Safety and security
The security situation is generally unstable in a number of regions in Sudan. In 2012, the President declared a state of emergency in the five states bordering South Sudan, which give the government expanded powers of arrest. There are reports of arbitrary detentions in different parts of the country, including Khartoum, and foreign nationals may be affected by this.
Avoid all travel to the Abyei region and adjoining areas, and to the states of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile where there are regular outbreaks of violence.
We also advise against all travel to parts of Darfur, where the situation remains extremely unstable, and to areas of Eastern Sudan close to the border with Eritrea.
Be extremely cautious around areas that may be sensitive to the government, including military installations, border areas and camps for internationally-displaced persons.
In the past year, there have been frequent demonstrations, often leading to violent clashes in Khartoum and other cities and several Embassies have been attacked. Protests have taken place in response to rising prices and austerity measures, but also in response to perceived insults to Islam and other international events. They have led to violent clashes between security forces and protestors.
You should avoid all protests and demonstrations and should not try to take photographs of demonstrations. If caught up in a demonstration, leave the area immediately. Closely monitor the local media for updates on the situation.
You’ll need locally-obtained permits for all travel to many destinations outside Khartoum, including Darfur.
The Wadi Halfa border crossing between Egypt and Sudan is open and there is a weekly steamer between Aswan High Dam and Wadi Halfa with a connecting train to/from Khartoum. Don’t attempt to cross any other land borders, whether or not at official crossing points.
There is a risk of terrorism in all parts of Sudan including Khartoum.
There is a risk of kidnapping in all parts of Sudan including Khartoum.
Landmines pose a threat in rural areas in many parts of the country. Don’t stray off main routes, particularly in rural areas, and always check with your local contact before travelling to affected regions.
The incidence of street crime in Khartoum and other major northern Sudanese cities, other than in Darfur, is low compared to many parts of Africa. However, you should exercise caution, particularly after dark. Always take sensible precautions:
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place
- Take a number of photocopies of your passport with you in case your passport is lost or stolen. Leave a copy of your passport (and travel and insurance documents) with family or friends at home
- Avoid showing large sums of money in public
- Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, and arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible
- Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafés, train and bus stations
- Women should take particular care if travelling alone
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Sudan, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Embassy in Nairobi in Kenya or Honorary Consul in Khartoum if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Sudan, you should be careful. Driving conditions can be hazardous, and roads poor. Avoid driving at night and without a guide. If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driver’s licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Sudanese law prohibits the use of mobile phones whilst driving
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Desert travel within Sudan should be attempted only if you’re fully equipped and experienced.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Be aware that many public transport vehicles are unsafe and consider alternative methods of transport.
Sudan has many operating local airlines. However, there are serious concerns about their safety and reliability. Many of these airlines are banned from operating in European airspace.
Wed, 11 May 2016 10:39:32 BST