Flights to Kassala
On the banks of the Mareb River, Kassala is in eastern Sudan very near to the border with Eritrea. It’s not notable as a tourist town but you can find several impressive places to visit while you are there.
You won’t get any direct flights to Kassala Airport (airport code: KSL) from South Africa but local airlines do have service there. If you arrive in Khartoum, then you can get a flight to Kassala with either African Trans or Sudan Airways. The Khartoum International Airport (airport code: KRT) is served by several major airlines. Kenya Airways will have one stop-over in Nairobi and South African Airways has a route that goes through Cairo. Egyptair also flies through Cairo.
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The Tourist Attractions of Kassala:
Dinder National Park
It will take at least a couple of hours to get there by car, but the Dinder National Park is the closest nature park to Kassala. Much of the park is savannah grassland but there are also regions of heavier forests and river basins to the south of the park. Many birds live here as well as lions, elephants, giraffes, hyenas, and several species of gazelle and antelope.
There are several speciality markets around the city of Kassala, and they are all very colourful and busy. For example, the women’s souq (Souq an-Niswaan) sells household items like baskets, mats, and a lot of coffee equipment. And speaking of coffee, it is very popular as a drink here and you really should have at least one cup from one of the street vendors as you browse the souqs.
There is a distinctive cluster of high stony mountains just south of Kassala. They are made up of several peaks, such as Taka, Aweitila and Totil. There are some relatively easy trails around the lower slopes of the rocks but you can only get to the summits with proper rock-climbing gear.
Khatmiya is the old quarter of the city, where you can see the most ancient architecture. There is an old tomb and several old mosques in the area and it is a very historic place to just walk around. This is the southern part of the city, near to the base of the mountains.
It will take a few hours by car, but the much larger city of Khartoum would make a good day trip from Kassala if you wanted to see some more modern facilities. The Sudan National Museum is a wonderful spot and the Souq Arabi is a must-visit if you like busy markets.
When Should You Visit?:
Kassala is hot, and it is going to always be hot no matter when you go. Thankfully, the nights do cool off quite a bit making it more comfortable when the sun goes down. The temperature peaks in April and May when it will usually be over 40C (104F). It will get nearly that hot again in October. To get the coolest weather, you should be in Kassala in December and January. It is still hot, but only 34C (93F). And those nights will be cool enough for a light jacket.