El Kurru


The royal cemetery of El Kurru, 20km south of Karima, contains the remains of dozens of tombs. Most have either faded away to virtually nothing, or the entrances have been buried under tonnes of sand. However, two tombs containing wonderfully preserved paintings, can still be entered down a flight of stairs cut out of the rock. Dating to the 7th century BC, they were the final resting place of King Tanwetamani and his mother, Queen Qalhata.

The tombs are kept locked and you might have to ask about the village for the guardian to come and open up – he'll expect a tip. You must buy an entry ticket from the museum in Karima in advance. To get here take a minibus (S£20, 30 minutes) from Karima.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions