Welcome to Khartoum, the capital city of the Sudan, the largest African country. Our cosmopolitan city's range if historic attractions, museums, free annual events, and tourist services is unrivalled by any other Sudanese city. This visitor map was designed to help you get around the nation's capital with ease, and to acquaint you with many outstanding sites the city has to offer. Major attractions, transportation system around the city and main roads across the city are noted in the map. We wish you a pleasant stay in the nation's capital, and hope that you will visit again in the future.
Location Khartoum town lies along the left bank of the Blue Nile, and forms a huge triangle. Its vertex at the confluence of then two Niles, the White Nile on its west side and the Blue Nile on its east and the base bordering Gezira State some 30 K. southward. It is situated on latitude 15 36 N, and longitude 31 32 E, and it is 1352 ft. above sea level. Its population has grown to over 5 million people. Khartoum, together with the two cities, Omdurman and Khartoum North (Bahri), these cities jointly called the tri-capital, constitute the National Capital of the republic of Sudan.
Climate of Khartoum The climate is mainly tropical. During summer (March - June), the temperature is quite high, with an average temperature of 38 C, with May as being the hottest month of the year. Autumn starts from mid-July and ends on September, with a total rainfall of 167 mm; it is characterized by abundance of sandstorms. Winter starts on October and lasts up to March, it is endowed with a beautiful to moderate, dry and healthy weather, the average temperature in Winter is 24 C, the ideal time for foreigners to visit Khartoum and enjoy its tourism activities
Places to visit in Khartoum
The Mogran Khartoum Mogran, (confluence of the two Niles) is an outstanding natural attraction to its lovers from all over the globe. The area is famed for migratory birds, frolic flowers and various restaurants as well as a family park.
Museums Khartoum is home to several museums, including the Sudan National Museum, The National Museum for Ethnography, Natural History Museum, and the Khalifah House Museum, plus others. They are the must places to visit, as they serve as one stop venues for finding out about the people, culture and history of the largest county in Africa.
The Mahdi's Tomb It is located at Omdurman and encompasses and encompasses an important part of the country's heritage during the Mahdist Era.
Omdurman market This ancient Souq exhibits all types of handicrafts, artifacts, souvenirs and various items of Sudanese folk memorabilia. The market is usually open from 8:00 a.m. and closes at sunset.
Sheikh Hamad-el-Niles Tomb On the western side of Omdurman on Fridays, many dervishes congregate dancing their famous and well-known rites and songs. The practice exemplifies tradition of Sufi in the Sudan.
Boatyard It lies just off shore of the Abu Raouf quarter of Omdurman, on the western side of the Nile, where we can see the manufacturing of traditional boats, the way it have been done for centuries.
However, the above are not the only to be seen. Khartoum is rich with other attractions that are really breath taking. Among them we may include: - Nuba wrestling, the Camel Market, Abd-el-Qayum Gate, the Nile's Islands, the WWII cemeteries, the church of St. Matthew, king Farouqe's mosque, Sayyid Ali's mosque, the Republican Palace, the Botanical Gardens, west Omdurman's desert and Jebel Awlia, etc.
Hotels Hotels are found mainly in Khartoum, and are found in all categories. They are well equipped to extend their services from 5 stars grade and down to 2 stars. The majority of these hotels are located in Khartoum. There are plenty of available rooms at all classes throughout the year.
Water Although the water in hotels and camps in Khartoum is generally suitable for drinking, we advise our visitors to drink mineral water as a precaution for their health - mineral water is now found almost every where a visitor goes to.
Food Most types of meals and internationally known dishes are available in Khartoum. All sorts of fresh meats (chicken, beef, lamb and fish) are slaughtered or caught daily. Fresh vegetables (picked daily) are plentiful. Fruit is from local sources. There are a variety of canned and packaged goods. Hotels and restaurants serve mostly standard fare of both the Sudanese and international types.
Clothes Light cotton clothing is advisable for Khartoum during the summer days. During the winter days, a pullover is usually sufficient as additional wear. During winter evenings and early mornings, heavier clothing may be necessary. Generally speaking, a layered style wardrobe works best.
Getting there A foreigner intending to visit KRT could obtain an entry visa from the Sudanese diplomatic missions abroad, or he could get one at KRT International Airport with a prior arrangement with the Ministry of Foreign Relations, if there is no mission in his/her country.
Health Regulations Vaccination against smallpox, yellow fever, typhoid and cholera may be compulsory for foreigners upon entry. Prophylactics against malaria are advised.
Customs All personal belongings are customs free, with an allowance of 200 r less cigarettes or ¼ ounce of tobacco. As for electrical or electronic equipment and firearms, dues are taken for these items while subject to refund if they are re-exported within 6 months period from the date of their entry.
Currency The official local unit of a currency is the Sudanese Pounds.
Time Greenwich +3 summer timing, Greenwich +2 winter timing.
Electricity 200 Volts (220) 50Hz.
Official and working hours Government offices are open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Banks are open from 8 a.m. to noon. Friday is the official weekly holiday.
Language Arabic is the official language. English is widely spoken (in most hotels and official offices).
Religion Islam is the official religion of the majority with Christianity having a special place.
Getting around There are several means of transport inside Khartoum. The most common transport is the "hafla" or minibus. Similar to the minibus are flat bed conversions that resemble minibuses. There are also some new microbuses that are quite comfortable, as well as taxi, and "rickshaws" services.
Ali Dinar Museum The museum is situated in El fasher Town in northern Darfur State in the west of Sudan. It accommodates an impressive collection of archaeological items that traces the region history since ancient tomes. Special attention is given to Sultan Ali Dinar"s outlandish belonging and household.
National History Museum This museum is located on the Gama:A Street, opposite to the main building of the University of Khartoum. It was established during the second decade of this century and is relegated to the Faculty of Science. The museum demonstrates interesting and unique species of animals and birds found in Sudan. A collection of mummified reptiles; birds and animals are also exhibited. The museum opens to visitors daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Monday.
Sheikan Museum This museum is located in Elobeid Town in northern Kordofan State. The name Sheikan is Derived from a site near Elobeid, where the Mahdist forces vanquished a large British force at a battle in 1880. The museum was initiated in 1965 and holds a substantial number of historic and ethnographic elements that reflect the various stages of Kordofan history. Moreover, the museum exhibits archaeological artifacts from early Stone Age (Paleolithic) to the Funj Islamic era (1505-1820). The museum also displays some interesting relics and items from the Sheikan battle. The museum opens to visitors daily from 8:30 a.m., except on Mondays.
Sudan's Ethnographic Museum The museum was established in 1956 and is situated at the junction of Gam"a Street and ElMek Nimir Street. It enfolds a spectacular collection of material culture of various Sudanese tribes and peoples. This rich heritage of agricultural and nomadic appliances, domestic tools, ceremonial paraphernalia and utilities are artistically exhibited and Knowingly demonstrated. The museum opens to visitors daily from 8: 30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Mondays.
Sudan's National Museum This museum can be regarded as Sudan's main custodian of the country's historical heritage, for is where all of the collected ancient cultural material of Sudan is documented, kept and displayed for the benefit of all visitors. Sudan's National Museum was established in 1971 at an attractive site on the Nile Avenue, overlooking the Blue Nile and not from its confluence with the White Nile. The museum consists of two main sections: The first is an outdoor garden of lush greenery, transgressed by a water channel symbolizing the Nile. Here, the monuments and temples of Napatan and Christian eras were reconstructed after their rescue from the flood caused by the construction of the Aswan Dam in the sixties. The second section is comprised of a two-story building, which accommodates a huge collection of rare archaeological artifacts. This covers all stages and epochs of Sudanese civilizations, from the early Paleolithic period through Napatan, Meroetic, Christian and Islamic areas. Of particular interest to visitors is the rare collection of artifacts belonging to the Kerma civilization (2500-1800 BC). The museum opens to visitors daily from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30p.m. Except on Mondays. Entry fees are Ls. 500.
The Khalifa House Museum This was the residence of the Khalifa Abdullah Ben Mohamed, who succeeded the Mahdi. The ground floor of the residence was built in 1888 and the upper floor in 1891. It became a museum in 1928. The structure of the residence itself is of great historical importance, since it exhibits the style and architecture prevailing at that period. The vast collection of artifacts displayed inside the two-story museum covers almost the entire Mahdiya rule, apart from a collection of personal belongings of the Khalifa, such as utensils, beds, swords, spears and various other elements of everyday use. The museum opens to visitors daily from 8:30 Am. to 6:30 p.m. except on Mondays.
Sudanese were acquainted with sports since ancient times when they practiced I many types of sport such as horsemanship, swimming and wrestling...etc. during the colonial rule. Different sporting disciplines were organized by the formation of specialized clubs. Presently there is a wide range of sporting activities and facilities available throughout the country. Needless to say, football is the most popular sport in Sudan and enjoys the unbound enthusiasm and support of fans and media. The major sporting clubs and teams in Khartoum are Hilal, Mareikh and Morada. Other states in Sudan have their own sporting clubs. Almost all types of sport activities in addition to football are encouraged and supported by sports clubs.
Football Football is the most popular sport in Sudan. Even in remote villages in the desert, children gather together for a game. Sudan won the African Cup of Nations back in 1970, but has not been so successful in recent years.
The oldest and most consistent of Sudanese modern and contemporary art is the art of the tribes.
The Sudanese tribal life has always been the least responsive to change. Art of the tribes of the Sudan shows great reservation and conservatism. An art of such continuity clearly exposes the spirit of such tribal cultures. In fact the richness of the Sudanese art is in its diversity. This entire heritage, past and present, constitutes the base on which the modern Sudanese artistic practices are deeply grafted. This is why Sudanese contemporary art, stands out among the different African schools of art as unique. This entire heritage, past and present, constitutes the base on which the modern days of Islam in Sudan. It is traditional Qoranic School. Which continued to exist from as early as the 9th century AD until the present day? It teaches art as a practice, but not as an objective. Yet its artistic impact on the Sudanese child seems to be important. When the Turks invaded Sudan in 1824, Mohamed Ali Pasha, who was very keen on the modernization of the Nile Valley, introduced the Modern Elementary Education, yet he based the experience on the traditional (khalwa) school. In 1936, a department of art education was established in Bakht-el-Rida Institute of Education. The department was headed by Jean Pier Greenlow a British artist and art teacher he went into history as the founder of the modern art movement in Sudan. Since the pioneering efforts of Greenlow in 1936, Sudanese art has in fact developed into a relatively strong cultural medium of expression. The change came when some of the pioneer graduates of Gordon Memorial College went overseas for further studies. But they soon came to discover that the works of art could only exist between the old and new, between convention and revolution within a certain society. This is why some pioneer artists where culturally frustrated in Europe. They naturally failed to be part of the European mainstream art. They started to drift away from it, and began to try things on their own. So the Sudanese artists returned to Khartoum to face their own culture and to practice art as a socio-cultural activity. The Sudanese contemporary society is complex, plural and draws from many different traditions and visual styles. Hence what was called latter (Khartoum School) in the 60s, was in fact a forum for the struggle to capture the spirit and perspective of, not only Africa but the Islamic World also. Because both worlds make the cultural reality of Sudan, a reality of unity and diversity. Contemporary Sudanese art world did not experience a war of styles, or strong schools other than (Khartoum School). Nevertheless, there is a relatively strong art movement, which is highly experimental. In its own way this movement is modernist and seeking to globalize in spite of the rather restrictive conditions under which hundreds of Sudanese artists are working. If serious art can be defined as the art that does not have an obvious commercial orientation. Then we can say there is serious art today in Sudan. If you happen to be in Khartoum, then you must look around to see its art.
Arts and crafts Many crafts are available in Sudan’s souks (markets). Strings of heavy beads often include antique trading beads made from colored glass. The traditional wraps in bright, printed cotton, worn by women, are mostly imported. Many traders make their goods in the marketplace: old tin cans are cut and soldered into cooking pans and lamps; tailors make up the loose white gowns worn by men; and leather is punched and stitched into bags and saddles for donkeys and camels.
Abd El Karim Merghani Cultural Center The center was opened on the 15th of May 1998. Its objectives are the dissemination of culture, knowledge and scientific information, by means of the holding of fairs, symposiums and lectures on the arts, folklore and culture in general. The center is equipped with a big, bilingual (Arabic - English) library with a child's section, and also an audio-visual library. Work hours: Weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 6:O0p.m. - 8:00 p m. Address: Omdurman, Wad Nubawi- Elu'mda- Intersection of Wadi Saydna St. with Al Doma St. P.O. box 168 Telephone: 552638 Fax:775435
Basheir El Rayah Public Library The library offers literary and various cultural services, as well as book fares, exhibitions and cultural forums. Daily working hours: 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Friday is a weekly holiday. Location: Mowrada, near the Municipality Omdurman. P.O. Box 447. Tel: 555273
Beit El Thaqafa The 'Cultural House' was established in 1991. It houses a book and film club and a theatre, and hosts cultural forums and festivals. Daily working hours: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday is a weekly holiday Location: Khartoum East, near the Army Headquarters.
British Cultural Center The Center was established in 1948. It offers English language courses and houses a library, a conference auditorium and film shows. Daily working hours: Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday and Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday a weekly holiday. Location: No. 40, Sharia Abu Sin, Khartoum. PO. Box 1253. Tel: 780817 Fax: 774935
French Cultural Center The Center offers French language study courses, a library, a video club, film shows, seminars, art exhibitions and various cultural activities. Daily working hours: 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Friday is a weekly holiday Location: Off Mek Nimir Ave. Tel: 772837
German Cultural Association EstablIshed In 1997. the AssocIatIon offers German language courses, a library, film shows and cultural forums. The Association is open throughout the week, except Fridays Location: El Mek Nimir Avenue, Khartoum. PO. Box 1866. Tel: 777833 Fax: 779377
Iranian Cultural Center Established in 1989. It offers the foltowing activities: Iranian language courses, computer courses, and Arabic penmanship courses. There are a general and an audio-visual library. It has another branch in Omdurman providing the same activities. The center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Address: The headquarter Mek Nimir and Africa road junction, Khartoum Tel: 472275 - 471224 Fax: 472274 Omdurman: Sharia Al'arda, Near El Merikh stadium, Omdurman
Libyan Arab Cultural Center Established in December 1988. It offers the following facilities: a public and general library, a child library, and an audiovisual library. Also it gives courses in the following: typing, secretarial courses, Arabic penmanship, photographing, video filming, film editing, press and public relations, accounting, teaching of Arabic as a second language, and sewing. It holds other cultural activities and forums. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It is closed on Fridays and public holidays. Address: St. 15, New Extension, Khartoum. Tetephone: 464726 Fax: 472044
The Iraqi Center The Center was established in 1944 and offers the following facilities: libraries, a theatre, computers, video room and art exhibition gallery. A cultural forum is organized every Wednesday. Daily working hours: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Friday is a weekly holiday. Location: Sharia El Azhari, Khartoum North.
Sudan’s "whirling dervishes" are famed throughout the world for their spell-binding dances, in which they are accompanied by rhythmic drumming, as they gradually work themselves into a trance. Dervishes are Muslim devotees. Popular music has had a rather chequered history in recent years, with many artists becoming exiles after the government stamped down on their freedom to perform. Lyrics are all-important in Sudanese music, with new words often made up on the spot for a special occasion such as a wedding. Traditional instruments include tom-toms, rababas (viol-like stringed instruments with a hide-covered body), and the oud (a lute).
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