Please read all sections of this travel advice carefully. The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller and the traveller is responsible for his or her personal safety for the duration of his/her trip.
Due to a volatile security situation Irish citizens are advised against all travel to Sudan outside Khartoum, and against all non-essential to Khartoum at the present time.
The abolition of fuel subsidies by the government on 23 September has sparked violent demonstrations and protests across the country. We strongly advise Irish citizens to avoid all such protests and demonstrations. If caught up in a demonstration, Irish citizens should leave the area immediately. You should closely monitor the local media for updates on the situation. Irish citizens concerned for their safety may wish to consider their need to remain in the country at the present time.
Irish citizens should be aware that Ireland does not have a resident embassy in Sudan. The ability of the Irish Government to offer consular assistance to Irish citizens in Sudan is therefore limited.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, is obtained before travelling to Sudan.
Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Safety and Security
In recent years there have been 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. The abolition of fuel subsidies by the government on 23 September has sparked violent demonstrations and protests across the country. Irish citizens should avoid all protests and demonstrations and should not attempt to take photographs of demonstrations.
The security situation in Sudan is generally unstable and there is a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping. Irish citizens should exercise vigilance at all times and avoid travelling at night time..
In April 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 in Khartoum, and of foreign nationals.
Irish citizens should 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 advise against all travel to parts of Darfur, where the situation remains extremely unstable.
We also advise against travel to areas of Eastern Sudan close to the border with Eritrea.
Irish citizens should exercise extreme caution around areas which may be sensitive to the government, including military installations, border areas and camps for internationally displaced persons and in particular to avoid taking photographs or video in those areas.
There is a significant risk of terrorism in all parts of Sudan including Khartoum.
There is a significant risk of kidnapping in all parts of Sudan including Khartoum.
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.
Driving conditions in Sudan can be hazardous, and roads poor. Driving at night, and without a guide, should be avoided.
Desert travel within Sudan should be attempted only if you are fully equipped and experienced.
You are advised that many public transport vehicles are unsafe.
Sudanese law prohibits the use of mobile phones whilst driving.
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. For more information see: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/modes/air/safety/air-ban/index_en.htm.
Local Laws and Customs
Sudan is a conservative country. Modest dress, particularly for women, should be observed. Women, in particular, should take care when travelling alone.
During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to eat, drink or smoke during daylight hours. To avoid offence you may wish to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public during this time.
Irish citizens are reminded that whilst in Sudan, they are subject to local laws, including ones that may seem harsh by Irish standards.
Parents in particular should be aware that local laws regarding custody etc of children are significantly different to those in force in Ireland.
Sudan operates Islamic Sharia Law, and this is widely enforced. Alcohol is not permitted.
Homosexual practices and extra marital relations are illegal and subject to severe penalties under Islamic Sharia law.
There are severe penalties for drug trafficking in Sudan.
A permit for photography is required. Even with a permit, it is strictly prohibited to photograph airports, military cars, bridges, drainage stations, broadcast stations, public utilities, slum areas or beggars.
If you are required to engage in activities that involve local legal matters, particularly with regard to family law, you are strongly advised to seek professional legal advice.
Natural Disasters and Climate
The temperature in the summer months in some areas can reach over 40 degrees Celsius. Visitors are reminded to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
Sudan suffers from both drought and flash flooding. If you are planning to travel overland to remote areas during the rainy season, you should note that flooding can make areas inaccessible by road.
Sudan also experiences sandstorms.
Additional Country Info
Irish citizens require a visa to enter Sudan. For entry requirements for Sudan, please contact the Embassy of Sudan in London.
Any Irish citizen in Sudan (resident or visitor) or who intends to travel there is advised to register their details with the Embassy of Ireland in Cairo. Please click here to do so.
The Department of Foreign Affairs also operates a 24 hour emergency service for citizens in need of consular assistance on 00353 1 4780822.
Before travelling to Sudan, you should consult a doctor regarding necessary vaccinations.
There has been an outbreak of yellow fever across Sudan. Travellers to Sudan should ensure they have been vaccinated against yellow fever and should bring their vaccination certificate with them.
In general tap water is not safe to drink. Bottled water is cheap and readily available.
Cash & Banking
Credit cards and travellers' cheques are not usually acceped in Sudan. It is not possible to obtain cash against credit cards at banks and credit cards are not accepted at hotels to settle bills. Neither is it possible to cash travellers' cheques through the local banking system in Sudan. You should ensure that you have sufficient hard currency, preferably US Dollars, to cover expenses during your stay.
Permits, obtained locally, are required for all travel to many destinations outside Khartoum, including Darfur.
The Wadi Halfa border crossing between Egypt and Sudan is open. There is a weekly steamer between Aswan High Dam and Wadi Halfa with a connecting train to/from Khartoum. You should not attempt to cross any other land borders, whether or not at official crossing points.
Landmines pose a threat in rural areas in many parts of the country.