Whole of the Sudans: Sudan, Bir Tawil and South Sudan Combo
Join YPT for the ultimate Sudan experience! Visit the unknown land that is Sudan, with its magnificent yet very seldom visited pyramids. Then, embark on an epic road trip through the sands of the Egyptian/Sudanese border to the unclaimed land of Bir Tawil. We’ll head back to civilization in Khartoum before boarding a flight taking us to Sudan’s breakaway offspring: South Sudan.There, we’ll be hanging out with Mundari herders, mingling with Dinkas and chilling with the Lotuko people!
During this tour, we will visit the capital city, Khartoum, and its numerous temples. We will then cross the white Nile and visit the second-biggest city, Omdurman, where we will explore the recent history of the country and the mahdist state which ruled before colonization by the British.
We will then leave the cities in our hired 4WD cars to explore ruins of former glorious empires, including the Christian Kingdom of Makuria, the Necropolis of Napata and last but definitely not least, the pyramids of Meroe. While the pyramids in Egypt are now visited by thousands and thousands each years and can get very crowded, the pyramids of Meroe will be all ours! We shall camp right by them for a truly memorable night!
Bir Tawil has been claimed by many internet-based micronations, but very few of them have actually been there and no one has ever stayed to establish a presence. There, we will be beyond the laws of any nation. With our own transportation and food, we will head north, towards the Sudan-Egypt border — crossing not via road but directly through the depths of the deserts, with only the tyre tracks of other vehicles to mark our path.
We will then get to Bir Tawil and explore this land for a full day, setting foot where no one rules.
It will then be time for us to head back to civilization, towards Khartoum airport to catch our flight toward Sudan’s southern breakaway brother: South Sudan.
Our trip there starts with a full tour of the strange boom-town capital that is Juba. We will take in its limited sites but also witness the full melting-pot of cultures that is South Sudan.
Our trip then takes us to the incredible Mundari tribes, herders who literally live in the wild in symbiosis with their cattle. They are unmistakable by the fact that they cover their whole body in chalk-like makeup, making them look like ghosts. After visiting the Mundari, we will encounter the Lotuko and Boya people. The Boya people are known for their beautiful scarification and piercings.
We finish our trip with a visit of the Dinka, which are a majority in South Sudan. The Dinka’s contribution to the struggle for independence was enormous, and here too we will spend a day mingling with them and truly seeing what their life is like.
The flight between Sudan and South Sudan is not included in the price of the tour in order to allow maximum flexibility. If you would like us to book it for you, mention it while booking to know our prices!
Due to the infrastructural limitations of South Sudan, we can only have 12 people on that part of the trip. The good news is that if you book this combo, you have the ultimate priority!
Please note that bookings for this tour will close 90 days before the tour in order for us to have time to get the necessary permits.
50% of the tour fee should be paid up to 90 days before the tour and the remainder paid no less than 30 days before the tour
Such a trailblazing tour in first, a far-way land where no one lives and then the world’s youngest country where tourism is basically inexistent comes with its lot of unexpected changes and cannot realistically be done with the highest standards of comforts. This is a trip for the most hardened travellers. A great degree of open-mindedness and flexibility is required to partake in this trip, which is why we offer it first to you, our most valued pioneers!
Own arrival into Khartoum to be met at the airport by our guide and transferred to our hotel.
Meet at 8pm for a pre-tour group dinner and meet your fellow travelers.
Overnight in Khartoum.
Monday 28th October – Khartoum & Omdurman
Up early for breakfast at hotel before we start the day with a city tour of the Sudanese capital city.
We’ll visit the national museum, which contains various objects dedicated to Nubian history. This Nubian area of the southern Nile was home of Africa’s earliest ancient civilization.
We’ll also take in the beautiful temples saved by UNESCO from lake Nassir and rebuilt entirely inside the museum.
Visit the Ethnographic museum. Sudan has 597 different ethnic groups that speak over 400 different languages and dialects, we’ll get a taste for the incredible diversity here.
Cross the White Nile for a trip to technically Sudan’s second largest city – Omdurman. We’ll have a short stop at the Mahdi tomb and tour around the Khalifa house museum. The house served as the HQ of the Mahdist state. This was a short-lived religious and political movement that ruled Sudan until the British reconquered in 1898.
Lunch stop in Omdurman.
Visit Omdurman’s beautifully colourful market before making our way back to Khartoum.
Dinner and overnight in Khartoum.
Tuesday 29th October Khartoum – Old Dongola – Kerma
Very early morning breakfast before beginning our journey to Northern Sudan.
We travel 500km north of Khartoum. On the way we’ll stop at Old Dongola, the capital of the Christian kingdom of Makuria. Today it’s a deserted city with the population having moved downstream in the 19th century.
We move onto the cemetery of the Sofi holy men (lunch on the way).
Take the ferry across the Nile and drive for a further 40km arriving at Kerma, a 3800 B.C archeological site.
Overnight in a traditional Nubian house with a wonderful local feast.
Wednesday 30th October Tombus – Soleb
Another early rise to visit the site of Tombus. Here there are many Egyptian inscriptions and a huge granite statue dedicated the famous black Pharaoh – Taharqa.
We continue 50km to the north where we stop to take in the amazing panoramic view of the rock art from the prehistoric period at Wadi Sebu.
Lunch stop at a local tea house.
Cross the Nile to its west bank and drive two hours up to Soleb; an ancient Nubian town home to a vast necropolis.
Dinner and overnight at a traditional Nubian house.
Thursday 31st October Soleb – Karima
Today we head back south driving for 320km before reaching the city of Karima, the location of ancient Napata.
We visit the holy mountain of Jebel Barkal (Together with Napata, a UNESCO heritage site) and the numerous temples at the foot of Jebel Barkal.
Trick or treat! It couldn’t be a better time to visit Kurru, the royal necropolis of Napata. Here we go deep underneath the pyramid to see the amazing painted tomb of the black Pharaoh Tanutamani.
Dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight at Merowe Tourist Village hotel.
Friday 1st November Nuri- Meroe
Early morning visit to the nearby Nuri pyramids. There are over 60 burial places here.
We continue crossing though the Bayuda desert up to Meroe. We’ll pass through and stop at desert settlements before reaching the famous Meroe pyramids. A perfect setting to witness the sun go down.
TRIP HIGHLIGHT: Overnight camping in tents near the Pyramids!
Saturday 2nd November Meroe – Khartoum
Rise and shine for an early morning visit to the royal city of Meroe.
Set off on an off-road/on-road adventure to visit Mussawart. This is a complex of temples dedicated the local god Apedamak – the lion god. This was the biggest construction in the history of Nubia.
After a local lunch we continue up to Naqa 20km from Mussawart. This was once a vital trading post between the Mediterranean world and Africa. It houses a wonderful collection of buildings dated to the first century AD.
Visit the Roman kiosk, which represents the intersection of various cultures both European and African.
Visit the Among temple.
Group A hits the road for Khartoum 150km from Naqa.
Check into the hotel followed, by a local farewell dinner.
Group B spends the night in Meroe, prepping up for the adventure of a lifetime!
Sunday 3rd November – Khartoum
End of tour for Group A.
Group B leaves early for the long trip to Abu Hamad, the end of the road in Sudan!
The town of Abu Hamad is one of the last stops on the train, and name after a sheikh who was buried here. Our guide will introduce us to the legends about him.
We enjoy our last dinner in a human settlement, before we head to… nowhere!
Overnight in tents by Abu Hamad.
Monday 4th November – Bir Tawil
Today, our expert guides drive us across the desert, where there is no road but the traces of the previous travellers’ cars.
We are in the deepest depths of the desert and shall stop for many photo opportunities.
Lunch today is a picnic in the desert.
We reach Bir Tawil in the evening!
Enjoy our camp meal outside of any country!
It wouldn’t be a YPT trip without a party — the first party, probably ever, in that part of the world!
Overnight in tents, in Bir Tawil!
Tuesday 5th November – Bir Tawil
Today, our day will be dedicated to the in-depth exploration of Bir Tawil.
If you brought a flag, plant it in Bir Tawil and claim the land! It is your opportunity to change the world and start a country according to your values (YPT can’t guarantee your claim will be approved by any international organization but you’re welcome to have a go at it!).
Lunch by our camp.
Afternoon spent exploring Bir Tawil some more. Chances are we’ll be scoring many firsts in that part of the world.
Dinner and overnight by our camp (the first human settlement?) in Bir Tawil.
Wednesday 6th November – Abu Hamad
As always, all good things must come to an end and we start making our way down towards Khartoum but this time as proper trail blazers; fathers and mothers of a nation.
Lunch on the way.
Arrival in Abu Hamad by the beginning of the evening. We’re back in civilization! Kind of…
Overnight camping by Abu Hamad.
Thursday 7th November – Khartoum
After a good breakfast, we’re back on the road!
We arrive by Khartoum in the early evening.
We go for an evening stroll around Khartoum.
Dinner in Khartoum and our last night party, remembering the time when we were kings and queens of our own land!
Friday 8th November – Khartoum/Juba
This morning, we will catch our flights to South Sudan. We recommend taking the very early flight ET343 leaving at 3:30 followed by flight ET 352 arriving in Juba at 11:15 so you don’t have to miss much of the day. (Flight not included in the price of the tour)
*For safety reasons, we chose not to make the South Sudan part of this itinerary public. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the detailed itinerary*
– Accommodation in twin share basis in Khartoum
– Camping equipment outside of Khartoum
– Breakfasts in Khartoum
– All meals outside of Khartoum
– Letter of Invitation and visa support for Sudan
– All transport by 4WD
– Entrance Fees
– English Speaking local guide and YPT Western Guide
– Photo permit and tour permit
– Hotel accommodation in Khartoum at 3 stars bed & breakfast bases
– Accommodation outside Khartoum as per program and based on full-board.
– transport in AC 4WD cars 3 persons in a car
– Local english speaking guide and YPT guide
– Entrance fees
– Passport registration
– Photo permit and tour permit
– Mineral water
– Invitation letter for visa purpose