Did you know Sudan has more pyramids than Egypt? No? I didn’t know either. However, during my latest trip I discovered Sudan has many incredible treasures to offer. From ancient monuments and endless deserts to unsurpassed hospitality. During a short overland trip, I backpacked through Sudan for about 18 days. Although Egypt and Ethiopia were quite heavy on the wallet, my travel costs in Sudan remained low. So, how much does it cost to backpack in Sudan? Take a look at my detailed spendings overview to find out!
Updated December 2018
This article is part of the Money Matters series in which we ask travelers to keep their expenses for Bunch of Backpackers. Real travelers, real expenses.
COSTS 18-DAY SUDAN BACKPACKING TRIP: 8650 SDG (267 EURO or 332 USD)
DAILY TRAVEL EXPENSES SUDAN*: 480 SDG (14,86 EURO or 18,44 USD)
*These daily travel expenses are per one person per day. Including all tours, domestic flights, souvenirs, lodging, food, drinks, entrance fees, tips etc. Excluding international flights and visa costs.
** At the time of my trip, the black market rate was about 26 SDG for 1 USD. The official rate was much lower.
EXAMPLES OF PRICES IN SUDAN:
These prices are per person unless stated otherwise.
Standard Sudan expenses
One night in a private room in a ‘lokanda’: 70 SDG (2.7 USD)
One night in a hotel with private bathroom: 200-300 SDG (7.7 – 11.5 USD)
A short 10-minute taxi ride: 40 SDG (1.5 USD)
A 1L bottle of water: 5 SDG (0,2 USD)
A bottle of coke: 6 SDG (0.2 USD)
A falafel sandwich: 5 SDG (0.2 USD)
A plate of foul: 15 SDG (0.57 USD)
A plate of fried fish: 40 SDG (1.5 USD)
A local bus ride: 2 SDG (0.08 USD)
Western style food: 100 SDG (2.70 USD)
Notable Sudan expenses
Registration in Wadi Halfa: 532 SDG (20.5 USD)
Simcard: 40 SDG (1,5 USD)
Costs of accommodation in Sudan
Private room Hotel Cangan in Wadi Halfa: 70 SDG (2,7 USD)
Private room Nubian Guesthouse in Abri: 200 SDG (7.7 USD)
Private room Al-Nassr hotel in Karima: 120 SDG (4.6 USD)
Private room Al-Bashra hotel in Atbara: 280 SDG (10.8 USD)
Female dormitory Khartoum Youth Hostel: 70 SDG (2.7 USD)
Private room KH2 hotel in Khartoum: 250 SDG (9,6 USD)
Private room Hipton Hotel in Kassala: 300 SDG (11.9 USD)
Private room Elmotwakil Hotel in Gadaref: 350 SDG (13.5 USD)
Costs of transportation in Sudan
Bus Wadi Halfa to Abri: 70 SDG (2.7 USD)
Bus Abri to Dongola: 100 SDG (3.9 USD)
Bus Dongola to Karima: 70 SDG (2.7 USD)
Bus Karima to Atbara: 130 SDG (5 USD)
Bus Atbara to Shendi (drop-off at Meroe): 50 SDG (1.9 USD)
Bus Meroe to Khartoum: 200 SDG (7.7 USD)
Bus Khartoum to Kassala: 260 SDG (10 USD)
Bus Kassala to Gadaref: 70 SDG (2.7 USD)
Bus Gadaref to Gadalat 45 SDG (1.7 USD)
Costs of sights
Entrance fee Nuri pyramids: 100 SDG (3.9 USD)
Entrance fee Meroe pyramids: 150 SDG (5.8 USD)
Entrance fee National Museum in Khartoum: 10 SDG (0.4 USD)
SOME DETAILS ON THIS SUDAN BACKPACKING TRIP:
About the backpacker: Me (Manouk), 31 years
Destination and travel period: Sudan in December 2017 for 18 days
Visited places: Wadi Halfa, Abri, Dongola, Karima, Atbara, Meroe, Khartoum, Kassala, Gadaref
Type of trip: Solo, independently (e.g. nothing booked beforehand)
Accommodation*: Basic/budget (mainly hostels / guesthouses / budget hotels)
Transportation*: Budget (local busses)
Food*: Basic/budget (food in local restaurants/street stalls).
Currency rate: 1 USD = 26 SDG (black market rate)
Update November 2018: From what I heard the black market rate is now almost the same as the official rate (1 USD – 47 SDG).
Update December 2018: According to Kit the black market rate is now 1 USD = 50 SDG
*4 options: basic, budget, standard and luxury
SUDAN MONEY TIPS
- It’s NOT possible to get money in Sudan (no ATM’s / no banks to help you)
- Therefore, you should bring plenty of ‘new’ US dollars without creases into the country. You can easily exchange your USD’s everywhere in Sudan. They prefer high denomination notes.
- Ask around to get the latest black market rate, as it changes every day. Even when I was there, the SDG dropped considerably. Obviously, this indicates a declining economy, which is terrible for the Sudanese people.
- Euro’s are not very popular (and get pretty bad rates)
- Scamming is uncommon in Sudan. Prices are always fair. No need to haggle (maybe with exception of taxi’s). No need to be suspicious. If you travel from either Egypt or Ethiopia, this is very important to realize!
- Remarkably, the entrance fee’s (for example the Meroe) pyramids did seem to be negotiable. Me and fellow travelers paid different entrance prices.
- Please note: due to changing economy in Sudan, prices tend to change fast. As always, this is just an overview of what I spent during a certain time period in Sudan. These are no fixed prices.
SUDAN BACKPACKING GENERAL TIPS
- Please check out my 2-week Sudan travel itinerary
- It’s easy and affordable to use public transportation in Sudan. Minibuses leave when full. It pays off to go early to the bus stations, because if you leave in the afternoon, it may take a very long time for a bus to get full.
- Budget accommodation in Sudan is basic. Some guesthouses don’t provide (clean) sheets, so bring a sleeping bag or a liner!
- Not included in this article are the visa costs. I got my Sudanese visa in Aswan, Egypt for only 50 USD without a letter of invitation. From what I understand, these costs are much lower than getting a Sudanese visa in a European country, so you may consider to travel to Sudan via Egypt.
- The Sudanese hospitality is overwhelming. Prepare to be invited for lots of chai, meals and in my case even to stay at someones home :)
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Let me know if you have any questions about backpacking in Sudan.
Sudan backpacking information:
My Ultimate Sudan Travel guide
How to get an Ethiopian visa in Khartoum, Sudan
What to do in Khartoum?
Obtaining your Sudanese visa in Aswan, Egypt
I was really interested to read this Manouk. I have only met the most amazing people from Sudan and I can’t imagine what it must be like to visit their country. I can imagine they were very welcoming. Thanks for the advice.
The most welcoming people I ever met! Hope you make it there some day Katie :-)
I totally agree with Katie above. Sudan is a place among many that always finds on the top of my travel list because I have never been disappointed there. It’s true that I spent a lot the last time I was there (due to some emigration issue), but it’s worthwhile. I enjoy my time at Sudan.
That’s great to hear Rowlene :) Hopefully, more travelers will visit Sudan in the future!
This is extremely useful, thank you.
Update for September 2018 – the official exchange rate is now 1USD : 29SDG, and the black market rate is currently about 1USD : 40SDG
Thanks for the update! Appreciate it :)
Just back from Sudan. Agree with all positives friendly welcoming country. Tourism virtually non-existent (one contact made) don’t expect handholding, but awe inspiring culture, Nubian civilisation., pyramids, Sahara desert and camels.
Exchange rate about 60 SDG= £1 or 50 SDG= $1. Fuel shortages a bit of problem for some journeys but part of experience.
I hope to be back again soon. A brilliant low-key experience.
Happy to hear you also had a great experience :) Will adjust the exchange rate in my article. Thanks for the update!!
What is the security situation in your opinion in Sudan for a backpacker? Since you can’t withdraw easily money, this is an interesting point for me. Thanks in advance.
When it comes to ‘petty crimes’, Sudan is probably one of the safest countries in Africa. Crimes against foreigners are rare. I could easily leave my bag somewhere (to use the toilet), walk around at night and flash my phone or camera (in contrast to Ethiopia). Obviously, still use your common sense ;) In my opinion, it’s best to carry all valuables on you.
Hope this helps,
Hello, thanks a lot for this precious information on Sudan.
Could you write the name of the Khartoum hotel where you slept for 10 dollars per night?
I only found very expensive accommodation options for Khartoum online.