The largest country in Africa, right now Sudan is also among the most violent and infamous, gaining worldwide attention as it suffers through genocide and civil war in the Darfur region.

Travel to Sudan is not recommended by anyone, the US State Department warns against all unofficial (not just unnecessary) travel and cites terrorism threats, carjackings, and frequent armed robbery as reasons. They word it like this: "[Travelers] should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate attacks on civilian targets in public places."

What to do

Besides basic humanitarian goodwill, here are some reasons why you should learn about Sudan and work in some way to quell the violence there so that travelers are once again welcome.

Khartoum: The biggest city in Sudan, it is actually not a terribly unsafe place to be at the moment and features African culture on display in the Sudan national museum as well as other attractions like Tuti Island, the Presidential Palace and Al Kabir Mosque.

The Nile: Before it feeds into Egypt, the Nile river runs through Sudan and some of the most interesting archaeological sites in Africa are clustered on its banks.

Getting there

Travel to Sudan is limited by strict control of visas and entrance requirements. Supposedly the easiest place to get an entrance visa is in Cairo, Egypt. Instead of waiting weeks to find out if you're approved or denied for a visa, you'll know in a few hours.

If you do get your visa and registration taken care of, flights to Sudan arrive in Khartoum airport and the country is most often served by flights from the middle-east and Europe.

Where to stay

Khartoum and other large towns have hotels and accommodations for travelers. If you stray from the main cities, your lodging will probably be downgraded to "a place to sleep." Wire bed frames or a mattress on the ground are the norm.