With a temple from Egypt's Middle Kingdom, an Ottoman fort and a medieval church among the many ruins, Sai Island is something of a synopsis of ancient Sudanese history. The fort is actually built on the foundations of a 1500 BC Egyptian town, and the ground around the ruins is littered with millions of bits of broken pottery. Little but three upright granite columns and a few walls remain of the medieval church, but physically it's probably the most striking site on the island.
Most island sites are close to the river and the most enjoyable way to get between them is to hire a boat for a couple of hours. The crossing to Sai Island is by the village of Tabaj, about 3km south of Abri. Mr Shorbatijy is one ferryman you can hire.