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Juba

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The market in Juba.

Juba is a fast growing city and capital of the newly formed country of South Sudan. Juba is on the White Nile river.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Direct flights from Nairobi to Juba are offered on a variety of commercial airlines. It's not cheap - a US$500 round trip is the minimum you can expect to pay. Charter and UN flights are also available from Lokichokio. Nowadays, it is also becoming common to use a route through Addis Ababa. Ethiopian Airlines has two direct flights daily. Egyptair has one daily direct flight from Cairo.

There are several direct flights from Khartoum to Juba costing around US$200 each way; however, the airlines running this route keep changing (AirWest is currently flying [Feb 2008], while Nova Airlines has shelved this route). There are also regular flights from Entebbe in Uganda twice a day. Flydubai has flights from Dubai to Juba.

Egypt Air flies direct from Cairo, hence providing a single airline route from London. Kenya Airways and Jetlink Express are also operating from Nairobi twice a day. Some other local airlines like Sudan Airways and Feeder Airlines also connect Juba to Malakal, Rumbek and other destinations in South Sudan.

For the classiest of travelers, it is recommended to consider traveling with South Supreme Airlines - Spirit of New Nation - with regular flight connecting Juba to top destinations including Rumbek and Aweil.

Conditions at the airport are best described as chaotic, with the immigration process being the most challenging. If you need a visa on arrival, you will have to pay at the left hand window. If you have one already, you need one of the other windows.

By bus[edit]

If overlanding, daily buses run from Kampala. The ride takes 12 hours minimum if the roads are dry, but it only takes one broken down truck or deep flooded muddy pothole to add hours to the journey. Departures are at 3 a.m. (Nile Coach near Gateway in the city center of Kampala) with an overnight stop in Yumbe. No regular buses run to Kenya although some trucks run the route - most Kenyan traffic runs through Uganda as the roads are in better shape from there.

If flying down from Khartoum, bring your passport. Although you don't need a separate visa in addition to the standard Sudanese one, your passport will be checked for a Sudan visa at Juba airport.

If overlanding from Kenya or Uganda, it is still advisable to get your travel permit/visa for South Sudan (GOSS office in Nairobi or Kampala, 100 USD and only a one-month, single-entry visa is currently available). This will save you a lot of hassle at the border.

Also: daily buses run from Kampala with Sudanese ownership (LOL brand). About 12 hours. No overnight in Yumbe. Through Gulu and Atiak.

Unless cost is a BIG issue, take the plane from Entebbe to Juba. The bus is a great cultural journey, secure-but-dusty, and the southbound trip in daylight affords great views of the countryside. However, the northbound trip during night-time offers police checkpoints and pee stops in desolate places!

From Juba,the buses to Kampala, Uganda leave from "custom" market bus station. Take a boda and buy your ticket the day before. Buses leave at 5:30 am exactly - it's better to arrive at 5 am. You'll need to arrange a driver to get you there that early in the morning. As of December 2013 the ticket costs 120 SSP [25 USD]. The road to the border is paved and police may stop the bus to check passengers have a passport. At the border the bus will drop you at the South Sudanese Immigration and drive forward to the Ugandan Immigration. After getting your exit stamp, just walk across the bridge and follow the road into Uganda. It's about 600m. Take a note of the number plate and colour of your bus. Ugandan immigration is hassle free and costs $50 USD for a visa. The road south is unpaved for about 3 hours before you get the first of two bathroom stops. For the rest of the 12 hour trip the roads are paved. Ask a local, as some bus lines have a bad reputation.

Visa[edit]

Visas are required for most people entering South Sudan. In theory, visas are available on arrival at Juba airport for $100. However the rules surrounding their issue are unclear. Immigration officials will often invent rules to suit their own needs. At the very least, you should have an invitation letter from a local company/organisation and you will need someone with local connections to be sure of getting a visa. It is better to obtain one in London, Nairobi or Addis Ababa before arrival.

Get around[edit]

Juba is a sprawling rapidly growing city with big plans. You can walk through most of it in a few days - however, the town is quite spread out in to 3 distinct areas - Juba Town, Government ministries, and the Nile camps - and it's a long, hot, dusty walk between the three. If you are coming here to live and work, an air conditioned car is essential to get around - although there are a lot of boda bodas (motorbike taxis) running during the day. Traffic is chaotic and it is recommended to stay clear of Boda Bodas as the accident rate is very high.

Travel by foot is OK during daytime but after dark you must use a car to move around Juba as the risk for incidents is very high. There are very few street lights and even fewer street sign and foot paths are non existant making travel by foot a risky proposition.

The best option is to hire a car with a local driver as there are reports of uniformed people stopping foreign drivers for invented incidents to extract money.

It is advised to always drive with all doors locked, and in case of incidents take extreme care as lynching of drivers have been reported. A

The roads are mostly unsealed, but you can get by in a saloon - although after a heavy rain it's 4x4 only. However, the roads are improving rapidly with much grading and tarring going on.

A really great map of Juba town is available in Jit Supermarket. Google maps on your smart phone gives excellent coverage of streets in Juba.

By car[edit]

  • Wiltins Transporters, MTC Centre, +211 955 104 240 (), [1]. Offers 4-Wheel drives to get you through the muddy roads. Rates are attractive: Drivers are experienced and friendly.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Plan to entertain yourself. There's not much going on in town. That said the town is experiencing expat overload and the sheer numbers of Kenyans, Ugandans and the hundreds of westerners in Juba are supporting numerous bars, restaurants and nightspots. There is something going on most weekends. You can also take a boat trip on the Nile, go fishing, go jogging, and there's a Hash House Harriers in Juba.

But even then if coming here to work for an extended period, bring out lots of books, DVDs etc.

  • 5m rent a car co, juba market beside of jit factory (car renting and hiring), 0954011131, [2]. you can hiring your car in juba and traveling out side very easy from 5m rent a car co in juba and also with out driver rental available  edit


Buy[edit][add listing]

Everything is trucked in from Uganda, hence things are expensive - however, as more traders set up shop in Juba so supplies are increasing and prices are falling - but still expect most things to cost 30% - 100% more than it would cost in Kampala.

The Customs Market is the prime shopping area, with fresh fruit, over-priced building materials and the usual mix of consumer goods.

The air conditioned JIT supermarket is a newly opened supermarket next to Juba Raha Hotel, Jit advertises to have ‘everything under one roof’ and it almost does. Open to the public, Jit stocks a large number of toiletries including good quality soaps and shampoos and, perhaps more importantly for some, alcohol including beer, wine and spirits. Prices are reasonable given the alternative cost of having to bring things in by air yourself (and usually paying for excess luggage) and the owners promise to increase their stock with electronics/home appliances, cigarettes and perfumes. While visiting JIT Supermarket, it is highly recommended to visit their second floor, which contains various high quality homewares ranging from Geepas products, framed wolf prints, silk flowers and treadmills. Pringles are not hard to find in Juba! There is even a decent selection of wine starting from a very reasonable US$8 a bottle. It should be noted, however, that since mid-July 2014, there has been a severe shortage of Pringles throughout Juba.

Everywhere will accept Sudanese pounds, even if prices are quoted in US dollars - and you can change British pounds and Ugandan shillings at the Kenya Commercial Bank in town for rates in line with those in Khartoum (and, oddly, at better rates than those quoted on [3] www.xe.com)

  • Roots Project, Nimra Talata (behind basketball court). This is a new coop for women to make and sell traditional handicrafts, including beading, from simple single strand necklaces to complex Dinka belts and more, basket weaving, etc.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

The Village and Da Vinci camp are battling over who cooks the best pizza in town. Home and Away has some average food at western prices in western-ish surroundings. Numerous tent camps line the Nile, and all look the same, buffets tend to be the norm. Prices vary widely. Worth seeking out Rock City for the views over Juba.

  • Da Vinci's Restaurant, (South of centre, where the A43 passes White Nile). A bit on the expensive side, but great atmosphere and views over the Nile, live music from time to time. About $30 for a meal.  edit
  • Spice 'n Herbs, Hai Malakal, near Queen of Sheba, +211 97725 6969 / +211 92366 3007, [4]. Authentic Indian & Chinese Cuisine. Sandwiches, Burgers, Pizza Take away / Home delivery services available.  edit
  • Notos Lounge Bar & Grill, (Opposite Hamza Inn). A smart restaurant with outdoor seating area. The Tandoori grill is recommended.  edit
  • Logali House, Hai Amarat (Traveling from the airport towards Juba town, after a few minutes pass Sahara Hotel on your left, 50 m further on take a right onto a gravel road (if you reach a round-about you have gone too far). Follow the gravel road until it turn sharply to the left - you will see a large three-story white building with a green roof - this is Logali House.), 0977 103 800. Serves good food, open 7 days a week. They do a very popular BBQ on Friday nights. The restaurant menu changes daily, and includes burgers (including the huge Deng Johnson Burger, fish burgers and vegetarian versions), excellent curries, steaks, salads etc. On weekends they do brunch till mid-afternoon, which includes everything from fresh fruit and home-made muesli to full cooked breakfast - even burgers! They have great internet, so it is also a good place to have a coffee and something sweet (good baking) and catch up on work or emails. The head chef was personal chef to the late John Garang de Mabior during the war, though his food is probably more nuanced now than then!  edit
  • Home and Away, (Off Ministries Road & 500 meters from the UNDP). Value for money Thai and Asian foods in good surroundings US$20.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

A cold beer is easy to find in Juba, in strong contrast to the North, but the best stocked bar in Juba is Fresh Freddies - everything from a 20yr old malt whisky to sambuca shots to vodka slush puppies.

  • The Le Bistro. its by the Juba Hotel. very nice restaurant  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

The accommodation boom is finally impacting on prices - tents and air conditioned prefabs are now becoming less common as many low cost hotels have been built. Air conditioned hotels range between $150 to $260 per night, including breakfast. In Juba, hot showers are now the norm and bath tubs the exception. Most hotels use untreated water which should not be used to drink or brush teeth - use bottled water only for this.

  • Acacia Village, Mundri Rd, Gudele, +249 905311056, [5]. The top end of accomodation availiable in Juba, and pretty reasonable price wise. Swimming pool, Tennis court and AC rooms in permanent (not plastic prefab) buildings. Very good security. From US$195.  edit
  • Beijing Juba hotel is expensive, but clean and efficient.
  • Bros Hotel (on the Nile). Secure, clean, older manufactured housing (two hotel rooms per unit). 84 units. Self-contained bathroom in each unit. Air-conditioned. Power is on all night; may vary during the day. Good restaurant and grounds. US$50/night for double bed.
  • Hamza Inn, Near Equity Bank, Juba Town, +256 47710 6798 / +249 092285 5057. Air-conditioned, self contained rooms with dining & Conference. 3-5 min walking distance from KCB & Equity Bank.  edit
  • Holiday Hotel, +2499 2658 7991. Good ensuite rooms with tv. Bar and restaurant in the hotel. Tight security. Wired internet (free ethernet cable provided). AC and hot showers.  edit
  • Hotel Juba [6], A newly constructed lodge fully secured by 24-hour fully equipped security guards. Secure parking spaces are available for residents and visitors.
  • Juba Bridge Hotel, juba (Nimule-Torit Road), 00249955013542, [7]. Offers a very nice view of the Nile. Serene and Calm  edit
  • Mango camp is still popular.
  • Oasis Camp is good for prefabs by the Nile (with free wireless internet and a small gym). Great food. Tel: +249 955024839
  • Paradise Hotel, [8]. Near Airport, starts at 100USD.  edit
  • Summer Palace Hotel, 200m from Nile Commercial Bank in Juba town centre, +256 477100050 / 477106433 (), [9]. En suite rooms with hot shower, wireless internet, DSTV, chinese restaurant from $100 per night, inc breakfast.  edit
  • Bedouin Lodge, +211 (0)955 213730, [10]. Aesthetically pleasing, comfortable, clean and with friendly, helpful staff. Free wifi for residents, some rooms with private bath/toilet, free laundry service daily. Bar/restaurant is good place to meet others. Breakfast is good.  edit
  • Quality Inn.  edit
  • Aron International Hotel, Juba, +211956894009, [11]. modern, smart, newly-built, ethiopian-run hotel; great food, large comfortable rooms, wifi throughout. conference facilities. close to UNDP, UNICEF.  edit
  • Logali House, Hai Amarat, Juba (On the road from airport to town, turn left just after Sahara Hotel (200 m before roundabout)), +211 (0)977 103 800. Centrally located. One of the more established hotels in Juba. The rooms are simple but comfortable, and range from $165 to $225 per night for short stays. The internet is the best in Juba. Nice restaurant and garden area. Friendly staff. Caters to diplomats, senior NGO/UN staff and foreign business people.  edit
  • Rainbow Hotel, (Close to the US and EU embassies). One of the newer hotels with proper rooms. All have split type airconditioning, satellite TV and wireless internet. The attached restaurant is also good.  edit


Stay safe[edit]

Following the civil war that erupted in Juba December 2013, the security situation in Juba is challenging. Although there has been no clashes between the warring factions in Juba since March '14, there are a lot of tensions. The number of expats, prevelance of weapons and willingness to use violence cause a high risk to visitors. There are frequent armed robberies, car jackings and armed break-ins affecting foreign nationals. The South Sudanese security forces are often tense, some are very young and/or under the influence of alcohol.

UN maintain a curfew and it is advisable to follow UN regulations. However, all travel during darkness should be avoided. Some areas of the city is distinctly unsafe, e.g. Rock City. Traffic is chaotic and boda-bodas, privately owned motorbike taxis, are abundant. The boda-bodas drive very aggressively and are often involved in accidents. If involved in an traffic accident, remain calm but be aware that both bystanders and the involved parties often become violent. The South Sudanese police tend to arrive within a few minutes and can usually be trusted.

Stay away of official convoys. The South Sudanese military, SPLA, drive not only aggresively but offensively. They believe they have the right of way, drive extremely fast and do not care for any traffic regulations.

Stay healthy[edit]

Juba is a fast developing city but still has very limited medical facilities. Malaria is a serious problem in Juba. Finding appropriate care and treatment for this can be very difficult if you do not already know where to go. For any treatment you have to go for UN or take a flight to Nairobi or Addis Ababa.

Contact[edit]

Radio broadcasts are available from BBC World Service in English on 88.2MHz and Arabic on 90.0MHz.

Consulates[edit]

  • Us-flag.png United States, (emergencies U.S. citizens +249 187-022000), [13].  edit

Indian Embassy is also available near Thompine on the ministry road. It's on a walking distance from Airport.

Cope[edit]

Get out[edit]

Daily flights to Nairobi, Khartoum, Entebbe, and Addis Ababa are available.

There are weekly barges from Juba to the north. It will take 10 days to 2 weeks from Juba to Kosti (250 km south of Khartoum), it is hot, bring your own food and water and something to create some shade. From Kosti, there are daily busses and minibuses to Khartoum.

Other than flying, it is quite difficult to get out of Juba without your own transport (hired vehicles come with a driver who is instructed not to leave Juba). Even walking out of town into the countryside is difficult - the semi-rural sprawl of Juba extends for miles of shacks and squatter housing (even on the eastern side of the Nile). Lots of paths out of town end up at one of the many army camps - who are not keen on trespassers! And of course landmines are still a risk.




This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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