Itinerary, Jebel Uweinat Expedition

Itinerary, Jebel Uweinat Expedition (Sudan), 14 days


Day 1. – Khartoum


Welcome at Khartoum airport, complete visa formalities. We will need a working day to sort out police registration, travel and photo permits mandatory to all tourists. This provides an opportunity to visit the National Museum in the morning with numerous Meroitic and Egyptian objects, and a number of reconstructed Egyptian temples in the garden moved from Nubia. In the afternoon it will be possible to visit Omdurman across the Nile. Accommodation will be in one of the Khartoum hotels.


Day 2. – Khartum-Merowe/Karima


In the morning we will drive across the Bayuda desert from Omdurman to Karima / Merowe. It is a little over three hundred kilometers, with a good start we should be there by midday, leaving the afternoon to see the pyramids of  Nuri and the temples of  Gebel Barkal.


We will sleep in a local hotel Gebel Barkal, allowing us to enjoy the wonderful spectacle of sunset from the top of  Gebel Barkal (it takes is a 15-20 minute walk to the top).


Day 3. – Merowe – Dongola – Soleb – Toshka


From Merowe we’ll take the tarmac road cutting across the bend of the Nile to Dongola (~150km) , cross the bridge and continue to Soleb on the west bank about 150 kms North of Dongola. We will visit the temple  (the finest ancient Nubian and Egyptian  monument ) in the afternoon, and spend the night in a local Nubian house in Toshka some 40 km further North before continuing out to the desert towards Selima oasis.


Day 4. – Toshka – Selima Oasis – Camp 1.


We will drive 150 km across the Desert in the morning to Selima oasis ,then continue on a direct course towards Uweinat along a generally flat sand sheet. The distance is around 500 kilometers, all things going well we should be able to cover half of that in the afternoon.


Day 5. – Camp 2. – Jebel Uweinat


All things going well, we should be within sight of  Uweinat by noon, and comfortably at our base camp in the south branch of  Karkur Talh  by mid-afternoon.

Days 6-7. Karkur Talh


We will spend an afternoon and two full days  in Karkur Talh, visiting the prolific number of rock art sites, all within a relatively short walking reach:

  • The sites in the South Branch of  Karkur Talh, within walking distance of camp
  • Visiting the two ‘rock islands’ in the main valley, the first sites to have been discovered in the are by Hassanein Bey and Prince Kemal el Din in the nineteen twenties.
  • Visit the sites of the south-western branch
  • Spend a day walking up to the amazing set of  paintings discovered by the Belgian expedition in 1968
  • Visit the sites along the northern edge of the main valley


Day 8-10. – South Uweinat


We will make a base camp at a well sheltered secluded spot at the entrance of  Wadi Wahesh in southern Uweinat, from where we will spend another two and a half days visiting numerous sites along the southern parts of Uweinat and Jebel Kissu, some 30 kilometers away.

  • Climb up to the sites in the Upper Wadi Wahesh (a fairly difficult trek, might not be suitable for everyone)
  • See a number of sites between Wadi Wahesh and Wadi Waddan
  • Visit Jebel Kissu
  • Visit the springs of  Karkur Murr


Day 11. – Uweinat – Burg el Tuyur


Starting from Uweinat back towards the Nile, we will first visit a number of finds made by Mark Borda recently in the Uweinat foothills, then in the afternoon will aim for Burg el Tuyur, a solitary rock in the middle of the sand sheet with a single engraving, a standard navigation point for the expeditions of  the thirties. We will camp there (all things going well).


Day 12. – Burg el Tuyur – Dongola


The total distance from Uweinat to Dongola is a little over 600 km in a straight line, we should be there comfortably by the evening of the second day. If we get in early, we may have time to visit the Kerma cemeteries about 50 km north of  Dongola (on tarmac).


Day 13. – Dongola – Atbara – Meroe


With an early morning start, we should be able to reach Atbara and then the ancient capital of Meroe by mid-afternoon, seeing the Meroe cemetery in the best light. We shall camp somewhere nearby.


Day 14. – Meroe – Naqa – Khartum


We may visit Meroe town site in the morning, then continue south, making the side trip to the temples of  Naqa before driving to Khartoum for the evening. Flights depart in the small hours of the next morning (sleep in a Khartoum hotel).