Sabaloqa, The Sixth Cataract
The Sixth Cataract at Sabaloqa is the last of the cataracts when travelling up the Nile. It is about 2 hours drive from Khartoum, depending on traffic and finding a good guide when you reach the Tourist Police Security sign. It is essential to have a local guide as finding the way is not easy. Head for the end of the range of hills, and then turn back in a loop and follow tracks through the villages until you reach the river. There are several 'resorts' but we used the best one belonging to Zaki el Din, which has shelters [ tented or straw provided with local wooden beds, mats, a table and chairs for picnics].There is a person selling tea, and a toilet before the entrance [clean but basic]. The highlight of the visit to this beautiful place is a boat trip. We negotiated a boat trip with Abbas - 2 hours for £Sd 100, plus £SD 20 tip .
The gorge is beautiful with small islands , uninhabited except for goats. The area was originally volcanic and the sandstone is weathered into amazing shapes. The cataract itself is not very impressive, but in a boat is a great experience.
There are reportedly a lot of birds to be seen, but though we saw some, there were no water birds. We saw plovers, small red finches, Bishop birds, pied kingfishers and weaver birds at their nests.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Family Travel
Visit Khartoum as a tourist
Khartoum in itself is about as far off the beaten path as you can get. Most tourists arrive by plane and jump on another heading to Port Sudan to meet up with a dive boat to take them out on the Red SeaRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
Jebel Moya is the site of an early settlement. It was explored by the Wellcome Trust.
Although the site is not far from the Sennar-Kosti road, it is not easily accessible. It involves a scramble or climb up to the mountain where the site is. Nothing remains to be seen of the graves, except in places an oval of stones, but there is a building where the early archaeologists sorted out their finds. Today the area is covered with small pieces of broken pottery on which lines and designs can still be seen.
There is a peculiar beehive shaped bakehouse [modern] , and the view from the hill is fine.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
east bank of the Blue Nile
The eastern bank of the Blue Nile is somewhat off the main transport route still, although roads are under construction. The new bridge linking Khartoum and Hag Yousif makes access to the villages along the east bank easier, but still the villages are not generally visited. The area east of the Nile is generally called the Butana. the only irrigation is from the Atbara river, where a new dam has recently been built.
Archaeologically speaking there is little of interest except the Christian remains- a church- at Soba East, but they are not really worth making a trip to see.
Some of the villages are Geraif East, Elaphon and Um Dom, and Um Dom island.Related to:
- Road Trip
Leave Kharthoum, If You Can
Most people miss anything outside Karthoum. This could have something to do with the tragic civil war, roaming bands of guerillas, or simply the local government's reticence to issue passes to unsuspecting tourists. Still, if you must go to Sudan and you have your insurance in good order, anything at all is better than the heat and stench and crowds of Khartoum.
Kharthoum's setting at the confluence of the White Nile and Blue Nile and the physical vestiges of the colonial era and of the 1881-1885 Mahdist uprising are wonderful to see. From Khartoum one can drive out into the desert and north to the fascinating ruins of the 3,000-year-old Nubian civilization. One can go for a boat ride on the Nile or walk or run along its banks in the early morning hours before the intense heat tightens its grip on the city.
How about getting further out of the city? I traveled, at great risk and greater discomfort, to the tiny, rural town of Um Rawaba. Today, I cannot even find this village on a map .... and why would I want to? Well, I will say that this visit was the best thing about my visit to Sudan. Great people, friendly smiles, warm hospitality and, most of all, a feeling of hope. I can only pray that hope continues, despite many continuing years of violence and lack of progress in this country.
Off the beaten track
The main travel route is from Egypt along the Nile down to Khartoum and on to Ethiopia or the other way round. All other destinations are off the beaten track. Expect to enjoy some exhausting slow travelling probably you will be the only foreigner in most of the places.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
All around the outskirts of Khartoum, we came across refugee camps such as this one. As well as its own displaced persons from the civil was in the south of the country and the genocide in Darfur, over one million refugees have flocked to Sudan from neighbouring Chad and Ethiopia, fleeing war and famine.
Returning to Khartoum from the desert, we travelled through a couple of these displaced persons' villages and saw first hand the conditions they live in. Appalling poverty and deprivation is the norm, coupled with filth and sqalor. It makes my heart bleed to see how these people subsist in this dry and poor country.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
99% of the country
Sudan has very few tourists - there really is no 'beaten path' to speak of. However, most tourists who do come are simply passing through - Sudan is on the route of both the Cairo-Capetown and East-West Africa overland routes.
As a result, most people come up along the Nile to Khartoum and then over to Ethiopia, or across from Chad through Darfur and Kordofan (well, not at the moment for obvious reasons!) The rigidity with which people stick to these routes means huge swathes of the country are missed out, particularly the northeast and east (Port Sudan, Suakin, Kassala etc) and also the more remote areas of desert and Kordofan.
Sudan is so big that it's impossible to see it all (the political situation makes that impossible anyway) but these places are all well worth a detour. Spend a bit longer here and don't rush off!Related to:
- Budget Travel
The entire country can be...
The entire country can be described as 'off the beaten path' i suppose! A lovely spot i discovered that i am sure not a lot of foreigners have seen was the Fagongo Mountains, on the road between Kosti and Sennar. They are just a few heaps of rock really, sticking out of the totally flat landscape as if someone had dropped them there by accident. Very easy to climb in a few minutes, to the amazement of locals who see it as an incredible feat!
On local transport it's unlikely that you're going to be put into a situation where you have to dig your vehicle out. However, if you're travelling from Chad solo and have hitched a ride on a truck or you're like me on a paid overland adventure then you'll definately encounter some soft spots where sand mats have to be used or as with this photo some hard spots where the dif doesn't clear the centre mound and its out with the pick axes to make a road through.
I guess I can say whole Sudan...
I guess I can say whole Sudan is 'Off the beaten path'. Not many tourists goes there. Guess it has to do with the general image of Sudan: War, famine etc.
Certainly these things takes place in parts of the country but Sudan is Africas biggest country and in most places in the north life goes on peacefully. I never had problems but you need some patience to travel there as things move slowly.... THE PHOTO: SUNSET IN KHARTOUM.
Africa Road, P.O. Box 12290, Khartoum, Sudan
Good for: Couples
Port Sudan, 79800, Sudan
Good for: Couples
I stayed in this hotel for one month on May 2013. I have honestly found it to be the best hotel in...more
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