Sudan Basics

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The Basics


Time: Local time is GMT +3.

Electricity: Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two- and three-pin plugs are in use.

Money: The official currency is the Sudanese Pound (SDG), which is divided into 100 piastres. It is advisable to bring cash, preferably in US dollars, rather than rely on credit card facilities. Receipts should be kept after changing money at banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours are from Saturday to Thursday from 8.30am to, at least, 12pm.

Currency Exchange Rates

SDG1.00 = USD 0.02GBP 0.02CAD 0.03AUD 0.03ZAR 0.34EUR 0.02NZD 0.04
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: Arabic is the official language, but English is quite widely spoken.

Entry requirements for Americans: US nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas on arrival can be obtained for a maximum of 60 days if travellers are in possession of an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadians require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australians require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South Africans require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas on arrival can be obtained for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers are in permission of an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealand nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

Passport/Visa Note: Most nationalities require a visa for entry to Sudan. Visitors should be aware that if their passport contains evidence of a visit to Israel, a visa for Sudan will be refused, as will entry to the country even if in possession of a valid visa. Only holders of a business visa or permit may conduct business in Sudan. Entry visas are valid for one entry only, unless otherwise stated. Extensions of stays are possible and should be paid at the Ministry of Interior. All travellers need to register with the Aliens Department at the Ministry of Interior within three days of arrival in Sudan - hotels may do this automatically but it is worth checking. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Travel Health: A yellow fever certificate is required by those arriving from an infected country. Malaria is rife and malaria medication is recommended for travel to all parts of the country; dengue fever also occurs, so precautions against mosquito bites should be taken. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and meningococcus. Water and food-borne diseases are common and travellers should purify drinking water and carry anti-diarrhoeal drugs. Medical facilities in Khartoum are adequate for routine problems, but the war has resulted in a shortage of medicine and hospital equipment; visitors should ensure they have comprehensive medical insurance, which should include evacuation by air ambulance.

Safety Information: On the 11th April there was a coup d'etat in Sudan, with President Bashir being replaced by a military council. All non-essential embassy staff have been removed from the country, and travellers intending to visit the country are advised to consider carefully whether their trip is necessary. Those already in the country should consider leaving by commercial means. The situation in the country and in the capital, Khartoum, remains fragile and changeable. All visitors are advised to exercise caution, avoid all large protests or gatherings, and to follow the instructions of local authorities.

Local Customs: Northern Sudan and Khartoum are predominantly Islamic, and religious customs and sensitivities should be respected, particularly with regard to dress and public conduct. Women, in particular, should wear loose fitting clothes that cover most of the body, although covering the head is unnecessary. Eating, drinking and smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan should be avoided, as it is forbidden by Islam. Sharia law applies in Sudan. Travel outside of Khartoum may require a permit and visitors arriving in any town or city are required to register with the police. Photography permits are also required by anyone intending to take photographs while in the country; certain subjects are forbidden. Homosexuality is illegal. Visitors are advised to avoid political discussion and any kind of street protest.

Communications: The international dialling code for Sudan is +249. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). City codes are in use e.g. (0)183 for Khartoum. Outgoing international calls must go through the operator. Some top hotels and restaurants in Khartoum offer wifi, and free international calls can be made over the internet.

Duty Free: The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Passengers over the age of 20 can bring in 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 450g of tocabbo; perfume for personal use; and a reasonable amount of gifts into the country duty-free. Alcohol is prohibited, as are goods from Israel.