"Once Largest Country in Africa" Top 5 Page for this destination Sudan by uglyscot

Sudan Travel Guide: 1,194 reviews and 3,141 photos

General introduction

Sudan is a much maligned country. It hits the news whenever there is a disaster : flood, famiine, civil war.The Sudan was the largest country in Africa until the South decided to separate in February 2011 . It has a variety of everything- tribal groups, climate, vegetation, religions though Islam is the official one.
It has not been a very easy country to visit because of internal problems and conflict. The infrastructure was sadly lacking. But now that it is self-sufficient in oil, development is taking place. The streets are improving but becoming congested with traffic; goods are becoming available , but expensive.
But the people remain the same : by nature inherently friendly, generous and hospitable; in spite of all the horror stories touted by the Western media. And natural disasters too. For example , there was terrible flooding and famine in 1985. The university students donated one meal per day to the areas where the people in camps were suffering most. In 2006 the floods were higher, but no famine.

From desert in the north and west to jungle in the south, mountains and the Red Sea in the east, and the clay plains and savanna in the central area, the Sudan has much to offer.
At present road is the most practical way to travel, though there are air links to some towns, and an erratic railway system. Much driving is still off road, though new highways have been and are being constructed.Because of the heavy vehicles using the roads they are constantly in need of repair, and in fact need to be widened too.
A new bridge linking Khartoum and Khartoum North is now open. Other bridges are planned. The city is spreading daily it seems.

The people stick to many of their old customs . Women still have henna done on a regular basis, but especially for weddings and other social occasions. They still wear the colourful tobes, and like to be adorned in gold.
Visitors are treated as treasured guests and given juice, tea , coffee and invited to share meals.

Along the Nile

Like Egypt, the Sudan depended on the Nile for its livelihood until the discovery and production of oil.
The Sudan has been called the breadbasket of Africa.Wheat, sorghum and cotton were the main crops
In the past agriculture was carried out on the narrow fertile strip along the Nile.
In the 1920s the Sudan Gezira Scheme was established whereby a system of canals opened up the Central Sudan's fertile clay soils to agriculture and particularly cotton.
Forests line the banks of the Nile too, but are disappearing under pressure from the agriculturalists.


In towns there are cars and buses, but to travel over this vast country the other alternatives are road, air and rail.Before the conflict in the south there was limited use of the river especially for transporting supplies southwards.
The railway entered the country under the British, and was the lifeline to the north, west and east.
The railway worker's houses along the route were recognisable by their conical shaped roofs. Many are now falling into neglect. The narrow gauge line is in need of replacement. Many stretches have now been closed completely as other means of travel become less expensive.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A land of friendly, hospitable people, and immense variety
  • Cons:the heat, malaria and internal conflict
  • In a nutshell:A land of great potential
  • Last visit to Sudan: Nov 2009
  • Intro Updated May 16, 2015
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Reviews (51)

Comments (40)

  • iblatt's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    Hi Shane, so interesting to read your perspective of Sudan! Best regards, Ilan

  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2010 at 2:38 PM

    Your detail of the sites and the culture as well as the foods and music is very interesting. thank you for the tour.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 29, 2010 at 4:00 AM

    It has been very interesting reading about the local customs in Sudan.

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2010 at 1:18 PM

    Excellent page, especially enjoyed your customs tips. Great pictures and travelogues! Loved the little shoe-shine boy. Isn't it a shame that he should have to work at his age? The scenery at the cataract is so picturesque!

  • FruitLover's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    Enjoyed your great job here, Shane. Thanx. Haboob reminds me of habibi LOL. I guess you have tasty fruits like Mango' Papaya. Any chance to meet you in Israel? It's not far away, you know.. Avi

  • Doctor38's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    Nice pages about Port Sudan and Khartoom. Thanks for the tips

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2009 at 9:10 AM

    Wow, you've been to Sudan...would love to see the traditional dancing and try the food...sorry you had the prison-cell like accomodations. But yes, I do think this place was a s great as Egypt in the past and has lots of potential...Norman :)

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2009 at 10:25 PM

    What a fascinating read this morning :-) I love your travelogues and local customs tips and am hungry now for taamiya :-) Oh well, your story about the son's family should give us all a bit thinking. Where is our/my hospitality gone?

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Feb 21, 2009 at 1:03 AM

    Oh ym, this tip is making me hungry..

  • Oct 20, 2008 at 1:07 PM

    YES, it is churros in spanish as wikipedia mention this "man" shaped churros (explainded why the man name;) ) WOW this looks like a very big churros :o)

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