The Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs – Optional Extension to Soleb

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Multiple Dates!

Please Note: Extension to Soleb may happen prior to or after the main tour. Ask for specific date tour itinerary.

Northern Sudan is an independent country since July 2011, it has a stable political situation and it is safe to travel, particularly between Khartoum and the Egyptian border, where our operations take place. The people of Sudan are extremely friendly and welcoming.

Northern Sudan is an original, mysterious and unique destination, still unknown to the most, this is the area where the African and Arabic culture meet. Its history is very much connected to the Ancient Egyptian one, the Nile River crosses the Sahara Desert and along its valley lays very interesting archaeological sites of the Egyptian and Meroitic civilizations, most of them are World Heritage protected by Unesco.

There are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt!

After the separation from the South in 2011, Northern Sudan is still a very large and diverse country. The astonishing landscape of the three deserts, associated to the beauty of the Nile Cataracts, the hidden Nubian villages and the welcoming people make of this place an innovative, unexpected destination.

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Multiple Dates To Choose From! See Dates Below.

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Book by Aug 31 2021 early booking rates 2021 rates for 2022.2023. Rates increase by 100EUR for 2022/2023 season New Base rate will be 2895EUR

Low Season reduction of 100 EUR High Season 150EUR increase

Tour rate based on Shoulder Season - 2795EUR based on twin share 3* hotel in Khartoum - Single Supplement 595EUR/ 2895EUR 4* hotel in Khartoum - single supplement 675EUR and 2995EUR 5* hotel in Khartoum - single supplement 850EUR

Extension to Soleb cost based from 2- 16 people 890EUR single 980 EUR

* BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: Due to the recent events related to the pandemic, payment is refundable if there are travel restrictions related to health or safety.

Accommodation

 

  • Acropole Hotel
  • Grand Holiday Villa Hotel
  • Corinthia Hotel
  • I.T.C. – Meroe Camp
  • I.T.C. – Karima Nubian Rest House
Regions To Discover →

Khartoum

Khartoum capital area includes 3 major areas: Khartoum, where most of the hotels, the airport and all the city offices are; Omdurman, the old capital, where there is the largest market of the country; Khartoum North, the industrial area. Khartoum is a very safe city. The traffic can be chaotic.

 

River Nile State

In the River Nile State there are many archaeological sites mainly dated back to the Meroitic Kingdom. Pyramids, temples, nice desert areas and Nile cataracts are the main features of this area.

 

Napata

Napata is the ancient name of the actual Karima. Napata was the capital of the Kingdom of Egypt during the XXV Dynasty, the dynasty of the Black Pharaohs.

Around 780 b.C. King Alara unified upper Nubia. The worship of the God Amon was resurrected, centred in Napata at Jebel Barkal, provoking a renaissance of Egyptian culture in Kush.
The main centre of the Kushite Kingdom was in Napata and the big Temple of Amon at the base of the holy mountains Jebel Barkal was the centre of the worshipping of the god.

The Napatean archaeological sites are listed as World Heritage by UNESCO.

 

Kerma

Kerma was the capital of the first Kingdom of Kush. In this region, the first Sudanese Kingdom “Kush” started off, it was contemporary and independent from the Great Egyptian civilization. During the New Kingdom of Egypt this area became part of the Egyptian Empire, excavations are still going on to find more relevant elements on the history of this region. In the area there are various archaeological sites & nice Nubian villages.

 

Soleb area

In this area we can see a number of archaeological sites related to the New Kindgom of Egypt. The temple of Soleb is the best preserved Egyptian Temple we can still find in Sudanese Nubia.

Dates →

Dates 2021/2022

Dec 9 – 18, 2021 Soleb ext Dec 18 – 21, 2021 Low Season

Dec 30, 2021 – Jan 8, 2022 Soleb pre tour Dec 27 – 30, 2021 High Season 

Jan 6 – 15, 2022 – pre tour Soleb Jan 3 – 06, 2022  Low Season

Jan 27- Feb 5, 2022 post tour Feb 5 – 8, 2022 Shoulder Season

Feb 18 – 27, 2022 pre tour Feb 15 – 18, 2022  Shoulder Season

Mar 25 – Apr 3, 2022 pre tour Mar 22 – 25, 2022  Shoulder Season

Apr 14 – 23, 2022 post tour Apr 23 – 26, 2022  Low Season

 

Dates 2022/2023

Oct 14 – 23, 2022 pre tour Oct 11 -23, 2022 Special Discount 250 EUR Discount 

Oct 28 – Nov 6, 2022 pre tour Oct 25 – 28, 2022 Shoulder Season

Dec 2 – 11, 2022 pre tour Nov 29 – Dec 2, 2022 Shoulder Season

Dec 09 – 18, 2022 pre tour Dec 6 – 9, 2022  Low Season

Dec 30, 2022 – Jan 8, 2023 pre tour Dec 27 – 30, 2022 High Season

Jan 20 – 29, 2023 pre tour Jan 17 – 20, 2023 Low Season 

Feb 17 – 26, 2023 pre tour Feb 14 – 17, 2023  Shoulder Season

Mar 10 – 19, 2023 pre tour Mar 7 – 10, 2023 Shoulder Season

31 Mar 31 – Apr 9, 2023 pre tour Mar 28 – 31, 2023 Shoulder Season

Apr 7 – 16, 2023 pre tour Apr 4 – 7, 2023 Low Season

View Detailed Itinerary - Main Tour →

Day 1 Khartoum airport- Khartoum

Private transfer airport – hotel: Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at the Acropole Hotel 3***

Alternative: Grand Holiday Villa Hotel 4**** instead of Acropole Hotel

Alternative: Corinthia Hotel 5***** instead of Acropole Hotel

Included:  transfer arrival water bedroom and breakfast

 

Day 2 Khartoum

Full day city tour and Dervish ceremony (Fridays ONLY):

In the morning we start Khartoum city tour crossing the confluence between the Blue and the White Nile near the Presidential Palace where in 1885 General Gordon was beheaded by the Mahdi’s troops and we reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, where we see the Mahdi’s Tomb and we visit the interesting Khalifa’s House which holds a small museum about the Mahdyia (at present, 2019, the museum is closed for refurbishment). We take a pleasant boat ride to see the confluence between the White and Blue Nile. We will also walk in Omdurman Market. In the afternoon we visit the National 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. At sunset time we move near the tomb of the sufi leader Ahmed al Nil to attend the involving Dervishes Ceremony (only on Fridays).

Lunch in a local restaurant in Khartoum.

Overnight at the Acropole Hotel 3***

Alternative: Grand Holiday Villa Hotel 4**** instead of Acropole Hotel

Alternative: Corinthia Hotel 5***** instead of Acropole Hotel

Included:  excursion water lunch bedroom and breakfast

 

Day 3 Khartoum- Naga- Mussawarat Es Sufra- Meroe

Pick up from your hotel in Khartoum and then we begin our journey northward to visit two wonderful archaeological sites. The site of Naga is located about 30 km to the east of the Nile and 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. Late in the afternoon arrival in Meroe.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at Meroe Camp

Included:  excursion lunch dinner bedroom and breakfast water

 

Day 4 Meroe- Royal Necropolis of Meroe- Royal city- Meroe Camp

Morning dedicated to the visit of the Meroe pyramids. 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. 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. We visit the Tarabil school (if open – please note you will be visiting the building, but access to the school cannot be guaranteed, not to interfer with the lessons), that we support as part of our responsible tourism policy. Coffee break at the local village of Kabushia. In the afternoon we move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the Royal city (please note that the building of the Royal Baths is currently undergoing restoration and it will be probably closed until spring 2021). Sunset at the Pyramids.

Lunch at the Meroe Camp

Dinner and overnight at Meroe Camp

Included:  excursion lunch dinner bedroom and breakfast water

 

Day 5 Meroe- Karima

After an early breakfast we leave from Meroe and we cross the Nile by 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. They alternate with level pebble stretches and large valleys with dry wadis going through where there is little vegetation. It is very likely to meet isolated groups of Bisharin nomads, who live in familiar groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to the rare water wells in areas where surviving seems almost impossible. Time permitting, we visit on the way the Monastery of Ghazali (the visit to the Monastery can be moved on the day of the cruise on the Nile). We arrive in Merowee where we cross the Nile on the bridge to reach the village of Karima.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at the Karima Nubian Rest House

Included:  excursion lunch water dinner bedroom and breakfast

 

Day 6 Karima- Jebel Barkal- Necropolis of El Kurru

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. 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 the pier on the Nile. In the mountain wall there is a big room decorated with bas-relief. 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. The sunset will be the perfect end of the perfect day.

Lunch at the Nubian Rest House in Karima

Dinner and overnight at the Karima Nubian Rest House

Included:  excursion lunch dinner bedroom and breakfast water

 

Day 7 Karima- Old Dongola- Karima

Today it is a long day on the road but full of interesting encounters and visits. 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 with pattern of flowers, but most of them are completely white. In the evening return to Karima.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at the Karima Nubian Rest House

Included:  excursion lunch water dinner bedroom and breakfast

 

Day 8 Karima- Boat on the Nile- Nuri Necropolis

After breakfast, we visit the market in Karima, where we can have a real experience of the life of Sudanese people. We then board a small motorboat for a ride along the Nile to enjoy the beautiful sand stretches and cultivated islands along the river. A little further northward there used to be the beautiful granite rocky formations of the 4th Cataract, which prevented the Nile from flowing slowly and formed many rapids that obstructed the navigation. In April 2008 the Dam of Merowee has been completed and the flooding of the artificial lake started. In the afternoon, we visit the archaeological site of Nuri where we can see many pyramids among which there is also the one of the great Taharqa. Little walk among those ancient pyramids.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at the Karima Nubian Rest House

Included:  excursion water lunch dinner bedroom and breakfast

 

Day 9 Karima- Khartoum

Today we drive south along the tarmac road across the Western Desert. We stop for lunch in a simple “chai house” (a roadhouse where the local truck drivers stop for food and to rest) and in the afternoon we reach Omdurman and we visit the interesting souk again, if required by the group. At sunset time we move to Khartoum North to attend the traditional Nuba Wrestling (only on Wed, Fri and Sat).

Picnic lunch included

Overnight at the Acropole Hotel 3***

Alternative: Grand Holiday Villa Hotel 4****  + Day use instead of Acropole Hotel

Alternative: Corinthia Hotel 5*****  + Day use instead of Acropole Hotel

Included:  excursion lunch water bedroom and breakfast

Day use

 

Day 10 Khartoum airport

Transfer to the airport by private vehicle.

 

 

Cancellation Fees:

10% – between confirmation and 21 days before departure

50% – between 20 e 11 days before departure

100% – from 10 days before departure and  no-show

 

Pricing Includes:

  • Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to the hotel of your choice included even when arriving on different dates of the tour

  • 2 overnights and 1 day use at hotel of your choice in Khartoum

  • 2 overnights at the Meroe camp in Full Board

  • 4 overnights at the Nubian Rest House in Karima or Meroweeland Resort according to date in Full Board

  • Boat excursion on the Nile in Karima, life jackets are provided

  • transport with Toyota Land Cruisers (4 pax per car) OR Toyota Hi Lux (3 pax per car); max 1 car with 4 pax in it per group

  • Cultural Guide

  • For the extension to Soleb 2 overnights in private Nubian houses (sleeping bags are provided) or in a special Pre Set Camp according to date + 1 overnight at the Nubian Rest House in Karima or Meroweeland Resort according to availability.

  • Guide is always included.

  • Cook included starting from 4 people onwards

 

Pricing Excludes:

  • Meals and drinks in Khartoum unless specified
  • Soft drinks

  • Sudan entry Visa and visa authorization

  • Video camera permits (at the moment max 20 USD per site)

  • Towels and pillow for the extension to Soleb

  • Personal expenses

  • Tips
  • COMPULSORY archaeological fees, passport registration, travel and photo permits pp to be paid cash in Sudan 260EURO

View Detailed Itinerary - Extension To Soleb →

Day 9 Karima- Dongola- Soleb Temple- Tombos

Today we drive west through the Nubian Desert. We reach the Nile and we cross the Nile on the Dongola Bridge, we continue north to the amazing  Temple of Soleb, the most beautiful Egyptian temple of all Sudan, testimony of the New Kingdom in Nubia, with many walls rich in hieroglyphic inscriptions, bas-relief figures and many columns. We enjoy our lunch in a local Nubian house nearby. After the visit we drive off road to reach the Nile and cross it to the East coast. A short drive south will take us to Tombos. Here there were the ancient granite quarries with the remains of a statue of the King Taharqa, simply left there in the desert about 2800 years ago and some interesting Egyptian stele engraved on the rocks.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at Preset camp in Tombos

Included:  excursion lunch full board water

 

Day 10 Tombos- Wadi Sebu- Third cateract- Sai Island- Tombos

After visiting the site of Tombos (ancient querries, statue of the King and stelae in the rock) we drive north on the eastern side and we 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. In Sebu, right on the river bank of the Nile 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. We drive further north to reach the Island of Sai that we reach by a ferry boat. This is an important archaeological area where we can find ancient remains from Kerma civilization, Egyptian and Christian culture. We return on the Eastern bank of the Nile on a fisherman boat. During the navigation we may see Nile crocodiles on the shore of the river. We then return to Tombos.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at Preset camp in Tombos

Included:  excursion lunch full board water

 

Day 11 Tombos- Kerma- Karima

After visiting the ancient querries of Tombos, a short drive this morning takes us to 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. In the afternoon we reach Karima.

Picnic lunch included

Dinner and overnight at the Karima Nubian Rest House

Included:  excursion lunch dinner bedroom and breakfast water

 

Day 12 Karima- Khartoum

Journey south along the tarmac road across the Western Desert. We stop for on the way in a simple “chai house” (a roadhouse where the local truck drivers stop for food and to rest) and in the afternoon we reach Khartoum.

Picnic lunch included

Overnight at the Acropole Hotel 3***

Alternative: Grand Holiday Villa Hotel 4****  + Day use instead of Acropole Hotel

Alternative: Corinthia Hotel 5*****  + Day use instead of Acropole Hotel

Included:  excursion lunch water bedroom and breakfast

Day use

 

Day 13 Khartoum airport

Transfer to the airport by private vehicle

“(...) I am planning on coming back again with Cheryl to share with her the sights and sounds of Africa. As usual I arrived home appreciating what we have back home and have a better understanding of what we take for granted are luxuries in other countries.”

Kevin
Southern Africa Tour Oct 2017