My adventure in Sudan began in Khartoum, the capital of the country. During the first morning we began to discover its cultural and historical richness visiting some museums and ancient houses. Afterwards, we got close to the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, a surprising place where two rivers of different colours meet.
In the afternoon we experienced a magical moment when we witnessed a burial in the cemetery of Hamad Al Neil. This is the place where the spectacular ceremony of the spinning dervishes takes place every Friday. We can sense the African roots of this Muslim people through the dances and songs of the audience. This experience even feels more special when you realise that you are the only westerner there, as this is a very authentic ceremony.
At a certain point we were surrounded by high Sudanese with friendly faces, full of wisdom, who came close to us, smiled and asked us to join them in their ceremony. This experience undoubtedly contrasts with the image that most people has of Sudan, about danger and rejection. Being a woman, they welcomed me wonderfully and I felt very safe during the whole trip.
Moreover, there are very few restrictions and there are no crowds. This enabled us to get close to great historical monuments, touch them, and find ourselves completely alone in some incredible places.
One of the best experiences was to venture into the Meroe Royal Necropolis at dawn; admiring the sunrise among the ruins of over 40 pyramids is spectacular. And seeing it completely by ourselves was a privilege. We got the same feeling when we walked through the Temple of the Sun at dusk.
Beyond its incredible archaeological remains, Sudan is full of surprises. I especially enjoyed strolling through the lively markets, watching the people go about their business among the shops and the goats. There, you have to be careful when taking pictures, as some of the people don’t like it, but if they like you, you can end up riding the bike of one of your new friends!
The next day we crossed the river by ferry to approach Karima and The Nubian Rest House, a lovely place run by Gianna, a delightful person who made us feel at home in this charming little oasis.
Karima is an ideal starting point to enjoy a wide variety of activities: discovering temples, sailing on the Nile, visiting the home of a nomadic family or approaching Dongola, a beautiful village of white houses decorated with drawings of flowers representing the status of each of the families.
I recommend a stroll through the petrified trees that are near the Necropolis of Napata, and visit the archaeological site of Nuri at sunset to admire its pyramids, that are very similar to the Egyptian ones.
We bid farewell to The Nubian Rest House after enjoying some music and dancing.
On our way back to Khartoum we were lucky to see a wedding party and when we arrived in the capital we enjoyed our last Sudanese experience: wrestling in the stadium! It was the perfect farewell to a trip full of amazing experiences.