Sudan is the largest, yet one of the least visited, countries in Africa. Although various ongoing conflicts mean much of this vast nation remains off limits, travel is possible in the northeast, and in parts of the south. Much of the Middle East and Africa has a reputation for warmth and hospitality but Sudan is in a league of its own, making it a joy to travel in. It is common to be invited to stay at someone’s home and most rural Sudanese would never dream of eating in front of you without inviting you to join them. Talking the afternoon away over a glass or five of tea is a serious national ritual, which extends to dealings with officials.
The onetime epicentre of the ancient Napata Kingdom is a truly otherworldly place to explore.Set out between the ochre-hued rises of the Sudanese desert, just north of the capital, its comprised of over 200 individual pyramid structures, along with a whole serious of fascinating ruins of another type.
This bears all the hallmarks of a grand architectural undertaking in the same ilk as the Nubian cities of old, and today the whole area has been accredited by UNESCO, and archaeological findings have confirmed the presence of an advanced civilisation of iron smelters and traders with mercantile links all the way to China and India!
Khartoum is perhaps best known as the mythical location where the two great strands of the River Nile combine before heading northwards into the ancient lands of Nubia and Egypt.The city straddles the banks of this famous water way, and even pokes out into the famous confluence at the headland known as al-Mogran.
In the heart of the town, strips like Nile Street are packed with pretty buildings of arabesque design.This is also where you’ll see the grandiose Presidential Palace, protected religiously by zealous guards.Nearby is the hustle and bustle of Souq Arabi – the more frenetic and mercantile hub of the capital.
Dinder National Park:
The Dinder National Park is a triangle cut-out of protected land that buts right up to the Ethiopian border in the south-east of the country.Made up of sprawling arid grass plains that glow yellow and come sun-baked under the heat of the equatorial sun, it occupies a unique habitat right where the great highlands of Ethiopia drop down to the northern African flats.That means visitors can see the likes of lions prowling, their beady eyes focused on the bushbucks and springing antelope.And then there are the curious long-legged North African ostriches, which are a common and eye-opening sight.
Meals are eaten around a large, communal tray on which various meat, vegetable, salad, and sauce dishes are placed. These are eaten with the right hand, using flat bread or a stiff millet porridge known as asida or kisra. Sudanese food in the north is simpler, whereas foods further south reflect the influence of surrounding areas, such as the Yemeni influenced mokhbaza (banana paste) of Eastern Sudan. Ful medames is the national dish of Sudan.