The Republic of Sudan is a state in East Africa. It is washed by the Red Sea from the northeast. Gray reef and hammerhead sharks inhabiting the clear blue sea waters are the first to meet divers. Although meeting these frightening fish in Sudan is not thought of as something surprising, it is the hammerhead sharks that have become the calling card of diving in this country.
The waters of the Red Sea hide plenty of sunken ships, unusual caves, and a rich world of flora and fauna. Diving safaris are also very popular in Sudan during which dives to various dive sites are made. And if you are lucky with the weather, the dive boat will sail to the Shark Triangle, comprised of the Merlo Reef, the Abington Reef, and the Angarosh Reef (or southern reefs). However, visibility is always unpredictable near the farther reefs. The duration of a diving safari is up to two weeks.
Sudan is the most popular country for diving, which Jacques-Yves Cousteau discovered here in the 1960s. There are a lot of dive shops in Sudan, but due to the lack of tourist infrastructure the main service is the dive safari. English and Arabic are spoken here.
In March, sunny and dry weather prevails. The air is very hot- it’s temperature rises up to +43 ˚C. The water temperature is +26-27 °C. In May it becomes cloudy. The air temperature fluctuates between + 37 and 42 °C, while the water temperature is + 28-29 °C.
In June, the air temperature is +43 °C, and the water temperature is +29 °C. In July, there may be slight precipitation, and the water warms up to +30 °C. In August, the rains become more frequent, and the air temperature drops to +35 °C.
In September there are intermittent rains. The air heats up to +39 °C, and the water in the sea warms up to +30 °C. In October, the rains almost come to an end, and in November there is no rainfall. The air temperature stays at +40 °C, and the water temperature is +29 °C.
In December, the weather is hot and sunny with no rainfall in Sudan. The air temperature fluctuates between +28 and +34 °C, and the water warms up to +27 °C. In January and February, the weather is cloudless, but the water temperature drops to +25-26 °C. Wind speed is 7-8 m/s.
Shaab Rumi is the place Jacques-Yves Cousteau's experiments to create the Conshelf-2 underwater village were conducted. There are a house and other facilities at a depth of 9 m.
The sunken Italian ship Umbria is the most famous wreck in the waters of the Red Sea. The ship carrying ammunition was flooded "voluntarily" by its captain in 1940. The maximum depth is 36 m.
You may be required to have a medical certificate with vaccination marks during the sanitary inspection upon arrival in Sudan. Therefore, you should get a vaccination against hepatitis A and yellow fever before the trip. Gastrointestinal tract medications, as well as sunscreen are recommended to be in your first-aid kit. Health care isn't free, but its quality leaves much to be desired. We recommend purchasing insurance.
Recently, the amount of crime has been growing, so money and valuables should be left at the hotel. There are some places such as Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile (Al-Wustá) which tourists should not visit. There is a high risk of terrorist attacks and hostage-taking in the country. Sudanese are Muslims, so tourists should follow local norms in wearing clothes and behavior. This especially applies to women.
Hammerhead sharks are considered to be potentially dangerous, but they almost never attack people. Moray eels can attack in self-defense, so you should not swim up very close to them. It is not recommended to put jellyfish in your hands. You also need to be careful not to cut yourself on coral or step on a sea urchin.
Sudan is a former colony, so the local cuisine has absorbed the habits of the French, British and Italians, seasoning the dishes with a special Arabic flavor. Main dishes of the cuisine are roasted and boiled vegetables. For example, okra is something in between zucchini and asparagus. As for meat, you can choose lamb or chicken. You should definitely try the Arab bread Hubz or Kisra, the local flat bread. And do not forget about coffee- it is traditionally drunk after dinner from small cups, poured from a coffee pot called jebena. Since tap water here may be unsafe to drink, it is advised to consume only bottled water.