Nubian Village : Close to the Nature

Nubian Tribesman
You have not seen a place if you have not experienced how locals/ethnic groups live.

To get a peek into the life of how ethnic Egyptians used to live, you need to visit a Nubian Village. You will be surprised to see a different lifestyle close to the nature.

So who are the Nubian People – As Wikipedia describes, the term Nubian describes an ethnic group that originated in modern-day Sudan and Egypt. Today, people of Nubian descent primarily live in Sudan, and inhabit the region between Wadi Halfa in the north and Al Dabbah in the south. The main Nubian groups from north to south are the Halfaweyen, Sikut, Mahas, and Dongola. They speak a variety of Nilo-Saharan languages in the Nubian language family. Nubian people have a long history dating back to dynastic Egypt, and Nubians even founded a dynasty that ruled upper and lower Egypt during the 8th century BCE.Ancient Nubians were famous for their skill and precision with the bow.

How to Reach Nubian Village

Take a Felucca (a boat which uses sails to propel) ride from Aswan. Hiring a boat alone will cost you huge amount of money, however you will find many boats which take the travellers on a sharing basis. You have to negotiate with the boatmen, they usually charge around $12-$25 (100-200 Egyptian pound) per person.
Note: You might get motor boats also, however If you are seeking exotic adventures then a Felucca would be your best choice in Aswan.
The tour will last for 3 hours from Pickup to Drop

Felucca Boat
                                                                   

What to Expect

I read about Nubian people’s lifestyle and wanted to visit a traditional village. However I got so mesmerised by magnificent historical sites of Egypt that I almost forgot to visit the Nubian village. I suddenly remembered the village while having a Sheesha(hookah) at a Aswan eatery when few locals were discussing something about Nubia.

Now again the interest rekindled in me and the very next morning I left my hotel to visit the Nubian village.

After negotiations I finally took a Felucca to visit the village (my felucca charged $15 per person).

Oh what a sail it was !!! Soon we were on the Nile river. As I was enjoying the slow sailing, suddenly our boatmen took local musical instruments and started singing. Soon all the people in the boat were clapping and dancing to the tunes. We were almost sailing near the shores of Nile.
After sailing for almost 20mins the Felucca anchored at Small Island so that if anyone wants to swim in river Nile they can do so. Few people dared to swim – Dared because everyone has heard of stories about dreaded Nile Crocodiles. Good that the crocodiles were on a diet and the people came back to Felucca happily.

Another 15mins our Felucca anchored and we were told that we have reached the Nubian village. From the boat the village looked unattractive.

You will get two options to reach the village from the river bank: Camel Back or Walking. I chose the latter option as I wanted to see the village close. After 10 mins of walking I was in the mid of colourful decorated houses.

Nubian Houses

The houses were mostly white but they had intricate colourful designs on them. For a moment it looked like a fairy land however once you look at the houses you will be surprised to see that the doors of the houses are decorated with stuffed animals they had hunted. I was told that the more powerful a person was in the village the more were the stuffed animals on their doors.

Stuffed Animals
Pet Crocodile

Nubians live in houses painted with bright colours. Traditionally, the floor was made of sand and not all the rooms were roofed. Protection against rain is not a priority since Aswan is one of the driest places in the world.

Nubians are friendly and hospitable. They often invite you to their homes for a cup of tea or “Karkade”, a drink made of hibiscus flowers. Many would happily show you their handicrafts (Tip- don’t buy handicrafts they are exorbitantly priced)

When I heard the Nubians speak I found the language extremely soothing to the ears. The Nubians speak Nobiin or Mahas language.

As I entered one of the houses I found extremely beautiful interiors. I was surprised to see that the people had Nile crocodiles as pets and they would pick it up with their hands as if it was a small lizard. I was asked to touch and hold one of the baby crocodiles, I somehow managed to hold the baby crocodile for few seconds. They wouldn’t allow you to click the pictures of children as they believe it brings bad luck to their children.

Then I roamed on the streets of Nubian village where I was many women selling various handicrafts items.
Woman Selling Handicrafts

1-2 hours is enough in the village.
After a fantastic tour to the village, I enjoyed sailing back to Aswan with full of beautiful memories.
If you have been to the Nubian Village write your experiences below in the comments sections.
Cheers !!!