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Pyramids in the desert, sudan

The Temples and Pyramids of Nubian Sudan

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

9 Days

Prices Start from

$3,810 ex. flights

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 ancient desert ruins, harking back to Nubia’s long-forgotten heyday.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

El Kurru murals, Meroe, Sudan 1

Royal Tombs

Visit the Kushite Royal Cemetery at El Kurru, home to muraled Egyptian tombs.

Bayuda Woman, Sudan 2

Desert People

Encounter the Bisharin nomads in the harsh Bayuda Desert.

Pyramids of Meroe, Sudan 3

Black Pyramids

Visit the pyramids of Meroe, home to tombs containing the remains of kings and queens

Temple at Musawarrat, Sudan 4

Ruined Temples

Explore the ancient cities Naqa and Mussarawat – impressive remains of a once-great civilisation.

Why we like it

This journey explores a part of Africa that is rich in ancient treasures, uncovering magnificent sites that lie untouched in an oft-overlooked area of the world. Nestled amidst the sands of the eastern Sahara Desert, the ancient region of Nubia lies forgotten.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1
    Khartoum
  • Day 2
    Khartoum - Karima
  • Day 3-5
    Karima
  • Day 6
    Karima - Meroe
  • Day 7
    Meroe
  • Day 8
    Meroe - Khartoum
  • Day 9
    Khartoum
Meroe, Sudan
Meroe, Sudan

Desert Treasures

Once home to the mighty Kingdom of Kush, this barren area flourished for over 1,000 years, reliant on the invaluable waters of the colossal Nile. As the Kushite dynasty crumbled, its treasures became lost amongst the vast expanses of the Nubian Desert. They now lie beside earlier Egyptian relics – similarly engulfed by the desert’s sand and solitude, abandoned to the elements.

Camels, Meroe, Sudan
Meroe, Sudan

Nubian Pyramids

Begin this Nubian odyssey in Khartoum, but quickly leave behind Arab-dominated culture and raucous city life for the sandy Sudanese interior. Cross the endless desert towards the iconic Nubian pyramids of the ancient Kushite royal city of Meroe.

Camp in comfort amongst the sand dunes of the Nubian Desert, with the jagged-tooth pyramids of Meroe silhouetted against the dusty horizon. From here, explore the isolated desert temples of Naqa and Musawwarat, once great Kushite cities and now impressive tributes to a forgotten civilisation.

Amon Temple from Jebel Barkal, Karima, Sudan
Karima, Sudan

Ancient Oasis

Escape this harsh landscape for the Nubian town of Karima – a precious oasis for weary travellers. Stay in the relaxing Nubian Rest House, characterised by its traditional dome roofs. Set out into the desert to visit the myriad of impressive sites that litter the sands.

Discover the crumbling temples of Napata, lying at the foot of the Jebel Barkal, as well as the royal Kushite cemetery of El Kurru. Finish with a visit to the markets of Karima, a cruise on the waters of the Nile and a final trip to the black pyramids of Nuri.

Omdurman Market, Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan

Khartoum

Experience a ‘Whirling Dervishes’ ceremony (Fridays only) as the sun goes down. Not originally intended as entertainment, this spiralling religious dance is practised in order for the participants to attempt to reach a state of religious ecstasy.

Cross the Nile to visit the Mahdi’s tomb – the resistance leader whose uprising caused so much embarrassment for the British. And continue on to the Omdurman Souk, where trading has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

On your final evening, attend a demonstration of Nuba wrestling. Originating in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, this traditional sport revolves around attempting to slam an opponent to the ground.

View from Tent Terrace, Meroe Permanent Tented Camp, Meroe, Sudan
Meroe Permanent Tented Camp, Meroe, Sudan

Fixed Departure Dates

This trip also operates on a group basis, departing at several times during the year, usually between the months of October and April. Please enquire for information on exact departure dates.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest £££££

  • Rwanda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

One&Only Gorilla’s Nest is located at the base of the Virunga Mountains, just 20 minutes from where gorilla treks begin. Surrounded by eucalyptus forest, it is spread across fertile grounds, rich with volcanic soil.

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Singita Kwitonda £££££

  • Rwanda
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Looking out towards the volcanic peaks of Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura, this stylish lodge is encircled by indigenous forests. Built from a mixture of light woods and volcanic stone, Singita Kwitonda makes the most of these beautiful views, with enormous glass windows featuring throughout the rooms and communal areas. Indoor and outdoor fireplaces keep the chill of the mountain air at bay.

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Meroe Permanent Tented Camp £££££

  • Sudan
  • Tented Camps

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.  

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Nubian Rest House £££££

  • Sudan
  • Boutique

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.

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Nyiragongo Summit Shelter £££££

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

They are very much shelter and not much else. These fibre-glass huts keep out the wind and stay surprisingly warm but are very spartan. Inside each hut are small foam mattresses, which lie directly on the floor. However, after the hike to the top, they will feel like a king-size bed. There is a small window at one end. Basic sleeping bags are provided and whilst the shelters keep out the elements and can be quite warm, we recommend you bring either your own sleeping bag or at least a good sleeping bag liner. All food is brought by the porters and food is cooked on a small stove – surprisingly filling – along with some fresh fruit. Water is also provided, although you or your porter will need to carry this. There is no running water (bring travel hand wipes) and the loo is a long drop affair, reached by a short, steep walk on a rocky path (there is a safety rope to help you back up). Please be aware, this is a VERY basic affair, being nothing more than a tiny, bare hut.

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Lemuria Resort £££££

  • Seychelles

Lemuria is a 5-star luxury resort with its own golf course. The first of its kind, it enjoys the idyllic location on the Northwest coast of the island. Surrounded by luxuriant and rare vegetation, washed by the warm waters of the calm lagoon, the hotel lies shaded by the prevailing winds. The sea with its many hues of turquoise, the fresh green hinterland and the three, secluded white sand beaches all combine to make it a truly exceptional site. The main building lies on the slopes of a hill, overlooking the beaches and the greenery. The majestic simplicity of the hotel buildings incites respect and awe.

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The Delight £££££

  • Namibia
  • City
  • B&B, Motel and Guesthouse

Bright and modern, this colourful hotel is positioned in central Swakopmund, only a short distance from the main beach area, known as the ‘Mole’. The cheerful interior is matched by the friendly service, with staff only too eager to help. There are 54 rooms, with 10 of these designated as family rooms. All rooms are bright and spacious, with en-suite bathrooms, air conditioning and heating. The family rooms are loft rooms, split on to two levels, with twin beds on both.

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White Pearl Resorts £££££

  • Mozambique
  • Beach and Island Escapes

White Pearl Resorts is on the south-east coast of Mozambique, just north of the South Africa/Mozambique border. This beachside escape is nestled in a sheltered white-sand bay. The 21 stylish white suites have private plunge pools, both indoor and outdoor showers, 24-hour butler service and in-suite dining is available.

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Masoala Forest Lodge £££££

  • Madagascar
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Masoala Forest Lodge is a tented camp in Parc National Masoala, in a secluded sandy cove, surrounded by forests full of wildlife. Offering the best of both worlds, the handful of palm-thatched treehouses sit on raised wooden platforms, not only creating privacy but a cool, shady spot to take in the sea views in the shadow of the forest. Solar lighting, local materials used for the building and clever use of the rainwater in naturally cooling the rooms, is a nod to the lodges green credentials.

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Albert Schweitzer Hospital Guestrooms £££££

  • Gabon
  • Unusual

These renovated guestrooms are on the old hospital premises and one of the few places to stay in Gabon that has real character. They are maintained and run by the hospital’s foundation and are very comfortable. They are surrounded by old hospital buildings and the Ogooue River flows past, adding to the relaxed ambience of the place. The rooms closest to the river all have air conditioning, whilst the rooms further back do not. However, their ingenious design makes the most of natural airflow, meaning even these stay cool. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms that have been added retrospectively. This means the rooms are a little small, but the lovely location and historical connection more than make up for this.

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A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchase through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From $3,810 Per person

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