Objectives This study aims to describe the current state of Sudanese community pharmacy practice and explore the capacity of existing community pharmacies to foster the change to pharmaceutical care (PC) and to assess attitude and knowledge of community pharmacists regarding PC and identify barriers. Methods A structured, self-administered, piloted questionnaire was distributed to the pharmacists in charge of 274, randomly selected, community pharmacies in Khartoum state. The questionnaire included six domains: demographic characteristics, organizational structure of community pharmacies, current activities of community pharmacists, their attitudes and knowledge regarding PC, and potential barriers. Attitude responses were measured by a 5-point Likert scale. Key findings Response rate was 67%. Community pharmacies are short on some tools that are deemed necessary for PC implementation, e.g. consultation areas. Community pharmacists provide mainly product-focused services with no or little PC activities. However, there is a highly positive attitude among the majority of respondents towards practice change to include PC (mean positive score ± standard deviation = 4.39 ± 0.73, frequency (%) = 89%). Many barriers to implementation of PC were identified, e.g. pharmacists' clinical knowledge and lack of understanding of pharmacist's new role. Conclusion Sudanese community pharmacists favour practice change to include PC. Successful implementation of PC requires substantial organizational and structural changes in community pharmacies, including provision of clinical knowledge, strengthening of clinical training and new practice standards. This change in practice could benefit from involvement of academia, governmental bodies and professional organizations working together for the pharmacy profession. © 2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society.