Sudan Diving Holidays

Destination Overview

Sudan is the third largest country in Africa, and sixteenth largest in the world bordering Egypt, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Libya, and South Sudan. Being on the coast of the Red Sea, winters are balmy, while in the height of summer there is a combination of intense heat and humidity. The sea is temperate all year, and in the summer when it exceeds 30°c it becomes one of the warmest seas in the world.

This destination is a sight to behold with its sweeping hills of sand, stunning architecture, and intriguing historical attractions. The capital Khartoum has some excellent museums including the Sudan National Museum, and the huge market, Souq Arabi, is the place to go if you want an insight into the local’s daily lives. The ancient city of Meroe, an UNESCO World Heritage site, has over 200 steep sided pyramids rising from the Nubian Desert which is quite spectacular. The desert stretches east all the way to the Red Sea and Port Sudan. The laid-back atmosphere of this major industrial port draws travellers from around the world who come to experience the exceptional scuba diving.

In the southern provinces’ birds and wildlife flourish due to the lush forests, parkland, waterfalls, and swampland. Elephants, black and white rhino, zebras, crocodiles, and hippos are often spotted. Dinder National Park on the Ethiopian border is home to over 20 species of large mammals including giraffes and big cats, and provides a habitat for birdlife such as pelicans and kingfishers

Sudan is completely alcohol free but has many lovely drinks to offer such as hibiscus tea (karkadeh), thick strong coffee flavoured with cardamom or ginger, and gongoleiz, made with baobab fruit. Fresh fruit is abundant, mangos, guavas, and oranges are the most popular, and be sure to sample the dates, said to be local produce at its best! Sudanese cuisine is influenced by its history and proximity to the Middle East, with specialities like Basboosa, a sweet semolina cake, and Goraasa be dama, a beef stew with tomato, peppers, cardamom and cinnamon.

Average temperatures in Summer (May-October) Air 26-38°c / Sea 29-31°c

Average temperatures in Winter (November-April) Air 20-30°c / Sea 26-29°c

Diving Information

Sudanese waters are possibly the most beautiful and wildest in the Red Sea, with many of its dive sites steeped in historical significance. This coupled with its warm clear waters, colourful, pristine reefs and healthy shark population makes Sudan a popular alternative to a standard Red Sea holiday. This destination is only offered via liveaboard to ensure access to all of the best dive sites whilst travelling in comfort and style.

The area boasts over 400 types of coral, and more than 1500 species of marine life including hammerheads, manta rays, turtles, bumphead parrotfish, tuna, barracuda, jacks, trevally, moray eels, as well as all the usual Red Sea reef fish. Add to this stunning walls, pinnacles, coral gardens, and wrecks and you have a diving experience that has something for everyone.

Many divers are drawn to Sudan to explore Conshelf II, an attempt by the world-famous Jacques Cousteau back in 1963 to create an environment where people could live and work on the sea floor. The experiment was based around six oceanauts living 10m down in a starfish shaped house for 30 days, documented in the 1964 film ‘World Without Sun’. The house was fully equipped for day-to-day life, and there was a UV chamber which oceanauts had to visit daily to compensate for the lack of sunlight.

Another popular attraction for divers is the Umbria, a World War Two wreck close to Port Sudan. Said to be one of the best-preserved wrecks in the world, this Italian transport ship was carrying bombs from Messina in 1940 when she encountered British warships. The crew decided to scuttle the vessel and her cargo rather than surrender, and today you can still see the tops of the remains of the mast from land. The wreck is now overgrown with colourful soft and hard corals, and there is an abundance of marine life. The ship is almost entirely intact, and the hull is easy to penetrate from which divers will get a glimpse at the sunken treasure, aerial bombs, rolls of electric cable, wine bottles, sealed storage jars, detonators, and the amazing Fiat 1100 Lunga motorcars.

With so much to offer, every trip to Sudan has the aura of adventure and each dive is a thrill.