Expedition to Sudan

The Nile Valley, Nubian Desert, and Ancient Kingdoms of the Black Pharaohs
with Ahmed Ali or Mohamed Ossama

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5495  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Khartoum, Sudan
Depart: Khartoum, Sudan
Lodging: 6 nights in hotels, 2 nights in safari-style camp
Meals: All meals except 1 dinner
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Overland desert touring, exploration with easy walking


  • Extraordinary archaeological sites including the fantastic Pyramids at Nuri and stunning Royal Necropolis of Meroe
  • Overland travel by comfortable 4WD vehicle with guaranteed window seating
  • Dramatic landscapes of the Western Desert, Nubian Desert, and Bayuda Desert
  • Comfortable accommodations in hotels and a permanent tented camp close to the archaeological sites
  • Encounter Bisharin nomads with their camels, enjoy traditional Sudanese lunch prepared by a family in their home, watch dance performances, visit local markets

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Join our exciting new cultural and archaeological adventure in an under-traveled and fascinating destination! In the remote desert realm of Northern Sudan with our veteran  Egyptologist Trip Leaders Ahmed Ali or Mohammed Ossama, we’ll find more pyramids than in Egypt, the palm-fringed waterways of the Nile, the dazzling orange dunescapes of the Nubian Desert, and astonishing World Heritage Sites scattered across the Nile Valley. Northern Sudan’s history is very much connected to ancient Egypt. The Kings of Nubia (now Sudan) ruled Egypt during the 25th Dynasty, until they were ejected in 656 BC. But the influence of Egypt was long-lasting on the inhabitants of Nubia and they continued to imitate Egypt’s grand monuments. We explore the most amazing collection of remote pyramids imaginable as we travel from Napata, the Nubian capital from 800 to 400 BC, to the breathtaking Royal Necropolis of Meroe (both are World Heritage Sites). With comfortable accommodations in a charming hotel and a stylish permanent tented camp, we stay close to these ancient wonders as we savor the surreal desert scenery, enjoy warm hospitality in hidden Nubian villages, and immerse ourselves in the legends and mysteries of a lost kingdom on the Nile.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Khartoum / Khalifa Museum / Nile Cruise

We visit an archaeological museum with two ancient temples rescued from the rising waters of Egypt’s Aswan High Dam in 1960 as well as the Khalifa’s House, a fascinating museum of the late 19th century Battle of Omdurman. A sunset cruise brings us to the confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile.

Days 3-5
Old Dongola / Jebel Barkal / Royal Necropolis of Napata / Pyramids of Nuri

Crossing the vast Western Desert into Upper Nubia, we explore the Nile-side archaeological site of Old Dongola, with its Christian Coptic temple. We then continue to Jebel Barkal, an isolated red sandstone peak with a ruined temple dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron god, Amon. The mountain and its temple have been sacred to the Nubians since the time of the New Kingdom (1500 BC). We get our first look at Sudan’s fantastic pyramid cemeteries at the royal necropolis of Napata, the Nubian capital from 800 to 400 BC. The  tombs here include those of King Kashta (ruler of the Kingdom of Kush), his son Piye, and their renowned warrior-queens. After a cruise along the Nile by motorboat and a picnic, we discover the stunning and steep-sided Pyramids of Nuri, burial place of 21 Kushite kings together with 52 queens and princesses. Our hotel for these days is the beautiful Nubian Rest House, set at the foot of Jebel Barkal. We enjoy a visit to the open-air market at Karima, and on one night, we watch a traditional Nubian dance performance.

Days 6-7
Bayuda Desert / Bisharin Nomads / Royal Necropolis of Meroe

Entering the Bayuda Desert, with its sharp black mountains, we may meet isolated groups of Bisharin nomads, an ancient desert tribe that travels with caravans and herds of camels and donkeys. Our grand finale here is spell-binding: the Royal Necropolis of Meroe, a World Heritage Site with more than 40 striking pyramids set on a hilltop, many perfectly preserved. From our permanent tented camp, we ride a camel (or take a 30-minute walk if preferred) to this astonishing necropolis, whose pyramids stand out brilliantly, their angular shapes lining the clear blue sky. After a traditional Sudanese lunch prepared for us by a local family in their home, we visit the ruins of the royal city itself, most of which are yet be excavated.  Our accommodation at Meroe is a comfortable permanent tented camp with wonderful pyramid views.

Days 8-9
Naga and Mussawarat Temples / Whirling Dervishes

We visit Naga, with its wonderful temple dedicated to Apedemak (1st century AD), and the large temple at Mussawarat.  No visit to Northern Sudan is complete without attending the weekly Whirling Dervishes ceremony, and we head to Omdurman to watch the Sufi dervishes gather at sunset at the Tomb of Ahmed al-Nil to chant and spin to hypnotic drums and music as incense fills the air. Depart Khartoum in the early morning of Day 9.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

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.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 1+, Easiest. It is an overland touring trip with day walks exploring the fascinating ruins and wonderful villages of this ancient and modern civilization. We use air-conditioned 4WD vehicles for our travels outside Khartoum. There will be a maximum of three trip members per vehicle. Outside of Khartoum, lunches will be picnic-style (tomatoes, rice or pasta salad, cheese, ham, tuna fish, fresh fruit). Meals will also include international dishes and local items. The most common local dishes are broadbean soup, “fasolija” bean soup, and lamb dishes.  Dinners will include meat or fish dishes, vegetables, pasta, rice, or soup. Chai (spiced tea), tea, and coffee are available.

Note: We created this journey with our veteran Egyptologist Trip Leader Ahmed Ali, who scouted the trip for us in April 2013. This is a new trip, however, and as such, the first departures can be expeditionary in nature. Specific activities are listed in this itinerary, but they may vary depending on conditions and the group’s interests and abilities. This will be a fun and fascinating journey, but we ask that you bring flexibility and a spirit of adventure to this unique trip.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Oct 31-Nov 8, 2014  Ahmed Ali
Feb 13-21, 2015  Mohamed Ossama
Nov 6-14, 2015  Ahmed Ali

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$5495 (9-11 members)
$5795 (6-8 members)
Single supplement: $850
Forced single supplement: $650
Sudan visa fee and processing: $275
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Egypt Extension
   from: $3795

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local Sudanese guide
  • 5 nights accommodations in hotels, 2 nights permanent tented camp, day room on Day 8
  • All meals except 1 dinner
  • Dance performance in Karima, Whirling Dervish ceremony
  • Cruise on the Nile, optional camel ride
  • Sightseeing as noted in the itinerary
  • Guaranteed window seating (maximum of 3 trip members per 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser or Toyota Hilux vehicle)
  • Airport transfers for passengers as noted

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, visa, meals not specified at the end of each itinerary day, travel insurance, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), and other expenses of a personal nature (laundry, etc.), video fees at archeological sites. Note: Sudan does not permit alcohol, so no alcoholic beverages are served on the trip.

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Corinthia Hotel, Khartoum

Corinthia Hotel, Khartoum

Days 1 to 2 (2 nights),
Day 8 (1 night), Khartoum, Sudan

This ultra-modern, egg-shaped 18-story hotel of glass and steel is set at the meeting point of the Blue Nile and White Nile in the center of ...
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Nubian Rest House

Nubian Rest House

Days 3 to 5 (3 nights), Karima, Sudan

This charming small hotel is set within a walled garden just below the holy mountain of Jebel Barkal, near the market town of Karima. With its ...
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Meroe Tented Camp

Meroe Tented Camp

Days 6 to 7 (2 nights), Meroe, Sudan

Just a mile or so from the grand pyramids of Meroe, this permanent tented camp offers 22 simply furnished twin-bedded tents with their own separate ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions option:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Ahmed Ali

Departure Dates: October 31-November 8, 2014, November 6-14, 2015

Ahmed Ali, born and raised in Cairo, graduated from Cairo University in 1989 with a BA in Ancient Near East History and Biblical Studies. He went on to receive an additional degree in Ancient Egyptian History and Archaeology from Helwan University. Ahmed loves the profession of Trip Leader because ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Mohamed Ossama

Departure Dates: February 13-21, 2015

Mohamed Ossama was born in Cairo, where he resides today with his wife and daughter. He attended Helwan University, graduating with a specialty in Egyptology, and has been an Egyptologist guide since 1995. Mohamed is closely associated with St. Olaf College in Minnesota and its intensive ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:


Egypt Extension

The Great Pyramids and 4-Day Nile Cruise

Archaeology, Small Boat & Yacht Cruising
8 days  -  Level 1