The Camel Market is within walking distance of Omdurman market to the north . Here camels are bought and sold, as well as donkeys,goats and cattle.When buying a camel, note that light coloured or white camels are preferred. A camel can cost between $500 and $1200 depending on whether it is for transporting goods or for racing.But, it is also where...more
This is one of the earliest buildings made after Independence in 1956.It is made of brick, and its clock tower was once a distinguishing mark .On the side of the main building was a huge crocodile shot in the 1960s, but it has now decayed and an advertising slogan has replaced it- a sign of the times!At one time the wreck s of cars involved in...more
This modern mosque [1980s] was built from the design of a student at the Faculty of Architecture.Its aluminium dome was produced from aluminium from the smelter at Invergordon in Scotland, near from where I come from.The mosque lies almost at the junction of the Blue and White Nile.The complex also contains libraries, teaching centres and...more
Beside the Nile in Omdurman near what was the gate to Omdurman, can be seen the mud-brick fortifications where the Mahdi's troops fired on the British steamers coming down the Nile from Egypt with messages and supplies for the British forces. These are one of the few historic remains still to be seen dating to the Mahdist era.Unfortunately quality...more
The house of Um Kalthoum is a later addition to the Khalifa's house. The water came from a well inside the house and an aqueduct was ingeniously built to allow the water to be fed to the tank by gravity. It was lifted up to the boiler , and thence to the simple Turkish style bathtub. Water would have been carried up the outside stairs and poured...more
This very traditional restaurant is two tented areas with web-strung metal beds, a few plastic chairs and tables. The place is full of flies, but an incense burner soon dispatches most of them. Water is available in a shiny stainless steel bucket.We waited for the food to be cooked- grilled sheep, camel and camel liver with salads : tomatoes with...more
The camel market is north of the Omdurman Market, within walking distance.Camels and other animals are on sale, but we went to have a meal of camel liver. The liver is either eated raw or coated with peanut sauce and maybe fried for a few seconds. However it is prepared it is delicious, and crunchy. And cholesterol -free.The cafe is simple. The...more
this was originally built as a restaurant with a large dining room, outside areas with streams and bridges and a play area for children.However, it has now become very popular as a venue for wedding receptions, and a huge hall catering for thousands has been builtm with a dias for the bride and groom to sit and greet guests, a n area for the band...more
Shuhada is the big market/bus station in front of Omdurman Souk. It's one of the central areas of Omdurman and a good place to hang out and have a bite to eat. Most of the food Sudan offers is available here - from dirt cheap fuul to pizza places, and then some ice cream and Turkish cakes. There's a good place to play pool as well when you've done...more
Shuhada is probably the best place to eat in Omdurman, although there is nothing special. Titanic has the best shish kebabs this side of the Nile, while Magic Pizza and Delicious do pizza fairly well. The Green Cafe, right in the corner, and its rival Lu'Lu' Ash-Sham (Pearl of Damascus) are popular for juices and sandwiches. There is an excellent...more
If you get bored with the standard offerings of fuul and kebabs, then head over to Omdurman, getting off the bus when you see a series of road-side stalls close to the Nile (it sounds vague, but they are quite obvious!). Here you'll find fried fish in batter, freshly caught in the Nile. Choose a stall with plenty of people eating from it....empty...more
The newest bridge linking Khartoum with Omdurman is the Chinese Bridge, an imposing structure which is amazingly steep and high. On the Omdurman side, there is a long walkway by the Nile which has now turned into a pleasant place to spend an evening...some enterprising locals have even set up a stall selling drinks and nuts, and a few chairs and...more
Omdurman isn't exactly a hip and happening place at night, although there are a few things you can do at night. If you are male, you could go to a chicha "den" for a pipe, or watch a film at a cinema, but an alternative for the whole family is to walk the Shambat Bridge which links Omdurman with Bahri (North Khartoum). Most evenings around sunset,...more
Because Omdurman is the largest town in Sudan, it is very crowded and the streets are frequently narrow lanes. In the market there is often congestion. Cars and pickups are parked beside the road while haorse and donkey cards, motorbikes, boys pushing wheelbarrows, cyclists , rickshas and pedestrians compete for a space to move. the uneven road...more
All buses heading to Omdurman from other parts of the tri-city usually go through Shuhada Square, so this has become the city's transport hub. Going from Omdurman to Khartoum, listen out for cries of "ArabiArabiArabiArabi", and if you hear "BahriBahriBahri", then that bus is heading to North Khartoum. Buses are extremely crowded heading out of...more
Omdurman is connected to Khartoum by two bridges spanning the White Nile. There are another two connecting Omdurman and Khartoum North (Bahri). If one of the bridges went out of action I don't know what would happen - the city's reliance on them is incredible. Surprisingly there is no ferry service, just the bridges, so with thousands of people...more
All the merchants with silver to sell are much the same. Some are so trusting they even let my daughter take pieces home to see if she wanted them- she was collecting silver at the time. Once she made up her mind, she went back and paid for it. Old silver. Beads.The silver has been sold by the Rashaida, an eastern tribe originally from Saudi...more
Spice and herbs are found congregated together in the market. They make a colourful display laid out in baskets or basins or jars.Those with allergies beware ;the smell can be pungent, and the fine powdery spices can be irritating to the nostrils.Lentils, haricot beans, fava beans and rice will be found in hessian sacks.Dried dates, dom palm nuts,...more
There are a number of large bead shops, as well as pavement salesmen in Omdurman market. Beads are popular with the tribes of Southern Sudan who make many decorative items and jewellery from them.Strings of beads made from natural substances are worn by sufi followers as prayer beads.Beads were brought to Africa as an item for trade by the early...more
Every year there are celebrations for the Birthday of the Prophet Mohamed. The actual date varies because the Islamic festivals are dated according to the lunar calendar. This year the holiday was 15 February 2011. We decided to take the grandchildren to the area beside the Mahdi’s tomb and the Khalifa’s mosque in Omdurman. Similar venues are held in Khartoum and Khartoum North.
The different religious sects erect tents and flags where their followers can sit and listen to the chanting and watch the dervishes as they get carried away by the songs of praise. This is very interesting to see as they sway and move to the beat.
Crowds of people- men , women and children congregate to watch the world go by- the men in white jellabias, dervishes in green, police in blue and women and children in their best clothes together make the scene bright and colourful. Some of the tents have fairy lights or tinsel. Salesmen have spread their ways on the ground- prayers beads, religious books, inflateable plastic toys and balloons.
On the perimeter outside are stalls selling the traditional Mulid sweets : garish pink sugar brides, knights on horseback, tanks, cats, some decorated with paper frills. The sweets are made of sesame seed, coconut, candy with peanuts or chickpeas, and Turkish delight. These activities begin some time before the actual day, so on the eve of the holiday it becomes very crowded indeed. We made sure we arrived early and left at sunset.
Because Omdurman was not planned as a city, it is difficult to find your way around. To me it is like a rabbit warren- little areas walled off yet hiding a complex of houses. Streets have features known in Middle Ages Europe- runnels down the streets to take off waste water from washing courtyards, washing clothes etc. Building materials make the narrow roads even narrower and dangerous.
Walking can be hazard especially at night and if there has been rain.
I went one morning after there had been rain. The streets were uneven and slippery from the mud. Luckily I had taken a crutch with me, or might have fallen and broken my not-yet mended leg again.
North of Omdurman is a range of hills where the Mahdist army met the British army in September 1898. The area is a flat plain at the foothills of the mountain. The Battle of Kerrari takes its name from a small outcrop at the east of the hills. Some years ago I went to Kerrari and climbed the small hill [puff, puff] from which there is a good view...more
Another obscure historical building now used for a different purpose is Bayt al-Maal, which is where the Mahdi's money used to be kept safe...something like a bank. Nowadays, it has cleverly been incorporated into a football stadium where you can watch local rivals Hilal and Mareekh battle it out in front of enormous crowds!more
As you enter Omdurman by bus, you pass a huge mud-brick building on your right before arriving at Shuhada. This is the local prison, but it wasn't always used to house criminals...a new sign on the outside has been erected by the Ministry of Tourism saying that the prison used to be the Leader's House. the English on the sign is not really fully...more
Football is the most popular sport among Sudanese men.
There are two main rival clubs, both based in Omdurman: Hilal and Mereikh.
Hilal’s colours are blue and white : a white crescent moon [hilal] on a blue background.
Mereikh has a red star [Mars] on a yellow background.
Both stadiums are in Arda district, central Omdurman, and divided by Arda road. The stadiums were built in the 1960s but have undergone renovation since then. Matches are very popular and tickets vary in price according to where the spectator sits .
The other Omdurman teams are Muwrada and Tahrir.
International matches are usually held in the National Stadium in west Khartoum near the Sudan University.
A new Sports Centre has been built in south Khartoum near Africa University.
When there is a match between the two rival clubs, the supporters of the winning side take to the streets shouting, blowing whistles , and drive through the streets proclaiming their victory. Normally this is all very peaceful.
Women's education was started when Sheikh Babiker Bedri. open the first girls' school in 1907. There was so much hostility to the idea at first that it was populated by his own family The Bedri family opened a school for girls in Omdurman, and now have a University, Ahfad University for Women. In addition to Medicine and Pharmacy it has colleges of...more
The best place for internet is the Faster Net Cafe in the corner of Shuhada Square. They have 30 computers, all fairly fast, and they charge S£3000 (SD300) an hour. It is very popular with Omdurman's young and trendy, so you may have to wait a while listening to Mariah Carey belting out her big ballads until a seat becomes free. They also have a...more