Name: Republic of the Sudan
Time Zone: GMT + 3
Capital City: Khartoum
Independence gained on: 1 January 1956 (from the United Kingdom and Egypt)
National Language: Arabic
Official Language: Arabic and English (official national languages, although English is not widely spoken)
Currency: Sudanese Pound (SDG)
Land Area: 1,886,068 km2
Drives on the: Right
Country Code: 249
Sudan shares borders with Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Chad and Libya.
Population & People:
An estimate of 40,000,000 as of the last census.
Vegetation & Special Natural Features:
• Sudan is the third-largest country on the continent (after Algeria and DR Congo) and the sixteenth largest in the world.
• The terrain is generally flat plains, broken by several mountain ranges; in the west the Deriba Caldera (3,042 m / 9,980 ft), located in the Marrah Mountains, is the highest point in Sudan; in the east are the Red Sea Hills.
• The Blue and White Nile rivers meet in Khartoum to form the River Nile, which flows northwards through Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea. The Blue Nile's course through Sudan is nearly 800 km (497 mi) long and is joined by the Dinder and Rahad Rivers between Sennar and Khartoum.
• Although Sudan lies within the tropics, the climate ranges from arid in the north to tropical wet-and-dry in the far southwest. Temperatures do not vary greatly with the season at any location; the most significant climatic variables are rainfall and the length of the dry season.
• In Khartoum, the warmest months are May and June, when average highs are 41 °C (105.8 °F) and temperatures can reach 48°C (118.4 °F). Northern Sudan, with its short rainy season, has hot daytime temperatures year round, except for winter months in the northwest where there is precipitation from the Mediterranean in January and February. Conditions in highland areas are generally cooler, and the hot daytime temperatures during the dry season throughout central and northern Sudan fall rapidly after sunset. Lows in Khartoum average 15°C (59°F) in January and have dropped as low as 6°C (42.8°F) after the passing of a cool front in winter.
• The Haboob, a violent dust storm, can occur in central Sudan when the moist south-westerly flow first arrives (May through July). The moist, unstable air forms thunderstorms in the heat of the afternoon. The initial downflow of air from an approaching storm produces a huge yellow wall of sand and clay that can temporarily reduce visibility to zero.
• Sudanese Pound (SDG).
• Please note that debit and credit cards are not accepted in Sudan.
• There is a Foreign Exchange bureau either for Euros or USD at the airport (recommended), or in Khartoum city centre.
Passport / Visa:
• Visas are issued upon approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Khartoum, Sudan. All Applications must first be presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Sudan by one of the following:
• A hotel or travel agency based in Sudan. Please visit www.sudan.net for a list of hotels and travel agencies who can assist with the visa application process.
• A sponsor (relatives or friends in Sudan).
• A sponsoring company based in Sudan.
• A business partner based in Sudan.
• Normal processing time is four to six weeks. Applicants may follow up with the consular section of the embassy to check the status of their application. Visa requirements are as follows:
• A completed Visa Application Form (available from the "Downloads" section of the embassy website here:
• Passport (must be valid for at least six (6) months and must not have Israeli visas or immigration stamps affixed to it)
• A letter from the sponsoring company stating the purpose of the trip, duration of stay, financial responsibility and references in Sudan.
• One (1) passport sized photo
• The processing fee is US$151.00
• Yellow fever and cholera vaccinations are recommended
There is no national welfare scheme and visitors to Sudan are responsible for their own medical expenses.
• Malaria protection is imperative. Please ensure you take a prescription anti-malarial drug for the entire duration of your visit and as prescribed by your Health Specialist (Malarone is recommended; chloroquine is NOT an effective anti-malarial in Sudan).
• With proper precautions, visitors to Sudan can enjoy a healthy stay. The SAFARI Company's clients automatically become members of the Flying Doctors Rescue Service for emergency evacuation. However, you are required to carry your own complete holiday/medical insurance.
• Bottled water is always safe and is widely available.
• Sudan runs on 220V and uses both 2-prong round-pin plugs (such as those in Europe) and 3-prong square-pin plus (such as those in the UK). For those travelling with plugs of a different type, an adapter should be packed.
• Please bring sufficient spare batteries for photographic equipment as many lodges have limited power supply..
• Mobile phone coverage in Sudan is sporadic and poor-quality but is constantly improving. In major cities there is limited coverage, although it may take time to get a line.
• It is necessary to get a photographic permit that will be provided upon your arrival in Sudan. Please note that it is currently forbidden to take photographs of military installations, airports, bridges, official buildings and in the markets.
• In Khartoum, please exercise caution when taking photographs around the town as this can cause offence to Islamic fundamentalists. We suggest, in case of any doubt, that you ask your tour leader.
• Video cameras/binoculars/telescopes: A special permit is required for filming at archaeological sites. There is an extra tax payable locally to your guide, which varies according to the number of sites to be visited. At the moment it is between $10 and $20 per site. This procedure can take a while to be organized therefore we require clients to let us know well in advance.
• Please be aware that there can be problems bringing binoculars into Sudan; if found in your luggage, Customs officials may confiscate binoculars - but they will issue a receipt for them, keep them at the airport and issue a receipt and return them when you depart the country.
• Telescopes are not permitted to be brought into the country: if Customs officers find one in your luggage they may confiscate it, issue a receipt for the item and return it when you depart the country.
Food & Water:
• Please do not drink tap water; we recommend you drink bottled water which is readily available in lodges and camps.
• Please advise us of any allergies, likes or dislikes before you embark on your holiday.
• Please ensure that baggage is packed in soft bags and should weigh no more than 15kg per person.
• It is possible to store luggage not required during the safari with us at The SAFARI Company or at your hotel if you are returning there after your trip. Please refer to our recommended packing list.
When on Safari
Sudan offers a treasure-trove of experiences, ecosystems, wildlife and cultures. The SAFARI Company encourages our guests to support our guides by learning and honouring their policies which helps preserve our precious environment. In order to promote responsible tourism, we ask that you join us in observing the following tips.
• IMPORTANT: Please note that, due to Islamic law, alcoholic beverages are NOT permitted to be brought into the country.
• Please do not take photographs of the local people without asking their permission first.
• Please do not encourage trade or give personal items away to the local people (if we support begging we promote begging).
• If you have brought gifts to give to the local people, please give them to your guide for proper distribution.
• Beware of anyone asking you for gifts or money and do not feel obliged to donate anything.
• Please report back to us if you are harassed.
Television & Music:
• Most places do not have either and some safari vehicles do not have radios.
• The sounds of the bush are so special, unique and memorable that we advise against either, but if you are a 'music addict', we suggest you bring an iPod and sufficient power supply.
• Sudan remains a safe country for travellers who follow the rules and guidelines. There are, however, some basic precautions to consider for safe travels.
• Crimes that do happen are often crimes of opportunity, so it is advisable not to walk around with mobile phones, flashy jewellery, iPods or other tempting valuables out in the public eye.
Guide to Tipping:
• Although tipping is a safari tradition, it is never compulsory and should only be done if you feel you have received good service. People working in the tourism industry earn decent salaries compared to local standards. While there are no standard tips within the industry, we can offer the following suggestions:
• For local guides for a day, the equivalent of US$2-3 is fine.
• For drivers who are with you for an extended time, US$2-3/day is a good tip.
• Staff very much appreciate receiving gratuities from you, our guests, because it is one way of assuring them they are doing a good job.