October 11, 2019 | Jules Verne
Mention the word ‘pharaoh’ and, for most of us, it would be images of Tutankhamun, ancient Egypt and the Pyramids of Giza that spring to mind. Less often told, however, is the story of Sudan’s fascinating ancient past, a time when the Kingdom of the Kush dealt with the Pharaohs of Egypt and the Emperors of Rome. These Nubian rulers – known as the Black Pharaohs and described in a recent Channel 4 programme as ‘the ancient African superpower’ – left behind a fascinating array of archaeological sites dotted along the Sudanese Nile Valley.
Lost Pharaohs of the Nile (catch up here) sees archaeologists excavate some of these magnificent sites to reveal the history of the magnificent Black Pharaohs in a country of great natural beauty that has more pyramids than Egypt and spectacular ruined temples that can be visited – by those-in-the-know – in peace and without a tourist bus for miles.
Travelling in an escorted group of no more than 15 travellers, the itinerary’s many highlights include the UNESCO sites of Jebel Barkal and Meroe (with its Royal Necropolis, boasting no less than 40 pyramids), the Archaeological Museum in Khartoum (which houses two entire temples rescued by UNESCO from Lake Nasser), Old Dongola, the Pyramids of Nuri, the village of Tombos, stelae (stone monuments) on the shores of the Nile and the Bayuda Desert, an area bounded by the 4th and 6th Cataract of the Nile where isolated camel and donkey caravans roam. Cross the Nile at Atbara to visit the Railway Museum, gaze in awe at the 1st-century Apedemak (or Lion) Temple in Naga, with its remarkable bas-relief images, and much more.
This unforgettable tour features accommodation at the Grand Holiday Villa in Khartoum (a centrally located colonial four-star hotel), the Nubian Rest House in Karima (a small, charming property built in typical Nubian style, set at the foot of Jebel Barkal) and at Meroe Camp: 22 twin-bedded, tastefully furnished tents (each with private facilities close by) with spectacular views of the 40 pyramids of the Royal Necropolis. It also includes two Jules Verne Special Events: a Whirling Dervish ceremony in Ahmed al Nil and a traditional Sudanese evening with local music and dancing.
Kingdom of the Black Pharaohs costs from £3,095 pp (two sharing), including flights (Heathrow), photo and travel permits, entrance fees, transfers, seven nights’ accommodation (three nights in Karima, two in Meroe and one in Khartoum), full-board (breakfast and lunch only in Khartoum), escorted excursions, and the services of guides and local representatives. One overnight flight. Departs 14 November 2019 and 13 February, 19 March, 9 April*, 15 October, 12 November & 10 December 2020. *No Single Supplement on 9 April 2020 departure, subject to availability. Early Booking Offer: Save £100 pp on all bookings made five calendar months or more before departure.
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