Situated on the West of the Nile, neighboring Egypt’s southernmost city Aswan are a handful of warm and vibrant villages painted in a kaleidoscope of colors. The famous Nubian Villages are a popular tourist destination, attracting both curious foreigners and peace-seeking locals. The Nubians crossed over from Sudan more than 8000 years ago. They even have their very own unique language that they refrain from teaching to outsiders.
Taking a visit to the Nubian Village could make for a marvelous half-day trip. A short 45 minute boat ride from Aswan makes the colorful site easily accessible. Travelers typically spend an average of two hours in the village including lunch. The Nubian Village is a splendid add on to any Egypt-based itinerary.
Who are the Nubians?
The Nubians are an ancient African civilization as old as Egypt. They once even ruled over Egypt for a period. To benefit from the fertile lands surrounding the Nile, the Nubians migrated up from Sudan and ever since this historical homeland is commonly known as Nubia.
Nubian Culture facts
Nubian women are the carriers of their rich heritage and are most likely the reason the Nubian culture is still alive today. The women take great pride in their crafts and traditional food, wearing them and selling them to tourists. They have kept the culture alive through passing down oral tales to children and teaching hem traditional Nubian dances and songs. The Nubians still believe in some of the ancient Egyptian’s ideologies. They still hang crocodiles over doors for protection from the evil eye. In fact, you will find crocodiles mummified all over or even locked in cages. The Nile crocodile was once worshipped in the time of Pharaohs as a representation of evil and envy as embodied by the god of war Sobek.
Activities to do in the Nubian Village
Some of the activities you can do while at the Nubian Village is obviously to get your hands on some of the handmade crafts, clothing and bags at some of the local Nubian shops. Brimming with stunning colors and embellished with Nubian symbols—perfect tokens of your experience in Nubia. While you’re there, you should take the opportunity to purchase rare spices including cumin, cinnamon, curry and a wide variety of tea unique to the region. Spices are one of the most popular souvenirs to take home as Nubia is quite famous for these locally-produced spices.
Nubia is brimming with a variety of beautiful cafes and restaurants that boast beautiful views of the mighty Nile. Stop for a drink or a nice meal and bask in the unimpeded views of Egypt’s most famous river. You can also hop on a camel for an exhilarating ride. There are also a wide variety of activities that cater to women and children like henna body painting, natural herbs and oils.
You also should not miss taking a visit to the Nubian Museum, which showcases a number of masterpieces that encapsulate the history, culture and heritage of the Nubian people, including ancient artifacts, tools, and clothing. You can even find a number of antiques from the Islamic, Coptic and Pharaonic era.