KICS Y7ODE 47 of 142
 
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 young 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 10. 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 Counsellor
 

Travel in Sudan and Africa
 
During the cooler months (late November – early March) there are great camping opportunities for overnight trips. We have also enjoyed fishing and kayaking on the White Nile.
Natasha Winnard, UK, KICS Guidance Counsellor
 
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

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
 

Living in Sudan
 
We have lived in Khartoum for 11 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. The KICS Social Committee is also very active organizing a range of events. 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

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 10. 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: swimming, tennis, horse riding, violin and golf lessons and play-dates - all on the doorstep and considerably more affordable than the equivalent in the UK. 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 Counsellor

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.  During the cooler months the water does get quite cold though.  The gym has a nice selection of cardio equipment and a range of free weights and weight machines in addition sound system to hook your iPod up to.  
Greg Sims, Biology Teacher, USA
 
 
Leisure Time
 
We have lived in Khartoum for 11 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, Fenti Golf, Tennis Academy and Riding School. From early December, you can row, kayak and sail on the Blue Nile and enjoy walking on the beach by the river. 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.
Natasha Winnard, UK, KICS Guidance Counsellor
 
"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, Egypt, 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

  
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 yoru 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