A travel photography trip that includes all the main sites of Sudan in 12 days, focusing the visits on photography! We will reach the places with more interests from a photographic point of view and the order of the visits are scheduled to catch the best lights possible for our subjects!
2 O/N + day-use at Acropole Hotel (3***) or similar in Khartoum in BB (possible upgrade at 4 or 5***** hotel in Khartoum upon request)
2 O/N in a special preset camp in Sudan in Tombos with shared facilities in FB
4 O/N at the Nubian Rest House in Karima in FB
2 O/N at the Meroe Camp in FB
In Sudan transport with Toyota Land Cruisers (4 pax per car) or Toyota Hilux double cabin (3 pax per car guaranteed)
TL English speaking
mineral water outside Khartoum
meals as per itinerary
day 1 / Khartoum - arrival
Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel. Dinner NOT included and overnight stay.
NO meals included
Khartoum - hotel of your choice
Day 2 / Khartoum- Nuri Necropolis- Karima- Nuri Necropolis
Pick up from your accommodation in Khartoum and then departure northward. After about six hours drive across the Western Desert we cathc sight of Jebel Barkal, (“Jebel” means mountain in Arabic) an imposant landmark in the desert. We then reach the necropolis of Nuri. Little walk among these ancient ruins where the pyramid of Pharaoh Taharqa dominates among the others. After the visit we reach the small town of Karima, located just at the foot of the Jebel Barkal.
Sunset in Nuri
Photo opportunity in Nuri Pyramids with the best light.
Normally here there is the local guardian who is very keen on having his photos taken.
Day 3 / Karima- Jebel Barkal- Necropolis of El Kurru- Jebel Barkal
Landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal (“Jebel” means mountain in Arabic) can be seen from a far away whilst still in the open desert. Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list. In the afternoon we move southwards to the village of El Kurru where there is one of the necropolises of the ancient capital, Napata. Here we can visit one tomb, which is excavated in the rock under pyramids – partially collapsed – and it is 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.
Sunset in Jebel Barkal.
Normally here there are some locals watching sunset too, kids playing on the sand dune etc.
It is possible to take photos to people and the surrounding desert/pyramids with the nice westerly light.
Today it is a long day on the road but full of interesting encounters and visits. Early in the morning we drive following the Nile until we reach the archaeological site of Old Dongola. Here there are the rest of a Christian Coptic temple with marble columns as well as several suggestive ruins of churches situated on the banks of the Nile. This area is the central part of the Nubian region. The women don’t cover their faces and readily speak to foreigners. Some houses in the Nubian Villages are painted with pattern of flowers, but most of them are completely white. You have the opportunity to photograph the Nilotic oases, People on their donkeys carrying crops, people at work in the agricultural fields, meet new friends in local houses where most of the people are happy to have some photos taken. Generally people in rural area where traditional clothes: Tobs for ladies and Jallabia for men. We then reach the village of Tombos.
Day 5 / Tombos- Wadi Sebu- Third cateract- Soleb Temple
Today we drive to Wadi Sebu, right on the river bank of the Nile where it is possible to visit one of the richest sites of rock engraving of all Sudan with hundreds of images from prehistoric to Egyptian times. A short drive amongst villages where we may meet some people that normally wave at the cars and we can stop to say hi and take some photos, We then visit the Third Cataract which used to be the third huge obstacle that the ancients Egyptians had to face when trying to sail on the Nile River. We walk up the hill to the ancient Ottoman Fort where we can have beautiful views of the cataract. Great view and photos from the top.
Late in the morning we drive north to the small town of Wawa where we get on a fisherman’s boat to reach the Temple of Soleb. This is the best preserved Egyptian Temple in Sudanese territory built by the great Amenhotep III (the grandfather of Tutankhamen). The Temple is very near the Nile and agricultural fields, where we may see people at work. The boat ride on the Nile gives us a different prospective of the Nile itself. Both the villages of Soleb and Wawa are very small and few people are around. In the late afternoon we return to Tombos and the spectacular desert area where the camp is located.
This morning we visit the ancient querries of Tombos, they are located right in the middle of houses and we may meet some local people. We drive across village where some houses have very nice entrance doors and we can stop to take photographs. We can stop also for a walk in small local markets (we cannot guarantee it is market day but it will be nice anyway, especially when the local people always say “welcome”. We then visit Kerma and the majestic “Defuffa” the monument that characterizes Kerma civilization. Very interesting is the museum created by the Swiss archaeological mission after the recovery of seven statues of the Black Pharaohs in 2003. We stop for a coffee to the small village of Selim. In the afternoon we reach Karima.
After an early breakfast we start our journey crossing the Nile and we then enter the Bayuda Desert, an area bounded by the loop formed by the Nile between the 4th and the 6th Cataract and characterized 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. Just in the center of the Bayuda Desert we reach Atrun Crater, where nomads gather salt from the edge of a green colored pool. They will then sell it to markets of the towns outside the desert. This is a magical timeless place. After the visit (which will be in the late morning and after a picnic lunch in the desert, e return to Karima.
Alernatively, you can spend the night in Bayuda Desert, sleeping in simple wild camp, instead of return to Karima (only for groups with a minimum of 2 cars)
Today we return to the the Bayuda Desert. but we will follow the tarmac road. After about 2 hrs drive we stop and visit a nomadic family which are our very good friends so they happely pose for photos, here there are 4 generations of women all of them so nice and always happy to see us. After the visit to the Hassania family we drive a short distance and then leave the main road and have some desert crosing stopping at a well where nomads gather water for their herds of camels and goats (incredible photo opportunity). 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- Royal city- Meroe Camp
Morning dedicated to the visit of the Meroe pyramids. Best photo time is to see the sunrise and the pyramids lighting up. 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. Among the pyramids there are often camels with their owner, they are offering rides to the few tourists and they are always happy to have many photos taken (especially if you pay for the ride) 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. This small rural town is a step back in time, we may see the barber shop, the tailor, the simple selling stalls. We stop at a local cafeteria to enjoyw a mint tea or a ginger coffee and most of the villagers will stop to check us out. In the afternoon we move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal city (please note that the Royal Baths will be closed for restoration until 2021). 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 late afternoon we arrive in Omdurman where we see the Dervish ceremony(only on Fridays) in Ahmed al Nil cemetary. After sunset we reach Khartoum. Drop off at your hotel.
After breakfast we drive to the outskirt of Omdurman to visit the Camel market. We cannot guarantee how many camels there will be, normally hundreds! There can be also cows, bulls, goats and sheep. We return to Khartoum and we take a boat on the Nile River to see the confluence of the 2 Niles – lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we drive to Khartoum north to see the Nuba Wrestling. This is a traditional sport practiced by the Nuba people (originally from the Kordofan state). This type of greek – Roman wrestling was originally done in the agricoltural fields to celebrate the harvest. Due to the 25 years war, large number fo people fleed their home land and settled in Khartoum where they still maintain the traditional sport and pass it down to the new generation. Nowadays there is a wrestling championship and more and more people are following their champions. This is a great photo opportunity especially because we can sit in the small step right on the ring edge! the game ends at sunset, then we return to the hotel.
Dinner NOT included
Khartoum - hotel of your choice
Day 12 / Departure
Transfer to the airport and boarding your international flight
The Acropole Hotel is the oldest existing hotel in Khartoum, founded in 1952. It is family run, cosy and characterized by a very friendly and warm hospitality. It is centrally located near shops, banks and important business firms.
An elegant architectural masterpiece of steel and glass set in the heart of Khartoum’s commercial district, the Burj Al-Fateh Hotel redefines the luxury hotel category with state-of-the-art technology, five-star accommodation and unrivalled service. Situated at the meeting point of the Blue and White Nile and set among exquisite landscaped gardens, the Corinthia Khartoum will be your gateway to Central Africa.
Formerly known as the Grand Hotel, it was constructed in the late 1800s and housed the office of the famous British Explorer: Thomas Cook. This elegant hotel which overlooks the famous Blue Nile River also hosted royal visitors and famous dignitaries including Queen Victoria and Sir Winston Churchill. The hotel is centrally located in the heart of Khartoum’s commercial hub.
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