What is the terrain and geography like in Sudan?
Sudan, a vast, sun-baked land, gained independence in 1956, following the end of the Anglo-Egyptian condominium. It is the largest country in all Africa, stretching almost one million square miles. To the north are the Libyan and Nubian Deserts. In mid-country, a band of rocky semi-desert reaches from the Chad border eastward to encompass the range of arid mountains along the Red Sea coast and the Ethiopian border. The southern half consists of savanna and swampland grading into semitropical forests along the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda borders. Although arable, fertile land is available (37 %), but little (1.5 %) is cultivated because of inadequate irrigation.
Through these diverse regions flow the White and Blue Niles, which converge at Khartoum. The Nile system, with its major tributaries-the Bahr al Ghazal, Sobat, and Atbara-is the primary water supply for northeastern Africa. Most cultivation in the north of Sudan depends on these rivers, but farther south, rainfall is sufficient for cultivation and grazing.
The river is navigable only in certain areas. The Bahr al-Arab, flowing west to east, forms a natural frontier. Another, more formidable obstacle to the south is the Sudd, an immense 12,000 square miles of swamp floating vegetation into which the White Nile expands before reverting to river again.
Geography - note
dominated by the Nile and its tributaries
Khartoum is usually hot and dusty. During May, June, and July, daily high temperatures average around 100 F or higher, with frequent dust storms called "haboobs." July, August, and part of September are not as hot, with rare but heavy rainstorms (average 8 inches yearly) and continuing haboobs. From November until April, daily temperatures range around 95 F; nights, around 70 F, are pleasant. Cool weather at night and in the early mornings sometimes requires light sweaters or blankets.