Sudan Warnings and Dangers

  • tap water, Aug 2010
    tap water, Aug 2010
    by uglyscot
  • fixing a puncture
    fixing a puncture
    by uglyscot
  • puncture
    by uglyscot

Sudan Warnings and Dangers

  • water

    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...

  • Be well prepared

    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...

  • Is Sudan safe?

    According to the locals yes...I had no problems here and I stick out like a sore thumb also. I think compared to other parts of the world, your odds are pretty good here of going home in the same condition you came (assuming you stay out of the conflict zones to the East and the South). Old Omar B for all the bad press he gets runs a tight ship in...

  • Malaria

    My friend lived here for 2 years and never took anti-malarials...The idea of taking a daily dose of Malarone or a weekly dose of Larium did not appeal to her...traveled to all the cool places Darfur, Juba, she got bit by a mosquito once every three weeks. Do I doubt her? Not at all but I was in Khartoum for two nights when I got my...

  • Register with the Aliens Office

    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...

  • roads and traffic

    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...

  • weather alert

    Don't think Sudan is always hot and dry. The rainy season can extend from May to October, but the number of showers can vary from single figures to many heavy downpours. When it rains heavily, the water soaks into the dry earth, and then forms puddles causing problems for transportation. If there are a number of showers the water accumulates and...

  • U.S. Department of State Warning

    Updated by the United States Department of State on Febraury 6, 2006:"The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Sudan. Although the two parties to the long-running civil war signed a peace accord in January 2005 to end the war, travel in the south is still dangerous in many locations. Violence continues throughout Darfur,...

  • Civil War

    Despite attempts to solve the crises over the decades, Sudan can only be described to have been in a civil war for more than two generations. Indeed, the most recent outbreak in the western region of Darfour is a true humanitarian crisis, having displaced millions and killed untold hundreds of thousands. Worse, you cannot count on being completely...

  • Water and Food

    Great Caution are should be exercised when eating and drinking in Sudan!! The Hilton Hotel tap water is considered potable, but I did not risk it. Most the time it is advisable to drink bottled products such as Pepsi or soda water. Beef and lamb are excellent choices at restaurants and considered disease free. Greens for salads must be washed...

  • Authoritarian Regimes

    Make no mistake, this is a dangerous country. In this respect, nothing seems ot ahve changed much in the past several decades. The regime is authoritarian, which also means arbitrary and seemingly irrational to outsiders and insiders alike. People live in fear, including those working in the government. Worse, the government does not (and never has...

  • Alien Registrations

    As soon as you get to Kharthoum, you are suppoed to register with the local authorities. Go to the Alien REgistration Office and hope that this costs you only about $20 -- the official rate. Bring a photo with you, becasue getting a photo made locally is cumbersome and expensive, if not outright impossible.

  • Visas

    You will need a visa to do anything in this country. The length of the application process may be from several days to several months. If you apply in advance, they may cost you about $50. If you apply in person, the price could be hundreds of dollars, depending on how deperate you appear to depart Kharthoum.

  • Batteries

    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...

  • Watch the sky

    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...

  • toilets

    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...

  • Shorts at Khartoum Airport

    Northern Sudan is a country where people follow the Islamic dress code! Also visitors are expected to do so. Don?t wear shorts at Khartoum Airport. Some people paid up to a1000 US $ fine!

  • Sugar, sugar..

    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...

  • Hygienic conditions

    The hygienic conditions in Sudan are low like in any other 3rd world country and cannot be compared with European standards of course. If you decide to buy food on a local market follow the rule: “Cook it, boil it, peal it - or forget it!” unless you have an Elephant stomach.The picture shows a local slaughter place and butchers on a market in...

  • Flies, Flies, Flies

    In Southern Sudan be prepared to be covered by annoying flies. There is no way to escape these insects!

  • Road blocks

    In southern Sudan there are road blocks along the roads. It can happen in the same region that the government forces are patrolling on the main road, SPLA soldiers off the road and in-between local militia, who didn’t decide yet on what side there are. Sometimes it’s not obvious that these men are security forces. Members of the various militia...

  • Bad water

    The water supply is in a problem in many parts of Sudan. Although UN organizations were drilling wells and fitting pumps to them in nearly every village in the northern parts, the access to clean drinking water is still a problem. I was told that it is not uncommon, that the handles of the pumps were removed as long as the villagers are not paying...

  • General Information

    Security – At the moment Dafur is certainly a No Go - Destination for travellers! At the beginning of the year 2005 the peace agreement between the South and the Government is Khartoum was signed. Officially its safe to go south and there is peace. Before setting off try to get latest information from your embassy and from people living in Sudan....

  • Taking pictures in Khartoum

    Be very careful with taking pictures in Khartoum! Khartoum is the capital of the country and so all the ministries and the president palace is here. Police is everywhere and if they think someone took a picture they will bring him to an office to questioning the suspect.

  • Bad roads

    The road conditions in many parts of Sudan are very poor. Black top roads are few and sometimes there are more potholes than tarmac. Most of the road are dirt road or gravel roads. Travelling on these roads is very dusty. Keep in mind that busses often don´t have glass in their windows or you will sit on the back of a pick up anyway. During the...

  • Dehydration

    Dehydration is a very serious danger in this extreme heat. I know I personally need constant reminding to keep drinking in the dry heat, as I don't notice that I am sweating.You are recommended to drink at least eight litres of water per day, preferably ten litres in the sort of heat we were experiencing. Taking rehydration solutions as a matter of...

  • Sun and heat

    The sun can be extremely strong out here in the desert and it is imperative that you slap on masses of sun tan lotion with the highest factor available. There is precious little shade in the desert, and the temperatures rose to 45ºC while we were there - supposedly the cool of the winter! Heat exhaustion can easily set in, look out for the...

  • Puncture

    One of the dangers of driver through desert landscape, is the sand and stones that are ever present. We picked up a stone in one of our tyres, and before we knew it, the rubber had been torn to shreds.

  • Hobbling

    Never trust a camel! However well your camels are looked after, they will take every opportunity to abscond!Always make sure that your camel is either tied to a tree, or in the absence of trees, hobbled. Basically that means attaching a loop of rope around the kneeling animal's front leg, just behind the knee. This makes it more difficult for the...

  • Spitting

    Despite popular belief, camels don't spit, they vomit! An angry camel will project vomit forwards, so do not stand directly in front of an angry camel or you could end up with the entire contents of its stomach over you. It smells like hell and is impossible to get rid of!

  • Blisters

    There are four factors that normally cause blisters:1. Heat. In extreme heat a chemical reaction occurs causing the breakdown of the "glue" between the outer layer of skin and that underneath.2. Cold. Extreme cold will lower the blood supply to the extremeities, making it easier for blisters to form.3. Friction. When a shoe is rubbing, friction...

  • Leading the camel

    When walking, it can be incredibly hard work to lead your camel along, depending on how energetic he is feeling. David's camel was no trouble at all, it was just like walking a dog, David hardly knew the camel was there.Mine, on the other hand, was feeling incredibly lazy, and would much prefer to graze on the few tufts of grass he saw, or just...

  • Staying on when the camel gets up

    Having mounted the camel as it is sitting on the ground, the camel will now attempt to get up. It will raise its rear legs first, throwing you forward in the process. You need to gain your balance and hold on to the saddle horns so that you don't fall off!The whole procedure is reversed when the camel wants to get down.

  • Falling off

    Becareful when riding camels, it is all too easy to fall off! I should know, I did it three times! The first time was just as I was getting on the for the first time. I lifted my leg to mount, the sand shifted under my feet, and so did my weight. Slam! I was on the ground!The second time was as the camel was bending its legs to go down, I didn't...

  • Saddle sores

    However comfortable you try to make the saddle, sores can develop. It is always best to acknowledge this as soon as it happens, in roder to be able to readjust the saddle to alieviate the pressure from the offending point. Saddle sores can make a camel riding experience extremely unpleasant!

  • Paperwork

    If the heat doesn't kill you, the amount of paperwork to be a visitor in Sudan might well do. Once you arrive, you have to fill in registration forms, then you have to register with the police, the ministry of the interior, the Aliens' Registration Bureau and probably your embassy too. If you come with a travel agent, they should do most of this...

  • Getting ill - health care

    Sudanese hospitals and doctors are a very mixed bag. The first one I went to, in El Obeid, had a tiny little cubicle and a western style toilet literally overflowing with faeces. But the one near my house in Omdurman was spotlessly clean with excellent doctors. Even at the first one the doctors were very competent.I took clean, sterilised needles,...

  • Malaria

    Having had the 'pleasure' of getting malaria, it's not something I ever want to repeat! Unfortunately malaria rates in Sudan are very high, particularly outside Khartoum.Tourists should definitely bring lots of mozzy spray and take the necessary pills (resistance changes all the time so best to check which ones are working at the time). I was...

  • Racism... oh yes there is!

    Most people who've been to Sudan will tell you that the Sudanese are the friendliest and most welcoming people in the world. In fact I said it myself on the 'must-see' page. I totally agree... but I'm coming at it from the perspective of a white Western tourist. If I was black and from South Sudan I'd have a very different opinion.Sudan (although...

  • Great Expectations

    Doesn't sound like much of a danger but be careful not to raise your hopes too high. The Sudanese are hardly the only people in the world to believe their country is the best, most beautiful, most generous etc etc... but they are masters at overstatement and exaggeration. Thus the very attractive scenery of Sabaluka and the 6th Cataract is usually...

  • Mats on the pavement

    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.

  • Dangerous places

    Don't be alarmed by this list, as Sudan is a very large place...and remember that the north (where most of the tourist attractions are found) is one of the safest places anywhere. But Sudan does have its fair share of dangerous locations, and here I will mention places to avoid at present. The south is at war...well, some places are under control,...

  • Being stared at, pointed at and talked...

    One thing I learnt very early on was to assume that everyone understands English. So if you are tempted to start commenting on the passenger next to you on the bus, do so never know who might understand! It is a shame that the Sudanese have no such qualms about talking about you, often in loud voices accompanied by much pointing in...

  • Ya Khawaja, ya khawaja!

    If you are white, then don't expect to go unnoticed. Everywhere you go, you will hear the term "khawaja" from every corner. Cross the road to your local shop, "khawaja", get on the bus, "khawaja", enter a restaurant, "khawaja, khawaja" don't have to do any funny dances or attempt a double backflip to get this attention...all you do is exist...

  • Photography

    Be careful when taking photos in Sudan, as some people and places are a bit touchy. First of all, you should get a photography permit (available free at the Ministry of Tourism), just in case you encounter any problems. Don't point your camera at "military places, bridges, ministries, palaces, beggars, slums, or poor people", as says your...


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Sudan Warnings and Dangers

Reviews and photos of Sudan warnings and dangers posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Sudan sightseeing.
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