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Middle East & Africa 2009 Photography

The Ravaged, War-torn, Peaceful, Gentle & Stunningly Hospitable Country of Sudan

In my last post I asked what readers wanted to see more of. At the top of the list was more photographs.

An excellent choice, as I’ve recently been reviewing my raw images from the road. And no other month in my life was more eye-opening than the one I spent trundling through the sun-baked deserts, Nile-side hamlets and roasting savannahs of Sudan, from Egypt in the north to Ethiopia in the south-east.

Unfinished road in the Nubian desert, Sudan

The country features heavily in my upcoming book, and also in the film that’s nearing completion — not so much for its own sake, but because it was the setting for such a spread of personal experiences. The Middle East had been rich in distractions. In contrast, Sudan provided solitude and thinking time by the bucketload.

Stopping for the night in the Nubian desert

Road building camp in Nubia

Roads in the Nubian desert

Nubian village mosque minaret

Nubian village on the Nile's west bank

Cycling the Nubian desert

I love Egypt

Nubian mosque

Dongola, Sudan

If you liked these pictures, you’ll probably enjoy reading about the crossing of the Nubian desert, as I wrote about it from an internet cafe in Dongola at the time.

6 replies on “The Ravaged, War-torn, Peaceful, Gentle & Stunningly Hospitable Country of Sudan”

I had exactly the same experience with Sudan. Out of all the countries I’ve visited, Sudan is always the most memorable. The Sudanese hospitality is amazing. Different from their Egyptian and Ethiopian neighbours, the Sudanese are genuinely friendly, not just friendly because they want something from you.

I had a lot of very genuine hospitality in Egypt and Ethiopia also, but you’re right — there’s something different in Sudan, entirely uncomplicated and without fuss or expectation.

I drank somewhere between 5 and 15 litres a day, depending on the heat. I never had to carry more than 15 litres at any one time, usually it was about 10 as there were quite regular supplies a lot of the time. It was difficult to drink enough sometimes — I had one hand for riding and the other for drinking, and was still dehydrated by the end of the day.…

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