I was fortunate enough to travel to Sudan in December 2018 with Waleed Arafat and Lendi Travel. I am an American citizen who was interested in an archeology-and-adventure-oriented 12-day tour, with two friends (one from Canada and one from Dubai). The three of us were so happy with the tour that Waleed put together for us; we covered a lot of ground, driving by caravan north from Khartoum to Port Sudan, stopping to see archeological sites along the way. From there we spent 3 days yachting in the Red Sea with Captain Jacques Royer, a wonderful Frenchman with the only yacht in all of Sudan (catering mostly to diplomats and ambassadors based in Khartoum). After those days spent diving, sailing, fishing, waterskiing, swimming and snorkeling, we began our return to Khartoum, again stopping at various UNESCO heritage sites along the way. In all, we saw 6 total UNESCO world heritage sites and enjoyed countless adventures. Perhaps the most memorable exciting activity we did was to dive the Umbria shipwreck off the coast of Port Sudan; it's an Italian warship sunk on the eve of World War II and now an impressive landmark and considered the #1 dive site in the world by many. Our guide, drivers and cook were all terrific; Ayad Ibrahim, our guide, was extremely knowledgeable about the antiquities and ruins we were visiting, and he was always accommodating to our requests and questions along the way. One of us (the Canadian) forgot a necklace with sentimental value at one of the guest houses where we stayed, and Ayad miraculously was able to have someone find and deliver it to us several days later, long after we had moved on from that place. It was the type of willingness to do these gestures that really made the trip unique and memorable; it was not something that had to be done but he did it anyway. The drivers were great, driving long distances each day. Our cook also managed to find fresh produce and meat and supply us with freshly prepared meals three times daily. Also, important to note, we always felt safe and secure with our crew in light of some civil unrest that began to occur while we were visiting. I was aware that our guide was constantly in touch with Waleed in Khartoum to assess the situation as it unfolded and to make judgements about where we would go and sleep in the evenings if the climate seemed uncertain. While we were never seriously in any danger, it was comforting to know that they were evaluating our route and determining the best possible scenario for us. In sum, the trip offered us memories of a lifetime. We saw dozens of pyramids and tombs rarely seen by most people, and we enjoyed an astoundingly beautiful few days on the Red Sea with Captain Jacques. Best of all, we came away with new friends and a sense real appreciation for this beautiful country, one of the world's unsung secrets. I hope we are able to return to Sudan someday, and we will each continue to tell people about Waleed and Lendi travel, should they want to visit and experience the adventure we were so fortunate to enjoy for ourselves.
By Los Angeles, California, USA