"The open spaces" Wilayat Nahr an Nil by uglyscot

Wilayat Nahr an Nil Travel Guide: 20 reviews and 72 photos

Beyond Atbara, going north is pretty desolate. After the junction with the highway to Port Sudan, there is little traffic on the roads. the scenery is desolate and bare with little sign of life. In fact it was so boring, I took out a book and read for a couple of hundred kilometers.
Even the vegetation was sparse and although in places where there were rocky outcrops they were not interesting in shape or size. I wondered aloud if all the nooks and crannies among the hills had been explored and was told that probably they had been. During the Mahdiya, the army scouts would have searched the area thoroughly on their way south to face the British troops at Atbara.
The plant that looked interesting is a creeper with a gourd like fruit, but it is called 'hundal' because it is so bitter and useful for nothing; it was used in the tanning of hide in the past; and has been tried to stabilise the sand movement to some success.


One of the most interesting places between Khartoum and Shendi. Here is the Sixth Cataract that proved a barrier to ships trying to sail down the Nile. It is a beautiful area where the Nile flows between Granite and Sandstone hills. For more see my tip under Off The Beaten Track on my Sudan page.
There is a resort [of sorts] where tourists can shelter from the sun and have a picnic, or hire a boat for a couple of hours and sail up and down the gorge, see the small islands and , hopefully, catch sight of some of the brightly coloured birds.

El Geili

One of the towns before Shendi is El Geili. It is near the oil refinery, and is a medium sized little town. We were fortunate that when we had a puncture, it was here, and were able to get a new inner tube.
El geil is about 38 km from the Sabaloqa turn off. In this area rocky outcrops and boulders appear in the landscape,

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  • Cons:wide open spaces
  • Last visit to Wilayat Nahr an Nil: Mar 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2008 at 12:50 PM

    Choking on fishbones or anything is my specialty and I know it so am always very careful with them. The plant looks interesting even if useless. The desolateness of the area would frighten me.


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