Leisure and Cultural Activities
Clubs: There are numerous clubs in the Khartoum area and much of Khartoum’s social life evolves around meeting friends at the club for a drink, a meal or some sports activity. The clubs are: The International Community Club, the German Club, and the Syrian Club. The membership in these clubs is generally restricted to people who have the nationality of the club but the International Club offers membership for foreign nationals. For membership details call Tel: 83-788787.
Cultural Centers and Libraries: There are several cultural centers in Khartoum with library facilities and language classes for a minimal fee. The University of Khartoum, French Cultural Center, Geothe Institute and the Guba Khadraa at the previous U.N. Square are some of the many.
The British Council: located in Abu Sinn Street, Khartoum. Open Monday thru Thursday from 9:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. and in the evenings from Sunday thru Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. till 8:00 p.m. Closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Public Holidays. The Council has a library of many interesting books, periodicals, CD-ROM service, computer service, and VHS video cassettes. BBC World Service TV is shown live daily. Occasional seminars on Archaeology and various cultural visits are presented in the Center’s seminar room and/or the garden. Call 83-780817/777310 for further information.
The French Cultural Center: The French Cultural Center has a library where French newspapers and magazines may be read and books borrowed with the payment of a small subscription or deposit. The center also presents lectures, exhibits, musical recitals and films throughout the year. Courses in French are available. It is located east of the Mekk Nimir Street.
The Goethe Institute: The Goethe Institute offers German films and on occasion there are concerts of classical and modern European music. German language classes are held there. It is located on Mekk Nimir Avenue. It also has a lending library nearby in Khartoum I.
Miscellaneous Recreational Opportunities: On Friday mornings at 8:30 at the Khartoum American School there are softball games - players and spectators are welcome. The Hilton Hotel has billiards, a tennis court and a health club available for non-residents. Membership includes SD30,000 for three months, SD40,000 for six months, and SD50,000 for one year.
The Grand Villa Hotel has a gym, a health club, consisting of sauna, steam bath, jakoozi, and massage. It has two swimming pools, one of which is confined to ladies’ use; Karaoke room, snooker, and a tennis court. If you want to go boating on the Nile, check the Sailing Club on Nile Avenue across from the Kuwaiti Towers, or any of the larger hotels for planned excursions. The Nile River is high during July and August, and it is not a good idea to go boating during that season. However, when the river is too low, it is not advisable to go out in a boat either, you may get stuck in the mud!
Miscellaneous Cultural Opportunities: Call the Friendship Hall on the Nile Avenue and watch the bulletin board for coming events. It has a modern and comfortable movie theater. Visiting dance groups, acrobats, etc. perform here.
Trips outside Khartoum
When traveling outside Khartoum, there are several points to be checked and remembered before departing: (1) Contact Embassy travel office to enquire if travel permits are required for certain areas, (2) travel only in daylight hours, (3) travel in groups whenever possible, but at least two vehicles per journey and (4) thoroughly check out each vehicle before starting your journey.
A. Level of water in radiator.
B. Level of fluid in battery.
C. Oil level.
D. Spare tire.
E. Air pressure in all tires.
F. Jack and tire iron.
G. Jerry cans of extra gasoline or diesel fuel.
H. Rope or chain in case vehicle gets stuck in sand.
I. English-Arabic translation book.
For you personally, make sure clothing is appropriate, including a hat or head covering. Take extra water supplies. If in doubt whether or not to take an item with you, take it with you! Be sure to take extra food in case the journey takes longer than planned. Pack a First Aid Kit and sunscreen.
Remember that you will be traveling in unfamiliar areas, at least to you, and you may not be able to find food, gas, water or any other needed items. In many instances, those items are not available. Finally, be sure that someone remaining in Khartoum knows your tentative itinerary and your projected return time. Enjoy your travels, use common sense and return safely.
For almost all travel outside of Khartoum, you should use four-wheel drive vehicles, unless you are positive that your journey will take you only over paved roads.