Hanging in Khartoum (in more ways than one)

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February 22nd 2012
Published: March 23rd 2012
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We ended up spending a few more days in Khartoum than planned as there was some Nuban wrestling on Fridays that we wanted to check out. Unfortunately, in the end we didn't manage to see it, despite getting the bus out to the part of the city that it was supposedly on. We thought 2 guys had understood where we wanted to go and would tell us where to get off, but then they go off the bus and no one else could understand where we wanted to go to. It didn't help that this was the day after our one and only big night out in Khartoum.

On the Thursday night, which is like their Friday night, we were brought to a Guest House by our couch surfing host. We arrived to find about 4 UN vehicles outside and music blaring out. When walked in it was like we had walked into some Mediterranean holiday resort. There were mostly ex-pats drinking around a swimming pool and even couples kissing in public. There was also quite a few Sudanese there. We had to double check we were still in Khartoum. The beers on sale were over 5 euro for one fun sized can, so we didn't stay too long.

We went off to another party, which was for some Italian girl's going away. It was on at the biggest mansion I have ever been in. Again there was music blaring out, all the drink was free this time and there was even a butler serving it. This turned into the latest night I have had on my trip so far, not something I expected in Sudan!

On the other days we had in Khartoum, we didn't really do all that much. We did go up the building known as Gaddafi's Egg, a hotel built by the Libyan Oil corporation. The most expensive room is $4,000, with the cheapest being $300. We splashed out on a coffee. We also went to Al Mogran Park, which is at the confluence of the Nile. It has some fairground attractions, luckily out of action, as they looked too rusty to venture on. Despite its lack of tourist activities, I liked Khartoum. There is clearly a lot of wealth from the oil in the country, but also a lot of poverty. This together with the violence in other parts of the country should make Khartoum a very dangerous place, but it was probably where I have felt safest.

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