Sudan is gentle on foreigners (Khawaja). However, the only thing that’s not gentle is the scorching heat. There has been a lot of negative media about this beautiful country in Northeast Africa, and perhaps deliberately, the Sudanese are rarely truthfully portrayed as generous and helpful, especially when they see visitors. When you visit Sudan, you will experience their friendliness firsthand.
Also, when you visit Sudan, you will discover that although they went through many years of civil war and economic and political instability, they are not weighed down by these experiences. On the contrary, Sudanese are hardworking people struggling to make their arid and hot land yield fruit.
If you want to visit Sudan, you will learn a lot about these unique people and their culture. This article will tell you about the Top 10 most see Places, Food, and Cultures when you visit Sudan. In addition, the Frequently Asked Questions segment will also anticipate and answer questions that you may have.
In this article
- Top 10 Most See Places When You Visit Sudan
- #1. National Museum, Khartoum
- #2. The University of Khartoum
- #3. Tuti Island
- #4. Sheikh Hamed al-Nil’s Tomb
- #5. The pyramids of Meroe
- #6. Port Sudan
- #7. When you visit Sudan, visit Kassala
- #8. Dongola City
- #9. Old Dongola City
- #10. The Town of Karima
- Things to do when you visit Sudan with children
- #1. Horseback riding when you visit Sudan
- #2. Visit Naqa and Musawwarat with the children
- #3. Boat Trips when you visit Sudan
- #4. Shop for souvenirs at the local market
- What to eat when you visit Sudan
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Most See Places When You Visit Sudan
Perhaps what is most endearing about Sudan is that the Sudanese are almost unaware of their country’s potential as a tourism infrastructure. Of course, there are many tourist attractions in the country, but here’s a list of the most see places when you visit Sudan.
#1. National Museum, Khartoum
Khartoum is Sudan’s capital, where you will find most of the nation’s treasures. The museum houses the history of Sudan, having the most significant collections of prehistoric artifacts, sculptures, and paintings. And two Egyptian temples of Buhen (built by Queen Hatshepsut) and Semna (built by Pharaoh Tuthmosis III). The temples were part of the structures affected by the flooding of Lake Nasser and were rescued by UNESCO and relocated to the museum.
#2. The University of Khartoum
The University of Khartoum is the oldest and largest university in Sudan and houses the National Library. The university is famous for propagating freedom of expression and being an active force behind the many revolutions that have brought down unjust governments. However, the university has been closed many times due to its participation in rallies supporting democracy.
#3. Tuti Island
Located a short distance from the National Museum and accessible by bridge, Tuti Island is where the Blue Nile and the White Nile meet, forming the main Nile – the world’s longest river. Tuti Island is the rural eye in an urban setting and a source of supply for fruits and vegetables to Khartoum city.
#4. Sheikh Hamed al-Nil’s Tomb
When you visit Sudan, attend the dervishes’ ceremony at Sheikh Hamed al-Nil’s tomb in Omdurman. Every Friday at 4 pm, the faithful would gather at the cemetery outside a small mosque to perform the dhikr – a form of Islamic meditation. The ceremony starts with the Sufis marching across to the sheik’s tomb, carrying a banner of the Qadiriyah. The march is accompanied by drums and cymbals, giving rhythm to their chants. As soon as they get to the tomb, the ritual begins. The tempo of the chanting increases, and the dervishes make a circle, bobbing and clapping.
#5. The pyramids of Meroe
The ruins of the ancient city of Meroe are about two hours outside Khartoum. In the past, Meroe was the government’s seat and the rulers’ residence. With time, it became a site for royal burials and presently houses about 200 pyramids, according to historical records. Although it is yet to be confirmed, these pyramids are older than the Egyptian ones and outnumber them.
#6. Port Sudan
If you want to see the Red Sea from Sudan, visit here. This is the second largest city in Sudan and its only port city. Port Sudan is a scuba diver’s favorite, and you can go snorkeling too. However, if you are not experienced, it is not advisable to try diving here because one can’t be too sure about the safety standards.
#7. When you visit Sudan, visit Kassala
Seven hours by bus from Khartoum, you will find this market town in the east of Sudan, closest to the border with Eritrea. Although it is not usually popular, it is a town full of people from different tribes who come to trade at its market. Thcitywn is located at the foot of the Taka Mountains. If you find your way to Kassala, you may as well visit the Gash river.
#8. Dongola City
Dongola city is in northern Sudan, with some rural neighbors. Make this city a must-go place because food prices are low here, and housing is affordable too. Suppose you are considering returning to Sudan as an investor. In that case, this is an excellent place to invest because it is an agricultural city, and you can buy land cheaply or start an agricultural project at a low price.
#9. Old Dongola City
Would you believe that Christianity once dwelled in Sudan? The Church of the Granite Columns, The Cruciform Church, and The Great Monastery of Saint Anthony are evidence that there was once a Christendom in Sudan. Between the seventh and thirteenth centuries, Old Dongola flourished, but later, the town was invaded and started to decline. What you have there today are ruins carefully preserved by archeologists. However, you will still find the Throne Hall standing on a hill and some cemeteries where great men were buried.
#10. The Town of Karima
This is one of the most go places because the town of Karima is home to three tourist attractions in Sudan, namely:
10a. Jebel Barkal Mountain and the Temple of Mut
People like to climb the mountain because, at the top, you can see far into the beautiful land of Sudan. Sunset climbs are famous on this mountain, and at the base, you will find the ancient ruins of the Temple of Mut and a cemetery.
10b. Karima Pyramids
You will find the Karima Pyramids beside the highway. Because they are easily accessible, people who are not properly informed tend to climb them, but this is not advisable, as the government works hard to preserve them.
10c. Nuri Pyramids
These are located a short drive outside Karima, on the east side of the Nile. Unfortunately, these sets of pyramids are not also preserved as others, but if you want to keep a record of pyramids in Sudan, you may as well visit.
Things to do when you visit Sudan with children
There are many activities for adults visiting Sudan with children.
#1. Horseback riding when you visit Sudan
There are horses and camels that you can hire for a fee and take the children to some of the ancient towns in Sudan. Places like Albejrawya, where the Nubian pyramids are located, will give your children memories to last a lifetime.
#2. Visit Naqa and Musawwarat with the children
Do not be confused; Naq and Musawwarat are two separate locations but are often an item because they share the same road up a reasonable distance. The best way to navigate these sites is with a guide who will double as your driver and a 4 x 4 jeep for driving through the sandy tracks.
At Napa, you will find
- The Roman Kiosk – a station shrine for visiting deities.
- The Temple of Amun – the religious center of a god named Amun.
- The Lion Temple
At Mussawarat, you will find
- A temple dedicated to the lion-headed warrior god – Apedemak
- The Great Enclosure is a network of temples and courtyards in unique architecture made from sandstone.
#3. Boat Trips when you visit Sudan
Take a boat trip to the Nile. Watching the sunset from a boat on the Nile is quite an enjoyable activity. Additionally, the view is captivating, and the atmosphere is serene.
#4. Shop for souvenirs at the local market
Omdurman souq is the largest market in Sudan. You could spend a whole day at the market and never get bored! The souq is massive and lively, with buyers and sellers haggling over prices of items from daily necessities to rare antiques. You’ll be confused about what to take home from the local market.
What to eat when you visit Sudan
Native Sudanese eat breakfast between 11 am and 12 pm, lunch around 4 or 5 pm, and dinner as late as 10 or 11 pm.
When you visit Sudan during Ramadan, you will find that people eat in the streets. Travelers who pass through Sudanese villages have been pleasantly surprised to see locals run out to the roads to stop vehicles and bring them to the village to eat before resuming their journey.
A typical complete Sudanese cuisine would consist of stewed or fried Fava beans, country bread, salad, white cheese, and meat, with a side plate of hot pepper peanut sauce.
Another Sudanese meal is the Kisra – a thinner and bitter version of the Ethiopian injera. You can eat the Kisra with a kind of stew called mulah, with chunks of meat inside.
Sudanese drinks come highly recommended too. Alcohol is illegal in Sudan; as a result, all incredible Sudanese drinks are unique fruity flavors. Examples are hibiscus drink, Tamer Hindi (tamarindo), and Ardee.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I not do in Sudan?
Firstly, don’t forget to drink water often. Sudan is a desert country, and dehydration is usual, so drink at least five liters of water daily. Secondly, you must not drink alcohol. Sudan is a Muslim country, so alcohol and drugs are illegal. Thirdly, dress conservatively. Of course, you must not dress like the Sudanese but do not disrespect their culture by wearing shorts! Fourthly, do not take pictures without permission, show images of the prophet Mohammed, or take the name in vain.
Is it safe to visit Sudan?
Sudan is a safe country to visit, but not all parts of the country are open to visitors. An example is Darfur, which is primarily off-limits because of tribal conflicts. But it is best to consult travel advisories before planning a trip to any country, especially Sudan.
Do I have to cover my head as a tourist in Sudan?
You don’t have to cover your head when you visit Sudan because you are a visitor. Just ensure that you dress decently to avoid unwanted attention.
Do I need a visa to visit Sudan?
The following are countries whose citizens do not need a visa for Sudan:
- Egypt (males aged 18 to 49 must obtain a permit)
- Qatar (one month visa-free)
- Yemen (one month visa-free)
When you visit Sudan, you need a guide to show you around, so you don’t miss any of the most go places. But, more importantly, become friendly with the locals, as that will be the highlight of your visit. Sudanese are eager to show off their beautiful country and often invite you to their homes to share a meal. So do not be alarmed – you’re quite welcome.
Read also: Study in Canada from Sudan.