23 – Round and round the merry-go-round aka Khartoum, permits and visas

 19th Dec, xxxxhrs, Hotel Al Nadi
I picked the wrong one of the two addresses to go to. This sent me far far away to some other district of Khartoum (i paid 10 SDP for a cab!) and when i reached there, the lady promptly told me it was the wrong place. Gave me another address, which ended up being in the Arabi area of central khartoum (to take a bus back to central its easy, just stand by the road in the direction to central and ask for Arabi, normally 0.5 to 1 SDP). When i reached there, (beside the American embassy), they told me it was the wrong place. This was apparently the Alien Registration Office. So i got yet another address to head towards. I walked south down to past the train station along Quasar Street for about 500 meters before i hit the Humanitarian Affairs building. I needed 1 photo, passport photocopies of front page, Sudan visa and alien registration sticker. 4 copies of all of these.

In summary, whatever LP has on the 2007 Africa version is completely wrong:
To get to Alien Registration Office – Head towards the US Embassy to the west of central Khartoum. This is where you register your arrival in Sudan within 3 days.
To get to Humanitarian Affairs Office – Head south along Quasar Street till you hit the railway line. Cross, keep moving even though the buildings get sparse, go another 500 metres. The humanitarian affairs office is the high blue building in the triangle shape on the map (around Sharia 47).

Next i headed down to the Eritrean embassy, which was somewhere in Riyadh district. This was completely off the LP maps, so I had to get on a bus that roughly went in the direction (ask for Riyadh) and ask the locals and the bus conductor to stop me at the Eritrean embassy. This was a lot easier than hunting for the aforementioned Humanitarian Affairs office. The visa is 109 and you need to wait a week and 30 SDP more for 1 or 2 day service. I will return on Tuesday at 10am to get it. Oh, and they did ask for a letter from your embassy. Which would have been a big problem since there is no Singapore embassy in Sudan. Luckily I had the letter done up in Cairo.

So at the end of the day (7 hours of admin and running around), i still have to wait 2 days here for a travel permit and Eritrean visa (hopefully both gets approved). For the travel permit, I listed down all the places I might want to go: Kassala, Gedaref, Gallabat, El-Obeid, Kadogli, Dilling. I’m not sure what I want to do actually. Transport here can get quite expensive, so I might just go out to Eritrea.

As for my other two travel companions, Ben isn’t feeling too well and spent the day resting. Kang on the other hand didn’t fare as well on the visa front. The Ethiopian embassy did not grant him a visa but instead told him he had to fly there. He will try again tomorrow, good luck to him.

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