Sudan

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Eco-friendly travel guide to Sudan advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to travel in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Sudan, Africa.


  • Air quality: 2 / 5
  • Bus connections: 2 / 5
  • Train connections: 3 / 5
  • Hitchhiking: 3 / 5
  • National parks: 3 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 3 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 2 / 5
  • Safety: 3 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$10 - $30
  • Budget per day: US$20 - $60

Responsible Travel

It is a city with around 1.8 million people living here. The total population of this country is more than 44 million. On the southern end of this country, you can witness rainfalls higher than normal. The currency which is widely accepted in this country is the Sudanese Pound. The education of this country is free for children between 6 to 13 years of age. They have gone through a lot of struggle in their past therefore as a tourist you will be amazed to see and explore a lot of places that has the resemblance of their past and you will also get to learn about there culture and traditions.


Air Quality and Pollution

The quality of air in this country is not good. According to Paris investigations and service conducted by World Health Organization, it was mentioned that the concentration of 2.5 pm was found which means that the quality of air is terrible here. Traffic is one of the primary sources of air pollution in this country. Also, the quality of diesel or gasoline used to run these vehicles are not good enough; therefore, it creates a lot of pollution. Mining is another aspect which creates air pollution like smoke, dust, and other harmful pollutants which are released in the mining process and also it removes the top layer of the soil, which is fertile, creating land pollution.


Respect the Culture

A place’s culture can be shown through music, dance, art, dishes, drinks, festivals etc. These cultures are influenced by different things such as the invasions of foreign people in that country, various ethnic groups, the history of the place, and its religion. Similarly, this country has also faced many invasions that include invasions from the British empire, invasion of the Ottoman empire, invasion of the Turkish empire, invasion of the Egyptian empire etc. Therefore you will get a mixed culture over here with a variety of people living under same city. They have quite friendly nature towards the tourist as tourism generates a lot of revenue to them.


Top 10 Places to Visit

• Khartoum

This is the most populated state of this country. Most of the important state offices are present in this city, including governmental and non-governmental organizations, and the main airport through which you can reach this state directly. There are many archaeological sites presents in this state which were established during prehistorical times. Museums provide enough knowledge about ancient civilizations and how they established themselves. The average temperature here in summer lies between 25 to 40 degrees Celsius, and in winter, the temperature lies between 25 to 15 degrees Celsius.

• North Kordofan

This is another state of this country that covers an area of 185302 square kilometers with a total population of 2920890. This state was occupied and inhabited by nomads and pastoralists, which also includes different local tribes. This area was utterly draught until the middle of the 1960s as deforestation led to severe damage. However, various non-governmental organizations came together to resolve this issues to some extent. There are around 829 cities and towns present in this state. The capital of this state is El Obeid which has an elevation of 609 meters. In 2012 around 418280 people were living in this city. This city has one of the largest and oldest churches in the entire country, the cathedral of Our Lady Queen of Africa, founded in 1872. This city’s average climate lies between 20 degrees Celsius to 27.3 degrees Celsius, with an average rainfall of 318 millimeters. This city was founded by pashas belonging to the Ottoman empire of Egypt in 1821.

• Kassala

This is a state present in this country that covers a total area of 36710 square kilometers. According to specific estimations made in 2006, this state’s total population was 1171118, which grew up to 1.4 million in 2000. There are around seven localities in this state. The capital of this state is Kassala. This city is present on the Bank of Gash River. The estimated population of this town is more than 400,000. This town was under the Ottoman Empire as Egypt’s soldiers captured its viceroy Muhammad Ali in 1840. Later, it was further captured by mahadists in 1885. A Great War was fought in this town, which is called the battle of kassal. This war was fought between Mahdists and Italians. Italians snatched this land from Mahdists in 1894. However, later it was returned to the kingdom of Egypt.

• Blue Nile

It is a state present in this country, covering a large area of around 45844 square kilometers with 832112 people residing here. There are a lot of different types of ethnic groups present in this state. The primary source of revenue is dependent on agricultural activities, which also includes livestock and poultry farming. There are around six districts in this state. Until 2010 before the Merowe dam construction, the dam present in this state was the primary source of hydroelectricity for the entire country. The capital of this district is Ad Damazin. Many scholars of this country visit this city as there is a Blue Nile University which was established in 1995. The average temperature here lies between 20.8 degrees Celsius to 35.8 degrees Celsius, with an average rainfall of 712 Millimetres.

• Darfur

It is a region of Sudan that is present on the western side. This region’s total area is 493180 square kilometers, and the population estimated in 2017 was 9241369. It is not much dense region as the density is only 18 to 19 people per square kilometers. The official language of this region is Arabic. This region was an independent sultanate for a long time, but in 1916 it was incorporated into Sudan by Egyptian forces. This region is divided into five federal states: Central Darfur, East Darfur, North Darfur, South Darfur, and West Darfur. This region is under humanitarian emergency since 2003 because of the war fought between the Sudanese government and the people of this region.

• South Kordofan

The population of this state is more than 1,000,000. To decide the constitutional future of this country, the residents held a widespread consultation in 2011. Still, the governor of this state denied and suspended the whole process, which led to some serious violence. However, the governor has been charged with war crimes and various crimes against civilians by the International Criminal Court. Around ten investigations were done by International Criminal Court. The majority of the investigations resulted in a considerable involvement of various African politicians and warlords in this violence. This state is divided into five districts, and the capital of this Country is Kadugli.

• Gezira

It is a state which lies between the Blue Nile and White Nile. The area covered by this state is 27549 square kilometers. This state's estimated population is more than 5,000,000, making it the second most populated state of the entire country. Cotton farming is prevalent in this state, and a lot of locals of this state produce cotton. Also, the land of this state is fertile; therefore, it is suitable for agriculture. This country's capital is wad Madani, and this city lies on the western Bank of Blue Nile. This city is a trade Centre for peanut, barley, and livestocks. The population of this city is 345290. During the 19th century, this city was just a regular and small outpost of Turko-Egyptian. Still, this city grew very rapidly by the local people, and various economic developments were done in this city. The scheme that helped many farmers, which resulted in this city's economic development, was Gezira scheme of irrigation.

• Al Qadri

It is a state present in this country, covering 75263 square kilometers with an estimated population above 1.5 million. There is no governor in this state. This state has a very vast land that can be used for agriculture. Different industries are interlinked with agricultural products, such as peanuts and sunflowers. This state's forest area covers a large area of around 31 reserved forests and 11 reserved acacia trees. The estimated range of forest lies between 100 to 800 acres. Various ethnic groups are present in this country that perform various agricultural activities.

• Sennar

The state's area is 37844 square kilometers, with a total population present here is above 1 million. University of Sennar; this is the the only higher education University present in the entire state, and the majority of the residents study from this University. The capital of this state is Singa. This city is at an elevation of 439 meters above sea level and present on the western bank of the Blue Nile. A significant archaeological discovery happened in this city in 1924 when this place was under British control. The British governor found a large human fossil which was a single skull. After various investigations, it was found that the skull is around 160,000 years old, which means that The skull belongs to the human of the Stone Age.

• Red Sea

This city covers an estimated area of around 212800 square kilometers, and the population is around 1.5 million. On the Northwestern side of this state, there is a dessert called as Nubian desert. This state's name is the Red Sea because, on the eastern side, this state is connected to the red sea. There are a mountain range and some arid planes on the northern and southern side, which interrupt the mountain ranges.


Explore

It is a very vast country. Therefore, there are a lot of things to explore. This country has faced a lot of invasions, colonization, and other things forming a great history. Many places such as museums and war Sites can give you a proper list and facts about the different wars in this country. There are various other things to explore around the country, including our tour to various industries such as the cement industry, soap industry, and you can also explore various farms. There are city parks and national parks where you can spend some time between nature. There are local food markets where you can taste local dishes which are super delicious and a lot of such great places can be still found near the streets and specifically is the part of the unorganized sector of the country.


City Parks

Different types of city parks are present in each of the cities. Different cities have different development rates due to which there are different city parks present in parks. There are amusement parks where you can have fun with various amusement rides. Amusement parks are best if you are going with our group or kids. They will enjoy it too. Water park, which contains various pools and water slides, also comes under a city park. However, there are no water parks present in this country, and if there is any waterpark present, it is not mentioned. There is a tourist park in this country specially built for tourists where essential and famous tourist spots are mentioned. There are memorial parks built in the memory of a leader or any great person who belongs to this country.

• Park City

• Al Morgan Family Park

• Martyr's National Park

• Al – Doha Tourist Park

• Peace Garden


National Parks

There is a national park called Dinder national park. This National Park was established in 1935 and covers an area of 10,000 square kilometers stop along with the National Park, which is also a biosphere reserve present in the eastern side of Sudan. This park was further extended in 1983 by 2630 square kilometers on the western side. Talking about the animal species, there are around 27 species of large mammals, including cheetah, lion, leopard. If you love bird watching, then there are around 160 species of birds, and it also has a rich marine life with around 32 species of fish is and other reptiles and amphibians also present. Another National Park is called Radom National Park. This park was established in 1980, and it currently covers an area of 12,509 square kilometers. There are two rivers in this park. Another national park is Suakin Archipelago, which is a national park but more of an archipelago reserve. This park is present on the red sea near Suakin city. The area which these park covers are less than the other national parks. The area which it covers is 1,500 km².

• Dinder National Park

• Radon National Park

• Suakin Archipelago National reserve


Beaches

There are beaches which are present in this country. Most beaches are present in the Red Sea and Blue Nile region because they are connected with water on one side. More this, many people visit these beaches, so you have a great opportunity of making friends if you are alone in this country. Besides this, you must not stay on beaches at night because many crimes happen to tourists and many armed robbers are also present in this country. During the daytime, these beaches are safe.

• Kilo Beach

• Tuti Beach

• Burri beach

• Al Ezargab Beach

• Rwabi Beach


Landmarks

There are a lot of landmarks in this country, but the most famous ones are listed here. There are various sand pyramids similar to those in Egypt. There are other archeological sites from the past, giving the architectural style used in this country. There are even buildings that were built during the colonized period of this country. There are other landmarks which are also present in this country.

• Abdul Qayyum Gate

• Al Mahdi Tomb

• Jebel Barkal

• Pyramids of Meroe

• Nubian pyramids

• The Nile River and Al-Mugran


Museums

This museum has ethnographical collections which belong to the Mahdiyah rule. All the artifacts and evidence is revolved around this empire. The artifacts included are the coins of this empire, banknotes, converse words, and other personal things. There is a National Museum of Sudan the choice constructed in 1955, and it was termed as a museum in 1971. Most of this museum has archaeological collections belonging to the Nubians. There is an open-air museum present in this museum's garden, a Gallery on the 1st floor, and the Main Hall that lies on the ground floor. There is a Kerma museum which is present in the northern state of this country. This museum was opened in 2008 and was opened to focus mainly on this area's Christian and Islamic history. There is a Jebel barkal museum siege, but for the stab list in 1979 and has, archaeological collections complete strong this museum has around three Gallery rooms. Other museums are also present, but these museums can help you gain enough knowledge about the country.


Eat

While you are in this country, you must always taste the traditional dishes of this country. The first dish is Kunidiong which is called sweetened semolina in English. This dish is made up of sugar, yogurt or plain curd, butter, and semolina. It is heated till the color of semolina turns pale then milk is added as a topping. The local cuisine of this country, especially the eastern side of this country, is Moukhbaza. This dish is made with mashed bananas, and it is sweet in color. Another dish includes Kisra, which is made up of sorghum flour, which in general is bread. Various spices, meat, onions are added with peanut butter to give it a soothing taste and a different texture than the local foods.


Drink

Similarly, there are a lot of other drinks which are also present in this country. You will not be able to find alcoholic drinks because it is prohibited since 1983. There are non-alcoholic beverages that are present in this country. There are coffee and tea available in a wide range. Drinks are those beverages which are enjoyed by a lot of people. Also, there is various fresh fruit juice available in this country that can help you remain healthy in various cafes and restaurants. You should definitely try local non-alcoholic drinks which are the specially made for tourists as most of the population over here avoid any kind of drink available in the market due to religious reasons.


Tap-water

Sudan is not safe in matters of drinking water from taps. Water and sanitation-related diseases are among the leading causes of death for children under five; around 11 percent of child deaths in Sudan are due to poor sanitation, water and improper hygiene, and diarrhea. It would be best not to drink from taps in Sudan unless it has been boiled or chemically disinfected, or filtered. Also, in Sudan, only 68 percent of households have access to essential filtered water, with water supplies between rural and urban populations at 64 and 78 percent, respectively. A tourist/traveler must carry a water bottle to store filtered water or purchase packed water-bottles from a tourist center or local general stores. To stay healthy and hydrated you should always choose bottled-water over tap water as you might get ill if the tap water doesn't suit your body. Therefore, you should prevent yourself before-hand into getting into any sort of trouble.


Activities

Primarily famous for its archaeological sites, Sudan also offers superb diving of the Red Sea coast in addition to experiencing camel rides near the water's edge. The attraction points here are some of the most appealing in the Northeastern African region. The country has a unique gift as it boasts a good balance between sites with Sudan's immense natural beauty and landmarks which speak of its exciting history and culture. It has a great deal on offer for tourists of every inclination, some of them are:

• Enjoy scuba diving snorkeling at the Red Sea Secret Diving Center

• Visit museums if you are looking for a place for Sudanese art; do not forget burial sites as Sudan has tons of them.

• Camp in Kasinger Island. Apart from camping, you can have countless photo opportunities with amazing landscape views of the surrounding.

• You have plenty of options in national parks.

• Sudan boasts several archeological and historical sites. You are most likely to visit dozens of such places wherever you go while traveling the country.


Accommodation

Sudan is a great place to provide accommodation to all sorts of travelers suiting budgets across the spectra in style. From environment-friendly accommodations to luxurious apartments and guesthouses, Sudan offers you accommodation of all sorts. Each place has its beauty and is present in beautiful locations within the city. The capital city also boasts some luxurious and famous places to stay. In this section of the article, you may explore how accommodation facilities in Sudan have evolved to meet the traveler's pocket.


Green Hotels

Green hotels in Sudan are in abundance as their key focus is not only to help the environment but also to improve people's lives in their communities and their guests' experiences. Such hotels choose renewable and local building products and providing earth-friendly cleaning products to their customers. From water and waste management to several other categories about buildings, staff, and resource consumption and disposal, green hotels are always in great demand by foreigners. Here are some best places in Sudan where you can get such facilities:

• Acropole Hotel

• Al Salam Hotel

• Green Village Hotel

• Wau Grand Hotel

• JORI VIL HOTEL

• Zenith Hotel


Hostels and Guest Houses

Hostels and guesthouses are another type of accommodation you can find in Sudan. These hostels are cheaper than hotels and offer you various activities such as parties, movie nights, or barbeque. Such places have common areas that guests from all over the world can share. Meanwhile, guesthouses can give you all of the same amenities you seek in hotels for a lower price and give you a home-like feeling. Here is a list of some fantastic staying options in Sudan:

• Hostelling International, Youth Hostel

• Dream House Private Hostel

• Niger Hostel

• Sudan Guest House

• Bougainvilla Guest House


Apartments

Apartments give you an accessible living area where you can be yourself. Here in Sudan, you will get accommodation in apartments at cheaper rates in addition to an overall monthly payment; other financial components such as utilities and upkeep are generally lower because of the smaller space and the overall responsibility of the owner versus a tenant. Not only is the lack of maintenance worries a financial blessing, but they are also the safest locations for single women, children, families, and the elderly. Some best accommodations in Sudan are:

• New Modern Apartment, Khartoum

• The Studio, Al Nuzha District

• The Blue Nile, Sahara Dreams Welcome: Kingdom of Kush

• Kobar Residence


Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing offers you a great deal and is somewhat an easy option for any tourist/traveler who travels solo. In Sudan, around 265 hosts welcome strangers/foreigners to stay in their places. As a couch surfer, you must help the residencies' people you are staying with. Local people in Sudan are welcoming and help couch surfers to adjust to the city. This type of accommodation helps budget travelers and backpackers meet potential hosts all over the world. Some hosts in Sudan have spare bedrooms for their residents; hence you might not have to sleep in couches. Along with these facilities, couch surfers are most likely to build connections with the locals in addition to long-lasting friendships. Thus, Couchsurfing in Sudan is a safe and most accessible option for accommodation if you travel solo or with one or two others.


Camping

Somewhere near Meroe pyramids or in Karima at the hill or in Abdi, you can camp in various places with an epic view of the surrounding. Sudan offers you plenty of campsites/campgrounds to fulfill your desire to live in open spaces. In some sites outside the archaeological zone, you are even allowed to set camps for free where you have 24/7 access to the visitor's center's bathrooms. Camping here in Sudan offers adventurous guests the opportunity to experience the wild at its purest; complexities of modern-day living and free from the constraints. Here are a few other sites you can set camps in Sudan:

• National Camping Residence

• Meroe tented camp

• Residential Town – DIU

• Asgard Camping


Regions

Cities

Getting There and Moving Around

Entry in Sudan is limited, but you get here from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Kenya; all foreigners must register within three days of arrival. Be sure to bring all necessary documents to get in and move around the country. Transportation facilities to reach are via airways, waterways, or through lands. Various other facilities like local trains and busses run within the country to various destinations. Khartoum Airport (KRT) is the main gateway into Sudan by air, although some airlines have started flying to Port Sudan Airport, including Middle Eastern and African airlines. Local transportation, including cars, busses, or bicycles, are the means to travel in and around the country.


Air

Port Sudan airport handles various flights to Saudi Arabia, Cairo, and Jeddah that usually begin/end at Khartoum. There are several flights to reach the country; some main cities with direct air links with Khartoum are:

• Abu Dhabi (Etihad, Sudan Airways)

• Addis Ababa (Ethiopian Airlines)

• Bahrain (Gulf Air)

• Cairo (EgyptAir, Sudan Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways)

• Doha (Qatar Airways)

Apart from Khartoum, there are small airports in Port Sudan, Wadi Halfa, Merowe, and few more locations, all served by Sudan airways; however, it is advisable to avoid Sudan Airways and consider alternative transport because of its poor safety record and punctuality.


Bus

Busses are the safest and best transportation mode if you want to explore every corner of the city. Here in Sudan, various buses are running regularly from Khartoum to the major cities of the country. The fare, however, is inexpensive amounting to 4Euro for a 200kn trip. The bus routes travel through various rural and urban areas, so be prepared for all the disturbances and inconveniences you might face somewhere on your trip.


Train

Sudan offers you fewer train services than most neighboring countries. The train makes quite a few stops within the country, therefore, so it is advisable to stock up on water supplies before leaving from your destination. Several trains are running within the country; some run between Khartoum and Port Sudan, via Atbara, and from Nyala to Er-Rahad in the west. You can get trains from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa and Port Sudan departing from the Khartoum North's main terminal (Bahri).


Hitchhiking

Hitchhiking is relatively common in Sudan; hence it can be the easiest way to move around the country. Though there are not many private vehicles outside of Khartoum, you may get few rides on national highways. Apart from private vehicles, trucks and heavy transport vehicles often give lifts to the foreigners. However, you must be careful while choosing this option as it comes with many disadvantages too. You might get robbed and beaten for money if you chose to hitchhike and got stuck with the wrong person. So you should be very careful while choosing this option and take preventive measures to avoid getting into any trouble.


Others

Driving in Sudan is chaotic but not especially dangerous by African standards; visitors can also prefer to hire a taxi or a driver to move in and around the country. Crossing into Sudan from Egypt via the ferry from Aswan to Wadi Halfa now has highways where the road is quick for over-landers as there are few military roadblocks and very little other traffic. Cycling will often consist of pushing the bike through sand or rattling along grooves, but the scenery and the humbleness of the Sudanese people may compensate for the physical hassles. It is best to stick to the residential roads if you want to move around by cycle.


Sustainable Shopping

Sudan offers you several places from where you can purchase eco-friendly items. The whole concept of sustainable shopping leads to improving the environment by-products/items that do not cause any harm to the environment in any way possible. As a responsible tourist, try to shop from local vendors or visit second-hand stores to buy stuff and help them raise money for their livelihood. Here is a list of some places in Sudan where you can get such productive eco-friendly items:

• Omdurman Market

• Afra Mall

• Mojo Gallery

• Sudan Art Diwan


Recycling

Sudan does practice recycling as it helps the local government in limiting littering around the country. Recycling includes the conversion of plastic wastes into other productive items. People in Sudan take all necessary precautions regarding wastes to prevent their country from harmful diseases. The local government has also adopted several means and ways to spread awareness regarding recycling to guide people to the advantages of its sources to maintain cleanliness and hygiene. While traveling in Sudan, you are most likely to come across few recycling plants in the country. Also, as a tourist, it is essential to support recycling, whatever the case might be.


Waste

Sudan adopts various means and methods to control waste management in the country. The local government has set up various control units to provide necessary means to the local people to throw their trash and maintain cleanliness in the neighborhood. It is pretty common to see local people gathering their trash/wastes to burn, which indirectly leads to air pollution. Though this practice should be avoided but it seems local people don't really care about the effects of this in a broader horizon and even if some of them know it they still follow this and burn the waste in their surrounding.


Work and Study Abroad

There are no laws against students working while studying a full time course. There are several universities in Sudan that provide you advanced courses with various other activities. For studying here, people from all over the world can apply for universities in Sudan. As it is an agricultural country, it occupies 80 percent of the workforce in this field. 10 and 6 percent of jobs are in industry/commerce and government offices, respectively. Children are also allowed to work in most places; however, working conditions in rural areas are underdeveloped and resemble medieval times. The government over here supports the growth of their student at every stage of education and therefore focuses on how to provide practical experience and their application in the modern world.


Exchange Student

Many schools/universities within Sudan carry out exchange programs; thus, you can be an international student if you desire. Exchange students deal with a whole new world. Still, they can also learn many things about the country they want admission in and get involved in their cultural and traditional activities. Sudan however, provides you with tons of attraction points and places with spectacular surroundings and landscapes. But you should be careful while choosing to study here as it might affect your career if you take admission just for the attractions and beauty of this place.


Au Pair

Several hosts in Sudan have registered themselves in search of au pair in the country. Au Pairing is a job as nannies/babysitters; such jobs provide you with salaries and boost your overall personality. Jobs in Au Pair require you to handle kids, teach them, maintain discipline, and help them be better persons. There are various websites available that will help you find the perfect au pair job wherever you desire. You can actually live there without thinking about the budget as you will get free meals and shelter if you are good enough in taking care of the host's child.


Volunteering

The Sudan Volunteer Program is one of the few ways for foreigners to experience first-hand hospitality and meet generous people. Some universities also provide such volunteering facilities to interact with strangers and guide and help them in numerous ways. With this, they are most likely to receive accommodations and small stipends for their service. There are various volunteering programs by legal authorities that provide hospitable services to needy people. Thus, as a volunteer, you must fulfill your duty effectively and efficiently and serve as an excellent source to Sudan's people.


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