Sudan Warnings Or Dangers Tips by uglyscot Top 5 Page for this destination
Sudan Warnings and Dangers: 51 reviews and 35 photos
tap water, Aug 2010
It is essential to drink plenty water in the heat of Sudan. However water is a problem in many areas. In villages and towns large water jars are placed along the streets for passers by to dip a cup in and take a drink.
In many villages along the Nile the water is clean enough to drink except during the flood season when it takes on the colour of the silt. In towns this phenomenon is also becoming more common, so bottled water is readily available to buy from small shops and supermarkets.
However August 2010 , for example, the town tap water has become discoloured and not pleasant to drink. Even locals have been experiencing stomach disorders. Then the bottled water disappeared from shops because of the increased demand.
A filter is useful , or else be vigilant and boil water before ingesting , or washing fruit and vegetables, as well as for cleaning your teeth.
fixing a puncture
If driving in Sudan, especially away from towns, you must be very well prepared.First make sure there is plenty of water , as even a small delay or breakdown can deplete the body's supply.
Have a can of oil. I had an unexpected radiator leak and the overheated engine forced the oil to gush out. Apart from the delay till the engine cooled enough to investigate, we had not enough water to satisfy the children and refill the radiator, so someone had to walk for miles to a village to get some. Luckily I did have a can of oil in the back.
Punctures are common. Or worse. Every main road has burst tyres littering the verge. In town sharp things and nails are the main problem. I had two punctures one morning taking the children to school. But on a long trip it is better to make sure there are two spare tyres. Firstly, garages may not be readily available to repair a puncture, and travelling off road you may be driving over sharp rocks or near thorny trees.
Always check that your tool kit has everything you need and that the jack etc are in good working order. Sand is another problem so a shovel or sand ladder are valuable extras.
Any visitor to the Sudan has to register with the Aliens office within 3 days of arrival. They need to have passport photos and pay the current fee. Travel within the Sudan will be difficult otherwise, especially if travelling by air within the country. Also when travelling to another town, a traveller is expected to register with the police immediately.
As I have mentioned before, the Sudanese are friendly people , but where bureaucracy is concerned it is best to obey the rules, as even police cells look far from inviting.
Traffic in Sudan has increased enormously in recent years. A real pest is the small 3-wheeled menace , 'ricksha', that darts in and out between ordinary vehicles, making u-turns without warning- and polluting the atmosphere .
Mini buses, buses and ordinary taxis and cars compete with the articulated lorries and oil-tankers. This is particularly true on the south bound road from Khartoum to Wad Madani. The roads can take one vehicle each way in comfort, but passing /overtaking can be hazardous. Drivers drive at speed and as close as possible to the vehicle in front.
Accidents are frequent and often horrendous. The burnt out shells of buses, tankers and cars litter the verges, as well as the carcases of cows, goats and donkeys.
Plans are underway for an alternative route from Port Sudan using the east bank. In the meantime be careful when driving out of town as animals, pedestrians and heavy lorries can cause accidents, as can the potholes.
And don't be distracted by the funny things you see on the vehicle in front of you! Enlarge picture and stand on your head!
Travelling away from the towns , you may find that you cannot recharge your camera batteries because the plug sizes are not standard. This happened to me so I had to rely on ordinary ones which I bought in large numbers. Unfortunately I fell ill a few days before travelling home and forgot to remove the batteries from my hand luggage. At the final security check at the airport, the officer sitting by the scanning machine pounced on my bag and emptied out my batteries [used, rechargeable and new]. He ranted on about there being far too many of them, and carrying batteries was forbidden. He confiscated all the unwrapped packs, and generously allowed me to keep the rechargeable ones ['because they are expensive'].
So, only put batteries in your checked-in luggage when travelling through Sudanese airports. Or make sure you have multiple size adaptors to take your charger.
haboob coming in the desert
Whether travelling by road or just lounging at home, beware when the sky starts to look red. It is the approach of a haboob or dust storm. Within a very short time the sky will unload what seems like the whole of the desert.
Visibility can become nil. The airport closes down, and drivers are at risk of veering off the road completely even with hazard lights on.
Indoors, all windows have to be shut, and anything outside that can be blown away should be taken indoors or weighted down.
The haboob season is from May to about August.
It has one benefit, it makes the temperature drop.
But it is a housekeeper's nightmare, as everything gets covered by the reddish dust and it infiltrates everything too. How it gets into the houses is a mystery, but it does , no matter how hard you try to prevent it.
Out in the desert , of course, it is a much more dangerous situation.
Where can I go?
Toilets vary tremendously from western style toilets to holes in the ground. The most common outside the main towns are the latter. Most towns will probably have the type where you have to squat. In time these can be quite acceptable to use. An intermediate type is the hole in the ground over which has been built a box-like seat, or concrete steps covering the hole over which you perch. Pretty horrific.
It is not usual for toilet roll to be used, so jugs of water are provided to wash with.
When out in the field, ladies will face considerable problems. I was caught out in the forest where there was little shelter, and the driver seemed unaware why I was trying to escape behind a bush. On the second day, I solved the problem by cutting the top off a water bottle. Then having another bottle with water for cleaning with. Moisturised wipes would be useful. Then finding any tree to go behind, slip the bottle down the waist of my skirt. Relief. Withdraw the bottte and pour out the contents. Primitive but practical. Maybe not so good if you are wearing jeans though.
The Sudanese consume vast quantities of sugar. They don't eat sweets or cakes, but they consume it in drinks. Wherever you go you will be offered a glass of cold fruit juice - limoon [lime juice] or kerkadeh [hibiscus] or a carbonated drink. All these are packed with sugar. Then tea will be brought, usually 'black' or 'red' tea i.e. tea without milk. A normal small glass will have at least three spoons of sugar, but some people take as much as six. spoons.
In the 1970s and 80s when there was a sugar shortage and rationing , people used dates or sugar cane to sweeten their drinks. I personally bought Lyle's golden syrup as a substitute.
It is no wonder so many people in Sudan suffer from diabetes. Most visitors to the country end up drinking litres of sugary drinks per day. It is not polite to refuse, but it is possible to take a few sips only and leave the rest, and ask for water instead.
Don't walk on mats - reed or woven carpets.
These are used for group prayers and are expected to be clean, so the worshippers may get angry if they see anyone walking on them, Muslim or Christian alike.
Just walk round and avoid any hassle.
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