Places to Visit in Khartoum and Omdurman
The National Museum: Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., except on Fridays and Mondays. It is located east of the Hilton Hotel on Sharia Al Neel (Nile Avenue). The museum is extremely well-organized and has artifacts from ancient Sudan and also has many Christian Era art treasures. There are three large buildings outside the main museum in which visitors may see Egyptian monuments and temples saved from the flooding of the Aswan Dam - moved to Khartoum for viewing.
The Nile flood from the construction of the Aswan High Dam threatened to destroy many priceless monuments and artifacts near the border with Egypt in the area known as Nubia - and led to one of the most remarkable rescue operations in recent years. Following an international appeal in 1960 by the government of Egypt and Sudan, through UNESCO, whole temples and tombs were moved hundreds of miles to Khartoum to be reconstructed at the Sudan National Museum. Some of these archaeological remains, almost perfectly preserved, date back nearly four thousand years while the Christian frescoes on display represent the richest collection discovered so far in the Nile Valley. It seems incredible that water colors dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries should have retained such clarity and brightness.
The Natural History Museum: Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., on Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Closed on Mondays. Located on the corner of Othman Digna Avenue and Gamma (University) Avenue. This museum contains an extensive collection of preserved birds and wild game found in Sudan.
Whirling Dervishes: Only on a Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. or until dark. A trip to Hamad Al Nil in Omdurman is considered a must for visitors to the capital. This weekly ritual is a vital part of one particular religious order and another fact of Islam.
Ethnological Museum: Open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and Fridays. It is located on the southeast corner of Gamaa and Mekk Nimr avenues. There are small displays of handicrafts representing different areas of Sudan. Plan on about a half hour visit.
Khalifa House Museum: Tel: 87-777194 before visiting. Open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays. On Fridays open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is located in Omdurman next to the silver-domed Mahdi’s Tomb. The Khalifa House focuses on the period of history in the Sudan known as the Mahdia, 1881-1899. The man whose house this was, Abdallahi Ibn Mohammed, was known as the Khalifa (successor) and was the most prominent individual in the Sudan until his death in 1899.
The rooms in the Khalifa’s house are filled with artifacts of the Battle of Omdurman - weapons, clothing - even chain mail worn by the most important leaders. There is a room full of Gordon memorabilia. There are pictures and news clippings of early Khartoum.
The Mahdi’s Tomb: Located next door to the Khalifa House Museum. The tomb had been destroyed during the battle of Omdurman and was rebuilt in 1949.
The Republican Palace Museum: Open to the public on Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This museum was officially opened in the year 2000. Immediately after the entrance to the museum you can see on display, a variety of Presidential cars used from 1924 onwards. The East wing of the museum is the former Anglican Cathedral, built during the British Colonial rule. This beautiful Cathedral houses many artifacts from the pre and post Independence era. The Cathedral still maintains its beautifully colored stained glass windows, and the pipe organ that played during church services. On the west wing of the museum is a library containing a large number of reference books that can be browsed through by the public.
The Kerrari Battlefield: This is seven miles outside of the city of Omdurman and can be seen by arrangement. This is the battle site which is also known to historians as the Battle of Omdurman. It took place on September 2, 1889 and ended the Mahdist State. The Khalifa’s forces were defeated by Kitchener’s troops.
Malik II: One of Kitchener’s five gunboats used during the Battle of Kerrari, can be seen docked in the Marina on Sharia el Nil. The vessel may be boarded and guns that were used viewed.
Boat Building: Located on the west bank of the Nile River. After crossing the bridge into Omdurman from Khartoum, turn right and then stay on the road along the Nile - after passing under the bridge from North Khartoum, continue along until you see piles of wood and look on the shore for boats being made. Not dramatic, but worth a visit. You will also pass by the mud fortifications still left from the Battle of Kerari.