Driving Directions Sudan

SUDAN is the largest country in Africa, lying just south of the Tropic of Cancer in northeast Africa. The Republic of Sudan divides naturally into three central regions: the desert in the north, dry grasslands and steppe in the center, and marshland, giving way to tropical forest and mountains in the south. Cutting through the country and forming a fourth significant and life-sustaining feature, is the great river system of the Nile.

Driving Directions

Its two main headwaters, the White Nile, arising in the south in Uganda, and the Blue Nile, which has its origins in the highlands of Ethiopia to the east, unite at Sudan’s capital, Khartoum (El Khartum). Most of Sudan’s cultivatable land lies in this central belt, south of Khartoum, between the Blue and White Nile rivers.

Google maps™ Sudan

An upland mountainous plateau, the Janub Darfur (3,038 meters or 10,131 feet), rises near the border with Chad in the west, and the Red Sea Hills lie behind the coast in the northeast. Mountains straddle the border with Uganda, and Sudan’s highest peak, Kinyeti (3,187 meters or 10,456 feet), is located here. North of these mountains and traversed by the many tributaries of the White Nile, lies a vast area of marshland called the Sudd. This area is subjected to regular flooding and is the home of cattle-rearing tribal peoples.

Sudan has a hot, tropical climate with high temperatures in summer and cooler ones experienced only in the desert on winter nights. There is virtually no rainfall in the desert regions of the north. Still, amounts increase southwards, with a distinct summer rainy season from June to September in the equatorial regions of the south.

Natural vegetation varies from desert plants to steppe grasslands to tropical forests containing commercially valuable species such as castor oil plants, rubber, ebony, and mahogany trees. Wildlife is equally varied and includes some of the vast African mammals, reptiles, such as crocodiles, and many species of snake and tropical birds. Disease-bearing, biting insects such as the tsetse fly and mosquito is a threat to human health in some areas.

Sudan is an agricultural country and subsistence farming accounts for 80 percent of production. Livestock is also raised. Cotton is farmed commercially and accounts for about two thirds of Sudan’s exports.

Sudan is the world’s greatest source of gum arabic which is used in medicines, perfumes, processed foods and inks. Other forest products are tannin, beeswax, senna and timber.

Due to the combination of ongoing civil war and drought, Sudan has a large foreign debt estimated to be three times its gross national product.

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