Etiquette

Sudan is a famously welcoming country, but following a few rules of etiquette will make your travels smoother.

  • Greetings Greetings are an important formality in Sudan. As such, learning some greetings in Arabic ('salaam aleikum') will smooth the way considerably. Men should wait for Sudanese women to offer handshakes.
  • Clothing As in all Muslim countries, it's greatly appreciated if women dress conservatively.
  • Sudanese time Impatience will get you nowhere in Sudan, where nothing is hurried.
  • Maalesh 'Maalesh' means 'sorry'. It's a very important concept, expressing regret and acceptance when something doesn't run smoothly.
  • Photographing people Ask permission to photograph if a candid shot can't be made and don't insist or snap a picture anyway if permission is denied.
  • Eating The left hand is considered unclean as it's used for toilet duties. Don't handle food with your left hand, particularly if eating from a communal dish.