Sudan was a fascinating country with far too many photo opportunities. Unfortunately the days driving were very hard and so we didn't take much advantage of them. Also in Khartoum you need a permit to photograph and even though I asked people permission beforehand they always refused....
|Our first view of Sudan was of Wadi Halfa. A desolate town that is wind and sand blown. There is no dock or harbor, just run the boat up the beach and drive off. Pictures of the old Wadi Halfa before the damming of the Nile showed it a lush, green place with huge palm trees. The fertile sands have been replaced by barren desert. All gone.|
|The Sudanese in the North of the country call themselves Nubians as they live in the great Nubian desert. Water, one of the most precious gifts, is given freely. It is even kept cold in these large clay amphorae.|
|Once leaving Wadi Halfa you have a choice of two routes to Khartoum. One along the Nile river, which is the longer, the other is through the Nubian desert. The first 370 km you follow a railway line. Here you have two choices, ride on the line - which shakes you to shit, or ride in the sand - which gets quite hairy.|
|Once you pass Abu Hamed you're on your own. No more railway line to follow - just head South for 210km. This is very tough, especially when having to pull a kombi through. The route is marked sporadically by concrete posts and is made up of gravel plains and dunes of very soft sand. When you get to Abidiya the road starts again and it's 312km to Khartoum. This leg took us 16 hours!!|
|Felix, Alfons and Renee on the bank of the Nile. Here it is just one river but a few kilometers South of here the White and Blue Niles join. As mentioned, in Sudan you have to be careful of what you photograph. Things like bridges, military equipment and bases, poverty, and just about anything may not be photographed. Of course the confluence of the two Niles into one river is crossed by a bridge - so no photo.|
|Khartoum is a busy town which does very little. It is damn hot here and business hours are usually during the morning only. This is frustrating when going through the hoops to get paper work done. It is dusty and very poor. The people are extremely friendly though and we never felt threatened being in this African capital. This is the view from our hotel in the center of town.|
|Even though it's bloody hot, you can always count on a cold Coca Cola - provided it's not Friday. Friday is the day off and everything is shut. Khartoum is filled with expatriates so there is a good range of fast food places, and a whole load of Toyota Land Cruisers in Town. Yes these things do go together - all the aid agencies bring in the cars and the money. Here is Renee at the Khartoum Natural Sciences Museum - very interesting but a bit run down.|
|Khartoum from the other side of our hotel. This is in the direction of the market. As you can see there are not too many high rise buildings. There are a few but they are mainly the large hotels such as the Hilton - a great source of cold drinks and a good working air-conditioner, and the Meridian - don't bother with it.|
|The start of the mud in Southern Sudan, a few kilometers South of Gedaref on the road to the Ethiopian border. (Photo - courtesy of Alfons and Felix)|
The road to Gallabat gets progressively worse. The ground clearance of the Kombi and it's lack of four wheel drive meant that it got stuck many times. This is near Maliha in Southern Sudan about 20km from the Ethiopian border.