16 days cultural Nubia tour
from Khartoum to Aswan
DAY TO DAY PROGRAM
Day 1: Arrival in Khartoum. Transfer from the airport to a 3* hotel (l/o) in town. Later we visit the whirling dervishes in the city. This Sufi group meets every Friday one hour before sunrise together for a dazzling and exciting collective dance. Impressive to experience!
Day 2: Discovering Khartoum, we will visit the Mogran Park to see the spectacular scene of the two Niles confluence, the White Nile and the Blue Nile, merging together and bringing out the mysterious Nile heading northward to Egypt. Next we will see the Sudan National Museum for an introduction into the Nubian cultural heritage. On the way to the market of Omdurman, the largest in the country, we will see the Tomb of Mehdi and Khalifa's House, both memories of more recent Sudanese history.
Day 3: We start with a short visit of the small, but interesting Ethnographic Museum, which gives a good impression of the diversity of population groups and their traditions in this huge country. Afterwards we drive in northern direction and see the 6th Nile cataract and proceed to the Meroïtic temples of Naqa: the temple of Amun, the Lion temple and the Kiosk. We take our time to see the unique sites and stay the night in tent camps in Naqa.
Day 4: We drive to the 5000 m² large temple complex of Musawwarat Es Sufra. There we will find the ruins of the capital from the kingdom of Kush: the remains of the royal palace, the relics of temples, palaces, offices that the metropolis once housed, and we will see a Roman bath in a good condition. Scattered all over this area are filings and pieces of glazed black iron and iron ore. Ancient Meroe is reputed to have been the earliest centre in Africa where iron ore had been mined and refined. Here we will see as well many Nubian pyramids, built on a hill and surrounded by sand dunes. We camp in tents near by the pyramids.
Day 5: In the morning we revisit the pyramids. Then we drive towards Atbara city and cross the Nile, We resume driving across the Bayoda desert on a paved road, reach the Marwa valley, drive across Gazali valley to visit the remains of the monastery there, and drive to Karima afterwards, where we will also find unique remains of the Nubian kingdoms. We will stay 2 nights in a Nubian house in Karima near Gebel Barkal.
Day 6: Around Karima the centre of power Napata was located in the ancient times. We will find unique remains of the Nubian empire: "Gebel Barkal", the holy mountain on which men thought the god Amun lived. Below the Amun temple was built in the 15e century B.C. When in the 25th dynasty the Nubians ruled the Egyptian empire, this temple extended to the largest Kushit building. It is also called "Karnak of the south". We will also visit the huge grave yards El-Kurru and Nuri: about 180 pyramids, all built about 800 years after the last Egyptian pyramids were built. In El-Kurru, 13 km south from Gebel Barkal the tombs of 4 Nubian kings and 14 queens are located. Nuri provides larger pyramids of 52 queens and princesses and 21 kings. One of them is the Nubian emporer Taharqa.
Day 7: We continue our route alongside the Nile and reach after 150 km Old Dongola. This used to be an important town in Medieval Nubia, and from the 4th until the 14th century the capital of the kingdom Makuria. Around the 6th century this region became Christian. Remains of churches, monasteries and a cathedral can be found here. After visiting those sites we drive across the Nubian desert to Kawa on a paved and a desert track. Kawa is one of the very beautiful and romantic places to camp in, sand dunes cover the whole area with heights reach 15 meters average.
Day 8: We visit Kawa site in the morning. Kawa was an important religious and urban centre in the Kushite kingdom, while one temple was built by the Egyptian king Tutankhamun. We resume driving to Kerma afterwards. Kerma, nowadays a small town, has been the first independent kingdom of Kush around 2400 B.C. We will visit the interesting sites and excavation, and the "Kerma civilization complex", a small museum giving an clear impression of the Nubian history.
Day 9: We move on to Tombus and Messida, where we visit the ruins of the church and see the rock drawings. We drive through the Nubian villages and visit the rock drawings in Sebu village on the mountains, Nubian rock drawings dated to the old kingdom starting from 3100 B.C. Onward to the 3rd cataract; one of the most spectacular sights in Nubia. We cross the Nile by motor boats to Sesibi, where we will visit the relics of Akhenaton city (Amenhotep IV; 1351-1334 B.C.) and his temple dedicated to the god Aton, with a beautiful view from the temple location down to the Nile and farms. We proceed to Wawa to the local Nubian house where we stay 2 nights. We visit the Soleb temple at sun set, which was built by Amenhotep III in the 14th century B.C.
Day 10: In the morning we cross the Nile again by motorboat from Wawa to Soleb. We visit the Amon temple, and go by local cars to visit Jebel Dosha and Sedenga, built by the pharaoh for his wife Tiye. We have time to visit Soleb and meet the traditional Nubian life in Soleb farms. Around sun set we cross back to Wawa.
Day 11: Our last travel day over land ends in Wadi Halfa at Lake Nasser. On the way to Wadi Halfa we visit Sai Island: an extensive mud–brick town is surrounded by a thick wall, built as an Egyptian fortification. In the 16th century the Ottomans erected a fort over the southern part of the town, reusing earlier stones, remains of a temple north of the fort. South of the fort we visit the Egyptian style graves with deep shafts dug through the sand stone leading to underground chambers, and visit the cathedral of Sai island. Back on the east bank we visit the Abri market, lunch in a local restaurant, and drive to Dal cataract, where the cataract rock groups are partially flooded by the Lake Nubia water, some rock still can be seen, but the view is exciting and worth to be there. Back to the paved road we resume driving to Wadi Halfa, where we stay the night in a hotel.
Day 12: In the morning we have time to discover the small port town. In the afternoon we leave Sudan and sail by ferry to the South Egyptian town Aswan, in about 18 hours. We sleep in 1e class cabines.
Day 13: Arrival in Aswan harbour. Transfer to guesthouse Bet el Kerem, where we have lunch and stay the night.
Day 14: A quiet day to discover the area; walking, by bicycle, by camel or by boat.
Day 15: Flight to Cairo, where you might visit the pyramids of Giza. Night in a hotel in Cairo. You might as well stay one night longer in Aswan if you have a late flight home from Cairo. In that case you can fly from Aswan in the morning.
Day 16: Transfer to Cairo airport for your flight back home.