Suakin vs Port Sudan, Sudan: Clearance procedures and Agents

Published 18 years ago, updated 6 years ago

There are two “ports of clearance” in Sudan, Suakin, or 30 miles north Port Sudan. We recently visited Suakin while on our passage up the Red Sea and here is what we found.

Agents are pretty much obligatory. We tried to do clearance ourselves but found immigration officials impossible to deal with and all they would do is simply call the agent for us. In Port Sudan, they will immediately find you.

As of April 2006, the fees were: Agent $30; Shore Pass $30 each; Port Fee $20; Cruising Permit $10.

In Port Sudan, it was slightly more expensive with agents costing $50 and shore passes $32.

There is only one agent in Suakin, Mohammed, and if you anchor and wait he will come to you shortly. In Port Sudan, there are a number to choose from.

We had a great experience with Mohammed. He was polite and was the most efficient agent we’ve ever dealt with. Within 90 minutes of anchoring, he had all of our paperwork completed ashore and had filled and returned our diesel jerry jugs. The jugs had even been cleaned.

Diesel was 50 cents per liter, about half of the price we found in Eritrea. In Port Sudan, it was only 35 cents but you did it yourself and had to hire a tanker which cost $60.

Mohammed also did our laundry for 30 cents an item and would get or do anything else you might ask of him. Our friends in Port Sudan had trouble finding laundry service.

Bus service to Port Sudan was simple and cost about $1 for the 45-minute drive.

Clearing out was as simple as telling your agent and giving him your shore passes. He would then return your passports and a cruising permit to you.

Overall, we think Suakin was the better choice of the two, with a great agent, the amazing ruins of Old Suakin, and easy access to Port Sudan.

Pat and Ali Schulte

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