Big World Small Pockets Blog Steph Published: May 28, 2018 | Last Updated: March 11, 2020
No matter which way you look at it, Sudan just isn’t one of those well-travelled destinations.
In fact, it’s a critically under-travelled destination, with hardly anything known about it by much of the outside world.
While this makes it an incredibly exciting place to adventure, it can also make it a little tricky, because finding out information, especially important information, is easier said than done!
When I decided to head to Sudan from Ethiopia it was on the back of recommendations from a few other adventurous travellers I’d met who had been there… and who loved it.
Luckily I took some good notes of my conversations with them, because otherwise I would have found it really difficult to glean much information about what I should expect in this conservative, desert country.
But now, having travelled Sudan and loved it, I wanted to share some the key bits of information to help others who may be thinking of voyaging to this African land too.
Hopefully having a bit more info at your disposal will also encourage you to explore this hidden gem, a decision you definitely won’t regret.
So here they are, the things you NEED to know before you travel Sudan…
#1 Get a Visa Beforehand
First up, the most important thing to know before you travel Sudan is that you need to get a visa in advance of your arrival.
#2 You Need to Register Your Visa
Once you do have your Sudan visa and you’ve entered the country, you then have 3 days to register your visa.
#3 You Need to Get a Travel and Photography Permit
This can be arranged for free, but, there’s a fair amount of legwork you have to do in order to get it, including having a spare passport photo with you.
#4 Currency is the Sudanese Pound
Everything in Sudan is paid for with Sudanese Pounds (SDP).
#5 Your ATM Card will not Work
Indeed, you cannot access any foreign money whilst in Sudan and paying via credit card is unheard of.
#6 Accommodation in Sudan is Cheap
Hotels are generally dirt cheap and basic (except for a few international hotels in Khartoum and Port Sudan).
#7 Food in Sudan is Cheap
Like most accommodation you’ll be staying in when you travel Sudan, food here is also basic and cheap.
#8 Modest Clothing is a Must
Along with a lack of alcohol, Sharia law in Sudan means it is a very conservative country and all clothing should be long and loose.
#9 It’s Safe and Friendly
In fact, Sudan is one of the most hospitable and welcoming countries I have ever travelled in.
#10 You’ll be Invited into People’s Homes… a Lot
It’s basically impossible here to walk down any street in the country without being invited into people’s homes several times for tea or food.
Needless to say these people won’t ever accept any money, despite the tough economic conditions in which they exist.
#11 Bring a Phrasebook, Get Google Translate
What does make interaction hard with the beautiful Sudanese people however is the language barrier, because very few people here speak English, especially outside of Khartoum.
#12 Buy a Sudanese SIM Card
And of course, the best way to access Google Translate when you travel Sudan is to buy a SIM card and data package while you are here.
#13 Multiple Plug Sockets
In Sudan a mix of European and British plug sockets are common and you never really know which you are going to find!
And the most important thing you need to know about Sudan travel is…. that it’s amazing!
Cheap, wild, raw, untainted, off the beaten track and with some of the friendliest people on earth, adventuring in this desert land is an experience you’ll never forget. Go and go now, before it changes!
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