How to travel to South Sudan
South Sudan is the world’s youngest, internationally recognised, country.
It gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and, post-independence, life has not always been easy. However, many parts of this beautiful country can be visited.
South Sudan boasts a wealth of natural beauty, including fertile savannas and vast wetlands, being home to a stunning range of wildlife.
But it’s the vibrant and diverse mix of people, which truly makes a trip to South Sudan special.
There are more than 60 different tribes in South Sudan, many of whom retain their unique cultural heritage, and getting to experience these customs and traditions, is a highlight for many visitors.
Traveling to South Sudan can be slightly tricky, but we’ve put together this South Sudan travel guide, to help you along your way.
Where is South Sudan?
South Sudan sits right in the heart of Africa, to the east of the Central African Republic, and to the west of Ethiopia.
South Sudan is land-locked and shares a northern border with Sudan and sections of southern border with Uganda, the DRC and a small slice with Kenya.
What is it like in South Sudan?
South Sudan is situated between the Sahel and the Equator, in the Centre of Africa, which gives the country a tropical climate.
There are certain times of year with large amounts of rainfall and a drier spell too. During and after the rains travel can be very difficult, as many roads become impassable.
Its location means it has a diverse mix of terrain, with tropical forests, swamps and fertile land, along with vast stretches of mountains, particularly in the south, with some towering more than 3,100m.
The White Nile runs all the way through South Sudan, entering from Uganda in the south, running through the South Sudanese capital, Juba, and exiting to the north and into Sudan. North of Juba the Nile becomes a giant wetland called the Sudd. The Sudd was so thick and impenetrable that the ancient Egyptians and Romans were never able to travel beyond it.
The country boasts a number of protected national parks, including the Bandingilo National Park, which sees one of the largest annual migrations of wildlife on earth.
The country also has a fascinating tapestry of tribes, numbering at least 60 – with many retaining unique traditions and cultural practices.
These tribes, including the Toposa, Lotuko, Boya and Mundari, offer a glimpse into a quickly disappearing world, as modernisation takes hold in many tribal societies around the globe.
The melting pot of communities in South Sudan, with their unique languages, rituals, architecture and dress, often make a trip for many visitors, offering a truly fascinating insight into tribal life.
Do you need a visa for South Sudan?
All people wanting to travel to South Sudan need a tourist visa.
Nearly all nationalities are eligible to apply for a South Sudanese visa, which is completed via an online process.
During this South Sudan e-visa application, you will be requested to supply supporting documentation.
To secure this documentation you need to work with an international travel agency, such as Untamed Borders, who work with local contacts in South Sudan.
This will secure your letter of invitation to complete the e-visa process – you can’t travel to South Sudan without this documentation or an e-visa.
The South Sudan e-visa costs $100 and the process can vary in time, depending on the person applying.
This can vary from a few days to many weeks – it’s best to secure your South Sudan e-visa at least a month in advance of travel.
Be wary of fake e-visa websites offering visas to South Sudan, there are many which are looking to con would-be tourists.
You can avoid these pit falls by booking a trip to South Sudan through a trusted travel company, such as Untamed Borders.
Can you fly to South Sudan?
Yes, you can fly to South Sudan from numerous major cities in Africa.
The most regular flights to Juba, the capital of South Sudan, are from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Nairobi in Kenya. However other hubs such as Istanbul, Cairo and Dubai also fly into Juba.
Many international tourists to South Sudan are likely to connect flights through one of these major hubs.
There are also Sudanese airlines such as Badr who fly between Khartoum and Juba.
How many flights are there a week to South Sudan?
There is a large selection of flights to South Sudan each week. There are daily flights to Addis Ababa and Nairobi.
How do you book flights to South Sudan?
Guests should book their flights to South Sudan directly through the airline.
Ethiopian Airlines, Kenyan Airlines and other major airlines can be found through flight consolidator websites.
Flights with local airlines such as Badr cannot be booked easily and your operator, such as Untamed Borders, can assist with this.
Untamed Borders can offer advice and guidance to find the best flight suited to each guest.
What do you do on a trip to South Sudan with Untamed Borders?
On an Untamed Borders trip to South Sudan you will immerse yourself into the tribal communities, which call this beautiful nation home.
Along with visiting the vibrant capital of South Sudan, Juba, and soaking in the country’s stunning natural beauty, you will also spend time with the Toposa, Larim and Mundari tribes.
The Toposa are famed for their piercings and bodily scarification rituals, meanwhile the Larim tribe are master buildings, with grand huts in the most unlikely setting, alongside dense, forested, mountains.
The final tribe guests spend time with are the Mundari, who are famous for their relationship with their cattle.
During the trips we also take in a famous South Sudanese sport played by local women and girls called Boruboru – it resembles a style of dodge ball and is an intense game to witness.
A truly unique opportunity to understand more about the world’s youngest independent nation and experience its rich tapestry of tribal communities first hand.
Untamed Borders is returning to South Sudan on a 7-day, fixed date, group trip in 2024:
- 17th March – 23rd March 2024.
You can book now via the link below:
Untamed Borders also offers bespoke trips to South Sudan, where itineraries can be crafted to the desires of the guest.
For more details about our group and private trip options please email – firstname.lastname@example.org