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Ancient Kingdoms of Sudan

Khartoum State, Sudan

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Book this tour through our partner: MT Sobek

On this extraordinary adventure through rarely visited Sudan, journey across breathtaking deserts, ancient pyramids, and buzzing markets. Cruise up the mighty Nile to discover stunning archaeological wonders, meet Nubian people and sleep in a traditional home amidst sand dunes and palm trees. Head to the Egyptian-style Soleb temple, considered the most beautiful in Sudan, and marvel at the royal necropolis site of Napata. At the foot of Jebel Barkal Mountain, unearth age-old tombs adorned with colorful pharaoh and gods. Spend unforgettable nights in vast deserts beneath star-strewn African skies.


Arrive in Khartoum

Arrive in Khartoum any time after 11am today and meet your MT Sobek representative at the airport for the transfer to your hotel. Most flights arrive late, so dinner is not included this evening.

Discover Khartoum’s Museums, Souks & Whirling Dervishes

Today head out to visit to the Archaeological Museum, which houses the most comprehensive collection of Nubian artifacts in the world and two beautiful temples rescued from the flooding of Lake Nasser. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on the Nile, then wander through the vast Omdurman souk, the largest in Sudan. At sunset, move to a spot near the tomb of the Sufi leader Ahmed Al Nil to witness an impressive spectacle of whirling dervishes. Enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Explore the Western Desert

Today you begin the journey northward through the Western Desert, stopping at one of the many picturesque "chai houses" along the way. Visit Wadi Muqaddam with its many acacia trees and 360-degree views of the desert before crossing the Nile on the new bridge at Ed Debba. This evening set up camp among the sand dunes.

Visit Wadi Sebu, Temples of Sesibi & Soleb

After breakfast, depart to marvel at the Third Cataract of the Nile-a shallow, boulder-strewn stretch of the river with incredible views. In Sebu, right on the riverbank, visit one of Sudan's richest rock-engraving sites, featuring hundreds of images from prehistoric to Egyptian times. Then drive north and cross the river to the eastern bank. Here you'll find the Temple of Soleb, built by Pharaoh Amenhotep III in the 14th-century BC and considered to be the most beautiful in all of Sudan. Temple walls are covered with hieroglyphic inscriptions and bas-reliefs, and the columns are reminiscent of the Luxor temple in Egypt. En route back to camp, stop at the Temple of Sesibi.

Tour Ancient Tombos

Wake for a drive north, where you'll board a small boat to visit ancient Sai Island-spot Nile crocs on the way! Next, visit the photogenic Qubba (Tomb) of Scheich Idris with its unusual domed roof. Lastly, explore the incredible ancient quarries of Tombos, where you'll find the remains of an enormous 3000-year-old recumbent statue of King Taharqa. Enjoy you final night at camp.

See Old Dongola, Visit Nubian Villages of Kerma & Karima

This morning head to the small village of Kerma, known for its "Defuffa"- remains of an ancient brick building that was probably a holy place for the Kerma civilization. Next, visit the archaeological site of Old Dongola, a deserted ancient town featuring a Christian Coptic temple and several churches on the banks of the Nile. Then start crossing the Nubian Desert towards Karima, taking in the majestic sight of sand dunes, flat sandy plains, and red rocky boulders eroded by the wind. Today's destination is the small town of Karima at the foot of Jebel Barkal Mountain. Enjoy dinner and overnight at the rest house.

Visit Jebel Barkal Temple, Ancient City of Napata & El Kurru Tombs

Today visit a large temple at the foot of the holy red-sandstone mountain of Jebel Barkal, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and their patron Amon. Another highlight is the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian capital from 800 to 400 B.C. and site of a royal necropolis. Then travel southwards to El Kurru village to take in one of two tombs that were excavated under the pyramids, adorned with multi-colored hieroglyphic inscriptions. Continue to a desert site rich in fossilized trees and return to Karima this evening.

Cruise the Nile to the Nuri Pyramids

Visit the market to experience local Sudanese life. Next enjoy a slow drift in a motor launch down the Nile, passing verdant riverbanks and islands. See the remains of the Fourth Cataract, once forming treacherous rapids that obstructed river navigation. When the Dam of Merowee was completed in 2008, it flooded the cataracts and formed a lake. After a picnic lunch, cross the Nile to reach the Nuri pyramids for a leisurely walk around, and return to the Nubian Rest House for dinner.

Cross the Bayuda Desert to the Camp at Meroe

Leave Karima this morning and cross the Nile, entering the Bayuda Desert, surrounded by sharp black volcanic peaks. The scenery alternates between flat stretches of pebble and large valleys crisscrossed by dry wadis. Look out for the hardy dorcas gazelle and isolated groups of Bisharin nomads, who live in small family groups near the occasional water well, herding camels and donkeys and providing caravan transport to villages in the area. Arrive at Atbara, cross the Nile again, and reach the comfortable permanent tented camp at Meroe.

Marvel at the Royal Sites of Meroe

Today explore the royal necropolis of Meroe, a cluster of striking pyramids situated atop a series of yellow sand-covered hills. Each has its own funerary chapel with walls decorated with bas-reliefs representing the pharaoh's life and various offerings to the gods. In the afternoon, move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the royal city of Meroe, spreading across many small hills strewn with red clay fragments still waiting to be documented by archaeologists. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight.

Tour Ancient Naga & Mussawarat, Return to Khartoum

Tour the ancient city of Naga, which dates from the Meroitic period and showcases a number of architectural treasures including temples decorated with bas-reliefs and a remarkable Roman structure called "the kiosk." Continue on to the ruined settlement of Mussawarat in a pretty valley, featuring a large temple built in the 1st century B.C. Reach Khartoum and check in at the hotel for your final evening at leisure. An airport transfer can be arranged if you plan to depart this evening.

Depart from Khartoum

Enjoy a morning of leisire before your departing flight. Please note that most flights leave between midnight and 3am, but day rooms are available until 2:30pm as needed.

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Starting From


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12 Days


Khartoum, Sudan


Khartoum, Sudan

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