Once the largest country in Africa, before South Sudan gained independence in 2011, Sudan has long enjoyed a connection with Egypt and the Nile that stretches back to antiquity. Its capital, Khartoum, lies at the convergence of the White and Blue Niles, where they meet to form the great river itself. From here these mighty waters then begin the long journey north, through the desert landscapes of ancient Nubia and into the fertile ribbon of the Nile Valley to the Mediterranean.
The country's recent history has been blighted by civil, political and religious unrest, but this vast land was the power-base of the powerful Kushite and Meroitic kingdoms for centuries. As with its neighbour to the north, Sudan’s landscape is littered with ancient pyramids, from those of Jebel Barkal, dating back to the 1st century BC, to the ancient city of Meroe, once the capital of the Kingdom of Kush.
Rich in history and culture, Sudan can boast nearly 600 different ethnic groups, divided between the Muslim north and the Christian south. Speaking over 400 different languages and dialects, this cultural and religious divide has had a profound effect on the history of the country. It is these people though, and their remarkable diversity of traditions and histories, that are a key highlight to any visit to this incredible country.