Traveling in Sudan
At the time of my visit to Sudan, most websites and resources I came across discouraged travel to the country. My curiosity got the best of me though, and I found myself arriving to Khartoum interested in the adventures I’d come across and what treasures I’d find in Sudan that where unknown to the rest of the world. At the time of my trip, the nation had been constantly in the headlines for its multiple wars in the south and west in Darfur. While these tragedies are very real, many people didn’t realize that before its split, Sudan was the largest country in Africa. So while parts of the country may be at war other parts are relatively calm. One man who lived in the capital compared the situation to an American living in a normal life in New York but seeing wild fires in California or hearing about Hurricane Katrina on TV.
Khartoum is actually known for its peacefulness and friendly outgoing population. The capital has many of the country’s best museums which accurately shows different periods of Sudan’s history including the pharaoh period, the Christian Nubian period and its more recent past. It’s also here in this ancient city that the Blue and White Nile join as one, before continuing their flow north though Egypt and finally the Mediterranean sea.
Thousands of years ago the people known as Kushites ruled parts of eastern Africa including what is now northern Sudan. These ancient people are even mentioned several times in the Bible’s old testament, as the Cush, who created their own Kingdom even before the influence of Egyptian pharaohs. Today the best remains of the Kushite people are known as the Meroe Sites which served as the Kushite Kingdom’s capital. Dozens of structures and pyramids remain standing, many being tombs of ancient Meroite Kings.
On the border of eastern Sudan and western Ethiopia, Sudan’s Dinder national park is one of the largest protected areas in the world. Dinder National park offers sanctuary for wildlife various biomes in a country which is mostly made up of dry desert. The northern parts of the park are savannah while the southern parts of Dinder are covered by woodland forests. Hundreds of species of birds, as well as lions, antelope and other animals make their home in Dinder.
Located on the Red Sea and once a major seaport for the British, Port Sudan has become an indirect victim of Sudan’s civil war and the city has lost much beauty and charm. Most of the surrounding landscapes of the city are dry and lifeless, but the Red Sea remains one of the best places in the world for exotic animals. Port Sudan still offers good access to the coast for activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and even scuba diving.