Al-Ahram Weekly Online   3 - 9 April 2008
Issue No. 891
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Traveller's notes

- Daily flights are available via three airliners that fly Cairo- Khartoum directly -- EgyptAir, Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines. Alternatively, there is the Aswan-Wadi Halfa ferry that crosses Lake Nasser twice a week (Monday and Wednesday).

- Egyptian nationals do not need a visa to enter Sudan. Passports are stamped upon arrival. Other nationalities are required to obtain a visa in advance. Within three years of entering Sudan, they are also required to register their passports.

- Passport registration takes place at the Ministry of Interior located in Tayyar Mourad Street, Khartoum. Be ready with a photocopy of your passport, Sudanese visa with the entrance stamp and a personal photo. At the time of press, passport registration cost around 45 Sudanese pounds.

- The Sudanese Embassy in Cairo is located at 3 Ibrahim St, Garden City. Tel: 02 2528 5536.

- All travellers, regardless of their nationality, are required to pay SP35 upon departure from any Sudanese port. It must be paid in Sudanese pounds. No foreign currencies are accepted.

- Before flashing your camera, make sure you have your photography permit. It is free of charge and obtained from the Ministry of Tourism located in Abu Sinn Street, Khartoum. A straightforward process that takes around 10 minutes in total.

- In 2007, the Sudanese dinar was phased out and replaced with the Sudanese pound (SP) as the country's official and functional currency. Its notes come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds, while the coins come in 1, 5, 10 and 20 piastres. The Sudanese pound is not exchanged in Cairo, so better have US dollars or euros and exchange in Khartoum.

- Travelling in Khartoum and northward, the possibility of contracting malaria is very slim, so no vaccination is required. Still it is a personal choice. All travellers coming from Sudan are required to have proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entering Egypt. Ten days or more before heading to Sudan, make sure to pay the Travellers' Centre a visit for yellow fever vaccination and a stamp on your yellow-in-colour Certificate of Vaccination. It costs LE76 and one can be vaccinated in the Travellers' Centre at Giza Square or at Mahkama Square, Heliopolis.

- Internet cafés are fairly available in Khartoum, especially in downtown Souq Arabi. One hour use is in the range of SP2. I also came across one in Karima, Northern State, but it charges a staggering SP15 an hour.

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