February 2011

1 month tourist visa obtained in Cairo. It allows 1 month from issue to enter Sudan.
Time taken: 1 day. If handed in at 9am, it may be possible to collect at 2pm. Otherwise collect next day.
Sudan Embassy: 3 Al Ibrahimi Street in Garden City. GPS Lat: 30.039452, Long:31.233873

What’s needed:
Letter of introduction from our embassy in Cairo (see below) + copy
Visa application form + copy
Passport + copy
2 passport photos

To make photocopies, turn left out of the Sudan Embassy. A kiosk is on the opposite side of the main road. LE0.25 per copy

Letter of introduction:
Cost varies across embassies. British Embassy in Cairo charged LE 275 p/p. For couples, the Sudanese Embassy accepts one letter + a copy (it’s not personalised).
Time taken: 45 minutes.
British Embassy open Sun-Thurs 10-13h.

Entry point (from Egypt): Wadi Halfa
Time taken: 1 day (can take 2-3 days)


SDG 30 – port tax for  4WD – varies by gross weight on carnet
SDG 22 – to stamp carnet
SDG 20 – for local fixer (who happens to be the brother of the head honcho at Customs) to help with process. He was found for us by Mr Magdi who is the Fixer in Chief of Wadi Halfa and met us on the ferry in the dining area on docking.

Money change
Street changers in Wadi Halfa. We have subsequently been warned about using street changers in other towns because of police. The rate they offer is 10% better than Khartoum banks.

Immigration 1 – Entry form (handed out on boat) + Yellow Fever Certificate + passport taken to a window on the outer edge of the ferry. Passport stamped and temperature taken in ear!

Immigration 2 – When the boat docks, Sudanese officials hand out more forms to complete in the cafe. This is where Magdi, the local ‘fixer’, will assume control of the vehicle process. Keep hold of your carnet if you don’t want to use his services, though often the authorities won’t deal with anyone but him. Check when the cargo barge is likely to arrive.

Into Wadi Halfa – In an open Land Rover pick up. Cost: SDG5.

Vehicle customs + carnet stamp (1.5hr): The process was arranged through Mr Magdi, and straightforward. After driving the vehicle off the barge, it is checked for chassis number against the carnet, and then the carnet is stamped. Forms to fill in are Sudanese Customs forms #2, #48, and #62. They are filled in by the fixer in Arabic. After paying the carnet fee and the port tax (both have receipts), the process is complete.

Police registration
Where: Following the tarmac road out of town, the police station is a few hundred metres from the main square, on the right hand side (blue metal fence). There’s a photocopy shop next door.
Time taken: 30 mins
Cost: SDG115 (some have paid SDG105 or SDG110 at other borders, so not clear whether there is an extra “handling fee” added in – no receipt was forthcoming despite asking – hence the suspicion)
Needed: passport + copy of passport + copy of Sudan visa with entry stamp
Opening hours: police station closes at 15.30

Photo permit
Available from the tourism office, a few hundred metres further along the tarmac road going out of town. A green/blue building on the left hand side. GPS: N 21.801230, E 31.355885

Passport and passport photo needed

This permit was checked at the Nuri pyramids in Karima.

Cost: SDG 26

Basic hotels: Nile (SDG7); Cleopatra (SDG15).
A few food shops (but expensive – cheaper in Egypt), restaurants, and a good market. Next good place for food is Dongola.

Travel Permits
For travel to several areas including Kassala and Port Sudan, a combined travel & photo permit is required, and checked on entry into the town. Available for free from the Ministry of Tourism, Antiquities and Wildlife on Al-Mashtal Street in Riyadh, Khartoum (GPS:N 15.580482, E 32.566490). One passport photo, copy of passport and Sudan visa page required. It is worth being explicit about every town that may be visited. Copies are needed for handing out at the police checks

A further (free) permit is required to travel to the Red Sea Resort, 30km North from Port Sudan on the new road to Egypt (border not open to tourists). Available from the Coral Hotel (formerly the Hilton) in Port Sudan.  Photocopy of passport and visa page needed. Photocopies of permit needed at the checkpoints en route. This permit only allows travel to the Red Sea Resort – so not clear there is any flexibility to travel further North.

Exit Point (into Ethiopia): Gallabat
Time taken: 1 hour 15 minutes

All the offices are on the right hand side of the road as you approach the border, in are completed in the following order:
1) Police registration exit at GPS: N 12.958117, E 36.151067: passport details taken. Free
2) Customs at GPS: N 12.958550, E 36.150450 More details taken, Carnet stamped – SDG27.85
3) Immigration at GPS: N 12.959300, E 36.148467 Fill out immigration form. Free.

Carnet stamp fee: SDG 27.85
The Gedaref-Gallabat road now has a toll of SDG5 (with receipt) near Gedaref.


Diesel varied from SDG 1.45/litre in Khartoum to SDG 1.67/litre in Kassala.

Car workshops

Khartoum: Almotkamil Motor Repair Centre  (GPS N 15.546298,  E 32.549835).  South 1km along Africa Road from the Afra shopping centre, and turn right at the Canar building (three domes),  500m on the right. Safwat Sidgi who runs it is a traveller/biker himself, speaks fluent English, and boasts an amazing collection of tropical fish. Tel: +249 912 139 058

Useful GPS

Tourist sites:
Wawa: ferry man for Soleb temple: N 20.448045, E 30.343143
El Kurru Tombs:  N 18.410648, E 31.771798

Ethiopian Embassy: now near the SE corner of Farouq Cemetery in Khartoum: GPS: N 15.580400, E 32.541980

Much road building has taken place where maps haven’t kept pace:

Junction near Karima for highway to Atbara: N 18.324253, E 31.761728
Junction near Khartoum for highway to Kassala: N 15.433647, E 32.813720