At the confluence of the White and Blue Nile Rivers lies Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. The urban sprawl you’ll see as your flight descends is actually three distinct cities divided by the scenic waterways. Khartoum proper is Sudan’s modern political capital, Bahri its industrial core, and Omdurman the nation’s commercial capital brimming with Middle Eastern influence. All three are lively, loud and sure to sweep you up in their energy.
Begin where all the action is – the Omdurman Souk. It’s where the locals get their day-to-day essentials while visitors can barter on unique souvenirs. It’s worth checking out the souk’s Camel Market, which is very entertaining even if you’re unlikely to fit one in your suitcase. It’s near the White Nile Bridge too, where you can see the different colours of the White and Blue Nile converge. Also in Omdurman is Hamed el-Nil’s Tomb. Visit on a Friday afternoon to watch Sufi whirling dervishes spin, bob and chant in devotion to Allah.
Nile Street is the prettiest street in Khartoum proper. Take a pleasant stroll along the tree-lined banks of the Blue Nile and enjoy traditional smoked meats, stews or a lamb’s head soup at the city’s best restaurants. Around the corner you’ll find the Souk Arabi for more busy market and food stalls, as well as Khartoum’s Grand Mosque. Built under Ottoman rule, it’s the city’s most breathtaking historical sight and holds up to 10,000 worshipers. Then head to Bahri (sometimes called Khartoum North) to watch Nuba wrestlers battle it out at the Hajj Yousif Wrestling Arena. Wrestling is one of Sudan’s most popular sports.
People and Traditions
The people of Khartoum are generally friendly and hospitable if a little insular. The city is one of the safest in the country and has a very low crime rate, however, tourists are advised to be cautious of pickpockets and scammers. Khartoum is run according to Sharia law, which means punishments for seemingly minor crimes, like drinking alcohol, can be harsh. There are also restrictions on taking photos, so visitors are advised to ask first if in doubt. Many tourists have been arrested for taking photos from the White Nile Bridge, for example.
Khartoum is hot and dry all year round, with very little rain or humidity, but temperatures do drop dramatically at night. Winter temperatures range from about 15ºC at night to the low thirties (ºC) during the day, while summers range from about 25ºC to the mid to high-twenties respectively.
For a look at Sudanese life’s quieter side, take a tour of Tuti Island, a small pocket of rurality on the Nile. You could also venture 75km north of Omdurman to the Sabaloka Game Reserve. This scenic gorge is populated by nothing but small camps, wildlife and boat-rental stops, making for a blissfully serene experience. You can also travel easily to several incredible archaeological sites. Just east of the Sabaloka Gorge lies Naqa, an ancient city ruin with the surviving remnants of several Kushistic and Roman temples. A little north of there is Meroe, former capital of the Kush Kingdom. Although Egypt’s pyramids may be more famous, Meroe has over 200 of them!
Check the online flights schedule and choose the perfect timing for your trip. Find our lowest fare guaranteed on flights to Khartoum and book today! Book your hotel in Khartoum Before you proceed with your flight to Khartoum please be aware of the visa requirements, as well as the health requirements. If you have any queries regarding your return flight from Khartoum, you can contact the Gulf Air office in Khartoum or call the Gulf Air Call Centre. Check-in information regarding your flight from Khartoum is available Khartoum International Airport Information.