The 10 best places to visit in Sudan

North east of the capital, Khartoum, lie the ruins of the ancient city of Naqa, an important city of the Kushitic Kingdom of Meroe and one of the most important centre of one of the first civilizations of Black Africa. The site comprises several temples dating from the 4th century BC to the 4th century AD and is one of the largest ruined sites in Sudan. The two most notable temples are the Amun and Apedemak, also known as the temple of the Lion. Both temples remain well preserved.

Pictured is the Roman Kiosk.

10. Naqa

 

In the eastern centre of the country, on a plateau at the junction where the White Nile and Blue Nile converge is the capital city, Khartoum, the largest and most populated of the three cities of Sudan. One of Khartoum's highlights is the National Museum Of Sudan, the largest museum in the country. Among the exhibits are two Egyptian temples of Buhen and Semna, relocated to Khartoum upon the flooding of Lake Nasser.

9. Khartoum

 

In the far east of the country, a stones throw from the border with Eritrea is the market town of Kassala, famous for its fruit gardens. What sets Kassala apart from other towns in the country is the surrounding landscape, and the monolithic rocks that make up the picturesque Taka Mountains.

8. Kassala

 

In the far south east of the country, straddling the border with Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Highlands is the 10,000 square kilometre (3,900 square mile) Dinder National Park, a protected area of rivers, woodland and wildlife. Home to 27 species of large mammal, including lion, leopard and cheetah, it is also a major flyway for birds migrating between Eurasia and Africa.

7. Dinder National Park

 

Situated some 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) off the shoreline of Sudan in the central Red Sea is the isolated coral reef structure known as Sanganeb, protected within the 2,607 square kilometre (1,006 square mile) Sanganeb Marine National Park. Home to impressive natural phenomena and reef formations, the semi-enclosed nature of its location has created a relatively undisturbed and unique ecosystem of species. The Sanganeb Marine National Park along with Dungonab Bay and Mukkwar Island have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. Sanganeb Marine National Park

 

Founded in the fifth century, to the north west of he capital, Khartoum, is the now deserted site of Old Dongola, an important city of medieval Nubia. Originally founded as a fortress, the town soon evolved around it, where it became the capital of the Makurian State until the 10th century. The archaeological site of today shows the remains of many ancient churches and qubbas, a large tomb structure, though the most significant landmark is undoubtedly the Throne Hall, a massive mostly destroyed defense like building dating from the 9th century.

Pictured are the qubba tomb structures.

5. Old Dongola

 

In the east of the country, between the large Red Sea city of Port Sudan and the capital, Khartoum, are the Arkawit Mountains, its highest summit reaching approximately 2,000 metres (6,561 ft) above sea level. In an area where the countries weather is more mild for most of the year, the landscape is one of high rocky peaks, large plateaus, and deep valleys.

4. Arkawit Mountains

 

In the far west of the country, running close to the border with Chad are the Marrah Mountains, translated as Woman Mountains, due to the outline of a reclining female when viewed from the south east. The ranges highest point is the Deriba Caldera, reaching 3,042 metres (9,980 ft) above sea level, the ancient volcano with its two peak lakes is also the highest point in Sudan. Rising dramatically above the dry savannah and scrubland around it, the steep craggy peaks of the Marrah Mountains are among the most visually striking terrain in Sudan.

Pictured is the Deriba Caldera.

3. Marrah Mountains

In the north of the country, north of the capital, Khartoum, are five archaeological sites that stretch more than 60 kilometres (23 miles) in the Nile Valley, they are the Kurru, Nuri, Sanam, Zuma and the Gebel Barkal, a testament to the Napatan and Meroitic cultures of the second kingdom of Kush. Dating from 900 BC to 350 AD, the site includes the remains of tombs, with and without pyramids, temples, living complexes and palaces. Representing masterpieces of creative genius for the period, Gebel Barkal and the sites of the Napatan Region, with pyramids unique to Sudan have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Gebel Barkal

 

Located to the north east of the modern day capital, Khartoum, within the semi desert landscape close to the Nile River are the remains of the Island Of Meroe, the heart of the ancient Kingdom of Kush, the southern capital of the Napata and Meroitic Kingdom that spanned between 800 BC and 350 AD. Today, this incredible site contains the remains of the royal city of the Kushite kings, featuring temples, domestic buildings and over 200 pyramids, of which many are in ruin. As one of the earliest and most impressive sites south of the Sahara, with a wealth of distinctive Nubian pyramids that are unique to the region, Meroe is undoubtedly one of the most impressive historical locations in Africa, if not the world. Because of this historic value to mankind, the archaeological sites of the Island Of Meroe have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1. Meroe Pyramids

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