Tourism Ireland

The Meroe Pyramids in Sudan

by Benjamin Kerns

Mar 31, 2015

Meroe, Sudan, The Pyramids of Nubia © Uros Ravbar | Dreamstime

History

The Egyptian Pyramids get all the publicity, but the Meroe Pyramids in Sudan offer fantastic sights a little further away from civilization.

 

The pyramids are located in the northeastern part of Sudan in the area known as Nubia. They sit just off the banks of the Nile River. They’re smaller in scope than their Egyptian cousins, but there are far more to look at. The Meroe Pyramids were once made of roughly 200 pyramids in varying size and shape.

 

Meroe, Sudan, The Pyramids of Nubia © Retlaw Snellac | Flickr

© Retlaw Snellac | Flickr

 

The pyramids are the remnants of the Merotic Kingdom, sometimes known as the Kush Kingdom. Construction began 800 years after the Egyptian pyramids were completed.

 

They’re composed of sandstone and many of them are much steeper than those found in Egypt. You’ll find the closest town to the Meroe Pyramids is Shendi, along the railway that follows the banks of the Nile. There are no accommodations, restaurants or restrooms close by so it’s important to be prepared before you go. Pack a light lunch and hit the toilet before taking off.

 

Meroe, Sudan, The Pyramids of Nubia © Lucio Andreetto | Flickr

© Lucio Andreetto | Flickr

 

A US10 visitor’s permit is required to visit the pyramids, which is easily obtained at the Antiquities Service in Khartoum. Khartoum is about a day’s ride away so you’ll need to get your permit ahead of time.

 

These days there are only about 80 pyramids still standing due to looting for treasure and environmental erosion, but it’s a fascinating sight. Excavations take place regularly here and, if you’re lucky, you might get to take a small part in one.

 

Meroe, Sudan, The Pyramids of Nubia © Uros Ravbar | Dreamstime 5232988

© Uros Ravbar | Dreamstime

 

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