• Ancient Kingdoms of Sudan

    An enthralling exploratory adventure to the untraveled Nile of the Kushite Kings!

    If solitude and a deep sense of history call to you, embark with us on this unique MTS trip to Sudan, Egypt’s vaster and less tourist-trodden neighbor to the south.  This trip is a fascinating foray into an ancient land of Nubian kingdoms. Pyramids, painted tombs, desert camping, and whirling dervishes await!

    Special offer available for Nov 11, 2014 departure. Click here for details.

    best times to go: February, November

    departures: 1 scheduled dateview departures

    pricing: from $5,095 see detailed pricing

    North & West Africa

    Easy to Moderate
Also great as a private trip. Call for details

An enthralling exploratory adventure to the untraveled Nile of the Kushite Kings!

If solitude and a deep sense of history call to you, embark with us on this unique MTS trip to Sudan, Egypt’s vaster and less tourist-trodden neighbor to the south. Sudan shimmers with all the rich culture and fertile landscape that a 500-mile stretch of the Nile can muster. Despite five millenia of Coptic, Muslim, and Kushitic civilizations, and Sudanese hospitality renowned the world over, much of this complex country—one of Africa’s largest—remains unexplored.

Sudan is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, with settlements dating back to 3000 B.C. While Egypt’s ancient sites and history are far better known, Sudan has its own remarkable array of pyramids and temples, many showing the influence of the Egyptian culture and religion—parts of the Nubian kingdom of Kush were under Egyptian control for centuries. Nubia boasts twice as many pyramids as Egypt, along with tombs and temples richly decorated with hieroglyphics and bas-reliefs, and you’ll have these fascinating monuments nearly all to yourself.

Our journey begins in Khartoum, where we’ll get a taste of the wonders in store for us at the city’s world-class archaeological museum, before heading to where the White Nile meets the Blue at the historic city of Omdurman. We’ll wander its lively souk—the largest in Sudan—and enjoy an impressive display of whirling dervishes. We’ll skirt the great Nile River northward toward the ruins and pyramids of the Kushitic kingdom of Meroë—these evocative monuments are distinguished by their steeply angular sides rising sharply out of the dunes. After visiting the stunning temple of Soleb (styled after the Egyptian temple at Luxor), we'll head south to the ancient city of Kerma (with its defensive walls and moats), before visiting the isolated red sandstone mountain of Jebel Barkal (considered sacred to the ancient Nubians), and the painted tombs of El Kurru. We’ll skirt the great Nile River further toward the ruins and pyramids of the Kushitic kingdom of Meroë—these evocative monuments are distinguished by their steeply angular sides rising sharply out of the dunes.  Along the way, we’ll stay in charming Nubian-style guest houses and our exclusive tented camp near Meroë plus venture into the Nubian desert for a memorable three-night mobile camping expedition. We'll sleep out under the stars, travel to remote villages, lost cities and forgotten temples by 4-wheel drive, and truly get "off the grid!"

This trip combines archaeology and ancient history with spectacular desert landscapes and meaningful tribal interactions. Join MTS for a true insider’s perspective on this amazing land—it won’t stay isolated or forgotten for long, so discover it now, while it’s still untouched and untrodden.
 

Activities

12 days of archaeology, cultural touring, camping

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the fascinating country of northern Sudan, recently split from it's new neighbor South Sudan.
  • Discover the splendors of the ancient Kushite kingdom—more pyramids than Egypt, with far fewer tourists!
  • Immerse yourself in the local heritage with visits to pristine archaeological sites, beautiful desert landscapes, colorful tribal markets, and whirling dervish performances
  • Get off the grid with three nights of comfortable camping in the Nubian desert

Duration: 12 days Start Location: Khartoum End Location: Khartoum

Download Detailed Itinerary
Itinerary
  • Khartoum_building
    Day 1 : Khartoum

    Arrival in Khartoum anytime today.  You will be met by your MTS guide at the airport and transferred to the group hotel.

  • Day 2 : Khartoum, Whirling Dervishes

    Today we visit an excellent archaeological museum, have lunch on the Nile, wander the vast Omdurman Souk, and visit the tomb of Sufi leader Ahmed Al Nil at sunset to witness the amazing Whirling Dervishes. Overnight in Khartoum.

  • Old_dongola_1
    Day 3 : Khartoum to the Western Desert

    We travel north through the Western Desert, stopping at one of the local "chai houses" or "tea houses" before reaching Wadi Muqaddam with its many acacia trees.  We overnight in our wild camp among the sand dunes.

  • Wild_camp_2
    Day 4 : Old Dongola & Nubian Villages

    We visit the archaeological site of Old Dongola before heading into the Nubian Desert, visiting Nubian villages scattered among sand dunes and palm trees, perhaps stopping for spiced tea in one of their homes, or sharing a meal. Overnight camping in the desert.

  • Soleb_f
    Day 5 : Temples of Sesibi & Soleb

    We cross the Nile by ferry, then drive north to the temples of Sesibi and Soleb. Soleb temple is covered with hieroglyphs, bas-reliefs and columns reminiscent of Egypt's Luxor temple. Overnight in a traditional Nubian house near the temple of Soleb.

  • Tombos_f
    Day 6 : Sebu and Tombos

    We now head south through the desert and pass the Third Cataract and visit the rock engravings in Sebu before camping out under the stars near the quarries of Tombos.

  • Day 7 : Kerma to Karima

    Today we visit the ancient mud-brick city of Kerma before crossing the Nubian Desert to Karima, a small town located at the foot of Jebel Barkal.  Overnight at the Nubian Rest House.

  • El_kurru_2
    Day 8 : Karima - Jebel Barkal & the Necropolis of El Kurru

    Today we visit the base of Jebel Barkal, where we explore the ruins of a temple dedicated to the god Amon. We also visit the ancient city of Napata, once the Nubian capital; the pyramids at Nuri; and the painted tombs in the village of El Kurru.

  • Boat_f
    Day 9 : Nile Cruise to Nuri

    After breakfast, we wander through a local market, where the local tribes come to hawk and buy their wares. We also take a leisurely cruise down the Nile, where we get the chance to view Sudan's agricultural life before embarking on an easy walk around the pyramids of Nuri. We return to the Nubian Rest House for dinner and overnight.

  • Nomad_man_1
    Day 10 : Bayuda Desert to Meroe

    We'll depart Karima and cross the Nile again and enter the Bayuda Desert. Here we search for Dorcas Gazelle and the Bisharin nomads, who live in this harsh desert environment. After a picnic lunch in the desert, we cross the Nile for the last time at the town of Atbara.  We spend the night in at our permanent tented camp in Meroe.

  • Necropolis_of_meroe_2_
    Day 11 : Meroe

    Today we visit the pyramids at the Royal Necropolis and explore the ruins of the Royal City of Meroe, where excavations are still underway and waiting to be documented by archaeologists.

  • Temple_of_amon_-_naga_7_
    Day 12 : Naga and Mussawarat

    We'll explore the colorful local market in the village of Shendi before visiting two important archaeological sites today: Naga, where we find various temples and bas-reliefs from the Meroitic period, and the ruins of Mussawarat, another important city during the first century B.C. Then we will drive back to Khartoum, where day use rooms will be available at our hotel until 9pm.  Most flights depart late this evening.

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: February, November Departures: Nov 13 - 24, 2014

PRICING:

2013 Prices

$5,095 (6-14 members)
$1000 single supplement

2014 Prices

$5,095 (6-14 members)
$1000 single supplement

  • Corinthia Hotel
    Khartoum, Sudan

    The Corinthia Hotel Khartoum is a five-star hotel in central Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, on the meeting point of the Blue Nile and White Nile and in the centre of Khartoum’s commercial, business, and administrative districts.

  • Meroe Tented Camp
    Sudan

    Meroe tented Camp is located 142 miles north of Khartoum overlooking the beautiful pyramids of Meroe. Accommodation consists of 22 twin-bedded tents, tastefully furnished. Each one has its own private bathroom hut with shower and toilet. The Camp is located 2 miles from the Royal Necropolis. Each tent is equipped with a veranda with two comfortable chairs to relax in front of the astonishing view of more than forty pyramids. The tents have electricity produced by solar power. A restaurant building is nearby. The Camp is managed by an Italian manager.

  • Nubian Rest House
    Karima, Sudan

    The Nubian Rest House is a charming small hotel built in the typical Nubian style just at the foot of Jebel Barkal, the holy mountain of the old Egyptian and Nubian Pharaohs. It is surrounded by a large private enclosure, with a nice garden and leisure area. Each room is characterized by a unique Nubian door and has its own private bathroom and a pleasant veranda. The decor and finishing have been carefully selected. They come mainly from Italy and provide an elegant yet rustic charm. A reception, a restaurant and a living room with decorated walls complete the wonderful setting.

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

photo credits: ©MTS Photo File



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Nov 13 - 24, 2014
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