One month in Khartoum

With my visa expiring in just two days I ask myself; how did I manage to spend 30 days in Khartoum, which is way too hot (46°), has not really any tourist sights and hardly any open restaurants during Ramadan? The answer is by hanging out with the local people, which are the friendliest I have met during my travels.

My couchsurfing host was an English teacher and let me have daily lectures for his students. People from all ages were listening to my improvisations about geography, history and culture of my country and the World and some students even wanted to invite me to their home.

Teaching English every morning was a great way of passing time

This generally reflect the way of the Sudanese people. Most people are extremely friendly and curious about foreigners. When walking outside after iftar which started at 6.15 it was practically impossible to walk around without being asked to join people eating in the streets. One time even my bus was stopped by people who insisted on giving us food nicely packed up in bags. Ramadan is like Christmas here where everyone tries to be nice to each other.

Nubian wrestling in Bari (Northern Khartoum)

Fridays were the best here, except for prayer times when everything was closes. My first Friday I went to see a traditional Nubian wrestling match in Bahri. It was quite exciting and reminded me a lot about the traditional wrestling of the Serer people in Senegal!

The next Friday I went to a traditional Sufi ceremony at the Hamad Alnil cemetery in the Omdoumran district. Here there were dervishes spinning around and everyone watching were very engaged by rocking back and fourth while chanting in a rythm. From what I understand a Sufi is a kind of Muslim who believes that humans should have a direct, personal connection with God, relative to protestants in Christianity. Sufis are usually a supressed minority but here they could roam around and do their prayer rituals freely, which was beautiful to see.

Khartoum is the place where the Blue Nile and the White Nile meet

One of the days I also got to borrow some kayaks from a Norwegian living here. Me and Teresie, a Norwegian who cycles from cape to cape got to enjoy drifting around on the Nile as the sun was setting, which probably was my favorite moment of my month in Khartoum.