overlooking the pyramids.

    Overnight: The Meroe Camp

  5. Day 4 Explore the Kingdom of Meroe

    After breakfast there will be time for a more in-depth visit to the pyramids with your guide. The Royal Necropolis is located a few kilometres away, its pyramids rising high atop the sand dunes. Each has its own funerary chapel adorned with intricate and symbolic bas-reliefs. After lunch back at camp, travel along the river to explore the ruins of the Royal City, much of which still remains to be excavated by archaeologists.

    Overnight: The Meroe Camp

  6. Day 5 Travel into Bayuda Desert

    Cross the Nile by local ferry this morning; you will likely share the boat with people, donkeys, camels and goats all making their way into the Bayuda, which occupies a loop in the Nile between the 4th and 6th Cataracts. The striking landscape here is of black basalt volcanic mountains, and the large pebble valleys in between shelter little wildlife, though you may see Dorcas gazelles and are likely to meet the nomadic Bisharin people, who live in small huts close to the few water sources. Your drive will follow the Wadi Abu Dom, through many acacia trees to Merowe on the banks of the Nile. There, cross the bridge to arrive at the comfortable Nubian Rest-house, your home for the next five nights.

    Overnight: The Nubian Rest-house

  7. Day 6 Jebel Barkal and El Kurru

    The red sandstone mountain of Jebel Barkal has been considered holy since ancient times and was the religious heart of Nubian life for over a thousand years. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it houses a temple dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign as well as several granite sculptures of rams. The Royal necropolis of the ancient city of Nepata, the Nubian capital between 800 and 400 BC, is also nearby. After lunch at your guesthouse, visit the village of El Kurru further south to explore one of the tombs at another of Nepata's necropolises, decorated with colourful frescoes and hieroglyphics.

    Overnight: The Nubian Rest-house

  8. Day 7 Visit Old Dongola

    Rise early for the relatively long drive along the Nile to Old Dongola, where several Christian Coptic temples and church ruins remain on the banks of the Nile. This area is the heart of the Nubian region, where people live in small white villages amongst the yellow dunes and speak a language very different from Arabic. Enjoy your picnic in the shade of a local house, enjoying tea with the family, before the drive back to Karima.

    Overnight: The Nubian Rest-house

  9. Day 8 Nile Cruise

    Visit the local market at Karima for a taste of true local life before boarding a small motorboat for a day cruising the Nile. Your boat will travel along peaceful sandy stretches past cultivated islands until you reach the Dam of Merowee, an artificial lake where you can enjoy your picnic lunch. Afterwards visit Nuri, whose numerous pyramids belonged to the ancient city of Nepata, the first capital of the Kindgom of the Kush. Enjoy a short walk before heading back to your guesthouse for the evening.

    Overnight: The Nubian Rest-house

  10. Day 9 Karima - Khartoum

    A scenic drive across the Western Desert will bring you back to Khartoum. En route there will be time to stop at a simple chai house along the side of the road for some tea, as well as visiting the souk at Omdurman.

    Overnight: Grand Holiday Villa

  11. Day 10 Depart

    You will be driven to the airport by our representative in time for your return flight home.

  12. Depart

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and guide services as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Internal flights where detailed in the itinerary.

EXTRAS

  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.
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