DAY 1 – KHARTOUM
Arrival in Khartoum expected in the late afternoon/night. Meet and greet with the guide and transfer to the hotel, and overnight stay.
Day 2 / Khartoum – Old Dongola – Nubian villages
Breakfast at the hotel and then short tour of Khartoum. We follow the Blue Nile near the Presidential Palace where in 1885 General Gordon was beheaded by the Mahdi’s troops. We reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, where we see the Mahdi’s tomb from outside and the Khalifa’s house Museum (closed on Mondays). Late in the morning we begin the journey northward through the Western Desert. We travel in a flat desert where the view can span 360° around and we reach Wadi Muqaddam with its many acacia trees. We will stop at the “chai houses“, literally tea houses, a sort of very Spartan “motorway restaurants” in the desert where local truck drivers usually stop for a meal and some rest. In the afternoon we visit the archaeological site of Old Dongola, where the ruins of a suggestive Christian Coptic temple with marble columns as well as several rest of churches are situated on the banks of the Nile. We then depart northward through the Nubian Desert. Here we are in the central part of the Nubian region. The population speaks a different language from the Arabs, and also the Islamic religion is not as “strict” as in other regions. The women don’t cover their faces and readily speak to foreigners. We visit the beautiful Nubian villages with their painted entrance doors with typical patterns and flowers. Enthusiastic hospitality abounds, people will often invite foreigners to visit their houses . We will find a nice place to camp under the incredible African night sky. Dinner and overnight in wild camp.
Day 3 / Old Dongola – Soleb
Today we will cross the desert to reach the north and the Temple of Soleb. This is 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.On our way we will visit the temple of Sessibi . We will drive few km north to visit Jebel Dosha. Dinner and over night in a Nubian house in Soleb in front of the temple.
Day 4/ Soleb /Dalgo/3rd Cataract /Tombos
We will cross the Nile river to reach the city of Dalgo .We continue our exploration with the granite boulders of the Third Cataract. This used to be the third huge obstacle that the ancients Egyptians had to face when trying to sail on the Nile River. Picnic in the area.We will do a little walk to reach the top of a small mountain that overlooks into the Cataract and where the remains of a Turkish fortress lie near the village of Tombos, there are the granite quarries and the remains of a huge statue of the King Taharqa, simply left there in the desert 3000 years ago.In the afternoon we will arrive at the village of Tombos. Dinner and overnight in a house in Tombos
Day 5 / Tombos – Kerma – Deffuffa – Karima – Jebel Barkal
After breakfast we continue north to the small village of Kerma where the remains of the “Defuffa” are. This ancient building, made by row of bricks, was probably a holy place for Kerma civilization.In the site, one of the famous Egyptologist CHARLES Bonnet is exploring the area from 35 years till now .In the field he found statues of the king Taharqa. The new Kerma museum was opened by the ministry of antiquities to protect and to expose all what has been discovered.We will have our lunch in the local market of Kerma nearby the Nile . We will cross the Nubian desert to reach the city of Karima. Not far from here , on the way we will stop there is an interesting site of petrified wood, an ancient forest with hundreds of huge trunks.. Arrival at Karima , dinner and overnight in a house in front of Jebel Barkal.
Day 6 Karima – Jebel Barkal – El Kurru
After breakfast. We will start our visit at the foot of this wonderful and isolated red sandstone mountain; there is a big temple, dedicated to Amon. Amon‘s ancient “Pure Mountain” 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 big room decorated with bas-relief. The Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list. We then visit the site of El Kurru, where there is one of the necropolises of the ancient capital Napata. After lunch in the market Here we can visit two tombs which are excavated in the rock under the pyramids – partially collapsed. They are totally decorated with amazing images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions. Dinner and overnight in the Nubian house in Karima.
Day 7 / Nuri – Bayuda Desert – Meroe
After breakfast , we cross the Nile and we visit the Pyramids of Nuri.We then enter the Bayuda Desert, an area bounded by the loop formed by the Nile between the 4th and the 6th 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. Lunch on the road.
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 cattle. We will visit a part of Meroe site to admire the brown and red colours of the pyramids and all the area due to the sunset . Dinner and overnight in the hostels of Meroe.
Day 8 / Meroe – Naga
Breakfast. Departure for reaching the Royal Necropolis of Meroe . We 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. Lunch in the local market of Shandy.
Road to Naga exploring the ancient site of Naga which is located about 30 km to the east of the Nile and it is one of the two centres that developed during the Meroitic period. In Naga, in a typical Saharan environment with rocks and sand, we 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 we can notice Egyptian, Roman and Greek styles, all at the same time. Not far away we reach another temple dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and beautiful gates decorated with bas-reliefs.,.Dinner and camping in Naga.
Day 9 / Naga – Khartoum
Breakfast and road back to Khartoum. Lunch in Khartoum. In the afternoon We will then go to Omdurman to visit the Omdurman Souk, the largest market in Sudan.. we will Check in at the hotel in Khartoum. Dinner in the city of Khartoum. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10 / Khartoum – city tour
Breakfast at the hotel then we 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 by the water. Lunch in a local restaurant –
Day Use rooms / Late check out until 18.30 .
Transfer to the airport.