Wadi Halfa

Wadi Halfa

[wah-dee hahl-fuh]
Wadi Halfa, town, N Sudan, on Lake Nasser. It is the terminus of a railroad from Khartoum and is the point at which cotton, wheat, livestock, and other goods are transferred to steamers going down the Nile into Egypt. Archaeological expeditions have worked to excavate and preserve the area's numerous Egyptian antiquities, which faced flooding from the reservoir of the Aswan High Dam.

Founded in the 19th cent., Wadi Halfa became (1885-98) the headquarters of the Anglo-Egyptian army as it prepared to reconquer Sudanese territory from the Mahdi. The railroad up the Nile to Wadi Halfa was built to support Lord Kitchener's forces during the reconquest. During World War II, the town served as a staging post on the Allied communication line with Egypt via central Africa.

Wadi Halfa (Arabic: وادي حلفا) is a town in the northern Sudanese state of Northern on the shores of Lake Nubia (the Sudanese section of Lake Nasser). It is the terminus of a rail line from Khartoum and the point at which goods are transferred from rail to ferries going down the Nile River. The city has a population of about 15,725 (2007).

The town is located amidst numerous ancient Egyptian antiquities and was the focus of much archaeological work by teams seeking to save artifacts from the flooding caused by the completion of the Aswan Dam. The modern town was founded in the nineteenth century and is chiefly known as the headquarters (1895-1898) of the British-led forces seeking to defeat the forces of Muhammad Ahmad, the self-proclaimed Mahdi. The rail line up the Nile was originally begun in 1897 to support this military buildup; it extends, via Atbara, to El Obeid and beyond into southern and western Sudan. During World War II, Wadi Halfa was a communications post for Allied forces in Africa. The town's present-day industries include a Chinese-built fish processing plant. Most of the town was relocated after the construction of the Aswan High Dam due to flooding.


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