- 6Minutes of study time
The travelogue to South Sudan
It began with the landing of our flight at Juba airport. Stepping off the plane, I couldn’t help but feel a rush of excitement as we entered the airport lounge, which resembled more of an old warehouse than an actual airport. Upon arrival, we were met by a tall, slim person in plain clothes who handed us a sheet to fill out with our personal information. As we made our way through the document check, I couldn’t help but notice that my partner and I were the only white individuals in the entire airport, making us an easy target for bribery from airport agents. One agent requested a vaccine sheet, which he believes to be false. Despite the agent’s sweaty and persistent demeanor, I stood my ground and explained that I was a travel reporter who had visited 20 countries with the same paper and had never encountered any issues. The agent checked our passports and visas multiple times, but we refused to make any excuses or pay any bribes. Eventually, we gave $50 in the back room of the passport check-in office, and we were able to make our way through the gate. Although bribes are common in African travel, I was not willing to compromise my principles in order to gain entry into the country. However, I had to give up for my partner.
Juba airport was much smaller than I had anticipated and it was extremely crowded. The hot and humid air mixed with the unfamiliar language of the tall, black locals added to my sense of unease. After passing through tough stages, we finally met Frederick, who was waiting for us at the airport with a sign that read “777.” As a native of the region, he helped us with our visa paperwork and arranged for a driver and cook for a fee of $1620 per person. Outside the airport, I noticed locals with large muscles standing beside their Toyota jeeps, ready to shoot. The stress and fear were palpable, and I was about to wet my pants. Wiping the sweat from my face with my elbows, I climbed into the car and headed towards our hotel, the Lamer, which was a basic and starless accommodation.
The streets are filled with dust and litter, and the locals here seem taller and quite unfriendly with the cameras. It appears that documenting my videos here will be a challenging task. Juba, situated on the White Nile River, is the capital city of South Sudan and the largest city in the country. This nation, with a population of 13 million, is one of the poorest and unhealthiest in the world. Despite the fact that the majority of the people speak Arabic, they are mostly Christians. Although the unit of currency is the pound, most people live in hard conditions in this country.
As a travel lover, I have been drawn to this land by my passion for tourism and adventure! The things I acquire through love are the most valuable to me in my life, and I find the challenges to be sweeter than honey, and sometimes even more sour than pomegranate paste!
Finally, after years of dreaming, I was ready to step into one of Africa’s most perilous countries and embrace this exciting challenge.