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Nubian Village

A trip to the Nubian Village near Aswan is a fun and entertaining activity, plus it is also a way to immerse yourself in the local culture. But what is the Nubian Village and who are the Nubians? Well, Ancient Egypt was home of the Ancient Egyptians but not only. Most of the ancient civilizations do not exist anymore but some fortunately do, such as the Nubians, and that's what we are going to see now. 

A bit of history: who were the Nubians in Ancient Egypt?

Nubians were people from South Egypt (known as Upper Egypt) and North Sudan. They established their villages along the Nile river and were good horse riders, fighting many time beside Egyptians in wars - and also against Egyptians. Nubians were also excellent archery masters.

Due geographic proximity and political, social and economical reasons, Egyptians and Nubians were close and passed through moments of peace and war. During the peaceful times, some pharaohs would even take Nubian princesses as wives. Therefore, some Egyptian kings had Nubian descendence. 

With the incorporation of other cultures and due the constant influential power of Egypt over Nubians and other tribes, some were either incorporated or disappeared. Nubians were heavily affected but fortunately there still are some communities until present days and their colourful villages attract many tourists.   

What is the Nubian Village?

The Nubian Village is the village of one of the oldest civilizations in History that inhabit Egypt since the pharaonic times. It is a great place for a pleasant and relaxing touring, it has colourful brick houses beautifully decorated with art crafts produced by the Nubians themselves, such as carpets and pots. 

What to do in the Nubian Village?

First of all, walk! It is a small village so the best way to know it is by walking. Spend some time wondering around and admiring the beautiful graffiti on many walls and all homes. 

You can enjoy the markets as Nubians are excellent artisans and sell their arts to tourists in markets around the island. Camel rides are an option. The island also is home of the Nubian History Museum. It is necessary to take a cab for this one because it is on the other side of the village but it is a nice place to learn more about Nubian History and their civilization.

Remember to take a felluca boat ride and relax on the waters of the river Nile - it is possible to visit other sites not reachable otherwise. And don't forget that the small Nubian cafes serve the traditional Egyptian tea in colourful tea-cups and it is very easy to truly feel at home - most actually are. 

What else is interesting about the Nubian Village?

In ancient times, Aswan was known for its large quantity of crocodiles, not by coincidence the god Sobek was the protector of that region. The crocodiles on the other hand also gave the village a very unique feature. In the past they were taken there as pets to keep intruders away! Do not worry, you won't find crocodiles as a new dog in people's homes, yet you can visit the Crocodile House, where you can try to pet (or not) these fascinating creatures.

Visiting the Nubian Village on Elephantine Island

One of the most popular places amongst tourists is Elephantine Island. A lot of Nubians moved there in the 60's after Aswan's High Dam construction because their original houses were inundated, leaving them without an option. They live in the centre of the island, that is divided between luxurious hotels on one side and ruins on the other. Some tourists have critic views on the matter but the Nubians themselves incentive their stay. They are super friendly people that happily share their homes, and tourism helps them a lot. 

Is it worth visiting the Nubian Village?

A visit to the Nubian Village is highly recommended, especially for those who like to enjoy attractions that are not part of the traditional packages. If you have the time, reserve at least one afternoon on the island. It is an opportunity to know more about an ancient civilization and warm people, know their way of living, language and tradition while enjoying a cup of tea or purchasing handmade products made with love and caring. 

How to get to the Nubian Village?

You should get a train or plane from Cairo to Aswan, and from Aswan to the island you must take a motorboat.