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Sudan Country Guide

Explore Sudan in Africa

Travel warning information is updated daily: The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's advisory service has marked this country as DO NOT TRAVEL. This means that travelling this country can result in potentially life-threatening situations! If you really have to go: Check with your local authorities whether your exact destination is safe.

Sudan with the capital city Khartoum is located in Africa (Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea). It covers some 2,505,811 square kilometres (slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US) with 40,218,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Sudan

The landscape offers generally flat, featureless plain with mountains in far south, northeast, and west and desert dominates the north. The average density of population is approximately 16 per km². The notable climate conditions in Sudan can be described as tropical in south with arid desert in north, rainy season varying by region (April to November). Potential threats by nature are dust storms and periodic persistent droughts.

To reach someone in Sudan dial +249 prior to a number. There are 370,400 installed telephones. And there are 15,340,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900, 1800 MHz and 3G. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".sd". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Sudan

Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black with a green isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; colors and design based on the Arab Revolt flag of World War I, but the meanings of the colors are expressed as follows: red signifies the struggle for freedom, white is the color of peace, light, and love, black represents Sudan itself (in Arabic 'Sudan' means black), green is the color of Islam, agriculture, and prosperity.

Military regimes favoring Islamic-oriented governments have dominated national politics since independence from the UK in 1956. Sudan was embroiled in two prolonged civil wars during most of the remainder of the 20th century. These conflicts were rooted in northern economic, political, and social domination of largely non-Muslim, non-Arab southern Sudanese. The first civil war ended in 1972 but broke out again in 1983. The second war and famine-related effects resulted in more than four million people displaced and, according to rebel estimates, more than two million deaths over a period of two decades. Peace talks gained momentum in 2002-04 with the signing of several accords. The final North/South Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), signed in January 2005, granted the southern rebels autonomy for six years followed by a referendum on independence for Southern Sudan. The referendum was held in January 2011 and indicated overwhelming support for independence. South Sudan became independent on 9 July 2011. Since southern independence Sudan has been combating rebels from the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states. A separate conflict, which broke out in the western region of Darfur in 2003, has displaced nearly two million people and caused an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 deaths. The UN took command of the Darfur peacekeeping operation from the African Union in December 2007. Peacekeeping troops have struggled to stabilize the situation, which has become increasingly regional in scope and has brought instability to eastern Chad. Sudan also has faced large refugee influxes from neighboring countries primarily Ethiopia and Chad. Armed conflict, poor transport infrastructure, and lack of government support have chronically obstructed the provision of humanitarian assistance to affected populations.

Geography Quick-Facts

Summary Continent: Africa
Neighbours: Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya, Kenya, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Egypt
Capital: Khartoum
Size 2,505,810 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 967,499 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US
Population 40,218,000
Currency Name: Dinar, Currency Code: SDD
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD) .sd
Telephone Country Prefix +249
Mobile Phone Connections 15,340,000
Landline Phone Connections 370,400

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value name Value World Rank
Area 1,861,484 (sq km) 16

People and Society

Value name Value World Rank
Population 34,847,910 35
Population growth rate 1.83 (%) 64
Birth rate 30.84 (births/1,000 population) 41
Death rate 8.09 (deaths/1,000 population) 93
Net migration rate -4.44 (migrant(s)/1,000 population) 189
Maternal mortality rate 730.00 (deaths/100,000 live births) 8
Infant mortality rate 54.23 (deaths/1,000 live births) 35
Life expectancy at birth 62.95 (years) 185
Total fertility rate 4.05 (children born/woman) 39
Health expenditures 6.30 (% of GDP) 101
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 1.10 (%) 45
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS 260,000 22
HIV/AIDS - deaths 12,000 23
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 6.00 (%) 150
Children under the age of 5 years underweight 31.70 (%) 12


Value name Value World Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity) 86,670,000,000 78
GDP - real growth rate -4.40 (%) 216
GDP - per capita (PPP) 2,600 182
Labor force 11,920,000 45
Unemployment rate 20.00 (%) 161
Investment (gross fixed) 26.00 (% of GDP) 43
Taxes and other revenues 7.5 (% of GDP) 213
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) -9.30 (% of GDP) 204
Public debt 89.30 (% of GDP) 18
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 31.50 (%) 221
Stock of narrow money 7,847,000,000 85
Stock of broad money 12,830,000,000 96
Stock of domestic credit 10,970,000,000 95
Industrial production growth rate 3.50 (%) 80
Current account balance -3,575,000,000 153
Exports 4,548,000,000 118
Imports 6,645,000,000 113
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 297,900,000 155
Debt - external 39,700,000,000 66


Value name Value World Rank
Electricity - production 6,509,000,000 (kWh) 108
Electricity - consumption 4,611,000,000 (kWh) 118
Electricity - installed generating capacity 2338000 (kW) 97
Electricity - from fossil fuels 30.7 (% of total installed capacity) 179
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 66.3 (% of total installed capacity) 26
Electricity - from other renewable sources 3.0 (% of total installed capacity) 48
Crude oil - production 120,000 (bbl/day) 48
Crude oil - exports 370,700 (bbl/day) 23
Crude oil - proved reserves 5000000000 (bbl) 25
Refined petroleum products - production 85,890 (bbl/day) 78
Refined petroleum products - consumption 95,450 (bbl/day) 81
Refined petroleum products - exports 14,950 (bbl/day) 82
Refined petroleum products - imports 24,820 (bbl/day) 94
Natural gas - proved reserves 84,950,000,000 (cu m) 60
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 13,790,000 (Mt) 92


Value name Value World Rank
Telephones - main lines in use 483,600 100
Telephones - mobile cellular 25,056,000 42
Internet hosts 99 211
Internet users 4,200,000 56


Value name Value World Rank
Airports 72 74
Railways 5,978 (km) 30
Roadways 11,900 (km) 131
Waterways 4,068 (km) 25
Merchant marine 2 145


Value name Value World Rank
Military expenditures 4.20 (% of GDP) 24

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Name Since
Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe
The Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe, a semi-desert landscape between the Nile and Atbara rivers, was the heartland of the Kingdom of Kush, a major power from the 8th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. The property consists of the royal ...
Gebel Barkal and the Sites of the Napatan Region
These five archaeological sites, stretching over more than 60 km in the Nile valley, are testimony to the Napatan (900 to 270 BC) and Meroitic (270 BC to 350 AD) cultures, of the second kingdom of Kush. Tombs, with and without pyramids, temples, ...