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Tour du monde en autostop - Jeremy Marie


 Travel Diary : Discovering the civilizations: the Nubians

Many times during my journey, some people asked me about the reasons which could bring me to go to visit Sudan. Those people mentioned me that there was probably nothing interessant to visit, that I would waste my time to venture myself in hostile grounds for their very desertic climate in the North of the country. 

Thus, to oppose all these people, I will count you the story of a French hitch-hiker who went to discover a formidable civilization: the one of the Nubians 

After having obtained not without difficulty the Sudanese visa (I wait 3 weeks), I could enter this country which constitutes for me the real entrance in Africa. 

Coming from Egypt, it is by the North of Sudan that I could discover this country. In this area, the population is mainly Nubian and I will try to explain you a little bit better the customs and habits of these people who are not like the others. 

So after a few days of wandering, I was invited by a man to go to discover an island on the Nile inhabited by Nubians. This island is difficult to reach for not-initiates and it is indeed in boat-hitch-hiking that I venture there. 

On the way to the island... 


Nubians houses 

The first view of the village were amazing, everything or almost results from hand work made by the Nubians. The houses are built from mud, which is then used to give this result below. 

Nubian house 


During the visit of the villages, I could see that certain houses had different colours. My interlocutor explained to me that the women were doing themselves the decoration of the house and that the more women are in the house, the more the house is decorated.

Some houses are more decorated than others 


Likewise, the entrance doors have quickly attracted my eye. This is really fine art which the Nubian women take pleasure to realize. Fine art especially when we know that there is no chemical painting used for the realization of them. 

Here is a compilation of some Nubian entrances doors 


All the houses are hand made. These same buildings have a very considerable size. I can tell you that knowing the few number of tools that they have, the result is impressive. 

Have a look on the circular traces on the wall which prove the use of the hand 


However, the Nubian women don't stop to the decoration of the doors but are also working inside the house. 

Interior of a Nubian house 


 Nubians occupations 

After having been amazed by the way the people are working on the construction of their houses, it has been necessary for me to understand the way of living of the Nubians in their micro-society.

Indeed I could have a discussion with an inhabitant who got a Master of physics in the University of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. This man, in a perfect english, explained to me that he let behind him his old stressing life of the city to come back to the essential in the village where he grew up: "You know Jeremy, here the money is useless because we are self-sufficing and what is important at the end, this is to live with our relatives". 

I can tell it to you, I have been surprised to find a so well thinking in these remarks. More especially as I didn't know anything about Sudan before coming and even less about the Nubian people. "Self-sufficing", but what did he want to say? How can they provide to all their needs? First of all, to nourish themselves, the Nubians live of their resources which are composed of the fishing, the cattle or the different products from the ground. 

A fisherman checking his net 


Here in Nubia and mainly in all the North of Sudan, the popular food is called the "Full". This dish is comparable with the beans that we can find in our country. 

A woman cleaning the Full 


Once the food is collected, we can take the direction of the kitchen. This one is of course traditional and all the tools are made by the blacksmith of the village.

Wood fire to heat of course! 


The Nubian people

As you can suspect it, my short experiment was very positive. This feeling was particularly thanks to the people who I met. Those were constantly smily and nice. The life is simply going in these north-sudanese grounds and the expression of peace is easily readable on the faces of its inhabitants. 

Some Nubian childrens 


On the road, I met a group of four women, they have authorized me to photograph them.

Four women



The men wear mainly white clothing. As heat is very important in this area (very often above 40 degrees), the white colour enables them to feel a little less this temperature (indeed, the white take away the heat contrary to the black). 

A Nubian man 


Time came where it was necessary for me to keep on going. Once again, the Nubian kindness gave me a hand. Thus we gave me the chance to test the Nubian-Hitch-Hiking... 


 .. No I am joking of course! I didn't test Human-Hitch-Hiking and I don't think it's going to be for tomorrow! 

See you soon 


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