Formerly known as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, this country was ruled jointly by Britain and Egypt, but in January 1956, it became an independent state with a Republican form of government.
With inhabitants, mainly of Arab, Negro or mixed Arab-Negro stock, the Sudan has an area of nearly 1,000,000 square miles. Its central portion forms part of the savanna belt extending westward across Africa between the Sahara on the north and the equatorial forests on the south. The whole savanna belt forms the actual Sudan, a word meaning 'the land of the Blacks,' so called because of its Negro population. Many people are pastoral nomads.
Extending from latitude 5° N. to latitude 20° N., the country may be divided into two Natural Regions : (1) The Savannas of the true Sudan, with high temperatures and heavy summer rains, especially in mountain areas; and (2) The Scrub and Desert Region, hot throughout the year with only very light rains in summer; Omdurman w hich is situated near the junction of the White Nile and Blue Nile, is the largest settlement of Sudan. It is a Muslim state with its capital Khartoum. Chad is also an important country of this region.
Cotton, the main cash crop, constitutes nearly 60 per cent, (by value) of the country's exports, the bulk being sent to Lancashire. Cotton is also cultivated on irrigated land around Kassala, and as a rain crop in the south. Many dates are grown in the north, while millet is the staple food crop. The Sudan is the chief source of the world's supply of gum arabic-used in the manufacture of confectionary-obtained by tapping the acacias of the southern forests and savannas. The exports of these regions consist mainly of hides, but beef cattle are sent to Egypt, either by rail or river, or via Port Sudan.
Khartoum, the capital, at the confluence of the White and the Blue Nile, stands a few miles above the old Dervish capital of Omdurman, the largest town in the Sudan, on the opposite bank of the main stream.
Getting a visa for Sudan is not easy and travel may have its dangers, but if you are strongly interested and remain in safe areas, you will probably be delighted. The Sudanese people are very hospitable, and you can visit some world scale tourist attractions without ever meeting another tourist.