A special 12 days itinerary designed to let the traveler experience South Sudan and Sudan in a unique trip: Sudan Beyond Borders.
Before 2011, when the indipendence of South Sudan was declared and recognized, the two countries Sudan and South Sudan were a whole country, the biggest of Africa. Despite their factual differences in this trip we will try to unite them again to discover the old two souls of Sudan.
The trip will lead us through these two beatiful countries and it will consist of different visits across South Sudan to discover the diversity of tribes still existing in this young country and then we will explore the Northern area of Sudan, with many incredible archaeological sites and desert landscapes. We only have two scheduled departures per year for this amazing trip, do not lose the opportunity to visit two unspoiled countries in one time!
accommodation in hotels or camping as per itinerary;
transport by 4×4 vehicles except in Khartoum;
minivan or bus in Khartoum; English speaking guide;
mineral water outside Khartoum;
full board except dinners in Khartoum;
entry permits to different sites in South Sudan and to tribal communities;
flight Juba – Khartoum included (possible fuel surcharges TBA)
Day 1: Juba airport- Mundari Cattle Camp
Arrival at Juba International airport. Lunch in a restaurant near the White Nile and visit to Konyo Konyo market. In the afternoon, drive to a Mundari cattle camp. Meet the tribal leaders and observe the magical arrival of the long horned Ankole cows to their resting place. Camp near the cattle camp.
Day 2: Mundari Cattle Camp- Kapoeta
Breakfast. Early morning photos of waking up of Mundari tribe and their sacred long horned cattle before they leave for grazing. Drive to Kapoeta, East Equatoria’s Far West style capital. Reach the city and meet first Toposa tribal people.
Day 3: Kapoeta- Toposa Tribe
After breakfast, we will drive to a traditional Toposa community out of Kapoeta. Drive to a remote Toposa region to meet the people in their ‘boma’ –fenced village-. Reach the tribe and meet the elders and local chief. Welcome ceremony and tour around the village. Toposa belong to the Ateker Nation that includes the Turkana in Northern Kenya, the Karamajong in Northern Uganda, and the Nyangatom in Ethiopia. Their economy depends entirely on cattle. In remote areas, Toposa women still dress skin beaded skirts of great beauty and scarify their faces and bodies. After the visit to several Toposa villages, we will return back to Kapoeta for the night.
Day 4: Kapoeta- Larim Tribe
Breakfast. Drive to Didinga territory and reach Camp 15, a market place where Didinga and Larim tribes meet every day to commerce and gossip. Meet local authorities and drive to Boya Hills, a special area for plant lovers (many rare species). Larim people number a few thousand individuals living on the foot of Boya Hills (they descended from the top around 20 years ago looking for better pastures for the cattle and to get near the water points –scarce in the region-). Larim scarify their bodies and faces, pierce nose, ears and lips and smoke nicely carved wood and metal pipes. It is a rich culture and its symbol are the unique houses built in wood and adobe, and decorated with snail shells and drawings. After the visit, drive to Torit town for the night.
Day 5: Torit- Juba airport- Khartoum airport
Breakfast. Drive to Juba. Arrival and pick PCR test result (not necessary to go to laboratory – cost 100 USD). Last visits (John Garang Memorial, artisan market, and old town with a few colonial buildings from British period). At the appointed time, transfer to the airport.
Domestic flight with local airlines from Juba to Khartoum.
Day 6: Khartoum- Old Dongola - Karima
This morning we start early to drive north cross the Western desert on a good tar road till we reach the Nile that we cross on Ed Debba. We continue on the road along the Nile to visit the site the site of Old Dongola, the old Christian capital of the Makuria Kingdom. After the visit we cross the Nubian Desert to reach the town of Karima late in the afternoon.
Nubian Rest House
Day 7: Jebel Barkal- Karima- Necropolis of El Kurru- Jebel Barkal
We drive to the village of El Kurru where there is one of the necropolises of the ancient capital, Napata. Here we can visit one of the two tombs, which are excavated in the rock under pyramids – partially collapsed – and are totally decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions. Not far from here there is an interesting site of petrified wood, an ancient forest with hundreds of huge trunks.
Landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal “Jebel” means mountain in Arabic, can be seen from a few dozen kilometres whilst still in the open desert. At the foot of this wonderful and isolated red sandstone mountain, considered holy since the ancient times, there is a big temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron, Amon. Amon’s ancient «Pure Mountain», the Olympus of the Nubians, was the religious Nubian heart for more than 1000 years. Besides the ruins of the big temple there are still several sculptured granite rams that were supposed to border a long avenue that probably led to the pier on the Nile. In the mountain wall there is a big room decorated with bas-relief. The Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list.
Nubian Rest House
Day 8: Karima- Nuri Necropolis- Meroe
Today we briefly visit the archaeological site of Nuri where we can see many pyramids among which there is also the one of the great Taharqa. Little walk and then we enter the Bayuda Desert. This desert is an area bounded by the loop that the Nile forms between the 4th and the 6th Cataract and characterised by sharp black basalt mountains, most of them volcanic and typically cone-shaped. They alternate with level pebble stretches and large valleys crossed by dry wadis, where little vegetation can be seen. It is very likely to meet isolated groups of Bisharin nomads, who live in familiar groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to the rare water wells, with their caravans and herds of camels and donkeys. We leave the main road and have some desert crosing stopping at a well where nomads gather water for their herds of camels and goats. Once we reach the Nile we cross it on a Ferry boat (ponton), then a short drive takes us to the Pyramids of Meroe.
Day 9: Meroe- Royal Necropolis of Meroe- Meroe Camp
Morning dedicated to the visit of the Meroe pyramids. The Royal Necropolis of Meroe which is located about 3 km from the Nile on some hills covered by yellow sand dunes. Several pyramids stand out with their sharp shapes against the clear sky. Each one has its own funerary chapel with the walls fully decorated with bas-reliefs that show the King’s life and offers to the gods. We visit the Tarabil school (if open), that we support as part of our responsible tourism policy. Coffee break at the local village of Kabushia. In the afternoon we cannot visit the ruins of the Royal city (which was closed by UNESCO to evaluate the condition of the damage done by the flood of the Nile – so We will visit the Sun temple, the Western Necropolis and the Quarries of the Meroitic civilization instead. Sunset at the Pyramids.
Day 10: Meroe- Mussawarat Es Sufra- Naga- Khartoum
After breakfast we begin the journey southward. The site of Mussawarat is located in a beautiful valley crowned by hills. Here the ruins of a very big temple are visible; it once played an exceptional important role. Its main characteristic, the “Great Enclosure” is made by many constructions and boundary walls which surround a temple built in the 1st century A.D. We then go to Naga which is one of the two centres that developed during the Meroitic period. In Naga, in a typical Saharan environment with rocks and sand, we find a temple dedicated to Apedemak (1st century A.D.): a wonderful building with bas-relief decorations depicting the god with a lion’s head, the Pharaoh, noblemen and several ritual images. A few metres away there is a small and odd construction with arches and columns, named «kiosk», in which we can notice Egyptian, Roman and Greek styles, all at the same time. Not far away we reach another temple dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and beautiful gates decorated with bas-reliefs. In the evening we reach Khartoum. Drop off at your hotel.
Day 11: Khartoum
In the morning we start Khartoum city tour crossing the confluence between the Blue and the White Nile near the Presidential Palace where in 1885 General Gordon was beheaded by the Mahdi’s troops and we reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, where we see the Mahdi’s Tomb and we visit the interesting Khalifa’s House which holds a small museum about the Mahdyia (in 2022 this museum is closed for refurbishment), We take a pleasant boat ride to see the confluence between the White and Blue Nile. In the afternoon we visit the National Museum (at the present: 2022, the inner part is closed for refurbishment, we should be allowed to visit the temples in the garden) that, besides many beautiful objects, contains two beautiful temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded by the water.
On Fridays only, we see the Dervish ceremony in the outskirt of Omdurman.
Day 12: Khartoum airport
Transfer to the airport by private vehicle. Departure.
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