Khartoum (/kɑːrˈtuːm/ kar-TOOM) is the capital and largest
Sudan and the state of Khartoum. It is located at the
confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, and
the Blue Nile, flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two
Niles meet is known as "al-Mogran" (المقرنthe confluence). The
Nile continues to flow north towards
Egypt and the Mediterranean
Divided by the two Rivers Nile,
Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis
with an estimated overall population of over five million people,
Khartoum proper, and linked by bridges to
(الخرطوم بحري al-Kharṭūm Baḥrī) and
درمان Umm Durmān) to the west.
1.2 Founding (1821–1899)
1.3 Modern history (20th–21st centuries)
6.1 High schools
6.2 The higher institutes in Khartoum
9.2 Botanical gardens
10 Twin cities
11 See also
14 External links
See also: Timeline of Khartoum
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. Dinka scholars argue that the
name derives from the Dinka words "Khier-tuom" which translates 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. 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. 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"). 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
Khartoum at the Bend of the Nile
Muhammad Ahmad al-
Mahdi religious leader of the Mahdist War
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.
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
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
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)
Corinthia Hotel Khartoum
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."
In 1977, the first oil pipeline between
Khartoum and the Port of Sudan
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
Darfur fleeing the violence
Second Sudanese Civil War
Second Sudanese Civil War and
Darfur conflict have settled
Osama bin Laden
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
northern Sudanese and clashed with security forces.
Organisation of African Unity
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.
Arab League summit of 28–29 March 2006 was held in Khartoum,
during which the
Arab League awarded
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.
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
Panorama of Khartoum
Khartoum (center) is near middle of the
Nile river system.
Khartoum is located in northeast Africa, near the center of Sudan,
which measures about one quarter the size of the United States. Its
Chad and the
Central African Republic
Central African Republic to the west, Egypt
Libya to the north, the
Red Sea to the northeast,
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.
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
Egypt at Lake Nasser.
Khartoum is relatively flat, at elevation 385 m
(1,263 ft), as the
Nile flows northeast past
Shendi, at elevation 364 m (1,194 ft) about 101 miles
(163 km) away.
Places adjacent to Khartoum
Omdurman, Northern State
Khartoum Bahri, Shendi, River
White Nile, Omdurman, North Kordofan
Kassala State, Port Sudan,
Red Sea State
White Nile State
Wad Madani, Al Jazirah (state)
Al Qadarif State
Under Köppen's climate classification system,
Khartoum features a hot
arid climate, with only the summer months seeing noticeable
precipitation. 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
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
Climate data for
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Mean daily sunshine hours
Source #1: World Meteorological Organisation, NOAA (extremes and
Deutscher Wetterdienst (sun, 1961–1990)
2008 Census Preliminary
Development in Khartoum
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. 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
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
Sudan negatively). The center of the city has tree-lined
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
Giad Industrial Complex in Al Jazirah state and White Nile
Sugar Project in Central Sudan, and the
Merowe Dam in the
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.
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
Al Qasr Street and Al Jamhoriyah Street are considered the most famous
high streets in
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.
Sudan opened the Hotel Section and part of the food court of
the new, Corinthia hotel Tower. The Mall/Shopping section is still
The University of Khartoum
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
Al-Mawahib Schools -
Khartoum Old High Secondary School for Boys
Khartoum Old High Secondary School for Girls
The British Educational Schools (BES)
Khartoum American School, KAS, established in 1957.
Khartoum International Community School, KICS, established in 2004.
Unity High School.
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 
The higher institutes in Khartoum
The great higher institutes in Khartoum
University of Khartoum Founded as Gordon Memorial College in 1902, it
was later renamed to share the name of the city in the 1930s.
Academy of Engineering Sciences founded as Academy of Electrical
Engineering in 2002,
Al Zaiem Alazhari University,
Bahri University, formally
Juba University before the separation and
Juba University returned to the South.
Omdurman Islamic University,
International University of Africa,
Nile Valley University,
Open University of Sudan,
Public Health Institute, a post-graduate institution operated by the
Ministry of Health
Sudan University of Science and Technology, one of the leading
engineering and technology schools in Sudan, founded in 1932 as
Khartoum Technical Institute and has been given its present name in
Bayan College for Science & Technology,
Canadian Sudanese College,
Comboni College for Science and Technology
Future University of Sudan, the first specialized university for ICT
inter-related studies in Sudan, founded by Dr. Abubaker Mustafa.
National College for Medical & Technical Studies,
National Ribat University,
University of Medical Sciences and Technology, better known as UMST,
it was founded in 1996 by Prof. Mamoun Humaida as Academy of Medical
Science & Technology.
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.
White Nile Bridge,
Omdurman to Khartoum, Sudan
The following bridges cross the
Blue Nile and connect
Mac Nimir Bridge
Blue Nile Road & Railway Bridge
Sudan Military Railroad
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
Some roads and streets of Khartoum
Ebeid Khatim Road, one of the largest streets of
Khartoum starts from
the end of the armed forces Bridge and ends at the International
Africa going from north to south and vice versa.
Amarat District 15th Street junction with Mohamed Naguib Street, one
of the largest street intersections in Khartoum.
Algaba Street Khartoum
Algaser Street Khartoum
University of Khartoum
Government House (1936); now the Presidential Palace
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. 
Squares and public gardens
Masjids and Places of worship
The Great Masjid
Siadah Sanhory mosque in Manshiya
Shahid mosque Algomah prayers in Ramadan
A statue, claimed to depict Natakamani, at the front of the National
Museum of Sudan
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The largest museum in all of
Sudan is the National Museum of
Sudan. Founded in 1971, it contains works from different epochs of
Sudanese history. Among the exhibits are two Egyptian temples of Buhen
and Semna, originally built by Queen
Hatshepsut and Pharaoh
Tuthmosis III, respectively, but relocated to
Khartoum upon the
flooding of Lake Nasser.
The Republican Palace Museum, opened in 2000, is located in the
former Anglican All Saints' cathedral on Sharia al-Jama'a, next to
the historical Presidential Palace.
The Ethnographic Museum is located on Sharia al-Jama'a, close to
the Mac Nimir Bridge.
Khartoum is home to a small botanical garden, in the Mogran district
of the city.
Khartoum is home to several clubs such as the
Blue Nile Sailing
Club, the German Club, the Greek Hotel, the Coptic Club, the
Syrian Club and the International Club. There are also two
football clubs situated in
Khartoum – Al
Khartoum SC and Al Ahli
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improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Djibouti City, Djibouti
Al-Mogran Development Project
Khartoum, a 1966 film starring Charlton Heston and Laurence Olivier
Al Amarat (Khartoum)
St. Matthew's Cathedral, Khartoum
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See also: Bibliography of the history of Khartoum
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Khartoum.
Media related to
Khartoum at Wikimedia Commons
Kidnapped, tortured and thrown in jail: my 70 days in
Articles Related to Khartoum
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