Sudan Country Facts

Sudan Country Facts

Sudan is the third largest country in Africa and yet receives very few visitors. Large areas in western Sudan are not accessible to travelers, but the northeast in the region between Egypt and Ethiopia is completely safe and many report the most hospitable people in Africa after a trip to Sudan.

Sudan represents a transition between North and Black Africa, from the extreme dry Sahara to the tropical border with Ethiopia. When traveling, you will find mostly archaeological Attractions. The ancient pyramids are not as gigantic as in Egypt, but this is more than made up for by the atmosphere. Most of the places of tourist interest are in the Sudanese deserts and when traveling you have the whole place to yourself.

Until the independence of South Sudan, Sudan was one of the most resource-rich countries. There is oil, iron, marble, gold and uranium. The oil reserves (especially in South Sudan) estimated US experts at around 3 billion barrels. However, most of the oil fields have not yet been developed, so that significantly more oil can be assumed. China is one of the most important investors in Sudan and around a third of the oil extracted goes to the Chinese.

By the middle of the twentieth century, most families in Sudan had grown vegetables and grain together in the fields. Few families had private ownership of the processed land. In the 1950s, the British introduced mechanical farming in Sudan. This simplified agriculture and made the hard work much more bearable. The British wanted to better supply their troops stationed there with food by improving Sudan farming methods. Most of the additional agricultural products obtained were destined for the British Army. Today the population uses the fields themselves again and mainly cultivates peanuts, millet, sesame, wheat, sugar cane and sorghum as well as cotton for export.

Sudan Country Facts

Area: 1,861,484 km². Sudan is the third largest country in Africa.

Population: 27.4 million residents (COUNTRYAAH.COM). 500 to 600 different peoples live in the country. 52% are of black African descent, 39% of Arab origin, 6% belong to the nomadic Bedscha peoples, 2% are foreigners (mostly refugees from civil wars in neighboring countries, 1% others).

Regionally, the population composition looks very different:

  • the north and the center of the country are dominated by Arab-Islamic population groups (approx. 39%), Nubian peoples make up around 8%.
  • Rasheida and Beja peoples live in the east of the country, who immigrated from Saudi Arabia about 200 years ago
  • the largest population group in the west are the nomadic Beggara people with about 20%, as well as the people of Fur, Zaghawa and Nuba
  • the southern part of Sudan is inhabited by dark-skinned Nilotic peoples, e.g. Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, who are mostly followers of traditional African religions or Christians.

Population density: 14.7 people per km²

Population growth: 2.484% per year (2011, CIA, combined values ​​for Sudan and South Sudan)

Capital: Khartoum (2.2 million residents, agglomeration area with al-Chartum Bahri and Omdurman approx. 8.4 million residents, estimates for 2007)

Current list of cities in Sudan, ordered by population

Highest point: Deriba Caldera in the Marrah Mountains, Darfur, 3,042 m

Lowest point: Red Sea, 0 m

Form of government: Sudan is independent on January 1, 1956 (former British-Egyptian condominium) and has been an Islamic Republic since 1986. In 1998 a new constitution was ratified, but President Bashir already partially overruled it in 1999. Islamic law is in force.

Civil war raged between the Christian south and the Islamic north from 1983 to 2005 until a peace agreement was signed between the two parties. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became independent.

Since 2003, black African rebel groups have been fighting in the province of Dafur against the central government and its Arab militias. An armistice agreement was concluded on April 8, 2004. However, this ceasefire is not observed.

Administrative division: 25 states (Arabic wilayat, singular wilayah): A’ali an Nil (Upper Nile), Al Bahr al Ahmar (Red Sea), Al Buhayrat (Lakes), Al Jazirah (El Gezira), Al Khartum (Khartoum), Al Qadarif (Gedaref), Al Wahdah (Unity), An Nil al Abyad (White Nile), An Nil al Azraq (Blue Nile), Ash Shamaliyah (Northern), Bahr al Jabal (Bahr al Jebel), Gharb al Istiwa’iyah (Western Equatoria), Gharb Bahr al Ghazal (Western Bahr al Ghazal), Gharb Darfur (Western Darfur), Janub Darfur (Southern Darfur), Janub Kurdufan (Southern Kordofan), Junqali (Jonglei), Kassala (Kassala), Nahr an Nil (River Nile), Shamal Bahr al Ghazal (Northern Bahr al Ghazal), Shamal Darfur (Northern Darfur), Shamal Kurdufan (Northern Kordofan), Sharq al Istiwa’iyah (Eastern Equatoria), Sinnar (Sinnar) and Warab (Warab).

Head of state and head of government: President Umar Hasan Ahmad al-Bashir, since June 30, 1989

Language: The official language in the country is Sudanese Arabic, which is the mother tongue and lingua franca for around 70% of the population. English is the educational language spoken by many Sudanese, especially in cities. Nubian is also spoken in the north.

Religion: 70% primarily Sunni Muslims (geographical focus in the northern part of the country), 25% are followers of traditional African religions, 5% Christians (especially in the south and in Khartoum). These values ​​refer to Sudan and South Sudan.

Local time: CET + 2 h
There is no daylight saving time change in Sudan.
The time difference to Central Europe is +2 h in winter and +1 h in summer.

Telephone area code: 00249 or +249


Mains voltage: 240 V, 50 Hz, power failures can occur.


Sudan is the third largest African country in terms of area and represents a transition between Arabic North Africa and Black Africa. Sudan borders on numerous countries: Egypt in the north, Eritrea and Ethiopia in the east, South Sudan in the south, Central African Republic in the southwest, Chad in the west and Libya in the north-west. In the northeast, Sudan is bordered by the Red Sea.

Here you can find a detailed topographic map of Sudan.

The hot and dry north is characterized by the Libyan Desert (west of the Nile) and the Nubian Desert (east of the Nile). In the foothills, these deserts reach the capital Khartoum. A coastal mountain rises along the Red Sea, which delimits the desert at an altitude of around 2,000 m.

The northern desert regions are only sparsely populated, the only fertile area in which agriculture is possible is the Nile valley, which runs like a green ribbon through the northern deserts.

Between the latitudes 15 ° north and 10 ° north the vegetation-free desert merges into thorn savannah, which is covered with hard grasses and acacias. Further south is dry savannah with palm trees, acacias and baobab trees. The dry savannah is largely flat in the east, the west rises to two high plateaus. Agriculture is largely in the region between the Blue and White Nile, which unite at Khartoum. North of the capital, the Nile describes the shape of a large “S” and the Atbara flows into the stream. In the north of Sudan, the Nile flows into Lake Nasser.

The plains of the Sudd adjoin the dry savannah to the south. The White Nile and its tributaries flow through this large basin. Due to the very low gradient (approx. 35 cm over 10 km), the largest continuous swamp area in Africa was formed in the Sudd with approximately 150,000 km². The White Nile loses about half of its water here, without the Ethiopian tributaries (Blue Nile, Atbara, Sobat) the Nile would not reach Egypt.

Further south, the marshland changes into equatorial forest. The mountains on the border with Uganda are covered by rainforest. Here is also the highest peak in Sudan: the Kinyeti at 3,480 m. To the west of the White Nile is the Central African threshold with numerous river valleys. This landscape forms the watershed between the Congo and the Nile rivers.

The state of Sudan has shares in the large landscapes of Sudan and Sahel. Most of the relief is determined by the 300 to 500 m high Nile basin.

These basins are bordered by the following outcrops: the Djibal al-Bahr al-ahmar mountain region in the northeast on the Red Sea, the Ethiopian highlands in the east, the Immatong Mountains in the south, the north equatorial threshold and the central African threshold (watershed between the Nile and Congo systems), in the west a basalt mountain range on the Marra plateau.

In the center of the country are the Nuba Mountains, which are between 500 m and 1,325 m high.

Population in Sudan (combined Sudan and South Sudan)

This map of the population distribution in Sudan and South Sudan was created by the Worldmapper team. Densely populated areas appear bloated, the area of ​​sparsely populated areas is reduced. The shape of the grid has been preserved; an underlying map with the original geographical extent helps interpret the map. The distorted map should help to present abstract statistical information clearly.


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