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Expedition Sudan2021-06-20T10:07:07+00:00
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In Africa
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An adventurous and impressive expedition leads us deep into the desert and into Sudan´s soul, a country that is somewhat forgotten by tourism. We will marvel at the remnants of long gone, ancient civilizations – those are not as big as the Egyptian ones but they will enrapture you with its magic and charisma. Close your eyes and let the desert talk to you…softly, the wind is blowing from the orange sand dunes, they whisper about the ancient, under a hot sun you will feel like in a different world, like and explorer of centuries ago. Imagine, how the pyramids were built stone by stone by craftsmen long gone. How was a pharaonic funeral? How were these people?How did they live? There are so many questions one has in mind when wandering among those ruins.

When travelling through Sudan with us you will find your answers – and many more. Sudan to us is like a mistress, we fell in love with this country and be sure that we will pass this love on…

You will see the many faces of the desert, colourful markets, interesting cultures and traditions and most of all friendly and happy Sudanese people. We take you on adventurous journeys to discover places that not even locals know about. There are more than 700 ethnics in Sudan so we will eventually hit a ceremony or wedding of some kind. Try the delicious “jebenah” (coffee) and when it´s time to go home you will refuse to leave…we have seen it many times.

Trip reviews of past trips

Information

Destination:

Sudan

Date:

December 2021

Duration:

21 days

Participants:

min. 8 – max. 12

Expedition Type:

offroad, camping, exploring, culture, comfort low

Base Price:

550 USD

*General info about expeditions and sign up you can find in our FAQs

The base price should be either paid in full after signing up or a deposit has to be made and the rest of the base price to be paid before the expedition.

The base price includes

  • guiding services for the whole duration of the expedition in your language
  • planning and organizing a basic itinerary for the trip
  • assistance and help with preparations before the trip and during the expedition
  • full knowledge and experience of your guides

The base price doesn´t include

  • expenses for transport – flights range from 400,- EUR return from Vienna to 600 EUR.
  • Visa costs 70 EUR plus postage at the Sudanese embassy in Berlin (prices may change on short notice)
  • expenses for transport in Sudan – car rental with a driver – price per person with a full car 4+1 is max. 1150 USD p.p.
  • fuel costs – 60 EUR (70 USD) p.p.
  • food costs, including coffees here and there – max. 120 EUR (140 USD) p.p.
  • accommodation costs – mostly we will camp in the desert for free, in towns we may look for little hotels – max. 140 EUR (160 USD) p.p.
  • entrance to monuments – 100 EUR (110 USD) p.p.
  • alternative activities – 50 EUR (60 USD) p.p.
  • personal expenses – that depends on what souvenirs you buy etc. – 100 EUR (110USD) p.p.

The rough expenses for a 3-week expedition through Sudan = 2808 EUR (that´s a price that has no competition)

These estimated costs are a rough guide and are calculated on a maximum basis. A detailed list of estimated expenses will be sent to each participant together with the itinerary, map and more info after the signup.

Some of the expenses are paid for by each participant during the expedition and this directly to the service provider. Since our first expedition with a group through Africa we have always used a simple system for group related expenses – a “group kitty” (expedition fund) – where every participant puts in a certain amount at the beginning of the trip and that money is used to pay for all group-related expenses (like fuel, fees, food etc.) Every expense is meticulously written down. Any other, not group-related expenses have to be paid for by the participant alone.

You can find more information about prices and expenses in Africa below, in our „IN AFRICA“ section and also in + RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES where you can find out what else to do during the trip and get an idea, what costs what.

Have you decided on becoming an expedition member to explore the unknown? Fill in your registration with us, that is your first step into the adventure. This is where the preparations start.

Information about the itinerary

The detailed info about each expedition containing info about the car, equipment, what to take with you, what not to bring and much more will be sent out to you in our “information for team members”.

Visa

To be able to enter Sudan you need a visa. This needs to be applied for before the trip at your relevant Sudanese embassy in your country. It is best to send out all passports with all required documents and the fees in cash all together, that avoids problems with the application. We don´t charge any handling fee for that, you only pay for your visa and postage. If you would like to solve your visa by yourself, no problem, you will find details about the embassies in our information pack.

Personal meeting

After signing up of all team members we would like to have a personal meeting with the whole group, where we can get to know each other a bit and where we talk about the itinerary (you can have your say in this also!) If a personal meeting is not possible, we can organize an online meeting (skype, zoom) and we can talk about any questions you may have.

Consulting and advice

While you are preparing for your trip, we are at your disposition with hints, advice and recommendations.

You will receive an information pack after your sign up.

What and how to pack

Travel light and comfortable. Best is to have collapsible bags, not a suitcase. It should be resilient to dust and general traveling. What proved ideal is a normal backpack and a small day pack. Weight wise it should not be more than 20kg plus tent. You won´t need too many clothes, just the basics, light but also a sweater.

More info will be sent out to you after your sign up.

Passport

will have to be valid for at least 6 months after the trip and not contain an Israelian visa.

Vaccination

it is not in our competence to recommend you vaccinations or to make a plan for you, you will need to talk to professionals about it. Your GP is your first point, otherwise some health or travel medical centres will be able to help you. What we can recommend is that we think it´s a good idea to be vaccinated against some of the major diseases. It may happen that you will be asked to prove a yellow fever vaccination upon arrival. What we can also do is telling you what WE are vaccinated against and what is written in our international vaccination pass:

  • Hepathitis A, B
  • Meningitis
  • Typhoid
  • Tetanus
  • Yellow fever
  • Rabies

Travel insurance

travel insurance is something very important and a must-have. If you want to join one of our expeditions, you MUST have a travel insurance. This protects yourself and us.

In general – some countries, that you need visas for will ask about a travel insurance as well, for example Namibia for Czech citizens.

You will find some more info on each country in our online guide, which we prepared for you on our website.

Online guide sudan

Base itinerary and recommended activities

Our main points – what definitely not to miss in Sudan

Khartoum – Sudan´s capital doesn´t only offer interesting cultural experiences and historical sights, but also beautiful places and a unique atmosphere – the dancing dervishes, the camel market, MAhdi´s tomb, old fortresses and Omdurman market and finally chilled cafes along Nile avenue.

Pyramids of Meroe – of all royal cemeteries, Meroe is the youngest and most preserved. There is a kings´ and a queens´ cemetery. More than 200 pyramids stood here, now only a few tens are left over. Don´t expect a grandeur like in Egypt, the Kushite pyramids are smaller, the tombs are under the pyramids. There is lots of archaeological work going on.

Mussawarat and Naga – very well preserved kushite temple complexes.

Jebel Barkal – an important place in the endless desert next to the Nile. Barkal is a holy mountain, it served as an orientation point for caravans, that crossed deserts with their goods and slaves to reach the coast. At the foot of the mountain there are the ruins of an Amun temple as well as the cemetery of the 2nd kingdom Napata.

Along the banks of the Nile there are many more historical sites. Some of them have only been discovered in the last few years, archaeologists have done a lot of work in Sudan – El Kuru, Old Dongola, Kawa, Kerma, Sedinga, Soleb.

Atrun Crater – in the middle of the desert, far away from any main road the desert is broken by volcanic mountains. From one of these craters we can descent into its middle and visit the local Bisharin tribes.

Kassala – close to the border with Ethiopia and Eritrea. Very interesting scenery with the iconic sugarloaf mountains of Taka, an unfinished mosque Kathmiya and many other interesting tribes.

Port Sudan – an important harbour and the main town in the Red Sea Hills. It is a long way there but we will encounter a lively town, lonely beaches, interesting sights , colourful underwater world and lots of seafood on our plates. From here one can visit the lighthouse of Sanganeb in the middle of the sea.

Our itinerary is filled with a lot of known and unknown places. Into each expedition we include places, which we discovered by ourselves and all places have been visited by us many times. Some places are not even known to our Sudanese contacts. Here, you will be an explorer and adventurer – so you have something to look forward to.

Enrich your trip with a few unforgettable outdoor or cultural activities

  • Nile cruise on a boat – ca. 10 USD
  • visit of the agricultural island of Tuti
  • camel ride among the pyramids – 15 USD
  • climbing Jebel Barkal – included in the entrance fee for temple and pyramids

other activities can´t really be planned, it depends on where we travel and what is available. Maybe we will be invited to a wedding, maybe to a funeral, there may be a festival or we may look for a fisherman to take us out to sea.

In Africa

The start of our expedition is in Khartoum, it depends on how we all get to Khartoum. Mostly, we travel with Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air or Ethiopian. The price depends on your departure airport. We mostly fly Turkish, they have a good service, interesting prices and Istanbul doesn´t make much trouble with security scans.

If you fly through Cairo you can´t bring a drone as they are forbidden in Egypt! Also, no pork, alcohol, porn magazines allowed in Sudan!

It is not necessary that the whole groups flies over together. If some want, they could fly over earlier or depart later, in case they want to explore a bit more of Sudan. We will meet you at the airport when your flight arrives.

Within Khartoum we will either use the local public transport or we can rent a normal 2×4, which is relatively cheap and sufficient.

For the expedition we will rent 4×4 vehicles. That is the only option if we want to go into the desert and far away from civilization. In Sudan you can only rent a 4×4 with a driver, we will rent either Nissans or Toyotas. The price is quite hight, but actually also the only high expense in our budget. The daily fee for one of these cars outside of Khartoum can be anything from 220 to 250 USD per day plus fuel. Luckily, fuel is something that costs only a fraction of what it costs in Europe or Southern Africa. A litre costs about 20 to 50 cents (it depends on if petrol stations have enough supply or if we need to buy it on the black market). To compensate for the high rental costs, all other expenses are quite low compared to other countries.

You have to calculate roughly 1150 USD for your rental part for the 3 weeks.

In the capital, we will stay with locals, if we can or we use airbnb or rent an apartment for all of us. Prices will be around 20 – 30 USD per night. (maximum!) On our expedition we will camp, you need to bring your own tent or neet to share the tent with someone from the group. Also bring a matress and a sleeping bag. In Sudan, the touristic infrastructure is in its beginnings, car rental companies don´t have camping equipment. In the desert there is piece and quiet, often we can also sleep under the stars on the carpet. Camping in the desert is free, some motorests cost about 2 USD and in smaller towns the hotels around 3-10 USD p.p.

Expenses for accommodation should not be more than 150 USD

We will either cook on our own or we will visit local food shops, snack bars and “restaurants”. In every settlement, town or village they serve at least typical sudanese beans with egg, salad and grilled meat or livers. For breakfast we will mostly go into a restaurant, locals just love having foreigners for a visit. In town we will usually try a lot of their specialties. Fresh juices or an aromatic coffee is something we will have every day.

In the desert, we won´t find any restaurants, so we will cook our own food. We will just cook what we bought together on the market, there will be some cooking equipment for us.

The main shopping we will do before leaving the capital, on our trip we will just stock up in little shops and markets. Mostly, we start the day with a tea or coffee and leave breakfast for later, in a town. When we go deeper into the desert we will certainly need to stock up more and be prepared. There is still a possibility to shop something in one of the gild digger towns, but for higher prices and less choice.

Word of advice – eating food in Sudan is different from what we are used to. Mostly breakfast is served in bowls and everybody is dipping their bread into one bowl and only with the right hand. Sometimes they may have cutlery, but very rarely.

Expenses for a full stomach will be a maximum of 120 EUR (140 USD)

Sudan is a muslim country with sharia law. The rules are not as strict as in Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia but you need to stick to the basic rules. Most of all the dress code – men should have long pants to cover their knees, t-shirts with short sleeves at least, no singlets. Women should have long sleeves, long pants or a skirt. They will not need to cover their hair or face.

Intimate behaviour in public is not possible and impolite. The left hand is the “dirty one”, not to be used with people, money or food. You can´t buy any alcohol or beer, but rather fresh juices and coffee.

As mentioned before, you shouldn´t bring alcohol, pork, weapons, drugs or porn magazines. Any disobedience could bring us into big problems.

Weather

Our expedition runs in winter time, but don´t worry, winter in Sudan is not like winter at home. Temperature will still reach 20 – 25 degrees and more during daytime, nighttime will be cooler in some places, humid in others. We can´t really tell exactly as in the last years, the weather surprised us a lot. One year in January we needed 2 sweaters, the other year in January we had 35 degrees. Take light clothes but also something warm, just in case. We don´t expect rain, only a desert storm could hit us but then we just hide away.

Internet and communication

You can choose from 3 main service providers, prices for data is cheaper than in Europe, the coverage is surprisingly good, sometimes even in the desert.

Safety

Sudan, apart from what the media wants us to believe, is mostly a safe country. The border areas with Chad, South Sudan are still not completely safe, but situations change quickly, as everywhere in Africa. For traveling around Sudan one needs a travel permit, where it is clearly stated where one can travel to and where not. State security wants to know where the tourists are. On our trip there will be lots of police or immigration checkpoints, but usually there are no issues. Sudanese people are very helpful, friendly and polite.

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