Sudan is a malarial region, so be especially cautious during the rainy season. Poisonous snakes, spiders and scorpions are common to the southern areas.

Be cautious when drinking water. Make sure you choose bottled water, or use purifying tablets. Also, avoid any fruit drinks, as they are obviously made with the local water. And remember, that any ice cubes for example, in sodas are only frozen local water.

On long trips particularly during the hot season on public transport it is often impossible - or would be expensive - to carry the amount of bottled water you need, and it may be scarce at certain remote stops. Therefore, keep plenty of your chosen means of purification close at hand not in your luggage strapped to the roof!. Sanitation in some areas is nonexistent, so wash your hands frequently.

Food from streetside vendors is generally fine if it is being prepared and served frequently. Empty restaurants and street cafes often indicate that food is standing uncovered and unrefrigerated for hours at a time.

Sudanese currency is notoriously dirty, and even the Sudanese handle small bills as little as possible. A hint would be to carry antibacterial wipes or gel in your luggage to treat your hands after handling filthy currency notes or shaking too many unwashed hands.

Sudan has reported Ebola outbreaks in 2004 and it is not advised to take local hospital treatments unless there is a real urgency. If you have malaria-like symptoms, seek medical assistance when possible, medical treatment is also available in many private clinics with high standards and reasonable price here are some of these private clinics: Doctors clinic, Africa St, Fidail medical center, Hospital road Downtown, Yastabshiron medical center, Riyadh area, Modern medical center, Africa St, International Hospital, Khartoum north-Alazhary St

Schistosomiasis/Bilharzia - Avoid bathing or walking through slow-flowing fresh waterways. If you have been in contact with such water or develop an itchy rash or fevers after your return, seek medical attention. Doctors in the West may only think to test you for malaria - you may need to see a tropical medicine specialist.

Sudanese travel visas are expensive and difficult to acquire for some nationalities in some countries or for people with an Israeli stamp in their passport. It is advisable to obtain a Sudanese visa in your home country if possible.

From Egypt -Cairo is one of the easiest places to get one usually a couple of hours after application, although for a lot of nationalities it costs US$100 payment is now possible in Egyptian pounds. You will almost definitely need a letter of invitation/introduction from your embassy, and the time this takes varies from embassy to embassy. The British Embassy charges 450 Egyptian pounds () for theirs and is situated only 200m from the Sudanese one. Note that the Canadian embassy does not issue these letters, but that the Sudanese embassy in Cairo will give visas to Canadians without the letter. This will present problems within Sudan when trying to obtain permits or renew visas, as these can only be obtained with a letter from the Canadian embassy in Khartoum which the embassy will not at this time provide. It is possible to obtain a sponsorship for the Visa from the Cairo embassy and skip the letter from your own embassy, though this depends on who you are dealing with at the embassy.

From Ethiopia - getting a visa from the Sudanese Embassy in Addis Ababa is extremely unpredictable, although it is cheaper around US$60. Your name is first sent to Khartoum merely for approval. An official has stated, "It could take two weeks, it could take two months." Once your name has been approved, the visa itself only takes a couple of days. Britons and Americans are generally given more of a run around, but no nationality is guaranteed swift receipt of a visa. Expect to wait a minimum of two weeks for approval. If your trip continues from Sudan to Egypt and you already have your Egyptian visa you may be given a one-week transit visa for Sudan in only a day, which can be extended in Khartoum at a hefty cost, though. The British Embassy in Addis Ababa charges a steep 740 birr over for their letter of invitation/introduction.

Possibly out of date information: From Kenya - as in Addis Ababa, the Sudanese Embassy in Nairobi sends your name to Khartoum for approval. The time it takes is similarly ambiguous, although the embassy is far more professional and efficiently-run than Addis Ababa's.

From Kenya - visa applications are submitted between 10am and 12pm and visa collected next day between 3pm and 3.30pm. Cost is 5000 Kenyan Shillings US$50. Letter of support for application can be obtained from own embassy e.g. British Embassy, charges 8200 Kenya Shillings, turnaround time depends on availability of the Consul who needs to sign the letter. Sudanese Embassy is located in Kabarnet Road, off Ngong Road 10minutes walk from Wildebeest Campsite accommodation in Kibera Road, and near Prestige Shopping Plaza. Note that google, visa hq etc. show the old address Minet ICDC building, which is not correct. Generally the experience at the Nairobi Sudanese Embassy is less confusing than in Egypt with its jostling queues at three anonymous but different windows however as at January 2010 the staff member dealing with the public is extremely unprofessional even suggests putting false information.

Hours-long waits for customs clearance are not unheard of, and landing in Khartoum can be tricky. Entering or exiting by land usually goes smoothly. Alcohol is forbidden in Sudan, and attempting to import it could bring strict penalties.


During conversation, avoid asking direct questions about people's political opinions unless you know the person quite well and sense that they would be comfortable; repercussions could be serious for them. Tact is a necessity in a country that has suffered the trauma of more than 40 years of civil war and refugees from affected areas are spread around the country, especially Khartoum.


The official languages in Sudan are Arabic and English, according to the 2005 constitution. English is not widely spoken except by officials and hospitality workers. In contrast to many places in the world, it is the older generations that tend to speak the better English.

local customs

To show the bottom of your foot is an insulting gesture, as is the touching of the thumb to the index finger while extending the rest of the fingers the North American sign for "O-kay". Although Sudan is a moderate Muslim culture, foreigners are still discouraged from speaking directly to local women unless spoken to, and even then it would be polite to ask permission from the man accompanying her before responding. Try to avoid physical contact with women if possible.


Sudan's international direct dialing code is 249. Its international direct dialing access code is 00 although mobile phone users in Sudan will be able to dial overseas numbers by putting "+" in front of the international direct dialing code.

Prepaid mobile phone packages are easily available in Sudan. The two telecommunications companies in Sudan are ZAIN ( Tel: +249-(0-91-230000) and MTN ( Tel: +249-(0-92-1111111). Zain has a cheaper prepaid package SDG 10 than Mtn SDG 20. Note that the customer service line for MTN, should you need to call them for any problems, can be difficult to get through.

Coverage maps

Mobitel zain SD (

MTN Sudan (

police and army

You will see armed policemen and military personnel everywhere but you will not have any problems with them unless you have infringed some rule, e.g., taking photographs or filming in prohibited areas. Sudanese police/army are sometimes known to target travelers for bribes. So, If you are pulled over for whatever reason, be sure to pay them.

women travelers

Travel for solo women is relatively safe in areas unaffected by civil war, if you dress and act appropriately for an Islamic country. You will raise a few eyebrows but will generally be treated with great respect.In general, it is best for women to travel in groups, and even better, with men.

other rules

Sudan is an Islamic country and consumption of alcohol is illegal. Homosexuality is punishable by death.The death sentence for homosexuality is mainly only enforced after the second or third repeated offense. Mainly the first offense it is usually imprisonment and about a thousand lashes for both men and women, which is virtually the death penalty anyway it would be surprising if anyone could survive that sort of harsh punishment. The government's form of punishing those convicted of homosexual acts is dealt with under the strict interpretation of the Islamic Sharia Law. If a foreigner is arrested for committing a homosexual act than that person may probably either be given a warning if they honestly didn't know and if that person is truly remorseful or be dealt with in the same manner as the Sudanese national. It is better to ask for consular assistance from the country from where you come from if you are arrested for anything by the Sudanese authorities and hope for the best that they would be of able to offer any form of help.

taking pictures

Sudan has very strict rules about taking pictures. First and foremost, you need a permit to take pictures see "Get in" section above for details which will tell you where you can and cannot take pictures. Photographing or filming military personnel or installations is a quick way to get into trouble. People have been arrested for taking pictures at the confluence of the Blue and White Niles in Khartoum.