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Sudan - Upper Nubia, The Edge of Empire

Meroe and camels, Sudan

Tour Factbox

12 days
30 Dec 2014 – 10 Jan 2015
Price pp
£3,500 excl. flight
Single supp.
Flight time
11 hours
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  • The pyramids of Meroe in a beautiful desert location
  • The remote setting of the Coptic church at Dongola
  • The friendliest, most hospitable people

Sudan’s Nile Valley, Upper Nubia, abounds with impressive remains of the Egyptian and Kushite empires. A crossroads between Africa and the Mediterranean world for millennia, explore Nubia’s unique fusion of local and Egyptian art and religion. From the UNESCO sites of Gebel Barkal and Meroe through the great temples at Soleb, to Kerma, capital of the first Kushite kingdom.

Day 1  London/ Khartoum – Overnight flight to Khartoum.

Day 2  Khartoum - Morning arrival and afternoon visit to the fine collections of the Sudan National Museum.

Day 3  Khartoum - Continue your city tour of Khartoum including the historic Omburman for the Khalifa House, tomb of the Mahdi, the historic gunboat The Melik and Omdurman Souq.

Day 4  Musawwarat, Naqa, Meroe – Drive to the Meroitic site at Musawwarat es Sufra and on to Meroe via the well-preserved Lion Temple at Naqa.

Day 5  Meroe – Full day exploring the impressive ruined royal city of Meroe, a UNESCO site.

Day 6  Atbara, Bayuda Desert, Karima - Continue north to the royal necropolis of Meroe, the ancient Kushite capital. Reach Atbara with the chance to visit the site of the 1889 Good Friday battle between Kitchener’s forces and the Mahdi. Cross the Nile and enter the Bayuda Desert. Overnight in Karima. 

Day 7  Nuri, El Kurru – Explore the pyramids and temples of UNESCO Jebel Barkal. Visit the Kushite royal cemetery at El Kurru and the pyramids and royal
cemeteries at Nuri.

Day 8  Kerma, Tombos - Head east through the Nubian Desert for Selim village and the majestic ‘deffufa’ mudbrick structure at Kerma, seat of the first
independent kingdom of Kush. Overnight in Tombos.

Day 9  Sai Island, Soleb, Tombos – Drive north to the small village of Abri and take a ferry across the Nile to the Island of Sai to visit it’s Ottoman fort, medieval church and Kushite cemetery. On to the temple of Soleb built by Amenhotep III, the best preserved of Sudan’s Egyptian temples.

Day 10  Old Dongola, Tombos – Visit the archaeological ruins at Old Dongola, where there is a Christian Coptic temple on the Nile. A leisurely picnic will be taken in a Nubian home and you will get the chance to visit some private houses. On to Tombos for the granite quarries and Sebu rock engravings by the Nile.

Day 11  Karima, Khartoum – Journey south through the western desert via Wadi Muqaddam back to Khartoum.

Day 12  Khartoum/ London – Return flight to London.

Dr Robert Morkot

Dr Robert Morkot

Dr Robert Morkot is a senior lecturer in archaeology in the University of Exeter. He is a leading authority on the relationship between Pharaonic Egypt and Nubia (Kush), and on the 25th Dynasty.

He has written several books and many articles including The Black Pharaohs: Egypt’s Nubian rulers, was former Chairman of ASTENE (Association for the Study of Travel in Egypt and the Near East) and is current chairman of The Society for Libyan Studies.

“A magnificent opportunity to see archaeological sites in Nubia. Good camping, good company and good entertainment”.
E. Herbert, November - 2012

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