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Destinations

SUDAN

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Destinations

SUDAN

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Destinations

SUDAN

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Destinations

SUDAN

Sudan, an often-overlooked travel destination, is a true diamond in the rough: for those that do venture a visit, there await landscapes and history that will dazzle and delight in equal measure.

Sudan is one of our favourite secret treasures, for the wonderful reason that no one else goes there. Not only this, but the enchanting magic of the Sahara Desert conjures up mirages of a history that goes as far back as the Pharaohs. For pyramids and Egyptology without the tacky tourism and seething masses, there is nowhere quite like this incredible piece of the planet.

Best time to traval: Sudan is spectacular all year round, although its blazing summer heat from June to September is not for the faint-hearted.

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Cave of Swimmers

Rising out of the endless sands of the Sahara, the Gilf Kebir plateau enfolds a cave whose walls are adorned with extraordinary 10,000-year-old depictions of people swimming. Many believe that this olden rock art depicts a time when one of the driest places on Earth was lush and wet – a belief borne out a few years ago by the discovery of an ancient mega-lake buried mysteriously beneath the sand.

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Khartoum’s Whirling Dervishes

Khartoum is the symbolic meeting place of the Blue and White Nile, as well as host to some excellent museums that unveil some of Sudan’s rich history. A visit to the abode of General Gordon, who was instrumental in ending slavery in Sudan, also makes for an interesting afternoon. End with watching Sufi dervishes as they spin and whirl to a trance state to attain communion with their deity.

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Land of the Black Pharaohs

It is only in the past forty years that archaeologists have unearthed the tale of the black pharaohs: a succession of regal Nubian kings who reigned over an Egyptian empire that stretched from Khartoum to the Mediterranean. Monuments to their prowess are carved in exquisite black marble to represent their dark African skin, and pyramids bear testament to the splendour of their rule.

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Desert Crossings

Traversing a desert in an old land cruiser, camping out under a chilly canopy of stars, and roaming where no one else goes is a sure-fire way to put an element of the expeditionary into your trip. You will encounter nomadic Bedouin-like tribes, ancient African kingdoms built to grandeur and laid to waste, and monuments washed away by the sands of time, as you make your way through a landscape whose harshness is matched only by its beauty.

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Egyptology

It is a little-known fact that Sudan’s pyramids are greater in number than all of Egypt’s, and boast the immeasurable advantage of not having even a quarter of the volume of tourists that Cairo’s or Luxor’s attract. The deserts are strewn with ancient statues, beautiful chapels and monumental pyramids, and their timeless immensity beckons for adventures and exploration to anyone with an interest in Egyptology.

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The Red Sea à la Cousteau

Jacques Cousteau once called this his favourite place to dive in all the planet’s oceans, and the remains of the submerged village he designed are well worth a dive down to see. The beauty of this underwater world is that it is still pristine, and as its shores are desert, there is no rainwater or rivers to cloud visibility. Enormous congregations of hammerheads and bull sharks and stunning archipelagos dotted off the coastline make this a thoroughly matchless destination.