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Sudan – Travelling on Public Transport

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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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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Naqa and Mussawarrat – reminders of the Kushite Kingdom

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.

Khartoum outskirts, shopping for breakfast

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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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Sailing the Blue Nile into the New Year

The owner of Hotel Acropole got us tickets to the New Year’s Eve Party at the Germany Embassy for US60. It will always be remembered as the best New Year’s Party ever.  The “Who is Who” of Khartoum was present, diplomats, businesspeople from all corners of the world as well as lots of Sudanese.

New Year’s Party in the garden of the German Embassy in Khartoum

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Omdurman – Dancing Dervishes, the Mahdi’s Tomb and a large Souk

 Omdurman, in north-western Khartoum,is where we found most of the city’s sights: the Mahdi’s Tomb, the Khalida’s House, Sudan’s largest Souk and the ultimate highlight of any visit to Khartoum, the Dancing Dervishes. Every Friday they gather at the Tomb of Skeikh Hamed al Nil set in the middle of a Sufi cemetery.

Crowd gathering at the Shrine of Sheikh Hamed al Nil for serious dancing, chanting, drumming

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Khartoum – Blue Nile meets White Nile

Khartoum – the very name makes most people’s phantasies go wild, since so little is known about the capital of Sudan. Well, there is actually a lot to explore if you take your time and we certainly did. The confluence of the Blue and White Nile is probably the most famous sight in Khartoum. Unfortunately, most visitors simply drive across the bridge and look down, since the closest place to the watch the two rivers merge is officially closed, Mogran Family Park. There used to be a fairy-wheel that provided a superb view, but it has been dismantled years ago, like all the other rides. That would not keep Kelly and me from going there anyway, what we discovered was the most bizarre place.

Confluence of the Nile

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