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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

Hitch-hiking in the desert

The pyramids of Meroe are in the middle of the desert, about 2km from the main road to and from Egypt and busy with busses and trucks. The staff at the camp told us ”just stand on the road, flag down a bus heading to Atbara”, the nearest town about 2 hours away.

Kelly and I waiting for a lift near the Pyramids of Meroe

Well, none of the overcrowded busses stopped, not even for two female tourists. Pretty desperate we flagged down a truck. While I pulled my self up to the cabin, I prayed that my brother would never find out that I hitched-hiked Sudan with his daughter. But all worries turned out to be needless; the friendly driver dropped us at the next police checkpoint, refused to accept a tip and waved us good-bye.


Our hopes to find space on a bus this time were not fulfilled either. While waiting next to the police checkpoint we were the big attraction and soon a businessman from Khartoum offered a ride in his pickup truck. He took us all the way to the bus station and called us twice during the following days asking if everything was okay.

Police check point on the road to Atbara


Nadge, a businessman from Khartoum, he gave us a ride to Atbara

Crossing the Bayuda Dessert

The brand new, spacious bus-station in Atbara was so inviting, we sipped tea, charged out mobile phones and enjoyed the quiet waiting room. Within an hour we left on a brand-new minibus and set out to cross the pan flat Bayuda Desert.

Crossing the Bayuda Desert between Atbara and Karima

After many stops in the absolute outback, for the driver to smoke, for the passengers to pee or the religious to pray, we arrived in the small town of Merowe where everybody got off except us and one man.

Rest stop while crossing the Bayuda Desert


Rest stop crossing the Bayuda Desert

We were convinced the driver was just extremely helpful to take us the 20 minutes to Karima, usually if only few passengers are left they are asked to look for another bus.

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