Years of conflict have kept travelers away, but this vast country will surprise you. Sudan is a land of sweeping sand dunes and vast desert; bustling souks and camel markets; where the two Niles meet and become one in the nation’s capital. Venture north to the ancient desert cities that line the unified Nile and unearth a wealth of hidden treasures – pyramids, tombs and ancient ruins provide a fascinating glimpse into the mighty kingdoms that ruled before. Experience Sudan’s legendary hospitality, where just a smile and a few words of Arabic can open doors into teahouses and homes, and see firsthand how the warmth of the Sudanese people is matched only by their arid surrounds.
Take in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling Omdurman Souk, Sudan’s largest and most famous market.
Ancient Egyptians and Kushites thought this flat-topped mountain in Karima was holy. Climb the mountain or explore the hieroglyphics-covered temples and Nubian pyramids that surround it.
Once an important city in medieval Nubia, Old Dongola is home to fascinating Christian ruins and the massive pyramid-like tombs of Islamic holy men.
More than 50 pyramids – smaller than Egypt’s pyramids but just as impressive – rise from the sand in the former capital of the Kush kingdom.
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.
While parts of Sudan continue to suffer civil unrest, political tension and the threat of terrorist attack, this risk is relatively isolated to specific areas. Most governments do not recommend travel to southern and western Sudan, though the northeast region of the country is considered one of the safest parts of Africa. The people are incredibly warm and hospitable. Rest assured, Intrepid would not take you anywhere unless we were convinced it was safe.
Australia: Yes – required in advance
Belgium: Yes – required in advance
Canada: Yes – required in advance
Germany: Yes – required in advance
Ireland: Yes – required in advance
Netherlands: Yes – required in advance
New Zealand: Yes – required in advance
South Africa: Yes – required in advance
Switzerland: Yes – required in advance
United Kingdom: Yes – required in advance
USA: Yes – required in advance
Travellers from most nations are required to obtain a visa to visit Sudan. Visa requirements can change at any time so contact your nearest Sudanese consulate or embassy for up-to-date information about visa requirements. Be aware that even if you have a visa, travellers with Israeli stamps or an Israeli visa in their passport will not be allowed to enter Sudan.
Intrepid’s trips in Sudan are run in coordination with travel company, Dragoman. Please see their site for more information about visa requirements.
It’s generally a good idea to make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of six months following your departure from Sudan and has a few blank pages for stamps.
Tipping is not normally expected in Sudan, but is a nice way to show your appreciation. A service charge is usually including on restaurant bills, in which case, there is no need to leave an additional tip.
Internet cafes can be found in most cities but may be expensive and slow.
Mobile phone coverage is good in urban areas. Ensure global roaming is activated with your service provider before leaving home.
Both Western-style flushable toilets and squat toilets can be found in Sudan. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer as they are rarely provided.
Cup of tea = USD 0.20
Shawarma = USD 1.50
Lunch at a mid-range restaurant = USD 10-15
Dinner at a high-end restaurant = USD 20+
Tap water is not safe to drink in Sudan. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, pack a reusable water bottle. Your leader or hotel can tell you were to find filtered water or bring purification tablets.
Credit cards are not accepted in Sudan. Neither are debit cards, cash cards or travellers cheques, so expect to pay cash for all purchases.
There are no ATMs in Sudan that are able to access international funds, so make sure to bring enough cash to cover all your expenses.
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: Travel Insurance
Jan 1: Independence Day
Jan 8: Coptic Christmas
June 25: Eid al-Fitr
June 30: Revolution Day
Sept 1: Eid al-Adha
Sept 22: Islamic New Year
Dec 1: Birth of Prophet Muhammad
Dec 25: Christmas Day
Many of these holidays are religious holidays and change each year as they are celebrated according to the Islamic lunar calendar. For an up-to-date list of public holidays in Sudan go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/africa/sudan/public-holidays.
Discretion is highly advised for LGBTQI-travellers in Sudan, where homosexuality is illegal and sodomy is technically punishable by death (though this has not been enforced for years). That being said, travellers should not encounter any problems if they are discreet and avoid public displays of affection.
Sudan requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Many African countries pose a risk (including Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya), so if you are planning on visiting other nearby nations before arriving in Sudan, you may be required to get this vaccine. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date advice and make sure to schedule your vaccination 4-6 weeks before your departure date, as some require time to become effective. No other vaccines are required in order to enter Sudan but some are recommended for protection against disease.
1. Hepatitis A (transmitted through contaminated water)
2. Typhoid (transmitted through contaminated water)
3. Yellow Fever (transmitted through mosquitoes). Yellow fever is a risk in Sudan south of Khartoum. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic about your travel plans to see if this vaccine is right for you.
4. Meningitis (bacterial disease transmitted by close contact with an infected person). Sudan is located in the ‘meningitis belt’ of sub-Saharan Africa. The disease is most common during the dry season, between December and June.
Malaria, yellow fever and Zika are all mosquito-transmitted diseases found in certain parts of Sudan. Zika can also be transmitted through sexual exposure. Since Zika has been tied to serious birth defects, pregnant women are advised to not travel to Sudan. You can protect yourself by wearing light coloured clothing, using a good bug repellent and taking anti-malaria medication. Talk to your doctor or travel clinic about your travel plans to determine what medication is right for you.