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BBC Radio 4’s Sandi Toksvig visits Gunboat Melik

BBC Radio 4’s Sandi Toksvig visits Gunboat Melik

The uneasy peace between government and rebels existing in the south and west of the country might deter tourists from visiting Sudan. But Sudan ‘s fascinating history stretches from the earliest origins of man, through thousands of years of a Nubian civilisation that rivals that of ancient Egypt.

Centuries of Christian domination was followed by a gradual change to the strict Islamic culture of today. Its nineteenth century conflicts with Britain, with the death of General Gordon of Khartoum at the hands of the Mahdi, and the later recapture of the country by General, later Lord, Kitchener, are hazily familiar to generations of schoolchildren. Sandi Toksvig visits Khartoum, where the Blue and the White Niles meet, and asks if Sudan and its wealth of attractions are really ready for visitors.

She hears about the Nubian or Meroetic pyramids, visits the Mahdi ‘s tomb, discovers one of Lord Kitchener’s gunboats rusting in a yacht club and goes to see the renowned Whirling Dervishes.

Radio 4 Excess Baggage, 26 August 2006

Listen online at www.bbc.co.uk