North-west of Khartoum center lies the district of Omdurman that hosts most of Khartoum’s sights: the Mahdi’s Tomb, the Khalida’s House, Sudan’s largest Souk and the ultimate highlight of any visit to Khartoum, the Dancing Dervishes who gather every Friday at the Tomb of Skeikh Hamed al Nil set in the middle of a Sufi cemetery.
Once a week sellers, buyers and of course lots of camels gather at the Camel market of Muehjle. One of the places I was very eager to see in Sudan, but to go there after only a few hours of sleep was not really appealing. Kelly and I were dead tired, our flight had arrived at 2am and we had planned to spend the day leisurely in Khartoum. Besides US 60 for a car plus driver seemed a lot. Well, we were so glad we did it, it was such a great experience. The camels are bread in Darfur and are walked all the way up to Khartoum where they are sold and put on trucks to be finally sold and slaughtered in Egypt. In former days the camels walked all the way to their deaths, which took them 24 days.
George, the owner of Hotel Acropolis, got us tickets to the party at the Germany Embassy for US60. It will always be remembered as the best New Year’s Party. The “Who is Who” of Khartoum was present, diplomats, businesspeople from all corners of the world as well as lots of Sudanese.
How we got the idea to visit the SOS children’s village? The mother of a student of mine told me about it. A quick mail to the German organization and we were all set. Kelly and I were received by the director of the village, Mr Abdel Kareem, a very charismatic, kind man and Lena the assistant of the national director.
Khartoum – the very name makes most people’s phantasies go wild, since so little is known about the capital of Sudan. Well, there is actually a lot to explore if you take your time and we certainly did. The confluence of the Blue and White Nile is probably the most famous sight in Khartoum. Unfortunately, most visitors simply drive across the bridge and look down, since the closest place to the watch the two rivers merge is officially closed, Mogran Family Park. There used to be a fairy-wheel that provided a superb view, but it has been dismantled years ago, like all the other rides. That would not keep Kelly and me from going there anyway, what we discovered was the most bizarre place.