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Country Information

Sudan

Sudan
Republic of Sudan
Do not travel to Sudan due to civil unrest. Reconsider travel due to crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict

Do not travel to Sudan due to civil unrest. Reconsider travel due to crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

Sudan is experiencing sporadic civil unrest and protests across the country. Communication disruptions, including internet and cell phone service, can occur during protests.

Country Summary: Crime, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking can occur. This type of crime is more frequent outside of Khartoum.

Members of known terrorist groups and individuals sympathetic to these groups in Sudan could attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities, and areas frequented by Westerners.

Demonstrations can occur with no warning. The majority of recent demonstrations in Khartoum have been planned and peaceful. However, police and other security forces may intervene to disperse demonstrators, including with the use of tear gas when protests occur near key government locations and/or impair freedom of movement.

Violence continues along the border between Chad and Sudan and areas that border South Sudan (including the disputed Abyei area). Armed opposition groups are active in Central Darfur state and parts of Blue Nile and South Kordofan states. Intercommunal clashes can occur throughout the country and can result in the declaration of localized States of Emergency.

The U.S. government has limited ability to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens outside of Khartoum, as U.S. government employees must obtain special authorization from the Sudanese government to travel outside of Khartoum. The U.S. Embassy requires U.S. government personnel in Sudan to use armored vehicles for official travel.

Read the country information page for additional information about travel to Sudan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined Sudan has an unknown level of COVID-19.  Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

If you decide to travel to Sudan:

  • Read the Department of State’s COVID-19 page before planning any international travel, and read the Embassy COVID-19 page for country-specific COVID-19 information.   
  • Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Have a personal emergency action plan that does not rely on U.S. government assistance.
  • Monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay alert in areas frequented by Westerners.
  • Have contingency plans to leave the country.
  • Share important documents, login information, and points of contact with loved ones so that they can manage your affairs if you are unable to return as planned to the United States. Find a suggested list of such documents here.
  • Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
  • nroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Sudan.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

Last Update: Reissued with updates to health information

... [READ MORE]

Embassy Messages

Alerts

Quick Facts

PASSPORT VALIDITY:


6 months beyond date of entry into Sudan

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


2 pages

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:


Yes

VACCINATIONS:


Yellow fever

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


None

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


$3,000

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Khartoum

Kilo 10, Soba
Khartoum, Sudan
Telephone:
 +249-187-0-22000; (Sunday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +249-18 702 2000
Email: 

Destination Description

See our Fact Sheet on Sudan for information on U.S. - Sudanese relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Sudan.   

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • World Health Organization (WHO) card with yellow fever vaccination when arriving from a yellow fever infected area

Visas:

Obtain your visa before traveling. Visit the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan website for the most current visa information. Overseas inquiries should be made at the nearest Sudanese Embassy or consulate.

The Government of the Republic of the Sudan requires U.S. citizens to present a passport with at least six months validity and an entry visa or entry permit upon arrival at any port of entry in Sudan.

U.S. citizens must obtain an entry visa from a Sudanese embassy before arriving in Sudan. There is one exception to this requirement: U.S. citizens possessing a Sudanese national identification document (such as a Sudanese passport, alien registration card, or national identification card).

Previous Travel to Israel: Travelers with Israeli visas or exit/entry stamps are now permitted entry following a change in relations between Sudan and Israel in 2020.

HIV/AIDS Restrictions: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Sudan. Sudanese law requires a negative HIV test result to obtain a work or residence visa. Please verify this information with the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan before you travel. 

Find information on dual nationalityprevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism: Members and individual sympathizers of known terrorist groups and hardline political extremists could attack with little or no warning, targeting foreign and local government facilities and areas frequented by Westerners. Globally, terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds. Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as:  

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.)  
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists  
  • Places of worship  
  • Schools  
  • Parks  
  • Shopping malls and markets  
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)   

For more information, see our Terrorism page.

Violence continues along the border between Chad and Sudan and areas near the border with South Sudan (including the disputed Abyei area). Armed opposition groups are active in Central Darfur state.

Landmines and other explosive remnants of war still exist in rural areas; Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, Darfur, and the Eastern states, including along the Eritrean border, are the most affected. Border closures may occur without notice.

Intercommunal and intracommunal clashes can occur throughout the country and can result in the declaration of localized states of emergency; civilians have been killed and government and security installations have been attacked.

Blue Nile Region (Blue Nile, Sennar, and White Nile states) and Southern Kordofan Region (includes Abyei region, North Kordofan; South Kordofan; West Kordofan): While violence has decreased significantly from previous years, tensions remain high. Banditry and intercommunal violence are common in these regions. Armed actors may transit the shared borders with South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Darfur Region: Flares of deadly intercommunal conflict continue, as does violence perpetrated by bandits and militias. Criminality, looting, and conflict over economic resources (land, gold, livestock) also is common. Tensions within camps for internally displaced people have resulted in fatalities and violence. Extrajudicial mobs and armed communal militia may mobilize quickly. Armed actors may transit Sudan’s shared borders with Chad and Central African Republic.

Eastern Sudan (Kassala, Gedaref, and Red Sea States): Escalating tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan have prompted a sizeable build-up of military forces along the disputed border in Gedaref’s Fashaga region as well as recurring military-to-military engagements, clashes involving Ethiopian militias, and intercommunal reprisals over farmland. Incidents of cross-border criminality to include kidnapping have occurred. Human traffickers and organized crime syndicates are known to operate in the Kassala area (Kassala, Al Qadarif, and Red Sea states) along the Ethiopian and Eritrean borders. Stay on major roads if you are traveling by vehicle due to potential landmines and other explosive remnants of war.

Crime: Crime, such as kidnapping, armed robbery, home invasion, and carjacking, can occur, though such crimes are more frequent outside of Khartoum. In Khartoum, home invasion, pickpocketing, purse snatching, theft from vehicles, and other petty crime occur, and the number of petty crimes has increased over the past year. There is a risk of kidnapping. Expatriates are not generally targeted for crime in Khartoum, but may be caught in a ‘wrong place, wrong time’ situation.

Elsewhere in Sudan, particularly in Darfur, armed robbery, kidnapping, carjacking, and looting is common; victims may be targeted based on perceived wealth or affiliation, and aid workers continue to be affected by such crimes. Banditry is prevalent throughout western Sudan, particularly in the Darfur and Chad–Sudan border regions, where several incidents have resulted in deaths. Sexual assault is widespread in areas of armed conflict.

  • Avoid walking or traveling alone, especially after dark and particularly outside of Khartoum.
  • Do not display cash and valuable personal property.
  • Dress conservatively in clothing which covers the shoulders, upper arms, and legs to below the knee.
  • Drive with doors and windows locked.
  • Travel with a copy of your U.S. passport and Sudanese visa to prevent the originals from being taken. Keep original documents in a secure location. Use reputable travel firms, knowledgeable guides, and drivers.

Demonstrations: Small gatherings and demonstrations can occur with no warning and may escalate to violence. Protests are a regular occurrence since the 2019 revolution, with the pace increasing following the October 25, 2021 military takeover. Police and other security forces may intervene to disperse demonstrators, including with the use of tear gas and, in some instances, live ammunition, when protests occur near key governmental locations and/or impair freedom of movement. Protests and demonstrations have led to extended disruptions to telecommunications and, in some instances, airport closures, inhibiting U.S. citizens’ abilities to communicate with friends and family or depart the country. Historical anniversaries, calls for justice, and economic grievances, including bread, cooking oil, and fuel shortages, can precipitate demonstrations.

  • Avoid areas around protests and demonstrations.  
  • Check local media for updates and traffic advisories.  
  • Follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Maintain several days’ supply of food and water and stay indoors until the demonstration has passed.
  • Keep a low profile and observe all curfews.
  • Have alternate means of communication in the event of disruptions to telecommunication services.

International Financial Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information.

Victims of Crime: U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault or domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 999 and contact the U.S. Embassy at +249 18 702 2000. Dial 777 to contact the police for traffic emergencies, 998 for fire, and 333 for medical emergencies. Emergency services and the telephone network are unreliable. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide information on victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the Embassy for assistance. 

Tourism: Little to no formal tourism industry infrastructure is in place. Emergency response and subsequent appropriate medical treatment is often limited or inadequate. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Convictions for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs can result in long jail sentences and heavy fines. While the consumption of alcohol is no longer prohibited for non-Muslims, regulations and enforcement remain unclear. You may be detained for questioning by the police if unable to produce an acceptable form of identification. Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website. 

 

Travel Permits: A permit, obtainable from the Ministry of Tourism by your hotel or travel agent, is required for travel outside of the greater Khartoum area. A copy of the permit will be sent to the Aliens Department at the Ministry of Interior. A separate travel permit is required for travel to Darfur. The Embassy’s ability to provide consular services outside of Khartoum, including emergency assistance, is severely limited. Carry multiple copies of permits, as travelers without permits may be detained and arrested.

Photography: Do not take photographs of any areas which may be sensitive to the government, including police and military installations, camps for internally displaced persons, and border areas. Photography requires a permit from the External Information Centre in Khartoum (part of the Ministry of Information). Even with a permit, it is illegal to take pictures of military installations, public utilities, infrastructure (e.g., bridges, airports), slum areas, or beggars. Do not take photographs or use equipment with cameras (including cell phone camera and laptops) close to government buildings. You could be fined, have your photographic equipment confiscated without notice, and risk detention and arrest. Do not take photos of Sudanese without their permission.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

The U.S. Embassy will not receive notification of your arrest. Moreover, dual U.S.-Sudanese nationals will be prosecuted as Sudanese citizens, impeding our ability to provide consular services.

Sharia Law/Customs: Personal status laws govern legal procedures pertaining to family relations, including marriage, divorce, child custody, maintenance (financial support), and inheritance. We strongly advise you seek local legal counsel if you must engage in local legal matters and make certain you are aware of your rights and responsibilities. Some national laws reflect a sharia system of jurisprudence. Non-Muslims are sometimes convicted of offenses based on officials’ interpretation of Islamic law. The government enacted legislation in July 2020 that removed flogging as a punishment for criminal and civil crimes. However, flogging remains a common sentence for hudud, which are punishments mandated under Islamic law for serious offenses. Non-Muslim women are not expected to wear a veil or cover their heads. Both women and men should dress modestly. Shorts are not appropriate. Public displays of affection are discouraged. Pornography is not permitted. Government offices and businesses follow an Islamic workweek (Sunday to Thursday).

Phone Service: Cellular phones are common, as other telephone service is unreliable and landlines are nearly non-existent. It may be possible to purchase a SIM card locally and use a U.S.-compatible cell phone. Check for compatibility with local cellular networks with your phone carrier or manufacturer before you go. During periods of civil unrest, Sudanese authorities may cut all telecommunications for extended periods of time. Maintain alternate means of communication in such an event.

Currency: The Sudanese pound (SDG) is the official currency. Sudan operates on a cash-only economy; U.S.-issued credit and debit cards do not work. Carry sufficient funds in U.S. dollars to cover all your expenses for the duration of your stay. Bills must be printed after 2006 and unblemished. Do not carry a large amount of cash because travelers carrying large amounts of U.S. currency have been detained and currency confiscated. Sudan has no international ATMs. Local ATMs draw on local banks only. Western Union operates in Khartoum only. Exchange currency only at reputable banks. Exchanging currency outside of official banking channels is illegal and is punishable by imprisonment and fines.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Sudanese law does not specifically prohibit homosexuality but criminalizes sodomy, which is punishable if convicted by five years in jail for an initial offense. Sudan’s civilian-led transitional government abolished corporal and capital punishment for conviction of sodomy. LGBTI persons are not considered a protected class under antidiscrimination laws. Anti–LGBTI sentiment remains pervasive in society. LGBTI organizations have alleged being pressured to alter their activities due to threat of harm. There have been no reports of official action to investigate or punish those complicit in LGBTI-related discrimination or abuses.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section six of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to transportation, lodging, and public buildings is limited for people with mobility issues. There are few sidewalks and no curb-cuts, and most buildings lack functioning elevators.

Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: Early and forced marriage of children continues. While Sudan has criminalized Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), the national prevalence rate of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting is 88 percent. Spousal abuse is common. Women who file claims of domestic violence are subjected to accusations of spreading false information, harassment, and detention. Police normally do not intervene in domestic disputes. Rape is a serious problem throughout the country, especially in conflict areas. See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Please visit the Embassy's COVID-19 page for more information on entry/ exit requirements related to COVID-19 in Sudan.  

Consult the CDC website for Sudan prior to travel.

Medical facilities in Khartoum are adequate for routine care, but the hospitals are not suitable for more serious medical problems. Outside the capital, few facilities exist, hospitals and clinics are poorly equipped, and ambulance services are unavailable. Medicines are available only intermittently. Emergency medical treatment is provided for 24 hours before payment is required. For all other care, providers expect payment in Sudanese pounds in full before treatment is performed.

For emergency services in Sudan, dial 333.

Ambulance services are: 

  • not present throughout the country or are unreliable in most areas except Khartoum.
  • not equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment.
  • not staffed with trained paramedics and often have little or no medical equipment.
  • Injured or seriously ill travelers may prefer to take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas. Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance. 

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas. 

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription and bring enough medication for the duration of your trip. Check with Sudanese customs to ensure the medication is legal in Sudan. 

Vaccinations: Be up to date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The following diseases are prevalent:

Further health information:

Air Quality: Visit AirNow Department of State for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. 

The U.S. Embassy maintains a list of doctors and hospitals. We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic. 

 

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Road conditions are poor and traffic accidents common. Driving is hazardous due to excessive speeds, erratic driver behavior, pedestrians, animals in the roadways, and vehicles that are overloaded or lack basic safety equipment. Only major highways and some streets in the cities are paved; others are narrow and rutted. While there are functioning traffic signals and streetlights on major thoroughfares in Khartoum, there are virtually none in other parts of the country.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle is strongly recommended due to variance in road conditions on major inter-city highways. South of Khartoum, road conditions deteriorate significantly during the rainy season from June to October and dust storms (“haboobs”) greatly reduce visibility. Travel outside of Khartoum should be undertaken with a minimum of two vehicles to protect against the threat of criminal attacks. Use reliable GPS and carry additional fuel, spare tires, and provisions. Professional roadside assistance service is not available, and gas shortages are common.

Landmines: Exercise caution in remote areas or off main roads outside of Khartoum due to landmines. Landmines are most common in the Eastern states and Southern Kordofan. Stay on main roads marked as cleared by a competent de-mining authority.

Traffic Laws: An international driving permit or Sudanese license and third-party liability insurance from the government is required. You may use a U.S. driver's license for up to 90 days. You can get a local driving license from the police traffic department. It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving. Comprehensive insurance is recommended because many local drivers carry no insurance.

Accidents: In the event of an automobile accident, remain inside the vehicle and wait for police. If a hostile mob forms or you feel your safety is in danger, leave the scene, and proceed directly to the nearest police station. Do not stop at the scene of an accident or at intersections where people have gathered, as mobs can develop quickly.

Public Transportation: Avoid travel by public transportation and hire private transport from a reliable source. Your company’s in-country staff, travel agencies, and local hotels may be able to arrange private transport on your behalf. Any form of public transportation is unregulated, unreliable, and generally unsafe. Service is basic and crowded. Schedules are unpublished and change without notice. While there is some public transit to rural communities by irregularly scheduled mini-buses, many areas lack any public transportation.

Buses: Fatal accidents are routine. Many drivers have little training and are reckless, and the vehicles are often poorly maintained. Most buses and bus stops are privately operated and unmarked.

Taxis: Taxis are available throughout Khartoum; however, most do not meet U.S. safety standards. Drivers rarely speak English. Have your destination written down in Arabic.

Trains: There is weekly passenger train service from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa and to Port Sudan. Trains are dilapidated.

See our Road Safety page for more information

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Sudan, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Sudan’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Sudan should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the  U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings. For Information on piracy and other maritime issues in the region see the U.S. Government’s Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI) Web Portal.

For additional travel information

International Parental Child Abduction

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Sudan. For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (ICAPRA) report.

Last Updated: January 3, 2022

Travel Advisory Levels

Information for Vaccinated Travelers

The CDC's latest guidance on international travel for vaccinated people can be found here.

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Khartoum
Kilo 10, Soba
Khartoum, Sudan
Telephone
+249-187-0-22000
Emergency
+249-187-0-22000
Fax
No fax

Sudan Map