Meroë is an ancient city along the eastern bank of the Nile River in Northern Sudan, approximately 200 km (120 mi) northeast of Khartoum. The site is home to more than 200 Nubian pyramids in three separate groups.
This was the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Their vast empire extended from the Mediterranean to the heart of Africa. This area contains the royal city of the kings and the nearby religious site of Naqa and Musawwarat es Sufra.
In 2024, UNESCO issued a plea to protect the area from the country's civil unrest. High risks of looting and illicit trafficking of property are present because of the reduced security of the site. Additionally UNESCO does not want the militaries to use the site or to target the site.
Meroë is readily reached from Khartoum by road. All buses from Khartoum-Atbara and Shendi-Atbara will pass the pyramids and they're not hard to miss. Just ask to get off at Bajarawiya (small town adjacent to Meroë).
The nearest airport is in Shendi, roughly 45 km (30 mi) to the southwest. Shendi airport has no regular, commercial flights but charter flights may be organized to this airport from Khartoum. But since Meroë is easy to reach from Khartoum by road, this option is mainly for persons will little time and/or deep pockets. If you are paying for a charter flight, you should ask the pilot to fly over Meroë, providing scenic aerial views which may justify the expense.
The best way to get around in Meroe (and most of Africa) is by car. The best way to get there is to fly to Khartoum and drive to Meroe.
The most popular (and best probably) thing to see in Meroe is the pyramids of Meroe. There are three parts to the Pyramids of Meroe. 1. The south cemetery features nine royal pyramids. Four of the pyramids belonged to kings and five belonged to queens. One hundred and ninety-five other tombs complete the cemetery. 2. The north cemetery contains forty-one royal pyramids. Thirty belonged to kings, six to queens and five to other royals. The cemetery has three more non-royal tombs for a total of forty-four. 3. The west cemetery is a non-royal site. It contains some one hundred and thirteen tombs.
- 1 Meroe Tented Camp, ☏ . The only lodging option near Meroë, with a spectacular location to watch sunset over the pyramids. The camp is comfortable, but utilitarian... these are tents after all. Each tent has electricity, a private veranda (for views of the pyramids at sunrise/sunset!), beds and a few furnishings. Toilets are in a concrete building behind the tents with one toilet assigned to each tent. Showers have cold water only. Food is available... mostly Italian cuisine thanks to its Italian owners. Locals occasionally stop by to offer crafts and camel rides. US$95/120.
If you have your own tent & supplies, camping is permitted in the desert except within 100 m (300 ft) of any of the pyramids. It may be possible to find accommodation in one of the few tiny villages near the site, collectively called Bagrawiyah.
- Jebel Barkal — Sudan's other UNESCO World Heritage site, home to several ancient temples, palaces, & pyramids