After sailing upstream the River Nile for 5 days in Egypt, I was happy to finally arrive in Aswan, the last stop before continuing my journey through the desert to new horizons. With the Thermometer edging the 45 degrees Celsius, I boarded a bus destination Sudan, my 178th country visited in the world, making the count at 18 countries left. I first continue down to Abu Simbel on the border of Egypt and made it through Sudan, following the Nile and Lake Nasr, a man-made lake flooding the desert between Sudan and Egypt giving them massive farmland in what would normally be a massive patch of Sand. Pretty Clever idea, while pumping electricity through the dam!
The ride through the desert was pretty rough, very difficult conditions. Over 24 hours following the Nile, we finally arrived in Dongola, a city pretty much desolated, between sand and mug houses. We then left the Nile continuing in a straight line through sand and dust lands all the way Khartoum, capital of Sudan! And what a relief to arrive in Khartoum, hair full of sand and in need of a well-deserved night of sleep.
View of Downtown Khartoum
I was pleasantly surprised with Khartoum! Even though it is considered part of the “ax of evil” on the U.S. list of sanctioned countries along with Syria and North Korea, it is definitely one of the nicest capital I’ve seen in Africa! It is clean, modern and probably the safest I’ve encountered in my 39 countries visited on the African Continent yet! Modern Shopping Malls, nice cars parading the streets, stylish people walking around… It feels like what Africa would be like if it hadn’t been robbed by western civilizations over the past centuries! Now hopefully Sudan won’t fall into the traps of corruption and Afro-capitalism on their way out of the sanctions, as I feel they were doing quite well already, at least in the capital. That said, I have only seen from the northern border to the middle of the country around Khartoum and haven’t seen war zones in the south and in the Darfur area where the situation is quite the opposite, with people starving…
Desert Town near Dongola, Sudan
Overall, I am really enjoying my time here so far, quite surprised of what it has turned out to be and can’t wait to discover more of it!