South Sudan Quick Guide

One of the most important requirements when entering South Sudan is a South Sudan travel permit. This allows you free passage across the country for up to one month. You will need to stay in Juba at least until you have the permit. However, this time will not be long enough to consume much of your time, so plan to spend a couple of hours each day visiting different places.

When leaving South Sudan, your journey takes you through the world famous Lake Magadi, an inland body of water separated from the north and south by a massive sand sea. On your way you will pass through the largest town in the new country, Juba. Here you can expect to be greeted by colorful palm trees, street vendors, and barges that carry fruit and livestock. While here enjoy watching seals, elephant and rhinoceros.

Once in Juba you will make your way to the eastern coast where you will find the ruins of historical Wadi Dhar. The tombstones at the Wadi Dhar site are placed among the sand. The tombstones date from between the fourth and fifth centuries. One of the best sites to visit when entering South Sudan through the new country's borders is the town of Mombasa.

Mombasa is the capital of South Sudan and the largest port in Africa. You will find many hotels here but the finest hotel is the Holiday Park Hotel. This hotel overlooks the majestic Nile River and provides guests with breathtaking sights. There are boat trips to choose between the months of May and September. Other attractions include a safari on the Na'ama River that ends in the historic city of Bambuhu. If you book your hotel with a tour operator such as Interval International they will arrange transport to and from the Na'ama River.

Upon arrival in Mombasa, your primary task will be to explore the historical areas including the Old Shonyor fort which was built by the former president John Kaleid. Another must see spot is the Khardini Site which displays the tomb of an indigenous leader called Nedi who died in prison during the colonial rule. The old town of Juba is also a must see and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can go fishing on the famous lake, which is the Lake Magadi and is served by two major hotels including the Holiday Park Hotel and the Safari Park Hotel. South Sudan is truly a destination worth visiting and offers a taste of the local culture and lifestyle of the former president's time.

What vaccinations do I need?

Up to date information for vaccinations before you travel to South Sudan are available from the NHS Fit for Travel website.

Is it safe to travel?

Best time to visit?

The best time to go to South Sudan is December to early February. You'll barely see a drop of rain at the beginning of the year, when dawn-to-dusk sunshine and hot – but not quite sizzling – temperatures rule the roost.

Do I need a Visa?

Visas are valid for 1 month. If you wish to stay in South Sudan for longer than 1 month you'll need to apply for an extension at the Ministry of Interior in Juba (although visas and visa extensions are currently not being issued due to coronavirus (COVID-19) measures now in place).

See which forms you may need for entry into South Sudan.

What currency do i need?

The official currency of South Sudan is the South Sudanese Pound (SSP). If you're looking to transfer or spend money in South Sudan you can grab amazing South Sudanese Pound deals via (GBP to SSP).

What about the wildlife?

South Sudan has a rich and varied fauna, with elephants, lions, leopards, cheetah, wild dogs and a great variety of antelopes. This includes the rare tiang and huge herds of white-eared kob, numbering more than 800,000.

What is the traditional food?

Bari food? Ful is most associated with Egypt and Sudan, which consider it their national dish. This dish is composed of boiled fava beans and oil on which we can add tomatoes, onions and cheese. Salt, chilli and lemon are served as table condiments.

What Languages are spoken?

The official language of the country is English which was introduced in the region during the colonial era (see Anglo-Egyptian Sudan). Some of the indigenous languages with the most speakers include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, and Zande. You can learn some basic Bari before you travel to South Sudan and really impress the locals!

How much do you tip?

The currency in South Sudan is the South Sudanese Pound (97% of the people in the Sudan average tipping percentage in restaurants is between 7% to 14%.).

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Useful Numbers

  • Police: 999
  • Ambulance: 999
  • Fire: 999
  • UK Embassy: -3824

Time Difference

The GMT time difference is 2 hours

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Learn Bari

Learn some Bari before your trip to South Sudan

South Sudan Guidebook

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