Sudan is not very your archetypal tourist location, but behind the unsavoury headlines is a country of exquisite natural beauty, ancient historical attractions and inhabitants well versed in the art of hospitality.
A large country, times the size of Los angeles, Sudan is as much about people as it is natural or manmade wonders. It is a nation where travellers can learn more drinking freshly prepared smoothies with the residents of Khartoum (Sudan is officially alcohol free) than they can by visiting of the capital's excellent museums.
A comparatively young city, Khartoum was built in 1821 at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles while the country was ruled jointly by Britain and Egypt. History and traditionalism jostle with modernity in the city, where stunning classical Islamic architecture in red ochre hues stands beside modern glass and steel skyscrapers paid for by the country's oilfields (which were mostly lost with the independence of South Sudan in 2011).
Centuries before colonial rule Sudan comprised a series of city-states. of the longest lasting was MeroÃ«, which sits some 200 km (125 miles) northeast of Khartoum. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient city features over 200 steep-sided pyramids, which were built as elaborate royal mausoleums. They rise from the sandy dunes of the Nubian Desert and date from between 300 BC and AD 300, when the kingdom was at its most powerful.
Worth visiting in itself, the Nubian Desert – in point of fact part of the Sahara – offers solitude and unspoiled natural beauty stretching east all the way to the Red Sea and Port Sudan, the centre of Sudan's burgeoning diving scene.
One of the least visited countries in East africa, but one of the friendliest, Sudan has a magical mix of history, tradition and modernity that belies its status as a pariah state.
When To Go
Sudan experiences a rather diverse climate through the year. The desert heat is at its prime during the summer season and this is a season that you would want to avoid. The best time to plan your holiday trip to Sudan is between the months of December to April. This is the peak season of tourism in the country.
- Certain areas are too dangerous to visit in Sudan due to the prevailing social unrest. Omdurman is one region has been under attack by rebels and is out of bound to visitors. Other regions that should be avoided included Malakal, West Equatoria and Kassala.
- Make sure you keep a check on your pockets and belongings as the law and order situation is not under control in Sudan.
- The threat of global terrorism in the region is high hence those planning a trip to Sudan should take this into consideration.
- Exploring the pyramids
- Camel trekking through the Bayuda Desert
- Visit the Red Sea