Photo Credit: Frank Keillor

All travelers to Sudan are required to obtain a visa before entering the country, including those from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It is advised that visas be arranged in the traveler’s country of origin as some nationalities may have difficulties obtaining one in another country. Citizens from Israel and travelers who have an Israeli visa or stamp in their passport will be refused entry. Travelers are permitted to obtain a single-entry tourist visa, valid for one month from the date of issue and allowing for a one-month stay in the country. The price of visas differs according to citizenship. All travelers are required to be in possession of a passport which is valid for no fewer than six months after leaving the country.

Health and Safety

Much of the infrastructure in Sudan has been limited by the ongoing internal conflict, and this includes medical facilities. Outside of the major cities, hospitals and clinics are extremely limited. It is thus imperative that travelers take out medical or travel insurance prior to departing their home country. It is also important that travelers in need of monthly or chronic medication take a generous supply along with them. The availability of medication in Sudan cannot be guaranteed.

The following immunizations are needed for travelers entering the country: hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and meningitis meningococcus. Sudan is also a malarial area and travelers are advised to take anti-malaria medication along with them.

The water in the country should be treated as potentially contaminated and all water used for drinking, brushing teeth, or making ice should be boiled or sterilized before use. Similarly, all milk should be boiled before consumption as it is generally unpasteurized. Sudanese food is fine to eat but when eating from food stalls, travelers should make sure that all meats have been properly cooked and have not been standing out all day.

Sudan has suffered through a 40-year long civil war, which is still raging in many part of the country, including in the western regions near Darfur. It is important that travelers steer clear of these areas as violence is unpredictable and can erupt at any time. Travelers intent on visiting the western regions should have a guide with them.

Armed conflict aside, Sudan is a relatively safe country. Incidents of tourism-related crimes like pick pocketing and muggings are minimal, bordering on unheard of, and the Sudanese are constantly concerned about the well-being of tourists. Female travelers, especially those traveling alone, should keep in mind that this is an Islamic country, one in which rights for women are still being fought for. It is best that women travel in groups and that they dress conservatively.

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