Sudan is the largest country in Africa in area and lies in the northeastern part of the continent. The country is a land of widely differing geography. The Nubian Desert sprawls across most of the north, grassy plains in its central region and the south is characterised by swamps and rain forest.

The Nile River is Sudan's most important geographic feature. Khartoum, the capital, and Omdurman, the largest city, lies on the Nile. 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.

People have lived in what is now Sudan for thousands of years. Ancient kingdoms flourished in parts of Sudan, and Egypt controlled the country at various times. The country became independent in 1956.

Know before you go

CAPITAL: Khartoum

LANGUAGE: Arabic

COUNTRY CODE: SD

ELECTRICITY: 230V, 50Hz
To power any electrical item an international adapter or a two pin plug is required

POPULATION: 43,849 million

CURRENCY: Sudanese Pound

DIALLING CODE: +249

TIME ZONE: GMT/UTC +3

Sudan Climate

In the northern part of the country rain rarely amounts to more than four inches a year. Average summer high temperatures reach 110°F (43°C), but the temperature can climb to more than 125°F (52°C).

In central Sudan, rainfall varies from 4 to 32 inches per year. Average temperatures range from 74°F (23°C) in January to 89°F (32°C) in July. Average temperatures are lower in southern half compared to the rest of the country.

Travel Warning

It has been advised against all travel to the following parts of Sudan: Darfur, the Red Sea State border with Eritrea; the Abyei region; Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states; areas of Northern Kordofan and White Nile states south of the Kosti-El Obeid-En Nahud road.

It has also been advised against all but essential travel to the following parts of Sudan: areas west of the towns of En-Nahud in North Kordofan up to the Darfur border.

The level of street crime in Khartoum and other major Sudanese cities, with the exception of Darfur, is low but increasing. Incidents of bag-snatching (including drive-by bag snatching by thieves on motorbikes) and petty theft do occur. Remain alert and take sensible precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks across the country. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

Information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK www.fco.gov.uk

Sudan in depth

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