"Alcohol" Top 5 Page for this destination Sudan Warnings Or Dangers Tip by maykal

Sudan Warnings and Dangers: 51 reviews and 35 photos

Sudan adheres to Sharia Law, which means that alcohol is forbidden. Where there are rules, there are people who break them, and as a foreigner you'll meet these people. I'm not condoning the use of alcohol in Sudan, as that is advertising something illegal, but I'm saying it exists and that I have indulged more than once. In Khartoum, it is easy to find...in fact, a few embassies have exclusive drinking clubs (e.g. the British Pickwick Club), but it is difficult for a tourist to get invited. The local alternative is "aragi", a strong spirit made from dates. Every town has an area known for the production of aragi, and the local police tend to turn a blind eye, probably because they are the biggest customers! Aragi is drunk at home, doors locked, late at night. It isn't really a social thing like it is in Europe...you drink to the point of intoxication, then sleep it off straight away. Truth be told, it isn't much fun at all. What happens is that you will be passed a shot, usually in a tea-glass, and you will be expected to down it, before being handed a second, a third, a fourth...until you lose count. Sometimes, the disgusting taste is semi-masked by apple flavoured crystals, but mostly it is drunk neat. It is rough, and hangovers are horrific, partly due to the heat. If you are offered aragi, it goes without saying that you should make sure you drink lots of water before and after. You might come across gin or cognac smuggled in from Eritrea (common in Kassala), which taste better than aragi, but are still pretty rough...the drinking technique is exactly the same.

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  • Written Sep 5, 2003
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