stalls by the roadside: Fruit
When shopping for fruit the choice is either the main market or from stalls along the road.
In Amarat beside the cemetery are a line of stalls selling fruit and vegetables. Walk along and compare prices before buying so that you get a feel for the price.
The fruit is usually clean and well displayed.
What to buy: Most fruit is available nowadays- in season - and there can be found some imported fruit like apples , pears, plums, strawberries, kiwi fruit, custard apple, tangerines and grapes.
Water melons or honeydew melons are refreshing in the heat. Mangoes can be found of different varieties and are out of this world, unless you get the small local variety that can be stringy and fibrous. Pink grapefruit makes a wonderful drink, as do guavas.
Local oranges , limes and bananas are available, and ,of course, dates.
What to pay: Prices vary , but imported fruit will naturally be more expensive than the local produce. Smaller stalls away from the throng may give better bargains.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Afra: The first shopping mall in Sudan
AFRA is the first Mall in Khartoum It is near the Green Park to the southern edge of Khartoum [Erkowit] It was build by a Turkish company. . There is a bowling alley and cinema as well as shops and cafes.
It does not have the appeal of the Malls in the Gulf or in Europe, but it is still very convenient to find most of your needs under one roof, especially the Afra section itself.
Many of the brands are Turkish but a certain amount of international brands can be found too.
It is very expensive for Sudanese. but reasonable for those on a hard currency based income.
What to buy: All the usual things , and commodities that are not readily available in the local market. Vegetables that are not commonly used in Sudan can be bought here. I usually buy a quantity of broccoli when it is available and freeze the florets. cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce can also be found when out of season locally, and fresh herbs.
Imported fruit is another reliable purchase, and it has a good bakery and meat section.
Household goods, gardening equipment , cosmetics, toiletries and clothing are also to be found.
Outside the main section are Exchange booths, mobile phone companies, fancier boutiques and other small shops.
What to pay: A lot, but not too much more than ordinary shops.
- Work Abroad
- Business Travel
- Luxury Travel
Suq el Merkhazi: The general market
Once upon a time the Vegetable Market was in the centre of Khartoum and called Suq el Arabi, but the whole area was demolished, and the vegetable market was moved to the southern outskirts of town, and renamed Suq el Merkhazi. There are stores for fruit and vegetables, and butchers have meat hanging up. But alongside the wholesale market, smaller salesmen have their goods spread out on the ground, and prices are much lower than in greengrocer shops in town. Many families buy their fruit and vegetables once a week at a considerable saving. I find the area fascinating as people of different ethnic groups congregate and the whole scene can be very colourful. Boys push wheelbarrows laden with sacks, or piled up with vegetables. Pickup trucks unload trays of eggs. There is so much to see.
What to buy: Pink grapefruit is delicious , but so are most fruit. We always buy oranges in bulk [recently I got 50 for 12,000 SD.
What to pay: much less than the prices asked in town A kilo of bananas from a wayside salesman in town may ask 3000 SD, whereas at the market you should not pay half that.
- Budget Travel
- Work Abroad
Souk Omdurman: African carvings from the souk
If you want to bring home some souvenirs from Sudan, you can go to a number of shops in Souk Omdurman. The shops are located between the alleys and don't expect a shiny souvenir store selling "I love Sudan" t-shirts
What to buy: There are a variety of local crafts ranging from ebony wood carvings of animals to shoes made of animal skin or stuff baby aligator ashtray. There are also ivory carvings available but I doubt you can take them out of Sudan plus, you could anger a few animal lovers back home
What to pay: If you are a foreigner, start bargaining by asking half the asking price and work your way from there
- Budget Travel
various: Local shops
Most shops in Sudan, especially in locally populated areas are very small, with goods displayed as much on the pavement as inside the shops. So, travelling away from the centre of town to the new suburbs like Salama, many varied shops catch your eye.
In Salama district, a new 3rd class suburb south west of Khartoum, I snapped just a sample of shops that could be seen.
What to buy: foodstuff, spices, building materials, anything!
What to pay: prices are usually fixed but some bargaining can be attempted.
- Road Trip
- Work Abroad
Pavement bookstores: Something to read
There are a lack of English language bookstores in Khartoum but you can often find some interesting reads laid out on the street, particularly around the north-west corner of the bus station and near Neelain (Two Niles) University. You'll find the same titles appearing again and again (Oscar Wilde, abridged Joseph Conrad) but look hard and you might find some gems. You can read international magazines such as Time and Newsweek at the British Council and the Akropole Hotel, but you can sometimes get more up to date copies from guys on the street.
What to buy: Surprisingly you won't find many copies of Sudan's most famous book - Season of Migration to the North, by Tayeb Salih. Dealing with life in the UK for a Sudanese and issues of identity and village life in Northern Sudan, it's at times sexually explicit and was banned years ago. There are some copies in circulation though.
What to pay: Depends on the book but most about a dollar or less - pretty cheap.
Folklore shops: Tourist shopping area "Folklore"
Running between Gamhouria Street and Barlaman Avenue are several souvenir shops. Pretty much all of them sell Ivory pieces, the sale of which is now banned globally. I was not allowed to take photo's of the Ivory Pieces, but the shop owner did allow me to take pix of the crocodile handbags.
Remember to bargain if you wish to buy anything.
What to pay: The asking price for the croc handbag in the main pic was US$80
The croc ashtrays were US$10 (a croc head with an ashtray mounted behind the skull)
I paid US$20 for the croc skin bag (without head - pictured)
- Historical Travel
- Business Travel
Afra Shopping Center: The only shopping mall in town
Afra Shopping Mall was constructed by a Turkish company and is the only shopping mall in the whole of Sudan. Here, you find a hypermart sort of store selling groceries and other items e.g toiletries, toys, electronic goods. You will find a number of Turkish products on sale here too
There are also other shops in the main building that sell an array of goods e.g clothes, toiletries, electronic goods. There is also a food court, movie theatre and bowling alley on the 1st floor
What to buy: Fresh fruits & vegetables, meat and other groceries
What to pay: Expect to pay more than when you buy at the local souk or market
- Business Travel
- Women's Travel
For those moments when you're missing home and the food your mother makes, or when you get fed up shaving with a stick and want a 'proper' razor, there are a couple of shops in the Khartoum 2 and Amarat area that can provide you with most things you desire (they even have marmite!)
Many people seem to simply assume you can't get such items and don't bother looking - so try Street 1 or Cemetary Road in Amarat. They cater to rich Sudanese and expats so are relatively expensive but can definitely be worth a look!
What to buy: Things you can't get at your local store; things you miss from home; a bit of luxury living to cheer you up a bit if you get the Khartoum blues
What to pay: Relatively expensive but still worth a look even if you're on a low budget.
AFRA SHOPPING MALL: THE BIGGEST SHOPPING CENTER IN KHARTOUM
THE BIGGEST SHOPPING CENTER IN KHARTOUM. YOU CAN PLAY BOWLING ON THE SECOND FLOOR.. ALSO THERE IS A CINEMA... IN THE FIRST FLOOR THERE ARE EXCHANGE OFFICES .GLORIA JEANS CAFE. BARBER, PHOTO STUDIO AND TURKISH RESTARURANT..
What to buy: EVERYTHING YOU WANT ))
Afra: The one and only shopping mall
Close to the airport is the relatively new shopping mall Afra. It's not big, it's not cheap and it's not beautiful but it can be a nice change from the dust and heat of the city. There are a few fast food restaurants and a cinema that shows one or two hollywood movies (about one or two years after the world premier) on the second floor.
Remember that everything in here are largely over priced and that you can get everything for a much better price in one of the small local stores.
What to buy: Clothes, food, make up, fabric
Home Care: God Bless Home Care!
Home Care is without any doubt the most exclusive and fancy shop in Khartoum Area (possibly in whole of Sudan). Last time I was there I wandered around, looking at things that are so rare to find here that it almost felt like heaven. I will most certalny return whenever I need anything else for my home.
What to buy: Anything that you can't buy anywhere else in Khartoum, you'll find in Home Care. They have everything for your home: electronic equipment, decorations, gifts, textiles, everything for your kitchen and the list continues.
What to pay: I expected the prices to be too high to be able to buy anything with a sudanese income, but I was happily surprised so the prices aren't as high as you might think. Of course it's higher than in most souqs and local shops, but if you just can't be bothered to look all over Khartoum for a good micowave or nice looking things, Home Care is the place to go.
Souq es-Shabi: Khartoum's most pleasant market
This lovely market is my favourite in the Khartoum area. It's situated in the outskirts of Amarat on the way to New Deims. The market has many benefits compared to other markets I've visited. First of all almost the whole market is built up under a roof which keeps the sun and the worst of the heat away. It's pretty clean (sudanese standards) and the stalls are generally tidy. The stall keepers will be more than happy to see a khawadja walking by and you will most certanly hear more "welcome", "ksss ksss" and finger clicking than any other place in Khartoum.
As always it's difficult to avoid being overpayed as a foreigner but as long as you have the time and strength to bargain you should be able to press the prices down pretty much. You can always ask somebody local at the market what would be a good price. They're almost always most honest and helpful.
What to buy: At Souq el-Shabbi you can buy just about anything, but if you need clothes or shoes this is the best place to go.
What to pay: Expect to get the half price of what you would buy at one of the fancy (sudanese standards) in Amarat or Afra mall.
- Budget Travel
Fantasia: Maps are rare and/or bad
I'm not sure in what category this small shop is. They have a little of this and that and most of the things in here are very expensive. However, if you've been living in Khartoum for a while and have run out of book you might be able to find a couple of english ones here. They also have a pretty good map (the best I could find) of Sudan and Khartoum here for around 2500 dinar. It can be worth the price since good maps seem to be a rarity in Khartoum.
What to buy: Books and maps.
What to pay: Map of Khartoum and Sudan = 2500 dinar
There are pretty many internet cafes in and around Khartoum. They generally cost between 2-300 dinar and the connection is mostly okay even though the electricity can go out and the equipment aren't always up to date.
The connection is good but very expensive. Expect to pay 500 dinar per hour and 300 for 30 minutes.
Sayed Abdul Rahman Avenue
There are at least two other internet cafes close to the Meridian. They don't have aircondition but the connection is good and the price is something around 2-300 dinar per hour. Cross the road from Meridian and walk some 30 m to the left.
My favourite internet place in Khartoum 2 is on the left hand side on the road between the big roundabout, with the big coca cola bottle and a garden, and Amarat/Cemetary Road. It's a bit tricky to find since there is no sign but you will find it just before you turn right to the Cemetary Road, next to a small shop and opposite a fruit stall and the British Educational Shools. The price is 300 dinar per hour and the staff is friendly enough to discount you if you're a regular and keep your smile. The connection is a bit unstable so save any important stuff once in a while.
On the righthand side some 1-2 km from the cemetary in Cemetary Road is a pretty big internet place. The connection is a bit slow (depending on how many users are online I guess) but the staff is friendly. The price is some 300 dinar per hour.
Go south on Cemetary Road and turn right on street 35 (I think) and you will find a small but friendly internet place. It's cheap and mostly pretty empty so if you need some privacy (I won't ask why), this is a good place.
Close to the ice cream place in Street 43 you will find a small internet cafe called "Al-Salam". The connection is okay and the equipment pretty old but still work, it's cheap too. Some 200 dinar per hour.
What to pay: 2-500 dinar per hour.