Sudan is Home to Africa’s Most Impressive Pyramids Outside of Egypt

Meroe Pyramids, Sudan
Photo by Jillian Amatt on Unsplash

Egypt is the first place that comes to mind when someone mentions pyramids, but it’s not the only country in Africa that has them in store. Sudan is home to its own ancient pyramid site, known as the Nubian Pyramids, built in the ancient city of Meroë.

Meroë once served as the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, until its collapse in the sixth century AD. Many centuries went by since then, but over 250 pyramids from this era are still around, standing tall as a constant reminder of this important moment in Sudan’s history.

Nubian kings, who built the pyramids in Meroë, were heavily influenced by the Egyptians and embraced these burial methods around 1,000 years after Egyptian kings abandoned it. With a total of 255 pyramids still around, they left twice more than the Egyptians ever did, but there are many differences that set them apart.

The Nubian pyramids, also known as the Meroë Pyramids, are much smaller in scale and size, and they range between 6–30 meters. They also have much steeper angles that give them a tall and narrow appearance and are mostly built with granite and sandstone.  

The Nubian pyramids are one of Sudan’s most significant UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and they offer a captivating look into the lives of Kushite royalty. The best way to visit them is to join one of the local guided tours that explore the gems of the Nubian Desert.