Sudan is a vast, historic and sometimes complicated country and its capital, Khartoum, is an intriguing destination to visit, offering a unique mix of influences and cultures but also an atmosphere that’s entirely its own. From what to pack to what not to miss, these Khartoum facts will help you make the most of your trip.
December–April is a popular time to visit Khartoum because the temperature hovers around 30 degrees, meaning it’s hot but not unbearably so. If you’re visiting during the summer months, be prepared for soaring, 40+ temperatures and pack plenty of cool, lightly coloured clothing and high protection SPF.
On the whole, credit cards are not accepted in Sudan and there are no ATMs in Khartoum, so planning ahead and bringing enough cash for the duration of your trip is vital. In terms of currency, US Dollars are preferable but Euros are sometimes also accepted.
Khartoum is a fairly relaxed and very friendly city but, as Sudan is a Muslim country, visitors will still need to dress respectfully. It’s advisable for women to bring a headscarf and for men to avoid wearing shorts where possible.
An important fact to remember about Khartoum is that it’s a relatively spread out city so exploring it on foot, particularly in the heat, is a challenging prospect. The best alternative is to either hire a driver or take taxis, but be sure to negotiate your price before you set off to your destination.
Not only an intriguing city in its own right, Khartoum is a gateway to the rest of Sudan and there are plenty of places worth visiting beyond the capital. Experience world-class diving in the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea at Port Sudan, explore the ancient Nubian pyramids in the Sudanese desert, or witness the majesty of Jebel Barkal, the mountain once considered holy ground by the pharaohs.
The Sudanese are regarded by many to be among the friendliest people on the planet, and for good reason. Expect a warm welcome from locals when you visit Khartoum; they are generally delighted to see tourists and keen for them to see the best their city has to offer. If you strike up conversation, be prepared to receive invitations to join locals for dinner in their own homes.
Khartoum is home to several fascinating museums. Alongside the National Museum of Sudan, the Presidential Palace museums and Ethnographical Museum provide a glimpse into the fascinating history of the nation, its rulers and its culture. For a more contemporary perspective, explore the Khartoum’s burgeoning art scene via its collection of galleries.
Spending a morning or an afternoon inside the city’s souks is a must for any visitors to Khartoum, but whether you’re shopping for golden jewellery, a speciality of Souk Arabi or leather goods or textiles, driving a hard bargain is a fact of life in Khartoum. Locally crafted items such as carved wooden statues, amber jewellery and woven straw and grass items are worth looking out for.