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Treasures of Ancient Nubia

Private Travel | General interest 11 Days & 8 Nights Lead-in price: £5195

This captivating tour takes in the historic sites of Khartoum, the bustling capital city located at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles, before heading into the desert in search of the remote ruins of Meroë, Jebel Barkal, El Kurru, Naga and Musawarat. The majesty of these archaeological sites rivals even those of ancient Egypt. They offer a fascinating and very personal insight into the Nubia region’s lost civilisations and their influence throughout eastern Africa over thousands of years.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Visit some of the oldest sites in sub-Saharan Africa, such as the pyramids of Meroe
  • Experience the hospitality & unique culture of the history filled region of Nubia
  • Cruise to the confluence of the White & Blue Nile
  • Watch a sunset performance of the Whirling Dervishes & Nuba wrestling
  • Stay in 3- & 4-star accommodation
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Discovery Private Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Khartoum via Addis Ababa

Overnight flight on Ethiopian Airlines from London (regional connections available) to Khartoum via Addis Ababa. (N)

Day 2: Khartoum

Late morning arrival. Overnight at the Grand Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites / Corinthia Hotel† Khartoum. In the afternoon, take a Nile cruise to see the confluence of the Blue and White Nile. Sunset performance of the Whirling Dervishes (Fridays only). (N)

Day 3: Wadi Mugaddam • Old Dongola • Karima

Drive to Karima via the chai houses at Wadi Muqaddam and marble-columned Coptic temple on the banks of the Nile at Old Dongola. Hospitality abounds in this central area of the Nubian region, and some houses are painted with colourful patterns and flowers. Stay 3 nights in the Nubian Rest House, right at the foot of Jebel Barkal. (B, L, D)

Day 4: Jebel Barkal • Napata

Visit the Unesco world heritage site at Jebel Barkal. At the foot of this isolated red sandstone mountain lies a holy temple, dedicated to the Pharaohs of the New Reign. Take an optional 20-minute walk to the top of the mountain, where you will be greeted by impressive views overlooking the ruins of the palaces and temples. Return to the Nubian Rest House for lunch. Drive south to the village of El Kurru and the necropolis of Napata. Visit tombs located under partially collapsed pyramids. Return to Karima after visiting a desert area containing fossilised tree trunks. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Tombos • Kerma

Drive via the Third Cataract of the Nile to the village of Tombos, where there is a small stele and a statue of King Taharqa. Continue to the town of Kerma and visit the deffufa (a type of mud brick temple) and a fascinating museum. Return to Karima. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Bayuda desert • Meroë

Cross the Nile and visit the Pyramids of Nuri. Enter the impressive Bayuda desert, characterised by sharp, black basalt mountains. Picnic in the desert, where groups of Bisharin nomads, with their herds of camels and donkeys, are likely to be seen. Cross the Nile for the last time and visit the Railway Museum. Stay 3 nights at Meroë Tented Camp. (B, L, D)

Day 7: Meroë

Visit the royal necropolis at Meroë, located in a semi-desert area, set against reddish-brown hills. Optional 10-minute camel ride between the north and south necropolis (payable locally). Return to camp for lunch and then visit the ancient ruins of the royal city of the Kushite kings. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Naga • Mussawarat

Morning visit to the archaeological sites of Naga and Mussawarat. Picnic lunch in the area around Mussawarat and return to camp. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Khartoum

Drive to Khartoum via a spectacular desert area covered in huge granite boulders. Have lunch at the Sabaloka gorge, where there are impressive rock formations, and the rapids of the sixth cataract. Drive on to Omdurman where local handicrafts can be purchased in the colourful souk. Continue on to Khartoum and watch Nuba wrestling. Overnight at the Grand Holiday Villa Hotel & Suites / Corinthia Hotel†. (B, L)

Days 10-11: Fly to London via Addis Ababa

Check out of the hotel after breakfast. Morning visit to the Omdurman market and Khalifa House Museum (including Mahdi’s tomb). Lunch at Al Hoshe restaurant on the Nile. Afternoon visit to the Archaeological Museum. Transfer to the airport and fly back to London via Addis Ababa, arriving the next day. (B, L) (N)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information *Discovery tour:

This tour is based in 3- and 4-star accommodation and involves some long drives over rough terrain. It is therefore better suited to the hardier traveller.

†Hotel upgrade:

Upgrade to the Corinthia Hotel in Khartoum for 2 nights from £130 per person, or from £185 single room supplement.


The itinerary may be run in reverse without any changes to the content of the tour.

Single supplement

From £515pp.

Tailor-made travel

For a price quote based on alternative accommodation standards, to discuss flight options or to tailor this itinerary, please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Discovery private tour accommodation

  • Nubian Rest House Karima
    Nubian Rest House Karima

    The Nubian Rest House Karima is a charming small hotel built in a traditional Nubian style surrounded by a large private enclosure, with a pleasant garden and leisure area. The Rest House has 22 rooms with a mixture of Arabic and European decor featuring furniture from Italy, en suite facilities, individually crafted Nubian doors, air conditioning and a pleasant veranda. The central part of the Rest House has a reception area, shop boutique, restaurant and living room with beautifully decorated walls. All the buildings are made with local bricks covered by hand-spread clay plaster as used in the Nubian area. Features: 22 rooms, restaurant, Wi-Fi, gardens, terrace. Room amenities: Private bathroom, air conditioning, veranda.

  • Meroe Permanent Tented Camp
    Meroe Permanent Tented Camp

    Meroe Permanent Tented Camp is situated in Bagarwyia, approximately 230km north of Khartoum, overlooking the historic ruins of Meroe. The camp consists of 22 tastefully furnished tents equipped with their own veranda with chairs offering views of the Meroe pyramids. Each tent has its own private bathroom located in a separate block a short walk away. Electricity is supplied via a generator until 11pm nightly. There is also a restaurant located in a large thatched building at the centre of the camp. Features: 22 tented rooms, Wi-Fi, restaurant. Room amenities: Private bathroom (in separate building), veranda.

  • Grand Holiday Villa Hotel Khartoum
    Grand Holiday Villa Hotel Khartoum

    Centrally located in the heart of Khartoum's commercial district, fronted by the Nile, the Grand Holiday Villa Hotel was built in the late 1800s and is said to have hosted, among others, Winston Churchill, Thomas Cook and Queen Victoria. The colonial-style property offers 160 air-conditioned rooms, spread over three buildings, featuring simple period decor equipped with satellite television, in-room safe, minibar and internet access. The hotel offers various dining options for guests to choose from, including the Asian and international menu of the Lagenda Malaysian Restaurant, the spicy specialties of The Sizzler Restaurant or the lighter fare of the poolside cafe. Other facilities include two swimming pools, a fitness centre, tennis courts and a spa offering a range of treatments. Features: 160 rooms, outdoor pool, gym, tennis courts, restaurant, bar/lounge. Room amenities: Private bathroom, air conditioning, television, safe, minibar, Wi-Fi.

Discovery private tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Guideline Prices

Low season from £5195 per person

High season from £5395 per person


Vaccination Travel Policy
All clients must be fully vaccinated before travelling with us on a Cox & Kings (C&K) group tour. This means that a customer must have received their full two doses of the COVID‑19 vaccination at least 14 days before travelling with us. This does not apply to our private tours or tailor-made travel. If you have any questions please call us or visit our FAQs page on our website here

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures Where a tour date has ‘yes’ listed, this tour is guaranteed to run.

For all other departure dates, once the minimum number of people booked has been reached, this tour is also guaranteed to run. Our sales consultants will be able to advise how many people are booked for your chosen date at the time of enquiry, giving you the confidence to book safe in the knowledge your tour will go ahead.

Terms & Conditions Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or entry restrictions relating to COVID-19 preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • 3- & 4-star accommodation*
    • International flights
    • 3- or 4-seater 4x4 air-conditioned vehicles (a bus or minibus is used while in Khartoum)
    • Experienced local tour manager
    • 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
    • Guided sightseeing & entrance fees