The Nubian Desert and the Red Sea

A one of a kind itinerary across desert landscapes, the unknown petroglyphs in Bir Nurayet and the colourful Red Sea reef.

15 days
March 2019
All accommodated

The quotation includes:

  • meeting at airport and private transfers to/from the hotel
  • 1 O/N at the Grand Holiday Villa Hotel 4**** in BB
  • 1 O/N at the permanent Tented Camp in Meroe in FB
  • English and Italian speaking cultural guide
  • All the camping equipment for the overnights in the desert in FB
  • A cook in charge of the meals
  • transport with Toyota Land Cruisers or Toyota Hilux (Guaranteed 3 pax per car)
  • Meals as per itinerary (B.L.D.)
  • passport registration
  • 7 O/N on the boat in FB
  • Flight Port Sudan-Khartoum (on regional airlines, which are black listed from the European skies)

 

Day 1: Khartoum arrival

Arrival at Khartoum airport. Meet and greet with the guide and transfer to the hotel.

Meal plan
  • No meals included
Accommodation
Khartoum: Grand Holiday Villa Hotel 4****
Day 2: Khartoum – Meroe

This morning we visit the Archaeological Museum that, besides many interesting objects, contains two beautiful temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded by the water. We will then leave the city to travel North for about 200 km tillwe can glance at more than 40 pyramids, located on top of a hill, some of them perfectly preserved, which belong to the Royal Necropolis of Meroe. Arrival at Meroe Camp with a beautiful view on the pyramids. Accommodation in comfortable and fully furnished tents, dinner and overnight stay.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D.
Accommodation
Meroe Camp
Day 3/4: Meroe – Bayuda Desert – Abu Hamed

Sunrise at the pyramids and cultural visit of this amazing site of the Royal Necropolis.  We cross the Nile to enter the Bayuda Desert and we visit the Atrun Crater where nomads gather salt. We explore the desert then we head towards El Mogrut Island where with we cross the Nile by ferry over to Abu Hamed. From here we enter the Nubian Desert. Overnights in wild camps.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D.
Accommodation
Wild camp
Day 5/6: Nubia’s mountains – Bir Nurayet

We drive towards the Red Sea Hills which run parallel to the Red Sea. Amongst wadis and desert areas we will meet some gold seekers. In recent years there is a gold rush happening in Sudan following the ancient  gold reef. We will meet nomadic Beja people of the Bisharin and Hadendowa tribes.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D.
Accommodation
Wild Camp
Day 7: Bir Nurayet Petrogliphs

Jebel Magardi is an unusual shaped mountain near Bir (Well) Nurayet. Only a few years ago a Polish archaeological mission discovered a large number of rock carvings mainly representing cows which prove that thousands of years ago people inhabited this region. In the area there are also many pre-Islamic tombs of the Kerma time.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D.
Accommodation
Wild Camp
Day 8: Nubian Desert – Red Sea coast – boarding the boat

We keep crossing few valleys amongst the Red Sea Hills. Some peaks are as high as 2.000 m. We finally reach the Red Sea near the small village of Mohammed Qol which takes the name from a Saudi Arabian fisherman who moved here to start trading in this region. When the British founded Port Sudan in the 1900’s,this port in the North lost its importance. Today we board our boat – welcome drink and let the sea adventure begin.

The cars will return to Khartoum

Meal plan
  • B.L.D.
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 9: Starting of the cruise: Mohammed Qol –Mesherifa Island – Mayetib Island

The Red Sea warm waters and comparative isolation have resulted in a spectacular array of marine fauna. Soft and stony corals thrive to produce a wondrous reef, providing home to innumerable crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms and fish. Along the Sudanese cost, water temperature average 27-28°C. This is hot enough to reduce the planktonic and algal blooms that are so common further north. As a result the sea is generally clear with visibility of up to 30 m depth. Mesharifa Island is only 4 miles out of the Red Sea cost and this will be our first opportunity to swim in the crystal clear waters.We reach Mayetib Island, called the “island of snakes” where an endemic species, not poisonous, of snakes live. Here we have a very nice sandy beach from where we can do some snorkeling along the reef.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D. (Meals on Board)
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 10: Cruise: Inkeifal Khor

Where the mountain meet the red sea

“Khors” is the Arabic word that means “natural fiords” and there are a few of them in this area. This area is quite different that the other beaches and laggon we have seen so far. Inkeifal Khors are two lagoons with white beaches, crystal clear waters and there is the possibility to walk on land taking nice  views over the desert as well as the sea.  In the shallow waters of the see there are also mangroves trees.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D. (Meals on Board)
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 11: Cruise: Taila Islands

After cruising for 15 miles out of Shambaya we reach Taila Islands. These are 3 small islands with white-pinkish sandy beaches. The first two are connected by a sandy isthmus on low tide, while the third island is further east.It appears green with acacia trees where ospreys nest. On this island we may also find coquina clams which will be a great addition to our pasta dish prepared by the cook on board!

Meal plan
  • B.L.D. (Meals on Board)
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 12: Cruise: Gurna Reef

We will spend the morning in the Taila islands. After lunch we will reach Gurna Reef, a wonderful reef that reaches the surface of the water reach in corals and fish. Enjoy some snorkeling in the area.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D. (Meals on Board)
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 13: Cruise: Sha’ab Rumi – Sanganeb Lighthouse

The reef here is considered one of the best in the world. A lagoon behind the reef contains the remnants of Jaques Cousteau’s Conshelf 2, where the famous oceanographer created an environment in which men could live and work on the bottom of the sea. Possibility of snorkeling. We then reach the beautiful Sanganeb lighthouse. From its top we can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Sanganeb reef has been declared World Unesco site in July 2016.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D. (Meals on Board)
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 14: Cruise: Umbria shipwreck – Port Sudan - Suakin

On the way to Port Sudan we will stop to the Wingate Reef where the Italian ship “Umbria” sank here in 1940 and lies on its side at a maximum depth of 36m. The shallowest point can be explored by the snorkelers. In the afternoon we arrive in Port Sudan and with a minibus we drive to the ancient port of Suakin. In its glorious past it was known as “the Red Sea Pearl”, now is a ghost town recently being restored. The modern port of Suakin is now used for the Pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. In the late afternoon return to Port Sudan and our boat.

Meal plan
  • B.L.D. (Meals on Board)
Accommodation
M/Y Elegante
Day 15: Port Sudan – Khartoum - departure

Today we say good bye to the boat and the crew. We visit Port Sudan which is the second largest city in the country and the most important port where all the goods arriving via sea are transiting. The ancient name of the city was Theon Soteiron during the Ptolemaic times. In 1906 Lord Cromer ordered the construction of a modern port to replace the old Suakin and so Port Sudan was born. The city has still some colonial buildings and a busy souk. In the afternoon we fly to Khartoum with a local airline (Nova Air or similar – please be aware that all the domestic flying companies are black listed). According to arrival time in Khartoum we might also enjoy the traditional ceremony of the Dervishes which takes place only on Fridays. Late in the evening transfer to the airport.

Meal plan
  • Breakfast on board
  • Lunch in a local restaurant in Port Sudan
Departure date
Status
Language
22/03/2019
italiano / english
confirmed
open
closed