6 Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Sudan
While Sudan's official name is "The Republic of the Sudan," most people simply refer to the country as Sudan.
Sudan, situated along the Red Sea in the Arab world, has been an independent nation since 1955. Until about 1998, the country was under the control of a regime led by President Omar al-Bashir, who was officially listed as a war criminal by the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, although Bashir continues to hold that office, his rule is much less absolute than it once was. The ICC is no longer obligated to investigate any acts that took place while he was in power.
Sudan's population is the largest in Africa, with an estimated 55 million people. Arabic is the main language, although several other African languages and the common Egyptian Arabic dialect are widely spoken. The Sudanese people are predominantly Sunni Muslim and very nationalistic.
Despite the war in the Darfur region of the country, Sudan is a relatively safe place to travel. You should still exercise caution, however, and learn about safety issues and avoid falling victim to fraud in any way possible. Plan your visit to Sudan using our list of the top things to see and do in Sudan.
Khartoum is the capital city of the Republic of Sudan. Historically, the city has played an important role in the history of the Sudan, Sudanese independence and war, and in the 21st century Khartoum was a locus for the Sudanese uprising that ended in the Sudanese Civil War, and the relocation of more than 1.5 million refugees from other parts of Sudan to South Sudan. The city's most notable landmark, the Al-Obeidi Clock Tower, marks the start of the Grand (old) Yem or Blue Nile, which flows north out of Lake Nasser in a wide flood plain that measures up to 100 kilometers from north to south. This is a popular place for white-water rafting.
The Nubian Desert is a hot, dry region bordered by Sudan, Egypt, and the Red Sea. It is located between the Nile River and the Red Sea and extends to Libya. This inhospitable wilderness remains largely unknown to tourists. The first explorers to venture into the heart of the Nubian Desert were Sir Richard Francis Burton, in 1856; the Nubian scholar James F Campbell, who began in 1871; and Charles Doughty, who visited it in 1882. The towns that lie around the Red Sea in Sudan, such as Port Sudan, the Suez Canal and Sharm el-Sheikh are too expensive for tourists.
Omdurman is the largest of the towns in Sudan and holds a special place in the hearts of Sudanese residents. Situated in the north of the country, it is the closest town to the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea. In the late 1800s, the town was the seat of the Khalifa Umdan's administration and consequently Omdurman's population grew very rapidly and the town soon took over from Khartoum as the Sudanese capital. In 1898, Omdurman was the scene of a battle that ended in the famous and historic Battle of Omdurman (1898), which resulted in the defeat of the British Sudanese Army. Omdurman features a relatively modest range of modern amenities and several attractions, including the Badrasheen Gardens, which are considered to be the finest in Sudan. Close to the Badrasheen Gardens is a car park which was once home to the people of Omdurman who were driven from their homes during the war of liberation.
Situated on the Blue Nile in Sudan, Gezira Island is the largest privately owned mangrove island in the world and the largest area of mangroves in the world, covering 5.4 km2. With three vast mangrove forests, lakes, waterways, and large expanses of floating grasslands, the diversity of the natural environment is extraordinary. It's also home to the world's largest freestanding redwoods. As one of Sudan's most important rivers and lakes, the Blue Nile, Nile's largest tributary, plays a central role in the region. The island has a museum and a number of lodges, shops, and small hotels, but it's not a popular tourist destination. The best way to experience it is to visit in conjunction with a Nile cruise.
Darfur has gone from being one of the worst conflict zones to being the world's most famous war zone. Today the conflict rages on in an area roughly the size of France, yet remains far from the media spotlight. On the outskirts of capital El Fasher, the Ji-Sayed National Museum is where a visit will take you on a fascinating journey through this poor nation. The museum, which was dedicated in 2009, features one of the world's most advanced lasers for clearing mines, which cost $175,000. The exhibit, which will keep you engaged for hours, tells the history of the state from prehistory to today. Other displays relate to the civil war that has lasted on and off since the 1950s, and touches upon the effects of famine and international peacekeeping missions. Learn about the atrocities and widespread human rights abuses that have occurred since the conflict broke out. The 12,000-square-kilometer desert, populated by eight ethnic groups, is also home to the Abyei, an area of West-Central Africa, that was split along ethnic lines in June 2011 by a referendum held in South Sudan.
Kassala, a river town at the border between Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan, is a quiet and lovely place. A former international center, Kassala has benefited from the arrival of many businesses as a result of its proximity to the area of mineral wealth discovered recently. This town is the administrative center for the southern states of "Sudan" and "South Sudan". Kassala lies in the Kassala region in the heart of the country, where the Roman and Arab civilizations have developed since the times of Alexander the Great. Kassala also lies in an area where the Omdurman Khadamat grew out of the Sudanese ancient forces. The recent rebellion caused a major destruction to this area of this country. The result was a strong division among the South Sudanese people. Kassala was destroyed in 1965 by the government of then President General Gaafar Nimeiry in the Sudanese revolution. Today, Kassala is a peaceful town of great historical value and scenic beauty. Once the capital of Sudan and a great Arab Empire, Kassala was nicknamed the "Paris of Africa" as there were many French colonists there. The residence of the Tuareg kingdoms and the center of some of the Sudanese regions. Kassala is a beautiful town with an amazing atmosphere and fascinating monuments.