I’ve found a plane ticket that leaves Chicago, Illinois through O’Hare Airport (ORD) on June 1. There are stops in Washington Dulles, Washington DC and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, before reaching Juba Airport on June 2, more than a day later after an eight hour time change forward.
I talked to Washington Post correspondent Rebecca Hamilton about getting to Juba, South Sudan, and she told me the best way to get there is to avoid the capital in the north.
South Sudan has an estimated 140 airports throughout the country, 19 of which are paved, according to the CIA World Factbook. I’ve found a faith-based, non-profit aviation organization that serves in 31 countries, including South Sudan. Though they don’t list prices, they list Sudan as a country they like to serve because of the deep troubles that plague the country. They like to serve other Christians, missionaries, non-governmental organizations and some governmental organizations. I believe they will be on board with the word I’d be doing in Sudan exposing the plight of the Christian dominated Southern Sudanese peoples.
I don’t plan on traveling by local commercial airline, Sudan-Air, because of the fact that it is one of four countries in the world not to comply with international flight safety protocol, the others being Iran, Cuba and North Korea. Much of the fleet operates without proper equipment for landing, lighting and navigation.
Most of the country’s trains are in the north, so traveling via the country’s roughly 6,000 km of railways may be largely restricted to any trips to the north, which I won’t likely make. There are, however, some trains that exist in the south, but they exist away from Juba, where I’ll be stationed, so my access is limited.
As for lodging, it looks like I have to find a hotel to stay in. A search for cost of lodging came up negative, but it looks like the price for hotels would be around $140 per night at the Acadia Village in Juba. Over 85 days that would cost $11,900, which isn’t feasible. A way to save $4,000 would be to downgrade and stay at the Global Camp, which costs $85 per night. Cost: $7,225.00.
I’ve been looking for a car to buy/rent while I’m there and it’s a tough one to tackle. It looks like there will be a good deal of walking involved and I’ll need my fixer to hook me up with some help. Whatever car I find would need to be pretty sturdy because of the condition of the “roads” in South Sudan.
Travel by means of water doesn’t exist in the south, despite the prevalence of the Blue and White Nile river that runs from the south to the north. The only port in the country exists in Port Sudan, in the north, so getting there by boat wouldn’t be feasible and would actually create problems to get to the south because of the probably holdups I would face in Khartoum.
I’ve accounted for purchasing an individual visa to enter the country at a cost of $221. I’ll also avoid any contact with Israel before going to South Sudan – no one with an Israeli stamp in their passport can enter Sudan.