The crazy humps of the Taka Mountains could be the wedding candles of Kassala. For Sudanese honeymooners flock here to the mountain springs – believing the water will enhance their fertility. The weird Taka Mountains. Pictured here wedged between the Gash River and rebuilt flood embankments – made since a massive flash-flood turned this dry riverbed into a raging torrent that flooded the city, killing 30 and leaving tens of thousands homeless in 2003. Markets of Kassala Kassala is also famous for its multi-ethnic market, with tribes from all over northern Sudan. The market is massive and covers many blocks, selling everything… it’s most famous for fruit like mangoes, oranges, grapefruit. Traders enhanced this mix from neighboring countries – such as Eritrea just beyond the Taka Mountains, and the Rashaida, who originate from Saudi Arabia (across the Red Sea). LEFT: Vendor selling the mega-colorful garments of the Rashaida Nomads (they don’t like photos here). Islamic female fashion can be very colorful in Sudan. Travel Advice for Kassala Getting to from Khartoum to Kassala takes about 7 hours by bus. Getting to Port Sudan by bus also takes 7 hours. Kassala is located in eastern Sudan, very close to neighboring Eritrea (source: Google Maps) The climate in Kassala is always hot – but it’s brutal in Summer when I was there. Street vendors in Market, selling ceremonial daggers and fried snacks. You’ll drink plenty of water and need an AC in your room (in order to sleep. Although cool night breezes sweep thru rooms on upper floors with open balconies). Shay anyone? Very sweet tea and coffee are big favourites in the Islamic world. Finding cheap hotels in Kassala Cheap accommodation is around Kassala’s Mowgif al-‘Aam central bus station and the market. Expect to pay around $US 10 for a basic private room with bathroom, and water-fan AC. The chicken serial-killer… Spiced chicken cooked on hot stones. Find tasty food in the markets of Kassala I highly recommend the BBQ chicken places (they serve the food hot and there’s plenty of locals there, so it’s unlikely you’ll get sick). For around $US 2, you’ll get a tray of spiced chicken – tastes like India Tikka – with flatbread, rice, raw cabbage, onion, etc. YUM. You can’t go wrong with spiced BBQ Chicken! But stick to bottled water. Kassala is also famous for fruit juices and coffee. They invited me to drink coffee. Beja tribesmen in the grain market. Walking to the nearby Taka Mountains from Kassala Just head in the direction and the route will evolve. After the Taka Mountains and a strong coffee, wander to the ruins of the 18th century Khatmiyah Mosque, which houses the tomb of Seyyid Hassan, a local holy man buried in the roofless dome next to the mosque. (Note: this is still a functioning place of worship). Or better still, get a taxi there (and walk back once you have your bearings). Sit at one of the simple cafes on the slopes of Jebel Toti, with a coffee – and feast on the view. Watch locals at the springs, gathering holy water. Then walk back late afternoon to Kassala for some interesting – but dusty Sudanese suburban scenes. Kassala Mountains + tomb. Travels in Sudan – 2013 Please leave this field emptyJoin the Journey Get my FREE book of Crazy Travels & occasional updates Your email * Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription. Please leave this field emptyJoin the Journey Get my FREE book of Crazy Travels & occasional updates Your email * Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.