NB: CURRENTLY (JAN 2011) THERE IS NO
CLUE WHICH COULD BE THE REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER THE
SOUTH SUDAN NEW STATE, OR HOW TO ENTER THE NORTH SUDAN
FROM THE SOUTH SUDAN.
Almost all countries need a visa to
enter Sudan and unless you are part of an organised
travel (you wouldn't be on this website, though),
it's going to be the toughest part of the whole trip.
Since things change I recommend checking the Thorn
The following are the 3 options to get the Sudanese
visa before the separation:
1) Sudan Embassy in your origin country
2) Sudan Embassy in Cairo (Egypt)
3) Consulate in Aswan (Egypt)
1) It sounds the easiest but it's not,
since any embassy in Europe needs to have the approval
from Khartoum and unless you are not sponsored by
a tour operator, it becomes and endless waiting. In
the forum in internet it's plenty of travelers waiting
for visa from the German or Dutch embassy since months.
We were lucky and we got our visa in the Sudan Embassy
in Rome. It needs:
- copy of the flight tickets
- template filled (you can download from the embassy
- nr 2photos
- hotel reservation for the full period in Sudan
It took 1 month and I had to book a hotel for the
full period and then cancel everything (it took me
a looot of time to have the reservation faxed how
the Embassy wanted (addressed to the 'consolar session',
The embassy sniffed the trick and they specified on
the visa the name of our sponsor (Kanon Hotel). Once
we had to do the registration in Khartoum I was scared
the police wanted to see the invitation from Kanon
hotel but nobody noticed we had instead one of the
far cheaper 'Central Hotel'
2) It sounds the most complicated but
at the end it's what most of the travelers opt for.
Usually it takes two days, but you need a LOI from
your embassy in Cairo. Getting such LOI can be a very
straightforward process of 5 min or an impassable
obstacle. You will find the forums plenty of travelers
stuck in it.
Here is an example of LOI, if you are in dire straits
you can fake it; nobody at the Sudanese embassy will
never mind (LOI
3) It's convenient only if you are going to take the
ferry to Wadi Halfa, or if you really don't manage
to get the LOI in Cairo. In fact the consulate in
Aswan does not ask for it and they issue the visa
in 20min. The drawback is that Aswan is 10h by train
from Cairo, hence back and forth it'll take at least
The currency is the Sudanese pound
official change rate. (1€=
3.2 SDG), real change 1€=4SP)
Pay attention there's a mess with the zeros. In
fact before Jan2007 the currency was the
Sudanese Dinar and even earlier (before 1992) it
was again the Sudanese pound. To offset the inflation
all this currency where set at
1 new Pound= 100 Dinars
1 new Pound= 1000 old Pounds
that's why on the street it's usual people asking
you 100 or 1000 time the value they really mean.
I hardly think they want to cheat you, simply the
are used to the old values
Apart of a 12pgs section on the whole
Africa guide, Lonely Planet has not useful info about
Sudan. That's why I bought the Bradt Guide fully dedicated
to Sudan (2nd edition Oct 2009)
I'm not a fan of Bradt Guides, in particular I found
their lay out non friendly (they blend useful info
in a full page text and this doesn't make them immediately
visible). Maps are not precise as sometimes we found
ourselves stranded. Info about means of transport
are quite swallow. On toop of thids the dictionary
is really poor considering it's a guidebook fully
dedicated to the country, it didn't cost a thing to
use a bunch of pages in a Arab- English section
I had the usual vaccinations: ephatite
A, B, typhus and tetanus. I know your main concern
is the dilemma 'to do or not to do the antimalaric
Against the malaria you have mainly three choises:
Clorichina, Malarone and Lariam.
Clorichina is not effective in this part of the world
(it's mainly for central America), but at the end
I decided to take neither Malarone nor Lariam.
In the region the risk exist especially along the
Nile; I preferred to cover myself conveniently, using
repellent and mosquito net than take antimalaric for
my 7th times.
Registration at the police
By law every foreigners entering the country has
to register at the police office by 72h. First
of all don't even think to skip it; everytime
you'll be stopped at a check point, checked in
by a hotel, to get the travel permits..., they
will ask for it.
Flying to Khartoum you have two options:
1) ask to a hotel to have everything done (Hotel
Central was available to do)
2) do by yourself (in case you are in hurry or
you don't want to pay any extracharge for the
In case of 2, you have to check in by a hotel
who can support you preparing a paper (Hotel Central
) that you'll
bring to the Alien Police Station (it's in front
of the Khartoum University (20 min by rickshaw
from the center)). There you will do photocopy
of your passport, you'll pay 30euro, and in 30
min you will have your registration (a stamp on
If you are coming from Egypt, you will be registered
in Wadi Halfa.
Travel permit in Khartoum
One of the FAQ of Sudan is: 'do we need a travel
permit to travel around Sudan?'
The official answer is: yes left alone the Wadi
Halfa- Khartoum road. Having said it, you are
likely to travel without having it checked, but
since it's for free and it takes 20 min I wouldn't
risk it in particular if you are heading southward
(we got them checked in Aba Island).
To apply for them first of all you need to have
the registration, them you go the Humanitarian
Affairs Minister. (in the Bradt guide it's indicated
in the map), anyway it's 5 min by rickshaw from
the airport. Notice that in Khartoum there are
at least three offices where you can apply (in
the LP many travelers claimed to have got it
at the Minister in Ryad quarter; we looked for
it but we didn't find anything)
- nr 3 copies of the visa + registration
- nr 3 copies of the passport
- nr 3 copies of the filled template with the
list of you destinations (you'll get at the Minister)
- nr1 photo
There's a shop where you can do the copies next
to the minister building
Since things change and you might not want get
stuck in Khartoum, check the latest info about
the process in Thorn
(or diving) in Sudan ?
If you want to snorkel in Sudan you don't have
too many choises than Red Sea Sudan Resort (www.redsearesort.coms),
30km north of Port Sudan.
Don't expect the Egyptian standard of Sharm Sheik;
you'll find there some bungalows with shared bathrooms
and a restaurant.
The reef is 300m from the resort and there's a
small boat to take you there. Otherwise as we
did, you can walk but it can be a kind of sweat.
You can hire all you need:
- fins+ mask+ swimming suit= 7€/ day pp
- to use the boat is 20€ pp
In Dec-Jan it's the worst season (the best
one is April) to see the real colors of
the Red Sea reef. Hence if you are there
in this season I don't really recommend
you the swim.
to reach it?
Unfortunately the only way to reach the
Red Sea Resort is hiring a car. The Resort
can arrange a taxi for you for 100 SDG (25€),
but we went to the bus station and we found
a van for 50 SDG (12€) back and forth
we need a permit?
Yes, there's a check point mid way to the
Resort, if you don't have the permit they
will push you back to Port Sudan.
To get it is easy and for free. Just give
a ring to the Resort one day in advance
(check the website for the phone number).
They will bring the form to you in Port
Sudan, you will fill it and you have to
keep it with the copy of the passport +
is my travel permit scanned)
At the check point the police will withdraw