Travel information - scuba diving live-aboard in Sudan
Travel information that can be useful in order to organize a scuba diving holiday in the Sudanese Red Sea on board of Don Questo live-aboard. You have info useful before booking and before leaving.
travel information, sudan liveaboard, sudan live-aboard, sudan scuba diving
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Travel Information

Before booking

WHICH IS THE BEST PERIOD FOR DIVING IN SUDAN?

The diving season is from October to mid July. This means that we usually do not organize cruises from mid July to mid October.We usually also stop for maintenance from mid January to mid February and usually do not organize cruises in that period.Best visibility: February - March – April - May Good period to see hammerhead sharks: December to July Best time to see hammerhead sharks: February to July Best time to see Manta Rays:October.

Look at our itineraries
ARE SUDANESE DIVES VERY DEMANDING?

No, usually you will find warm water, good visibility and weak current. Nevertheless, we require a minimum level of experience, depending on the cruise route, for the group safety and fun.

DO I REQUIRE A DIVING LICENCE?

Yes, diving licence is mandatory. Please, don’t forget it! Please also refer to the minimum level of experience required, depending on the cruise route.In some periods and during some cruises we also organize basic or advanced scuba diving courses; contact us in case you are interested in attending a course.

Contact us for courses
WHICH IS THE REQUIRED LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE?

An advanced certification level and a minimum number of 50 logged dives is required for the following Cruises: Central, North and South Cruise.An advanced certification level, a certification that allows to get to a depth of 40 mts and a minimum number of 100 logged dives is required for the Deep South and Mini Deep South Cruises.The filling of a form is required to state the level of experience and logged dives, to be sent back by guests by e-mail at latest 30 days before the cruise departure.

Look at the CRUISES
HOW LONG ARE THE CRUISES?

The cruises are usually one week or two weeks long. Every 1- or 2-week cruise starts early in the morning of Tuesday and ends on Sunday or in the morning of Saturday and ends on Thursday.In some periods of the year (mainly in October, during Eid holidays or in December and when we do not have other cruises scheduled) we may also offer shorter cruises (3-4): please contact us for information.

Look at our schedule
HOW MANY DIVES CAN I DO EVERY DAY?

Usually we do 2 or 3 dives the first day, 2 dives the last day of each cruise and 3 dives in the other days. But of course this may change, compatibly with every day schedule and navigation and the necessary surface time. During the week night cruises can also be organized in Central, North and South cruises.

ARE THE DIVES GUIDED?

All of our dives are guide, except for night dives. Our guides are among the best ones in Sudan, with many years of experience in the Sudanese Red Sea. Our guides always check the current before each dive in order for the group of divers to plunge in the best possible point.

HOW CAN I BOOK MY CRUISE?

First of all, have a look at the availability page and read these travel information. When we have confirmed it, you can book your cruise by e-mail. For definitive confirmation we ask a deposit by bank transfer.

Loot at the availability
HOW ARE THE PAYMENTS?

We ask a deposit of 30% and settlement 45 days before departure.
Sudanese visa and taxes must be paid cash on board.
Bookings made within 45 days of departure date must be paid in full.

WHICH IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?

Cancellation must be made in writing (by letter or e-mail). DEPENDING on when we receive notice of cancellation, we will retain the following cancellation charge per person as a percentage of the total cruise amount (and therefore refund the difference, if that is the case):
120 days or more prior to departure: 30% (only the commitment deposit)
119 to 60 days prior to departure: 40%
59 to 46 days prior to departure: 50%
45 days or less before departure: 100%
The cancellation conditions apply whatever the reasons of the cancellation .
The commitment deposit is not refundable in any case (except for a proper substitution).
The cancellation policy is further explained in the General Conditions that are given to the guest upon booking and the General Conditions apply, that are valid upon booking and that the guest has duly signed for acceptance.

SHOULD I WORRY ABOUT TRAVELING TO SUDAN?

First of all, please don’t forget that Sudan and Sud Sudan are different countries since 2011.Sudanese people are naturally friendly, hospitable and very accepting of the others. So, you should always feel home and safe during your stay in the country. Our team and all the people at out Agency work professionally to serve you as valued guest to your full satisfaction and safety. In case there were situations to be worried about you would be immediately informed.

Go to Why Sudan?
WHICH IS THE TIME ZONE OF SUDAN?

3 hours ahead of GMT.

Check on timeanddate site
HOW CAN I GET TO PORT SUDAN?

Since June 2012 the trip is via Dubai by flights operated by FlyDubai, a low cost company of Emirates Team. Because of the new flights schedule, all the cruises will start and end on Mondays or on Fridays.

Check Emirates web site
WHICH IS THE BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON EMIRATES/FLYDUBAY FLIGHTS?

Baggage allowance for Economy Class passengers is 30 kg for hold baggage and 7 kg for hand baggage on both flights if you book the whole route together with Emirates. It is recommended to put torches into the hold luggage, cameras and dive computer into the hand baggage, knives and scissors into the hold baggage.

Check on Emirates web site
DO I NEED A VISA TO GO TO SUDAN?

Yes, prior to visiting the country you must obtain entry visa.

HOW CAN I GET SUDANESE VISA BEFORE MY DEPARTURE?

Entry visas can be obtained either by going directly to Sudan embassies or by requesting it from us. We can arrange visa for you by e-mail, but please request this upon booking. If you want us to arrange for the visa, you have to send a copy of your passport by e-mail to us, at least one month before departure. You will also have to specify your job in the mail you send. We will send you the temporary visas by e-mail. You will get the definitive ones in Port Sudan airport. This visa is only valid for Red Sea State (Port Sudan). If you enter Sudan in Khartoum, you must get visa in the Sudanese embassy in your country (you can ask us to send you a letter of invitation).

WHAT SHOULD I CHECK IN MY PASSPORT NOT TO HAVE PROBLEMS OBTAINING THE VISA?

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date from Sudan, and it must have at least 2 pages free. The passport must have NO Israeli visa in it.

WHEN WILL I GET MY TEMPORARY VISAS IF DON QUESTO’S AGENT ARRANGES IT AND WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH IT?

We will send you a copy of your temporary entry visa about 3-7 days before your departure.
It is necessary to print the temporary visa and bring the copy with you. It will be probably requested upon check-in upon departure. You should keep with you the copy until you arrive to Port Sudan Airport.
Please, note that this kind of visas is only valid when arriving via Port Sudan airport and only valid in the Red Sea State (not for Khartoum).

DO I NEED ANY VACCINATIONS?

Usually no vaccinations are requested; nevertheless, please always check your foreign office travel advisory for any necessary vaccinations. It is recommended you take some anti-mosquito spray with you.

DO I HAVE TO PAY TAXES IN SUDAN?

The Sudanese authorities apply taxes to all foreign guests, including departure tax, so you will need to pay the following (see price list): Visa; Sudanese Taxes.

Getting prepared for the cruise

HOW CAN I PAY IN SUDAN?

Sudanese currency is the Pound. In Sudan cheques, traveller cheques and credit card are not accepted. You can only use USD’s (printed later than 1996) or Euros. The banknotes must be perfect (sorry, but Sudanese people are very suspicious with false money).
Please consider it is not possible to get cash from banks in Port Sudan.

HOW CAN I PAY TAXES, VISAS AND EXTRAS?

All payments of taxes, visa and extras will have to be done CASH on board of Don Questo. No other form of payment is possible on board.
Please consider that the amount relevant to taxes and visa will be asked immediately once you are on board, so please make sure you have the exact amount in euros as it is difficult to find cash or change once on board.

HOW SHOULD I DRESS IN SUDAN?

There is no legal restriction with clothes, but you are asked to observe the dress code in the town by wearing in modesty. In Sudan people are not accustomed to wearing shorts (men and women) and T-shirts (for women). So ashore long pants are recommended.When you are on board of our boat, you are free of these restrictions. Bring very simple and summer clothes, plus a sweatshirt for windy days. On board and during your cruise swimming pants and bikinis are perfectly acceptable.

Go to Why Sudan?
WHAT SHOULD I AVOID CARRYING WITH ME?

You are not allowed to carry with you any kind of meat and Spear Guns for fishing.

Read More
CAN I USE MY MOBILE IN SUDAN?

In Sudan you can use your mobile phone with international roaming. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee that the normal telephone works! Of course at sea there is no mobile phone signal.

IS INTERNET AVAILABLE?

On board a FREE Wi-Fi connection is available when Don Questo is close to Port Sudan.

IS THERE A SATELLITE TELEPHONE ON BOARD DON QUESTO?

Yes, you can call (or receive) in any moment by satellite telephone. The number is 0088 216 219 03 192.

WHICH TELEPHONE NUMBERS SHOULD I LEAVE TO MY FAMILY, JUST IN CASE?

Our telephone numbers: sudanese mobile 00249 9 1234 1282 satellite mobile 0088 216 2 1903 192

Read More
WHICH IS THE AIR AND WATER TEMPERATURE?

Water and air temperature depend on the period. Water temperature ranges from 24° C to 30° C. You can have a look at the chart showing air and water temperature along the year. Please consider that the chart shows an average temperature and that conditions may of course vary each year due to different weather conditions.

Look at the temperature chart
WHICH WET SUIT IS RECOMMENDED?

We would recommend that you wear a whole 3 mm wet suit, with hood in the winter (5mm or semi-dry suit for more sensitive to cold). In order to better decide you can have a look at the temperature chart.

Look at temperature chart
WHICH TANKS WILL I FIND ON DON QUESTO?

There are 15 litres steel tanks on board, fitted with H-valves, A-clamp/DIN fitting adaptors. A variety of 12 and 10 litres is available as well.

IS ANY SPARE EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE ON DON QUESTO?

Yes, we have wet suits, fins, masks, BCD’s, computers, torches and regulators.

CAN I RENT DIVING GEAR?

Rental equipment (wet suits, fins, masks, BCD’s, computers, torches, regulators) is available on board, but please make sure that you book the equipment before your departure. Please, notice that BCD and dive computer are mandatory for all divers.

Look at the extra price list
IS NITROX AVAILABLE?

Yes, Nitrox is available, with an extra charge. Nitrox licence is required. Please always refer to our price list for the up-to-date amount.

Look at the extra price list
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT/DO WHEN I ARRIVE IN PORT SUDAN?

In Port Sudan airport you will be met by our agent, Mr El Samkary (mobile 002499 1234 1662). He will be in the terminal building and will help you with passport control and customs. He will then drive you to Don Questo.
Airport is 24 km from port and we will drive you to your boat in a twenty five minutes trip. You must leave your passport for immigration registration at airport. Don't worry: our agent will take care of it and hand it back to you later on.

IS IT PERMITTED TO TAKE ALCOHOLIC DRINKS TO SUDAN?

NO. You are not allowed to take alcoholic drinks with you under any circumstances. Also, please, make sure you are not drunk when you arrive in the country.

IS THERE THE POSSIBILITY TO CHARGE ELECTRICAL DEVICES ON BOARD?

Yes there is the possibility to charge them and a dedicated console is available in the bar and coffee room. Our electrical sockets are 230 V ones.

ARE TOWELS PROVIDED ON BOARD?

There is a bath towel in the cabin for each guests but no beach towels. Guests can bring their own beach towels of buy DQ beach towels (the colourful and very light towels with shark profiles on them).

ARE BELTS AND WEIGHTS AVAILABLE ON BOARD?

We provide weights, of course; belts are also available on board.

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