Sudan Destinations Travel Guide

Language: Arabic, English

Currency: Sudanese pound (SDG)

Calling code: 249


Sudan, whose official name is the Republic of the Sudan (Arabic: جمهورية السودان, Yumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), colloquially called North Sudan (as opposed to South Sudan), is one of the fifty-four countries that make up the African continent . Its capital and most populated city is Khartoum. It is located in the northeast of Africa and shares a border with Egypt to the north, with the Red Sea to the northeast, with Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, with South Sudan to the south, with the Central African Republic to the southwest, with Chad to the west and with Libya at West. Until 2011, when the southern region of the country separated (forming the new Republic of South Sudan) was the African state that shared the border with a greater number of countries (nine), including Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The population of Sudan is a combination of indigenous Africans with a Nilo-Saharan mother tongue and descendants of migrants from the Arabian peninsula. Due to a process of Arabization, common to the rest of the Muslim world, today Arab culture predominates in Sudan. The majority of the population professes Islam. The Nile River crosses the country from south to north.

The country has a long history, dating back to the Ancient Age, where it is deeply intertwined with the history of Egypt, belonging successively to various states until its independence in the mid-twentieth century. Sudan suffered seventeen years of war during the First Sudanese Civil War (1955-1972), followed by ethnic, religious and economic conflicts between the population of the Arab-Muslim north and the population of the animistic, nilotic-Christian and black South that led to the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983-2005).

Due to the continuous political and military imbalance, a coup d'état was carried out in 1989 led by the then Brigadier Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, who ended up proclaiming himself, in 1993, President of Sudan since currently (May 2018) continues to occupy. The second civil war ended after the signing, in 2005, of the General Peace Agreement that led to the drafting of a new constitution and gave autonomy to what was then the southern region of the country. In a referendum carried out in January 2011, that region obtained the votes necessary to become independent so that on July 9, 2011 it did so, becoming known as the Republic of South Sudan.


Travel Destinations in Sudan

Pyramids of Meroe consists of three royal cemeteries that were used to bury royalty as well as their family and servants.



The toponym comes from the name of the natural region of Sudan, extending south of the Sahara desert. The full Arabic form of this name is bilād as-sūdān (بلاد السودان), which means "land of the blacks". The name is due to the fact that this region was a zone of contact between the Arabs and the black population of Africa.


History of Sudan

Antiquity and the Middle Ages
In Sudan, finds of the Khartoum culture of the Stone Age were discovered. In the 4th-3rd millennium BC in northern Sudan there is a culture close to the culture of Egypt at that time. In antiquity, a significant part of the territory of modern Sudan (known as Nubia) was inhabited by Semitic-Hamitic and Kushite tribes, akin to the ancient Egyptians. From the 2nd millennium BC. Negroids from the south also moved here. In the south of modern territory lived the ancestors of modern Nilots. Locals traded with ancient Egypt and were subjected to predatory raids on his part. At the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. e. here the state of Kerma arises, which is later replaced by the kingdom of Kush.

At the beginning of the 4th century AD most of the territory entered the kingdom of Aksum. Over the next centuries, several independent kingdoms arose in the region. The most powerful of them, the Christian state of Mukurra, founded in the VI century BC, existed for almost 900 years, until in the XIV century it was not captured by the Egyptian Mamelukes. Another state of Aloa, was conquered around 1500 by the people of the fungi.

In the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries on the territory of present Sudan there were independent states with developed agriculture, crafts and trade. The most important of them are the Sultanate of Sennar and the Sultanate of Darfur. However, by the middle of the XVIII century, they broke up into separate feudal principalities and independent nomadic tribes.

XIX century
In 1819-1822, Egypt captured most of the territory of Sudan. In accordance with the firm of the High Port in 1841, the administration of these administrative units, called "Egyptian Sudan", was transferred to the Viceroy of Egypt, thus Sudan became part of the Ottoman Empire, but in fact became the possession of Egypt.

In the second half of the 19th century, the influence of Great Britain increased in Sudan. Cruel exploitation and national oppression (combined with traditionalist reaction) led to the emergence of a powerful popular protest movement with a religious and reactionary orientation. Religious leader Muhammad ibn Abdullah, proclaimed himself in 1881 the "Mahdi" (messiah) and tried to unite the tribes of western and central Sudan against the Ottomans. The uprising ended with the capture of Khartoum in 1885 and the expulsion of European, Turkish and Egyptian officials from the country. Mehmed Emin Pasha (Eduard Schnitzer 1840–1892) - Governor of the Sudan region and Russian explorer of Africa Vasily Yunker (1840–1892) left the region with an expedition led by Henry Morton Stanley. The leader of the uprising soon died, but the despotic state he created, headed by Abdullah ibn al-Said, lasted another fifteen years, and only in 1898 the uprising was crushed by Anglo-Egyptian troops.

On January 19, 1899, Great Britain and Egypt signed an agreement on the establishment of joint management in the Sudan (Anglo-Egyptian condominium). The top officials were the British, and the middle were the Egyptians. In fact, Sudan was turned into a colony of Great Britain.

XX century
After the end of World War I, the British colonialists headed for the transformation of Sudan into a cotton producing country. The Sudan began to form a national bourgeoisie.

To strengthen its power, the British administration, in particular, encouraged the anti-Islamic and anti-Arab sentiments of the people of the Sudanese south, adhering to traditional beliefs and professing Christianity.

In 1921, an officer of the 9th Sudanese battalion, the son of a Dinka slave, Ali Abd al-Latif created the first political organization, the Sudanese United Tribal Society, which demanded independence. She issued a manifesto calling on Sudanese to armed uprising.

During World War II, in June 1940, the Italian army, operating from the territory of Abyssinia, occupied part of the territory of Sudan, but already in 1941 the Italians were forced to leave, and Sudan became an important base for the British armed forces in Africa. Military units recruited from the local population participated in hostilities in Eritrea, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia.

Participation in the war had positive consequences for Sudan - the growth of national industry, the activation of political life, the emergence of political parties, trade unions, and the strengthening of aspirations for independence.


On October 15, 1951, the Egyptian Parliament approved the law on the termination of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 and the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement of 1899, the Egyptian King Farouk was proclaimed King of Egypt and Sudan.

After the July Revolution of 1952, Egypt recognized the right of the Sudanese people to self-determination. In November 1953, parliamentary elections were held in Sudan, and in 1954 a government of transitional self-government was created. In August 1955, the Sudanese parliament decided on the final termination of the condominium, and in the same year the British and Egyptian troops were withdrawn from Sudan.

On January 1, 1956, Sudan was proclaimed an independent state.


XXI Century
The borders of Sudan during the colonial period were drawn artificially and did not take into account ethnic and confessional differences, which led to an almost continuous civil war. In 2011, the conflict-torn country split into two parts, between which relations remain extremely tense, up to armed conflicts, due to territorial and economic disputes.

Peace negotiations between the rebels of the South and the government in 2003-2004 produced tangible results, but armed clashes continued in a number of southern regions. In January 2005, the parties agreed that South Sudan would enjoy autonomy for 6 years, after which the issue of the independence of this territory would be put to a referendum, and oil revenues during this period would be equally divided between the government and the rebels. In July 2005, former rebel leader John Garang took office as Vice President of Sudan[9]. Seats in parliament and government were divided between representatives of the North and the South - both the ruling parties and the opposition.

In addition to South Sudan, which became an independent state after a referendum in 2011, the policy of the central authorities for Islamization and Arabization caused insurgent and separatist movements in other regions of the country with historical and ethnic characteristics - Darfur, Kordofan, Bej. In Darfur, the confrontation reached large-scale battles and massacres during the conflict that had flared up since 2003, and in the east, until 2006, the so-called “Eastern Front of the Beja People” had a political-armed confrontation.

On April 11-15, 2010, general elections were held in Sudan. The election results saw the ruling National Congress Party and President Omar Bashir retain power.

On January 9-16, 2011, a referendum was held on the creation of an independent state in southern Sudan, its preliminary results were made public on January 30. In a referendum, the vast majority of South Sudanese voted in favor of independence. On July 9, South Sudan declared independence. Sudan became the first state to recognize the new 193rd state in the world. On July 11, the UN Security Council decided to end the peacekeeping mission in Sudan.

In May 2011, even before the separation of South Sudan, an armed conflict with it began and continued until August in the disputed zone of South Kordofan.

In March-April 2012, an armed conflict between South Sudan and Sudan took place in Heglig.

In December 2018, due to the deteriorating economic situation in the country, mass protests began. In December 2018 - January 2019, the death toll was more than 30 people.

On April 11, 2019, a military coup took place in Sudan, as a result of which the President of Sudan, Omar Bashir, was removed from leadership and placed under arrest. The 2005 constitution was terminated, and a state of emergency was in effect in Sudan for 3 months. Authorities were created - the Transitional Military Council of Sudan and, later replacing it, the Sovereign Council of Sudan, which ruled the country until the appointment of a new president.

As of September 2020, over 100 people have died in Sudan as a result of devastating floods.



Most of the territory of Sudan is occupied by a plateau (altitudes of 300-1000 meters), which is crossed from south to north by the valley of the Nile River, formed by the confluence of the White and Blue Nile. At the confluence is the capital of the country, the city of Khartoum. All rivers belong to the Nile basin.

In the north of the country there are the Libyan and Nubian deserts, almost devoid of vegetation (in those deserts there are: dry grasses and cereals, rare trees, semi-deserts and oases). In the center and in the south of the country there are savannahs and light forests. Mountains to the east and west.

In the south, the climate is subequatorial, in the north - hot desert. The main environmental problems are soil erosion and desertification. About 10% of the territory is occupied by forests.

Of the animals preserved: oryx antelope, gazelle, giraffe, elephant, leopard, lion, hippopotamus, ostrich, bustards, marabou, guinea fowl, secretary bird, python, crocodile, lungfish protopter, polyfin, catfish, Nile perch, tiger fish, termites, tsetse fly, etc.

Large regions of the country with historical and ethnic features and differences are Darfur, Kordofan, Sennar, Beja.


Administrative division

Administratively, Sudan is divided into 18 provinces (wilayats), sometimes also called states:
White Nile
Eastern Darfur
blue nile
Western Darfur
Western Kordofan (restored in 2013)
Red sea
northern province
Northern Darfur
Northern Kordofan
Central Darfur
El Gezira ("Islands")
South Darfur
Southern Kordofan



at the level of 2.15%. The total fertility rate is about 4.4 births per woman. Infant mortality is 78 per 1000. The average life expectancy is 54.2 years for men, 56.7 years for women. The urban population is 43%. The literacy rate is 71% for males and 50% for females (2003 estimate). Arabs make up 70% of the population, Bejas (Cushites) - 6%, others 3%. The most common languages ​​are Arabic, Nilotic languages, Nubian, Beja. The official languages ​​are Arabic and English. The majority of the population of Northern Sudan professes Sunni Islam (95%), Christianity - 1%, aboriginal cults - 4%.


State structure

Republic. The provisional constitution of 2005 is in force. The head of state is the president, and since 2017 the government is again headed by the prime minister.

The parliament is bicameral - the Council of Provinces (50 seats, elected by the provincial governments for a 6-year term) and the National Assembly (450 seats, appointed by the president in 2005 - 360 seats filled: 355 from the presidential party National Congress and 5 non-partisan).

On April 11-15, 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections were held. Omar Hassan al-Bashir (68.24%) is declared the winner of the presidential elections. According to the results of the parliamentary elections, the National Congress of the Sudan party won the most votes.


Armed Forces of Sudan

The military organization of the Republic of the Sudan, designed to protect the freedom, independence and territorial integrity of the state, consists of ground forces, naval forces, air forces and people's defense forces.



The country's main income comes from agriculture, as well as oil production, which has grown from 2,000 barrels per day (1993) to 49,000 barrels per day (2009). In 1999, an oil pipeline was launched from Heglig (South Kordofan) and Unity (South Sudan) to Port Khartoum. Industry is underdeveloped.

Until the second half of 2008, Sudan's economy grew rapidly (GDP growth of over 10% in 2006 and 2007) due to increased oil production (with high oil prices) and large foreign investment. Sudan has been exporting oil since late 1999. Since 2011, gold mining has been increasing, in 2013 about 24 tons were mined.

Agriculture remains a significant sector of the Sudanese economy - 80% of the workforce and almost a third of GDP.

GDP per capita in 2009 - 2.3 thousand dollars (181st place in the world). Below the poverty level - 40% of the population (in 2004). The unemployment rate is 19.6% (in 2017). Inflation - 17.6% (in 2016).

Industry - oil extraction and refining, cotton processing, textiles, agricultural processing, footwear, car assembly. Since 2011, after South Sudan gained independence, oil production has decreased in the country (most of the fields were located in the south of the state). Now Sudan covers the external debt of South Sudan through the export of South Sudanese oil through its territory.

Agriculture - cotton, peanuts, sorghum, millet, wheat, gum arabic, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), mangoes, papaya, bananas, sweet potatoes; sheep, cows, goats are bred; fishing.

International trade
Export - $ 4.67 billion (in 2017) - Gold (32%), livestock (19%), crude oil (15%), oilseeds (9.8%) and other agricultural products and agricultural raw materials (sorghum, gum arabic, raw cotton, peanuts, etc.).

The main buyers are the UAE 37%, China 13%, Saudi Arabia 13%, India 9.1%, Egypt 8.5%

Imports - $ 9.87 billion (in 2017) - machinery and equipment (16.5%), food (mainly wheat - 9.9%), vehicles (9.7%), chemical products, including medicines (8.7%), petroleum products (7.3%), as well as textiles, metals and rolled products, wood and paper products, consumer goods

The main suppliers are China 24%, UAE 9.9%, India 8.5%, Saudi Arabia 6.5%, Russia 6.5%.

It is a member of the international organization of ACT countries.

External debt - 53.35 billion dollars (2017) - 63rd place in the world.

Since January 2007, a new currency has been introduced in Sudan - the Sudanese pound (instead of the Sudanese dinar - 100 dinars = 1 pound).



A characteristic feature of motor roads is that most of them are unpaved and therefore impassable during the rainy season. The length of paved roads is 4.6 thousand km. Traditional types of transport are developed - pack transportation of goods, carrying goods by porters. Navigation on the Nile River is carried out over 3.7 thousand km. Air transportation - international airport in Khartoum.

The length of the railway network is 4.7 thousand km.

The largest seaport is Port Sudan.


Mass media

The country's leading periodicals (dailies):
"Al-Ayyam" ("Days"), since 1954, in Khartoum, in Arabic;
"As-Sahafa" ("Seal"), in Khartoum, in Arabic;
"Sudan Vision" ("Image of Sudan"), in Khartoum, in English.

Broadcasting is carried out in Arabic, English and French, in Swahili. Broadcasting has been carried out by the Sudanese National Radio Corporation since 1940.

Television programs have been broadcast by the Sudanese National Broadcasting Corporation since 1962. Television programs are broadcast to Khartoum and its suburbs mainly in Arabic.

National News Agency - Sudan News Agency (SUNA), founded in 1971, languages ​​used: English, French, Arabic.

There are also officially banned radio stations of armed opposition groups.


Conflict in Darfur

The Darfur region is inhabited by representatives of various nationalities, which, in principle, can be combined into two groups - black Africans and Arab tribes. Both of them profess Islam, but relations between the two ethnic groups for many centuries have been tense and have led to regular armed clashes. Until the 20th century, Darfur was the center of the slave trade, with black and Arab slave traders competing with each other to carry out raids to capture slaves and then resell them to the African coast. Ethnic groups also clashed with each other over limited land and water resources. At the end of the 20th century, the desert began to absorb previously habitable lands inhabited by nomadic Arabs, and they began to migrate south, which led to an aggravation of interethnic relations.

The reason for the modern conflict was an agreement between Khartoum and the rebels of the South on the division of oil revenues. The black population of Darfur believes that their economic interests were not taken into account in the agreement.

In 2003, two paramilitary groups opposed the government of Sudan: the Darfur Liberation Front, later renamed the Sudanese Liberation Movement (SLM/SLM), and the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM). The SOD consisted mainly of the Fur, Zaghawa, and Masalites.

Under the pretext of fighting insurgents, the Sudanese government deployed the Janjaweed militia, organized from local Arabic-speaking nomads, whose fighters conduct regular punitive raids against African civilians. The Janjaweed detachments are supported by the regular army: it is known, for example, about the numerous facts of the bombing of civilians using aircraft and helicopters of the Sudanese Air Force.

Due to the genocide of the local Negroid population (Fur people) by Arab armed groups, Darfur has been in a state of humanitarian catastrophe and emergency since 2003.

In July 2010, a referendum was to be held on the future of the region. Residents had to answer the question whether they want Darfur to consist of three separate provinces or to form one autonomous region of Darfur with its own constitution and government.


Territorial disputes with neighboring states

Halaiba Triangle
There is a dispute between Sudan and Egypt over the ownership of the so-called. "Triangle of Halayib". In 1899, Great Britain and Egypt declared Sudan as their condominium. The northern border of the country was established along the 22nd parallel, the city of Halayib formally went to Egypt. In 1902, England unilaterally changed the border, transferring the "triangle" to the Sudan. November 12, 1955 Sudan gained independence. In 1958, Egypt captured the area of ​​Halaiba. Then the "triangle" was given to the use of Sudan. In 1992, Sudan caused extreme dissatisfaction with Egypt, giving the coast of the "triangle" to the concession of the Canadian oil company International Petroleum Corporation. In 1993-1994, armed clashes took place on the border of Egypt and Sudan. In 1995, Egypt sent troops to the region and took control of all disputed lands, with the exception of the city of Halaiba. In 2000, Sudan withdrew its troops from Halayib, the land was completely under Egyptian control. In August 2002, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir told the press that he had sent an appeal to the UN Security Council to review land ownership, since the "Halaib Triangle" is Sudanese territory.

Abyei region
In 2004, the area was granted "special administrative status" under the Abyei Conflict Resolution Protocol (Abyei Protocol) under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended the Second Sudanese Civil War. The administrative center of the Abyei region is the city of Abyei. The territory is disputed by South Sudan but controlled by the Northern government.

Kafia Kingi area
As of January 1956, this territory was part of Bahr el-Ghazal and only in 1960 was transferred to Darfur. It was within the borders on January 1, 1956 that the government of the Republic of Sudan recognized on July 9 (8), 2011 the new state of South Sudan. At the same time, in accordance with the Naivasha Agreement, we are not talking about the administrative border of that time, but about the dividing line between the North and the South that existed at the time Sudan gained independence on January 1, 1956. It is known that this line at least in one place (in the Abyei region) does not coincide with the 1956 border between the northern and southern provinces. Which of the administrative borders (1956 or 1960) in its western part corresponds to the dividing line is unknown: the United States recognizes the 1956 border (on CIA maps, the territory in question is designated as part of South Sudan). Russia only recognizes the fact that the borders of the provinces at the time of the division of the country (1960) for the most part correspond to the dividing line of 1956, while the Russian Foreign Ministry and Rosreestr do not have information about the exact passage of the dividing line of 1956 in that area and consider the existing border as temporary until the end of the negotiations.