Khartoum downtown
Khartoum downtown
"Triangular Capital"
Khartoum is located in Sudan
Location in Sudan and Africa
Khartoum is located in Africa
Khartoum (Africa)
Coordinates: 15°30′2″N 32°33′36″E / 15°30′2″N 32°33′36″E / 15.50056; 32.56000(urban 2014, all others 2013)[3][4]
 • City639,598
 • Urban
 • Metro
DemonymsKhartoumese, Khartoumian (the latter more properly designates a Mesolithic archaeological stratum)
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)

Khartoum or Khartum (m/ TOOM;[5][6] Arabic: ٱلْخُرْطُوم‎, romanizedAl-Khurṭūm) is the capital and largest city of Sudan. The city is also the capital of the state of Khartoum. It is located at the confluence of the White Nile, flowing north from Lake Victoria, and the Blue Nile, flowing west from Ethiopia. The location where the two Niles meet is known as al-Mogran or al-Muqran (المقرن; English: "The Confluence"). The main Nile continues to flow north towards Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.

Divided by the two Rivers Nile, Khartoum is a tripartite metropolis with an estimated overall population of over five million people, consisting of Khartoum proper, and linked by bridges to Khartoum North (الخرطوم بحري al-Kharṭūm Baḥrī) and Omdurman (أم درمان Umm Durmān) to the west.


The origin of the word Khartoum is uncertain. One theory argues that it is derived from Arabic khurṭūm (خرطوم, "trunk" or "hose"), probably referring to the narrow strip of land extending between the Blue and White Niles.[7] Dinka scholars argue that the name derives from the Dinka words khar-tuom (Dinka-Bor dialect) or khier-tuom (as is the pronunciation in various Dinka Diaelects), translating to "place where rivers meet". This is supported by historical accounts which place the Dinka homeland in central Sudan (around present-day Khartoum) as recently as the 13th-17th centuries A.D.[8] Captain J.A. Grant, who reached Khartoum in 1863 with Captain Speke's expedition, thought the name was most probably from the Arabic qurtum (قرطم, "safflower", i.e., Carthamus tinctorius), which was cultivated extensively in Egypt for its oil to be used as fuel.[9] Some scholars speculate that the word derives from the Nubian word Agartum ("the abode of Atum"), the Nubian and Egyptian god of creation. Other Beja scholars suggest Khartoum is derived from the Beja word hartoom, "meeting".[10][11]