Being overcharged is something you can't help, unless you have been around a long time and know the prices. Taxi drivers are the worst, followed by rickshaw drivers...and bus conductors have a habit of keeping your change unless you ask for it. this is all because you are a khawaja, nothing more. It doesn't matter that you might be a volunteer or a backpacker on a shoestring, that your clothes are ripped and old...you are white, so you must have dollars!
That said, most Sudanese are honest when it comes to prices. It certainly isn't like Egypt or Turkey where tourists are routinely charged two or three times more than locals. In reality, you most likely do have more money than them, as you managed to get to Sudan in the first place...paying $1.50 instead of $1.40 is hardly going to break the bank, and it is not worth arguing in this heat. If it does seem a ridiculous price, then by all means do argue...
Unique Suggestions: If you have to use taxis or rickshaws, try to find out from a local just how much it should be...then bargain like mad with the driver. On local buses, if you don't know how much, hand over a 100 note, as it is never more than that...if the bus walad doesn't give you back your change, then put your hand out for it, click at him, or demand it back when you get off...they usually give it in the end. In general, groceries will not overcharge you, and long distance bus companies give tickets with the price on and are generally honest. But if in doubt, argue...all the locals do!
Most nationalities will require a visa to enter Sudan. We were on a group visa arranged by Michael Asher, which we received an authorisation letter to show to check in staff and the actual visa was issued on arrival in Khartoum. The cost? $110!
Unique Suggestions: You must ensure that you do not have a Israeli stamp in your passport, as you could be refused entry to Sudan.
Fun Alternatives: The Sudanese embassy web-site states that a certificate against Aids and Ebola is required for entry to Sudan. We double checked on this before we left the UK, and were told that this varied, and at that particular time it was not necessary. But it could change tomorrow. We were not asked for any health certificates on arrival at Khartoum airport.
As there are so few tourists in Sudan there aren't really any tourist traps. Probably the closest thing is the famous Sixth Cataract, the Sabaluka Falls. Nearly all tourists intend to visit as it's one of the country's few bona-fide 'sights' - although few without a guide can actually find it and just spend hours tracking up and down the main road looking for any sign of a turn off!
The Cataract has stunningly beautiful scenery and is well worth a visit, but don't come expecting a waterfall as you'll be severely disappointed - it's more like a ripple. In fact there is nothing to actually see - but it is still a nice day away from Khartoum among the hills and valleys that are quite rare in Sudan. Just don't expect too much - listen to most Sudanese and they see it as the 8th wonder of the world.
It's also probably the only place in Sudan where you'll hear the infamous word baksheesh. In most places the locals love to talk and act as guides and would be insulted to be offered money - here they will expect payment... and they won't tell you till afterwards.
Unique Suggestions: Do go, it's a very nice day out, just don't expect too much.
Fun Alternatives: This is Sudan - there isn't really an alternative! Another popular day trip from Khartoum is to Jebel Aulia dam, but Sabaluka is far more attractive.
Tourist traps ? Well first there must be tourists !
I saw no other foreign tourists during my stay in Sudan. If you can call it a trap, well a guy in the marked in Port Sudan absolutely wanted me to buy a big expensive knife.... I had to say no and excuse me with that it was not allowed for me to take it on the plane. Besides from this knife seller I never was 'attacked' by people trying to sell me things. Everybody let me look at their products without interference unless I asked for their help. THE PHOTO: ME LOOKING AT THE PRODUCTS OF A EAGER KNIFESELLER IN CENTRAL AREA OF PORT SUDAN.
Africa Road, P.O. Box 12290, Khartoum, Sudan
Good for: Couples
Cornich St, Port Sudan, 79800, Sudan
My wife and I lived in the Burj Al-Fateh Hotel for 5 months. The staff (and there's plenty of them)...more
More Regions in Sudan