Uncover what the sands of time have hidden.
It’s only the hardiest travellers that have stepped foot in Sudan’s sandy expanses in recent years. Civil war, political instability and border disputes are hardly going to make a ‘What’s Hot’ list, but if you give Sudan a chance this mesmerising place will surprise you. It’s a vast nation of ancient cities and is home to more pyramids than Egypt, not to mention the Christian and Islamic ruins scattered throughout the desert landscapes. It's in Sudan that the two Niles meet to create the mighty Nile as it begins its meandering journey flowing north through Egypt, while outside of the city it’s the flow of tea and hospitality that really take centre stage.
Sudan travel highlights
Let your senses run wild as you lose yourself in the everyday bustle of Omdurman Souk, Sudan’s largest, most famous market.
Located a few hundred kilometres north of Khartoum, this small mountain was thought to be holy by the Ancient Egyptians and Kushites. Climb the mountain or explore the hieroglyphic-covered temples and Nubian pyramids that surround it.
Once an important city in medieval Nubia and the capital of the Makurian state, Old Dongola is home to fascinating Christian ruins and the massive pyramid-like tombs – ‘qubbas’ – of Islamic holy men.
Meroe is the former capital of the mighty Kush kingdom and home to more than 50 pyramids. They’re smaller than Egypt’s pyramids but just as impressive, rising up from the ancient orange sand to greet the sky.
Sudan holiday information
At a glance
Culture and customs
Eating and drinking
Festivals and events
Geography and environment
History and government
Health and safety
Sudan travel FAQs
The shoulder and winter months from September to April are generally the best times to visit Sudan, particularly the winter months of December and January where there should be minimal rain across the country and temperatures around 30°C (86°F). It is hot throughout the year, but the period from May–September can be uncomfortably warm, not to mention rainy, with the added bonus of severe dust storms.
Most governments do not recommend travelling to southern and western Sudan due to political tension, civil unrest and the threat of terrorist attack. This risk is relatively isolated to specific areas of Sudan that we don’t travel to. The people are warm and hospitable and rest assured, Peregrine would not take you anywhere unless we were convinced it was safe.
Yes. Travellers from most countries must obtain a visa before visiting Sudan. The requirements can change at any time so please contact your nearest Sudanese consulate or embassy for up-to-date information. Please be aware that even if you have a visa, travellers with Israeli stamps or an Israeli visa in their passport will not be allowed to enter Sudan. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months following your departure from Sudan and should have a few blank pages for stamps.
Visa on arrival
Please provide Peregrine with a scanned copy of your passport at least 2 months prior to the start of your trip. We will then send a scanned copy of the landing permits you will require, which you must show when checking in for the Khartoum flight. Failing to print and show the landing permit will deny you access to the flight. You will receive the original on arrival and have the visa sticker placed in the passport.
The cost for visa on arrival is USD 235 for non-US citizens or USD 285 for US citizens, which is to be paid in cash to the local customs officer. It includes a service fee for arrangements of the landing permit.
Visa through the embassy
Please provide us with a scanned copy of your passport at least 2 months prior to the start of your trip. We will then provide you with an invitation letter, with which it is possible to apply for the visa directly at the Sudanese Embassy. Costs vary dependent on the embassy.
Tipping is not part of the Sudanese culture but if you’re given particularly good service it would be greatly appreciated. Most restaurants will include a service charge, so there’s no need to leave an additional tip.
Internet cafes can be found in most cities but may be expensive and slow. It’s possible to get a local SIM but internet access, once again, may be slow and expensive. Khartoum has 3G reception but outside of the capital reception may be patchy or non-existent.
Mobile phone coverage is good in urban areas. If you wish to use your mobile, be sure to activate global roaming with your service provider before leaving home and ask about fees, which can be exorbitant in some destinations.
You’ll encounter both squat and Western-style, flushable toilets in Sudan. It’s worth carrying a supply of toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you.
Sudan's unit of currency is the Sudanese pound. Prices here are approximate and shown in US dollars for ease of comparison.
- Cup of tea = USD 0.20
- Shawarma = USD 1.50
- Lunch at a mid-range restaurant = USD 10-15
- Dinner at a high-end restaurant = USD 20+
We do not recommend drinking the tap water in Sudan. Try to avoid buying bottled water and pack a reusable water bottle for environmental reasons. Your leader or hotel staff can tell you where to find filtered water, or you can also bring purification tablets.
Credit cards are not accepted in Sudan. Neither are debit cards, cash cards or traveller’s cheques, so expect to pay cash for all purchases. US dollars or Euros are best for exchanging currency.
Sudan’s ATMs do not accept foreign cards so be sure to bring enough cash for all your expenses for the duration of your trip.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Peregrine are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan Independence Day
- 7 Jan Coptic Christmas
- 19 April Coptic Easter
- Varies Eid al-Fitr
- 30 June Revolution Day
- Varies Eid al-Adha
- Varies Birth of Prophet Muhammad
Many of these holidays are religious holidays and change each year as they are celebrated according to the Islamic lunar calendar. For an up-to-date list of public holidays in Sudan go to: timeanddate.com/holidays
Discretion is highly advised for LGBTQI-travellers in Sudan, where homosexuality is illegal and sodomy is technically punishable by death (though this has not been enforced for years). That being said, travellers should not encounter any problems if they are discreet and avoid public displays of affection.
Peregrine is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Sudan is not renowned for being an accessible country. Given the ongoing political issues, tourist infrastructure is extremely basic at its best and the country does not mandate access to transportation, communications or public buildings with people with disabilities, whether they are travellers or locals. This is particularly true for those with physical limitations.
If you have a battery-operated hearing aid, it’s a good idea to bring extra batteries.
If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.
We recommend that travellers dress conservatively when visiting Sudan. Avoid shorts, tight-fitting clothes and showing too much skin, particularly legs, shoulders and cleavage. Not only will this minimise the risk of offending any locals, it will also protect you from Sudan’s heat and sunshine.
Sudan requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever. Many African countries pose a risk (including Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya), so if you are planning on visiting other nearby nations before arriving in Sudan, you may be required to get this vaccine. No other vaccines are required in order to enter Sudan but some are recommended for protection against disease. Visit your doctor or travel clinic for up-to-date advice and make sure to schedule your vaccination 4-6 weeks before your departure date so there is time for the vaccination to become effective.