Little more than a dusty market town, remote Karima is notable for its proximity to an extraordinary array of ancient sites.
A holiday in Sudan is so far off most people’s radar that expectations have probably not yet entered the equation. But here are a few thoughts. Lying just south of the Great Cataract on the Nile, Sudan has more ancient pyramids than the whole of Egypt. It was here that Gordon of Khartoum was killed and where Kitchener massacred the army of the Mahdi at Omdurman.
History aside, there are two things that are unexpected in Sudan. The first is the standard of the desert camps outside the cities which have been run by an Italian company for many years and are excellent. The second is the friendliness and hospitality of the people – a feature that makes any visit so rewarding.
The history, the noble bearing of the people, the space to yourself and scenes such as this: the buzz and hum of greetings filled the air, smiles of recognition and welcome and the slapping of shoulders as is the Sudanese way. Some sat on stools for coffee and a chat. The woman of the shack wafted charcoal to speed up the boiling of her battered kettle – the only hint of pace in this unhurried start to the day.
Uncover Nubian pyramids, Kushite temples and crumbling cemeteries – all engulfed by the golden sands of the eastern Sahara. Encounter the traditional Nubian culture of this remote region and explore Sudan’s ancient desert ruins, harking back to Nubia’s long-forgotten heyday.
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Visit the souq and camel market at Omdurman, as well as the site of the historic battle between the British and Sudanese.
Visit the temples and pyramids at Meroe, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Kush, where over forty kings and queens were buried.
Have the opportunity to interact with the Bisharin nomads.
Rising out of the flat Nubian plain, Jebel Barkal can be seen for miles and has remained a place of worship for centuries.
Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.
Sitting three kilometres away from the Royal Necropolis, the Meroe Camp is located in the small village of Bagarwiya and offers beautiful sunset views of the nearby pyramids.
Incorporating local architecture and influenced by Nubian styles, this charming small hotel is surrounded by carefully cultivated gardens. Its weather-worn and ornate Nubian door presents an intriguing welcome for arriving guests.
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.
No. Unfortunately, you will have to appreciate the spectacular sunset views without a sundowner in hand. Alcohol is prohibited in Sudan and anyone found in possession of it risks criminal prosecution.
Large swathes of Sudan, including Darfur and the areas bordering South Sudan, are off-limits to tourists. However, outside these danger areas, the risk level is relatively low. Sudanese people are incredibly welcoming and greet foreign visitors with genuine warmth. There is little petty crime and tourists are rarely hassled, although pickpocketing can be a problem in busier areas.
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Travel documentation was excellent - particularly the hard copies, which very useful on the road when access to the electronic version was not easily accessible. The hardcopies certainly impressed others in the group!
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