The Nile Valley, Nubian Desert, and Pyramids of Meroe

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Overview

Stunning and remote archaeological sites lie along the palm-fringed Nile River as it winds through Sudan’s legendary Kingdom of Kush, an ancient rival to the better-known pharaohs to the north. Our fascinating cultural journey brings you to the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile for a private sunset cruise, then overland by 4WD vehicle to grand and seldom-visited monuments, from the painted tombs of Napata to the breathtaking Pyramids of Meroe, a World Heritage Site. Along the way, you’ll enjoy desert picnics, hidden Nubian villages, visits to chai houses to sip cinnamon tea, a mystical Sufi dance, and even camel rides! Select accommodations, including a charming guest house and a safari-style tented camp, put you just steps away from the amazing ruins of a lost kingdom on the Nile.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-5
Khartoum / Nile Cruise / Jebel Barkal / Napata / Pyramids of Nuri

After exploring Khartoum’s historic sites and open-air market where artisans abound, we’ll head through the open spaces of the Western Desert to Upper Nubia, where small villages are set among golden sand dunes and palm trees. Our explorations include the red sandstone mountain of Jebel Barkal, a landmark in the desert and sacred to the Nubians since the time of the New Kingdom (1500 BC), and the fantastic Nile-side pyramids at Napata, with their multicolored hieroglyphics. A cruise on the Nile brings us to the steep-sided Pyramids of Nuri, burial place of 21 Kushite kings along with 52 queens and princesses. Our lodge is set at the foot of Jebel Barkal, and we’ll enjoy a traditional Nubian dance performance.

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Days 6-7
Bisharin Nomads / Pyramids of Meroe

Crossing the Nile, we enter the volcanic Bayuda Desert, where we may meet Bisharin nomads roaming with their herds of camels and donkeys, and reach spellbinding Meroe, with its countless mysterious pyramids set on a hilltop, their sharp, angular shapes jutting into the clear blue sky. You can ride a camel (or walk if you prefer) to discover this astonishing site. From our permanent tented camp, savor amazing pyramid views right from the veranda of your safari-style tent.

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Days 8-9
Naga and Mussawarat Temples / Whirling Dervishes

After exploring the temples of Naga and Mussawarat, with their wonderful bas-relief depictions, watch the spinning of the Sufi whirling dervishes at sunset at the Tomb of Ahmed al-Nil, as chanting and music fill the air in the Sufi expression of mystic union with God. Depart on Day 9.

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Extend Your Journey

Note: Flight schedules to Khartoum, Sudan, are via Cairo (Egypt), Amman (Jordan), Addis (Ethiopia), and Dubai (U.A.E.). We are happy to arrange pre- or post-trip extensions in these countries for you. Please contact our office for details.

Highlights

Highlights

Dramatic pyramids at Nuri and Meroe, both World Heritage Sites
Our expert Trip Leader unlocks the secrets of the Kingdom of Kush
Delightful accommodations right at archaeological sites
Traditional dance performances, open-air markets, local specialties from lemon-laced kabobs to sweet ginger coffee
Small group—maximum 11!
Optional extension to Egypt

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5395  
Arrive: Khartoum, Sudan
Depart: Khartoum, Sudan
Lodging: 6 nights hotels, 2 nights safari-style camp
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Archaeology
Trip Level:

Overland desert touring by comfortable 4WD vehicle with guaranteed window seating, exploration with easy walking

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Beneath the Sands of Sudan

Recent Photo Blog Posts

Beneath the Sands of Sudan