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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This MT Sobek journey skillfully covers Sudan's key ancient cities, impressive pyramids, archaeological ruins, and tombs in 12 days.
Scenic drives and ferry rides lead to exciting cultural encounters: a performance by whirling dervishes, meeting locals, and visiting traditional homes.
Travelers experience Sudan's awe-inspiring deserts through and through by staying in camps amidst sand dunes for several nights.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Ferry cruises along the Nile, tours of ancient archaeological sites and museums, visits to traditional villages and local markets.
Mobile and permanent camps in spectacular surroundings, traditional Nubian guest houses, and a luxury city hotel to bookend the trip in style.
During the winter months, from October to the end of April, there is a dry and sunny desert climate.
The areas we visit in Sudan are very safe. The people are extremely welcoming to tourists and our local guides know the region well. Consult your government's web site for the latest travel guidance for Sudan.
Yes, a visa is required by all visiting Sudan. We are now able to request visas on arrival for US citizens.
No, alcohol is prohibited and not for sale in Sudan. Make sure you don't bring any alcoholic beverages in your luggage as it will be taken away if found in customs.
Plan to dress conservatively. Short skirts and sleeveless tops are not appropriate.
No vaccinations are required for entry to Sudan but requirements are subject to change. Check with the CDC for updates. All travelers to Sudan are advised to take antimalarial medications. Discuss this medication with your doctor.
Yes, you must obtain a photography permit from the Sudanese Ministry of Interior before taking any photos. We will be provided this permit upon arrival in Sudan.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"I have taken 12 trips with MT Sobek. Each has left a positive imprint on me-widening my view of the world and its peoples."
MT Sobek Guest
"Traveling with MT Sobek is like gaining a new set of close friends that have shared an incredible experience together."
MT Sobek Guest