What is it like to stay in a Nubian house, what the heck is a Nubian house and who indeed are these Nubians that you speak of? All of this and more in our straight ip yo date guide from our latest trip to Sudan!
If you have looked at any of our tours to Sudan you may have noticed that we stay at least two nights in a traditional Nubian house. This is as opposed to camping, or a hotel, so what is one and what makes it so special?
Who are the Nubians?
The Nubians by rights deserve their own article and I shall in due course give them one, but for now we shall just do an abridged version of who they are. The Nubians are an ethnic group that are indigenous to both Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt, as well as the politically dubious bits in between.
They lineage can be traced back to 7000 BC and they have gone through many different incarnations, including Christianity and more recently Islam, as well as fair degree of Arab influence. They tend to be darker than Arab Sudanese, very much have the own culture, as well their own languages. We were actually taught a couple of words, but alas I have already managed to forget them…..
To read about the Nubian language click here
Historically and culturally they are extremely important to the fabric that has made up and does make up the modern Republic of Sudan.
A Nubian village
Nubian villages tend to be quite spread out, with the high houses that are the Nubian ones having a decent amount of space between them. The Nubian houses themselves tend to be big, which we will get to later meaning the villages tend not to have a central square, bur rather people go and hang out in the courtyards of their fellow Nubians!
The villages do the ugh have basic amenities such as shops, as well as schools, with lucky enough to visit one.
They tend to run on tribal lines, with us lucky enough to meet a tribal chief. One of our group asked him what the meaning of life was, to which he simply replied “When you are old stop working and enjoy retirement”/ Less profound than we expected, but fairly accurate at least.
To read about if it is safe to travel to Sudan click here.
A Nubian House!
So, what is a Nubian House and what is it like to stay in a Nubian house?Nubian houses are built for whole families, so therefore tend to be big and surrounded by a fence.
They size is such that they have large outdoor areas, with it in more ways resembling South American style courtyard houses, rather than say for example a British house, where most space is taken up by buildings and theres’s a garden. Nubian houses have a lot of outside area.
This also means, although it depends on wealth that there are a lot of rooms. his often means at least on our tours to Sudan the rare treat of a room to yourself, regardless of if you have paid the single supplement!
There is usually a local kitchen, which gave us the opportunity to try Nubian bread, as well as common areas where one may eat, or drink with your newfound friends!
So, while a Nubian house might not be glamorous, or the same as taxing in the Hilton Khartoum (there is no Hilton Khartoum(, it does give a great cultural experience, as well as offer a fine alternative to camping, or staying in a Sudanese hotel.
You can check out our Sudan Tour here.