Meroe Travel Guide

  • Northern Cemetary
    Northern Cemetary
    by sachara
  • Royal City
    Royal City
    by sachara
  • interior of the restaurant, stairs to the terrace
    interior of the restaurant, stairs to...
    by sachara

Meroe Highlights

  • Pro
    uglyscot profile photo

    uglyscot says…

     ancient site 

  • Con
    maykal profile photo

    maykal says…

     No comparison to Pyramids of Giza....but who wants decorated camels anyway? 

  • In a nutshell
    flynboxes profile photo

    flynboxes says…

     Could be a place for a spiritual moment? 

Meroe Things to Do

  • Hey tourist......

    In an attempt to draw tourist the Gov't build some pyramids at the site out of cement to show folks what the pyramids looked like when they were first built...except these are smaller versions of the real thing.Hint to tourism officals in to your buddies in Khartoum and make it easier for tourists to get into the country in the first...

  • Hey, where did the roof go????

    For every place of beauty on earth there has to be some retard around to mess it up. In this case the retards were early Indiana Jones's looking for treasure. They took the roofs off several pyraminds and did not find much..go figure - should have done their homework first but the ^^%$&^"s probably could not read?

  • Peekaboo I see.....

    Nothing? Yep, you can do the same thing here as you can in Giza except you don't have to walk a 100 yards or so hunched over to see it nor do you have to pay and you can take your camera inside.....

  • carvings from the funeral chapels

    There are still quite a few of the original carvings to be seen in the funerary chapels and on the pylon walls, although sand is filling some of the chapels.Although much of the symbolism is taken from the Ancient Egyptian religion, there is a strong Meroitic influence, especially in the garments and appearance of the kings and queens, the latter...

  • The northern cemetery

    The Northern Cemetery is the most interesting of all the sites at Begrawiya. Of the 57 known pyramids , only half can be seen. The oldest are built at the highest level of the outcrop and then later ones were built further and further down, and out of red brick rather than sandstone.Pyramid N 1 is a stepped pyramid, the only one.There is no chapel...

  • the western cemetery

    The Western Cemetery like the southern cemetery dates to the Ancestral era of the Meroitic. The western pyramids are fewer and less interesting to look at than the others. They are on flat ground and surrounded by a metal fence. Some reconstruction has taken place, but otherwise it looks fairly neglected and off the beaten track.

  • Southern Cemetery part II

    The pyramids would all have been covered with white plaster which is resistant to the weather. They would have been painted red with blue decorations, and on top there would have been a pyramidon brightly painted yellow. The funerary chapels face east, but the decoration within varied according to the time it was constructed.

  • The Southern Cemetery

    The pyramids in the southern cemetery are the oldest in Begrawiya. I have not been able to find much written about them, but we decided to go there first, as last time we ignored them. Looking across the wadi to the Northern Cemetery there is a wonderful view of the pyramids there, so slogging across the sand and up the outlier was well worth...

  • Visit Begrawiya

    The pyramids of the Sudan outnumber those to be found in Egypt. Although they are smaller and steeper, and the Sudanese claim they are older on the principal that you start small until you get experience, they are accepted by traditional archaeologists as of much later date.The Sudanese kingdoms of Napata and Meroe were from about 900 BC to 500...

  • Ancient Pyramids of Meroe

    I've been told that the pyramids in Meroe is even older than those in Egypt and so I had to go and see them myself. The trip will take you 3 hours from Khartoum and it's a hot & tiring one at that. Once you arrive there, don't bother looking for a fancy giftshop or a ticket booth because you will have to negotiate with the "gatekeeper" (I call him...

  • Camel ride

    An interesting thing to do in Meroe is to have a camel ride. There will be some camels parked at the entrance of the Meroe Pyramids. If you want a ride, you will have to bargain because the prices are pretty high (I was asked SD4000 or USD18). You can get a short ride around the pyramids for SD500 (after bargaining) but be aware that the camel...

  • The Royal city of Meroe

    There is not much left of the royal city apart from the ruins of the temple, and the Roman baths. However, the latter are interesting and in good condition.


Meroe Restaurants

  • grets's Profile Photo

    by grets Written Nov 24, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The historical site of Meroe is so uncommericalised that there is no food outlets here. If you do wish to eat something during your visit, you need to bring your own.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Desert
    • Archeology

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Meroe Transportation

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    Sand Dune, Bajrawiya

    by maykal Written Sep 3, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    From Khartoum, take a bus heading to Atbara, and ask to be let off at Bajrawiya or Al-Ahram. If they don't stop the bus, then you should be able to spot them through the windows...I mean, thirty black pyramids and orange sand dunes do tend to bbe hard to miss, especially with the dull scenery for the rest of the trip...when you see them, start clicking! The fare to Atbara on a hafla (cheapish bus) is 10,000 pounds. Bajrawiya is about halfway between Khartoum and Atbara, but they may insist on making you pay full fare...argue! Leaving the pyramids, basically you have no option but to hitch...most vehicles will stop, especially if they see a khawaja...we caught a lift on a police water truck to Shendi, from where we took a bus back to Khartoum.

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Meroe Shopping

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  • souvenirs

    Inside and outside the entrance to the pyramids are stalls or displays of things for sale. They vary from handicrafts to coins, jewellery ,stones and other 'old 'things.The nice thng is the salesmen who try to encourage you to look at their goods, but do not haggle or annoy you like their counterparts at sites in Egypt.Nothing, except coins and...

  • Local craft

    You won't get any souvenir shops at Meroe Pyramids but if you would like to take home something, you can buy from some locals at the entrance. You can bargain if you like but the prices are already quite good. Choose from musical instruments made of turtle shell & goat skin or mini pyramid shaped like the ones in Meroe. Non of these are made in...

  • Craft stalls

    There are a few people selling local crafts just outside the "gates" of the site. They are mainly children and are not at all pushy, just very grateful if you do buy! Carved stone pyramids, clay pots, bead jewellery, coins and other crafts.


Meroe Warnings and Dangers

  • toilet facilities

    Few sites will have toilet facilities, but the site at Bejrawiya does. The toilet is just a hole in the ground, but it is kept clean. However there are no facilities for washing your hands, nor toilet tissue provided. Therefore, it is advisable to take either a toilet roll or moisturised wipes when travelling anywhere outside the capital or the...

  • damage to monuments

    The monuments at Begrawiya are quite fragile, although over two thousand years old. Early explorers deliberately damaged the tops of the pyramids in search of treasure. Adventurers and visitors have carved their names into the blocks, sometimes even defacing ancient carvings.I know of some enlightened visitors [supposedly] who thought it fun to...

  • The sun and heat

    The sun is particularly strong here, and there is percious little shade available. Make sure you wear a hat and drink plenty of water. Dehydration is extremely unpleasant, and there is nowhere near the site to purchase drinks, so bring it all with you!


Meroe Tourist Traps

  • Camel ride

    Taking a camel ride in Meroe. The camel owners will offer you a cheap price up front to get your business and beat out the the competition (the other 3-4 camel touts). Go out there with what you want to spend and nothing more since that cheap price you negotiated at the start of the ride will go up at the end or they will try and charge you for a...

  • No video permit, No need to buy ticket...

    According to Below line I worried to pay Viedo permit fee.But when I got to there Meroe nobody asked me to pat the fee.I think she had been cheated by guides.No more you don't need to go to Sudan national museum to buy travel permits including Meroe.You can pay it in front of the gate.This is updated information. (July 2007)

  • Video permit

    In order to use a video camera within the archaeological site, a permit is required. This permit can be obtained from the office by the entrance at a cost of US$50! Make sure you receive a receipt, as there has been known to be some corruption going on here!


Meroe What to Pack

  • BorneoGrrl's Profile Photo

    by BorneoGrrl Written Apr 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Be mindful that this is the desert so dress for it. Always protect yourself from the sun, heat & sand by wearing a hat, comfortable cotton clothes and comfortable walking shoes, preferably trainers because hot sand might dry & burn your feet if you wear sandals

    Miscellaneous: Bring bottled water and a small snack, in case of dehydration

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Meroe Off The Beaten Path

  • Temple to the Sun and others

    Scattered around a large area surrounding the city of Meroe, are other, badly ruined temples, most of which you are not permitted to enter. Our driver took us on a sightseeing tour by car - driving around the outside of these temples and stopping for us to take photographs.

  • The temple to Amun

    Amun is known as the god of air and wind, who also later became god of fertility and the Creator of all things. He was said to be able to assume any form he wished, including any of the other gods. He bacame the national deity.

  • The Royal City

    A little distance away from the main site at Meroe, is the Royal City. You need to driver off the main road - no signs - across the desert and the railway line. There is a keeper of the site, who will let you in. It is a short walk from the entrance to the city, which is basically just a great big heap of stones!


Meroe Favorites

See all 5 Favorites in Meroe
  • Slip, slop, slap????

    Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat??? Isn't that what you Aussies are taught growin up? Same applies here except bring some water with you if you plan to hike around a bit. from 11-3pm it is like an over here most of the time and it is a dry heat so even though your body may sweat a'll dry up quicker than you can curse...

  • Other tourists

    There are not many places of interest left in this world, where you can wander freely and have the attraction all to yourself! Meroe is one of them. Taking our time, walking around the site, peeking inside the pyramids, walking behind them, making my own footprints on the sand dunes! Just us! No touts, no guides, no sales people, no beggars, no...

  • Beautiful setting

    The pyramids are literally in the middle of nowhere. As you are driving down the road, you can spot them in the distance, surrounded by desert on all sides. The main road is paved, to get to the site you just driver off the road and across the desert anywhere you want! :-) Most of the surrounding area is flat and featureless, but the pyramids...


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Explore Deeper into Meroe
Tourist Traps
Warnings and Dangers
A spread out site
Things to Do
Making a living
Things to Do
Living conditions
Things to Do
Things to Do
Ancient Nubia
Things to Do
Explore the tombs
Things to Do
Get a permit!
Map of Meroe

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