Khartoum (state)

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Hartum ve Mavi Nil.jpg
Location in Sudan.
Location in Sudan.
Coordinates: 15°47′N 32°43′E / 15.783°N 32.717°E / 15.783; 32.717Coordinates: 15°47′N 32°43′E / 15.783°N 32.717°E / 15.783; 32.717
Country  Sudan
Region Khartoum
Capital Khartoum
 • Total 22,122 km2 (8,541 sq mi)
Population (2006 est.)
 • Total 7,152,102
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)

Khartoum is one of the eighteen states of Sudan. It has an area of 22,122 km2 and an estimated population of approximately 7,152,102 (2008). Within it lies the city of Khartoum, which is the capital of the state as well as the national capital of Sudan.

Views vary about the origin of the name of Khartoum. Perhaps the most correct of these views attributes the name to the Arabic meaning of the term, "elephant's trunk"; the site of the city, at the confluence of the two Niles, is shaped like an elephant's trunk. The term also denotes a stretch of land extending into the water. According to one historical story, when the Romans launched their invasion in Egypt, they sent a force to Sudan. When the Roman invasion arrived at the current site of Khartoum, it found the sunflower plant, whose seeds were called gurtoum. The Roman pressed the sunflower seeds to get oil for use in the treatment of soldier's wounds. Eventually the word gurtoum was corrupted to Khartoum. There is also another baseless story that the name of Khartoum was derived from the words "Khor al-Tom."

The city is located in the heart of Sudan at the confluence of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, where the two rivers unite to form the River Nile. The confluence of the two rivers creates a unique effect. As they join, each river retains its own color: the White Nile with its bright whiteness and the Blue Nile with its alluvial brown color. These colors are more visible in the flood season.

As is well known, Khartoum is the political capital of the Sudan, where offices of the state, governmental institutions, ministries, embassies and international and regional organizations are located. There is also the main airport, (Khartoum International Airport), as well as museums and hotels. The state lies between longitudes 31.5-34 east and latitudes 15-16 north, with an area of about 28.165 square kilometers. It is bordered on the north and east by the River Nile State, on the northwest by the Northern State, and on the east and southeast by the states of Kassala, Gedaref and Gezira.

Climate (rainfall - temperature)[edit]

Most people of the Khartoum state live in the semi-desert climatic region, while its northern areas live in desert zones. The weather is rainy in the summer, cold and dry in the winter. Average rainfall reaches 100–200 mm in the northeastern areas and 200–300 mm in the northwestern areas.


The temperature ranges in summer from 25 to 40 degrees (Celsius) from April to June, and from 20 to 35 degrees from July to October. In winter, however, temperatures decline gradually between November and March from 15 to 25 degrees. Geographically, Khartoum is divided into three blocks:

Divisions of Khartoum[edit]

A / First block[edit]

This starts from the Mugran, i.e. the confluence of the two rivers (the Blue Nile and White Nile). It extends southward between them to the boundaries of Gezira state. Administratively it is divided into two localities, Khartoum and Gabal Owlia localities. The block is characterized by Sundus and Soba agricultural schemes in both the Gabal Owlia and Khartoum localities, along with a number of livestock, poultry, fishing, and fodder production projects, as well as vegetable and fruit farms.

B / Second block[edit]

This is the Northern block, between the Blue Nile and the River Nile. It includes the localities of Khartoum North and East of the Nile, where the town of Khartoum North is found, the largest town in this block. In this block there are many agricultural projects, such as the Soba East and Seleit agricultural projects. It also includes the largest dairy project in the state, the Kuku village project. The block also includes the largest industrial areas in the Sudan.

C / Third block[edit]

This is the block located to the west of the White Nile and the River Nile and includes three localities, Omdurman, Um Badda and Karari localities. The city of Omdurman is the largest of them, being known as the historical capital of the Sudan, with a history going back to the era before the Mahdia revolution. A number of archaeological, historical, and religious areas are found in this block, in addition to popular markets. The area west of Omdurman is characterized by the best natural hunting in the state.

Population and economy[edit]

The 2008 population census estimates the population of Khartoum state to be about five million people, composed of various tribes of the Sudan. To be more specific about the tribes, we begin with the peripheries of the cities and the rural areas. The areas of Omdurman and the rural South are inhabited by the tribe of Gamowia, as well as by the Kordofani tribes displaced to these areas by the drought and desertification that hit their areas in recent years (the early and mid-eighties). These are the tribes of the Kababish and the Kawahla. In the northern countryside of Karari province we find the tribe of Shiheinat, and in Khartoum North the tribes of Abdallab and Batahin. In the East Nile are the tribes of Abu Dileig, Batahin, and Kawahla, with the tribe of Iseilat in Um-Dowan. Regarding economic activities, most of the population works in government offices, the private sector and banks. There are also large number of merchants, and another category of migrants and displaced people working in marginal activities. In the countryside most people are engaged in agriculture and grazing and thus supply the capital, Khartoum, with vegetables, fruits, and dairy products. There are also some residents living on the banks of the rivers engaged in the trades dependent on the rivers, such as pottery, brick-making and fishing.

Museums and archeological sites[edit]

Khartoum state is rich in archaeological sites dating back to different periods of civilization, both prehistoric and historical. Its museums include a number of specialized museums, for example the Museums of Natural History, Folklore and the Popular Heritage. There are also a center for study of folklore under the National Authority for the Arts and the Omdurman Museum of Ibrahim Hijazi. The history of two outstanding museums follows:

Sudan National Museum[edit]

Located in the province of Khartoum, it was inaugurated in 1971 and consists of two parts. The first consists of the museum's garden, which is an open museum where relics and temples that were rescued from areas flooded by the building of the High Dam were re-installed. The museum also includes exhibits of antiquities dating back to historical periods of civilization from the Paleolithic period up to the end of the Fung period in 1821. The museum is located on Nile Street at the Mugran.

Khalifa House Museum[edit]

Located in the province of Omdurman, this museum is the former house of Caliph Abdullah Ibn Mohammed (Torshin). It was built in two phases, the first phase in the period from 1887 to 1888, and the second phase completed (second floor) in 1891. The construction was carried out by Hamid Abdel Nour, under the supervision of the Italian architect Pietro. [1]

The state of Khartoum is divided into seven localities:

  • al-Kharṭoum Locality (محلية الخرطوم)
  • al-Kharṭoum Baḥrī Locality (محلية الخرطوم بحري)
  • Umdurmān Locality (محلية أمدرمان)
  • Jabal Awliyā' Locality (محلية جبل أولياء)
  • Sharq an-Nīl Locality (محلية شرق النيل)
  • Ombadda Locality (محلية أمبدة)
  • Kararī Locality (محلية كرري)


See also[edit]