Shendi, Sudan

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Shendi, Sudan

Region: River Nile state

Geographic Coordinates: 16.683300, 33.433300
Temperature Range: 20.0°C to 45.0°C (68°F to 113°F)
Climate: Hot and dry climate with little rainfall, and high temperatures throughout the year in Shendi, Sudan.
Population: 186611
Language: Arabic

Shendi is a city located in the central region of Sudan, Approximately 150 kilometers north of the capital city of Khartoum. The city is situated on the eastern bank of the Nile River and is known for its rich history, Vibrant culture, And stunning natural beauty. One of the most notable landmarks in Shendi is the ancient ruins of Musawwarat es-Sufra. This archaeological site dates back to the Meroitic period, Which lasted from 300 BC to 350 AD.

It was once a major religious center and features several well-preserved temples, Including one dedicated to Apedemak – a lion-headed deity worshipped by the Meroitic people. Another popular attraction in Shendi is its bustling marketplaces. The city’s main market – Souq Al Henna – offers visitors an authentic Sudanese shopping experience with vendors selling everything from traditional clothing and jewelry to spices and handcrafted goods. Shendi also boasts several beautiful parks that are perfect for picnics or leisurely walks. One such park is Al-Mahaliya Park, Which features lush greenery, Winding paths, And stunning views of the Nile River.

For those interested in learning more about Sudanese culture and history, Shendi has several museums worth visiting. The most prominent among them is perhaps The National Museum of Sudan which houses an extensive collection of artifacts dating back thousands of years. Food lovers will also find plenty to enjoy in Shendi as it offers a wide variety of local cuisine ranging from traditional dishes like ful medames (fava beans) served with bread or rice as well as more modern fare such as burgers or pizza at some restaurants around town.

Shendi may not be one of Sudan’s most famous cities but it certainly has much to offer visitors looking for an authentic cultural experience combined with natural beauty that will leave them wanting more!

Important Landmarks

  1. The Pyramids of Meroe: These ancient pyramids are located around 30 km from Shendi and are among the most well-known tourist destinations in Sudan.
  2. The Temple of Amun: This temple was constructed during Pharaoh Taharqa’s reign and is regarded as one of the most significant archaeological sites in Sudan.
  3. The Royal City of Meroe: This former capital of the Kingdom of Kush boasts various ruins, including temples, palaces, and tombs.
  4. The Tombos Pyramids: These pyramids were built during the Napatan era and can be found near Shendi on the banks of Nile River.
  5. The Old Market (Souq): This lively market showcases everyday life in Shendi with vendors selling spices, textiles, and more.
  6. Al-Bajrawiya Mosque: Dating back to 700 AD, this mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Sudan.
  7. Wadi Abu Dom Archaeological Site: Situated about 50 km from Shendi, this site features rock art dating back thousands of years.
  8. Khashm El Girba Dam: This dam on Atbara River provides irrigation water for agriculture across Northern State including Shendi city itself.

Primary Industries

  1. Agriculture: Shendi is known for its production of cotton, sorghum, sesame and other crops.
  2. Livestock: The city has a significant livestock industry that includes cattle, sheep goats and camels.
  3. Food processing: There are several food processing companies in Shendi that process crops such as cottonseed oil and sesame seeds.
  4. Textile manufacturing: The city has a few textile factories that produce fabrics from the locally grown cotton.
  5. Transportation: Due to its location on the Nile River, Shendi serves as a transportation hub for goods being shipped up and down the river.
  6. Retail trade: There are many small shops and markets in Shendi where locals can buy food products and other goods needed for daily life.
  7. Tourism: The city has some historical sites such as the ruins of ancient Kushite temples that attract tourists interested in history and archaeology.

Noteable History

  1. The ancient city of Meroë, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Kush from 800 BCE to 350 CE, is located near Shendi.
  2. In the early 19th century, Shendi was a center for slave trading in Sudan.
  3. In 1820, the Egyptian ruler Muhammad Ali Pasha conquered Sudan and established a garrison in Shendi.
  4. In 1885, during the Mahdist War, British forces under General Gordon were defeated by Mahdist forces near Shendi.
  5. The famous explorer and archaeologist Giuseppe Ferlini discovered the treasures of Meroë at Begarawiyah in 1834.
  6. The Italian architect Antonio Galli da Bibiena designed and built a palace for King Fadl Allah al-Mamoun in Shendi in the early 18th century.
  7. Sheikh Mohamed Osman Al-Mirghani, founder of Ansar Al-Sunna (a Sufi order), was born in Shendi in 1941.
  8. The legendary Sudanese singer Mohammed Wardi spent many years living and performing in Shendi before his death in Khartoum in 2012.
  9. The famous Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih wrote about life and culture around Shendi and Meroë extensively throughout his career.
  10. The Battle of Atbara took place near Shandi on April 8th, 1898 between Anglo-Egyptian army led by Lord Kitchener against Mahdist forces led by Abdullah al-Taaishi.

Museums and Things To See

  • Al-Merghani Cultural Centre
  • Shendi National Museum
  • Al-Hassan Mosque
  • Al-Nilain Mosque
  • The Pyramids of Meroe (located nearby)
  • The Royal City of Meroe (located nearby)
  • Gebel Barkal and the Napatan Region (located nearby)
  • The Tomb of Sheikh Hamed al-Nil (located nearby)
  • Wadi Abu Dom Archaeological Site (located nearby)

Please note that due to political instability and safety concerns in Sudan, it is important to check for travel advisories before planning a trip to this area and take necessary precautions while visiting these places if you decide to go there for tourism purposes or any other reasons whatsoever.

Cultural Events

  1. Moulid al-Nabi: This is a religious festival that commemorates the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. It is celebrated by Muslims across Sudan with hymns and prayers.
  2. Shendi Date Festival: This festival takes place annually in October to celebrate the harvest season of dates. People from all over Sudan come to participate in activities like camel racing, music performances, and traditional dance.
  3. Sufi Festival: This festival honors the spiritual practices of the Sufi community through music and dance performances.
  4. Nuba Wrestling Festival: The Nuba Wrestling Festival brings together wrestlers from different tribes for a competition that lasts several days.
  5. Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha: These two religious festivals mark the end of Ramadan (a month-long fasting period) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), respectively. They are celebrated with feasts, gift-giving, prayer gatherings, and other festivities throughout Sudan.

It’s important to check with local authorities or travel agencies for current information on events happening in Shendi due to security concerns or COVID-19 restrictions affecting public gatherings or cultural events.


  • Ful Medames: This is a traditional Sudanese breakfast dish made with fava beans, onions, tomatoes and spices.
  • Kebab: These are grilled meat skewers that are a popular street food in Shendi.
  • Shawarma: This is a Middle Eastern dish that has become popular in Sudan as well. It consists of grilled meat (usually chicken or beef) wrapped in pita bread with vegetables and sauce.
  • Al-Masriya Restaurant: This restaurant is known for its delicious kebabs and grilled meats.
  • Al-Hassan Restaurant: Another popular restaurant in Shendi that serves traditional Sudanese dishes such as ful medames, kisra (a type of bread), and shakshuka (eggs cooked with tomatoes).
  • Al-Salam Restaurant: This restaurant offers a variety of dishes including kebabs, shawarma, falafel and salads.
  • Cafe Tiba: A cozy cafe located near the Nile River that serves coffee, tea and light snacks like sandwiches and pastries.
  • Sultana Cafe & Restaurant: This restaurant serves a mix of international cuisine along with traditional Sudanese dishes like ful medames and kisra bread.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Shendi National Park – a protected area with diverse wildlife and vegetation suitable for hiking and camping.
  2. Al-Midan Park – a popular park located in the heart of the city with playgrounds, picnic areas, and sports facilities.
  3. Nile River Cruises – visitors can take a boat ride along the Nile River to enjoy scenic views of the city’s landscape.
  4. Camel Riding – tourists can experience riding on camels at designated areas within or around Shendi.
  5. Traditional Markets – visitors can explore local markets selling traditional goods such as textiles, pottery, spices and more for an authentic cultural experience.

Please note that these activities may vary depending on current events or seasonality so it is best to check with local tourism offices or travel agencies for updated information before planning your trip.


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