If you think pyramids are the exclusive domain of Egypt, think again. Khartoum has its fair share of these architectural marvels, classified as Nubian pyramids, which are smaller and have steeper sides than their Egyptian counterparts. These structures are believed to have been built around 2,700 years ago, during the Kushite dynasty.
Khartoum has more than 200 pyramids – far more than Egypt’s inventory – and the majority of them can be found in Meroë, the remains of an ancient trading hub. Up close, they are truly impressive to behold, with each pyramid bearing decorative elements from Pharaonic Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations. If you want the full experience, there are camping trips available, led by local guides. There is nothing quite like watching the sunset over these extraordinary monuments.
Most of Khartoum’s attractions are linked to Sudan’s history, such as Mahdi’s Tomb in Omdurman, a shrine to Muslim leader Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah. The Republican Palace Museum, which exhibits artefacts of cultural and historical significance, is also worth a visit. Alternatively, if you want to see some live action, Omdurman also hosts Nuba wrestling, which is considered a recreational sport.
While you are in the area, pay a visit to the Hamed el-Nil Mosque. Here you will witness the sensational spectacle of Sufi dervishes whipping themselves as part of a ceremony.