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The Clashes

In the fighting between the Sudanese and the British occupants, the battle of 1898 in Atbara was a turning point. After clashes where the Sudanese had stopped the British thrust into the country, and thereby killed general Gordon, the British got a long awaited victory here. The battle even inspired the young journalist Winston Churchill to write a book about what happened.
Atbara is situated on the point where the river Atbara meets the Nile, on the northern side of Atbara, and eastern of the Nile. The river Atbara has low water during long seasons each year, this much due to not too clever containment policy, as well as the rain situation up in the Ethiopian mountains.
There are some few things around Atbara that could keep you busy for a day or two. The locomotive graveyard is told to be a strange change from the ordinary sights in the northern Sudan. And the camel and crafts market just out of town has a good reputation by those having had time to hang around until Saturday, the day it's held.

Eat and Sleep
Difficult on both. Some few places to eat, but not of the restaurant standard. Hotels are either very bad and cheap, or expensive and melancholic.

Atbara has very good communications. Trains are very important here, as the city connects the line running north as well as those heading out to the coast. But buses, taxis, boksis, and even air flights are available.

Going Next
700 km northwest: Wadi Halfa
500 km east: Port Sudan
100 km south: Meroe
150 km south: Shendi

By Tore Kjeilen