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Sudan Geography


Situated in northeast Africa, Sudan is the largest country on the continent, covering an area of 2,505,810 km² (967,499 mi²), with a length of 2,192 km (1,362 mi) south-southeast to north-northwest and a width of 1,880 km (1,168 mi) east-northeast to west-southwest. Comparatively, the area occupied by Sudan is slightly more than one-quarter the size of the USA. It is bounded on the north by Egypt, on the northeast by the Red Sea, on the east by Eritrea and Ethiopia, on the south by Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DROC), on the west by the Central African Republic and Chad, and on the northwest by Libya.

The Anglo-Egyptian Agreement of 19 January 1899 established the parallel of 22°N as the international boundary between Egypt and Sudan. In 1902, however, a special administrative boundary was delineated between the Nile and the Red Sea, in order to facilitate the administration of nomadic tribes and to maintain the continuity of certain tribal areas in the border region. In 2001, the countries agreed to discuss the creation of an "area of integration" for this overlapping territory and both governments agreed to withdraw military forces from the region. The Egypt-Sudan boundary west of the Nile runs 892 km (554 mi); east of the Nile, the international boundary is 383 km (238 mi), and the administrative boundary is 357 km (222 mi). Including this administrative line, Sudan's total boundary length is 8,550 km (5,313 mi).

Sudan's capital city, Khartoum, is located in the northeast central part of the country.

The greatest part of Sudan is a vast plain traversed by the northward-flowing Nile River and its tributaries. Widely separated mountain chains and many hilly areas often reach altitudes of more than 2,000 m (6,500 ft). The northern area is mainly desert, with rock at or near the surface covered by thin soils of low fertility. The western undulating sandy wastes merge into the Red Sea Hills to the east.

The dominating geographic feature is the Nile River, formed near Khartoum by the confluence of the Blue Nile and White Nile rivers. There are natural harbours at Port Sudan (Bur Sudan) and Suakin on the Red Sea.

The highest elevation is at Mount Kinyeti 3187 m (10,456 ft) along the southern border with Uganda.

In the northern plains and desert region, average temperatures range from 32°C (90°F) in winter (November to February) to 42°C (108°F) in summer (March to June); the hottest months are May and June. In the central and southern regions, average temperatures are 27° to 29°C (80° to 85°F). Rainfall decreases from south to north, the annual average varying from 120 cm (47 in) in the south to less than 10 cm (4 in) in the north; the rainy season is from July to September. Climatic hazards – sandstorms in the northern deserts and flooding rains in the central belt – often interfere with railway traffic. The most temperate climate occurs in the Red Sea Hills.


Location :
Northern Africa, bordering the Red Sea, between Egypt and Eritrea

Geographic coordinates :
15 00 N, 30 00 E

Map references :

Area :
total: 2,505,813 sq km
land: 2.376 million sq km
water: 129,813 sq km

Area - comparative :
slightly more than one-quarter the size of the US

Land boundaries :
total: 7,687 km
border countries: Central African Republic 1,165 km, Chad 1,360 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 628 km, Egypt 1,273 km, Eritrea 605 km, Ethiopia 1,606 km, Kenya 232 km, Libya 383 km, Uganda 435 km

Coastline :
853 km

Maritime claims :
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 18 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate :
tropical in south; arid desert in north; rainy season varies by region (April to November)

Terrain :
generally flat, featureless plain; mountains in far south, northeast and west; desert dominates the north

Elevation extremes :
lowest point: Red Sea 0 m
highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m

Natural resources :
petroleum; small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, gold, hydropower

Land use :
arable land: 6.78%
permanent crops: 0.17%
other: 93.05% (2005)

Irrigated land :
18,630 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources :
154 cu km (1997)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural) :
total: 37.32 cu km/yr (3%/1%/97%)
per capita: 1,030 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards :
dust storms and periodic persistent droughts

Environment - current issues :
inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife populations threatened by excessive hunting; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought

Environment - international agreements :
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note :
largest country in Africa; dominated by the Nile and its tributaries





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