Ancient remains, secluded Islands, sandy beaches, rugged rockies and much much more…
Part of the magic of Sudan is that you can travel to certain places and feel like you have literally been transported back to a time of ancient Nubian kingdoms, ruled by powerful pharaohs and kandakes (Sudanese queens). The remains of these ancient kingdoms can still be found in the villages of EL Kurru, and Barkal as well as other places in Northern Sudan and they form part of a large UNESCO world heritage site. The area also includes Karima, a beautiful village which boasts a number of exotic, untouched islands that sit in the middle of the River Nile.
I recently visited the wonderful villages of Karima, Barkal, El Kurru for 3 days this January, and stayed at the Meroe Tourist Village resort; which has a decent modern hotel by all accounts, a museum, a supermarket, a restaurant and interestingly the house of “Governor Jackson”.
January 1, 2015
My first adventure was to visit the islands of Karima. A tour had been arranged for us to see all the secluded islands sitting in the middle of the River Nile in this area. The views were spectacular and we finally reached our destination – one of the completely unspoilt islands – for a dinner under the sun on white sandy beaches surrounded by the freshest air imaginable and the lushest visions of nature.
January 2, 2015
The second day involved visiting all the wonderful archaeological sites and ruins in the area. Our first stop was to the enormous Jabal Barkal (Barkal Moutain), part of the UNESCO world heritage site. The statue on the mountain is estimated to have been erected between 5,000 – 7,000 BC (approximately 9,000 years old). The area around was also spotted with pyramids and more archaeological remains still being discovered.
El Kurru was a burial ground for the Nubian royal family. It is 15 km away from Barkal and is home to other centuries-old remains including a structure that was once an ancient place of worship and an Egyptian pharaoh tomb with much of the ancient Egyptian art still richly visible on the walls.
The road to El Kurru itself was a marvel with scenes that give the Grand Canyon a run for its money. Beautiful dry valleys and rugged landscapes juxtaposed with the desert sands of the nearby Jabal Barkal.
January 3, 2015
The third day included a trip to the pyramids at Nuri and the beautiful scenic drive back to Khartoum. Nuri was also a burial ground for the royal family of Kush and has pyramids that house the tombs of at least 20 kings or pharaohs of the Ancient Egyptian 25th dynasty and kings of the Kingdom of Kush.