The Best Places to Visit in North Africa: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt & Sudan


North Africa is an exciting travel destination. For adventure seekers, this part of the world has a lot to offer. Fancy hiking, surfing, desert crossing, diving, or desert riding on top of a train? You’ll find it all here.

North Africa region encompasses the following countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan. Sometimes Mauritania is also being considered as part of it.

In this list of places to visit in North Africa, we’ll be covering the best places that you should visit in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Sudan.

I, personally, have been only to Morocco and Egypt, and have been fascinated by both countries. This has made me dream about visiting other destinations in North  Africa and inspired me to compile this list. I asked fellow travel bloggers to help me fulfill the list with as many places and useful information as possible.

So, without any further ado, here are the best places to visit in North Africa:

Best places to visit in Morocco

Merzouga and the Sahara Desert 

Contributed by Allison Green of Eternal Arrival 

One of the absolute best places to visit in North Africa is the Sahara Desert, which you can find in several North African countries, but there is a sliver it of at the eastern edge of Morocco. Visiting the Sahara Desert is quite an undertaking from Marrakech or Fes – both cities are at least 8 hours of desert and mountain driving area, but it is absolutely worth the trek.

Once you arrive in Merzouga, you’ll be shocked at how utterly beautiful the Sahara Desert is in person: how orange the sand is, how the dunes ripple in the breeze, how black the night sky is, and how starry it is. Riding through the Sahara Desert on a camel and staying with bedouins in a desert camp is a bucket list must, and I encourage everyone to consider adding a Sahara desert tour to their Morocco itinerary! 

While it is safe to visit, it’s far easier to get there on a tour, and that’s how most travelers end up visiting the Sahara Desert. However, be careful to book with a reputable company with lots of positive online reviews, as I had some issues with the tour I took with guides harassing me.


Al Hoceima National Park

Contributed by Linn Haglund of Brainy Backpackers

Al HoceimaNational Park on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco is not what most people think of when they talk about the country. It covers 180 square meters of the coast and 196 square meters of protected sea. Endangered species like Monk Seals dominate the waters, Osprey the air, and a massive Thuya forest on land. But there is a lot of other wildlife and fauna to be seen in the national park, especially playful packs of dolphins but also the more timid pink flamingos.

The highlight in the park is the tiny Spanish territory island which is connected to the mainland by a thin sand strip, Bades Island. The national park is perfect for day hikes and multi-day treks where you can spend the night in small Berber villages that are frequent in the park. Northern Morocco is a fairly safe place to visit, like the country as a whole, and the locals are usually super friendly towards travelers.


The Atlas Mountains 

Contributed by Bilyana

The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range stretching through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. The highest peak of the Atlas Mountains is Mount Toubkal (4, 167) which is situated in Morocco. If you’re a hiking lover, then hiking in the Atlas Mountains while visiting Morocco is an absolute must. 

The best and most popular place where you can start hiking from is the village of Imlil. Situated at an elevation of 1, 800 meters above sea level, in Imlil, you can find plenty of guest houses, a guide that you can hire for your hike, and shops from where you can rent any equipment. Nearby the village, you can go on an easier hike to visit the Imlil waterfall.

But even if you’re not into hiking that much, you can still visit Imlil and enjoy the beauty of the Atlas Mountains. Whether you’re spending three weeks in Morocco, or just one, I highly recommend including the Atlas Mounatins in your itinerary!



Contributed by Stella Jane of Around the World in 24 Hours

Marrakesh, Morocco is one of the most exciting and beautiful cities in the world. It is a true paradise for anyone who loves shopping and delicious food. But it also has stunning architecture and extremely friendly locals.

Start your trip in Marrakesh at the Jemaa el-Fnaa, which is the main square and marketplace in the city. Have fun people watching and shopping for lamps, shoes, rugs, jewelry, and spices. Just be sure to bargain! The shopkeepers expect it. When you are done, get a Moroccan mint tea at one of the cafes around the square and enjoy the views of the sunset.

Another famously beautiful spot in Marrakesh is the Jardin Majorelle, which used to be the private gardens of French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. It’s now open to the public and you can see the stunning blue and yellow buildings and unusual cacti, as well as learn about Yves Saint Laurent’s time in Morocco.



Contributed by Claire Stokes of Stoked to Travel

Fes, a beautiful city in the north of Morocco, is far less busy and touristy than Marrakech, so it’s the perfect place to get a real insight into daily life in Morocco. Fes is a city split into two. There’s the modern ‘Ville Nouvelle’, and the much older Medina called Fes al Bali, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is the heart of the original city.

You can spend hours getting lost in the maze-like laneways of Fes’ Medina, but Bab Boujeloud, the iconic and exquisite blue gate at the heart of the Medina can help you get your bearings. Make sure to peruse all of the many stalls, selling everything from lamps, salt scrubs, and herbs, to quality leather goods. In fact, Fes is known for its tanneries where animal skins are treated and processed into excellent quality leather products. The method has barely changed since the sixteenth century, so this is a fascinating visit, and the most well-known tannery is at Chouwara.

The city is also home to some stunning buildings of historical and cultural importance, including the Palais Royale and the magnificent Medersa Bou Inania, a place where young Muslims used to come to study the religion. Make sure to also find the tranquil Bou Jeloud Gardens as well as try the delicious meals at Cafe Clock in the Medina – especially the camel burger!



Contributed by Heather Cole of Conversant Traveller

Casablanca is one of those iconic places that you should visit if you’re in Morocco, and not just because of the movie! Whilst there isn’t a huge amount to do as a tourist, and two days exploring the city will suffice, what you will see is incredible.

The main event is the colossal Mosque Hassan II, one of the few mosques in Northern Africa that can be visited by non-Muslims. It’s the third-largest in the world, with stunning architecture, gleaming marble floors, and an immense minaret. Guided tours are available every day except Fridays.

Next, you should take a guided city tour to discover the ‘real’ and sometimes gritty side of Casablanca, before heading to the Art Deco Quarter for a touch of faded grandeur, and the souks for your souvenir shopping. Spending the evening at Rick’s Café is one of the best things to do in Casablanca, where you can tuck into delicious local food, and relive scenes from the movie, even if it wasn’t actually filmed here.



Contributed by Delphine Mignon of LesterLost

Tangier, the gateway to Africa, is a city of mythical proportions. Its unique position on the edge of the African continent, within reach of Europe, gives it a unique vibe and interesting history. Starting with Greek mythology, the Caves of Hercules at Cape Spartel are said to be where the Greek hero slept before his 11th labor, which was to get golden apples from the Hesperides garden.

Tangier has benefited from a wide array of influences throughout its history, including France and Spain during more recent times. During the French Protectorate of Morocco, from 1912 and 1956, Tangier was given the status of International Zone and became a magnet for adventurers and runaways. This resulted in Tangier becoming dangerous and run-down, and its bad reputation followed it for many years. But today, Tangier is a less known but great Moroccan city to visit.

The medina is lively and cleaned up, with a southern European feel at times. The American Legation is worth visiting, especially considering Morocco was the first country to recognize the United States as a country following their independence. A mint tea at the Café Hafa will make you feel like an artist living a bohème life.



Contributed by Lina of World of Lina

The Blue Pearl – no other name could fit better to the bright blue city Chefchaouen in the northern part of Morocco.

There’s not really one special sight in the city because the city itself is an entire attraction. Therefore, the best thing to do is to get lost in the maze of narrow alleys in the old part of Chefchaouen. Don’t forget to charge your camera battery because there are tons of lovely corners worth to be photographed!

If you discovered every hidden part of the city, make your way to the center of the medina. Within a tranquil green oasis – the Andalusian Gardens – is the Kasbah Museum. It’s the perfect address to learn more about the Chefchaouen region. Plus, there’s also a small art gallery in the museum.

For another magical experience in Chefchaouen, climb up to the Spanish mosque located on a small hill. Watching the sunset from there is one of the best ways to end a day full of exploration.



Contributed by John Paul of The Hangry Backpacker

Essaouira, Morocco is one of the best places to visit in North Africa. The seaside beach city contrasts the chaos of larger cities in Morocco, and it is an ideal place to spend a few days.

Essaouira is a great place to experience Africa and Morocco in a comfortable atmosphere. The historic fortress offers great glimpses of the city, coastline, and lively medina. The medina itself is a fantastic place to wander without the safety worries of larger Moroccan cities. Overall, Essaouira is very safe for tourists.

The laid back beach vibe extends into the city, and tourists needn’t constantly worry about petty theft or scams. The seaside scene in Essaouira is the primary draw. Sunshine is abundant. The weather is great throughout the year – it is milder than interior Morocco but still warm – and there is plenty of seafood to mix with traditional Moroccan food.

Beach life itself is also a popular draw. Surfing and kite-surfing are popular, along with beach sports, ATV dune rides, and horseback riding on the beach. For a look into Morocco in a more relaxed setting – and, of course, all that comes with beach life – Essaouira is one of the best places to visit in North Africa.



Contributed by Bilyana

Taghazout is a small, fishing village close to Agadir. The village is well known among surfers as it’s a great destination for surfing whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer. There are many surf camps to choose from, as well as shops from where you can rent a surfboard and a suit for just about 5 EUR!

Surfing is the main thing to do in Taghazout, but even if you’re not into it, you’ll still enjoy its laidback atmosphere. Taghazout is an off-the-beaten-path destination, so it’s perfect if you want to enjoy the beaches, swim in the ocean, or to indulge in relaxation. Yoga is also very popular in the village.

One of my most memorable experiences from Taghazout is seating on the rooftop terrace and watching the sun going down over the Atlantic Ocean. This alone worth the visit to Taghazout. 

Ait Ben Haddou

Contributed by Tegan & Alex of Why Not Walk

Ait Ben Haddou is a must-see while on your trip to Morocco. The historic ksar, or grouping of fortified earthen buildings made of rammed earth, clay, and wood, dates back to the pre-Saharan period. The grouping of buildings seen today dates back to just before the 17th century, but the same construction style has been used since the Almoravid period in the 11th century.

Ait Ben Haddou long served as a stop along the famous trans-Saharan caravan routes crisscrossing through Morocco due to its strategic location next to the Ounila River in the gorgeous High Atlas region of Ouarzazate. It was first named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The buildings are in excellent condition and very lovingly maintained, and you’ll definitely enjoy walking up and down the narrow streets and exploring inside.

Many movies have been filmed here, including Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, Gladiator, and more. Ait Ben Haddou is a common stop on the road between Marrakech and the Sahara Desert, so if you are visiting both areas be sure to spend some time visiting. The area is very safe, and the entrance to the ksar is free. You should absolutely visit the kasbah as well, but you may be asked to pay a donation to do so.


Best places to visit in Tunisia


Contributed by Nichola of Globalmouse Travels

Tunis is the perfect place to add to your North African itinerary. The capital city of Tunisia is packed full of character and charm and is incredibly picturesque. Wind your way through the historic medina and barter for trinkets and leatherware.

Get lost in the back streets where the studded doors are incredibly beautiful and the heady scent of jasmine hangs heavy in the air. Stop for bambalouni, sugary doughnuts sold by street sellers across the city, or glasses of fresh lemonade. If you’re looking for some history you can’t get better than Carthage, on the outskirts of the city the ruins of this ancient city brings the past alive. With a whole host of artisanal crafts being resurrected in the city – from glassmakers to olive oil creators, there’s a renewed energy in Tunis.

The city feels very warm and welcoming with people genuinely happy to see tourists treading their well-worn paths. With some fantastic family hotels in Tunis, it really is the perfect location for a weekend away or longer.



Contributed by Elisa of France Bucket List

Sousse is one of the most beautiful cities to visit in Tunisia. It is located 150 km south of Tunis, the capital, and it is very easy to reach by train or car. Also, there are shared vans (called louages) that cover the destination so you can travel to Sousse for only a few dinars.

Located on the eastern coast of Tunis, Sousse is both a cultural and a sea destination. The city has a well-preserved medina with a 9th-century mosque and with a picturesque souq where you can find hand-made items like carpets, scarfs, jewelry, or other gifts. In the souq, there’s also a section with food and all kind of spices or perfumes.

Another interesting thing to visit in Sousse is the Ribat, an 8th-century construction built for defensive purposes with a minaret and watchtower.

Sousse also has many sea resorts for some days of beach and relaxation. Also, the city is reputed for its nightlife with many bars, discos, and restaurants.


Sidi Bou Said

Contributed by Leyla of Women on the Road

The beauty of Sidi Bou Said – other than its whitewashed houses and turquoise sea – is that you can visit it in a day from Tunis, Tunisia’s capital and main city.

You might think you’ve arrived in Santorini, with its perfect white domes silhouetted against the limpid waters of the Mediterranean.

Sidi Bou Said was founded in the 13th century by a Muslim saint and in the 19th century, it became a magnet for artists and writers, some of them quite famous.

To understand what attracted so many people here, visit Dar Ennejma Ezzhara, the eclectic palace built by Baron Rodolphe d’Erlanger, a French painter and musicologist. One of the delights of this Unesco-protected building is its small musicology museum. And to understand how Tunisians lived, the Tunisian House is a typical home with rooms spanning the 18th to the 20th centuries, not quite a museum but the feel of a home that has been lived in, central courtyard and all.

The best way to see Sidi Bou Said is to simply walk. The streets are narrow and twisty, and the village is built on a hill, so the higher you go the better the view. The perfect view is from a seaside table at one of the many restaurants. You’ll find it hard to tear yourself away.


El Jem Colosseum

Contributed by Ucman of Brown Boy Travels

The Colosseum of El Jem is the second largest standing colosseum in the world and the third-largest ever built. It is a majestic structure and while the Colosseum in Rome is littered with tourists, this one is almost empty at all times.

Located in the small town of El Jem, the mammoth structure is visible well before you enter the town even. You can easily do this as a day trip from Tunis by train but do remember trains are quite slow and unreliable here.

The entrance ticket is 12 dinars and the beautiful colosseum is the perfect view just before sunset.

Even before you enter the building, you get the scale of its construction which is deeply impressive and a fine specimen of Roman engineering. The structure is quite well preserved for its age, in some aspects even better than the colosseum in Rome because of much fewer visitors.

You can walk around to different parts of the structure on different levels. It is also open till 7 pm which makes it a unique experience for sunset. The town that surrounds the colosseum is small and while you’re on the upper levels, enjoy the great views of a typical Tunisian town.


Tataouine Ksars

Contributed by Shara Johnson of SKJ Travel

What Star Wars fan wouldn’t want to stay in Tataouine – yes, there’s a real city of this name in Tunisia, and explore some of the Star Wars filming locations in the nearby ksars. A ksar is one of the principal forms of Berber architecture, a fortified village in which homes are attached to one another, sometimes along a single continuous wall with only one entrance. A couple of restored ksars were used as scenes in “Star Wars: The Phantom Menace” as the Mos Espa slave quarters.

You can visit restored ksars as well as abandoned ones in the area. I found the abandoned ones, such as Guermessa and Douiret, particularly fun to explore and mostly void of tourists. The homes were dug into a hillside like caves to provide a cool living space in the hot desert environment and an easily defensible village. Most of the restored ones, such as Ksar Ouled Soltane, are square walled villages built in a flat open field. They are particularly unique to this area.

Made of very thick adobe, they often feel almost whimsical with their multiple levels of storage rooms with tiny doors and curving stairways. You’ll need a car to drive around to them all, but the roads in Tunisia outside of big cities are easy to navigate, and these unique villages are well worth the effort to see.


Best places to visit in Egypt

Giza and the Pyramids

Contributed by Dee of Vanilla Papers

The Giza pyramid complex and its awe-inspiring ancient wonders are practically on every traveler’s bucket list.  But the crowds, heat, tourist kitsch, and aggressive vendors can quickly turn that dream visit to the pyramids into a stressful hassle. 
Visit Egypt in the autumn or winter to appreciate these legendary tombs without the crowds and the scorching sun. If you’re traveling in summer, set out early in the morning and pack plenty of frozen water. 
The Giza Plateau is massive and, contrary to postcard photos, it’s in the middle of Egypt’s third-largest city – Giza. There’s traffic, crowds, and countless vendors asking for tips. You’ll want an Egyptian guide by your side to help you navigate this maze and make your visit seamless. The pyramids are also incredible when they’re illuminated at night. To extend your visit and savor the pyramids for longer, have dinner in Giza (the Marriott Mena House has gorgeous pyramid views and top-notch restaurants), or opt for an Airbnb in Giza that offers Instagrammable views at bargain prices. 


Contributed by Bilyana

Cairo is a chaotic city. With a population of over 20 million, Cairo is the largest city in the Arab world. Located near the Nile Delta, the Egyptian capital is just right next to the city of Giza where you can find The Great Pyramids! That is far not the only reason to visit the city though…

Home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, the Egyptian Museum is not to be missed. Some of the most important and worth seeing items include the Tut Mask, The Mummy Rooms, and The Old, Middle & New Kingdom Rooms. 

What else you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Cairo is exploring Islamic and Coptic Cairo. Islamic Cairo is the historic core of the city, part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site as one of the world’s oldest Islamic cities. It might worth taking a tour to this part of the city to learn about the history and be guided through its highlights with Al-Muizz Al-Deen Street being one of the tops. 

In the area of Coptic Cairo, you’ll find some of the city’s best attractions some of which dating back to the 6th century BC. Check out the Babylon Fortress, the Coptic Museum, and the Hanging Church. 

And last, but not least, a trip to Cairo won’t be complete without a visit to Khan el Khalili. This famous bazaar is the place to shop, eat, drink coffee, and the perfect spot to start or finish your Egypt itinerary


Climbing Mt Sinai

Contributed by Chris Fry of Aquarius Traveller

Climbing to the top of Mount Sinai in Egypt is on the bucket list for many people. Not only is it said to be the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments but even when you’re not religious, it’s an incredible experience doing this challenging hike.

Standing at 2, 285 meters (7, 497ft) above sea level, there are 2 ways to do this hike. By climbing the 3, 750 “Steps of Penitence” or walking the “Camel Path”. It’s called the camel path as you have options to walk or rent a camel for this part of the journey, as well as walking up the last 700 stairs. Often people will go up the Camel path and back down the stairs for some different views.

Due to the temperatures and taking roughly 3 hours, most will try this strenuous hike sometime between midnight and 3 am. This in turn will have you at the top of Mt Sinai just as the sun is peaking over the horizon. Being a popular time, also expect the crowds at sunrise but there are alternatives for sunset as well.

Don’t forget to take water with you but there are café’s along to way to purchase some. Due to the elevation, a jumper is necessary, as it can get cold at the top but handy for a torch as well if you’re climbing for sunrise.



Contributed by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler

While the Pyramids of Giza often steal the show – there are plenty of other things to see in Egypt. The city of Luxor is located 500 km (about 310 miles) south of the pyramids and will transport you back in time thousands of years. The city is split into two areas- the East and West Bank – and is home to a few temples including Luxor and Karnak.

Karnak Temple was built over 2,000 years and each ruler of Egypt left their mark on this temple. Even Napoleon soldiers left some graffiti behind. Circle around the giant Scarab statue counter-clockwise seven times and make a wish! Once you’re done exploring Karnak, walk the sphinx-guarded road to Luxor Temple. It’s one of the largest outside-museums in the world, so get lost in the gigantic statues of Ramses II and Tutankhamon.

Then head over to the West Bank and visit the “City of the Dead”. This area of Luxor is home to the Valley of the Kings where the tomb of pharaoh Tutankhamun was discovered. It’s an incredible preserved piece of ancient history. Since the kings were buried here, nearby is where their wives were married – Valley of the Queens!

There is just so much history and beauty in Luxor that it’s a must-visit when in North Africa.


Valley of the Kings 

Contributed by Bilyana

The Valley of the Kings is a valley in Egypt where rock-cut tombs were excavated for the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom. They are very well preserved, but unfortunately, most of the treasures have been stolen a long time ago. Nowadays, you can only see the decorated with scenes from the Egyptian mythology walls. The Mummies and the treasures that have been found are now stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

However, the Valley of the Kings should be no doubt part of your trip to Egypt. With the latest discoveries, the valley is known to contain 63 tombs. Visiting them all would be very difficult and time-consuming, so I’d recommend doing your research in advance to decide which one is in the interest of you to see.

For the exploration of the Valley of the Kings, I recommend joining a tour. First, because it would be pointless visiting such a place without a knowledgeable guide to tell you more about the tombs and the Egyptian history, and second, because, you’ll get to see more, and your transfers would be covered, too. 

What else shouldn’t be missed, in my opinion, is flying on a hot air balloon above the Valley of the Kings. The best way to start your day!


Abu Simbel

Contributed by Lindsey Puls of Have Clothes, Will Travel

Abu Simbel is a village in Southern Egypt, near the border of Sudan. It is home to two massive rock-cut temples, one for the great ancient Egyptian ruler Ramses II and one for his chief wife, Queen Nefertari. The statues of Ramses II are 65 feet tall!

When it comes to the must-see places to visit in Egypt, Abu Simbel is the absolute best – hands down. Seeing these massive temples was honestly more astounding for me than seeing the Pyramids of Giza, and I have been dreaming about visiting the Pyramids since I was 8. It’s a place words and photos do not do justice.

Getting there is a bit of a journey, though. The nearest city is Aswan. You can get there by bus or by flying. However, taking a tour from Aswan is the most popular option (and what I did and recommend doing). It’s a little over 3 hours driving to get there. And while it may look like an easy enough drive, you can’t just rent a car and go yourself. Only licensed operators can get through the various security points to get to Abu Simbel.

If you decide to stay the night in Abu Simbel, the Nefertari Hotel is only a 10-minute walk from the temples! Staying here would mean you can spend as much time as you want at the temples and then simply walk back to your hotel.



Contributed by Natasha of Great Ocean Road Collective

Known as the “Pearl of the Meditteranean”, the Egyptian city of Alexandria is one of the best places to visit in North Africa. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria is a city full of cultural history and ancient ruins, as well as a more modern, vibrant new Alexandria.

Head to the center of the city, where you can explore the ancient sites like Kom Al-Dikka, a Roman amphitheater featuring baths, living quarters, and 22 small lecture halls which symbolize the importance of education in Alexandria’s past.

Another important landmark is Pompey’s Pillar, a huge Roman pillar that stands alone on a small hill. Despite being made of a single piece of granite, it still stands tall over 18 centuries later. Beneath the pillar, you’ll find caves that are remnants of the Serapeum, an ancient temple built for the Greek-Egyptian god Serapis of ancient Alexandria. Other landmarks worth visiting include the Bibliotheca Alexandra and the Citadel of Qaitbay.



Contributed by Bilyana

Located on the Red Sea coast, Hurghada is one of Egypt’s main tourist centers. The city attracts its visitors with its year-long sunshine and warm temperatures, beautiful beaches, and the opportunity to dive and snorkel on a budget. 

Fancy swimming with dolphins, desert safari ATV tour, biking to an authentic Bedouin village, Hurghada can offer it all! 

With colorful coral reefs, turquoise waters, and more than 2000 different species of fish the best experiences that you can have in Hurghada are underwater. I tried diving for the first time in Hurghada, and believe me the underwater world that waits to be discovered is incredible! The Red Sea is perhaps one of the best diving destinations, so don’t miss giving it a try. 



Contributed by Lisa van den Berg of Flip Flop Globetrotters

If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, one of the places you should definitely visit is Dahab. Located about 1,5 hours north of Sharm el Sheikh Dahab is easy to reach by both car and bus.

Back in the ’70s and 80’s Bedouin fishing village Dahab was a popular hippie destination and the chill vibe is still going strong. Well-known among scuba divers, freedivers, windsurfers, and kite surfers, Dahab is becoming more in demand with other tourists as well.

Nestled between the Gulf of Aqaba with its amazing underwater biodiversity and the gorgeous mountainous Sinai desert this lovely town is a lot less touristy than nearby Sharm el Sheikh. Go for a hike in the desert or ride a camel, have a nice Bedouin dinner in de mountains, go snorkeling, get your PADI scuba certification, do a freediving course, learn how to kitesurf, go mountain climbing or do yoga on the beach… or simply relax at one of the many restaurants along Dahab’s boulevard and work on your tan. There are plenty of reasons to visit Dahab


Best places to visit in Sudan

Meroe Pyramids

Contributed by Erika of Erika’s Travels

Sudan has more pyramids than anywhere else in the world. Protruding from a sea of blood-red sand, the ancient relics are seldom-visited reminders of the country’s historical and archeological richness.

The most famous pyramids in Sudan are located at Meroe—a Nile-side village approximately 250km north of Khartoum. The Meroe Pyramids are, without a doubt, the top place to visit in Sudan and one of the most alluring destinations in Africa.

The site’s  200 pyramids date back to the Meroitic Kingdom, 2,500 years ago. Today, they have varying levels of preservation. Some are partially reconstructed, others lie in shambles. Most pyramids have no tops, thanks to an Italian treasure hunter who blew them off while raiding their tombs for buried valuables.

While they are smaller than the Great Pyramids of Giza and Dashur, the Pyramids of Meroe are no less impressive. They lie beautifully situated among low-lying dunes and feel completely forgotten in time.

You can tour the Meroe Pyramids easily on foot, or hire a local guide to take you around by camel. Chances are, you’ll have the remarkable world heritage site entirely to yourself.

If possible, try visiting the Meroe Pyramids in the early morning. The pyramids are especially magical at sunrise when the sun illuminates their facades with fiery shades of red and orange.


BONUS: Desert riding on top of a train in Mauritania

Contributed by Dzangir Kolar of Dr Jam Travels

Mauretania is a country in Northwest Africa. 75 % of the country is desert. Iron ore is their main export. In the north, bordering Western Sahara, there are few big open pit Iron Ore Mines and the furthest one is at M’Haoudat. From there the 3 kilometers composition of 200 train cars travels 700 kilometers toward the Atlantic ocean, Nouadhibou port.

There are two cars in the end for passengers but usually, passengers ride atop the hopper without paying. Mainly it is locals, but on occasion, you can find tourists there as well. The best place to board the train would be at Choum. The train stops at the station at night and you run to one empty car and climb up. Dig yourself in pellets and wear some warm and wind-resistant clothes, because nights are windy and cold.

You can enjoy many stars in the sky. The morning with its sunrise is a great experience. During the day temperatures can rise up to 40 degrees celsius, so prepare a hat to protect yourself. In Nouadhibou watch your step when you climb down.

This is the end of the article of the best places to visit in Northern Africa, but of course, the list doesn’t end here. There are plenty of other places to include in your Northern African itinerary, and I haven’t covered Algeria and Libya! 

Hopefully, you found inspiration for your next trip. If you have any questions or would like to share a place that needs to be included in this list, don’t hesitate to contact me. 

Thanks for reading, 


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