Arrive into Khartoum, where a representative will meet you and take you to your hotel. This afternoon visit the archaeological museum. This fantastic and informative museum houses the remains of several beautiful temples. These were rescued under the UNESCO Nubia Campaign when Lake Nasser was created. From history to sport, afterwards watch a Nuba wrestling match, before heading to the confluence of the Niles as the sun sets on your first day in Sudan.
This morning you’ll head northward across the Western Desert. On the way stopping at a local chai house (a roadhouse where the locals stop for food and to rest). Look out for the herds of camel with their cameleers, who often pass through. Later in the day, you’ll arrive at the small town of Karima. Here, at the foot of the impressive Jebel Barkal, watch the sun set behind the glorious backdrop of the Meroitic pyramids.
South west of the town of Karima you’ll find Jebel Barkal. This red-sandstone, table-topped mountain is holy ground. It was sacred to both the Nubians and the Egyptian pharaohs. At the base of this mountain, explore the well-preserved Temple of Amun and the Temple of Mut. After lunch, you’ll journey to El-Kurru to see an early Kushite royal necropolis. Visit an excavated tomb, decorated with multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions and images of Pharaohs and the gods.
Today, don your sunglasses to journey across the Nubian Desert to Kerma. This is one of the oldest inhabited towns in Africa. It’s home to two unique buildings – the western and eastern Deffufa. Thought to have been temples, these incredible mud-brick buildings date back over 4,000 years. Today you’ll get to explore them. It’s then on to Kerma Museum to meet Geneva University’s Charles Bonnet. Bonnet has been digging here for 40 years and can provide fascinating insight. Before returning to camp, you’ll see the Tombos Stela.
This morning you’ll visit the Nile’s third cataract, before heading north to Wawa to visit the evocative Egyptian temple of Soleb. It was built in the 14th century BC by Amenhotep III, the same Pharaoh who gave us the famous temples of Luxor in Egypt. On to Abri to cross the Nile on a ponton (a local ferry boat) to Saï Island. On this island there’s an incredible mix of ruins, including a necropolis, ruins of Egyptian and Meroitic temples, Christian churches and a Turkish fort.
This morning travel south to Karima – a modern, dusty, Nile-side village. En route stop at the ancient Christian site of Old Dongola. This now-deserted town that was once the capital of the kingdom of Makuria. Once you arrive in Karima, dine with your fellow travellers in the shadow of the table-topped mountain, Jebel Barkal, before retiring to the rest house for the night.
This morning go shopping Sudanese-style at Karima’s local market. Afterwards take to the Nile on board a small motorboat for a Nile cruise. After lunch, visit the archaeological site of Nuri. Explore Nuri's ruined pyramids. These date from around the 7th century BC, making them both the oldest, largest and perhaps the most picturesque pyramids in Sudan.
Cross the Nile to enter the Bayuda Desert, an area between the Fourth and the Sixth Cataract. Characterised by its black volcanic mountains, in Bayuda you’ll most-likely encounter Bisharin nomads. Bisharin people live in small huts close to the rare water wells. From here it’s on to Atbara. Known as the ‘Railway City’, Atbara is home to a small museum dedicated to the railway, which was built by the army of Field Marshall Kitchener at the end of the 19th-century.
Meroë is famous for being the most extensive Nubian pyramid site. After thoroughly exploring these ruins, you’ll continue to the remnants of the royal city. Over the years, the city’s excavations have confirmed that the town of Meroë used to cover a large area. The royal city was surrounded by suburbs and a boundary wall. Excavations are still underway here. After a day packed with history, you will end your time with these ancient ruins by enjoying a beautiful Sudanese sunset surrounded by incredible structures before returning to camp.
Leave asphalt roads behind you. Drive for roughly 30km on a desert track lined by umbrella-shaped camel thorn trees to the temples of Naqa and Musawwarat. In sand-strewn Naqa, you’ll find a first-century BC temple, dedicated to the lion-headed god, Apedemak. It’s then on to the Temple of Amun, adorned with many ram statues. You then travel to Musawwarat to the Elephant temple. Finally, watch a traditional Dervish ceremony in Omdurman.
Spend your last morning in Sudan at Presidential Palace – where in 1885 General Gordon was beheaded by the Mahdi’s troops. You’ll then travel to Sudan's old capital, Omdurman. Here visit the Mahdi Tomb and the fascinating Khalifa’s House Museum. It's home to a small collection of interesting artefacts from period of Mahdiyah rule. In the afternoon, you’ll go the colourful souk of Omdurman to make some last-minute purchases before heading to the airport to journey home.