Sudan - Upper Nubia, The Edge of Empire
£3,245 excl. flight
- The pyramids of Meroe set in beautiful desert
- The remote Coptic church at Dongola
- The friendliest, most hospitable people
Sudan’s Nile Valley, Upper Nubia, abounds with impressive remains of the Egyptian and Kushite empires. A crossroads between Africa and the Mediterranean world for millennia, explore Nubia’s unique fusion of local and Egyptian art and religion. From Kerma, capital of the first Kushite kingdom, through the great temples at Soleb and Sedeinga, to the UNESCO sites of Gebel Barkal and Meroe.
Day 1 London/ Khartoum – Overnight flight.
Day 2 Khartoum -
Day 3 Khartoum, Karima – Journey north through the western desert via Wadi Muqaddam to Karima on the Nile, at the foot of Jebel Barkal.
Day 4 El Kurru, Nuri – Explore the pyramids and temples of UNESCO Jebel Barkal. Visit the Kushite royal cemetery at El Kurru and the pyramids and royal cemeteries at Nuri.
Day 5 Kerma, Tombos – Head west through the Nubian Desert for Selim village and the majestic ‘deffufa’ mudbrick structure at Kerma, seat of the first independent kingdom of Kush. On to Tombos for the granite quarries and Sebu rock engravings by the Nile.
Day 6 Sesibi, Soleb, Seddeinga – Cross the Nile for the temple of Sesibi, dating to the time of the ‘heretic pharaoh’. On to the temple of Soleb built by Amenhotep III, the best preserved of Sudan's Egyptian temples, and Sedeigna.
Day 7 Sai Island – Day trip to see the Ottoman fort, medieval church, Kushite cemetery, Pharaonic town and cemeteries.
Day 8 Old Dongola, Karima – South to the archaeological ruins at Old Dongola, where there is a Christian Coptic temple on the Nile. Chance to visit some private houses, with picnic in a Nubian home. Return to Karima.
Day 9 Bayuda Desert, Atbara, Meroe - Cross the Nile and enter the Bayuda Desert. Reach Atbara with the chance to visit the site of the 1889 Good Friday battle between Kitchener's forces and the Mahdi. Continue south to the royal necropolis of Meroe, the ancient Kushite capital.
Day 10 Meroe – Full day exploring the impressive ruined royal city of Meroe, a UNESCO site.
Day 11 Naqa, Musawwarat, Khartoum – To Naqa for the well-preserved Lion Temple and to the Meroitic site at Musawwarat es Sufra. Return to Khartoum.
Day 12 Khartoum – Visit the fine collections of the Sudan National Museum. On to historic Omdurman for the Khalifa House, tomb of the Mahdi, the historic gunboat The Melik and Omdurman Souq.
Day 13 Khartoum/ London – Return flight to London.
NOTE: Accommodation outside Khartoum tends to be in modestly-sized establishments or camps. As a result, the final itinerary may vary depending on availability and numbers.
Dr Aidan Dodson is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of Bristol, the Chairman of Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society. He studied archaeology and Egyptology at the Universities of Durham, Liverpool and Cambridge and was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2003. He has led tours to the Nile Valley for over twenty years.
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