There’s a lot of fun things to do in Khartoum, with one of them being exploring the vibrant and very interesting Khartoum Camel Market, a place that attracts patriots from all over the Middle-East and indeed the world.
To read if it is safe to travel to Sudan click here.
Camels and Sudan
With Sudan being famous for its deserts it should not be of too much surprise that there are a lot of camels here and that they play an important role. What might shock you though is that there are more camels in Sudan than ANYWHERE on earth.
This means that the Khartoum camel market is by default one of the biggest and indeed most important markets in the world.
How can you visit the Khartoum camel market
Visiting the Khartoum camel market will require a vehicle, as do most things in the city, with the market itself being slightly on the outskirts of town, with there also being goats and other animals being kept and bred alongside them.
Business and what goes on will depend on the day that you go, with Thursdays usually the day when the big business takes place. The camels themselves are looked after by master breeders, as well as a team of herders who start looking after the animals from a young age and can literally point out the nice and nasty ones from memory – something that was to stand me in good steed when I wanted to have pictures taken with some of them.
Who buys the camels at Khartoum camel market?
While we in the west might simply associate camels as beast that carry stuff across the desert, they are used for a multitude of other things, from meat, to milk and even racing.
Camel racing is a huge deal in places like Saudi Arabia and according to our guide Abdullah Arabs could spend thousands on the right camels, with him stating “A few months ago I brought some rich Saudi’s here and they would literally pay tens of thousands of dollars for the right camels”.
And of course they are also used for meat, with many of the camels purchased here ending up at the meat markets of Cairo after leaving Khartoum, although don’t worry about them ending up in your sausages like horse used to with Abdullah adding “Camel meat is quite expensive and costs more than beef, or goat here”.
And how do they get them out? Literally they are sold and then lifted into waiting trucks from where they will either be taken north to to the Egyptian border, or towards the Red Sea, usually via Port Sudan from where they are then shipped off to places like Saudi to begin their racing career.
And as for the legend that is fermented camel milk? Alas I was informed that we would have to come “later” for that.
An queried taste I am told and apparently not all that nice, but I still regret not getting the chance to try it.
To read about camel racing click here.
Is it worth visiting Khartoum camel market?
Khartoum camel market is well worth a visit any time of the day, or week as it really give you an insight into the local economy, how important these animals are, as well as a proper glimpse at these majestic creatures.
The best time to come though is when the real trading is happening and you can see people haggling over the price for out humped friends, some of which could well end up champion racers…..
Want to see Khartoum market? Check out our next tour to Sudan.