The Ruins of Karima and El-Kurru


Northern State

Republic of The Sudan

February 3, 2020

Dear Friends,

A solitary geological oddity, clearly visible from every direction, Jebel Barkal rises from the flat tan desert floor into the cloudless desert sky.   In the morning, my first glimpse of the mountain is from the south as I approach the site after a northbound 400-kilometer (250 mile) ride from Khartoum.  In the twilight I observe the now darkened mountain from the west as I cross the Nile to El-Kurru. 

Barkal Mountain is considered a “Small Mountain.”  With a flat top, it’s only 98 meters high (322 feet).  Apparently for the younger set, an easy climb.

The Royal Pyramids of Nuri


Northern State

Republic of the Sudan

February 4, 2020

Not far from Karima and Jebel Barkal, the weather-beaten, yet charming royal pyramids of Nuri slowly reveal their hidden history and under-water treasure.

Owing to the effects of the Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser in southern Egypt, the underground water levels of the Nile have risen and drowned the hidden chambers of the Nubian pharaohs and queens in northern Sudan.

The SCUBA-equipped underwater archaeologists gather buckets of mud from beneath the pyramid as they search for any evidence of the buried rulers.  The buckets are carried up from the base of the structure to other scientists who laboriously and patiently sift and discover.

National Geographic has published an article about the watery tombs.

Sudan continues to be a challenging and fascinating land for both determined scientists and curious travelers.

Royal Pyramids of Meroe


Northern State

The Republic of The Sudan

February 5, 2020

Dear Friends and Fellow Explorers,

If I close my eyes and eliminate the National Geographic video team and a few dedicated archaeologists, I can imagine that today, I alone “discovered” the Meroë Pyramids (270 BCE- 450 CE).  

Tourists are a rarity here, even though the pyramids built by the Kushite royalty are the most visited site in Sudan.  (“Most visited” is a relative term.)

Today it is just me and my guide, the rising sun, the setting sun and the hills and sands of the Nubian desert.

The Dam at Jebel Aulia

Jabal Awliya

Nahr An Nill State

The Republic of the Sudan

February 14, 2020

Jebel Aulia  (Jabal al Awliyā', Jebel Aulia, Gebel Aulia) lies 60 kilometers south of Khartoum.  The village is the home of the Jebel Aulia Hydroelectric Dam that harnesses the waters of the White Nile.

Built by the British for the Egyptian government, the dam opened in 1937 and was the largest dam in the world.

In the village I found impressive works of graffiti, curious/friendly people, and heaps of enormous watermelons.