Ambassador swims Nile at Khartoum for Facebook bet

Dutch ambassador in Sudan, Susan Blankhart, swims across the Blue Nile.
Dutch ambassador in Sudan, Susan Blankhart, swims across the Blue Nile.AFP
 Sudanese and Dutch women take part in an event to swim across the Blue Nile.
Sudanese and Dutch women take part in an event to swim across the Blue Nile.AFP
 Sudanese and Dutch women prepare to dive into the water.
Sudanese and Dutch women prepare to dive into the water.AFP

KHARTOUM (AFP) - The Dutch ambassador to Sudan swam across the Nile in Khartoum on Saturday in a stunt that began as a bet to win more "likes" for her embassy's Facebook page.

Clad in an bright orange swimsuit bearing the embassy logo, Ambassador Susan Blankhart swam several hundred metres across the Blue Nile with six other Dutch women and seven Sudanese women, cheered on by dozens of supporters on the riverbank.

"It was lovely, it was beautiful. I would recommend that everyone swims across the Nile," Blankhart said laughing, back on dry land after the crossing.

She had originally said that she would swim across the river if her embassy's Facebook page received more than 10,000 likes.

After she hit the target, the 63-year-old organised the swim with two charities to raise awareness about safe swimming in the Nile.

The group was watched over by a team of Sudanese lifeguards in kayaks and boats as they swam through the muddy water.

The swim was also aimed at promoting women's empowerment in Sudan, Blankhart said.