Khartoum (Arabic: الخرطوم Al-Khartum) is the capital of Sudan and is located where the Blue and White Niles merge to form the Nile. The huge, spread-out city is actually made out of three distinct cities (Khartoum, Khartoum North or Bahri, and Omdurman) which are divided by the Nile and its two arms. The Blue Nile flows between Khartoum and Bahri, the White Nile between Khartoum and Omdurman, and the merged Nile between Bahri and Omdurman. The confluence of the Blue and White Nile, known as Al-Mogran, lies just north of the bridge between Khartoum and Omdurman.
Khartoum proper is the seat of the Sudanese government and is the largest of the three cities. The older part of the city lies beside the White Nile while the newer parts, such as Al-Amarat and Khartoum Two, spread out to the south, across the railway line and the ring road, and around the airport runway. The city, both the old part and its newer extensions, is laid out mostly in a grid. Omdurman has a more Middle Eastern atmosphere with maze-like streets and is home to the huge Souq Omdurman. Bahri is largely industrial and residential.
Khartoum AirportIs the main gateway into Sudan by air. The airport is served by various European, Middle Eastern and African airlines. Among the cities with direct connections with Khartoum are: British Airways (with connections to London), EgyptAir (Cairo), Emirates (Dubai), Ethiopian Airlines (Addis Ababa), Gulf Air (Bahrain), Kenya Airlines (Nairobi), KLM (Amsterdam), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Qatar Airways (Doha) Turkish Airlines (Istanbul, on Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays).
Sudan's national carrier Sudan Airways links Khartoum and several African and regional capitals, and with Sudan's domestic airports at Port Sudan, Nyala, El-Fashir, Malakal, Juba, Dongola, Wadi Halfa and El-Obeid.
Go early as the airport can get a bit chaotic. Be prepared for long waits and queue cutting. Immigration checks and other security checks can also take a long time. No departure tax should be paid anymore, as it's included in a ticket price.
There is a bank facility to change money open during the night when there are flights.
Getting there/away: airport is located close to the city in Al-Amarat. Taxi fare from Khartoum airport to city was a fixed SDG 100 in 2015. You can also walk out to the main road about 200 m from the airport terminal and catch minibuses that cruise along the road.
By busThe chaotic Souq al-Shaabi used to be the main bus terminal for long distance south-bound buses in Khartoum, but a new terminal (Meena al Barre) has been built which is more orderly. Buses leave for Port Sudan, Wad Medani, Kassala, El-Obeid, Karima (8 hr, SGD 275), Gedarif (6 hr, SGD 275) and other cities. Again, there are no buses to southern Sudan.
Buses from Aswan travel 24 hours, 450 EGP.
Buses to Atbara depart from (also known as Shendi Bus Station).
Rail services to Khartoum are limited, but investment have brought hopes of a rejuvenation of train travel. There is the daily Nile Express from Atbara as well as services three times per day from Wad Madani. Older, more infrequent trains run from Port Sudan, Wadi Halfa - for connections with ferries from Egypt - and even Nyala. There main station is .
By carThe main tarred road goes south from Khartoum to Wad Medani then east to Gedaref (for the Ethiopian border at Gallabat), Kassala (for the Eritrean border, which is closed) and then to Port Sudan. South from Khartoum, a road also goes to El-Obeid, which then continues west towards the Chadian border via Darfur, which is a bit dangerous to use. From the north, the road comes in from Wadi Halfa via Atbara.
There are no road links to southern Sudan. The only option is to fly.
By boatThere are no boat services along the Nile to destinations outside Khartoum.
Khartoum is both easy and difficult to get around. It is easy in that much of the city is laid out on a grid, with long straight roads and the airport and Nile as easy reference places. It is difficult in that the city (or indeed the 3 cities) are very spread out, making walking a long and tiring option.
Maps are hard to come by, but Google Earth offers some good high-resolution images.
By taxiThese come in three varieties; bright yellow and often beaten up Toyota Corollas Model 1977, small 6-seater minivans, and modern comfortable air conditioned metred cabs (operated by LimoTrip 00249 183 591 313 or firstname.lastname@example.org - rates are reasonable by meter only and saves the haggling; the cabs are also radio controlled). Apart from metered taxis, taxi drivers always overcharge the foreigner.
Fair 'foreigner' prices for taxis are roughly: SDG 17.50 plus SDG 4.61 per km.
Crossing the river will usually double the price.
Most taxi drivers speak no English, can't read maps, and often can't read Arabic either; they often even have little idea about Khartoum's geography, especially about other parts of the city to where you pick him up.
By minibusMinibuses are the cheapest way to get around Khartoum, especially between the three cities. There are easily thousands of minibuses and seeing all of them gather near the Great Mosque and Souk al-Arabi is a sight to behold. They are however quite complicated to use. None of them bear destination signs and you will have to be able to speak a little Arabic with their conductors to determine which minibus to take. They are also always packed to the brim. Fares are SDG 3-5 (June 2017).
Most of the minibuses leave from the square near the Great Mosque (Mesjid al-Kabir) or nearby in Khartoum proper.
By carDescribing Khartoum's traffic as chaotic is a bit of an understatement. The economic boom has put many more cars on the road, although driving attitudes have not changed, resulting in almost comical chaos at intersections. As Khartoum is laid out in a grid, there are many intersections for cars from all directions to barge in to fight for space. Having said that, the slow speed of vehicles ensures that they are very few major accidents, at least in the city. If you are not used to such driving conditions, it is better to resort to taxis.
Car hire is available and costs a bit above the African average. However if you want to head off in to the desert the costs mount further, as the 100 km is standard, and then there is an additional charge per kilometre. Fuel costs around SDG 27 (US$4.20) per litre (Nov 2016). ‘Limousine’ is the Arabic word for car hire – try along Airport Road or Ibed Khetim Road (east of the airport) for car hire places.
By three-wheeled taxisCalled "bajaj" (like in India) or "raksha", they are cheaper than taxis but more expensive than buses so less than SDG 5 per trip. They are best used for short trips within each of Khartoum's three cities. It is better to use taxis or minibuses if you have to cross the Nile to travel between the three cities.
By boatThere are no ferry services between the three cities as they are well connected by road bridges.
There is a ferry service between Khartoum proper and Tuti Island, a rural islet in the middle of the Blue Nile. In Khartoum, boats leave from the river bank along Nile Street opposite the Friendship Hall to the west of the city center. A ferry also runs between Tuti and Omdurman (except on Fridays)
- Nile Street or Shari'a Al-Nilشارع النيل الخرطوم: Probably the prettiest street in Khartoum. With the Blue Nile on one side, the street is lined with pretty, albeit decaying-looking, colonial buildings, most of which are used as ministries, schools and even a hotel, the Grand Holiday Villa Khartoum. The Presidential Palace, also fronting the Blue Nile, is a pretty building but you will not be allowed to walk in front of it - the guards will ask you to cross the road and proceed behind and around the building. You will also see the modern side of Khartoum along this street - the egg-shaped, Libyan-owned Al-Fateh Tower; Chinese-built Friendship Hall. The National Museum is also along Nile Street. The road is tree-lined most of the way (except towards the west) and has a sidewalk, so walking is quite pleasant. Many people sit on the concrete walls along the river.
Sudan Presidential Palace MuseumThis museum is located in the grounds of the Presidential Palace and is housed in the impressive century old Palace Cathedral. The palace contains many relics and pieces related to Sudan's administrative and modern political history, from paintings of Sir Gordon Pasha to the Presidential cars of more recent rulers.
The Changing of the Guard: This is a ceremony held on the first Friday of every month, where the Black Guard and the White Guard of the Presidential Palace swap over. The ceremony is performed near the South Gate of the palace.
Confluence of the Blue and White NileIf you have the stamina, you will reach the confluence of the two branches of the Nile if you continue walking west along Nile Street for about 3–4 km from the Presidential Palace. The confluence is called Al-Mogran and it is best seen from the metal bridge (the old one, not the newer concrete one) linking Khartoum and Omdurman or Al-Mogran Family Park. It is said that one can actually see the two different colours from the different branches come together and flow separately for a distance downriver before mixing together. The Al-Mogran Family Park, which has a Ferris wheel and other rides, is located near the bridge. Warning: There is a signboard saying "no photos" from the bridge. Please heed it as people have been arrested for taking photos of the confluence!
Souq ArabiIf you want to see crowds and action, this is the place. The commercial heart of town, Souq Arabi (Arabian Market) can provide everything you need (see "Buy" section for more details on shopping options). The market is huge and spread over several squares in the center of Khartoum proper just south of the Great Mosque (Mesjid al-Kabir) and the minibus station. Come here to see Khartoumites go about their daily lives.
Sudan Ethnographic MuseumA fascinating little museum on the corner of Al Gamaa street and Mak Nemir Avenue. This museum explores the various cultures and traditions of Sudan's numerous ethnic groups. Displays range from intricate handicrafts to models of traditional homes. This museum is certainly worth a visit, if you have the time.
Souq OmdurmanSaid to be one of the largest markets in Africa and you can get handicrafts here. The handicraft street is quite difficult to find - its towards the northern end of the market, near the gold section (not on the western side, as stated in the Bradt guide). The street is actually a covered lane between two buildings with gates at either end. Its not very busy (in comparison with the rest of the market) and they can lock up and go home in the evenings, and sometimes on Fridays also.
The Khalifa's HouseAbdullah al-Taaisha, also known as "The Khalifa" succeeded as leader of the Mahdists on the death of the Mahdi. His house is now a museum and is worth a visit if you want to get a flavour of Omdurman's history. Exhibits include various remnants from old battles and some interesting old British newspaper clippings reporting the British efforts in the Sudan.
Sufi dancingRightly recommended as a must do for visitors to Khartoum. Every Friday (except during Ramadan) tourists and visiting foreign aid workers flock to the Hamed al-Nil tomb with cameras in hand. A very colourful and noisy celebration. Its about 2 km south of the Omdurman souq - ask your taxi driver to go to Ghobba al-Hamed al-Nil.
Bahri (Khartoum North)
Bombed Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factorya fascinating place to explore, and well off the Khartoum tourist trail (if Khartoum even has such a thing). Tomahawked in 1998 the remains are an eerie reminder of Sudan's precarious relationship with the West. It's quite easy to reach - get a minibus to Bahri, then get a taxi. The guards are quite friendly and will let you in for a wander - a contribution would be gratefully received.
Nuba WrestlingEvery Friday at 16:00 two teams of wrestlers battle it out in front of several hundred spectators – and it certainly is quite a spectacle and well worth the trip. Finishes around 18:00 and cost SDG 2. It’s about 12 km from central Khartoum next to souq Sita Al Haj Yousef – best get a taxi there but you can easily find a bus back to al-Arabi in central Khartoum for SDG 3-5.
ClubsThere are many professional and international clubs spread around the three cities. Providing for sport, cultural activities or simply a place to meet, they are a lively remnant of British influence.
- Greek club. Khartoum 2, entrance off Mak Nimir Ave. The hideout of Sudan's Greek community, it is open to the public and offers sports facilities (tennis, volleyball, basketball, football, running), a swimming pool (entrance fee SDG 30) and basic food and drinks.
- Coptic club.
- German club. Nothing especially German, a basketball court, a garden in the shade of trees and a swimming pool. It also serves as a hotel.
- Indian club. Omdurman. The center of the capital's large Indian community social life, it organizes events for all important Indian festivals.
- A wander around Tuti island is highly recommended if you want to see green rather than the brown of Khartoum. If you are heading to Omdurman, a good way of unwinding after the chaos of the souq is to catch the ferry across to Tuti from Omdurman (except Fridays) or take the newly opened Tuti Suspension Bridge. Aim for around 17:00-18:00 to enjoy Tuti in the early evening.
- A Nile cruise, several boats moored by Tuti Bridge are available for cruises. A cruise on some of the smaller boats can cost you as little as SDG 15.
- Centre Culturel Français. Downtown, Ali Dinar St. Offers French courses, Sudanese Arabic courses, a library and cultural events (music, art, literature, conferences, movies). Ask for the program at: email@example.com.
- Goethe Institute. Downtown, Al Mak Nimir St. Offers German courses, cultural events (music, art, literature, conferences, movies). Ask for the program at: firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.goethe.de/khartum.
- British Council. Downtown, Abu Sinn St. Offers English courses, cultural events (music, art, literature, conferences, movies). Ask for the program at: email@example.com or http://www.britishcouncil.org/africa-sd-contact-us.htm.
- Iranian Cultural Center. Al Amarat, corner of Airport Rd and St 27.
In the evening
- Evening tea on Nile Avenue. With the extension of Nile Avenue to Manshia complete, the stretch of road between Mak Nimir and Manshia bridges has become the place to be of Khartoum's evening life. Innumerable tea ladies cater to the needs of the crowd enjoying the grass while watching the road and the river.
- Concerts. The Sudanese music scene is active. Artists of the moment play live in clubs, mostly on weekend evenings. Look for the Arabic posters that dot the city or ask the locals.
- Weddings. It is common for Sudanese to hire star musicians to perform one or two of their favourite piece at wedding ceremonies. The footage of the performance usually ends up as an unofficial video clip on the Sudanese TV channels.
- Creative events. Khartoum youth and amateur scene can be spotted at one of the numerous and often changing cultural events. Whether Wapi (British Council), Makaan, Space or Khartoum Open Mic', they offer a scene for young musicians, hip hoppers, dancers, slammers and poets. Most accurate information is to be found on Facebook.
- Khartoum International Music Festival.
- Cinemas. The last commercial cinemas closed in 2009 but the open air buildings of the Coliseum (Souk al Arabi), Halfaya and Watania(Khartoum North) or Watania (Omdurman) can still be spotted. Afra Mall movie theaters still shows movies, mainly Bollywood or Egyptian.
- Film festivals. The European Union and the Embassy of Venezuela organize yearly film festivals. The French Cultural Center offers free weekly projections as does occasionnally the Goethe Institute.
- Souq Arabi In the city centre, this is your classical chaotic market teeming with people. The market is divided in to several sections, each focussing on a certain product. There is even one block devoted to gold, although it certainly looks less sophisticated and organised than its counterpart in Dubai. However, this souq is a bit lacking in term of handicrafts and fresh foodstuff. You are better off going to Souq Omdurman (see below) for handicrafts.
Afra Malladdress: Africa Road in the southern suburb of ArkawetAfra is Khartoum's and Sudan's only mall but don't expect too much. Afra is already starting to lose it new shininess - it is more like a small neighbourhood mall rather than those you would find in Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai. It has a supermarket and retail outlets selling clothes and other things you would expect to find in a mall. You can find money changers and pre-paid mobile telephone kiosks too. Afra Mall is certainly not a must-see attraction, nor a place to head for a night out.
Al-Amarat CentreFor visitors this is probably your best bet for tracking down imported foodstuffs and household items. Prices are high of course, but you are paying for convenience.
Souq OmdurmanVery large Sudanese market. Most of the commodities are cheaper and vegetables and fruits are fresher than Souq Arabi. You can get handicrafts here. The handicraft street is quite difficult to find - its towards the northern end of the market, near the gold section (not on the western side, at stated in the Bradt guide). The street is actually a covered lane between two buildings with gates at either end. Its not very busy (in comparison with the rest of the market) and they can lock up and go home in the evenings, and sometimes on Fridays also. There are many local buses between Souq arabi and here. Bus fare are SDG 1 from here to Souq Arabi.
Khartoum North (Bahri)
Saad GishraThis is a covered market place; it is Bahri's main shopping market. Prices here can be a little higher than those in Souq Omdurman; however, it is much more easily navigable for tourists.
Universaladdress: Amarat St. 27Italian flavoured, offering pleasant al fresco dining, priced with the expat wallet in mind.
Solitaireaddress: Amarat St. 15Decent ‘international’ cuisine, air conditioned, wifi and low ceilings. Has a bit of a café feel to it, but the food is good.
Mat'am 15 Cha'abi - Popular Restaurant 15address: Al-Amarat, St 15Serves north of Sudan traditional gurasa (a large thick wheat pancake) or kisra (large thin pancake) with your choice of sauce (bamya based with lamb or chicken) or yoghurt with sugar (gha'ib). Also has a juice bar. Very cheap (all dishes under SDG 5), it is a favourite of local workers and touk touk drivers.
Amwaj Restaurantaddress: Airport Road, Al-AmaratBig, airy and spotless, and really good food. Extremely popular with locals and visitors. Menu offers shawarmas, kebabs, grilled chicken, lamb stews and others, all accompanied by bread, soup and salad. Delicious fruit juices and shakes too.
Royal Broastaddress: Airport Road, Al-AmaratAnother popular place a few doors from Amwaj.
Laziz Delicious Restaurantaddress: Al-Amarat Street 1Nice place to eat in. They have another branch in Ryad area.
Afra Mall Chinese restaurant food courtaddress: Afra Mall, Africa Street, ArkawetLocated on the first floor of Khartoum's only shopping mall.
Assaha RestaurantWould be considered an excellent restaurant in any city, and a Jewel in Khartoum. Good atmosphere with professional and knowledgeable wait staff. They have lots on the menu including luncheons, light meals and full dinners. A large selection of appetizers, mains, dessert and a "hubble bubble" cost about SDG 90 per person with everything included. They charge 12% government tax and 14% service charge.
Bawabi Tourist Restaurantaddress: Khartoum 2 St 47A renowned table for spicy grilled chicken and broast.
Hadramawt Restaurantaddress: Khartoum 2 St 47Yemeni restaurant offering the traditional salta, fahsa, mandi, lahm hanith and fatah for desert.
East of the airport
Habesha Ethiopian restaurantaddress: +249 912302410Good atmosphere, good food and very affordable. The restaurant is on two floors (there is a pleasant internet cafe on the 3rd floor), upstairs is more lively with Ethiopian pop on the plasma screen. About SDG 25 each for a big meal and coffee. A good choice if you are looking for somewhere with music playing and a bit of atmosphere.
Salt n Peeperphone: +249 918678748address: Buri area, north end of Obeid Khatim StreetOnly Pakistani restaurant in Sudan. Speciality in Pakistani spicy tasty dishes.
Asian Biryani RestaurantAs the name suggests this place specialises in Biryanis - and very tasty they are too. More of a cafe than a restaurant this is a good choice for lunch rather than a slap-up dinner. Lamb Biryani and a some salad for SDG 8. The restaurant, and the supermarket next door, sells excellent mango juice for SDG 1 a bottle (Maaza). Easy to get to, head over the Burri Bridge, take the first right, and it's on your left.
Papa CostaIn the center of Khartoum, and reasonably priced. Service charges are minimal, food is reasonably good, but service level is so-so. You can choose food from steak to pasta. They charge 3% service charge and 10% government tax.
Kandahar, souq LibyaEating at Kandahar in souq Libya is probably the most unique and authentic culinary experience in khartoum. The format there is rather different firstly you choose the meat that you want cooked usually a choice between camel meat and lamb, you then hand over the meat you have chosen to be cooked and prepared as part of a meal. Kandahar is one of the few places in khartoum where you can find camel meat. It is located in Souq Libya in the peripheries of Omdurman.
Blue Nile Sailing ClubAn alternative to Khartoum's hotels, on the river's southern bank just east of the confluence, the club often accommodates overlanders and accommodates tent camping on its grounds. The club is fenced, monitored, inexpensive and offers expansive river views. It is also home to a river gunboat that once belonged to Horatio Kitchener and now houses the club's offices.
Khartoum Youth Hostelphone: +249 183480385 , +249 912500322 (mobile)address: House no 66, Street 47, Khartoum 2,Opened in 2007 and part of Hostelling International this is the best option for non-camping travellers on a budget.
phone: +249 183742131address: el jami Ave, 11111Good option for those who like old British city center which turned into multicultural hub of people from all around Africa doing business there. Downtown Hotel is situated in a big 5 store building right next Gold Market, Grand Mosque and major shoping center Waha. It's newly open and managed by British, Polish and Sudanese friends. It's still needs some adjustments and work on details, elevator doesn't work and hotel parking is occupied by street vendors but for 35$ it's possible to have very decent, well furnished room with bathroom and big bed for couples. They have coffee&restaurant on the groundfloor with green backyard. There are multiple activities like training and business center, Artists in Residence programs, design studio and other creative units.
Acropole HotelThe oldest hotel in town, warm, friendly and family hospitality situated in Zubeir Pasha street, in Khartoum near shops, banks and important business firms. All rooms are full board (breakfast, lunch, and dinner including taxes). Air-Conditioned rooms with direct dial telephone and big balconies. Acropole Hotel offers an international cuisine with Greek and Italian specialities.
German GuesthouseA small clean and comfortable hotel in Riyadh, run by Germans. The special feature is the pool with bar area in the little garden. All rooms have private bathrooms, a/c, free wireless connection. There is a community satellite TV room and free laundry service.
Dandas International Hotelphone: +249 1 83741931address: Corner Abu Sin & El Sharif St.Clean and comfortable hotel that offers comparatively good value for money, frequented primarily by African businessmen. Every room has a/c and satellite TV, and is en-suite. Free wired and wireless internet in the lobby. Try to avoid the windowless rooms. Breakfasts are disappointing, however.
Lisamin Safari Hoteladdress: 41st AmaretOpened in late 2007, this hotel is a welcome addition to Khartoum’s rather drab hotel stock. Lebanese run, and housing an excellent Lebanese restaurant (The Cedar Tree) this hotel is very Dubai-esque and is certainly worth checking out if your budget can stretch to the room rates. Wireless internet available for a fee.
Bougainvilla GuesthouseSmall 17-room hotel in the Riyadh suburb – the big attraction is the breezy roof terrace where excellent European breakfasts and dinners are served. Although the rooms themselves are nothing special, they are clean and have the essentials of a/c, wireless internet and satellite TV, although standard rooms involve sharing a bathroom. A favourite with visiting aid workers and other westerners.
El-Riyadh New Hoteladdress: near ring rd
El-Shark Hoteladdress: Sharia al-Gamhuryya
Safari Palace Hoteladdress: Sharia Abdul Rahma
phone: +249 187 155 555This 250-room, 5-star hotel is Khartoum's premier hotel. It is in the Burj al-Fateh, a tower built in 2008 with financial support from Libya. All rooms have panoramic views over the Nile. It has several restaurants and cafes, and a health centre and spa which are open to guests and membership holders.
phone: +249 1 87007777address: Africa StreetOpened in mid 2007, this is the only hotel in Khartoum that offers international five-star standard. Nice big rooms, perfectly equipped. Pool, gym, restaurant and lobby bar, conference facilities and Wifi (fee).
phone: +249 183481919A bit of a strange one this – based in an attractive, if slightly kitsch, dry stone palace, the Assaha Village combines a large restaurant, conference facilities and even a ‘museum’ with intimate, middle eastern themed bedrooms. Its part of a small chain with sister hotels in Beirut and Doha. Prices, however, are sky-high at SDG 360 for a single room and SDG 480 for a double.
Coral KhartoumThe former Hilton hotel in Khartoum, under new management. Excellent service and nice views over the Nile.
phone: +249 1 83774039address: Nile StreetThe hotel has undergone extensive renovation and many facilities have been updated to international standards. The swimming pool is among the largest in Sudan. Features: unlimited free WiFi, Nile Terrace Restaurant (water sprayers on year round), free breakfast. The restaurant serves continental cuisine and comes highly recommended. Rooms start at US$100 and include a continental breakfast.
Registration and other legal requirementsAll foreigners are required to register within three days of arrival.
To register, go to the at Shari'a Al Sahafa Zat, Khartoum, close to Sudan University for Science and Technology, with passport sized photos required and SDG 540 (as of November 2018), US$ not accepted. Registration can also be done at the airport departure terminal. The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
The travel permit and the photo permit are no longer required as of 2018.
Embassies and consulates
- phone: +249 156 550 500
- phone: +249 183 777647, +249 183 777646address: المقرن – شارع الجامعة – جنوب قاعدة الصداقة
Greecephone: +249 183 765902address: Sh. El Gamhouria, Block 5, No 30
Malaysiaphone: +249 183-482763, +249 183-482764
- phone: +249 187-022000address: US Embassy Road, Kilo 10, Soba
- phone: +249 183-471082address: Al Amarat St 13
- Sabaloga Gorge: This gorge is also known as the 6th Cataract. It is 80-95 km (50 to 60 miles) north of Khartoum and can be reached in about 2½ hours. It is essential that a 4-wheel drive vehicle be used, and it is wise, as is true in all cases in traveling outside Khartoum, to travel with at least two vehicles. On arrival, visitors can stroll around a Sudanese village and inspect Ansar forts that once bombarded steamers on their way to relieve General Gordon. It is advisable to take this trip in the cooler months.
- Jebel Awlia: This dam was completed in 1937 and is 40-50 km (25 to 30 miles) south of Khartoum on the Jebel Awlia road. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is not required for this trip as the road is paved to the dam. However, if you intend to cross the dam and travel on the other side, a 4 WD will be needed. The area around the dam itself has a number of large trees and flat grassy land which are ideal for picnics. For those interested in bird watching, there are numerous birds to be seen, such as pelican, herons, kingfisher, wader, and plovers. One of the fringe benefits of a trip to Jebel Awlia is a short drive up to the dam. Here the fishermen sell their catch, which they have just brought in. The prices are about half of what they might be in Khartoum. Bring along suitable wrapping and ice and coolers for any fish purchased.
- Meroe: This site is approximately 200 km north of Khartoum. There is also a hotel in Shendi (very basic) where one could be based. The trip should be arranged with a tour agency unless someone in the party really knows his/her way around the desert tracks. There are some paved roads to Meroe but you do have to drive off the main road on to some sandy areas. Four-wheel driver vehicles are a necessity for this trip. The Pharaonic influence left its imprint in the hieroglyphic language, the religion of Amon, and building of the pyramids, which were a simplified version of the Egyptian model with no rooms or corridors. The Greek and Roman architectural influence is evident in the pillars of temples and the classical forms of the statues of men and women. The Meroe ruins are a four-hour drive from Khartoum. But there are various other sites in the area, so a two or three day trip should be contemplated, and a knowledgeable guide is essential for the best understanding of the ruins. National Geographic’s book Splendors of the Past provides excellent background for such a trip.
- Dinder National Park: (12°19'N 034°47'E) The Dinder National Park is said to be one of the most unique in the world. It is totally “unorganized,” and the visitor can truly see game in its natural state. The site is about 480 km (300 miles) south of Khartoum on the Blue Nile near the Roseires Dam. Travel by 4-wheel transportation from there to the park is recommended. Inside the park there is a small tourist area consisting of round, grass thatched huts. Inside these huts are beds, a chair and a table. The huts are burned and rebuilt every year after the flood season. This park is only accessible for a few months of the year from December through May. It is essential that the visitor traveling to Dinder make thorough preparations for the trip.
- The Red Sea Area - : The Red Sea is noted for its magnificent under water diving, the clearness of its water and the variety of marine species. Visitors generally reach the area by flying Sudan Air. Daily, one hour and a half flights are available, but you may drive on paved road to Port Sudan in about 12–14 hours. Travelers should be completely self-sufficient with all fuel as well as food and water. It is about 815 km (510 miles) to Port Sudan. Visitors may want to stay at the Red Sea Hotel. This hotel is booked for most of the year, and it is necessary to have reservations confirmed in advance. The Hilton Hotel has opened in Port Sudan. It is located about half an hour drive from the airport, along the harbor. Outdoor swimming pool, three restaurants, and a gymnasium, are some of the facilities available. For more enquiries, call 31139810 or fax 31131183.
- Erkowit: This area has been recently reopened after a closure of several years. It is 39 km southwest of Port Sudan, and it is the only developed summer resort in Sudan. The altitude is above sea level.
- Jebel Barkal Unesco World Heritage site - :Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal (Arabic: جبل بركل) is a very small mountain located some 400 km north of Khartoum, in Karima town in Northern State in Sudan, on a large bend of the Nile River, in the region called Nubia. Around 1450 BC, the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III extended his empire to that region and considered Gebel Barkal its southern limit. There, he campaigned near the city of Napata that, about 300 years later, became the capital of the independent kingdom of Kush. The 25th Dynasty Nubian king Piye later greatly enlarged the New Kingdom Temple of Amun in this city and erected his Year 20 Victory stela within it.
The ruins around Gebel Barkal include at least 13 temples and 3 palaces, that were for the first described by European explorers in the 1820s, although only in 1916 were archeological excavations started by George Reisner under a joint expedition of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. From the 1970s, explorations continued by a team from the University of Rome La Sapienza, under the direction of Sergio Donadoni, that was joined by another team from the Boston Museum, in the 1980s, under the direction of Timothy Kendall. The larger temples, such that of Amun, are even today considered sacred to the local population.
For these reasons, the mountain, together with the historical city of Napata and other ancient sites, were considered by UNESCO, in 2003, World Heritage Sites.
Buses leave daily from Khartoum to Kerma, however the most comfortable and convenient way of getting there is by car. The route is tarmacked, but you will still require the best part of a day to get there.