Accommodation in Sudan

by Peter Baxter  

The best chance of comfortable and reliable accommodation in Sudan is in the capital Khartoum, and not surprisingly the country has a Hilton, but even here standards can be patchy. The main complaint seems to be archaic facilities that are maintained only to the degree that the customer complains about them. Trip advisories, however, vary quite a lot, and it can be said that the expectations of most people arriving in Khartoum are low, and as a rule they are not disappointed.

Prices are not as cheap as may be imagined, and the high end hotels, for example the Hilton, have a tariff commensurate with similar establishments in the west, with broadly similar standards of comfort and service. The further you slip down the price range, however, the more over priced hotels appear to be, which might have much to do with the expectation that one needs to bargain for a fair price, which if you do not do, automatically means you will be over charged.

Outside of Khartoum and other major towns it is difficult to find a hotel or hospitality establishment that raises its standards above basic, with the requirement to bargain more widely expected, and the unreliability of services more acute.

One wonderful fact about the almost total absence of a tourist industry, and the general application in the north of Islamic law, means that Sudan is one of the few places in Africa where you can lay out your sleeping bag almost anywhere and sleep without any chance of being robbed, accosted or surrounded by hysterical children. Free camping is often a fair alternative to bad accommodation, and if you are in Sudan for any reason, do it just for the sake of saying that you have.

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