Visit Sudan, a state in northeast Africa with access to the Red Sea, as part of a study trip! Admire the most important cities of Sudan and their unique attractions. A beautiful city in Sudan is the capital Khartoum, which is located at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile. Visit the University of Khartoum, the presidential palace, or the Arab market in the center of the city. But don’t forget the other big cities of Sudan like Omdurman with the landmark, the grave of Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad or the Ahfad University for women; the cities of Al-Chartum Bahri; Bur Sudan; Wadi Halfa; Atbara or Juba with the typical African huts. Let yourself be enchanted by a tour through Sudan!
The eventful history of Sudan can be seen in the archaeological sites of the north-east African state. Natural landscapes with beaches, tropical forests and deserts are rich in diverse fauna and flora, and the ethnic diversity of the population is another plus for tourism. The southern part of the country offers an astonishing diversity of ethnic groups and an area that is similar to that in the neighboring states, while the region on the eastern border with Ethiopia largely forms a huge national park.
Nature and sights impress
Sai Island is about 5 kilometers wide and 12 kilometers long, making it one of the largest islands in the Nubian Nile. The island, which is largely covered with desert, looks like a lunar landscape. But there is also arable land on the banks of the Nile. Significant remains of almost all ages of Nubian history can be found on the island. The oldest finds on the island date from the Kerma period. Sai was inhabited continuously and was an important trading post during the Pharaonic era. The island of Sai, which has always been an important strategic and geographical location, contains ancient remains of the Kerma culture, an Egyptian temple, Christian settlements and a Turkish fortress. The best way to get to Sai for visitors to Sai is by motorboat and combine the trip with a nice excursion on the Nile.
Sudan is still a young country in terms of the travel industry and there is still a lot to discover for tourists.
Jebel Barkal and the sites of the Napatan region encompass five archaeological sites on either side of the Nile in an arid area that is considered part of Nubia. The places (Gebel Barkal, Kurru, Nuri, Sanam and Zuma) represent the Napatan (900-270 BC) and Meroitic (270-350 AD) cultures of the second kingdom of Kush. These include graves with and without pyramids, temples, burial mounds and chambers, residential complexes and palaces. They represent an architectural tradition that shaped the political, religious, social and artistic scene of the Middle and Northern Nile Valley for more than 2000 years (1500 BC – 6th century AD). The pyramids, tombs, temples, palaces, burial mounds and burial chambers in the desert border landscape on the Nile are unique in their construction and technology. The remains with their works of art and inscriptions bear witness to a great ancient culture that only existed and flourished in this region. The mountain Barkal, Sanam and other sites in the area received UNESCO World Heritage status in 2003.
The table mountain Jebel Barkal in Sudan is a sacred mountain and the Egyptians believed that their state god Amon resided in this “sacred mountain”. Today the mountain is named after a Muslim sheikh who is buried near the 100 m high, flat sandstone cliff. The mountain is closely related to religious traditions as this sheikh’s tomb is still visited by the locals for blessings.
The five archaeological sites are located in an extraordinary river and semi-desert landscape and are almost untouched by modern developments. Most of the pyramids are therefore still in their original shape and height. The relief and paintings on the walls of temples and burial chambers are also well preserved. Even the monuments that have been affected by the forces of nature still show their original patterns.
Old Dongola is an abandoned ruined city in Sudan and is located on the east bank of the Nile. From the fourth to the fourteenth centuries, Old Dongola was the capital of the Makurian state and was considered the starting point for caravans. The population moved 80 kilometers to the opposite side of the Nile in the nineteenth century and that is where the modern Dongola came into being. A Polish team of archaeologists has been excavating Old Dongola since 1964. Several structures were found. In addition, many Greek texts were discovered, most of which date from the 8th and 9th centuries.
An old Nubian capital
Old Dongola was founded as a fortress in the fifth century, but a city soon developed around it. Later with the arrival of Christianity, Old Dongola became the capital of Makuria and several churches were built. This also includes the “Old Church” and “Building X”, as the archaeologists called the buildings. Both buildings were located outside the city walls, as the city had grown so much in its heyday that the actual urban area was already completely built on. Archaeologists believe that the two main churches were destroyed in battles in the middle of the 7th century, but were soon rebuilt. Building materials were taken from the Old Church and used to repair the city walls. At the end of the seventh century the “Church of Granite Columns” was built over the Old Church. The Church of the Granite Pillars, with its 16 granite columns, each richly decorated, was possibly Old Dongola Cathedral.
The heyday of the old Dongola was in the 10th century. At that time there were also at least two palaces and an impressive monastery on the north side of the city. The city’s residents were wealthy. Many houses were comfortably furnished and the owners had their own bathrooms and beautiful murals.
Soleb temple complex
For many travelers to Sudan, the Temple of Soleb is the highlight of the trip between Dongola and Wadi Halfa. The temple is now an archaeological site and was built in the 14th century BC. By Amenhotep III. built. It was the same Pharaoh who built Luxor in Egypt and the design and carvings are very similar. The temple has burial chambers and a hypostyle hall, which consists of massive columns with ornate relief carvings.
The Temple of Soleb is a Nubian version of the great temple of the Egyptian Pharaonic Empire, the columns of which are reminiscent of the Luxor Temple. It is the most beautiful Egyptian temple in all of today’s Sudan, a testimony to the new Egyptian empire. The great sandstone temple was built under Amenhotep III. erected from about 1380 to 1340 BC. Ruled. It is the southernmost known temple of this pharaoh. The temple complex was dedicated to the god Amun-Re and the ruler himself and was decorated with many hieroglyphics and reliefs.
Those who want to visit the temple should use the help of a good tour guide. These trained antique experts know how to bring the sites to life through their stories and reports, how to draw surprising parallels and create amazing connections. Apart from that, a trip to today’s Sudan offers enough time to get to know not only the archaeological sites but also today’s Nubia and its inhabitants.