Sudan

The friendliness of the Sudanese people is legendary in traveller circles. For a country that has experienced such a long and drawn out civil war it is amazing that the local people are so welcoming, genuinely warm and always willing to help. This is the country where you want to brush up on your smattering of Arabic. Just a few words can open doors into chai houses, into living rooms and into the world of Sudanese hospitality. People are genuinely curious and pleased to see outsiders.

Sudan Tours & Travel

Articles on Sudan

Soup is for life, not just for lunch: five Asian soups that will change the way you feel about soup

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 by Eliza Eliott

Everyone knows soup is a great lunch option, but it's often overlooked for dinner. This article hopes to change that.

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7 essential things to do on any Chilean adventure

Posted on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 by Intrepid Admin

This blog was originally going to be titled, '7 Cheap Chile Adventures Only a Hitchhiker-Insider on Your Intrepid Staff Could Tell You About', but we thought that might be a bit much.

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These five dumplings prove the theory that dumplings are the greatest food in the world

Posted on Thu, 20 Nov 2014 by James Shackell

Intrepid's in-house foodologist, James Shackell, sets out to prove a theory as old as time itself.

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Five of our favourite things about Ecuador

Posted on Wed, 19 Nov 2014 by Intrepid Admin

Sure, Ecuador doesn’t have the famous ruins of Peru or the culinary draw of Argentina, but it still belongs on your ‘go to’ list for a South American adventure.

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About Sudan

At a glance

Trips Available: 0
Capital city: Khartoum (population 2 million)
Population: 34.3 million
Language: Arabic, English
Currency: SDG
Time zone: (GMT+03:00) Nairobi
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type D (Old British 3-pin)
Dialing code: +249

Best time to visit Sudan

While Sudan’s north is dry for most of the year, the south is tropical and humid year round. Generally the shoulder and winter months from September to April are the best times to visit. Sudan is always hot but April to July are uncomfortably so and this is also the wettest time of the year. You may encounter fierce dust storms from July to August and November to January

Sudan weather chart

Geography and environment

Herding camels in the desert
Sudan’s north is home to the Libyan and Nubian deserts, where the dunes are broken by the occasional oasis and patches of green along the Nile. Further south, desert gives way to savannah and more tropical climes. This is Sudan’s agricultural basin, fed by the waters of the Blue and White Niles. But even here life can be hard and the deserts to the north blow their sands in July and August. Sudan is bordered by the Red Sea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Chad, Libya and South Sudan.

Top Picks

Meroe’s pyramids

Top 5 Historic Sites in Sudan

1. Meroe

There’s nothing quite like the sight of Meroe’s pyramids seemingly left to their own devices against the encroaching desert. See hieroglyphs dating back to 500 BC, explore the royal city and wander the ancient royal cemetery.

2. Mahdi’s Tomb

The tomb of the Mahdi in Omdurman is a symbol of the African struggle against the British in the 19th century. Over time it has become a place of pilgrimage for the Sudanese.

3. Jebel Barkaal

Once the spiritual centre of the black kingdoms of the Nile, Jebel Barkaal prospered for nearly a thousand years. Legend has it that during the reign of King Taharqa, the mountain’s peak was covered in gold. These days the gold is gone but the ruins of palaces and temples remain.

4. Naqa Temples

These Kushite temples are some of the largest ruins in Sudan. Built to honour Amun and Apedemak they stretch out over 100m long

5. Musawwarat Temples

Dating back to 300 BC, this well-preserved site was once a bustling religious centre. These days they’re far from civilisation, but no less fascinating. Explore the Great Enclosure - a maze of temples, terraces and courtyards.

FAQs on Sudan

SUDAN SOUTHBOUND::
The process of obtaining a Sudanese visa can be a complicated one so it is vital that you read the following information thoroughly.

All nationalities require a visa to enter Sudan. All nationalities must check with their respective embassies. If possible it is recommended that you obtain this visa in advance of your trip, however the whole process of obtaining a Sudan visa before travel can take up to 8 weeks, and there are a few ways in which you can apply for your Sudan Visa.

1. IN ADVANCE:

Direct with a Sudan Embassy or Consulate.

For US citizens please visit the Embassy of Sudan in Washington on details of how to apply for the tourist visa www.sudanembassy.org

For UK citizens please visit the Embassy of Sudan in London for details on how to apply for the tourist visa http://www.sudan-embassy.co.uk

For Australian citizens please visit the following website for details of your closest Sudan Mission http://protocol.dfat.gov.au/Mission/list.rails

All Applications must first be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Sudan for authorisation by one of the following:
• A Sponsor (Relatives or Friends in Sudan)
• A Sponsoring Company based in Sudan
• Business partner based in Sudan
• A Hotel or Travel Agency based in Sudan.

Please check with the Embassy as some embassies will organise the authorization letter for you as part of the visa application service. If the Embassy does not provide this authorization letter then you will have to obtain this through waleed.travel@gmail.com at Lendi Travel who can help you obtain this for a fee (approx. $165 USD). Please note you will also have to pay for your visa fees on top of this.
Once accepted your authorisation will be sent to the embassy in which you are obtaining the visa.

2. THROUGH A VISA AGENT - THE VISA MACHINE:

If you decide to obtain your visa through The Visa Machine please contact them directly for all the information.


3. HERE ARE YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO OBTAIN YOUR VISA BEFORE TRAVEL:

For all nationalities except US citizens you can obtain the Sudan visa in Aswan, however the process can be time consuming and the information can change suddenly (we therefore recommend all nationalities obtain Sudan visas in advance). They cost up to US$150 and take 1-2 days. You must have already obtained your Ethiopian visa and if you are flying out of Khartoum then you must have proof of exit such as your flight ticket.

You will also need to obtain a letter of approval from your respective Embassy/Consulate in Cairo to vouch for your identity and there may be a charge for this letter. For British Nationals your tour leader will already have a copy of this for you.
You will need approx. 6 passport photos for the visa.

For US citizens unable to obtain the tourist visa before travel you can obtain this in either Cairo or Aswan. All applications must first be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Sudan by one of the following:
• A Sponsor (Relatives or Friends in Sudan)
• A Sponsoring Company based in Sudan
• Business partner based in Sudan
• A Hotel or Travel Agency based in Sudan. Please visit www.sudan.net for the list of hotels and travel agencies who can assist with the visa application process. Once accepted your authorisation will be sent to either Cairo or Aswan depending on where you have instructed.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the process of authorisation being controlled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sudan, Dragoman or Intrepid will not become involved in any way in the authorisation process.

REGISTRATION IN SUDAN:
Everyone is required to register with the Aliens Department within three days of your arrival in the country (2 passport size photos are needed and the fee is the Sudanese Pound equivalent of around £35). Once registered, you are not required to obtain an exit visa to leave the country. You are required to pay US$20 per person airport tax.
Tipping isn’t customary, however if the service in a cafe or restaurant is good, feel free to leave spare change or round up the bill.
Internet cafes can be found in most cities but may be expensive and slow.
Mobile phone coverage is good in urban areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated with your carrier if you wish to use your phone.
Sudan’s toilets may be basic. Be prepared for squat toilets, even in major centres.
Bottle of soft drink = 2 SDG
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 8 SDG
Simple lunch = 10 SDG
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 25 SDG
Tap water isn’t safe to drink in Sudan. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, bring water purification tablets or ask your leader where filtered water can be found.
Credit cards are rarely accepted in Sudan.
Some ATMs are available in Khartoum. Cash can also be withdrawn from a bank using your card.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Jan 1 Independence Day
Jan 7 Coptic Christmas
Jan 24 Al-Mowlid Al Nabawi (Birth of the Prophet)
May 5 Coptic Easter
Jun 30 Revolution Day
Aug 8 Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)
Oct 15 Aid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice)
Nov 4 Islamic New Year
Dec 25 Christmas Day

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to:
http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Sudan/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Sudan Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling

Top responsible travel tips for Sudan

1. Be considerate of Sudan’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. Dress modestly and respectfully. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.

3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water.

4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

5. When bargaining at markets, stay calm, be reasonable and keep a smile on your face. It's meant to be fun!

6. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

7. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

8. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.

9. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

10. When on community visits or homestays, refrain from giving gifts or money to locals.

11. Ramadan is the fasting month for all Muslims. During this month no food, drink or smoking is permitted during daylight hours. While non-Muslims aren't expected to fast, it's recommended to try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
What is the What Dave Eggers
The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur Daoud Hari
They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan Benjamin Ajak, Benson Deng, Alephonsian Deng and Judy Bernstein