Terminal Drop-Off Charge

From 1 November 2021, a £5 charge will apply for vehicles dropping off passengers at the designated drop-off zones, located directly outside the terminals. Discounts and exemptions will apply. Free drop-off will be available at the Long Stay car parks.

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Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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  • Overview

    Home to ancient pyramids and searing desert sands, Sudan offers nothing like a typical tourist experience, but rather an adventure for those hungry to get off the beaten track and explore a land whose kings once rivalled Egypt's pharaohs of old.

    In the north, the Nubian Desert covers much of the country, where huge clay water pots lie under every tree or shady shelter to provide sweet relief from the thirst-inducing heat. By contrast, the narrow strip of land running the length of the Nile River is lush and green. Desert towns have wide, dusty roads that seem eerily empty at midday due to the heat. In the evenings, however, the streets come alive with movement and colour, the women's vivid wrap-around clothing and hennaed fingers standing out from the crisp, white kaftans and turbans of the men. Beyond these barren desert reaches, the south is alive with damp swamps and rainforest, but is considered less safe for travellers.

    Torn into North and South Sudan by cultural and religious disputes, it is the country's north that occupies the largest area and includes most of the urban centres, including the capital, Khartoum. The largely Muslim, Arabic-speaking people of this area are proud of their country and will take great delight in showing it off. For those in search of what Sudan has to offer, the peaceful capital at the junction of the White and Blue Niles, and its sister city Omdurman, are good places to begin, with the National Museum, a large souq (covered market), camel market, and the Tomb of the Mahdi. To the north of Khartoum are the ruins of the Royal City of Meroe as well as the pyramids in which the kings are buried. Kassala to the east boasts a wonderful souq known for its local variety of fruit and silver jewellery, and a desert landscape dominated by jebels, or hills. The war-torn south is largely rural and lacking in infrastructure, and holds little of interest to tourists.

    Sudan has been afflicted by violent civil wars for nearly half a century, and more often than not makes headlines for the wrong reasons. However, outside of the main conflict areas the country is generally considered safe to travel in, and those who get there will be treated with extreme courtesy and friendliness. The Sudanese take Arabic hospitality very seriously and it is unlikely that a traveller will pass by without an invitation to share in a meal or to visit someone's home. Travellers are advised to avoid all travel to certain parts of Sudan - mostly the southern states and border areas - and are advised to do comprehensive research prior to travel, taking government travel alerts into account.

    Phrase Book

    English Pronounciation

    Khartoum has a hot desert climate. July and August are the only months that feature any significant rainfall. The annual precipitation levels in Khartoum average about five inches (127mm). Khartoum is one of the hottest cities in the world, with summer temperatures averaging as high as 107°F (42°C). There are no distinct seasons in Khartoum, but the hottest months are May and June and the coolest months are December and January, when average high temperatures drop to approximately 86°F (30°C). Although daytime temperatures are painfully hot, temperatures cool off considerably during the night. It is worth noting that from mid-July to September Khartoum experiences sandstorms.

    Khartoum International Airport
    Location: The airport is situated just outside Khartoum city centre in Al-Amarat.
    Time: Local time is GMT +3.
    Getting to the city: Taxis are available from the airport and some hotels will arrange shuttles for guests.
    Car Rental: There are car hire companies located at the airport.
    Airport Taxis: Taxis are available at the airport.
    Facilities: There are very few facilities in the airport, other than toilets, snack machines, and currency exchange.
    Parking Parking is available at the airport.
    Money:

    The official currency is the Sudanese Pound (SDG), which is divided into 100 piastres. It is advisable to bring cash, preferably in US dollars, rather than rely on credit card facilities. Receipts should be kept after changing money at banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours are from Saturday to Thursday from 8.30am to, at least, 12pm.

    Language:

    Arabic and English are the official languages.

    Electricity:

    Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Round two-pin and three-pin plugs are in use.

    Entry Requirements:

    US nationals: US nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas on arrival can be obtained for a maximum of 60 days if travellers are in possession of an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    UK nationals: UK nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    CA nationals: Canadians require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    AU nationals: Australians require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    ZA nationals: South Africans require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas on arrival can be obtained for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers are in permission of an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    IR nationals: Irish nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    NZ nationals: New Zealand nationals require a passport valid for six months and a visa for entry into Sudan. Visas can be obtained on arrival for a maximum of 60 days provided travellers have an entry permit granted by the Sudanese Ministry of Interior.

    Passport/Visa Note:Visa:

    Most nationalities require a visa for entry to Sudan. Visitors should be aware that if their passport contains evidence of a visit to Israel, a visa for Sudan will be refused, as will entry to the country even if in possession of a valid visa. Visitors who are travelling on a single entry visa will need an exit visa to leave the country, though this is not always enforced. Extensions of stays are possible and should be paid at the Ministry of Interior. All travellers need to register with the Aliens Department at the Ministry of Interior within three days of arrival in Sudan - hotels may do this automatically but it is worth checking. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months' validity remaining after the intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

    Travel Health:

    A yellow fever certificate is required by those arriving from an infected country. Malaria is rife and malaria medication is recommended for travel to all parts of the country; dengue fever also occurs, so precautions against mosquito bites should be taken. Vaccinations are recommended for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid and meningococcal disease. Water and food-borne diseases are common and travellers should purify drinking water and carry anti-diarrheal drugs.

    Medical facilities in Khartoum are adequate for routine problems, but the war has resulted in a shortage of medicine and hospital equipment; visitors should ensure they have comprehensive medical insurance, which should include evacuation by air ambulance.

    Safety Information:

    On the 11 April 2019 there was a coup d'etat in Sudan, with President Bashir being replaced by a military council. A civilian-led transitional government is now in place and the country is in a period of transition ahead of elections in 2023. The transitional government has brought a degree of calm across Sudan, though there have been protests, and further mass action cannot be ruled out. All visitors are advised to exercise caution, avoid all large protests or gatherings, and to follow the instructions of local authorities.

    Local Customs:

    Northern Sudan and Khartoum are predominantly Islamic, and religious customs and sensitivities should be respected, particularly with regard to dress and public conduct. Women, in particular, should wear loose fitting clothes that cover most of the body, although covering the head is unnecessary. Eating, drinking and smoking in public during the holy month of Ramadan should be avoided, as it is forbidden by Islam. Sharia law applies in Sudan. Travel outside of Khartoum may require a permit and visitors arriving in any town or city are required to register with the police. Photography permits are also required by anyone intending to take photographs while in the country; certain subjects are forbidden. Homosexuality is illegal. Visitors are advised to avoid political discussion and any kind of street protest.

    Communications:

    The international dialling code for Sudan is +249, and the outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). Mobile-phone reception is excellent throughout the country; visitors can purchase local SIM cards for calls and mobile-phone data. Most midrange and top-end hotels have wifi.

    Duty Free:

    The import and export of local currency is prohibited. Passengers over the age of 20 can bring in 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 450g of tocabbo; perfume for personal use; and a reasonable amount of gifts into the country duty-free. Alcohol is prohibited, as are goods from Israel.

    Sudan Embassies:

    Embassy of Sudan, Washington, D.C., United States: +1 202 338 8565

    Embassy in Sudan, London, United Kingdom: +44 20 7839 8080

    Embassy of Sudan, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 235 4000

    Embassy of Sudan, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for New Zealand): +61 2 6290 2635

    Embassy of the Republic of Sudan, Pretoria, South Africa: +021 342 4538

    Embassy of Sudan, Dublin, Ireland: +353 1537 1441

    Foreign Embassies in Sudan :

    Embassy of the United States, Khartoum, Sudan: +249 18 702 2000

    British Embassy, Khartoum, Sudan: +249 156 775500

    Embassy of Canada, Khartoum, Sudan: +249 156 550 500

    Australian Embassy, Cairo, Egypt (also responsible for Sudan): +202 2770 6600

    Embassy of South Africa, Khartoum, Sudan: +249 183 585 301

    Irish Honorary Consulate, Khartoum, Sudan: +249 155 117 886

    Sudan Emergency Numbers : 999 (Police)
    Sudan

    Public transport in Khartoum consists of minibuses which cover most destinations within the city and operate throughout the day and late into the evening. Private taxis are available and fares can be negotiated. Motorised rickshaws, locally referred to as bajajs or rakshas, provide a cheaper mode of private transport. Rickshaws are best used only for short trips within Khartoum. For trips where one needs to cross the Nile it is better to use a taxi or minibus. Travellers who want to get around at their own pace can hire a car in Khartoum. Car hire companies can also provide tourists with a local driver for an additional fee.