Travel to Sudan

Entry and residence regulations

Due to the corona pandemic, Sudan has temporarily closed its borders for all entries and exits since March 17th. As of December 2020, entry is only possible with proof of a negative PCR test. a quarantine is not required. This also applies to air traffic. After interim curfews during the course of the year, no restrictions were imposed in December 2020.

As soon as entry into Sudan is possible again, a passport is required, which must be valid for at least six months. The passport cannot contain any Israeli stamps. The necessary visa must be applied for at the Sudanese embassy in Berlin. The fee for a tourist visa is € 60, payable since September 2018 only by bank transfer or by card payment at the embassy. Since April 2014, proof of identity by means of fingerprints has to be provided on the visa application. Honorary consulates working for Sudan are located in Bremen (for Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein) and Idstein (for North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg).

If you are staying for more than three days, you must register with the Immigration Office in Khartoum. For trips outside of Khartoum, foreigners generally need a travel permit from the Sudanese government, which can be obtained in Khartoum or, if arriving by land, from the security agencies in the provincial cities.

According to militarynous, with a Sudanese visa in their passport issued after March 1st, 2011, since December 21st, 2015 it is no longer possible for German nationals, among others, to participate in the simplified procedure for entry to the USA with the Visa Waver Program.

Travel and traffic

The high volume of traffic at rush hour and narrow streets make traffic and transportation in Khartoum by your own car, taxi or bus a game of patience. The capital, which often has a varied cultural offer for foreigners living here, is hardly able to cope with this uncontrolled traffic chaos.

The host of motor rickshaws imported from India is a very inexpensive means of transport. As with taxis, the fare has to be negotiated before departure. Both boarding in more expensive residential areas, such as Amarat, and traveling as a foreigner, often causes a higher fare. Decisive disadvantages of the partly right elaborately designed motor rickshaws are their traffic insecurity and that they are not allowed to drive into the city center or the Nile bridges. In addition to the minibuses that run in all of the country’s larger cities, known as “Amjads ” in Sudan, Khartoum has an inexpensive bus system that is difficult for foreigners to use. For a short stay, the extent of Khartoum therefore recommends limiting the exploration of the streets to sights of the city that are close together.

With time and patience, travelers can reach destinations outside of Khartoum by train or bus. At the moment, only the Khartoum-Wadi Halfa route is recommended, which is only served twice a month and must be planned for three days or more. Due to the corona pandemic, however, intra-Sudanese travel by long-distance coaches, trains and airplanes has been suspended since March 24th. Airplanes usually fly regularly from Khartoum to the other larger cities in the country. Travelers who want to get to know the country and the antiquities in Sudan, especially the World Heritage Pyramids of Meroe, meet in spite of one thing modernization push in the last few years to a rudimentary tourist infrastructure, especially for individual trips. The number of tourists has been increasing steadily in recent years, but it is still low. Tourism in Sudan is hoping for

a small boost from the decision of UNESCO in July 2016 to include the Sanganeb and Dungonab Bay / Mukkawar Island marine national parks in the list of world natural heritage, which is a not inconsiderable advertising effect to increase the awareness of the Sudanese coast and the diving areas in the red sea represents. Other worthwhile destinations in addition to the pyramids in the north of the country are the Dinder National Park on the border with Ethiopia and Kassala in the east of the country with the Khatmiyah mosque on the Taka mountains.

Motor rickshaw in Khartoum Sudan

Money and money transfer

The larger Sudanese banks in Khartoum, for example the Central Bank of Sudan and the Bank of Khartoum, easily convert euros, British pounds and US dollars into Sudanese pound notes. There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency that can be imported and, according to the new foreign exchange regulations, does not have to be declared.

Outside of Khartoum, travelers should rather rely on US dollars. Exchange options also exist in private exchange offices, whereby the exchange rates do not differ significantly from those of the banks. The opening times of the banks are Sa – Thu 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., but the exchange offices have longer opening times. For changing Sudanese pounds into euros or US dollars, proof of leaving the country must be provided, usually by showing the flight ticket.

International credit cards are not accepted because of US economic sanctions, with only a few exceptions, for example from companies that have the option of billing for services via a partner company abroad. The increasing number of ATMs only works with Sudanese bank cards. Since travelers checks, which are less and less used worldwide, are not accepted in Sudan, the entire amount of money required for a trip must be carried in cash. For a longer stay, it is advisable to open a bank account anyway. A transfer from Europe takes up to seven days. Due to the dire economic situation, the Sudanese banks are currently often unable to pay out funds. The cash cycle therefore mostly runs outside the banking system.