Jebel Barkal in Khartoum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although the mountain is small, it is one of the top tourist destinations in Sudan.
The mountain is situated 400 km to the north of the Khartoum region. It is in the town of Karima in Sudan’s Northern State. You will see it on a big bend of the River Nile at Nubia.
What to See There
Even though the mountain is not that high, it is still a breathtaking sight. The reddish orange colors of the peaks are in sharp contrast to the blue sky and golden sands that sandwich it. The area is also known for the ruins of the temples and three palaces.
The mountain reaches a height of 98 m. The top is flat. For several years, the mountain was used as a landmark by travelers going between Egypt, Arabia and Africa.
Jebel Barkal in Khartoum has been in existence for a very long time. Records show that in 1450 BC, the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III included Jebel in his kingdom.
The pharaoh also campaigned close to the city of Napata. This would later become the capital of the Kush kingdom. Later on, the 25th Dynasty Nubian king Piye would establish the Temple of Amun in the area.
If possible, get a Sudanese visa from your own country. It can be difficult and complex otherwise. One of the easiest places to get one is Egypt.
But it will cost you US$100 or more. Getting visas in Ethiopia is cheaper, but the process can be complicated. If you are trying to get a visa from Kenya, the cost is at least 4000 Kenyan Shillings (US$50).
The ancient artifacts around the mountain were first seen by the Europeans in the early 1800s. Several discoveries have been made at the site. In 1862, several inscriptions dating from the 3rd Intermediate Period were uncovered. But it was not until 1916 that the inscriptions were examined. The excavations were performed by George Reisner in 1916.
Jebel was also used as a royal burial ground during the time of the Meroitic Kingdom. The oldest burials go back to the third century BC.
Jebel Barkal in Khartoum is one of the most popular destinations in Sudan. Anyone can visit the place. However, it is important that you follow and respect Islamic laws and customs.