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South Sudan

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South Sudan in its region (claimed).svg
Capital Juba
Currency South Sudanese pound (SSP)
Sudanese pound (SDG)
Population 12.3 million (2015)
Country code +211
Time zone UTC+03:00
Emergencies 999
Driving side right
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Travel Warning WARNING: Western governments continue to advise citizens to avoid all travel (or leave South Sudan if already in the country) due to ongoing armed conflicts, inter-ethnic violence and widespread violent crime. A failed Dec 2013 coup attempt has only escalated the problems. A July 2016 ceasefire was holding tenuously in Juba, but fighting is ongoing elsewhere. Land borders with Sudan and Ethiopia remain hazardous; military conflict is reported in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. Rural areas may contain landmines. Civilians and aid workers are at risk of shootings, carjackings, ambushes, violent assaults, harassment and robberies. These warnings extend into much of bordering Sudan. Embassies have been reduced to at most a skeleton staff. Famine has been reported in Unity state, on the Sudan border. The United Nations has deployed peacekeepers, but has proven ineffective in preventing assault or sexual assault of civilians by soldiers.

Visitors should consider leaving as soon as possible. EU citizens should contact an EU embassy for assistance, if they cannot make contact with the embassy of their home country.

Government travel advisories
(Information last updated Mar 2017)

South Sudan is a country in Central Africa. It was a region of Sudan until it became an independent country on 9 July 2011 after a referendum was held in January that year. It borders Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Central African Republic.

Regions[edit]

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

Cattle in South Sudan
Soldiers in South Sudan
Village hut in South Sudan

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

South Sudan was once part of Sudan, but gained its independence in 2011, following a long war in which over 1 million people were killed, and a historic referendum. Although South Sudan was granted independence by Sudan after an overwhelming vote for independence in the referendum, relations between the two Sudans remain tense. Sudan depends on hard currency obtained from transshipping oil from South Sudan through Port Sudan on the Red Sea, while the landlocked South Sudan depends on access to that port, and the two countries have argued about terms for transshipment. There has also been some armed conflict over the oil-rich Abyei District which is ruled by Sudan but borders on South Sudan, and the Sudan People's Liberation Army - North, which fought alongside the Sudan People's Liberation Army that now rules South Sudan, continues to fight in the Sudanese provinces of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, with the sympathy and, allegedly, military aid of the South Sudanese government.

People[edit]

South Sudan has more than 60 indigenous peoples. The Dinka comprise 40% of the population.

Climate[edit]

South Sudan's climate is similar to an equatorial or tropical climate, and has a rainy season of high humidity and large amounts of rainfall followed by a drier season.

Holidays[edit]

  • July 9: Independence Day
  • January 9: Peace Agreement Day
  • May 16: SPLA Day
  • July 30: Martyrs Day
  • December 25: Christmas Day

Books[edit]

  • They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan, by Benson Deng, Alephonsion Deng, and Benjamin Ajak. Not exactly something to advertise South Sudan as an appealing destination, but it's a vivid and moving account of the war that preceded the country's independence.
  • Warchild by Emmanuel Jal
  • What is the What by Valentino Achak Deng and Dave Eggers

Get in[edit]

As South Sudan achieved independence in 2011, the immigration rules are still prone to change. They have, however, instituted proper visas in your passport now, instead of the travel permits that had been used. The visas are issued for US$100 at all border crossings and Juba International Airport. The length of the visas issued seems to vary randomly between 1 and 6 months. An invitation letter may be required depending on which official is at the desk on your day of arrival. The process can take 3 hours. If you do not have a local contact with official connections, it would be safer to get a visa before arriving in the country. Visas are now available from the embassy in London for UK₤35 cash and typically take 3 working days to process.

By plane[edit]

There are no direct commercial flights from outside Africa. So, changing planes is necessary; most airlines flying into Juba depart from Cairo (Egypt), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Entebbe (Uganda), Nairobi (Kenya) and Khartoum (Sudan) from where you should be able to manage flights to and from Europe, Asia or the Americas.

By car[edit]

Overland crossing from Sudan to South Sudan was closed from the latter's secession in 2011; Sudanese leaders have announced plans to re-open the border in 2016.[1]

By bus[edit]

By train[edit]

There is one railway line in South Sudan that enters from Sudan in the north and terminates at Wau. Before independence there were services between Wau and Babanosa, which had rail connections to Khartoum. As of 2014, however, there are no scheduled passenger services; indeed, the entire Sudanese rail network has come to a halt. Sporadic and non-scheduled trains may, however, still run, so you can try contacting the Sudan Railways Corporation for more information.

Get around[edit]

There is always room on top! Travelling by train towards Wau.

By bus[edit]

By plane[edit]

By train[edit]

Talk[edit]

English and Arabic (Juba Arabic) are the official languages of South Sudan, although Dinka is the most widely spoken language. Jur Modo, Nuer, Chollo/Shilluk, and Zande languages are also spoken there.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

Safaris to Boma National Park and Nimule National Park. See the parks by 4x4 vehicle or aircraft. See the greatest migration of mammals on the earth.

If you're feeling charitable, visit the Angels of East Africa orphanage (as featured in the film Machine Gun Preacher), also located in Nimule.

Buy[edit]

Money[edit]

Exchange rates for South Sudanese pound (SSP)

As of January 2017:

  • US$1 ≈ SSP70
  • €1 ≈ SSP75
  • UK£1 ≈ SSP85

Exchange rates fluctuate. Current rates for these and other currencies are available from mataf.net

The currency of the country is the South Sudanese pound (ISO currency code: SSP). It is divided into 100 piasters.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

In the towns of South Sudan such as Rumbek and Juba, Kenyan and Ugandan beers are starting to appear in bars at inflated cross-border prices.

Fresh fruit juices are available throughout Sudan. One of the local juices is "aradeab"(tamarind).

The cloves-flavoured tea (chai) is very good. Outside the capital, you'll pay usually 10 SSP for one cup. Also the ginger-flavoured coffee is to be tried. Both are very sweet, so if you don't want sugar or you want it separately, mention this when you order.

Sleep[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Although the level of violence has subsided since the establishment of the country and the end of the civil war, South Sudan remains dangerous for travel as ceasefire violations and boundary disputes have continued. Travel near the Sudan or Central African Republic borders is extremely dangerous. Western governments continue to advise against all travel to South Sudan and the adjacent regions in Sudan. Violent crime remains problematic; unexploded ordnance from years of civil war also poses hazards to civilians.

Stay healthy[edit]

It's a malarial area, so before arriving, visit a tropical vaccination center to get prophylactic treatment and the necessary vaccines, including yellow fever, polio and hepatitis A and B. Be sure to sleep under a mosquito net and use mosquito repellent. Most of the South Sudanese drink water from the rivers, which exposes them to diarrhoea and cholera. If bottled water is not available, boil/chlorinate the river water before drinking it.

Respect[edit]

Connect[edit]


This country travel guide to South Sudan is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!