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Egypt & Sudan... Exploring Nubian Heritage

November 02 to 19, 2018

In the pas century this ancient land has witnessed two of the greatest engineering feats in modern history - the construction of the Aswan High Dam with the consequent creation of Lake Nasser, and the UNESCO project which saved most of the temples in Nubia by moving them to higher ground. since the completion of the project 30 years ago, the immense lake and temples on its shores are accessible to travelers with a passion for discovery and taste for comfort. Sudan has more than 500 ethnic groups, each with its own dialect, traditions, and dance making it the most diverse nation on the continent. The Nile flowing north from Khartoum towards Egypt is the link that runs through Sudan, influencing the lives of its people. Along the banks of the river and in the valley of the Sahara Desert are many interesting archaeological sites from the Egyptian and Meroitic civilizations that have seldom been seen by the public, including more pyramids than in Egypt! Come and explore magnificent monuments, tombs and temples set in a landscape of impressive natural wonders as you travel through the desert and along the Nile of Sudan's mysterious north, an ancient land once known as Nubia. Kushite monuments display a rich combination of Pharaonic, Greco-Roman and indigenous African traditions, and two are UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Meroe and Jebel Barkal. Tall pyramids, gigantic mud-brick buildings, rock-cut painted tombs, and ornately cared temples - all are present for us to discover.

 Tour cost per person in double (Air &Land): $7,995.00

(Air included is based on Egypt air departure from JFK‐ subject to availability)

Single Supplement: $ 1,250.00

Credit for not using our included airfare $800.00

Led by Prof. Richard Lobban (Nubian Archaeology Expert)

Price based on a group size minimum of 4 and maximum of 12 participants

NB; Tour will operate at same rate for 2-3 participants joining other travelers from around the world led by a local guide/archaeologist and NOT by prof. Lobban if the number drops below 4.

Your tour does not include

  • Round trip airfare between your hometown and NYC
  • Fuel surcharges, airport taxes & security charges (approximately $485.00).
  • Visa for Sudan (Currently $154.00 and subject to change) should be obtained in advance at the Sudanese Embassy in Washington DC. Your passport must not include any Israeli stamps.
  • Video camera permits $20.00 per site.
  • Trip surcharge to operate below required minimum participants.
  • Dayrooms or extra hotel overnights or transfers in Sudan or Egypt if necessary
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as: beverages with meals, telephone, email, laundry bills, etc.
  • Any additional nights due to airline schedule changes or arrivals on different airlines from the one we use.
  • Travel protection Insurance.(HIGHLY recommended)
  • Land Border entry fee in Sudan ($8 p. person to be paid in cash)

Your tour includes

  •   Round trip airfare NYC/Cairo & Khartoum/NYC
  • Domestic flight Cairo-Aswan
  • Airport transfers (if arriving/departing on scheduled flights) by private motor coach.
  • Transportation in Egypt, Transport with 4x4 vehicles outside Khartoum & Minibus in Khartoum.
  • Deluxe hotel in Cairo, 4* hotel in  Khartoum, Nubian rest house in Karima, permanent comfortable tented camp in Meroe; basic hotel in Merowee; primitive Nubian houses in Tombos and Wawa.
  • 4 nights Luxury lake cruise in Egypt (Deluxe cabins)
  • English-speaking native guide all the way through.
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary and bottled water.
  • All activities described in the tour and entrance fees to all sites mentioned and still-camera fees to all sites.
  • National Museum and Archeological sites entry fees.
  • Visa approval authorization permit for Sudan.
  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, porters and & hotel staff. 

Trip Grade: III Challenging – Parts of the trip are physically challenging, involve hiking on rough terrain or in sand or at high altitudes. There may be very long drives on rough roads; weather conditions with high heat or humidity, presence of insects (Malaria does exist in Sudan). In Sudan, you may have simple picnic lunches, primitive bathroom facilities along the road and remoteness from modern towns or cities.

Lodging Level:

*Simple– One or more properties on the trip are very basic, rustic, and primitive, with shared bathroom facilities (1 or 2 stars)

*** Superior: Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined service and comfort level acceptable to western standards. (3/4 stars).

**** Luxury: Regular style- usually large- hotels, typical western standard with ample venues, and full amenities. (4 or 5 stars)

About your LecturerDr. Richard A Lobban Jr.…Dr. Lobban was Chair and Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at Rhode Island College where taught for thirty-six years.  He has also taught at the University of Khartoum, American University in Cairo and conducted research in Tunis, Egypt and Sudan.  He is the Executive Director of the Sudan Studies Association. He has published scores of articles, reviews, book chapters and encyclopedia entries, and a number of books on the Middle East including reference books on Sudan, on Middle Eastern Women. Among other things he specializes on urban and complex societies as well as gender, ethnicity, race and class, especially in the Middle East. His most recent books are The Historical Dictionaries of Ancient and Medieval Nubia and of Sudan as well as a translation from French of the 19th century account by Pierre Tremaux who traveled in the region. He travels to Egypt and Sudan often over the last four decades including Nubia, the Nuba Mountains, the South and the East. At present he is co-director of archaeological excavation in northern Sudan and he teaches African studies at the Naval War College, when not leading tours to Egypt.  He is a founder, first President and Executive Director of the Sudan Studies Association.

Fine Print: Some of the sites visited are remote and tourist accommodations do not exist in the area. In Meroe you stay at comfortable and fully furnished tents (with attached private WCs), In Wawa and Tombos a simple Nubian local houses are utilized with shared facilities and sleeping bags on simple bench beds. Sometimes on the tour, you may encounter insects as well as mosquitos are also in season especially near the Nile valley hence you need to take your precautions. During the best time visiting Sudan (Nov-Feb) temperature will be around mid 90’s in the sun. Rates are based on today’s exchange rate (Vs. Euro) and if it fluctuates, you will be billed for the difference.

View Tour Itinerary

Friday, Nov 02
Depart NYC to Cairo

Depart US on Egyptair’s non‐stop flight to Cairo from JFK, NY.

Saturday, Nov 03
Arrival to Cairo

Immerse yourself in the exploration of Cairo, the heartbeat of Egypt, also known as the “Mother of the World.” This is a city with a rich history having been part of the Persian, Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine empires and home to Christians, Jews and Muslims. Begin your exploration at the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, as you enter the ancient world of Egypt. The most impressive exhibit is the replica of Tutankhamun’s tomb with its golden sarcophagus and funerary treasure. Walk the cobblestone streets of Old Cairo, the oldest quarter of the city, with its ancient churches and the synagogue of Ben Ezra. Continue to Khan El Khalili Bazaars. Overnight at the Hilton hotel. (B,L)

Monday, Nov 05
Cairo – Aswan

Transfer to the airport for an early flight to Aswan.Arrival in Aswan and visit the Nubian Museum with its great collection of artifacts and relics related to the Nubian period. We will board on the cruise ship and have lunch. After lunch we will visit the temple of Philae dedicated to the Goddess Isis. Enjoy the rest of the day on the cruise ship. Dinner and overnight in Aswan. (B,L,D)

Tuesday, Nov 06
Aswan‐ Wadi El Seboua

We will visit Kalabsha temples. Located within view of the High Dam, Kalabsha Temple is often the first stop for any cruise on Lake Nasser. It was moved to this spot from its originally location 30 miles to the south after the construction of the dam. Construction of the temple was begun at the end of the Ptolomaic Dynasty and actually completed under the rule of the Roman Emperor Augustus. The temple was dedicated to the Nubian god Mandulis. Continue sailing to Wadi El Seboua. In the evening we will enjoy our cocktail party. Dinner on board and overnight at Wadi Elseboua. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, Nov 07
Wadi El Seboua –Amada

Morning visit to Wadi El Seboua temple, dedicated by Ramses II to the two Gods Amon Ra and Ra Harmakis. The temple of Dakka, dedicated to the God Thot of divine wisdom, lord of times and science, master of literature. Visit the Greco‐Roman temple of Meharakka. Continue sailing to Armada. Visit the temple of Amada from the XVIIIth dynasty, built during the reign of Thotmosis III, Amenophis III and Thotmosis IV. Also visit the hemi‐speos of Derr, dedicated by Ramses II to the rising sun. Finally the tomb of Penout, viceroy of Nubia. Enjoy the Nubian show which will be performed by the local staff. Dinner on board and overnight at Amada.

Thursday, Nov 08
Kasr Ibrim – Abu Simbel

We will sail to Kasr Ibrim. Explanation is done from the sundeck of the ship as entrance to the site is not permitted. Continue our cruise to Abu Simbel. Upon arrival visit the Abu Simbel temple. Dinner on board and overnight at Abu Simbel. (B,L,D)

Friday, Nov 09
Abu Simbel

Today is end of our cruise adventure and we have opportunity for a second visit to the temples to watch the spectacular sunrise at the Abu Simbel temples, symbol of the international salvage of the Nubian monuments: the temples of Ramses II and his beloved wife Nefertari. Transfer to Seti Abu Simbel hotel. Free afternoon at leisure. In the evening enjoy sound and light show by overlooking the Abu Simbel temples. Overnight at the hotel. (B,D)

Saturday, Nov 10
Qostol‐ Ashkait ‐ Wadi Halfa – Wawa

Egypt ‐ Sudan
This morning leave Abu Simbel early and cross Lake Nasser on public ferry, a 30 min drive will take us to the border with Sudan. After border formalities cross the “No man’s land” on shuttle bus. At the border you will be met with drivers. We drive till the village of Wawa where we will spend the night in a simple and private Nubian house. (D)

Sunday, Nov 11
Temple of Soleb‐ 3’rd Cataract‐Kerma & Tombos

Today we will visit the temple of Soleb, the most beautiful Egyptian temple of all Sudan, testimony of the New Kingdom in Nubia, with full walls rich in hieroglyphic inscriptions, bas‐relief figures and many columns, from its main entrance, the same way used in ancient times. After the visit of the temple, we return on the eastern side of the river by the same boat and we continue with a stop at the 3rd Cateract and the ruins of the Turkish fortress then we drive to visit the monument of the Kerma civilization called “Defuffa” and museum.(closed on Mondays) Continue to Tombos and visit the stelae on the shore of the Nile. Dinner and overnight in a simple and private Nubian house (B.L.D.))

Monday, Nov 12
Tombos‐Nubian Desert‐ Old Dongola‐Karima

We head south until we reach the archaeological site of Old Dongola. Upon arrival we visit the ruins of churches in what used to be the old capital of the Medieval Kingdom of Makuria. We then cross the Nubian Desert following the new road to reach the town of Karima. Dinner and overnight Merowee Land Hotel. (B.L.D.)

Tuesday, Nov 13
Karima‐Jebel Barkal & Necropolis of El Kurru

Landmark in the Nubian Desert, Jebel Barkal (ʺJebelʺ means mountain in Arabic) can be seen from a few dozens of kilometres whilst still in the open desert. At the foot of this wonderful isolated red sandstone mountain with cliffs and considered holy since the ancient times there is the big temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign and to their patron Amon. We then go southwards to the village of El Kurru where there is one of the necropolises of the ancient capital Napata. Here we can visit one tomb which is excavated in the rock under pyramids ‐ partially collapsed ‐ and are totally decorated with images of the Pharaoh, of the gods and multicolour hieroglyphic inscriptions. The trip goes on with the visit to a site, rich in fossil trunks in the desert. In the evening return to Karima, accommodation at the Rest‐House, dinner and overnight stay. (B.L.D.)

Wednesday, Nov 14
Karima – 4th Cataract‐ Cruise on Nile & Nuri

After breakfast, short visit to the market in Karima where we can have a real experience of the lives of the Sudanese people. We then leave northwards, going into the Nubian Desert. With the filling of the new dam of Merowee we will have cruise on the Nile where it is possible to see the last few outcrops of the granite rocky formations of the 4th Cataract. Little walk on the Nile shore and islands, and then picnic in the oases. In the afternoon visit the Royal Necropolis of Nuri where the Pharaohs Tharqa is buried. Return to Karima, dinner and overnight in the Rest‐House. (B.L.D)

Thursday, Nov 15
Karima‐Bayuda Desert‐Meroe

Not far from the Rest‐House we cross the Nile on the new bridge and we enter the Bayuda Desert, an area bounded by the loop that the Nile forms between the 4th and the 6th Cataract and characterised by sharp black basalt mountains, most of them volcanic and typically cone‐shaped. It is very likely to meet isolated groups of Bisharin nomads, who live in familiar groups in small huts made of intertwined branches close to the rare water wells, with their caravans and herds of camels and donkeys. We shall visit the remains of the Gazhali Monastery. After a picnic in the desert, we then cross the Nile again with the ponton, a local ferry boat. And then, all of a sudden, we can glance at more than 40 pyramids, located on top of a hill, some of them perfectly preserved, which belong to the Royal Necropolis of Meroe. Arrival at the permanent tented camp of Meroe with a beautiful view onto the pyramids. Accommodation in comfortable and fully furnished tents, dinner and overnight stay. (B.L.D.)

Friday, Nov 16

The Royal necropolis of Meroe is located at about 3 km far from the Nile on some hills covered with yellow sand dunes. Many pyramids stand out with their sharp shapes against the clear sky. Just in front there are some small funerary temples with the walls fully decorated with bas‐reliefs that shows the King’s life and the gods. Then we move along the Nile to visit the ruins of the royal city. The excavations confirm that it used to be on a large area with a central one surrounded by suburbs and a boundary wall. Most of the area where the city is located, that is formed by many small hills covered by red clay fragments, has still to be excavated by the archaeologists. Dinner and overnight stay at the tented Camp. (B.L.D.)

Saturday, Nov17
Meroe‐Naga‐Mussawarat Temples‐Khartoum‐ Nuba Wrestling

After breakfast in camp, we spend the morning visiting the two archaeological sites. The site of Naga is located about 30 km to the east of the Nile. In Naga, in a typical Saharan environment with rocks and sand, there is the Apedemak temple (1st century a.D.): a wonderful building with bas‐relief decorations with the image of the god with the lion head, of the Pharaoh and of the noblemen and several ritual images of the Apedemak god. Today the ruins of a very big temple are visible; it once played an exceptional important role. Its main characteristic, the Great Wall, is made by many constructions and boundary walls which surround a temple built in the 1st century AD or little before. Picnic and then continue the journey south to Khartoum. We will stop just before sunset time at Khartoum North to attend the traditional Nuba Wrestling (only on Wed, Fri and Sat). Check in at the hotel and overnight. (B.L.)

Sunday, November 18

Breakfast at the hotel and then visit of the Archaeological Museum that, besides many beautiful objects contains two full temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded by the water. We then go to Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan here we visit the Mahdi’s tomb (outside) and the Khalifa’s house. Lunch included in a local restaurant. In the afternoon we visit the colourful Omdurman market. Dinner and Overnight at the hotel. (B,L,D)

Monday, November 19
Departure Khartoum‐US

Transfer to the airport for your flight back home arriving the same day

We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed