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Khartoum the capital city of Sudan, the largest country of Africa, is where the two Niles meet. It is also a confluence of Arab and African culture.
 
The main language spoken in Khartoum is Arabic, although other dialects and tribal languages are spoken.  

Khartoum is situated in the Northern part of the country and its weather can be characterized as very hot and dry.  There is a rainy season during the summer, when the humidity increases slightly.  Winter – if we can call it that – is during the months of November – March, during which time the weather can be very pleasant.  You will need to bring lightweight jackets for early morning and late evenings when the weather can be cooler.   Khartoum is also famous for its sandstorms or “haboubs”, which can be frequent particularly during the summer months.

Khartoum has some cultural entertainment, such as the Nuba wrestling and whirling dervishes dancing and is a friendly and safe city, were lasting friendships can be formed with locals and expatriates alike.

If you are the adventurous type and enjoy camping and deep sea diving, Sudan has a lot to offer; vast expanse of deserts and a comparatively virgin coral reef off the Red Sea coast.  Nile boat trips are particularly pleasing around sunset time.   

Khartoum is also only a few hours flight away from Nairobi, Dubai and Cairo.
 

Coming to Khartoum with children

"I cannot imagine a better place to raise young children. My son has been in Khartoum since he was 3 months old. He is now 11. He has grown up in an incredibly safe environment in a country where people love children. In his spare time he enjoys a range of KICS extra-curricular activities, tennis and horse riding lessons, swimming and play-dates. There are very few commercial activities for children to do in Khartoum so the emphasis is very much on expatriate and local families getting together and kids playing.  People say that Sudan is about people rather than things – I genuinely believe this."

- Natasha Winnard, UK, KICS Guidance & College Counsellor

"Bringing a tween to Khartoum was one of the worries we mulled upon, what was there for him to do? There are no cinemas or play arenas. There aren’t much options, but surprisingly Thor has adjusted very well. He has enjoyed the play-dates and birthday parties he has attended, where he has actually PLAYED outdoors and had conversations with friends. My family enjoys exploring whatever country we are in. Annette has always been interested in Egyptian and Nubian history, seeing the Nubian pyramids was a thrill I had to grant her. We look forward to more road trips in this fascinating country."

- Lawrence Espinosa, Drama Teacher, Philippines

Travel in Sudan and Africa

"Once you have your travel permit, which KICS arranges for just after arrival, it is possible to travel out of Khartoum.  This travel permit is also your photography permit which I have been asked to show once by a police officer.  This was a perfectly pleasant interaction and he wished me well in my picture-taking. The Khartoum airport is a bit rough around the edges, but everything has always run smoothly for me.  Check-ins are fast and painless, the passport officers are usually friendly (I’ve even had some friendly conversations with a couple of them about my experiences in Sudan), baggage delivery is efficient, and the airport café is decent."

- Greg Sims, Biology Teacher, USA

"If you are the adventurous type and are prepared to rough it then you will enjoy travelling around Sudan.  We have driven over all of north and eastern Sudan and had a wonderful time exploring the many archaeological sites that are mainly in the north and accessible. The desert is not what you would expect - it is always changing and we have seen very few sand dunes. Accommodation is generally limited and very very basic but you expect this in a country like Sudan however there is high class accommodation in some surprising area. Tourism is at its infancy in Sudan so you need determination and local knowledge to find many sights of interest however getting to a destination is part of the adventure.  Roads in the north are good but less so to the east where there are more trucks putting wear and tear on the roads. The Red Sea is an attractive place for divers."

- Jeanette Brooker, Libraries Manager, New Zealand

"Traveling around Sudan can be difficult due to the distances, the heat and the minimal facilities for tourists. There are however some sites near places of interest that accommodate tourists and provide a base for short excursions. There is a small, basic campsite about an hour from Khartoum on a dammed part of the Nile that is a nice weekend getaway. There are also the Meroe Pyramids which are a four-hour drive from Khartoum which have an Italian-run tented camp for visitors. During school holidays most teachers leave Sudan to escape the heat and get their hands on things that are not available here. There are many exotic destinations that are cheap to fly to. I have visited Zanzibar and Seychelles which are both beautiful (as you can imagine) and are great places to spend a week on the beach."

- Jessica Winter, EAL Teacher, UK

"Surprisingly, Sudan is a great place to travel around Africa or the Middle East. I have been here for three months and have travelled to Zanzibar, South Africa and Seychelles. I have also planned to go to Mauritius and Reunion in December. The flights tickets are usually cheap. For example, 200$ for a return to Seychelles or 300$ for a return to Zanzibar."

- Gabriel Dejean, French Teacher, France 

Living in Sudan

"We have lived in Khartoum for 12 years and have never been bored during term time – for people who love sport the opportunities include a range of locally run fitness classes, the KICS gym, swimming pool, Tennis Academy and Riding School.  Unlike other overseas postings I have experienced it is very easy to make strong friendships with local Sudanese people, who kindly invite you to their homes and to join family celebrations.  We are also eagerly awaiting the opening of the KICS Water Sport Centre at the KICS Riding School. This will provide a great opportunity to enjoy an afternoon of water sports on the Nile, beach games and BBQs." 

- Natasha Winnard, UK, KICS Guidance Counsellor

"I’ve enjoyed the challenges of settling into a very different living environment. My apartment is right in the middle of a typical Sudanese neighbourhood, and we are fortunate to have a number of small shops within walking distance of our apartments. There are bigger stores available a short drive away too. There are many opportunities to do interesting things during your free time, but it does require some research and asking around until you find what you are interested in doing! During the recent break, I had the opportunity to travel to Port Sudan and do some amazing snorkeling, as well as check out the pyramids at Meroe."

- Lucy Hall-Patch, Canada, Y2 PYP Teacher

"I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to drive around here. There are quite a few potholes and dirt roads, but the traffic is very manageable and the speed of cars is pretty slow. There are several good grocery stores here that sell a good range of products. Beef, chicken and lamb are very good here, and the local cheeses and bread are very good as well. We have found several good restaurants here, including Syrian, Turkish, Indian, Chinese and Western. Not knowing much about Khartoum before I came here, the first thing I wanted to know was is Khartoum safe? My wife and I feel very safe here. Unlike many other developing cities, you can drive at night, you can explore the place on foot and the open and welcoming apartments do not make you feel like you are trapped in barbed wire compound."

- Zachariah Groshell, PYP Teacher, USA

"KICS has an awesome swimming pool and a nicely-equipped fitness room.  The pool is 25m, 6 lanes, and before and after school it is almost always underused.  During the really hot times here the pool is absolutely wonderful.  The gym has a nice selection of cardio equipment and a range of free weights and weight machines in addition a sound system to hook your iPod up to."

- Greg Sims, Biology Teacher, USA

"The school arranges a visit to the various hospitals.  After visiting the Royal Care Hospital and meeting some of the doctors, I was reassured that there are appropriate health facilities to address my needs.  In particular, I visited an optometrist after many years and was impressed with his knowledge and willingness to assist me. Khartoum has very good grocery stores with most available items that you might be looking for.  Of course, you might have to spend more for certain items than usual but that seems to be the case around the world."

- Kathy Stefanides, English Teacher, USA

Leisure Time

lesiure time

"This really does depend on the individual, but I have found the Sudanese people to be very welcoming and accepting. You do need to make an effort to create a social network of friends, both Sudanese and expatriate, but it does pay off. I spend a lot of evening and weekends invited to friends’ houses for dinners and gatherings. It is a great way of meeting people."

- Maria Gabriel, UK, Head of Primary

"The Fenti golf course is fabulous. It is worth every penny. KICS generously takes care of half the membership fee and the sign-up fee. When not working, I try to spend as much time there as possible. The course is challenging, in excellent shape, and the golf professional, David Marsh, is an expert teacher. If you like golf or are thinking about picking up the game, the Fenti course will certainly enhance your experience in Khartoum."

- Brad Butler, Head of English Department, USA

"I find that there are a lot of things to do in Khartoum. I go golfing at the golf course just about every day, my wife goes horseback riding at the KICS stables, and there seems to be an event every other weekend. Coming from teaching in South East Asia I thought it would be hard to adjust to Khartoum, but if you just pick a few of the many activities that are going on here on a weekly basis, you’ll find that your time is filled quickly."

- Zachariah Groshell, PYP Teacher, USA

"Although Khartoum may not have the same range of leisure activities available as other countries there is still plenty to do. The school gives access to its facilities to teachers meaning that they can use the pool and gym outside of school hours as well as the tennis, badminton and basketball courts. The school has also has riding stables where teachers can take lessons and a rowing club that teachers can be part of. The school tries to keep teachers updated with cultural events that are happening in the city; these happen quite regularly and are a good way to ‘connect’ with people outside of school.  In the city there are lots of shops however they are mostly small and none sell Western brands- buy your clothes before you arrive! There is a large, chaotic market which is an interesting way to spend a morning. There is also a bowling alley but no cinema that shows English language Western films. Restaurants are very cheap so eating out is something teachers do regularly.  Finally there are a few museums that you can visit. "

- Jessica Winter, EAL Teacher, UK

What to bring to Khartoum

"Though the variety of consumer products is fairly good and improving, still you will have a difficult time finding specific personal care items (e.g. mouthwash), food supplements (vitamins etc.), and various food items (I like maple syrup for pancakes and French toast).  On many products, you might find them available but the price is extremely expensive, so for that reason alone, bringing some types of special items from your home country might be wise."

- Robert Denzel, USA, Senior Section Music Teacher 

"Bringing nice bedding was important to me, including down pillows, soft sheets and a mattress pad. Bring blackout curtains if you have them, but you can get them made here. For U.S. electronics, bring several good quality converters, as a power outage can destroy the cheaper ones pretty quickly."

- Zachariah Groshell, PYP Teacher, USA

"KICS provides SIM cards for Internet at home.  Bringing a MiFi device is highly recommended to have a home wifi connection.  If you’re a bit of a coffee addict like me, then definitely bring along your favorite coffee brewing devices and beans.  Beans are available here (as is ground Lavazza espresso), but I have found that having my favorite coffee here provides a nice comfort from home.  Spices are definitely available in the supermarkets, but may be more expensive than back home.  I have yet to see real maple syrup.  On the whole, once you discover which shops and supermarkets have what, there is a surprisingly decent selection of food items.  Also, after the first couple of really hot months, the local fruit and veggie selection and quality improves dramatically."

- Greg Sims, Biology Teacher, USA

"Most of every basic necessity is available in Khartoum, even if they are relatively pricey. But like most international workers know, we should bring what we might not need, but must have, when we do need it. Basic medicines, fill out your prescriptions (if any) abroad, preferred toiletry brands and the like. You may want to consider bringing what you deem as a basic appliance in your home country, being Asians, we brought a rice cooker and a bread maker." 

- Lawrence Espinosa, Drama Teacher, Philippines

"While you can find most necessities here, there are a few things you might miss if you don't bring them with you.  I suggest bringing pillows you like and a top sheet for your bed.  Bring any extras for your kitchen, like baking sheet, muffin tin, food processor, and measuring cups and spoons.  Bring a large supply of toiletries like sunscreen and insect repellent with deet.  If you are planning on traveling to an area with malaria, bring that medicine with you. You will not be able to find it here.  If you like certain shampoos, lotions or make-up, bring those too.  If there are certain little things you like in your classroom, bring them as well.  You will not find a store here.  Things like my pointer, calendar, or stickers have been useful.  I also suggest bringing some things to decorate your apartment with, if that is something that you want to do right away.  There are not tons of artisan markets, like in other places I've lived, and the art is here is quite expensive."

- Whitney Warren, Primary Teacher (Y2), USA

"Bring some good sandals, some dollars (cash), good adapter, a good router/mobile wifi device, tent and camping gear."

- Gabriel Dejean, French Teacher, France

living in sudan