Darb el Arbain - Wadi Howar Expedition, Sudan
17 days, 3 - 19 March 2005


Due to reports of rebel activity and banditry in the Wadi Howar and the South Libyan Desert oases, and the indeterminable security situation, this expedition has been postponed to a later date. At present (2012) the situation in the Darfur shows no sign of improvement.

Ever since my first visit to Sudan in 1981, I wished to return, and it seems the opportunity has come. Viaggi Maurizio Levi has a number of desertworthy vehicles (Landcruisers and 4x4 HiLux pickups) stationed in Khartoum, we are jointly preparing this itinerary. We reviewed the Darfur situation with Maurizio in September, and concluded that presently it appears the trip is feasible with the itinerary planned below (that was prepared considering both the load-bearing capabilities of the Model -62 Landcruisers available, and the desire to stay well north of the populated areas of the Darfur). The starting / ending dates may vary +/- two to three days to fit the Aswan - Wadi Halfa ferry schedules and flight schedules out of Khartoum.

Planned Itinerary

Day 0.- Aswan - Wadi Halfa

The trip will commence in Wadi Halfa, arriving with the Aswan-Wadi Halfa ferry. This is partially to eliminate the need of the long (3 day) drive from Khartoum, and also to allow the shipment of supplies and equipment easily from Egypt. Aswan may easily be reached by either rail or air.

Day 1.- Wadi Halfa - Abri (ferry over the Nile) - Soleb temple - Selima oasis

On the first day, we'll cross the Nile, visit the temple of Soleb, and start out to Selima (reaching it by nightfall depends on when we can start from WH.)

Day 2. - Selima - Burg el Tuyur - Laqiya Arbain

Drive down along the Darb el Arbain, making a detour to the rock of Burg el Tuyur.

Day 3. - Laqiya Arbain - Merga Oasis

Drive down along the Arbain Scarp to Merga Oasis (Along Wilson's 1932 route).

Day 4. - Wadi Hussein / Oyo

Visit the depressions slightly North of Merga where Almásy found rock art and a long-lost well.

Day 5. - Merga - Bir Natrun - Jebel Rahib

Drive south to Jebel Rahib by way of Natrun Oasis.

Day 6-7. - Jebel Rahib area

Explore the Jebel Rahib, where a number of known rock art sites exist (and possibly yet undiscovered ones).

Day 8. - Wadi Howar

Spend a day in the Wadi Howar, south and east of Jebel Rahib.

Day 9-10. - Jebel Tageru area

Drive south to the northern tip of the Jebel Tageru, containing several rock art sites described by Newbold. Explore the area, on the border of the desert and the arid savana.

Day 11. - Jebel Tageru - Wadi Howar - Abu Tabari

Start our return via the Wadi HoWar towards the Nile, via Abu Tabari.

Day 12. Abu Tabari - Debba (ferry accross Nile) - Kuri - Karima

Reach the Nile at Debba, continue via the Pyramids of Kuri to Jebel Barkal / Napata.

Day 13. - Jebel Barkal / Nuri

Visit the monuments at Jebel Barkal / Napata and the Pyramids of Nuri.

Day 14. - Merowe - Atbara - Meroë

Full day's drive south to Atbara and ancient Meroë.

Day 15. Meroë - Musawwaret el Sufra - Naqa

Visit Meroë / Musawwaret el Sufra, reaching Naqa by nightfall.

Day 16. Naqa - Khartum

Visit Naqa in the morning before continuing to Khartoum.