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.
Naqa and Mussawarrat are the two archaeological sights closest to Khartoum, but they only ones that require your own vehicle, ideally a four-wheel drive. We were so lucky, Dominique an widely travelled English guy we befriended in our hotel in Khartoum just took us along. Early in the morning we headed north towards Atbara, stopping in the outskirts of Khartoum to buy fresh bread, sip tea and watch the city come to life.