Pack Your Bags: Africa's largest country boasts wondrous diving in the Red Sea, fascinating archaeological sites including pyramids that rival some in Egypt, and deserts, swamps and forests full of wildlife. Khartoum, the capital, is built at the confluence of the White and Blue Niles, and is quickly transforming into a smaller version of Dubai with glass skyscrapers and glitzy malls.
Rain Check: Militias backed by the Khartoum government have carried out a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the western region of Darfur. The civil war there has killed hundreds of thousands and forced millions from their homes. The annual Failed States Index, put out by U.S think-tank the Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine, lists Sudan as the world's most unstable country. In July, The International Criminal Court accused President Bashir of genocide and crimes against humanity. The U.S. State Department warns tourists of the "risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places, which include tourist sites and locations where westerners are known to congregate."
Tourist Blurb: "After peace, we will have a new Sudan. We need to prepare ourselves for this now, especially in the tourism sector. Sudan has many tourism attractions," Minister of Tourism and National Heritage Abdel Galeel Elbasha Mohamed told a reporter recently.
by Patrice Poltzer