Nubian Village- Hidden Gem in Egypt
A scenic boat ride from Aswan transports you to a rich and gripping history of the oldest civilization of ancient Africa, Nubian Village. Visiting this village, as opposed to what we thought, was the best thing we did to ourselves! The chromaticity and vibrancy of this village still put us in a good mood. The jokes and chuckles that we shared with the locals in the absence of a common language still scatter a big smile on our faces. The sense of youthful exuberance that persisted in the elderly still melts our hearts. The mouth-watering voyage on the vast stretch of Nile still helps us find our calm and brings back a plethora of memories. The thought of local Nubian food still stimulates our palates.
These precious little memories, and so much more, will forever be stored in the reservoirs of our memories. So, we couldn't stop ourselves from sharing our unfathomable experience from this easy on the eye village, with you all!
Nubian Village is a place that is certainly not visited by many. So, if you are someone who is into exploring lesser-known, unexplored spots, then you must include this charming village on your Egypt travel itinerary!
Okay, enough jibber-jabber from me, let me paint a sweet picture for all you travel babies!
How to Reach the Nubian Village
We reached Aswan from Luxor via train, and Aswan is where you will get a boat that takes you to the Nubian Village.
The minute you step out of the train station, you will be buttonholed by plenty of boat owners. They will quote different prices but DO NOT settle for the first price you hear. Haggling is the key, my darlings! Show all your negotiation skills!
250-300 EGP should be perfect for a 45-minute one-way boat ride down the Nile River. Also, it won't be a tight squeeze; you will have the entire boat to yourself!
The Nubian Language
The old Nubian language is the oldest recorded language of Africa and the Nubians have sustained it beautifully! The language you hear in Nubaa will be very different from what you hear in other parts of Egypt. What's ironic is, their language can only be spoken, not written. Yes, you read that right! There are no alphabets. Come to think of it, Nubians can never make embarrassing spelling errors *laughs* ;)
Also, less than 1% of the locals speak little to no English but don't worry your head about it. Thanks to Google Translate, you will sail through all this, effortlessly, just like we did!
The Nubian Architecture
As you start to mosey around the village, you will realize that this intensely hued village is not only painted in various lively colors, but there are peculiar shapes drawn by the locals, both outside and inside the houses, that have a profound meaning.
The triangle configurations represent the three most crucial roots of life-
The Earth, represented by a neon green.
The Sun, represented by a gorgeous yellow.
The Sky & Nile, represented by a bewitching blue.
The Crocodile House
Nubians are real badass, I tell you! We keep cats, dogs, cows, mosquitoes, etc as pets, but these gutsy fellas are known to raise crocodiles. Almost every house has a crocodile! You can also witness crocodile mummies, as they tend to mummify the crocodiles. The most famous house of all is, the one with a giant mummified crocodile hung at the entrance. You can drop by anytime you like and pay these not-so-small babies a visit. The lovely family will walk you through the entire process of mummification while you sip on some Egyptian tea. You can take photos and stroke the crocs gently (I obviously kept myself at arm's length while Sid took the plunge :/).
The entrance is free. However, you will have to tip the homeowner. Nothing extravagant, though, just a small amount to show gratitude!
Best Way to Explore the Nubian Village
Since this is not a very huge village, your best bet would be to ramble around the village at a leisurely pace and soak up its vibe. Walk, my lovelies, to stop at multiple souvenir shops lined in the market; to witness the artistic restaurants embellished with engravings and stunning mirror work; to stroke the beautifully decorated camels!
The Nubian Food
The Nubian dishes are completely different from mainstream Egyptian dishes that you will try in Cairo or Luxor. Being vegetarians, we were a little scared and apprehensive when it came to food. After all, taking a boat ride back to Aswan, every time you wish to eat something, would burn a humongous hole in your pocket! BUT BUT BUT, both Sid and I were taken aback by the variety and type of food they had to offer. They have some amazing vegetarian dishes that are very similar to Indian food. The spices used in the dishes are sourced locally, and it's all fresh-prepared by the locals! My mouth's drooling as I'm writing this, I swear!
Our Personal Favorite Restaurants- Kato Dool & AnaKato
Try these restaurants, and you can thank us later ;)
Where to Stay
Firstly, we strongly recommend you to spend a night or two in Nubian Village. Please, abstain from doin' a day tour if you have time!
Secondly, DO SPEND A NIGHT HERE!
You get the idea, right?
There are a plethora of options to choose from. You can either pre-book your stay or you can even choose a place on showing up!
Now, let me tell you, why are we really compelling you to spend at least a night here-
We strongly feel that the best way to learn about the culture of a place is, by sharing a meal with the locals. And, here, at Nubaa, you exactly get to do this! We did it, and it changed us for real!
Locals, in Nubaa, have converted their family homes into these beautifully done guesthouses that overlook the gorgeous River Nile. We were invited by a very hospitable family to live in their stunning guesthouse, Fadiloos Anay. The guesthouse was owned by a man named Mohammad. Upon our arrival, we learned that Mohammad didn't speak English, at all. And FYI, we don't speak Arabic, at all! Now, that was a bummer! But, there's absolutely nothing that the language of love can't solve, right?
Surprisingly, out of all the people we met in Egypt (including the ones who spoke decent English), we spoke the most with him. It all started with using the Google Translator, sentence by sentence, at first. From there, we progressed to using hand gestures, and later, one glimpse spoke volumes, that no Translator or for that matter, any words could ever express!
The unspoken words, the glittering eyes, and the heart-melting smiles spoke a thousand words. That day we learned, how a language can never be a barrier; how love and only PURE LOVE can bridge any gap that our minds create, thereby making everything copacetic!
That'd be all, darlings! We hope this post would inspire you to include this gem of a place in your Egypt Travel Itinerary! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send us an email. We would love to help you guys out!
Until the next post!