Top Ten Sudanese Attractions

Top Ten Sudanese Attractions

       Sudan is a country in North Africa bordered by Egypt, the Red Sea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Chad and Libya. While the population of Sudan predominately descends from both indigenous African groups and Arabs, today Arab culture predominates with over 97% of the population adhering to Islam. The Nile divides the country between east and west sides. The people of Sudan have a long history extending from antiquity which is intertwined with the history of Egypt, with which it was united politically over several periods. After gaining independence from Egypt and the UK in 1956, Sudan suffered 17 years of civil war during the First Sudanese Civil War (1955–1972) followed by ethnic, religious and economic conflicts between the Muslim Arab and Arab northern Sudanese and the mostly animist and Christian Nilotes of Southern Sudan. This led to the Second Sudanese Civil War in 1983. Because of continuing political and military struggles, Sudan was seized in a bloodless coup d’état by colonel Omar al-Bashir in 1989, who thereafter proclaimed himself President of Sudan. The civil war ended with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement which granted autonomy to what was then the southern region of the country. Following a referendum held in January 2011, South Sudan seceded on July 9, 2011 with the consent of Sudan’s President al-Bashir. Its capital is Khartoum, which serves as the political, cultural and commercial center of the nation, while Omdurman is the largest city. Officially a federal presidential representative democratic republic, the politics of Sudan are widely considered by the international community to take place within an authoritarian system due to the control of the National Congress Party of the judiciary, executive and legislative branches of government. On March 4, 2009, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for al-Bashir, the current President of Sudan, on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity related to the ongoing conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan. On July 12, 2010, the ICC issued a second arrest warrant for al-Bashir, adding the charge of genocide. Sudan then achieved great economic growth by implementing macroeconomic reforms and finally ended the civil war by adopting a new constitution in 2005 with rebel groups in the south, granting them limited autonomy that was followed by a referendum about independence in January 2011. Rich in natural resources such as petroleum, Sudan’s economy is among the fastest growing in the world, with China and Japan acting as the main export partners. However, after an Islamic legal code was introduced on a national level, the ruling National Congress established themselves as the sole political party in the state and has since supported the use of recruited Arab militias in guerrilla warfare, such as in the ongoing conflict in Darfur. Statistics indicate that about 17% of the population live on less than US $1.25 per day. Among Sudan’s population of 30 million people, Sunni Islam is the largest religion, while Arabic and English are the official languages.

  1. Meroë

           Meroë is the name of an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile about 6 km north-east of the Kabushiya station near Shendi, Sudan, approximately 200 km north-east of Khartoum. Near the site are a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. This city was the capitol of the Kingdom of Kush for several centuries. The Kushitic Kingdom of Meroë gave its name to the Island of Meroë, which was the modern region of Butana, a region bounded by the Nile (from the Atbarah River to Khartoum), the Atbarah, Ethiopia and the Blue Nile. The city of Meroë was on the edge of Butana and there were two other Meroitic cities in Butana, Musawwarat es-Sufra, and Naqa. The site of the city of Meroë is marked by more than 200 pyramids in three groups, of which many are in ruins. They are identified as Nubian pyramids because of their distinctive size and proportions.
    Links: Pyramids, Top Ten African Pyramids,
  2. Jebel Barkal

           Jebel Barkal or Gebel Barkal is a very small mountain located some 400 km north of Khartoum, in Karima town in Northern State in Sudan, on a large bend of the Nile River, in the region called Nubia. In 2003, the mountain, together with the historical city of Napata (which sits at its feet), were named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Around 1450 BC, the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III extended his empire to that region and considered Gebel Barkal its southern limit. There, he campaigned near the city of Napata that, about 300 years later, became the capital of the independent kingdom of Kush. The 25th Dynasty Nubian king Piye later greatly enlarged the New Kingdom Temple of Amun in this city and erected his Year 20 Victory stela within it. The ruins around Gebel Barkal include at least 13 temples and 3 palaces that were first described by European explorers in the 1820’s. In 1862 five inscriptions from the Third Intermediate Period were recovered by an Egyptian officer and transported to the Cairo Museum, but not until 1916 were scientific archeological excavations performed by a joint expedition of Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. From the 1970’s, explorations continued by teams from the University of Rome La Sapienza and Boston Museum. The larger temples, such as that of Amun, are even today considered sacred to the local population. The mountain is 98 m tall, has a flat top, and apparently was used as a landmark by the traders in the important route between central Africa, Arabia and Egypt, as the point where it was easier to cross the great river.
    Links: Pyramids,,
  3. Khartoum

           Khartoum is the capital and largest city of Sudan and of Khartoum State. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile flowing north from Lake Victoria and the Blue Nile flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as “al-Mogran.” The main Nile continues to flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. Divided by the Niles, Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis with an estimated overall population of over five million people consisting of Khartoum proper, and linked by bridges to Khartoum North called (al-Khartūm Bahrī) and Omdurman (Umm Durmān) to the west.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten African Cities,,
  4. Omdurman

           Omdurman is the largest city in Sudan and Khartoum State, lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. Omdurman has a population of 2,395,159 (2008) and is the national center of commerce. With Khartoum and Khartoum North or Bahri, it forms the cultural and industrial heart of the nation.
  5. Links: Top Ten Countries That Need Help, Top Ten Sudanese Hotels, Top Ten South Sudanese Attractions, Top 100 Portrait Photos,,