Sudan is home to a vast desert, buzzing souks and historic ruins. Come to land with more pyramids
than Egypt. The country has many ancient desert cities that line the confluence of the Niles.
Explore the camel markets, pyramids, tombs and ancient ruins in this mighty kingdom. Enjoy
Sudanese hospitality that is unmatched. Our guide helps you unearth Sudan's places to visit and
the wonders of travelling through the country in Northeast Africa.
USEFUL INFO ABOUT SUDAN
Map Referred: North Africa
- Official Name: Republic of Sudan
- Form of Government: Federal provisional government
- Capital & Largest City: Khartoum
- Population: 44909353 (2021 estimate)
- Official Language: Arabic, English
- Languages Spoken: Arabic, English
- Ethnicity: Sudanese 70%, Beja 5.5%, Nuba 2.5%, Fur 2%, Egyptian 1.2%,
Fulani 0.5%, Other 18.34%
- Currency: Sudanese pound
- Area:1886068 sq km
- Lowest Point: Red Sea (0m)
- Highest Point: Jabal Marrah (3042 m)
- Coastline: 650 km
- Egypt 1553 km
- Eritrea 1063 km
- Ethiopia 1194 km
- The Central African Republic 1230 km
- Chad 1272 km
- Libya 2019 km
Famous For: The Pyramids | Sudan Food | The People | Camping | Deserts |
River Nile | Culture
National Symbols: National Emblem | National Flag | Secretary Bird | National
Time Zone: GMT +2
Ethnicity: Sudanese 70%, Beja 5.5%, Nuba 2.5%, Fur 2%, Egyptian 1.2%, Fulani
0.5%, Other 18.34%
Driving Side: Right
Airports in Sudan: Khartoum International Airport | Atbara Airport | Damazin
Airport | Ed Daein Airport | El Fasher Airport | El Obeid Airport | Geneina Airport | Kadugli
Airport | Kassala Airport | Nyala Airport | Port Sudan New International Airport
NETWORK / CONNECTIVITY
Sudan has a good telecommunications infrastructure and national/international fibre optic
connections. The main GSM-based operators are Zain Sudan, Sudani and MTN Sudan. The three
operators provide 2G, 3G and 4G services. Major towns have good internet quality but once
outside the connectivity drops significantly. You need an unlocked GSM to use a local SIM. SIM
cards need to be registered at the point of purchase, otherwise they will be blocked. You need
to fill out a document and show your passport. Carry copies of the passport and passport photos
to aid you. You get SIM cards for 3 to 7 Sudanese pounds. Top-up is also possible to buy credit
at many shops that come in the form of scratch cards.
Early civilisations sprung along the Nile during the 8th century BC. The kingdom of Kush was formed
that conquered Egypt. Egyptian culture and ways became a part of Kush, including burying the kings
in pyramids. Christianity was the religion in the 6th century AD and Islam came into the country in
the 14th century. Modern Egypt conquered Sudan and turned it into a slave market in the 1820s.
Britain was also keen to control the area around the Suez Canal and was resisted by the Mahdist
armies. Mahdi Mohammed Ahmed is a revered figure whose armies threw both Egypt and Britain out of
Khartoum. However, it was re-conquered in 1898 that left the Sudanese resistance movement again
fighting for independence. The country gained independence in 1956.
A civil war on and off between the north and the Christian dominated south broke out. For five
decades, the civil war took an estimated two million lives. President Nimeiri granted the south
autonomy and ended the civil war in 1972. Civil war returned when the economy of the south went into
decline. Sudan saw a history of coups and in 1989 General Omar al-Bashir took control. The South
gained its independence in 2011 although clashes continue. President Bashir became the first head of
state to be tried by the International Criminal Court for inhuman crimes.
Sudan geography depicts the country as bordered by Egypt in the north, South Sudan in the south, the
Red Sea to the northeast and the Central African Republic and Chad in the west. Libya borders the
country to the northwest. Eritrea and Ethiopia border the country to the east.
The north and south Sudan regions have differences in culture, climate and geography. Libyan and
Nubian Deserts are located in the far north that extends to the capital Khartoum. There are a few
oases beside the Nile River.
The two large plateaus in the west and south are the Janub Darfur and Janub Kordofan. There are
pockets of fertile land between the Blue and White Niles which meet at the capital. Central steppes
cover a region that is made up of coarse grass and open savannahs. There is a vast shallow basin
south of the Steppes. This is crisscrossed by the White Nile.
Art and Music
Sudanese art is noted for its net weaving, pottery, metalworking, wood carving and more. Some of the
famous South Sudanese painters are known for their acrylic, water and oil paintings. Look out for
contemporary Zande art that is famous for iron, clay and wooden handicrafts.
The music style in the 1940s, 50s and 60s is referred to as post-Haqibah. This is when tonal
instruments such as violin, oud, tabla, accordion and bongo were introduced. Sudan has a rich music
culture and traditional music including South Sudanese folk music, Nuba, Northern Sudanese lyrical
music, Dervish among others.
Food and Drink
Sudan's food is influenced by the people of the region, its geography and historic roots. Cardamom,
cinnamon, apricots, and green peppers are commonly used ingredients. Peanuts are added to
traditional Sudanese cuisine for texture and flavours.
Must-Try Sudanese National Dishes
Ful Medames (mashed fava beans with boiled eggs), Tamia (Sudanese falafel), Dura (maize or millet
cooked with vegetables), Kawari (cow hooves soup), Goraasa be dama (beef stew)
Must-Try Sudanese National Drinks
Sudanese Cinnamon Tea (black tea with cinnamon sticks), Black Coffee (served with ginger and
cinnamon), Karkaday (hibiscus tea), Sudanese Coke, Vimto (soft drink), Stima ( Sudanese appetizer),
Vimo (non-alcoholic pineapple malt)
Sudanese people are warm and friendly. Travelling to Sudan is a delight as the Sudanese are extremely
kind and honest. So, apart from popular Sudan places to visit, Sudanese hospitality is to be
enjoyed. The news about recent revolutions or that the country is dangerous to travel to may put you
off. But Sudan is very safe as shopkeepers are friendly and nice. Strangers help out and locals are
helpful. You will come across a number of examples of hospitality, kindness and warmth in Sudan.
Sudan Weather | SDN Climate
- Sudan has miles of uninterrupted sand dunes in the Nubain Desert, known as the eastern part of
- To witness the Meroe Pyramids that are three times the size of Texas.
- Explore geographic diversity and expansive reserves.
- Witness environmental wonders in the Dinder National Park in the east of Sudan.
- Witness the confluence of the Blue and White Niles.
- Watch the red stone mountains of Jebel Barkal, known for their religious significance.
- Be among friendly and warm locals and imbibe their culture.
- Experience the diving scene at the Port of Sudan.
- Visit the largest city and capital of Sudan and see the National Museum of Sudan in Khartoum.
- Take a look at the Camel Market and watch the mannerisms of the desert animal.
- Enjoy Sudanese cuisines such as Sudanese falafel or fuli, mashed beans served with tomato chilli
The best time to visit Sudan in the cooler months is between December and February. The lowest
temperature is an average of 30Â°C in January. Temperatures can dip a lot in an instant and can halve
at night. The months see cold winds and it's a good idea to carry warm clothes and jackets. The
months from May to September see rainfall and the Nile begin to fill up, a good time to avoid.
Transport becomes difficult and the Nile fills its flood plains. Considering the humidity, the
temperatures seem to feel hot most of the year. The hottest months are May, April and June. May can
be really hot with temperatures around 41Â°C during the day and rarely drops below 26.8Â°C at night.
Visit Sudan with Family
Visit Sudan as a Couple
- Visit Sudan National Museum for history, an interesting Sudan place to visit.
- Explore the ancient ruins of the Meroe Pyramids, the ancient royal cemetery.
- Wander the Nile Street, the most beautiful street in Khartoum.
- Witness the historical site and the temple remains in Naqa.
Visit Sudan with Friends
- See the incredible Sufi ritual every Friday at the Hamed el-Nil Tomb.
- Enjoy a legendary meal at Al-Housh, an eatery in Omdurman.
- Visit the spectacular Khatmiyah Mosque at the base of the Take Mountains.
- Visit the base of Jebel Barkal, a table-topped mountain to witness some well-reserved pyramids.
Visit Sudan with Kids
- Take a trip to Sai Island to view the Ottoman Fort and a medieval church.
- Witness in Khartoum where the Blue Nile from Ethiopia and the White Nile from Uganda meet from
the White Nile Bridge.
- Check out the lively musical venue, the Jazz Cafe, a trendy hangout in Khartoum.
- Visit the Egyptian temple of Soleb built way back in the 14th century BC.
What To Buy?
- Wander the streets lined with a myriad of traditional items sold at Kassala Souq.
- Explore Nubian artifacts and granite statues at the Kerma Museum.
- Fill your belly with burgers, wraps, pizzas and more at Ice Cream Dream in Port Sudan.
- Visit the Afra Mall and indulge in a great time shopping.
- Ebony, Gold, Silver
- Local Crafts
The popular Sudan place to visit is an archaeological site in Karima. The table-topped mountain has
at its base, the Temple of Amun. There is also the fresco-decorated Temple of Mut immediately below
the needle of rock. This temple is dedicated to the Egyptian sky goddess. You can also explore a
small museum near the Temple of Amun with relics found around Jebel Barkal. Egyptians and Kushites
believe that the mountain is home to god Amun and is considered sacred.
Best Time to Visit: December to February
Entry Price: $ 10 (Temple of Mut)
Visit the ancient royal cemetery, a top attraction in Begrawiya. The pyramids on the sand-swept hills
is a spectacular sight. The pyramids are built in the Nubian style with a narrow base and steep
slopes. These served as tombs for kings and queens and totalled to around 100 pyramids. Some of the
well-preserved tombs have antechambers that contain carvings and hieroglyphics.
Best Time to Visit: December to February
Sheikh Hamad-al Nil Tomb
Entry Price: $20 (per person)
Visit the tomb in Omdurman where every Friday the Sufi followers perform a sacred ritual called
dhikr. They whirl around the tomb in a trance-like state and work themselves to a state of trance.
Frenzy dancing while reciting Allah`s name turns ecstatic as the followers perform the ceremony.
They wear colourful robes with bright beaded necklaces. Drumbeats and chanting fill the air in a
rhythmic fashion. The ceremony begins at 4:30 local time, which you can witness with the help of a
Best Time to Visit: Winter season
Sudan National Museum
Entry Price: Based on the tour
Explore Sudanese history of many millennia from the Black Pharaohs to the Black Sultanate era. The
beautiful modern building overlooks the confluence of the two Niles in Khartoum. Witness a
collection of stone-age relics of Sudanese Nubia artifacts. There are remains from three temples of
Sudanese Nubians on the museum grounds. The museum is also home to Islamic art displays of coins,
jewellery and amulets.
Best Time to Visit: Winter season
Sanganeb National Park
Entry Price: $0.024
Get into your snorkel gear and explore the marine life of Sanganeb National Park. Get close to coral
reefs and various types of fish. Swim past dolphins, sharks, turtles and more. You can take a boat
to reach a lighthouse from where you get spectacular views of crystal clear waters below. Get a
chance to include Port Sudan in your itinerary and explore the park, one of the top attractions in
Best Time to Visit: September to June (diving season)
Entry Price: Based on the tour
Wander down the wide street lined with a number of restaurants and cafes. Witness buildings from the
colonial era and overlook the wide river as you enjoy your day. The trees provide shade during the
day while the street turns into a nightlife hotspot at night. Enjoy your Khartoum holiday by
spending time in this interesting Sudan place to visit. Witness locals wearing white robes, drinking
hot coffee or enjoying a meal at Corinthia, a major attraction.
Best Time to Visit: December to February
If you can make time to visit a few other places in Sudan are;
Entry Price: Based on the tour
- Tuti Island
- Merowe Dam
- University of Khartoum
- Al Kabir Mosque
- Soleb Temple
- Third Cataract of the Nile
Most Popular Regions and Cities to Visit in Sudan
The capital city of Sudan, Khartoum, is just south of the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile.
The huge city is made up of three distinct cities, Khartoum, Khartoum North and Omdurman. Khartoum
is the seat of the Sudanese government and has many attractions to see. Among them are the Sudan
Presidential Palace Museum, Sudan National Museum and more.
Visit For: Souq Arabi, Sudan National Museum, Sudan Botanical garden, Souq Omdurman
This is an attractive port city located in eastern Sudan. It is the country's main seaport and the
capital of the Red Sea state. Port Sudan was built in 1905 and an important oil pipeline was built
between the port and Khartoum in 1977. Port Sudan lies on the splendid Red Sea coast and is an
important tourist destination.
Visit For: Sanganeb National Park, Temple of Sedeinga, Red Sea Secret Diving Center
Discover the many things to do in El Obeid such as the Chaminuka Game Reserve, Shikan Museum and
more. El Obeid is also known as Al-Ubayyid and is the capital of the North Kurdufan state. The
Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Africa is considered one of the oldest churches in Sudan.
Visit For: Shikan Museum, El Obeid Airport, Chaminuka Game Reserve, Catholic
Cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Africa
Kassala is the capital of Kassala state. It is noted for the University of Kassala. The city is
located in eastern Sudan. Kassala is a market town and lies along the banks of the Gash River. It is
famous for its fruit gardens and amazing coffee. It is an important trade centre due to its
Visit For: Taka Mountains Nature Preserve, Kassala Mountains
This is the most populated city in Sudan and lies on the east banks of the River Nile. It is located
opposite the capital Khartoum. There are a number of attractions such as Tuti Island, Museum of the
Khalifa's House and more.
Visit For: Omdurman Ahlia University, Al Mogran Family Park, Tuti Island, Nilian
If you have time, some of the other famous cities/towns are;
Sufi Holiya Festival
- Al Fashir
- Al Qadarif
- Khartoum North
This is a traditional Sufi music and dance festival. People celebrate by dancing and portraying
brotherhood. Cultural kinship with traditional hymns and songs called qasidas is sung in big
parades. Travellers get to imbibe the spiritual tradition and cultural revelry.
Location : Sudan
Sham Al Nassim
Date : October
The Spring Holiday festival is held every year in April. It takes place on the first Monday after the
Easter holiday. The day is celebrated with music, dance and merriment. Although there is no reason
to celebrate the festival, crowds swell to enjoy the festivities.
Location : Sudan
Date : April
The Muslim festival is celebrated at the end of the month of holy Ramadan. The celebrations are
family-based with the exchange of gifts and goodwill. It is held all over the Islamic nation in
August with mass prayers that happen in mosques.
Location : Sudan
Date : August
This is an important Islamic day also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice. Believers resonate with
the story that tells the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his firstborn to Allah. Sheep are
slaughtered and feasts are held among family and friends. The festival lasts for two or three days
with prayers offered at the mosque.
Location : Sudan
The Khartoum International Trade Fair
Date : October
This is a large export event that happens in January. It brings together the business community and
encourages export trade. The event sees participation from within Sudan and outside. The
international fair is a multi-sector fair for capital goods.
Location : Sudan
Other festivals/events celebrated in Sudan are;
Date : January
- Independence Day
- Mawlid an-Nabi
- Annual Flower Festival
- Al Bugaa International Theatre Festival
- Khartoum Cycle Race
- Mafrosh Book Fair
All travellers must have a valid passport to apply for a Sudan visa. The passport needs to be valid
for a minimum of six months from the arrival date. Your passport must have at least two blank pages
for visa stamping.
Sudan Visa-on-arrival/eVisa/Visa-free entry
Travellers to Sudan can obtain a visa from the diplomatic missions of Sudan unless they belong to a
visa-exempt country. The visa-exempt countries are
Citizens of the following countries can get a visa on arrival
- Egypt (except 18 to 49-year-old male)
- Qatar (valid for 1 month)
- Yemen (valid for 1 month)
- Malaysia (valid for 30 days)
- Turkey (valid for 1 month with the condition that passenger must arrive directly from Turkey)
You can avail a South Sudan evisa via an online application. The system was implemented in 2020
during the coronavirus pandemic. The South Sudan online visa application can be processed digitally
to help travellers apply from their homes. The online portal is available for the various types of
Sudan visa depending on the number of entries and length of stay. The necessary documents have to
also be provided.
Types of Visa and Validity
South Sudan evisa is a single entry visa, 3 months multiple entry evisa and 6 months multiple entry
evisa. The South Sudan evisa can be used for entry by air (to Juba International Airport), by river
or by land at the following borders;
The user-friendly online system provides Tourist Visa, Visit Visa, Business Visa, Medical Visa,
Education Visa, Work Visa and Official Duty Visa.
Sudan Airways operates flights from Khartoum. The airways are among the worst hit in terms of safety
in Africa since 2010. The airline has been banned from flying in the EU. Please note that changing
schedules and cancellations are common. There are smaller airports that Sudan Airways operates its
flights to such as Wadi Halfa, El Debba, Dongola and others.
Nile Express operates passengers between Khartoum and Atbara. Tracks have been renovated and repair
work is ongoing. The new train has been brought in from China and operates limited services around
the capital. There is also a weekly service from Wadi Halfa which is timed with the ferry service
from Egypt. Sudan Railway Corporation is the sole operator of the railways.
Car Hire, Taxi, Mini-Van
Road travel is chaotic and dangerous in Sudan. It is best to hire a driver or taxi and a 4WD is
advisable. Minivans ply in different directions most days. Most roads are dirt tracks and visitors
who are inexperienced international drivers may find it difficult. The Chinese have financed a
tarmac highway that vehicles can use freely with few military roadblocks and less traffic.
Buses run frequently in the cities. However, in remote areas, passengers use 'boxesâ or trucks.
People sit on top and the buses are usually crowded. They wait for the buses to fill up which can
take half a day before they start. You can hire a whole bus for yourself if you have enough money!
Cycling is legal in Sudan however difficult. Most often due to bad roads, you may have to push the
cycle through the sandy tracks. Lack of shade and thorny pathways can lead to punctures in the far
Via Air Route
Sudan Airways is the main carrier which is not a recommended airline to travel due to safety. There
are indirect stopover flights via Cairo on Egyptair and via Istanbul via Turkish Airlines. There are
no direct flights from the USA or UK.
The road with a land border at Gallabat is rarely used. The border with Egypt for road travel is
periodically closed for foreign travellers.
There is a weekly ferry from Wadi Halfa to Aswan in Egypt down Lake Aswan. Beware of piracy that is
common in the area. There are few barges that depart up the Nile from Kosti to Malakal.
- Sudan is one of the hottest countries, so pick your travel in winter from November to February.
- Arabic is the official language and basic English is spoken. Carry a travel guide to help.
- Keep away from tribal conflicts, especially in Darfur province.
- Pack carefully for hot weather and keep belongings safe.
- Don't exchange money at banks or official exchange offices and use the black market for better
- Sudan`s exchange rates fluctuate constantly. Do follow a guide to be accurate.
- One good piece of advice is to tell the waiter “Mafi Zed” means “without
oil” as most cuisine comes with plenty of peanut oil.
- Always keep your travel documents and identity safe.
- Remember that the internet connection is slow or non-existent. It is good to plan in advance and
to connect via a SIM card.
- Remain alert and updated on travel advisories.
- Street crime is low in Khartoum and other cities with the exception of Darfur.
- Petty theft and burglary will occur, so please be mindful.
- Do not leave valuable items on display.
- Avoid confrontation and be careful of aggressive begging.
- Keep away from local demonstrations and monitor local media for advice.
- The FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advises travellers against travel
within 100 km of the border with Egypt.
What to Pack?
- It is always good to drink only bottled water.
- Several vaccinations are essential that CDC and WHO recommend; Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B,
Typhoid, Cholera, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Meningitis, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella, Tdap,
Chicken Pox, Shingles, Pneumonia and Influenza.
- South Sudan is considered a high-risk country for Yellow Fever. A Yellow Fever vaccination
certificate is required especially if the traveller comes from a country with Yellow Fever
- Malaria is also rampant, so come prepared with repellent and malaria medicine.
- Carry a medical emergency kit for use.
- Invest in good Travel Insurance for emergency purposes.
- Stay aware of the current health tips, and drink and eat safely.
- Bugs, fleas and ticks can be bad. Protect yourself with long-sleeved shirts, pants and hats.
Dress Code & Etiquette
- Important Travel Documents
- Insect Repellent
- Clothes to cover exposed skin
- Travel Insurance
- Boots, Walking Shoes
- Bed Net
- Medical Kit
- Lightweight Clothing
- Sunscreen Creams
Egypt (1553 km)
- The dress code is conservative as Sudan is an Islamic country.
- Lightweight clothing that is long-sleeved pants/shirts is worn to protect from sunburns and
- Use your right hand for greetings or handshakes as the left hand is used for cleaning and
- Modest behaviour is a must, especially towards Sudanese women.
- It is inappropriate to inquire about female family members unless you know the person well.
- Sudanese locals are very relaxed and lateness does not imply rudeness.
- Malesh means sorry, a word used if things don't go according to plan.
- Do not walk in front of a person in prayer.
- Follow the rules during the holy month of Ramadan with respect.
- Do not show soles of your feet to another person whilst sitting. It is considered rude.
Visit the famous attractions of the Pyramids of Giza, Luxor's Karnak Temple, the Valley of the Kings,
the Great Sphinx and more. Cruise down the Nile, dive in the Red Sea and explore Cairo, the capital
city. Egypt is a popular destination with millennia-old monuments to see.
Eritrea (1063 km)
Eritrea welcomes you with popular attractions, religious sites, architectural buildings and more.
Witness the Fiat Tagliero, Cattedrale di Asmara, Cinema Roma, Medebar Market among other famous
Ethiopia (1194 km)
Visit Ethiopia for beautiful landscapes, tasty food and plenty of festivals. Watch the breathtaking
Blue Nile Falls, great wildlife and plethora of birds. Ethiopia is home to many unique animal
species such as the Gelada baboon, the mountain nyala and the Ethiopian wolf among others.
Distance Between Places Of Importance In And Around Sudan
Central African Republic - 1230 km, Chad - 1272 km, Libya - 2019 km
- Sudan is the third-largest country in Africa.
- It is where the Blue Nile and the White Nile Rivers meet.
- Khartoum, the capital, is the largest country in Sudan.
- Sanganeb National Park was listed as a UNESCO site in 2016.
- The Pyramids of Meroe were built by the Meroitic Pharaohs.
- Northern Sudan was known as the kingdom of Nubia during ancient times.
- Sudan got independent on January 1, 1956.
- Sudan's most popular sports are football and athletics (track and field).
CALLING CODE: + 249
EMBASSY Of UAE: +249155888888 | For more info Embassy of UAE in Sudan
Fire brigade: 999
Traffic Police: 777 777
The official currency of Sudan is the Sudanese pound and the currency code is SDG. The Sudan currency
symbol is SDG. The Sudanese pound is broken up into 100 qirshes. Sudan central bank exchange rate
for some of the most popular currencies are.
1 SDG = 0.17 INR (Sudanese pound to INR)
1 SDG = 0.0024 USD ( Sudan currency to USD)
1SDG = 0.0088 (Sudanese pound to AED)
1 SDG = 0.0020 (Sudanese pound to Euro)
Sudanese currency banknote denomination: 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 pounds
Sudanese currency coin denomination: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 piasters, 1 pound
Please note that Travelers Cheques are NOT accepted in most places.
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