Ancient Kingdoms of Sudan | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Ancient Kingdoms of Sudan

Trip Length 12 days

From $5,495

  • Witness the royal necropolis of Meroe, the temples of Sesibi and Soleb, and El Kurru tombs
  • Enjoy river cruises, dining on the Nile, and driving across Sudan's immense deserts
  • Visit the vibrant Omdurman souk, the largest in Sudan, and other traditional markets
  • Get off the grid with three nights of comfortable camping in the Nubian desert

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.

Day 1: Arrive in Khartoum

Arrive in Khartoum anytime today and meet your MT Sobek guide at the airport for the transfer to your hotel. Most flights arrive late, so dinner is not included this evening.

  • Accommodation:Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

Day 2: 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

Day 3: 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Day 4: See Old Dongola & Visit Nubian Villages

This morning, 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 head northward into the central Nubian Desert, where people live in small villages scattered amongst sand dunes and palm trees. Their language is different, as is the form of Islam they practice, which is less strict. Don't be surprised if you get invited into a local home to share a meal or a cup of spiced tea; hospitality is taken seriously here.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Day 5: Tour the Temples of Sesibi & Soleb

After crossing the Nile by ferry, start driving north, all the way to the temple of Sesibi and, a little further up, the temple of Soleb, considered 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. This evening, enjoy dinner and overnight in a traditional private Nubian house near the temple of Soleb.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Private Nubian House

Day 6: Visit the Ancient Sites of Sebu and Tombos

Heading south this morning, pass near the Third Cataract, which used to be the third huge obstacle that the ancient Egyptians had to face when sailing the Nile. In Sebu, right on the riverbank, visit one of Sudan's richest sites of rock engravings, featuring hundreds of images from prehistoric to Egyptian times. Then head towards Tombos, home of ancient granite quarries and the remains of an enormous recumbent statue of King Taharka. Tonight, camp out under the stars near Tombos.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Day 7: Explore the Village of Kerma & Arrive in 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. 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Karima Nubian Rest House

Day 8: Visit Jebel Barkal Temple, the 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Karima Nubian Rest House

Day 9: Cruise the Nile to the Nuri Pyramids

Visit the market to witness some of the local tribes in their everyday environment. 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Karima Nubian Rest House

Day 10: Cross the Bayuda Desert to Meroe Camp

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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

Day 11: 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

Day 12: Tour the Ancient Sites of Naga & Mussawarat

Stop in the town of Shendi this morning to visit the colorful market. Then tour the ancient city of Naga from the Meroitic period, with a couple of temples decorated with bas-reliefs and an odd structure called "the kiosk," featuring several styles of architecture. Continue on to the ruined settlement of Mussawarat in a pretty valley, featuring a large temple built in the 1st century B.C. Return to Khartoum this afternoon, where you get a day use room until 9pm, and then transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

Feb 14 - 25, 2019

Oct 31, 2019 - Nov 11, 2019

pricing

2019 Prices
$5,495 (4-14 members)
$950 single supplement

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Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

A state-of-the-art luxury retreat in the heart of Khartoum's commercial district, Corinthia Hotel Khartoum is situated at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers. Its 230 well-appointed rooms come with perks like Wi-Fi, A/C, and flat-screen TV, while on-site facilities include a spa, swimming pool and gym as well as restaurants with splendid river views.

Karima Nubian Rest House

Crafted in the distinctive Nubian style, this charming hotel is perfectly situated at the foot of Jebel Barkal. Guest rooms are characterized by a unique Nubian door, elegant furnishings (many sourced from Italy), a private bathroom, and a pleasant veranda. Relax in the manicured gardens or enjoy Sudanese splendor in the reception, restaurant and living room.

MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Camping accommodation will be in 2-person igloo tents with 5cm thick foam mattresses. For the meals we use folding tables and chairs. All the kitchen equipment is available (cutlery, plates, cups, etc.). A cook will be in charge of all the meals. Bowls for personal washing are available as well as enough water.

Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

Meroe Camp is located 142 miles north of Khartoum, overlooking the beautiful pyramids of Meroe. Accommodation consists of 22 twin-bedded and tastefully furnished tents - all with their own private bathroom hut and solar-powered electricity. Each tent also has a veranda with two comfortable chairs, where you can relax and take in the astonishing view of more than forty pyramids.

Private Nubian House

Enjoy an authentic stay at a traditional Nubian house. Some rooms have two to four beds per room and often come with a veranda. Expect either western or long-drop toilets, a solar-heated water shower or a simple bucket of water for washing. Normally there is a generator working for a couple of hours, so people can charge the batteries from their cameras.
  • Witness the royal necropolis of Meroe, the temples of Sesibi and Soleb, and El Kurru tombs
  • Enjoy river cruises, dining on the Nile, and driving across Sudan's immense deserts
  • Visit the vibrant Omdurman souk, the largest in Sudan, and other traditional markets
  • Get off the grid with three nights of comfortable camping in the Nubian desert

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.

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Khartoum

Arrive in Khartoum anytime today and meet your MT Sobek guide at the airport for the transfer to your hotel. Most flights arrive late, so dinner is not included this evening.

  • Accommodation:Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

Day 2: 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

Day 3: 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Day 4: See Old Dongola & Visit Nubian Villages

This morning, 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 head northward into the central Nubian Desert, where people live in small villages scattered amongst sand dunes and palm trees. Their language is different, as is the form of Islam they practice, which is less strict. Don't be surprised if you get invited into a local home to share a meal or a cup of spiced tea; hospitality is taken seriously here.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Day 5: Tour the Temples of Sesibi & Soleb

After crossing the Nile by ferry, start driving north, all the way to the temple of Sesibi and, a little further up, the temple of Soleb, considered 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. This evening, enjoy dinner and overnight in a traditional private Nubian house near the temple of Soleb.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Private Nubian House

Day 6: Visit the Ancient Sites of Sebu and Tombos

Heading south this morning, pass near the Third Cataract, which used to be the third huge obstacle that the ancient Egyptians had to face when sailing the Nile. In Sebu, right on the riverbank, visit one of Sudan's richest sites of rock engravings, featuring hundreds of images from prehistoric to Egyptian times. Then head towards Tombos, home of ancient granite quarries and the remains of an enormous recumbent statue of King Taharka. Tonight, camp out under the stars near Tombos.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Day 7: Explore the Village of Kerma & Arrive in 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. 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Karima Nubian Rest House

Day 8: Visit Jebel Barkal Temple, the 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Karima Nubian Rest House

Day 9: Cruise the Nile to the Nuri Pyramids

Visit the market to witness some of the local tribes in their everyday environment. 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Karima Nubian Rest House

Day 10: Cross the Bayuda Desert to Meroe Camp

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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

Day 11: 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.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

Day 12: Tour the Ancient Sites of Naga & Mussawarat

Stop in the town of Shendi this morning to visit the colorful market. Then tour the ancient city of Naga from the Meroitic period, with a couple of temples decorated with bas-reliefs and an odd structure called "the kiosk," featuring several styles of architecture. Continue on to the ruined settlement of Mussawarat in a pretty valley, featuring a large temple built in the 1st century B.C. Return to Khartoum this afternoon, where you get a day use room until 9pm, and then transfer to the airport for your departing flight.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Corinthia Hotel Khartoum
lodgings

Corinthia Hotel Khartoum

A state-of-the-art luxury retreat in the heart of Khartoum's commercial district, Corinthia Hotel Khartoum is situated at the confluence of the Blue and White Nile rivers. Its 230 well-appointed rooms come with perks like Wi-Fi, A/C, and flat-screen TV, while on-site facilities include a spa, swimming pool and gym as well as restaurants with splendid river views.

Karima Nubian Rest House

Crafted in the distinctive Nubian style, this charming hotel is perfectly situated at the foot of Jebel Barkal. Guest rooms are characterized by a unique Nubian door, elegant furnishings (many sourced from Italy), a private bathroom, and a pleasant veranda. Relax in the manicured gardens or enjoy Sudanese splendor in the reception, restaurant and living room.

MT Sobek Camp – Sudan

Camping accommodation will be in 2-person igloo tents with 5cm thick foam mattresses. For the meals we use folding tables and chairs. All the kitchen equipment is available (cutlery, plates, cups, etc.). A cook will be in charge of all the meals. Bowls for personal washing are available as well as enough water.

Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

Meroe Camp is located 142 miles north of Khartoum, overlooking the beautiful pyramids of Meroe. Accommodation consists of 22 twin-bedded and tastefully furnished tents - all with their own private bathroom hut and solar-powered electricity. Each tent also has a veranda with two comfortable chairs, where you can relax and take in the astonishing view of more than forty pyramids.

Private Nubian House

Enjoy an authentic stay at a traditional Nubian house. Some rooms have two to four beds per room and often come with a veranda. Expect either western or long-drop toilets, a solar-heated water shower or a simple bucket of water for washing. Normally there is a generator working for a couple of hours, so people can charge the batteries from their cameras.
Dates and Pricing

Feb 14 - 25, 2019

Oct 31, 2019 - Nov 11, 2019

pricing

2019 Prices
$5,495 (4-14 members)
$950 single supplement

Activity Level Easy to Moderate
Trip Length 12 days

From $5,495

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Call us at 1-888-831-7526
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