Travel Alert: The security situation in Sudan is highly unstable and several areas, particularly in and around Darfur, are no-go zones. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommends against all travel to some areas and all non-essential travel to others, please check with your relevant national government.
News update - Sudan becomes two countries: With the hammering out of a peace agreement, the people of South Sudan went to the polls in January 2011 for a referendum on whether the country should stay whole or split in two - they voted overwhelmingly for independence from north Sudan. On 9 July 2011, Sudan divides in two, giving birth to the world's newest nation: South Sudan. Even discounting the 40 years of war with its estimated combined total of 2.4 million deaths, the build-up to South Sudan's secession has not been easy and the path ahead is likely to be turbulent. For the latest news on Sudan, check out the BBC's news updates.
Lonely Planet on Sudan before the change: Sudan is the largest, yet one of the least visited, countries in Africa. Although various ongoing conflicts mean much of this vast nation remains off limits, travel is possible in the northeast, and in parts of the south, where Africa transitions into the tropics. The pyramids and other ancient sites littering the northern deserts may pale compared to the best Egypt has on offer, but you can usually experience these without another person in sight – and this sense of discovery often repeats itself in the towns, too, since Sudan’s tourist trail is still no more than a trickle. And while the solitude is a top draw, visitors invariably agree that the Sudanese are among the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth, with a natural generosity that belies their poverty, and this alone makes any trip worthwhile. Whether you rush through on a Cairo to Cape Town trip, or spend a slow month soaking up the history and hospitality, visiting Sudan is an eye-opening and rewarding experience.
Last updated: Jul 16, 2012
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