Sudan has an enormous potential for tourism. It could very easily become one of the world’s top destinations for people who appreciate ancient Relics and folklores that constitute the very cradle of civilization. Whether it be archaeological finds, the surpassing natural scenery, arts or rich folklore, Sudan is undoubtedly amongst the leaders in the world.
The overriding impulse behind the tourism sector of the Sudanese economy is the need for the world to behold the splendor that is Sudan; it’s glorious past and contributions to the progress of Humankind. Promotion for tourism began at the dawn of independence, at a time when the country barely had any resources at its disposal. Yet because the potential for enormous return is great, it was a winning priority.
Relics of Ancient kingdoms:
Old civilizations in Sudan date back to the year 3000 BC when several kingdoms were founded, the mightiest of which was Napata kingdom during the eight century BC. It was followed by Merowe Kingdom, which faded in 350 AD. Then came the Nubian Christian states in the sixth century AD along with the Islamic Kingdoms: the Black Sultanate (1505-1821), Fur Sultanate, Tagali Kingdom and the Mahdist state (1885-1898). Relics of these kingdoms and states exist until today.
mong the most important archaeological sites lying between the North and the South of the country:
Sai—Sai island lies to the south of the second cataract. It contains many anitiquities including temples, monuments and cemeteries which almost represent all the cultural periods of the first stone age. They also represent the Pharaohnic period to the advent of the Ottoman empire.
Sadinga—It’s host to a number of temples which also capture the pharohnic history in addition to that of the Meroetic and Napatan.
Soleb—One will also find wonders of the ancient civilizations that arguably inspired the Egyptian. The pharoic and Meroetic is here found.
Tumbus—Egyptian inscriptions have been discovered in this area engraved on rocks lying near the third cataract and on a statue that has been determined to date back to the meroetic period.
Karma—It is one of the most important archaelogical sites in Sudan. It enjoys enormous buildings made of unbaked bricks and is known as “Al-Duafoofah”, which dates back to the 3rd century B.C.
Tabo—This site is found on Argo Island, south of the third cataract and contains a kushite temple and antiquities that date back to the Meroetic and Christian periods.
Kawa— Mirroring Egyptian architecture , numerous temples representing the Kush era have been found here.
Old Dongola—This is the capital of the lower Christian Nubia Kingdom (Mayuria). It was a church which has now been changed into a mosque. There are also houses, palaces and cemeteries in this area.
Jebel Al-Barka—It is regarded as the religious capital of Napata Kingdom. It lies near the Fourth Cataract and contains some antiquities including temples, palaces, pyramids and cemeteries which date back to different periods spanning the pharaohnic, Napatan and Meroetic era.
There are different means of transport to or away from Sudan such as airplanes, buses, trains, and traveling by ship. Also, there are several land entrances linking Sudan with its neighboring countries. Following is some information about these modes.
AIR TRAVEL: Sudan Airways
Sudan Airways is one of the earliest aviation companies in Africa and the Middle East. It was established originally as a unit of Sudan Railways Department to provide transport to the inaccessible areas in Sudan. Domestic flights commenced in July 1947. The company flew its first international flight in 1954 to Cairo. Sudan Airways is a member of the international Aviation Transport Association (IATA), Arabic Association for Air Transport and Africa Airlines Companies Association. There are several foreign airlines companies serving in Sudan to different parts of the World.
MARINE LINES & RIVER TRANSPORT
Traveling by sea and river are considered as convenient means of transport for there relative cheapness and comfort.
LAND ENTRANCES TO SUDAN
Traveling by land is one other major means of transport especially for traffic between Sudan and its neighboring countries. Customs and immigration check points on the borders of Sudan and these countries are found to facilitate the passage of travelers and goods. The main land routs used presently are:
TRAVELING IN SIDE SUDAN
To travel in side Sudan, and because of its hugeness, all means transport whether by land, river or by Air, are in use traveling by land is easier now a days because of the construction of thousands of km of highways. Also Sudan Airways has its net work of domestic flights covering large area of Sudan. Rail with a net work of railway lines extended to most parts of the country.
SUDAN RAIL WAYS
The reason for the construction of rail ways from Wadi-Halfa in the north to the interior of Sudan at the turn of the century was to facilitate the advance of the Anglo-Egyptian army, led by lord Kitchener and in establishing its supply lines. The railway road to Khartoum was completed before the year of 1930 and it was the first mechanical means of transport introduced in Sudan. After fulfilling its military missions, Sudan railways was turned in to a civil Government Department commuting passengers and the freight. The town of Atbara, located at the confluence of the Atbara River and the Nile north Sudan, was made a home base and headquarters of Sudan railways. Travelers may make their reservations at Khartoum, Atbara and Wadi Halfa Rail Stations. In addition to passengers transport, Sudan rail ways is substantially contributing in promoting income and out come trade via Port Sudan and the river berth of Wadi Halfa, where as the cost of freight transport by rail way in the minimum.
REGULAR RAIL WAY LINES AND TOWN COVERED:
Al obeid, Kosti, Sennar-Medani-Khartoum (travels duration 24 hours),
Karima-Abu hamed-Atbara-Shendi,,,Khartoum (travels duration 30 hours)
Port Sudan Atbara Shendi Khartoum (travels duration 24 hours)
Wadi Halfa Abu hamed Atbara Shendi Khartoum (travel duration 24 hours)
No asphalt motor ways were constructed in Sudan during the colonial rule. The first motor way, connecting Khartoum to Wadi Medani, was lid after Sudan gained independence, the period 1957 to 1964.
Among these are:
Umdurman-Dongola-Karma Elnuzul-Abri-Wadi Halfa Karima-Karma ElnuzulUmdurman-Dongola-Elowainaat on the Sudanese-Libyan border these track traverses the northern desert plains and its use has significantly increased in resent years with the increase in commercial and the passenger traffic between the two countries. They're also seasonal tracks, which become impassible during the rainy season starting from Jun through September. All are located below 14 degrees latitude.
Among the most significant of these are:
Khartoum,, New Halfa, which cross the Butana Region umdurman Elobied El fasher Umkaddada, Elgeneina-Across the desert territories of Kurdufan and Darfour state Damazeen-Kurnuk-geissan in the Blue Nile State. Kosti-Gabalein-Rank-Malakal-Juba Which can be used,Provided good security condition,,, during the southern dry season from November through February. Nyala-Hufrat Elnias, Um Dafoug on the border with the Central African Republic. Juba, Yei,Maridi Juba,Amadi,Rumbek,Wau.
Nuri—This site contains pyramids and royal cemeteries as a number of members of the ruling dynasty had been buried there during Napatan era.
Al-Kuru—This location is famous for a group of cemeteries inscribed on rocks with ornaments that date back to the era of Napata’s first kings.
New Meroe—The new town of Merowe now lies near the Fourth Cataract and enshrines cemeteries which date back to the Napatan era and still no excavation has been done there.
Al-Ghazali—This site is an oasis in Bayoudah desert, a few kilometers away from Merowe town. Al-Ghazali contains relics of the Christian era.
Merowe—This is the capital of Kush Kingdom. It enshrines some pyramids, temples and relics of a royal town.
Yellow Musawarat—This area represents a religious center that dates back to the meroetic period. It contains temples with remarkable inscriptions and a great building made of sand stones called the great yard.
Al-Nagaa—This site is similar to yellow Musawarat; it represents a religious center lying in Al-Butana region (in the central part of the country). It houses many ornamented and inscribed temples, cemeteries and ancient towns.
Wadi Nagaa—Here is preserved the remains of Meroe town and contains relics of a royal palace amongst others.
East Soba—Here is to be found relics of ancient churches, palaces, homesteads and cemeteries
Sawakin—This site comprises of relics, beautiful buildings made of coral rocks in an architecture that is entirely Islamic.
Sennar—One finds an antiquated Islamic town though work to determine the size of these relics is still ongoing.
A number of archaeological missions in Wadi Hor area, Jabal Marrah and Kordofan are in process. Sheikan Museum has been rehabilitated. In Khartoum State, there are investment projects intended to rehabilitate Sudan National Museum to enhance its appeal as a tourist site.
Environment and Tourism in Sudan
Sudan enjoys various tourist resources due to the availability of enormous natural capabilities. It is regarded as one of the richest African countries in wildlife, birds and Nile natural scenery which encourages tourism investment. The climate in Sudan is characterized by varied climatic conditions which are moderate all the year round in the Red Sea area especially in the highlands such as Erkwiet Summer Resort.
The special concern being attached to the promotion of tourism in Sudan is necessitated by many factors represented in the necessity of activating domestic internal tourism, notably among the youths to familiarize with their country. Tourism activity also makes youths realize the power of Almighty Allah, thus deepening their faith in Him. It as well inculcates them with love for their country and is further considered an important economic resource as it brings foreign currency to the country. Tourism also promotes acquaintance and friendly relations with other people who are attracted to our country by its vast tourist resources.
In this way, tourism plays two key roles. First it boosts Sudan's good image to the outside world, reflecting the good nature of its people, its civilization, its popular heritage and its arts. Secondly, it contributes to the boosting of popular diplomacy of the country.
Sudan witnessed many successive civilizations such as those of Meroe and Kouh. The antiquities of those civilizations are still seen in many areas of the Northern State, Shendi area, Al-Bejrawia, Al-Naqa', Al-Musawarat, Merawie, karima, Al-Berkal Mountain and others. These tourist resources can generate a great revenue of foreign currency for the country if they are utilized and promoted in the best way in the international tourism markets.
Such being the case, the promotion of these resources gives Sudanese citizens the opportunity to spend their vacations inside the country, a matter which reduces the negative effects resulting from traveling abroad for tourist purposes.
Tourism activity started in Sudan since the dawn of independence with the country's meager resources being carefully and honestly directed to reflect Sudan's splendid tourist image to the outside world. The state, represented in the General Administration of Wildlife, embarked on the establishment of many game parks and reserves so that wild animals are well protected, bearing in mind that they are a national wealth to be treasured and passed on to the coming generations (game reserves of Nemolie, Booma, Al-Zaraf in the Southern States).
Antiquities Sites and Natural Areas:
Sudan is considered one of the few countries which enjoy a variety of tourism resources. These resources are represented in the Red Sea Coast which extends for more than 700 kilometers and is characterized by many tourist attractions, including diving and under-water photography, besides boat-rowing and water skiing.
The Red Sea Coast enjoys many gulfs and coral reefs as the area is free from contamination which plagues many seas and tourist areas in the world.
Sudan also enjoys an ancient heritage in the field of civilizations and antiquities representing a great attraction for tourists both from within and outside the country.
This heritage is centered in the Northern areas including Al-Nag'a Al-Musawarat, Karima, Al-Berkal, Merowie, Dongola and others. These areas and others saw ancient civilizations proved by the remains of the pyramids and temples, with a great part of them still lying unearthed. These areas attract many experts and researchers in this field. In addition, they are considered archaeological sites not experiencing any tourist leap before despite the availability of huge resources in them.
Central areas in Sudan including Sennar and Sinja contain antiquities of Al-Funj Kingdom (The Black Sultanate). The antiquities of this area bear testimony to the long and authentic history of the kingdom. There are many antiquities of the Mahdi State in east and west of Sudan and in the National Capital. These antiquities which reflect the glory and history of the Sudanese people, beside the existence of many other antiquities in other areas deserve concern to attract tourists from abroad to get acquainted with the history of the country.
In East Sudan, at Sawakin area, on the Red Sea, there are great antiquities indicating the existence of a historically great period of Sudan's history. Sawakin island, for example, is considered one of the areas which witnessed urban development and unique styles of architecture. It is now regarded as one of the world's few areas in this field. There are many tourists interested in this aspect of history and who can be attracted to these sites.
The state also set up Al-Dinder National Tourist Park for wildlife in the central state in 1935. This park is considered one of the greatest game reserves in Africa. It occupies a unique position north of the equator on an area of 2,470 square miles.
In 1990, the Government announced the establishment of Sanganieb national marine reserve on an area of about 12 square kilometers as a first Sudanese sea reserve at the Red Sea area. The government also set up Arous Tourist Village at the Red Sea area and villages of Jemieza in the Equatorial State. Areas of games are represented in the Red Sea Hills and birds hunting at Kindy Lake in Darfur state after it had been protected against poaching.
There are also game areas in South Sudan, Al-Dari Mountain, Al-Fuweir area, Al-Rugia Al-Zargha area, Talha Al-Misairi and Foanghar Mountain in Kordofan State.
Jebel Marra lies in western Sudan, one of the most distinct places in Darfur region. It stretches for several hundred miles from the small town of Kas in the South up to the outskirts of Al Fasher in the North, covering an area of almost 12800 square kilometers. Jabal Marra is 10,000 ft above sea level, the second highest in the country. It consists of a range of mountains 240 km long and 80 km wide, with waterfalls, volcanic lakes in an outstanding scenic beauty. The climate of the mountain is mild and of Mediterranean nature, where it rains almost the whole year round and that allows for the growth of abundant vegetation of citrus, apples and clusters of dense forest trees. Jebel Marra’s heavy rainfall and numerous gorges supply vast arable lands with a continuous flow of water turning it into ideal soil for the cultivation of sorghum, millet, vegetables and a wide variety of orchard trees.
Museums In Sudan
Sudan National Museum:
Built in 1965, this museum lies on the Nile Avenue in Khartoum overlooking the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile at Al-Mugran area. Visitors to the museum find the relics of the various civilizations of Sudan from the First Stone Age to the era of the Al Saltana Al-Zarqa' "black sultanate."
The National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums undertook the re-construction of temples that had been transferred during the process of saving relics of the Sudanese Nubia area from being covered by waters of the High Dam. These temples have been reconstructed in the yard of the museum and an artificial lake was dug to symbolize the original site of the temples.
The Ethnography Museum:
This museum is located on Al-Gama'a Street in Khartoum. In 1955 the buildings of the British army club were affiliated to the antiquities department at that time. The department then started the organization and presentation of the ethnographical groups, which had remained in warehouses since 1945, in this museum. The museum was opened in December 1956. The exhibits of the museum have been organized and arranged in such a way that gives a vivid live history of the various Sudanese tribes and their customs and traditions.
Al-Khalifa House Museum:
This museum is located in Omdurman near Al-Mahdi's Tomb. It derived its name from the Khalifa Abdellah Al-Ta'aishi, the successor of Imam Mohamed Ahmed Al-Mahdi, who was officially residing at the very same place. This museum was established in 1928 and contains relics of the Mahdist period, Sultan Ali Dinar and Gordon Pasha when he was governor of Sudan.
This museum was built in Al-Obeid town in Kordofan and was opened in November 1965. It was given the name from sheikan Valley, the site of a battle between Al-Mahdi's forces and hicks Pasha army in 1883. The battle was won by Mahdi forces and the museum took on the name in memory of the battle. The museum reflects relics dating back to the Mahdist era, besides other archaeological works of art representing all the successive eras of Sudan. The museum further contains some ethnographical collections.
Sultan Ali Dinar Palace Museum in Al-Fashir:
This museum was once a place of residence for the sultan as well as a government office for him. When the sultan died, the palace went into the hands of Al-Fashir governor and was next made a house for the commissioner of the province till 1971. After that, its ownership was transferred to the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museum which transformed it into a museum.
The museum exhibits antiquities collections which represent the various historical periods of Sudan from the time of the Stone Age to the era of Christianity. The museum also shows some of the materials used by the sultan and members of his family. There are also some relics which represent the civilization of Darfur area.