Khartoum Warnings and Dangers

  • traffic conditions 2009
    traffic conditions 2009
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    up to the gate of the house
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    after the rain 2008
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Best Rated Warnings and Dangers in Khartoum

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    Drink water

    by uglyscot Updated Jun 19, 2005

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    Khartoum is hot, even in the winter it can be hot. Dehydration is a danger. You sweat so much that you must keep drinking plenty of water. Nowadays bottled water is readily available, but not so 10 years ago All small shops will have drinks like Pepsi, Coke and Mirinda, but drinking these only makes your thirst worse. Better , if you must, drink mango, grapefruit or lemon juice freshly prepared, though Sudanese love sugar and use too much. Try cold kerkade or aradeb , drinks made from local plants , and very refreshing because they are a bit tart rather than sweet

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    milk

    by uglyscot Updated Jan 10, 2007

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    If visiting private houses, or drinking at cafes be warned that many people use milk purchased from a milkman who delivers. The milk is carried in churns and sold by weight.
    It is usually boiled before being drunk, but there is no guarantee that is actually hygienically stored, strained etc.

    It is safer to drink 'red tea', that is without milk.

    Nowadays pasteurized milk is becoming more readily available in the capital but not in the other districts. Those who need skimmed milk may have to search a few shops before finding any. Drinking tea in hotels should be safe.

    milkmen delivering
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    No photos please!!

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Jan 16, 2006

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    Please be advised that you are not encouraged to take photos or video recordings of public places in Khartoum, especially "sensitive" areas e.g government buildings, bridges, airport. I don't know why but take it from me, I got hauled to the police station after taking pictures in town on my first week in Khartoum. If you still want to, try not to get caught :)

    A sneak peek
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    Get ready for the power failures!!

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Jan 16, 2006

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    If you have stayed in Khartoum long enough, you will know that the electricity supply is not as reliable as you would like it to be. You will experience frequent power failures so you should bring a torchlight when you come here, and buy some batteries while you're at it. Batteries are available in Khartoum but like everything imported, they are not cheap. Also, it would be good to have an AVR (voltage regulator) with you especially when you charge your expensive electrical equipment e.g laptop because power surges often happen as well and that may wreck them

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    Aircraft noise

    by uglyscot Updated Mar 21, 2006

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    Khartoum airport lies between the residential areas of Amarat, Riyad and Erkowit, so aircraft noise is a problem to those in these areas. Our house is slightly south of the airport, about 5 minutes drive away, and less disturbed than those living in Amarat. But sometimes planes fly right over the house and the noise is horrendous.
    It is now planned to move the airport to north west of Omdurman- so we'll have to add travelling time to get there!

    plane landing at sunset
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  • BorneoGrrl's Profile Photo

    Sandstorm!!

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Apr 24, 2006

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    Sandstorms are not cool, they disrupt flights, get sand in your eyes, mouth, basically everywhere. A sandstorm would cover everything in this fine red-brown dust which makes the scenery look like an old sepia photograph. It normally happens when there is a change of climate and in summer. Best thing to do is to stay indoors and avoid it when it happens

    Sandstorm approaching Sandstorm in Sudan
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    Being a white woman in Khartoum

    by redsaga Updated Sep 8, 2005

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    As a white woman in Khartoum you can be sure to get loads and loads of attention. People are honking, yelling, staring, talking about you, pointing at you, stopping their cars to look at you and even take photographs of you when you're not looking. But Khartoum is generally a safe city, probably more safe for an alone woman than any European big city, and the attention you get is mostly based on curiosity rather than anything else. The sudaneses are very friendly and will be more than happy to invite you for a cup of sweet tea without expecting anything in return, something that would be very rare in Europe.

    Also, even though Khartoum is pretty safe for women it is advisable to cover up if you're a woman. No need for wearing burkas, but don't wear sleeve less or cut low tops or skirts shorter than to your knees. You wouldn't get killed if you did, it's just a matter of showing respect.

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    Mind the puddles and mud

    by uglyscot Updated Sep 3, 2008

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    It doesn't rain very often in Khartoum, and then between May-October. So far in 2008 I think we've had 3 slight showers, though the last one , on 31 August was preceded by a horrendous thunderclap and lightning that turned the sky pink. In our area in south-east Khartoum, there was little to show of the rain next morning, but to the west of us the rain was much heavier and huge puddles and mud made driving and walking difficult.
    There are few drains in Khartoum so when it rains, take care of potholes, drainage channels and the dangers lurking in the puddles [broken glass, bricks etc] and wear stout shoes instead of sandals.

    after the rain 2008 traffic conditions 2009 up to the gate of the house
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    Railway crossings

    by uglyscot Updated Oct 3, 2008

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    Although the railway has virtually stopped running through Khartoum, there are still remains of when it did.
    The railway used to go from Khartoum to Khartoum North northwards to Wadi Halfa. There were two main crossings that disrupted the flow of traffic: one at the end of Mek Nimir St leading to Suq 2, the other past the army HQ and the Hai el Matar area which links with the Wad Medani Rd. These were the two main roads coming into the centre of town on the easternside, so when the man waved his red flag and the crossing barriers were down, congestion ensued. It was possible to use the railway bridge instead, but that would cause another bottleneck. This has now been demolished anyway.
    For a while a commuter train used to run between Khartoum North and Khartoum bringing workers to and from work. This was a short train , unlike the goods trains which had dozens of flatwagons and carriages which meant a long delay for vehicles.
    Yesterday I noticed all the signposts at the Hai el Matar crossing and the barriers standing erect , warning of the trains, and remembered the days when I’d get caught waiting for a train to pass, and counting the carriages.

    railway crossing
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    Remember crime does exist

    by mafi_moya Updated Oct 30, 2003

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    Because the Sudanese are so friendly and Khartoum is a very safe city it's easy to take this for granted and forget to take seemingly obvious precautions. Despite what many Sudanese will tell you, crime does exist - burglaries and break-ins are surprisingly common on tourists, as are pickpockets, although physical violence is very very rare. Also, although walking alone in Khartoum late at night is perfectly safe, there are still some no-go areas (at night anyway) - particularly in displaced settlements where there isn't always electricity. It seems obvious, but because of the incredible welcome you receive many visitors forget it.

    It's a personal choice how to deal with this of course, but many people who live here, such as myself, avoid involving the police unless absolutely necessary. Burglaries often result in the random rounding up of any local Southerners, with who knows what consequences. And even if you catch a pickpocket in the act does it really deserve a hell of a beating? - because that's what they'll probably get.

    Wealthy suburb of Amarat

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    Laptops coming into Khartoum Airport

    by BorneoGrrl Updated Feb 27, 2007

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    This rule just came out in Aug 2006, that laptops or notebooks coming through Khartoum Airport can be retained and scanned for "unfavourable material" by customs. If you're already in Sudan and want to depart via Khartoum Airport, you will have to declare your laptop at departure in the airport in case you want to bring it back

    UPDATE : I've noticed that the customs do not confiscate laptops at the airport anymore.

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    Crime

    by maykal Written Nov 19, 2002

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    As much as you'll be told otherwise, crime does exist in Khartoum, hardly surprising in a city with thousands of desperately poor refugees. Be careful when getting on buses during busy periods...that was how my wallet (no money in it) was stolen. But I haven't heard of too many instances of pickpocketting...most of the theft that happens here is from houses....if landlords have extra keys to your flat, then don't leave anything lying around...in the last month, my walkman, a battery recharger, and a friend's camera have all "gone walking" from behind a locked door! If you're staying long term, change the locks, or buy a padlock and keep all the keys yourself.

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    Police/ Military

    by sarysudan Written Oct 14, 2006

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    Dont´ *** with police and/ or military. If they caught you be patient. If you know how to behave, they will let you go without doing you no harm at all. But if you don´t behave yourself in a VERY cooperative way they are able to lock you your ass until your children are grandparents...For example: One day my cousin and me crossed a red traffic light by car. Not a big issue. But when the policeman entered the car, he recognized that we were drunk and without driving license. The car even was´nt registered...(Yeah I know, bad idea) After ten minutes of talking and asking some questions he left the car. Nothing happened and we continued our trip. Just because of our good tongue. The opposite case could be like this: You cross a red traffic light. You are not drunk. You got a driving license and your car is registered. The policeman will enter the car and take you right away to the police station to put you in bigger trouble just because your tongue was bad.

    So this is what to do when you get caught by police:
    1. Just talk if somebody ask you something
    2. Do what they say, even if they like to take your passport away
    for making a copy or something...Give it to them. You´ will get
    it back, if you´re lucky. LOL
    3. Don´t lie. If they ask for your religion don´t say something
    stupid like "muslim" if you´re christian.
    4. Try to tease them when ever it´s advisable. Speak some
    words arabic. Tell them that you like sudan and it´s people,
    especially the food and the strong family relations. Food and
    family is most important issue down there. If they left their
    police/military-suites after work they will be into this things.
    Nobody likes to be militant and trouble people. It´s just
    because the rubbish government gives them houses and
    food for this jobs. In real life every policeman is a father and/or
    familymember. Recognize this and you will know how to
    handle police and military...
    5. Dont be afraid. There are just two ways to die anyway. As a
    man or as a ***ing coward. So relax!

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  • mafi_moya's Profile Photo

    An unimaginably unpleasant way to go!

    by mafi_moya Written Aug 16, 2004

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    One of your greatest dangers as a visitor to Khartoum is watching where you walk. Large gaping holes in the pavements (and occasionally the roads) reveal the sewers underneath. In the daytime all this requires is an occasional glance where you're going, but at night most of Khartoum is a very dark city with little electricity on the streets. One wrong step and some of those sewers are deep enough to drown in!

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    Money

    by maykal Written Sep 14, 2002

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    Money here is confusing, to say the least! The old Sudanese currency was the Sudanese pound, but a few years ago a new currency was introduced, the Sudanese Dinar. Basically, it meant that a nought was lopped off the end of all amounts.
    Simple so far, but it is made confusing by the fact that people generally still quote prices in pounds...so if they ask for 1000, they want the note that says 100 on it. An extra twist is added by those who think foreigners don't know this, and quote in dinars for their benefit. If you don't know roughly how much items should cost, then it is difficult to know what people are quoting in!

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