There’s a lot to do with 24 hours in Khartoum, but an absolute must is visiting the biggest Khartoum market, or the souk Omdurman.
To read about if it is safe to travel to Sudan click here.
Te Khartoum Souk/Khartoum Market
While there are trendy parts of Khartoum featuring western style supermarkets and high0end reassurance such as Ozone cafe, for your regular punter most goods are still gotten from the souks and markets of the city, each usually with its own specialities.
At the top of this pile though is the main market of Khartoum, where if our trip was anything to go bye you can pretty much get everything from antiques, to clothes, meat, fruit vegetables and a whole heap of great spices – one of which at least was enough to leave me gasping for breath!
Khartoum Market antiques section
The antiques section of the market was as to be expected in a country such as Sudan, an eclectic mix of things you were never ever gonna get a plane, such as swords and knives, to obvious fakes, as well as things being sold that probably shouldn’t have been.
These of course were juxtaposed with a bunch of tourist tat, but the kind of tat people really do enjoy buying, such as keychains and fridge magnets, the later of which of course I indulged in. Prices though have certainly gone up a lot since I was last here in 2019, with inflation being a really issue for the Sudanese and indeed our tourist wallets.
Eclectic though it was and aside from old Sudanese money, a thing that always excites me I was shocked to see a Lenin picture on camel skin. Local firm dictated that I haggled, but as soon as I hit $10 I was getting it regardless.
Our guide looked at me approvingly, knowing that there was a string communist party in Sudan I asked the liked them, he nodded, I flashed my arm tattoo and then we both nodded in a way only true reds can.
And there’s the food at Khartoum Market
Thankfully the fish market is in a whole other place, but Khartoum market still had a lot to offer food wise, both of the street find variety, but also with regards to fruits spices, sweets and of course dates, an absolute obsession of the region and something that always reminds me of Christmas in the UK.
One of the best things about this part of the market was that one could pretty much just try whatever they wanted, with our guide Abdullah not being backwards in coming forward with this. One real treat we were given was with trying dry hibiscus, a new one for me, with it tasting like a sweet type of potato chip almost.
Hibiscus was to continue playing an important role during the rest of our trip, with the hibiscus tea being a real treat and I was to learn not only excellent chilled, but also dare I say as a mixer.
To read about hibiscus click here.
Fruit wise we were treated to a multitude of great offerings, with my particular favourite being the Sudanese mango, which whilst looking rather ugly – as in not genetically modified tasted amazing. Quite how it would go in a daiquiri I shall never know.
Spicing up as a TikTok Star
Most of the Sudanese food we had was not so spicy, but many locals dishes are and there were chills being sold both wet and dry. For some reason it was suggested that me and Abdullah be filmed eating a chilli, which we did and which was duly uploaded to TikTok.
Said video now has 30,000 views with many watchers seemingly knowing Abdullah and him at least being more than OK with the fame it brought. Will he be the new TikTok star of Sudan? Only time will tell.
Overall a great way to see real life in Khartoum, as well as get some spice in your life!
Want to see Khartoum for yourself? Check out our Sudan tour.