Sudan: Nuba Mountains & Black Pharaohs

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Trip Duration Days - 16 Days

Sudan: Nuba Mountains & Black Pharaohs

Price Starts from € 4500

Sudan is one of Africa’s biggest countries and a great tourist destination. In this trip we combine the natural beauty of the Wild and unexplored South to meet several ethnic minorities among who the mythic Nuba outstand with the North’s unique archaeological site of Meroe. We will listen to the stories of black mountain kings and black pharaohs thanks to expert guides that will transport us in time.
Dates: 3 – 18 November 2020
Duration: 16 days / 15 nights
Exclusive Group 9 Participants.
Individual supplement: € 380
Arrive in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel.
Accommodation: Holiday Villa Hotel. FB
Flight Khartoum/El Obeid Badr Airlines 13:00/14:00
Breakfast. Visit Ethnographic Museum (if we manage to get the keys). After the visit, transfer to national airport for domestic flight to El Obeid, capital of Northen Kordofan. Fourth city in Sudan founded by the Otomans early 19th century to control camel commercial caravans, El Obeid is today an important commercial hub. Visit nomadic groups near the city such as the Shanabia Arabs and Fellata, cattle herders. After the ethnographic encounters, return to El Obeid for the night.  Accommodation: Sun Wei Hotel. FB

Breakfast. Drive to Nuba Mountains (safe area open to foreigners). Reach a Nuba village and meet the local chief. Several porters and a local guide will accompany us up the mountain (3h walk) to meet traditional Nuba people. Pic nic under the shadow of the tree and after some rest reach the Nuba village. Meet the local population to whom we will offer salt and food (they also appreciate glass beads and metal gadgets that they use for hair and body decorations). Installation of our camp and Nuba dances during dinner time.
Accommodation: tents. FB
Breakfast. Whole day with Nuba tribe. Learn about their culture of resistance up in the mountains. Visit adobe houses and enjoy daily activities with the Nuba. We will ask if they can show us how they decorate their bodies for ceremonial occasions and we will try to attend a wrestling match. Second night in the Nuba village. Accommodation: tents. FB

Breakfast. Last chats and pictures with our Nuba hosts. Farewell from beautiful Nuba Mountains and return to El Obeid. Visit regional museum and tour around old town. Accommodation: Sun Wei Hotel. FB

Flight El Obeid/Khartoum Badr Airlines 15:00/16:00 
Breakfast and transfer to airport for a domestic flight to Khartoum. Arrival and transfer to hotel. Depending on arrival time we can organize a visit in Khartoum. Accommodation: Holiday Villa Hotel. FB
Breakfast. On Friday’s Khartoum acquires a particular relaxed atmosphere. It is prayers’ day and there is less traffic in the city center. Taking advantage of this situation we will first introduce Sudan’s history by visiting the National Museum. Prehistory, human migrations, Kerma, Meroe, Christianity, Islam, Colonization, Independence and today… A shorter visit to Ethnographic Museum (quite poor but with a couple of top pieces) will help in this historical exposition. Lunch near the Nile and afternoon approach to Ondurman, its crowded Zouk and the Mahdi’s iconic mausoleum. Possibility of watching local Dervishes dance.
Accommodation: Holiday Villa Hotel. FB
Day 8: KHARTOUM – KARIMA (445km/5:30h)
Breakfast. The second part of the trip starts today with a drive along the Nile up to Karima. Visit the archaeological sites and sleep in Karima. Accommodation: Nubia House Rest House.
Breakfast. Whole day to visit Karima archaeological sites. We will start with decorated tombs of El Kurru. Lunch in a Nubian traditional house. Learn about Nubian culture. Afternoon visit to Jebel Barkal, sacred mountain of Meroitic culture with remnants of different periods and with stunning views of the Nile from its top.  Accommodation: Nubia House Rest House.

Day 10: KARIMA- OLD DONGOLA - MEROE Meroe (386km/4:30h)
Breakfast. Morning visit to Christian abandoned city of Old Dongola, with interesting tombs and the remnants of a church and palace. After the visit, drive to Sudan’s most iconic archaeological site; Meroe. Transfer to the desert lodge.
Accommodation: MeroeTented Camp. FB
Day 11: MEROE
Breakfast. Visit Western necropolis, Royal City, and quarry. Lunch and afternoon visit to the Northern and Southern necropolis. Dinner
Accommodation: Meroe Tented Camp. FB

Day 12: MEROE –NAGA - KHARTOUM (250km/3:50h)
Breakfast and farewell from Meroe. Stop in Naga to visit Musawwarat Es Sufra site, and its magnificent temple. Continue to Khartoum. Farewell dinner in traditional Sudanese restaurant. Accommodation: Holiday Villa Hotel. FB

Days 13, 14, 15
Ideal finale after this great adventure. Relax at the shores of Red Sea; enjoy best diving in transparent waters and discover white coral island city of Suaking. Red Sea Resort (eco-lodge)

Transfer to airport. Flight back home. BB

Services included in the price:

-all transfers
-travel and photography permits
-transport (4x4) + fuel. 1 client in front and 2 behind.
-internal flights
-Anthropologist guide, specialized in tribes (all throughout the trip) and archaeologist guide for the North.
-accommodation in hotels and tents (fully equipped).
-food as specified in the program (professional cook will come throughout the trip)
-daily excursions and visits
-gifts for the tribal chiefs: local tobacco and salt
-international flight
Services not included in the price:
-drinks apart from bottled water.
-tourist visa (visa upon arrival can be arranged by us)
-travel insurance and cancellation policy

Sudan Visa
A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to Sudan. Applications for visas can be made in advance in the travelers’ home country or in the nearest Sudan Embassy. There is also the possibility of obtaining the Visa upon arrival.  Last Places assists all travelers that need any type of help applying for the visa upon arrival or at the embassy. We recommend that passports be valid for six months from date of arrival.

Vaccines and Travel Health in Sudan
A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is essential for entry to Sudan. Malaria is prevalent in the country. It is wise to take Malaria prophylaxis when travelling through Sudan. Water supply is unsafe to drink, visitors should drink bottle water. Visitors should also avoid eating unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables.

Security in Sudan
Last Places has been operating in Sudan since 2012, after the Civil War that mainly affected what is today South Sudan. There is an ongoing conflict in some areas of Blue Nile Province, South Kordofan, and Darfur. Special permits are needed to visit these provinces (the areas where there is no active conflict). We have been visiting certain regions of these more remote provinces and no problem. The key is knowing well the country and having contacts all around which is the case with Last Places.

When to go to Sudan
Travelers can visit Sudan all year around. Last Places offers trips to Sudan all year around. Said this, dry season –from mid-November to mid-April - allows the traveller visit all tribal areas while whet season – from June to October- may limit the visit to certain remote regions such as Dinder National Park, Blue Nile Province, or Nuba Mountains.

Currency in Sudan                                                                                       
The currency of Sudan is the Sudanese pound and it is divided into 100 piasters (coins). This is not to be confused with the Sudanese Dinar which was phased out in 2007 - do not accept any cash with "dinar" on it.

Bring only foreign CASH into Sudan, preferably US Dollars (often accepted in hotels). Euros are also fairly easy to exchange at banks in big cities. Traveller's cheques and non-Sudanese bank cards are not accepted in Sudan, as neither Visa/Mastercard nor any foreign bank have any presence in Sudan, despite the lifting of the US trading embargo.

Time in Sudan
GMT +1

Electricity in Sudan
In Sudan the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in Sudan, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 - 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia).

Communications in Sudan
The international dialing code for Sudan is +249. There are many more mobile telephones than fixed lines and the mobile coverage around Juba and other main centers is much more reliable than fixed lines. Internet access is available at most major hotels in Khartoum and high-end hotels of Meroe.

Language in Sudan
The official languages of Sudan are Arabic and English.

Prohibitions in Sudan
Sudan has very strict rules about taking pictures. First and foremost, you need a permit to take pictures (Last Places takes care of this permits before the client arrives in Sudan) which will tell you where you can and cannot take pictures. Photographing or filming military personnel or installations is a quick way to get into trouble. People have been arrested for taking pictures at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles in Khartoum.

Sudan is an Islamic Republic where Sharia Law is applied in all of its territory. It is recommend for both women and men to wear long trousers. For women it is recommended to wear long sleeved shirts and cover their hair when entering a mosque or official building. As a country with Sharia Law, Sudan is completely alcohol-free. The occasional sight of locals drunk on illicit palm wine can cause much disturbance, and punishments for possessing alcohol can include fines and corporal punishment.