South Sudan

Capital Juba
Currency South Sudanese pound (SSP)
Population 7,500,000–9,700,000 (2006 est.)
Electricity 220-240 V 50 Hz (Indian or UK plug)
Country code +211
Time zone GMT+3
WARNING: In the wake of civil conflict culminating in an attempted coup on 16 Dec 2013, a 18:00 to 06:00 curfew was temporarily imposed, various nations recommended their citizens leave the country and embassies evacuated their staff. While the government claims the curfew to have now ended, ceasefire violations have continued into 2015. Western governments advise to avoid all travel to Juba and South Sudan, extending these warnings into much of bordering Sudan.

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 Jan 2016)

South Sudan is a country in Central Africa. Formerly a breakaway region of Sudan, 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

Cities

Other destinations

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

Understand

History

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 duly 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

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

Climate

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

Books

Get in

As South Sudan achieved independence fairly recently, the immigration rules are still prone to change. They have, however, instituted proper visas in your passport now, instead of the travel permits that were formerly used. The visas are issued for USD100 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 GBP35 cash and typically take 3 working days to process.

By plane

There are currently 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

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.

By train

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 an halt. Sporadic and non-scheduled trains may, however, still run, so you can try contacting the Sudan Railways Corporation for more information.

Get around

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

Talk

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

Do

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.

Drink

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).

Stay safe

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 CAR 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.

Connect

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 14, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.