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Aswan, a city in the south of Egypt along the River Nile has a mixed and diverse population with a distinct Nubian culture. This city also has an African atmosphere which is very different from the rest of Egypt and therefore, sitting and vegetating when you are here is surely unacceptable.

It is Friday, the destination is Gharb Sohail, a Nubian village along the Nile River.

1. YALLA BINA! 4:30 P.M

Four hours past midday. The sun in Aswan can get unbearably hot. Waiting for the sun to go down is a good option. You take a boat from Aswan to the Nubian Village, Gharb Sohail that sits on a sandy hilltop. The village is a colourful haven of houses painted in an array of good colours; blue, yellow, red, green and more blue. Yes, these are good colours!

Haven of colourful houses

2. SAILING ON, 4:40 P.M

The captain sails his felucca off the shore. You enjoy twenty minutes of amazing views while on the felucca.

The calm waters of River Nile sets up a good mood to engage the captain.

He is 28. He is Nubian. In Egypt, you are either Ahmed or Mohammed. He is Mohammed.

The Nubian captain sailing his felucca

The captain docks the felucca safely and helps you get out of it.


Plunge in. You notice the colours immediately you step on the ground, from the flight of stairs that leads you from the docking area to the entrance of  the village.

Everywhere is rich in colour. Streets with rich, vibrant colours always have their appeal. They are magic. You cannot walk in such streets full of colours and be angry at the same time.

The streets are very picturesque. They are worth visiting.


The pace of life is slow. Life for the average Nubian relies on the tourist; you who chooses to vegetate, you who chooses to accept the picture painted on Egypt by The Media, that Egypt is unsafe and is not habitable and you who has decided that Egypt is not worth visiting anymore. The life of the average Nubian depends on you.

Slow-paced life

Their economy fully depends on the tourist season. Accessories, perfumes, clothes and baskets fill the streets. There are plenty of rows of colourful spices as well. The Nubians hustle from anyone who looks foreign. From traders showcasing their products to owners of camels convincing you to take a tour of the village on a camel, desperation is evident.

Accessories fill the streets

Desperation is evident

Tourists enjoying a tour of the village on camels


The floor is covered with flattened sand. This is mostly at the entrances. You will come to realise that it is a tradition dating back to the ancient. With sand at the entrance, then they can know whether any intruder has entered the house.

Floor with flattened sand

The Nubians are warm. They are always willing to open their doors to anyone. There are really good people still living.

Open door to all and sundry

Some locals have converted their houses into guest houses. You can spend a couple of nights here if you wish. You will truly taste the Nubian culture and understand it all by living with them. Staying overnight in their houses is always a good idea. It will be a memorable experience! However, crocodiles are domesticated and are a feature of village life. You may want to change your mind.

Domesticated crocodile, a feature of village life

6. KARKADE, 5:22 P.M

They will invite you for a meal. Wash your hands and get ready to savour great tastes from the Nubian world.

The Nubians are always experts in pairing nature with taste. The meal is Nubian bread; fresh, round and thick. Wash this down with Karkade, juice made from hibiscus flowers.

Karkade, hibiscus juice

7. HENNA, 5:32 P.M

Many would happily show you their handicrafts or choose to apply henna on your skin.

Henna, the little luxury in the Nubian village

Always willing to show you their handicrafts


9.ON THE ROOFS, 5:50 P.M

Viewing things from the top is always a good way  to observe stuff. You get to see a different perspective. Just as you get the best views from the highest point of a mountain, views from the roofs also allow for some of the greatest views.


After such great hospitality from the Nubians , a reciprocal gesture of generosity is not necessary but will certainly be appreciated. The contagious dancing of children, the jovial sounds of them playing on your way out of the village and the light from the setting sun in the horizon will wrap up your few minutes of immersion into the Nubian world.

Contagious dancing of children

Jovial kids playing

Sun setting over Aswan, Egypt

That is 120 minutes in a Nubian village!

36 Responses
  • Gia ?
    June 6, 2017

    You’re most definitely igniting the wanderlust Gene in me ?

    I wonder how Karkade tastes..

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      I feel so jazzed now. Karkade is on another level, I am already craving it!

  • Wangusi Shirley
    June 6, 2017

    Now I wish I’d gone to Aswan???..good stuff bruh, good stuff?

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      I guess you can go back later. It is totally worth it! Thanks for reading!

  • Dencey
    June 6, 2017

    Very captivating! ??
    This is really good content.

  • Zebedee
    June 6, 2017

    ”you who chooses to accept the picture painted on Egypt by the media, that Egypt is unsafe and is not habitable….”

    Not me??

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      That is just your life summarised precisely. I am happy that you fully related to that line. Haha.

      • Zebedee
        June 6, 2017

        Insults tu! ? But I would love to go to Egypt!

  • Such amazing photos,I especially love how you’ve showed the world a different side of Egypt being among the most beautiful countries.You have such great talent and i always love to see what you have install for us ,CAN’T WAIT 🙂

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      Thank you very much for the kind words. Egypt is truly a beautiful country.

  • aurie
    June 6, 2017

    Love the visual journey you’ve just taken me through. Breathtaking photos ??

  • Hádel Martins
    June 6, 2017

    Very nice pictures my friend, I love them! And the best thing is that I shared​ with you some of the travels in Egypt. You are a great guy! Welcome to Brazil!

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      Obrigado! I am happy to have met you in Egypt and to have also spent time with you. You are a great guy as well.Thanks for teaching me a little Portuguese. Now there is more reason to come to Brazil! See you soon in Brazil bro!

  • Maria
    June 6, 2017

    I didn’t get the opportunity to visit the place but with your short story I feel as if I was there. Keep up the good work Kech!!

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      Thank you! I am happy that you have now ‘visited’ Aswan through this piece. Keep reading. You are awesome!

  • muthonimiricho
    June 6, 2017

    Love it!
    Domesticated crocodiles though! Heh okay
    But another place added to my bucket list!

    • Outside Black
      June 6, 2017

      Thank you! Haha yes, they seem so peaceful though but you know me, I can’t trust those animals haha. I guess I’ll have to join you as well.

  • Wagura
    June 7, 2017

    Good read

  • Wagura
    June 7, 2017

    Great pictures!

    • Zebedee
      June 7, 2017

      Ungecomment once the first time. Be tech-savvy.

  • Rotuno Kwonyike.
    June 7, 2017

    Surely Beautiful is an understatement. Did you ask about the art done on the buildings? And if it is of any significance other than to beautify the place. The City of Mecca done on a wall was particularly striking and I’d like to know why the resident decided on it.

    • Outside Black
      June 7, 2017

      I was told that the Nubians love colour, specifically four colours, that reflect away heat from their houses. Since they live in an area with high temperatures, they need to cool down their houses by painting them with bright colours that have form part of their traditions. In relation to the specific arts , I like to think that they are just decorations. I might be wrong. I didn’t ask about this part.

  • Mwendwa Glo
    June 7, 2017

    The pictures, the story , the feel of it all – what it is to be alive. Absolutely beautiful Kech

  • Stacy
    June 10, 2017

    The pictures are wonderful i feel like i was in egypt after seeing them??

  • Faith
    June 10, 2017

    Woow. Awesome staff?

  • Ahmed Ali
    June 16, 2017

    This is a well written piece. I love your photo perspectives. I live in Egypt but I have never been in a Nubian village. I know a few Nubians however. They are very clean people.

  • Morgane
    June 21, 2017

    “In Egypt, you are either Ahmed or Mohammed.” Ahahaha, is that true ? lol
    Well, always love your photographs, especially portraitures, you are so good at it ! You make us wanna go to meet these people and learn more about their culture (plus architecture for me hihi)

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