Located at the picturesque confluence of the Blue and White Nile Rivers, Khartoum is the capital and largest city in Sudan. Far from the dilapidated town most people expect, Khartoum is a sprawling metropolis and the seat of the Sudanese government.
The city is made up of three distinct areas: Khartoum, Khartoum North (also known as Bahri), and Omdurman, divided by the branches of the rivers. Omdurman is older and has a Middle Eastern feel with large souqs and winding streets, while Bahri is mostly industrial and residential.
While most of Khartoum is laid out in an easy-to-navigate grid pattern, the city is large and spread out, ruling out walking as a feasible option for sightseers. However, areas such as Nile Street in Khartoum make for a pleasant stroll, with older colonial buildings, the National Museum, and The Presidential Palace all part of the neighbourhood. The Palace is home to a museum of political history, and on the first Friday of each month, visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
Attractions in Omdurman take on an entirely different character; the district has one of the largest markets in Africa, the Souq Omdurman, where travellers will find all manner of handicrafts and souvenirs. The Khalifa's House is the former residence of the leader of the Mahdists, and has been turned into an excellent museum.
One of the most popular events in Omdurman is the colourful and noisy Sufi dancing that takes place every Friday at the Hamed al-Nil tomb. While many travellers avoid Khartoum due to safety concerns, this modern and colourful city is a fascinating place for those willing to venture off the beaten path.