Here’s a quick trivia: Did you know that the world’s newest nation gained its independence only a few years ago?
South Sudan, a country by the banks of the White Nile, was only established in 2011 after it formally detached itself from Sudan through an agreement they signed in 2005. However, before gaining their desired independence, the two countries had to go through the longest-running civil war in the whole continent.
Despite gaining independence, however, South Sudan still got involved in another civil war when the president and the vice president had a fallout. This affected the lives of more or less 4 million residents of this newly-birthed republic. They eventually signed a power-sharing treaty in 2018, hoping to end the 5-year battle taking over the whole nation.
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Unfortunately, most countries advise their citizens to avoid traveling to this country in the meantime. This means most of us won’t be able to witness the natural beauty that lies within the country until situations get better. For now, all we can do is get more information about the process of applying for a tourist visa once South Sudan is open and free for tourists to explore once again.
Quick Facts About South Sudan
Country Code: +211
Currency: South Sudanese pound (SSP)
Languages Spoken: English, Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, and more indigenous languages
Requirements for a Tourist Visa to South Sudan
- Visa Application form, completed and signed by the applicant
- Passport, valid for at least six months before the expiry date and with blank pages for visa endorsement (you must submit both your physical passport and photocopies of its information page)
- Invitation letter addressed to the Embassy of South Sudan from your host in South Sudan with an explanation about the purpose of your trip
- Entry permit from the host through the Immigration Department in South Sudan
- One recent passport size picture
- Yellow Fever vaccination certificate
- Return tickets
- Address in South Sudan (for tourists, you can present your hotel booking confirmation)
- Bank statements showing you have enough money to cover your expenses during your stay in South Sudan
Step-By-Step Process in Applying for a South Sudan Tourist Visa
1. Complete all the requirements provided by the Embassy (especially documents that should come from your host in South Sudan)
2. Fill out the application form
3. Once you have all the documents completed, submit them personally to the Embassy of South Sudan in London
4. Pay the necessary fees
5. Allow the Embassy to process your application
6. Once the processing period is done, you may personally collect your documents from the Embassy
Where to Submit Your Application for a South Sudan Tourist Visa
Embassy of The Republic of South Sudan
Visa & Passport Office
22-25 Portman Close, London W1H 6BS
Telephone: +44 0203 687 2367
Visa application submission hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 9 AM- 12 PM
Visa collection hours: Mondays to Thursdays from 2 PM to 3:30 PM
Frequently Asked Questions About Traveling to South Sudan
1. How long does it take for the Embassy to process tourist visa applications?
It takes a minimum of 7 working days for the Embassy to issue a visa, excluding weekends and public holidays.
2. How much does it cost to apply for a tourist visa to South Sudan?
For a one-month single entry visa, you’ll have to pay £50. On the other hand, a 3-month multiple-entry visas cost £100.
3. How long is my tourist visa valid for?
If you have a single entry visa, you are allowed to stay in South Sudan for 1 month. A multiple entry visa allows you to stay for 3 months in the country.
Visas validity starts on the day of your collection from the Embassy.
4. Can I process the visa application via mail?
During submission, you’ll have to personally visit the South Sudanese embassy. However, during collection, you can have someone pick it up for you provided that they have a letter of consent as well as a proof of identity or the receipt from the embassy.
You may also have your documents returned via mail by providing a prepaid special delivery envelope. This is also a good option for those who live far away from London.
5. Is it safe to travel to South Sudan?
As much as we want to see as much of the world as we possibly can, it’s not advisable to visit South Sudan at the moment due to the country’s instability. There have been reports of deteriorating security in the country due to conflicts between militia groups and private armies.
The country is also currently in between a brutal civil war, and being a foreigner in a land at war isn’t safe.
The UK government also advised its citizens not to travel to South Sudan at all costs.
6. Do I need insurance if I’ll be traveling to South Sudan?
In case you need to visit the country, make sure you have comprehensive travel and medical insurance for emergency purposes.
7. How do I get to South Sudan from the UK?
To get to South Sudan from London, you’ll need to board connecting flights with stopovers in major African cities. Most of the time, people coming from the UK enter South Sudan via a connecting flight from Addis Ababa or Nairobi.
Flights to South Sudan can be pretty long. On average, it might take you around 12 hours to get there, including stopovers.
8. How do I go around South Sudan?
There are plenty of taxis and motorbike taxis roaming around Juba, but keep in mind that these are not metered so you must negotiate a price with them in advance.
Some minibusses connect Juba to the towns in the south. However, it might be impossible to ride these during the rainy seasons as some roads are hard to pass by.
9. Can I have my money exchanged in South Sudan? Will I be able to use my cards?
You may have your money exchanged at a local bank like the Bank of South Sudan. There’s also a black market for exchanging money, but the government is currently exerting effort to crack them down.
There are also no ATMs and credit cards are not accepted by establishments around the country.
10. When is the best time to visit South Sudan?
The dry seasons in South Sudan last from January to December and are also the best months to visit the country. There’s very little rainfall which will enable you to visit other areas.
11. Why should I visit South Sudan?
It’s already a given that the whole of Africa is blessed with magnificent wildlife and natural beauty. South Sudan is among these fortunate countries with lush green mountains, amazing safari, and a vast land where you can witness animals migrating from one place to another.
As a country sitting by the White Nile basin, it’s also blessed with amazing bodies of water that you might want to pay a visit at least once.
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