Some information about the city, just to give an answer to all the questions our guests often ask us…
Port Sudan is the capital of the Red Sea State, it’s the main port of Sudan. The number of inhabitants is about 500.000 even though it’s quite difficult to be precise, due to the quantity of nomads, the periodic migrations and a large number of precarious houses nearby. The city has been built around the beginning of the Twentieth Century by the English, as the port of Suakin began to be inadequate as dimensions, because of traffic of transport ships. Port Sudan rose on the shores of a big Marsa, a natural port, a big bay, connected to the see by a natural canal deep between 18 to 26 mt. At Port Sudan building material is imported while exported cotton, gum Arabic, oily seeds, pelts and senna.
A real pity, it was really nice and particular, considered a little the heart of the city, lovely destination of walk around the people. Nowadays the market has been moved outside the city centre, in a big area surrounded by a wall, making even the Sudan people unhappy as they find it quite far and uncomfortable. It’s hard, in a situation of backwardness, understanding how useful and necessary is to safeguard the past, nevertheless nearly impossible to invest capital in order to preserve or restore memories and architectures.
Instead, the arcades remain the same: the one of the dressmaker, intent on tailoring galabia using old Singers, small groceries full of any sort of goods, shops selling mobile phones and “made in China” glasses, coffee shops, corners where people trade goods on the edge of the pavement, Bija women selling the characteristic coffee makers, nomads selling swords and knives. Over the last past years, several public works took place, roads and sidewalks have been paved, the electricity is more continuous and widespread, even along the walk on the port that in the evening looks like a sitting room: people sat chatting and getting some fresh air, women selling tea on really small stand, a pair of billiard tables surrounded by young people. Streets are kept clean. Fish market has been moved outside the city towards North, under a shed by the sea. The Ape exponentially increased: only with 2 Sudanese pounds,
corresponding to about 40 cents, you can ask to be taken to the markets or have a tour around the port on the seashore. The last day, before departure, at the end of the cruise, it’s in the habit to take a walk with the guide or someone of the crew. It is advisable to do it, as it’s interesting to have, even if for a short time, a contact, a vision of the people, of the Country. It’s possible to move around by using the Ape, or simply have a walk. It’s even possible to take some nice pictures, without interfering with the locals, just asking for the consent before taking the photo in case you’re portraying them. You need to be aware that you can’t photograph women.