Saturday, January 20, 2018

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Sudanese Red Sea coastline

Welcome to the Sudanese Red Sea! For many Sudanese and many visitors these are unknown treasures. In former times the splendor of our reefs was accessible only to a few daring diving pioneers.
Now, however, the steady stream of diving tourists to the Sudan and the number of Sudanese taking a look under the surface of the sea are increasing. Many people share the thrill and enthusiasm of this world full of life and full of colours in many combinations and patterns. And as it is now easier to see what is there, whether from a glass bottom boat, by goggling with a mask and snorkel, or by diving using compressed air - why not take a look for yourself? You are most welcome!.

The Sudanese coast has two prominent features: coastal lagoons, locally called mersas and reefs, called shaab in Arabic. The mersas may by protected embayments of the sea in the fringing reef, as for example Mersa Kuwei, or may cut into the coastal plain well beyond the gener¬al coastline, as for example Port Sudan . In mersas, in spite of heavy fresh water influx during the short rainy season, corals grow and build coral knobs (tens of centimeters to meters is size) and patch reefs (meters to tens of meters in size).
Reefs are distinguished according to their positions and shapes. There are fringing reefs. With the exception of the mersa entrances they line the entire coast. They are usually about 1000 m wide, but may be as wide as 3000 m. The most impressive coral growth and the richest fish life can be observed on the outside rim, but the protected inside also offers many interesting habitats and organism communities. Secondly, there are barrier reefs: these are separated from the coast and the fringing reef by a ship channel, generally about 100m, but locally up to 400 m deep, and 2-4 km wide. The barriers range from narrow discontin¬uous reef walls, only several tens to a few hundred meters wide to platforms of up to 14 km wide which are dotted with patch reefs and depressions of several tens of meters depth. Towartit and Wingate Reefs are examples of this reef type.

The third type of reefs are the atolls, reef platforms located offshore and surrounded by waters of several hundred meters depth The horizontal dimensions are hundred of meters to a few kilometers. Steep flanks rise to a very shallow reef rim which encloses lagoons several tens of meters deep. Sanganeb and Shaab Rumi are examples often visited.
All types of reefs offer shallow and/or protected areas for snorkelers and exciting sites for divers in close proximity.

Mangroves and Mangrove forests that harbor a diverse fauna, scattered along much of the Red Sea Coast are well represented in the Sudanese coast to the south of Port Sudan.


In case your curiosity moves you to venture into the sea for a snorkeling trip, here are some practical hints which may help you avoid the mistakes beginners often make. Equipment: Many would be - snorkelers have been discouraged by permanently (leaking) mask - but what can a mask do if the face does not fit? A well fitting mask, covering eyes and nose, a separate snorkel consisting of a simple tube with a mouth piece and fins with a snug fit are prerequisites.
Training: Start in the swimming pool or in knee - deep water of the fringing reef and learn to use your equipment well before venturing into depths where you cannot stand. Don't overestimate your ability.

Health: In general, good to perfect health is required. On a specific day, any slight cold, any discomfort due to seasickness or similar light symptoms are indications against a snorkeling trip.

Sun: In Sudanese latitudes the Sun is strong everywhere but at sea the reflection from the water and the sun-glass effect of water-films or droplets multiply its intensity, thus most snorkeling casualties are sun - burns. Use cloths for protection, especially on your back and the backs of your legs

Sea: The currents of the sea may take you away swiftly from the land or from your boat, check on then before you leave and snorkel up current, so that the current will return you to safety. Avoid the surf of the reef crest, it can easily toss you on reef - rock, which may result in more than a few scratches.

Marine Life: Many marine animals are potentially dangerous, the spectrum ranges from corals that cut your skin, fire corals that can burn you, to fire fish whose poison may knock you unconscious within minutes. Although the list is impressive, as a rule dangerous animals are defensive and you will avoid practically all trouble if you refrain form touching marine life in any form. So don't chase or catch any fish.... and keep well... away from any fish which starts to defend itself. And, considering that snorkelers generally swim, and do not wade or trample about, there is no danger of stepping on the well camouflaged creatures, such as they very poisonous stone-fish. And should any of those rare sharks appear, there is no need to grab his (or her) tail.

Basic rule: Never go alone! A partner can assist you in minor emergencies and go for help in bigger ones and, since the reefs of Sudan as a rule are very lonely places, one could easily be forgotten without a partner. However, choose your partner carefully (see above "Health" , "Equipment" , "Training" etc). Is snorkeling dangerous? Once basic precautions have been taken it is less dangerous than riding a bicycle: No technical failures occur and there are no reckless divers under water.


Passport Documents
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Entry Visa

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History: Land of the oldest human civilization, kush or meroetic kingdom (800BC - 320 )
Location: An Afro-Arab country, situated in heart of Africa, dominated by river Nile
Capital: Khartoum
Area: 1.882 million sq. miles
Population: 36 million, with 2.6 % growth rate
Climate: Ranges between Tropical in South, desert in North
Currency: Sudanese Pound
Official language: Arabic, english as a second langauge
Religions: Islam, Christianity

Sudan Map