Juba is the capital city of the youngest African country, South Sudan. Located along River White Nile, Juba is one of the fastest growing cities in Africa and majorly gets its wealth from the rich oil reserves in the city. Travelling to by plane is easier as there are commercial airlines flying directly from Nairobi and neighboring cities of Cairo and Addis Ababa. However, for some unknown reasons, travelling to Juba using these commercial airlines is usually extremely expensive even from near cities like Nairobi. While there are visa requirements for anyone entering Juba, this is only theoretical as rules regarding this are quite unclear and the authorities twist them to suit themselves.
Even though Juba is presently not a big city as such, the city has been sprawling rapidly of late and has put in place big plans of growth and expansion. However, a day is enough to walk almost the entire city. The city has three distinct areas including the Nile camps, Government ministries and Juba. Traffic in Juba is hectic and chaotic and you can go around the city in motorbike taxis which are abundant and cheap. The best way to explore Juba would be through car hiring and you can even get 4×4 drives since the roads can be muddy at times.
The town doesn’t have much taking place and can be rather boring for an adventurous tourist. However, you can always entertain yourself in the various night spots around including restaurants and bars. Most of them are run by westerners, Ugandans and Kenyans who have come to take advantage of the young economy in the country.
Most weekends are mostly a buzz of activities and you can be assured not to miss an activity taking place in Juba. Boat trips in Nile River are very common and a great activity to enjoy during the afternoon. You can as well go jogging and fishing as well. Shopping in Juba might not be the best activity to engage in. considering that goods are trucked from neighboring countries such as Uganda, they are extremely expensive. The major shopping area in the town is Customs Market where you can buy over priced consumer goods ranging from building materials to fresh fruits and others.
JIT supermarket is actually air conditioned and located close to Hotel Juba Raha and you can buy almost everything in this supermarket. Items in Juba are priced in US dollars but Sudanese pounds are largely accepted and there are also currency exchange bureaus like Kenya Commercial Bank in the town. Food in Juba is just average and a few restaurants are increasingly coming up such as Da Vinci’s Restaurant, Spice n’ Herbs, Notos Lounge Bar; Grill and Logali House among few others. For drinking, you can always find cold beer easily in Juba especially at Fresh Freddies bar that stocks a wide range of alcoholic drinks. Lastly, tourists are always targets of muggings and armed robbery and you should be cautious especially when travelling at night.