Wadi Halfa is a small town on a hill with one main street and a lot of traffic once a week when the ferry comes in. The processing for entering Sudan is usually painless but plodding. Though it has many steps and you will probably have to ask directions a few times along the way. Don’t worry about asking for help, the people are friendly even if they are wearing a uniform.
Even if you don’t hire him it is likely that you will meet Midhat or his brother in Wadi Halfa as they often start adventures from the little town. For a longer description of Wadi Halfa check out this blog post that mentions Midhat.
Here, ladies wrapped in colourful cotton shawls prepare anything from hibiscus tea to mint tea to spiced coffee; the ingredients for each are nimbly plucked from the glass jars that line their tin-chest work counter. Not a drop is spilled as leaves are mixed with spices and piping hot water, which is then strained into a dainty glass presented on a similarly styled tea tray. One coffee would be followed in quick succession by another – an antidote to the cold sleeplessness of the previous night.
The sun might slow Wadi Halfa to a near standstill, but it fuels its friendliness. As we sat sipping coffee, ‘Salaam Alaikum’ rings in our ears and hands are offered to be shaken. Curiosity or small talk never ends in a sales pitch, just good wishes or an insistence to pay for our drinks.
Arrival in Wadi Halfa
When the ferry docks you will disembark at the Customs and Immigration terminal. It is a few kilometers outside of the town itself. There are always a few Land Rovers or Tuk-Tuks to drive people into town. If you aren’t afraid of a hike and want to save a few bucks you can walk along the sand track from the terminal to Wadi Halfa.
There used to be only a slow train and a fast but bumpy bus between Wadi Halfa and Khartoum. Both have been replaced by a newly paved road and a fast buses that run the evening and next day after the ferry arrives. The latest bus price is 90 Sudanese Pounds ($39) and can be bought at the bus station on arrival.
Getting a bus from Khartoum to Wadi Halfa is a little more difficult because the bus companies are trying to operate under the government’s radar to avoid taxes and regulations, so they change their departure point regularly.