Nubian Explorer: From Khartoum to Luxor Detailed ItineraryPrint this page


A 15 day exclusive adventure tour of The Sudan and Upper Egypt

November 15, 2018 to November 29, 2018.


Day 1 Khartoum:
Arrival at Khartoum airport. Meet and greet with the guide and transfer to the hotel. Rest of day at leisure. Welcome reception and opening talk this evening.
Overnight Acropole Hotel, Khartoum

Day 2 Khartoum town tour:
Breakfast at the hotel and late in the morning we visit the Archaeological Museum 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. Lunch included in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we will reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, where we see the Mahdi's Tomb from outside and the Khalif's House Museum in Omdurman. Then we visit the largest souk in Sudan. At sunset we have the chance to assist at the involving ceremony of the Whirling Dervishes (only on Fridays). Dinner NOT included and return to the hotel for overnight stay.
Overnight Acropole Hotel, Khartoum (B.L.)

Day 3 Khartoum - the temples of Naga and Mussawarat - Meroe:
Breakfast at the hotel and then we begin the journey northward. After about 50 km, we get into a desert area covered with huge round granite boulders; these are the last offshoots of the rocky formations of the 6th Cataract. We leave the asphalt road and we drive for about 30 km on a desert track among many camel thorn acacia trees to visit the two archaeological sites. The site of Naga it 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. We then go to Mussawarat, not far away from Naga.

This settlement 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. The large number of elephants represented on these walls makes you think that this animal used to have an important role in this area. Beyond the big wadi there is another temple - restored by a German archaeological mission - dedicated to the god Apedemak. Picnic in the area and then we return on the main road and driving North and all of a sudden, we 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.
Dinner and overnight at our Meroe camp near the pyramids. (B.L.D.)

THE MEROE CAMP
Meroe tented Camp is located in Bagarwyia, (about 230 km. north of Khartoum) overlooking the beautiful pyramids of Meroe. Accommodation consists of 22 twin-bedded tents (4x4 m), tastefully furnished. Each one has its own private bathroom hut with shower and toilet. The Camp is located 2 km from the Royal Necropolis. Each tent is equipped with a veranda with two comfortable chairs to relax in front of the astonishing view of more than forty pyramids. The tents have electricity produced by a generator working till 11:00 pm. A restaurant building is available for the guests. The Camp is managed by an Italian manager with the help of well-trained Sudanese staff. With this permanent facility, this arid region of extraordinary archaeological interest and beautiful landscapes become accessible even to those reluctant to sacrifice their comfort.

Day 4 Meroe:
The Royal necropolis of Meroe is located at 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. Lunch at the Camp. In the afternoon we move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the royal city.

The excavations confirm that the town of Meroe used to cover a large area and the royal city was located in a central position, surrounded by suburbs and a boundary wall. Most of the area where the city is located, formed by many small hills covered by red clay fragments, has still to be excavated by the archaeologists. Dinner and overnight stay at the permanent camp. (B.L.D.)

The archaeological sites of the Meroitic Empire in June 2011 have been listed in the World Heritage Unesco sites.

Day 5 Meroe Bayuda Desert Karima:
Breakfast at Meroe Camp and then visit the Royal necropolis of Meroe. We continue our journey crossing the Nile with the ponton, the local ferry boat, to enter the Bayuda desert. These ferries are a hive of colourful activities. We find ourselves sharing space with people, donkeys, camels and goats. The Bayuda Desert is an area bounded by the loop formed by the Nile 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 only little vegetation survives. We reach the Nile and we cross it on the bridge to arrive in our Nubian Rest House.
Dinner and overnight in our Nubian rest House. (B.L.D.)

THE NUBIAN REST- HOUSE IN KARIMA
Karima is a small town located on the right bank of the Nile, close to the famous archaeological site at the foot of Jebel Barkal, south of the 4th Cataract. The town is a small, dusty and calm village, where a big market takes place in the morning. The Nubian House is a charming small hotel built in the typical Nubian style just at the foot of Jebel Barkal, the holy mountain of the old Egyptian and Nubian Pharaohs. It is surrounded by a large private enclosure, with a nice garden and leisure area. Each of the 22 A-C rooms is characterized by a peculiar Nubian door and has its own private bathroom and a pleasant veranda. The decor and finishing have been carefully selected. They come mainly from Italy and provide an elegant yet rustic charm. A reception, a restaurant and a living room with decorated walls complete the wonderful setting. All the buildings are made with local bricks covered by hand-spread clay plaster as used in the Nubian area. The hotel is managed by an Italian manager with the help of well- trained Sudanese staff.

Day 6 Karima - Jebel Barkal - cruise on the Nile - Nuri:
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 thepier on the Nile. In the mountain wall there is a big room decorated with basrelief. The Jebel Barkal archaeological sites are on the World Heritage list. The Royal necropolis of the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian capital (from 800 to 400 B.C.) before the Meroitic period, had a large number of pyramids, located in three different places: few hundred metres north of Jebel Barkal; a dozen kilometres southwards from the holy mountain, in El Kurru; in Nuri, which is located on the other bank of the Nile. After lunch at the Nubian Rest House we take a pleasant cruise on the Nile of about 1.30-2h and then we reach the archaeological site of Nuri where we can see many pyramids among which there is also the one of the great Taharqa. Dinner and overnight in our Nubian rest House. (B.L.D.)

Day 7 Karima - the necropolis of El Kurru:
Full day to visit the area of El Kurru in depth 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.
Dinner and overnight in our Nubian rest House. (B.L.D.)

Day 8 Nubian Desert - Old Dongola - Nubian villages - Tombos:
Today we will follow 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. Here the population lives in small villages amongst yellow sand dunes and palm trees they speak a different language from the Arabs and also the Islamic religion is not as "strict" as in other regions. The women don't cover their faces and readily speak to foreigners. Some houses in the Nubian Villages are painted and decorated with colourful patterns and flowers. Enthusiastic hospitality abounds, people will often invite foreigners to visit their home and share a meal or a cup of spiced tea.
Picnic in the area. Then we continue north to reach Tombos which is located south of the 3rd cateract.
Dinner and overnight stay in our preset camp. (B.L.D.)

THE PRE SET CAMP
The pre-set camps are prepared prior to the group arrival. Big igloo tents (2, 40 x 2,40 x 1,80) with camp beds, foam mattresses, sheets and wool covers are set up. One small table and two folding chairs are in every tent. For the meals a big restaurant tent with table and chairs is available. Two showers and two toilets (one for men and one for women) complete the structure. The camp will be located among the beautiful rock formations in the area of Tombos.

Day 9 Tombos Kerma Soleb Tombos:
Today we visit Kerma where we visit 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 then reach the small village of Wawa where we board a small motor boat to cross the Nile and visit the temple of Soleb, the most beautiful Egyptian Temple in Sudan. Once back on the eastern bank of the Nile we return to our preset camp for our final night in the desert of Sudan.
Dinner and overnight stay in our preset camp. (B.L.D.)

Day 10 Tombos - Wadi Halfa - Ashkait:
Early in the morning we depart northward to reach the border with Egypt in Ashkait which is only 30 min away from Wadi Halfa. Our guide shall help you with the formalities to cross the border and then our vehicles will return to Khartoum.

Upon arrival to the Egyptian side we will meet our guide and driver and transfer to Abu Simble with air conditioned private bus. We will have a box lunch on the way. On arrival we will check in hotel. Dinner and overnight at Seti First hotel or similar. (B.L.D.)

Day 11 Abu Simbel - High Dam, Unfinished obelisk:
Breakfast, check out from hotel, our Egyptologist tour guide will pick up you to visit Abu Simble temple. The Abu Simbel temples are two massive rock temples in Abu Simbel. They are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230km southwest of Aswan (about 300km by road). The complex is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Nubian Monuments," which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae (near Aswan). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE, as a lasting monument to himself and his queen Nefertari, to commemorate his alleged victory at the Battle of Kadesh. However, the complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples was necessary to avoid their being submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the Nile River.

Transfer with the convoy to Aswan, start a tour of Aswan High Dam, Egypt's modern example of building on a monumental scale. Next, proceed to the granite quarries which supplied the ancient Egyptians with most of the hard stone used in pyramids and temples. The quarries still hold the Unfinished Obelisk, possibly intended as a companion to the Lateran Obelisk, originally at Karnak but now in Rome. It would have weighed over 1,100 tons and would have been the world's largest piece of stone ever handled, free evening. Dinner and overnight at Basma hotel. (B.L.)

Day 12 Aswan (St. Hydra monastery, Philae temple, felucca) / Nile cruise:
Breakfast at hotel, check out, visit the Nubian museum. After our visit we will travel by a short motor-boat ride to the Temple of Philae on the island of Agilka. The temple was dedicated to Isis, sister/wife of Osiris and patroness of the Ptolemaic rule. We will visit St. Hydra monastery,before we check in on our cruise, lunch on board.

In the afternoon sail around Elephantine Island on a felucca, the traditional Egyptian sail boats visit the Nubian village. Return back to our Nile boat.
Dinner and overnight on board M/S Amwaj Living stone Nile cruise. (B.L.D.)

Day 13 Kom Ombo - Edfu temple / Nile cruise:
Breakfast on board, Sail to Kom-Ombo, visit the Temple of Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility and creator of the world. The temple stands at a bend in the Nile where, in ancient times, sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank. Return to your cruise and sail to Edfu. Set out by horse-drawn carriage to visit the Temple of Horus, the largest and most perfectly preserved of all the Nile temples. Horus, also known as Haroeris, was the falcon-headed solar war god. Back to cruise and sail to Esna. Cross the lock of Esna,
Dinner and overnight on board M/S Amwaj Living stone Nile cruise. (B.L.D.)

Day 14 Luxor - West & East Bank Kom Ombo - Edfu temple / Nile cruise:
After breakfast on board, cross to the West Bank of the Nile and visit the wondrous Valley of the Kings, a vast city of the dead, where the magnificent tombs of 62 pharaohs have been discovered. The tombs were carved deep into the desert rock, richly decorated and filled with treasures for the afterlife of the pharaohs. Visit several of the tombs. Next, visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. This beautiful monument to the reign of the only female pharaoh rises out of the desert plain in a series of terraces and merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it. On the way back stop at the famed Colossi of Memnon, two 66ft, 1 thousand ton statues of Amenhotep III. These colossal statues were known by the ancient Greeks to emit haunting voices at dawn. Though damaged by nature and ancient tourists, the statues are still impressive, back to cruise and Lunch on board.

In afternoon visit Karnak Temple, called by some "the Temple of Temples." It is the largest place of worship ever built. Its ancient name Ipet-Isut means "the most sacred of places." The temple, or, more correctly, the complex of temples, was built over more than two thousand years by generation after generation of pharaohs. Within the complex, the great Hypostyle Hall is an incredible forest of giant pillars covering an area larger than the whole of Notre Dame Cathedral. Proceed to the graceful Temple of Luxor at night built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II for ritual and festivals and dedicated to the god Amun.
Dinner and overnight on board M/S Amwaj Living stone Nile cruise. (B.L.D.)

Day 15 Luxor - departure home:
Breakfast on board, disembarkation, transfer to Luxor airport for your Finale departure. (B)

Tour cost is EUR4995 per person based on twin share. Single surcharge 850EUR

Only EUR 4795 pp if you book before Nov 30,17.
Non-refundable deposit of EUR500 required.
Full payment due Sep 15,2018 Maximum 16 people

The tour includes: B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
- meeting at airport and private transfer to the hotel
- 3 nights at Acropole Hotel 3*** in Khartoum including breakfast
- 2 nights at the permanent Tented Camp in Meroe all meals included
- 4 nights at the Nubian Rest-House in Karima all meals included
- 3 nights pre-set camp in Tombos all meals included
- 1 night Abu Simbel Seti First Hotel
- 1 night Basma Hotel Aswan
- 3 nights Amwaj Living stone Nile cruise
- meals as per itinerary transport with Toyota Land Cruisers (4 people per car) OR Toyota Hilux (3 people per car); bus or minibus in Khartoum and Bus in Egypt.
- English speaking guide in Sudan
- Special Guest Lecturer
- Private English Egyptologist Guide.
- Special private visit in Meroe by Dr. Krysztof Grzymski:
- All sightseeing and entrance fees as listed in the itinerary

The tour does not include:
- Sudan or Egyptian entry Visa and visa authorization
- tips
- video camera permits at the archaeological sites (20 USD per site per video camera).
- all drinks
- International and Domestic flights
- travel insurance

About our esteemed guest expert, Dr, Krysztof Grzymski: Dr, Grzymski is currently senior curator of Egypt and Nubia at the Royal Ontario Museum as well as director of excavations at the site of Meroe in the Sudan. Born in Kalisz, Poland, he studied Mediterranean archaeology at the University of Warsaw and African archaeology at the University of Calgary. Since joining the ROM in 1984 his activities have encompassed three different streams: field archaeology, museum curatorship and university teaching. Krzysztof's field projects are carried out in Egypt and in Sudanese Nubia. Of special note is the rescue excavation of the Graeco-Roman town Pelusium (Tell el-Farama) in response to the appeal of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. Krzysztof co-directed the joint Canadian-Egyptian project with J. Anderson and M. Abd el-Maksoud. Carried out over two field campaigns in 1993 and 1994, the project explored the domestic and industrial remains of this important port of Greco-Roman Egypt.

Duration: 15 days

Max Group Size: 16

Accommodations: hotels, permanent tented camp, nile cruise

Price: 4995EUR per person based on twin share. Reduced rate of 4795EUR if you book by Nov 2017.