Video: Visiting The Pyramids of Sudan


Sudan is near the top of my list of countries I haven’t been to that I want to explore. One of the main things I’m aching to see are the pyramids of Meroë. This site has dozens of pyramids built starting around 720 BC.

Meroë was one of the capitals of the Nubian Empire, which at times rivaled its more famous northern neighbor, Egypt. As archaeologists continue to excavate in the Sudan, they’re finding that it had more influence on ancient Egyptian culture than previously thought. The Nubians even took over Egypt and installed their own dynasty there, ruling from 760-656 BC before the Egyptians kicked them out.

The pyramids at Meroë are a two-and-a-half hour drive north of the modern capital Khartoum. This video takes us on that journey, with a classic soundtrack to get us in the mood. The camel crossing reminds me of a similar holdup I experienced in Ethiopia’s Somali region!

Photo of the Day: Sudanese Desert Landscape

sudanese desert landscape

A Sudanese desert landscape like this one doesn’t materialize everyday here at Gadling. Sudan isn’t the easiest country to visit, nor the least expensive. It’s also not the very safest place to spend time as a tourist in the aggregate. Both the US State Department and the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise their citizens very generally to at the very least seriously investigate the risks before visiting Sudan.

I don’t mean to make light of any of this in considering this image, snapped by Flickr user Mark Fischer in February in Ash Shamaliyah, Sudan, to be very striking. The contrast of the blue sky against the orange sand is beautifully interrupted by small, lonely buildings.

Upload your images of lonely desert landscapes to the Gadling Group Pool on Flickr. We choose our favorites from the pool as Photos of the Day.

Photo of the Day: Sudanese guide

I had never heard of the ancient Nubian tombs at El-Kurru, located in Sudan, until I saw today’s photo by Flickr user Mark Fischer. Mark took the photo above of his guide while wandering around exploring the site. I was immediately drawn to the man’s bemused posture and stoic glare. I wonder what he knows about this place? What stories could he tell us? You’ll just have to head to Sudan to find the answer…

Have any great photos to share from your travels? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day – Colorful clothing in Khartoum

Color. It surrounds us so completely that it’s easy to take it for granted, becoming a sort of visual white noise, unobserved and innocuous. Yet the strategic use of color in a travel photo can really draw in the viewer’s attention. Take the emerald green scarf in the photo above – it’s exactly what caught my eye in Flickr user Mark Fischer’s photo from Sudan. It literally shouts at your eyes against the muted white background of the characters in back. The man’s weathered face, faint smile and white wisps of facial hair further add to the intrigue of this mysterious character.

Taken any great travel photos of your own? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

New Book celebrates 10 years of the Tour d’Afrique

The Tour d'Afrique celebrates ten yearsThe Tour d’Afrique is a legendary cycling event that runs from Cairo to Cape Town on an annual basis. Covering more than 7500 miles, and requiring four months to complete, the Tour is a popular “bucket list” item for adventure travelers and cyclists the world over. This year, the Tour d’Afrique commemorates its tenth anniversary, and to celebrate, the company behind the epic event has released a fantastic coffee table book entitled 10: Celebrating Ten Years of the Tour d’Afrique Bicycle Race and Expedition.

The book begins with a forward written by Tour founder Henry Gold. A decade ago, when he first pitched the idea of a bike ride across Africa, Gold was met with skepticism to say the least. Many thought that it simply wasn’t possible for an event like this one to exist and he was regularly told he was crazy for even considering it. Ten year later, Gold has turned his idea into a yearly event, and his adventure travel company produces similar cycling tours in a host of other locations across the globe.

10 is filled with stories from the road, as riders share tales, quotes, and anecdotes of their own experiences from the Tour. For some, it was a life altering experience for others an adventure of a lifetime, but no one who has taken part in the journey has come away unchanged. Their words are likely to inspire readers to want to join Tour as well, and even if you haven’t been on a bike in years, you may find yourself dreaming of pedaling under African skies. The book doesn’t try to hide the challenges of the ride, which range from oppressive heat to unexpected downpours, not to mention ever changing road conditions, but the amazing beauty of Africa and the camaraderie that is formed amongst the riders, will have a universal appeal all the same.

If the words of the riders don’t inspire you than perhaps the amazing photographs contained in this book will. 10 is a visual love letter to cycling, adventure travel, and most importantly, Africa itself. The 252 page volume is packed with breathtaking images that have been compiled over the past decade and capture the spirit of the Tour very well. Not only do those photos show the day-to-day experiences of the ride, but they also manage to convey a sense of wonder at the countries and environments that the riders pass through, as well as the people that live there.

If you have a cyclist or adventure traveler on your holiday shopping list, than this book is sure to be a hit. Just be warned, after reading it, they may feel compelled to join the ride themselves. Africa is most definitely calling.