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By the sea
flies and crows
In a nutshell
A small port city. Not much to hang out. But a more serene place to live while being in Sudan. Moreover, its the only port access to the country. So a heavy rush of business people is there.
Port Sudan is famous for a special type of "thing"...I'm not quite sure what to call it other than Mukhbaza. It is a sort of fried pastry with bananas, honey, raisins and other sweet ingredients chopped up into a mush in a communal bowl. The name comes from "mukh" meaning brain, and "baza" meaning bloated...and apparently if you eat too much of it, you will have "faqadt al-mantaq" (lost your mind)!!! But it is quite delicious!
Written May 18, 2003
One of the things visitors to Port Sudan should be aware of is the pests. Crows have always been a nuisance,scavenging, grabbing food from tables and making a noise on the roofs of buildings. Cats too do much the same by frequenting cafes and restaurants and trying to get the food from the table. Don't throw food to them, as this will only encourage them more.
And the flies- enough said.
Written Apr 2, 2008
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: You'll have to cover up, but that doesn't mean that you have to overheat. Open shoes, a shirt and a thin pair of trousers is what most men wear, adn I'm sure foreign women could get away with that too, with the addition of a headscarf (if you disagree with this custom, think of it as protecting your head from the sun!)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Suncream is essential, as is mosquito repellent. Bring a high factor suncream, as the sun is strong, and the humidity means that it will wash off with sweat very quickly.
Photo Equipment: Bring a photo permit, and don't try to take any pictures of the port, even though this is Port Sudan's major attraction. Films can be bought locally, but the heat may mean they are not of best quality.
Written May 19, 2003
Head north out of town to a seaside suburb (not sure of the name, but I'll find out), and you can visit a proper beach. Don't go imagining sand, parasols, suncream and swimmers...this is really nothing more than a rubbish dump next to the sea, but it is interesting to see how life goes on in this quarter. There are many student dormitories nearby, so you might see a few football matches taking place on patches of wasteground. Veiled women wade through the shallows, the tips of their tobes lapped by waves, while children poke sticks at jellyfish, and fishermen wash down their boats at sunset. Further along, a group of barbers do brisk business cutting men's hair in the sea...well, I suppose they don't have to worry about sweeping the floor afterwards! If you paddle, try to avoid stepping on a jellyfish, a rusty old can, or a patch of wet mud.
Some of the fishermen agreed to take us out in their boats if we'd returned the next morning...we didn't return, but it might be worth a try if you're into that sort of thing.
Updated Jan 13, 2006
The Red Sea reefs near Port Sudan are still largely unspoiled ,or were a decade ago.
The water is clear and warm. The coral reefs can be seen clearly even without diving equipment.
The only problem is getting out to the reefs which can be quite expensive if you try to arrange things yourself.
I have not got any personal information on agencies.
Try google or
Equipment: When we chartered a boat we were given equipment and basic instructions on how to use it.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Favorite thing: Port sudan celebrates Mawlid an-Nabi (Prophet Mohammed's birthday) in a big way. They even have a whole square dedicated to the festivities which last for ten days. Hundreds of stalls sell special halawiyat (sweets) for the occasion, while at the other end of the square there are enclosures for all the main Sufi divisions where men go to pray and chant all night long. It is supposed to be a family occasion, although women were rare inside the enclosure...we found out why later on, as we saw security police wielding batons denying entry to groups of women...such a shame that they weren't allowed to enjoy the Mawlid too...
Fondest memory: The Sudanese actually have a phrase connected to Port Sudan's celebrations for the Mawlid. If you have disappeared for a few days and a friend asks where you've been, a comic answer is to say "but I was in Sahat al-Mawlid (Mawlid Square)", as it is supposed to be the most crowded place in all Sudan duriong the festival, so many people get lost there!
Written May 19, 2003