Approach to Khartoum airport

Today, Khartoum airport is more or less in the city center as Khartoum grew rapidly. A new airport is under construction.

When I woke up in Khartoum I asked myself what’s next? During the past three months I was focused on dealing with items on my long to-do list that was aimed at putting on hold my German life and preparing my trip. Thanks to the Sudanese Administration there are some tasks for newly arrived foreigners. First, I have to register in the Alien Registration Office (in fact, I’m sort of an alien here 😉 ) Second, I need a travel and photography permit. However, the Office of Tourism & Wildlife will open not before Sunday.
So I went to Khartoum downtown to get an idea how the center of the Sudanese capital looks like.
Downtown was more or less abandoned. All shops were closed, there were only a few people sitting in the shade chatting with each other. The muezzin’s call to prayer reminded me that it’s Friday. I was afraid that the whole day will look like this as Sudan is a rather conservative muslim country. For a second I felt discouraged and started to question my decision to come here.

These nice guys treated me my first Sudanese coffee 🙂

Of course, he didn’t allow me to pay for my first Sudanese tea

Just one hour later, when the Friday prayer was over, the city came to live and my doubts were gone. I was invited a couple of times to tea or coffee. Mentioning that I live in Munich automatically leads to a discussion about football. Unfortunately, I’m not the best conversational partner when it comes to this sport.

Sufi temples in the middle of Hamad Al Nil cemetery

The dervishes greet each other before the ceremony begins

Line up for the ceremony

It’s impossible not to move with the rhythm of these drums


The eye-catcher of the ceremony

Most dervishes enjoyed the ceremony by walking slowly over the square


In the middle of a cemetry in Omdurman, the city next to Khartoum on the western side of Nile, colorful Sufi dervishes stir up the dust in worship of Allah. The atmosphere is peaceful and frenetic at the same time. The catchy rhythms let your body move.

My friend Bakri from the Brgoo tribe in Southern Darfur.

My friend Mosa aka Gaga from the Nuba tribe in Southern Kordofan

Many of the coffee shops in Khartoum are run by Ethiopian women


After I took a picture of the Lady who prepared tea and coffee for Bakri and me the sellers of the shop next door wanted a picture as well 🙂

The shop owners had their fun to clothe me in traditional Sudanese jalabiya and turban 🙂

I should have filmed the butcher when he made a Zorro like show for me cutting the cow 🙂

When Gaga showed me his college his friends invited me to tea and delicious fried pastry

Bakri and Gaga, who I met during the Sufi ceremony, showed me Omdurman Souq the next day. It’s said to be the largest market in Sudan.

After three days, I met the first travellers in the Ethiopian embassy. Two Dutch girls who are cycling from Dutch to Cape Town in one year. That’s an adventure…
You may find their blog under fietsverhaaltjes.wordpress.com

The grooms mother

… and his sister


The groom, Gaga’s brother

In the evening, the return of Gaga’s brother from his honeymoon was celebrated. A professional soundsystem for earthquakes of the magnitude 3 😉 and live screens were installed on the street in front of the house. I guess more than 300 people joined the celebrations with a band and three singers. I wonder how the wedding looked like 🙂

Unfortunately, I missed the second half of the party after the break for the evening prayer as the party was an one hour drive away from Khartoum and I wanted to get up early next day to travel to the Meroitic temples of Musawarat.

Rumor has it that the next blog entry will feature Meroitic temples and pyramids 🙂

Comments ( 3 )

  • Steffen Markert

    Beautiful Pictures. Please more📸

  • Mickaël and Dominika

    Hi Thomas ! It’s a beautiful start ! Thank you for sharing your adventure !

  • Magda

    Keep writing and travel safe! Hugs from Warsaw!

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