Sudan Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: Safety and security - removal of information on Sudanese Independence Day demonstrations
Sudan - Exercise a high degree of caution
Exercise a high degree of caution in Sudan due to the unstable security situation in parts of the country.
Regional risk level - Avoid all travel
Avoid all travel to the following areas:
- Abyei administrative region
- Southern Kordofan State
- Blue Nile State
- Area bordering Eritrea within the Red Sea State
- The portions of Northern Kordofan and White Nile states located south of the Kosti–El Obeid–En Nahud road
- Area bordering Libya
Safety and security
Safety and security
Demonstrations and civil unrest
Civil unrest has been occurring in many parts of the country, notably in Khartoum, Atbara, Dammer, Barbar and Port Sudan since December 19, 2018, due to the latest economic tensions. States of emergency and curfews are in effect in some areas.
Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.
- Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
- Follow the instructions of local authorities
- Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations
- Do not attempt to cross road blockades, even if they appear unattended
- If you are in an area where civil unrest is occurring, limit your movements as much as possible, but consider stocking up on essential supplies if it’s safe for you to do so.
The conflict in Darfur has created a dangerous situation in western Sudan, particularly outside the major towns. Other areas of Sudan and eastern Chad are also affected by the conflict.
Despite the signing of a preliminary peace agreement, the security situation in Darfur remains extremely volatile, and lawlessness is prevalent.
Violence has resulted in deaths, displacement of people, general instability and insecurity.
The region has seen sporadic fighting between the government and rebels groups. Carjacking, break-ins and kidnapping remain a genuine threat to foreigners.
Violence regularly breaks out within camps for internally displaced people. Humanitarian workers and United Nations (U.N.) peacekeepers have been attacked and kidnapped.
Further clashes and regional violence cannot be ruled out.
A state of emergency is in effect in the 5 states of Darfur, Kassala, and South, West and North Kordofan. Curfews are sometimes put in effect by the government.
You should leave if you are in Darfur.
Abyei region, Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile, Northern Kordofan and White Nile states
Both Sudan and South Sudan claim Abyei, and there is continued fighting in South Kordofan and Blue Nile between government forces and rebels.
There is a heightened risk of attacks in the region. Armed groups have carried out attacks on foreign workers, including oil field workers.
Sudan has declared a state of emergency in the states bordering South Sudan. Tensions in the states bordering South Sudan could spread to parts of Northern Kordofan and White Nile states.
You should leave if you are in Abyei administrative region, Southern Kordofan or Blue Nile states.
Area bordering Eritrea in Red Sea State
The security situation in the area comprised within 100 km of the border with Eritrea, in Red Sea State is volatile due to cross-border militant activity.
Foreigners working for aid organizations in this area have been the target of attacks.
Area bordering Libya
The area within 50 km of the border with Libya is used by armed groups as transit route to smuggle weapons, goods and people and is prone to banditry.
The land borders with some neighbouring countries are closed. Border closures may occur without notice.
Commercial overland expeditions occasionally cross Sudan’s land borders with Libya, the Central African Republic and Chad, but these routes are dangerous.
There are landmines in many areas outside the main cities, including border areas.
Don’t attempt to cross land borders.
While the incidence of crime in Khartoum is low, incidents of petty crime are increasing including opportunistic theft from vehicles. Keep valuables out of sight and drive with locked doors and closed windows.
Banditry is rampant throughout western Sudan, especially in the Darfur region. Several incidents have resulted in deaths near the border with Chad.
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time.
Targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- sites frequented by foreigners such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres markets, hotels, etc.
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Westerners face the risk of being kidnapped even in Khartoum.
Maintain a heightened level of vigilance and consider regularly modifying your patterns of travel.
Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.
Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre
There are shortages of fuel in Khartoum and most other areas of Sudan.
If you must travel by road, make sure you have enough fuel for the entire trip.
Unpredictable local driving habits, pedestrians and roaming animals pose serious risks.
Road conditions are poor.
Many roads outside the capital are sand tracks. A four-wheel-drive vehicle is required for overland travel except on the Khartoum–Kassala–Port Sudan, Khartoum–Atbara, and Khartoum–El Obeid highways.
Only experienced and fully equipped travellers should undertake desert travel. Basic equipment should include:
- a shovel
- metal ramps for heavy sand
- a global positioning system (GPS)
- spare fuel and
- water supplies
Roadblocks are common. Have your identity and vehicle documents readily available.
Public transportation is limited outside of major urban areas.
Most buses are irregularly scheduled. They are poorly maintained and drivers are reckless. Fatal accidents involving buses are routine.
If you decide to travel by bus, use only top-of-the-line buses.
A ferry connects Wadi Halfa, in Sudan, and Aswan, in Egypt.
A weekly train service operates between Wadi Halfa and Khartoum.
Trains are dilapidated, but service is punctual.
Taxis are available in urban centres but are generally in bad conditions.
In Khartoum, you may use an online hailing service but you must have a local SIM card in your phone with the data service.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
For national security reasons, Sudanese authorities may conduct random searches of personal effects belonging to individuals working for international organizations.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the Sudanese authorities. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.
Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.
Regular Canadian passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date you expect to leave Sudan.
Passport for official travel
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Tourist visa: required
Business visa: required
Student visa: required
Transit visa: required
Allow at least 2 months between your visa application and the intended date of travel. Visas are not granted automatically to prospective travellers.
As a foreigner, you must register with the Ministry of the Interior’s Aliens’ Registration Office within 3 days of your arrival in Sudan.
If arriving by land or sea, you can register at your port of entry.
Certain larger hotels offer to register their guests. Processing fees apply and vary depending on where you register. Two passport-style photos may be required.
Travels outside of Khartoum
You must obtain a permit before travelling outside of Khartoum. You can obtain your permit from the Foreign Ministry. You should start procedures at least a week prior to your trip dates.
It is extremely difficult to obtain permits for destinations within west Sudan, except for persons working for registered humanitarian organizations and diplomatic missions.
Sudanese authorities enforce permit regulations rigorously and they can retain documents. Carry at least 3 copies of your travel permit and passport, including the Sudan visa page, at all times.
Stamp from Israel
Local authorities will automatically deny you entry to Sudan if your passport contains a stamp from Israel.
Children and travel
The country’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs.
Under Sudanese law, women and their children may encounter difficulties relating to mobility. Local authorities may prohibited them from departing Sudan if the father has not given his consent, regardless of custodial rights accorded to the mother by any Sudanese, Canadian or other courts.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- There are no updates at this time.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver spread through contaminated food and water or contact with an infected person. All those travelling to regions with a risk of hepatitis A infection should get vaccinated.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
This country is in the African Meningitis Belt, an area where there are many cases of meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is a serious and sometimes fatal infection. Travellers who may be at high risk should consider getting vaccinated. High-risk travellers include those living or working with the local population (e.g., health care workers) or those travelling to crowded areas or taking part in large gatherings.
Rabies is a deadly illness spread to humans through a bite, scratch or lick from an infected animal. Vaccination should be considered for travellers going to areas where rabies exists and who have a high risk of exposure (e.g., are children, have an occupational risk, or in close contact with animals, including free roaming dogs in communities).
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is a risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country where yellow fever occurs.
- Vaccination is recommended depending on your itinerary.
- There is currently a shortage of the yellow fever vaccine in Canada. It is important for travellers to contact a designated Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre well in advance of their trip to ensure that the vaccine is available.
- Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
In some areas in Central Africa, food and water can also carry diseases like cholera, hepatitis A, schistosomiasis and typhoid. Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in Central Africa. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Schistosomiasis can be spread to humans through freshwater sources contaminated by blood flukes (tiny worms). The eggs of the worms can cause stomach illnesses like diarrhea and cramps or urinary problems. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Avoid swimming in freshwater sources (lakes, rivers, ponds). There is no vaccine available for schistosomiasis.
- Travellers' diarrhea is the most common illness affecting travellers. It is spread from eating or drinking contaminated food or water.
- Risk of developing travellers' diarrhea increases when travelling in regions with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. Practise safe food and water precautions.
- The most important treatment for travellers' diarrhea is rehydration (drinking lots of fluids). Carry oral rehydration salts when travelling.
Typhoid is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.
Travellers visiting regions with a risk typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.
Insects and Illness
In some areas in Central Africa, certain insects carry and spread diseases like African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dengue fever, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, malaria, onchocerciasis, Rift Valley fever, West Nile virus and yellow fever.
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
There is currently a risk of chikungunya in this country. Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever
Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that typically causes fever, bleeding under the skin, and pain. Risk is generally low for most travellers. It is spread to humans though contact with infected animal blood or bodily fluids, or from a tick bite. Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals. There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Visceral leishmaniasis (or kala azar) affects the bone marrow and internal organs. It is caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a female sandfly. It can also be transmitted by blood transfusion or sharing contaminated needles. If left untreated it can cause death. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from sandfly bites, which typically occur after sunset in rural and forested areas and in some urban centres. There is no vaccine or medication to protect against leishmaniasis.
Onchocerciasis (river blindness) is an eye and skin disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of an infected female blackfly. Onchocerciasis often leads to blindness if left untreated. Risk is generally low for most travellers. Protect yourself from blackfly bites, which are most common close to fast-flowing rivers and streams. There is no vaccine available for onchocerciasis although drug treatments exist.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in this country. The mosquito that spreads the virus is found here.
All travellers should protect themselves from mosquito bites and other diseases spread by insects.
- There is a risk of malaria throughout the year in the whole country.
- Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no vaccine against malaria.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. This includes covering up, using insect repellent and staying in enclosed air-conditioned accommodations. You may also consider pre-treating clothing and travel gear with insecticides and sleeping under an insecticide-treated bednet.
- See a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic, preferably six weeks before you travel to discuss the benefits of taking antimalarial medication and to determine which one to take.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in some areas of Central Africa, like ebola, rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks and impairs the immune system, resulting in a chronic, progressive illness known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).
High risk activities include anything which puts you in contact with blood or body fluids, such as unprotected sex and exposure to unsterilized needles for medications or other substances (for example, steroids and drugs), tattooing, body-piercing or acupuncture.
Tuberculosis is an infection caused by bacteria and usually affects the lungs.
For most travellers the risk of tuberculosis is low.
Travellers who may be at high risk while travelling in regions with risk of tuberculosis should discuss pre- and post-travel options with a health care professional.
High-risk travellers include those visiting or working in prisons, refugee camps, homeless shelters, or hospitals, or travellers visiting friends and relatives.
Medical services and facilities
Health care is inadequate in Sudan.
You will likely need an emergency medical evacuation is case of serious illness or injury. However, it can also be difficult to obtain and air ambulances are usually not available on short notice.
There are no medical facilities to treat diving-related injuries in Port Sudan.
- Avoid surgery in Sudan
- Ensure that your health plan coverage includes Sudan
Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
Sudan is a traditional, conservative society. Sharia (Islamic law) is applied throughout the country. Islamic practices and beliefs are closely adhered to in the country’s customs, laws and regulations.
- Avoid displays of affection in public, holding hands for instance
- Be extremely discreet if swimming in public
- Avoid wearing shorts in public
- If you are a woman:
- dress conservatively
- avoid wearing short skirts or shirts with low necklines
- avoid displaying bare arms
This year, Ramadan will start on or around May 5.
During Ramadan, use discretion when drinking, eating and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.
Religious proselytization can lead to arrest for long periods of time and deportation.
Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Bags are routinely searched upon arrival and departure at the Khartoum airport.
It is prohibited to import or consume alcohol, even in private.
Sudanese law prohibits sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Third time convicted offenders can face up to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Sudan.
Sexually explicit publications
It is prohibited to import magazines or books of a sexually explicit nature.
A photography permit is required for all forms of photography.
Even with a permit, it is strictly prohibited to photograph:
- military areas
- drainage stations
- broadcast stations
- public utilities
- slum areas
The authorities may suspect you of espionage if you take pictures without a permit.
If you travel with your laptop, ensure that you remove any photo files that could be deemed by the authorities as suspicious.
Sudanese minors (under 18 years of age) require the permission of their father or guardian to leave the country.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in Sudan.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of Sudan, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
You should carry an international driving permit.
The currency of Sudan is the Sudanese pound (SDG). It is non-convertible outside the country and its export is prohibited.
Transferring U.S. dollars to Sudan is difficult because of international sanctions. In addition, U.S. currency dated prior to 2006 is not usually accepted.
Foreign banking and credit cards are not accepted in Sudan. There are ATMs, but they only service local accounts.
International flights and hotel bills must be paid in cash.
You should carry sufficient funds in U.S. dollars to cover your expenses for the duration of your stay.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Sandstorms occur, particularly from July to October. Expect difficulties travelling overland. Local services and the availability of water and basic food may be affected. Take preventive measures and exercise extreme caution.
The rainy season in Sudan lasts 3 months, from July to September.
Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.
Monitor regional weather forecasts and plan accordingly.
In case of emergency, dial:
- police: 999
- medical assistance: 333
- firefighters: 777
Khartoum - Embassy of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Sudan, in Khartoum, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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