Sudan Travel Guide
In the news for all the wrong reasons over the Darfur genocide, The Sudan isn’t the sort of place you admire, but if your moral conscious doesn’t trouble you, there are plenty of ‘daring ‘ opportunities in rest of the country. Located between Egypt and Eritrea, it’s the largest African country with Arabic-speaking, Sunni Muslim inhabitants. Best visited from July to August, its main attractions are Wadi Halfa, the Red Sea, Khartoum, Gezira model farm, Omdurman, Dinder National Park, and Jebel Marra. Its health risks such as contracting hepatitis, diphtheria, malaria, typhoid, yellow fever, and HIV/AIDS, and frequent banditry and terrorist outbreaks make the country quite unsafe, however. Travelers need a Permit to Travel to enter Sudan. Those already in the country are advised to travel during the day within Khartoum.
When to Go
Sudan is a tropical desert country that experiences sandstorms from April to September. The central region experiences minimal rainfall from July to August. Wet season in the southern region is from May to October. The temperature in the desert is extremely high in the daytime but drastically drops at night. Bring your sunscreen and plenty of water.
Getting There & Away
Sudan is accessible by land, air, and sea travel. Most independent travelers need a Permit to Travel request obtained in Wadi Halfa. Driving alone is difficult especially at night. Renting a car or taking the taxi is highly advised for first-time travelers. You can also get around by bus, train, or bicycle. Just take note of the bus and train schedules because they are usually irregular.
Health & Safety
A bit of a dodgy destination to up-front! Sudan is prone to malaria, yellow fever, typhoid, polio, cholera, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, diphtheria, and sleeping sickness, so take all necessary precautions such as taking malaria prevention tablets and getting vaccinations. Do not swim in nonchlorinated pools and open waters to avoid getting schistosomiasis. Always drink bottled water and make sure your food is cooked well and served hot. Fruits should be peeled and milk, boiled.
Traveling to Sudan can be extremely dangerous at this time, as armed banditry and terrorist attacks are prevalent especially outside Khartoum. Avoid walking around unaccompanied and driving at night outside the capital.
Food & Hospitality
Try some of the local delicacies such as fuul (herbs, onions, mashed beans, and flat bread), Nile perch, grilled meat, and stewed chicken. The must-try local drinks include Sudan black tea, Sudanese coffee with ginger or cardamom, and merissa, the local beer. Offocially beer is illegal according to the code of the Islamic Sharia, so anyone caught drinking it can be punished the ‘Islamic way’.
The major hotels are found in Khartoum and Port Sudan. The smaller cities and main towns offer smaller hostels and hotels. Youth hostels are also available for backpackers. Obtaining decent accommodation is difficult outside Port Sudan and Khartoum.
One day in the Red Sea
One day in Wadi Halfa
Three days in Khartoum and Dinder National Park
One day in Gezira model farm
Two days in Jebel Marra
Red Sea: The most popular Sudan destination, it attracts thousands of travelers because of its clear waters, beautiful coral reefs, and fish species.
Khartoum: Sudan’s capital and port is also a railroad and airport center. Its most interesting area is its colonial downtown.
Wadi Halfa: Located in the north, Wadi Halfa holds ancient Egyptian antiquities.
Omdurman: along with Khartoum and Khartoum North, forms Sudan’s three-town capital. Some of its major attractions include the Omdurman camel market, the National Museum, and Khalifa’s House Museum.
Gezira model farm: This farm provides a great view of the sun setting into the Nile River.
Dinder National Park: One of the world’s largest parks where you can see wild animals such as kudus, giraffes, lions, antelopes, bushbucks, pelicans, kingfishers, storks, and crown cranes.
Jebel Marra: The highest western Sudan mountain featuring volcanic lakes, waterfalls, and a resort.
Sightseeing: Enjoy the natural landscapes in Gezira model farm, Dinder National Park, and Jebel Marra.
Shopping: Take home authentic Sudan souvenirs and handicrafts from Khartoum and Omdurman.
Nature tripping: Take a look at the live animal collections in Dinder National Park.
Swimming: Enjoy a private getaway in the beaches of Jebel Marra.