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Travel Advice Sudan

I traveled northern Sudan in December/January 2017 for two weeks with my 18 year-old niece. We used only public transport, except when visiting the archeological sights of Naqa and Mussawarrat. Going there you need a private vehicle, most likely a four-wheel drive which we shared with another traveler. We went as far north as Karima and stayed overnight in Khartoum, Shendi, at the Pyramids of Meroe and Karima. There are detailed blog entries on each of these places. To sum it up – one of my best trips ever.

Kelly and I enjoying the Pyramids of Meroe at sunset, just the two of us

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Shendi – could-be gateway to the pyramids of Meroe

Small town Shendi seemed the perfect place for exploring the Pyramids of Meroe and the archeological site of Naqa and Mussawarrat. That was the plan, it did not materialize, but staying in Shendi was a unique experience and it turned into one of those unplanned adventures that will always be remembered. Set right on the Nile, it was almost heartbreaking to watch the enormous potential of Shendi not being used at a gateway to the Pyramids of Meroe and  Naqa and Mussawarrat nearby. Day trips  from Khartoum to these places are US 260, only to visit the sights at the height of the heat. 

Shendi – view of the River Nile from our room at El Kawther Hotel

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Ancient Karima – Tombs, Temples and a Petrified Forest

Karima is plastered with ancient sites, ancient in one case means millions of years. The Petrified Forest outside the village of El Kurru is that old. A lot younger are the pyramids and tombs from the Kushite Period and the remains of Palace of Amun at the foot Jebel Barkal.

View from Jebel Mountain

On our way to the village of El Kurru our taxi driver pulled up to a few men chatting next to the road. Eventually one of them climbed into our taxi, leaving Kelly and me confused. Having experienced many such moments when traveling I stayed calm and as it turned out the taxi driver had stopped to ask Mohnad, a local who spoke some English, whether he would serve as a guide for the two lady tourists. Eagerly Mohnad joined us on this little excursion and we learned so much we would have missed otherwise. Continue Reading →

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Khartoum off off off the beaten track

Khartoum’s trendiest café, the SOS Children’s Village and urban farms on Tuti Island, we saw it all. Not enough oddities? What about the Greek Athletic Club, the Jewish Cemetery or sailing the Blue Nile under a star lit sky?

Sailing the Blue Nile under in a starry starry night

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Ancient Karima – Tombs, Temples and a Petrified Forest

Ancient in this case means millions of years. The Petrified Forest outside the village of El Kurru is that old. A lot younger are the pyramids and tombs from the Kushite Period and the remains of Palace of Amun at the foot Jebel Barkal.

The pyramids at the foot of Jebel Barkal

On our way to the village of El Kurru our taxi driver pulled up to a few men chatting next to the road. Eventually one of them climbed into our taxi, leaving Kelly and me confused. Having experienced many such moments when traveling I stayed calm and as it turned out the taxi driver had stopped to ask Mohnad, a local who spoke some English, whether he would serve as a guide for the two lady tourists. Eagerly Mohnad joined us on this little excursion and we learned so much we would have missed otherwise. Continue Reading →

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Karima – an oasis we fell in love with

Going from Atbara  to Karima you need to cross the Bayuda Desert. For many hours we stared at the pancake-flat landscape flying by, once in a while low bushes, sometimes we could see mountains in the background. All of a sudden we spotted patches of green that soon turned in large palm groves. We were approaching Karima.

Karima, an oasis

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Glimpses of Travelling Overland

The minute we woke up in out desert tent next to the Pyramids of Meroe our heads were full of questions. How would we get away from here,  in the middle of the desert? Beside we had very little local currency left. Stepping outside of our tent, the morning sun touched the pyramids in the distance and we knew all will be well.

Pyramids of Meroe in the early morning light, view from our tent

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