Khartoum at night

Nickname(s): Triangular Capital
Location in Sudan and Africa
Khartoum (Africa)
Coordinates: 15°30′2″N 32°33′36″E / 15.50056°N 32.56000°E / 15.50056; 32.56000Coordinates: 15°30′2″N 32°33′36″E / 15.50056°N 32.56000°E / 15.50056; 32.56000[1]
Country Sudan
State Khartoum
  Governor Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein
  City 971.2 km2 (375.0 sq mi)
Elevation[1] 381 m (1,250 ft)
Population (2013 (urban as of 2014))
  City 639,598[2]
  Urban 5,490,000[3]
  Metro 5,274,321[2]
Demonym(s) Khartoumese, Khartoumian (the latter more properly designates a Mesolithic archaeological stratum)
Time zone CAT (UTC+2)

Khartoum (/kɑːrˈtm/; kar-TOOM)[4][5] is the capital city of Sudan and the capital of Khartoum (state), located at the confluence of the White Nile in the Blue Nile (Al-Muqrin), forming the Nile River together. Its the headquarters of the President of Sudan and the Politics of Sudan, and the presidency of the various central ministries, and the leadership of the Sudanese Armed Forces and foreign diplomatic missions from embassies and consulates, the headquarters of some Arab and African regional organizations and most of the political institutions of the State. Which is the heart of Africa for the airlines, for the passage of airlines that cut the North Africa of the continent towards its Southern Africa and those that pass through the West Africa and East Africa of the continent. The city has many public and private universities and colleges, various educational institutions, corporate heads, national banks and branches of foreign companies.

The establishment of Khartoum as the capital dates back to the first decades of the 19th century during the period of Egyptian conquest of Sudan (1820–1824) in the Sudan, where it was the capital of the country. The century witnessed the first stage of its prosperity. The English architectural style, which is still visible in the old buildings of the University of Khartoum and some government facilities overlooking the Nile, and some of them turned into museums open to the public, and some old bridges on the River Nile, which link with the surrounding urban areas. Khartoum has a population of 2,682,431. It is the sixth most populous city in Africa (not counting the rest of the roughly 5,172,000 inhabitants of the capital). Its population is of different ethnicities and population groups within and outside Sudan, as well as large numbers of other foreigners. The climate in Khartoum is mild in the winter with high summer temperatures and heavy rainfall in the autumn season. The city is strategically located in central Sudan, where the blue Nile meets the white Nile, making it a Tourism full of natural attractions. Archeology, and a local and regional transport and communication hub.



The origin of the word, "Khartoum", is uncertain. One theory argues that khartoum is derived from Arabic khurṭūm (خرطوم trunk or hose), probably referring to the narrow strip of land extending between the Blue and White Niles.[6] Dinka scholars argue that the name derives from the Dinka words pronounce as "Khar-tuom" by dinka bor and "Khier-tuom" by other dinka ethinics groups. These translate to a "place where rivers meet". This is supported by historical accounts which place the Dinka homeland in central Sudan as late as the 13th-15th centuries A.D.[7] Captain J.A. Grant, who reached Khartoum in 1863 with Captain Speke's expedition, thought the name was most probably from the Arabic qurtum (قرطم safflower, i.e., Carthamus tinctorius), which was cultivated extensively in Egypt for its oil to be used as fuel.[8] Some scholars speculate that the word derives from the Nubian word, Agartum ("the abode of Atum"), the Nubian and Egyptian god of creation. Other Beja scholars suggest "Khartoum" is derived from the Beja word, Hartoom ("meeting").[9][10] Additionally, the dream-interpreting magicians in Genesis 41:8 are referred to as חַרְטֻמֵּ֥י מצרים("Khartoumei Mitzrayim" - Magicians of Egypt). There is some speculation that they learned their craft at an academy in the south of Egypt from which the city takes its name.

Founding (1821–1899)

In 1821, Khartoum was established 24 kilometres (15 mi) north of the ancient city of Soba, by Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Egypt's ruler, Muhammad Ali Pasha, who had just incorporated Sudan into his realm. Originally, Khartoum served as an outpost for the Egyptian Army, but the settlement quickly grew into a regional centre of trade. It also became a focal point for the slave trade. Later, it became the administrative center of Sudan and official capital.

On 13 March 1884, troops loyal to the Mahdi Muhammad Ahmad started a siege of Khartoum, against defenders led by British General Charles George Gordon. The siege ended in a massacre of the Anglo-Egyptian garrison when on 26 January 1885 the heavily-damaged city fell to the Mahdists.[11]

On 2 September 1898, Omdurman was the scene of the bloody Battle of Omdurman, during which British forces under Herbert Kitchener defeated the Mahdist forces defending the city.

Modern history (20th–21st centuries)

In 1973, the city was the site of an anomalous hostage crisis in which members of Black September held 10 hostages at the Saudi Arabian embassy, five of them diplomats. The US ambassador, the US deputy ambassador, and the Belgian chargé d'affaires were murdered. The remaining hostages were released. A 1973 United States Department of State document, declassified in 2006, concluded: "The Khartoum operation was planned and carried out with the full knowledge and personal approval of Yasser Arafat."[12]

In 1977, the first oil pipeline between Khartoum and the Port of Sudan was completed.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Khartoum was the destination for hundreds of thousands refugees fleeing conflicts in neighboring nations such as Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Uganda. Many Eritrean and Ethiopian refugees assimilated into society, while others settled in large slums at the outskirts of the city. Since the mid-1980s, large numbers of refugees from South Sudan and Darfur fleeing the violence of the Second Sudanese Civil War and Darfur conflict have settled around Khartoum.

In 1991, Osama bin Laden purchased a house in the affluent al-Riyadh neighborhood of the city and another in Soba. He lived there until 1996, when he was banished from the country. Following the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, the United States accused bin Laden's al-Qaeda group and, on 20 August, launched cruise missile attacks on the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in northern Khartoum. The destruction of the factory produced diplomatic tension between the U.S. and Sudan. The factory ruins are now a tourist attraction.

The sudden death of SPLA head and vice-president of Sudan, John Garang, at the end of July 2005, was followed by three days of violent riots in the capital. The riots finally died down after Southern Sudanese politicians and tribal leaders sent strong messages to the rioters. The situation could have been much more dire; even so, the death toll was at least 24, as youths from southern Sudan attacked northern Sudanese and clashed with security forces.[13]

The Organisation of African Unity summit of 18–22 July 1978 was held in Khartoum, during which Sudan was awarded the OAU presidency. The African Union summit of 16–24 January 2006 was held in Khartoum.

The Arab League summit of 28–29 March 2006 was held in Khartoum, during which the Arab League awarded Sudan the Arab League presidency.

On 10 May 2008, the Darfur rebel group, Justice and Equality Movement, moved into the city, where they engaged in heavy fighting with Sudanese government forces. Their soldiers included minors, and their goal was to topple Omar al-Bashir's government, though the Sudanese government succeeded in beating back the assault.[14][15][16]

On 23 October 2012, an explosion at the Yarmouk munitions factory killed two people and injured another person. The Sudanese government has claimed that the explosion was the result of an Israeli airstrike.[17]

Panorama of Khartoum



Khartoum is located in northeast Africa, near the center of Sudan, which measures about one quarter the size of the United States. Its neighbors are Chad and the Central African Republic to the west, Egypt and Libya to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Ethiopia and Eritrea to the east, and South Sudan, to the south. The Red Sea washes about 500 miles (800 km) of its northeast coast, and it is traversed from south to north by the Nile, all of whose great tributaries are partly or entirely within its borders.

Khartoum is located in the middle of the populated areas in Sudan, at almost the northeast center of the country between 15 and 16 degrees latitude north, and between 31 and 32 degrees longitude east.[18] Khartoum marks the convergence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, where they join to form the bottom of the leaning-S shape of the main Nile (see map, upper right) as it zigzags through northern Sudan into Egypt at Lake Nasser.

Khartoum is relatively flat, at elevation 385 m (1,263 ft),[18] as the Nile flows northeast past Omdurman to Shendi, at elevation 364 m (1,194 ft)[19] about 101 miles (163 km) away.



Under Köppen's climate classification system, Khartoum features a hot arid climate, with only the summer months seeing noticeable precipitation.[21] The city averages a little over 155 millimetres (6.1 in) of precipitation per year. Based on annual mean temperatures, the city is one of the hottest major cities in the world. Temperatures routinely exceed 40 °C (104 °F) in mid-summer.

Its average annual high temperature is 37.1 °C (99 °F), with six months of the year seeing an average monthly high temperature of at least 38 °C (100 °F). Furthermore, throughout the year, none of its monthly average high temperatures falls below 30 °C (86 °F). During the months of January and February, while daytime temperatures are generally very warm, nights are relatively cool, with average low temperatures just above 15 °C (59 °F).

Climate data for Khartoum (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 39.7
Average high °C (°F) 30.7
Daily mean °C (°F) 23.2
Average low °C (°F) 15.6
Record low °C (°F) 8.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 0.0
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.9 0.9 4.0 4.2 3.4 1.2 0.0 0.0 14.7
Average relative humidity (%) 27 22 17 16 19 28 43 49 40 28 27 30 29
Mean monthly sunshine hours 316.2 296.6 316.2 318.0 310.0 279.0 269.7 272.8 273.0 306.9 303.0 319.3 3,580.7
Mean daily sunshine hours 10.2 10.5 10.2 10.6 10.0 9.3 8.7 8.8 8.1 9.9 10.1 10.3 9.8
Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation,[22] NOAA (extremes and humidity 1961–1990)[23]
Source #2: Deutscher Wetterdienst (sun, 1961–1990)[24]


Year Population
City Metropolitan area
1907[25] 69,349 n.a.
1956 93,100 245,800
1973 333,906 748,300
1983 476,218 1,340,646
1993 947,483 2,919,773
2008 Census Preliminary 3,639,598 5,274,321


After the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLA), the Government of Sudan began a massive development project.[26][27] In 2007, the biggest projects in Khartoum were the Al-Mogran Development Project, two five-star hotels, a new airport, Mac Nimir Bridge (finished in October 2007) and the Tuti Bridge that links Khartoum to Tuti Island.

In the 21st century, Khartoum developed based on Sudan's oil wealth (although the independence of South Sudan in 2011 affected the economy of Sudan negatively[28]). The center of the city has tree-lined streets. Khartoum has the highest concentration of economic activity in the country. This has changed as major economic developments take place in other parts of the country, like oil exploration in the South, the Giad Industrial Complex in Al Jazirah state and White Nile Sugar Project in Central Sudan, and the Merowe Dam in the North.

Among the city's industries are printing, glass manufacturing, food processing, and textiles. Petroleum products are now produced in the far north of Khartoum state, providing fuel and jobs for the city. One of Sudan's largest refineries is located in northern Khartoum.[28]


The Souq Al Arabi is Khartoum's largest open air market. The "souq" is spread over several blocks in the center of Khartoum proper just south of the Great Mosque (Mesjid al-Kabir) and the minibus station. It is divided into separate sections, including one focused entirely on gold.[29]

Al Qasr Street and Al Jamhoriyah Street are considered the most famous high streets in Khartoum State.

Afra Mall is located in the southern suburb Arkeweet. The Afra Mall has a supermarket, retail outlets, coffee shops, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a children's playground.

In 2011, Sudan opened the Hotel Section and part of the food court of the new, Corinthia Hotel Tower. The Mall/Shopping section is still under construction.


Khartoum is the main location for most of Sudan's top educational bodies. In Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, there are four main levels of education. First: kindergarten and day-care. It begins in the age of 3-4, consists of 1-2 grades, (depending on the parents). Second: elementary school. the first grade pupils enter at the age of 6-7 .and It consists of 8 grades, each year there is more academic efforts and main subjects added plus more school methods improvements. By the 8th grade a student is 13–14 years old ready to take the certificate exams and entering high school. Third: upper second school and high school. At this level the school methods add some main academic subjects such as chemistry, biology, physics, geography, etc... there are three grades in this level. The students ages are about 14-15 to 17-18. Higher Education: there are many universities in Sudan such as the university of Khartoum. Some foreigners attend universities there, as the reputation of the universities are very good and the living expenses are low compared to other countries. The education system in Sudan went through many changes in the late 1980s and early 1990s.[30][31][32]

High schools

  • Khartoum Old High Secondary School for Boys
  • Khartoum Old High Secondary School for Girls
  • The British Educational Schools (BES)[33]
  • Khartoum American School, KAS, established in 1957.
  • Khartoum International Community School, KICS, established in 2004.
  • Unity High School.[34]
  • Suliman Hussein Academy
  • Comboni and St. Francis, Khartoum new high secondary school for boys
  • Khartoum International preparatory school (KIPS)|Khartoum International preparatory school, established in 1928.
  • Qabbas Private International Schools
  • Riad English School, established 1987
  • Nile Valley School, founded 2012 [35]
  • Mohamed Hussein High Secondary School for Boys in Omdurman

Universities and Higher institutes in Khartoum

|Omdurman Al-ahlia University, || Private university Found it in 1985||



Khartoum is home to the largest airport in Sudan, Khartoum International Airport. It is the main hub for Sudan Airways, Sudan's main carrier. The airport was built at the southern edge of the city; but with Khartoum's rapid growth and consequent urban sprawl, the airport is currently located in the heart of the city. A new international airport is currently being built about 40 km (25 mi) south of the city center. There have been delays to start construction because lack of funding of the project but it is expected that the airport will be completed sometime in 2018. It will replace the current airport in Khartoum as Sudan's main airport.


The following bridges cross the Blue Nile and connect Khartoum to Khartoum North:


Khartoum has rail lines from Wadi Halfa, Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and El Obeid. All are operated by Sudan Railways. Some lines also extended to some parts of south Sudan


Architecture of Khartoum cannot be identified by one style or even two styles; it is as diverse as its culture, where 597 different cultural groups meet. In this article are 10 buildings of Khartoum to showcase this diversity in buildings’ shapes, materials, treatments. Sudan was home to numerous ancient civilizations, such as the Kingdom of Kush, Kerma, Nobatia, Alodia, Makuria, Meroë and others, most of which flourished along the Nile. During the pre-dynastic period Nubia and Nagadan Upper Egypt were identical, simultaneously evolved systems of Pharaonic kingship by 3300 BC.

In response to the worldwide deterioration of the environment and the increase in pollution levels, there has been a strong movement towards sustainable architecture across the globe. This movement has received attention and concern from governments as well as private sectors. In the past decades, Sudan has seen a huge surge in infrastructure and technology, which has led to many new and innovative building concepts, ideas and construction techniques. There is now a constant flow of new projects arising, thus leading to a new, transformed, modernised form of architecture. [38]

  • Squares and public gardens

Masjids and Places of worship




The largest museum in all of Sudan is the National Museum of Sudan.[40] Founded in 1971, it contains works from different epochs of Sudanese history. Among the exhibits are two Egyptian temples of Buhen and Semna,[41] originally built by Queen Hatshepsut and Pharaoh Tuthmosis III, respectively, but relocated to Khartoum upon the flooding of Lake Nasser.

The Republican Palace Museum,[42] opened in 2000, is located in the former Anglican All Saints' cathedral[43] on Sharia al-Jama'a, next to the historical Presidential Palace.

The Ethnographic Museum[44] is located on Sharia al-Jama'a, close to the Mac Nimir Bridge.

Botanical gardens

Khartoum is home to a small botanical garden, in the Mogran district of the city.[45]


Khartoum is home to several clubs such as the Blue Nile Sailing Club,[46] the German Club, the Greek Hotel,[47] the Coptic Club, the Syrian Club and the International Club.[48] There are also two football clubs situated in Khartoum – Al Khartoum SC[49] and Al Ahli Khartoum.[50]

Twin cities

See also


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    See also: Bibliography of the history of Khartoum

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