As the world’s youngest nation and a developing country crippled after a nasty civil war, you might even be surprised to learn that it is actually possible to visit South Sudan. It is most likely that you will need a visa to visit the country. While getting a visa to (northern) Sudan isn’t hard, South Sudan still doesn’t have much in the way of standardisation, and is struggling at establishing the rule of law. However, YPT is there to show you the easiest way to visit this reclusive country.
Visa in Advance
It is possible to visit South Sudan by getting a visa in advance. Not all countries have a diplomatic mission from South Sudan and each of them have different requirements. If you wanted to get a visa in this way, your first step would be to find an embassy of South Sudan and give them a call to see their requirements. All of them will ask for a form and photos, as usual. Some of them will ask for your Yellow Fever vaccination and others will ask for an invitation letter as well as a letter of permission. The letter of invitation can be provided by different organisations operating in South Sudan but also by some hotels in Juba. The letter of permission is provided by an embassy of your home country, basically saying that your country allows you to visit South Sudan. This can be rather tricky and not all embassies will be willing to give it to you but there other ways.
Visiting from Uganda
Visa on arrival can also be issued at land borders but this is subject to change and not always reliable. The safest land border to South Sudan is probably the border with Uganda. The border town is called Nimule and is the site of one of the famous national parks of the country. There, rangers are there to make sure you will be safe but it would be dangerous to go anywhere else north of there. There is a bus service from Kampala. If a safari to Nimule is what you want, we offer it and can also arrange transportation from Kampala (see more here).
The Entry Permit
This is certainly the simplest way and the way YPT prioritises for all its tours.
Certain local tour companies in South Sudan are able to apply at the government for entry permits for their customers. Basically, this entry permit allows you to land in Juba and there, apply for your visa on arrival.
The tour company does all the work and sends you an entry permit — similar to a letter of invitation — which you have to print and bring with you on your flight to Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
The price of the visa on arrival varies according to nationalities but costs around 160 USD, to be paid in cash. Bring a pen to complete the forms on arrival and be sure to be prepared to be flexible as this is not your usual landing. Not so long ago, the airport in Juba was a tent on the tarmac…
However, with patience, everything will sort itself and, shortly, you will be in South Sudan for what will surely be one of the most outlandish experiences of your life!