Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Khartoum Fruit and Vegetable Market

Khartoum vegetable market already bustling early in the morning 

Last week Grant and his technician, Marcel, took me to the large fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of Khartoum. This is the wholesale market where the other smaller street  vendors buy their produce so you have to go early. We arrived there before 8am  and the place was already crowded. Men pushed wheelbarrows, guided donkeys and carts, drove pick-up vehicles and mini-busses through the market. Others had huge baskets hitched onto their shoulders, still others carried hessian sacks on their backs. Three-wheeled rickshas were loaded; all were taking their produce back to their businesses in the city.

The vegetable market sellers had their wares arranged on the ground. Vendors called out to you offering their produce while you tried to keep to a narrow path between the vegetables. You, in turn, stop to check and bargain, keeping off the track of vehicles and side-step slimy vegetable off-cuts lying all on the ground.

The prices were excellent. For instance: in the city when buying from street vendors, I pay SDG5/US$2 for a kilogram of potatoes. In the market the price was SDG2/US$.80c! Tomatoes (SDG15/US$6 per kilogram) were almost as expensive as they've become on the street, (SDG20/US$8) but I managed to bargain with seller and paid SDG12/US$4.80 eventually.

Certain fruit is imported from Egypt
The fruit is beautifully displayed on shelves and racks and not laid out on the ground like in the vegetable market

We moved onto the fruit section of the market. I always start with two dozen oranges, all I need for a week. On the city street, a dozen costs SDG6/US$2.40. Here, at the first two stalls the vendor informed me that he only sells by the box, which contains five dozen oranges. (too much for us) The next seller wanted to charge me SDG7/US$3.76 per dozen. Eventually I found oranges for SDG5.50/US$3.70 per dozen. Phew!
When I tried to buy two green and two red apples and an two pears, the seller laughed and told me to pick six fruit. He then gave them to me as a gift! Whoo-hoo!

All manner of transport crams the already crowded fruit and vegetable market
A really interesting and fruitful excursion (pardon the pun!)  . We came away with fruit and vegetables which would have cost one-and-a-half times as much on the street and more than double at the supermarkets.

The Arabic word for vegetables is ghadrawaad. The Arabic for fruit is fuwaki.

For more posts on other worlds, click here.


  1. Oh, I love the market! One of my favorite places! And your photos are fabulous! I feel like learn something wonderful about Khartoum with each on of your posts! I do appreciate your kind words and I always enjoy your visits. I'm glad when you can squeeze one in as I know how busy you are! Have a wonderful week, Jo! Enjoy!


  2. I'm sure because the fuwaki spoils so fast the sellers want to sell in quantity. But you sure got some great deals. What a fun and economical way to shop.

  3. Nice photo and story, love to read about other countries since I don't get a chance to visit.

  4. I bet the produce is so much fresher than we get from the supermarkets. A very interesting post about your world. I have been away for 2 weeks so couldn't comment as I didn't have enough wireless time but I did manage a post everyday. I posted a parcel to your grandchildren yesterday....I didn't have time before I left on our mystery trip.

  5. Wow looks like a busy market.
    Great captures and post Jo.

  6. The market is such an interesting place. Yours especially so. So many interesting people and displays - and the excitment of bartering is not so much appreciated in the US. Thanks for sharing your photos and words.

  7. That looks very much like the markets in Egypt and Morocco, except that men don't wear turbans.

  8. Hi Jo, the market is fascinating pity (or Maybe not) we cannot get the smells for true athmosphere!What a great selection of fruit and veg and you know everything is fresh.Shopping becomes an experience instead of a chore!

  9. Wonderful pictures, Jo. A nice selection of fruits and vegetables and some really good deals!
    It's so interesting to see your part of the world :)
    ☼ Sunny

  10. That is so neat Jo! I wish we had those here! I would never leave...

  11. Thanks Sylvia; ) don't you just love blogland? And your meme of MWT is a wonderful part of my week. I love visiting and seeing your world as well. Have a lovely day. (((Hugs))) Jo

    You're right, Gaelyn. Grant has already bought a carton of oranges which he shares with people at work. Thanks for visiting...

    Hi Aries, many of us won't get to many of the places we read about on blogger, I'm glad you could visit.

    Hi diane;) good to see you. Thanks for the parcel, I have dropped you a mail too. Welcome back.

    Hi Regina, thanks for visiting. Bless you my friend

    Hi Gwendoline;) yes, bartering is not even thought or heard of in South Africa either. You buy it or stay without! Great fun to do it here, though.

    Hi Gattina;) I noticed that many of the older men wear turbans. Most men are bare-headed here in Khartoum.

    Hi Peggy;) you would enjoy the markets seeing as you know fresh produce and the value. It is a great experience. Good to see you.

    Hi Sunny;) it's taken me about five months to work out what to buy where! The expat-popular supermarkets are horrifically expensive and I've experimented with groceries as well. Fortunately Friday (which is like a Sunday) we have lots of time and visit all the respective shops for our requirements.

    Hi Mike;) the markets are lovely and a great way to shop. Thanks for visiting.

  12. Wow! What a say. You have written very well Words and the tone to speak to them are the mirror of a human being, what is the appearance of the face, it often 'changes' with age and circumstances. Thanks for this post
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Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo