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Travel is about adventure, it’s about getting off the beaten track and throwing yourself headfirst into uncertainty. Having made my way overland from South Africa, all the way to Sudan, I had to find a way to continue onto Egypt. Taking a ferry up the Nile from Sudan to Egypt – now tell me that doesn’t sound pretty amazing? This is actually the only border crossing available between the two countries so if you’re traveling through Africa overland, it’s your only option, so jump on board.

boat from sudan to egypt

The ferry goes from Sudan to Egypt (the route I took) every Wednesday. It departs Wadi Halfa at 4pm and arrives in Aswan, Egypt around lunchtime the following day.

The ferry from Wadi Halfa to Aswan

If you’re coming the other way – from Egypt to Sudan, it leaves Aswan every Tuesday after lunch and arrives in Wadi Halfa, Sudan 24 hours later.

Sunset on the ferry from Sudan to Egypt

How much does the boat ticket cost from Egypt to Sudan? Unfortunately it’s not that cheap, even though Sudan is pretty inexpensive to travel in. There are two classes of tickets available and the costs are as follows:

1st class ferry ticket from Sudan to Egypt:                        152 SDP/$50 USD approx

* The 1st class ticket gives you a 2 bed berth with air conditioning and a plug socket

2nd class ferry ticket from Sudan to Egypt:                        85 SDP/$30 USD approx

* The 2nd class ticket allows you to sleep anywhere you can, probably on deck (so get there early and claim your space! The best spot is under the lifeboats)

Ist class cabin boat from Egypt to Sudan

Either option is fine. I had been looking forward to taking a boat in the Nile for months so I opted for 1st class for some relative comfort and it was well worth it. It’s not the Sheraton but A/C after all the 45 degree heat in Sudan offered some welcome respite and the power socket allowed me to get some blogging done. I met a guy on the boat who took second class and he was happy with his choice too, so the choice is yours.

WADI HALFA: I ended up going to Wadi Halfa on the Sunday afternoon – that’s THREE DAYS before the ferry, assuming that being the port town it would be big and there be loads of stuff to do. I was wrong.

Wadi Halfa

If you’re taking the ferry you have no choice but to stop in Wadi Halfa so take my advice and don’t spend more than 1 night here. It’s small, dusty, hot and there’s nothing really to see or do.

Accommodation here is pretty basic too. $3-$4 a night, shared squat toilets (with no paper – be warned!), and no running water. All the ‘hotels’ fill up seriously quick the day before the ferry leaves so arrive early and get somewhere to stay or you’ll be sleeping on the street – seriously.

Ok, all-in-all the ferry is a great way to arrive in Egypt and beats another 12 hour bus that’s for sure.

NOTE: Bring ear plugs to counteract the extremely loud Muezzin call to prayer at 4.30 am on the boat, or prepare yourself for a very early start. Having said that, sunrise on the Nile, watching the locals pray, as you gather your thoughts and soak up where you are in the world was a beautiful moment.
Sudan and Egypt border


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8 thoughts on “Taking the Ferry from Sudan to Egypt

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  2. japan – awesome!! i was there last year, how long u goin for?! try to eat some Fugu if u get the chance (deadly if not cooked correctly :S)!

    Moving to malaysia to study my masters, KL should be fun! Hope u guys have an awesome trip and maybe our paths can cross again soon


  3. Hi Johnny,
    What’s the craic? Pretty awesome! After we saw you last in Malawi,we made it overland all the way to Rwanda, but then flew to Egypt via Khartoum. Ferry looks pretty sweet compared to those long “eventful” bus rides in Africa. I’m retweeting your post now. What r u up 2 now? We’re in Vietnam. Cheers,

    1. vietnam – awesome =) im moving back to Asia next month, can’t wait. The ferry was brilliant and, like you say, anything to get away from 30 people in a minibus is an improvement! How long u guys in Asia for?

      1. We are going to Japan tomorrow!!!! Can’t wait, except for the prices. Then on to Palawan, Philip for 10 days, and after on to America via Hawaii. Any tips? Where in Asia are u moving back 2?


        P.S. I would have died if I ran across the camel scene in Sudan, OMG!

        1. Ooohh Palawan. You should definitely go to Coron, Palawan. I’ve been to a lot of places here in the Philippines and Coron, Palawan was the best I’ve seen so far.

          1. meet my good friend (and awesome website developer!) Calvin:P

            if you’re going to the Philippines he’s your man to ask!

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