Sudan is the largest country in Africa. It is a land of widely differing geography. Sudan is a county with several very distinct ethnic areas. The northern and middle areas of Sudan have a well recorded history linked with the Egyptian and Nubian empires. The history of the southern area covers a much shorter period (only a few hundreds years). Sudan has experienced many forms of government over the centuries. The capital of Sudan is Khartoum. Sudan remains one of the poorest and at least developed countries in the world. Chief products: cotton, livestock, millet, peanuts, arabic gum; in mining – gold, petroleum. Sudan’s environmental concerns are wide ranging from the sport hunting of wildlife to a lack of access to water. Sudan has an estimated population of 39 million, 52 percent of which are black, and 39 percent Arab. It is estimated that 70% of Sudan’s population is Muslim, 25% practice indigenous religions and 5% are Christian. Official languages: Arabic and English. The major divisions in lifestyle are those between the North and the South and between the city and the country. The people (mostly men) spend their free time in clubs organized by religious, trade or ethnic associations. The popular sport is soccer. The other traditional activity is storytelling. People also celebrate the festivals. The Sudanese are very hospitable and have their own food traditions. Sudan’s cultural heritage goes back to the civilization of ancient Egypt, Kerma, and Meroё.
Sudan is bordered by Egypt, Libya, Chad, the Central African Republic, Zaire, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea, and part of its northeastern border lies along the Red sea. Sudan can be divided into four geographical regions. In the north is desert. To the west is the Libyan Desert, which has supplied vast amounts of oil. The Nubian Desert is a region in northeast Sudan. South of the desert is semiarid grassland and low hills covering most of central Sudan. Sudan is one of Africa’s hottest countries. Temperatures range from 100F to 113F (38 – 45C) between May and September but can fall to almost 32F (0C) between November and March. Often the sandstorms occurred. The southwest experiences the highest rainfall. The rainy season starts in April and lasts until November; it provides about 60 inches (152 cm) of rain per a year. Farther south is a vast swamp known as the Sudd, while the extreme south is rain forest. The Sudd means “barrier” and it is a physical barrier between the North and the South of Sudan. The River Nile flows from south to north. The Nile is the most important feature of life in the country. Irrigation along the banks of the river creates a narrow strip of fertile land. The desert lies just beyond this strip. Sudan has an enormous variety of wildlife. In the South animals such as zebra, lions, leopards, gazelles, antelopes, and many kinds of primates still survive in the wild. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses can be seen in the Nile. In wildlife parks such as Nimule there are herds of wild elephants. From plants in Sudan grows a baobab tree, a date palm. The capital city of Sudan is Khartoum; together with its neighboring cities form a metropolis with a population of about 6 million. Another large city in Sudan is Port Sudan. Today it is the main export center for cotton, peanuts, and oil.
Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for 80% of the population. Cotton provides the second-largest export earnings (about 40-50%), after the production of oil.
Sorghum is another crop in Sudan. It has been the staple food of most of Africa for centuries. Other crops include sugarcane, rice, peanuts, onions, and sunflower seeds. Forestry products include beeswax, tannin, senna, charcoal, and luxury woods such as mahogany. Fishing on the Nile is an important local industry. Sudan has about 15,535 miles (25,000 km) of roads but only 2,175 miles (3,500km) of paved roads. Sudan has about 2,486 miles (4,000 km) of navigable waterways on the Nile.