1. Sudan is the largest country on the African continent. With an area of 2,505,810 square kilometres (967,499 square miles), Sudan is ten times the size of the United Kingdom and the tenth largest country in the world.
2. Sudan shares international borders with nine African countries, the highest number for any country in Africa, equalled only by the Democratic Republic of Congo. The countries Sudan shares borders with are Egypt, Libya, Chad, Central African Republic, Congo Democratic Republic, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
3.Sudan was home to some of the oldest civilisations known to man. The ancient kingdoms of Kush, Nubia and Meroe all flourished in the area which is now modern day Sudan.
4. Sudan is split between Arabs in the North and black Africans in the South, this divide has been a source of several conflicts in Sudan including the recently ended civil war and the Darfur crisis.
5. One of Sudan's most famous sons is the NBA basketballer Manute Bol who starred in the NBA between 1985 and 1995, during which time he was the tallest person to star in the NBA at seven foot seven inches. At home Manute Bol was controversial for supporting the Sudanese People's Liberation Army which fought for the rights of Southern Sudanese.
6. The Sudd Marshes located in Southern Sudan along the river basin of the White Nile is the world's largest inland wetlands, at the height of the rainy season it spans an area the size of England. The are controversial plans to create a channel for the white Nile to reduce the water last to evaporation in the wetlands, but this is opposed by environmental groups.
7. The first editions of Africa's biggest football competition, the African Cup of Nations was held in Sudan in 1957. Three countries took part Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. Sudan finished last. Sudan held the competition again in 1970 this time winning it by beating Ghana 1-0 in the finals.
8. Sudan's largest city is Khartoum. With a population of 4.5m, Khartoum is 54th largest city in the world. The city is located at the confluence of the white and blue Niles, which merge to form the river Nile.
9. The highest point in Sudan is the Kinyeti mountain near the Ugandan border which stands at 3,187 metres (10,456 feet) above sea level.
10. Traditionally Sudan's major exports have been agricultural crops like cotton, gum Arabic and oil seeds, however the recent agreements with China have seen the development of major oil fields and Sudan is now the seventh largest oil producer in Africa
Map of Sudan