Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Sunday, July 10, 2011

South Sudan Independance Day

Dialogue with a plain – clothes security officer at the celebration ground.
”No, I am tourist”. Appearantly didn`t sound very convincing.
“No, I am not terrorist, I am turist”


This is another example of how Africa can always surprise.

The road from Gulu to Uganda was not as expected, it was much worse instead. Some dozen centimetres depth holes meant that it took 5 hours to cover 100 km. Although for a short time the speed was even 40 km.

That`s good that there was not much rain today, otherwise the road would have been slippery too. Uganda`s border crossing took perhaps 10 minutes, - stamp and go.. Somehow strangely quickly. Then more kilometres of bad road and then my eye caught a bridge over the river. And Sudan was on the other side of it. And again, left side traffic for a change to Uganda and Kenya.

Even before entering the city there was a row of cars and buses , reaching closer it became clear that a thorough security inspection is going on. Which meant that people had to wait in the heat of almost 40 degrees and watch how the passangers with their big bags will come out of the bus and the bags were checked thoroughly. For example - the small car ahead was inspected by five men.

Thatś all I need now ! For a moment a thought came, that now it is the moment when I have to empty my car. Waiting for my destiny imaginined the picture how all my things will be spread out by the roadside. And then – a new surprise. Another man looked at the number of my car and announced then „ Not allowed to the city with this number“

I asked why not? From the border I got the „Travel Permit“ or South-Sudan visa, I showed it and everything should be correct in every way. The men had a little talk by themselves and as there was no direct prohibition on the cars with Estonian numbers written anywhere, I was showed to drive to the roadside and one man came to see the interior of the bus. Looked around for a moment, asked what was inside the bags and boxe, s and that was enough. Probably saw that this stuff was everywhere and motioned me to drive on. A long line of cars was waiting behind anyway.


Some more of security measures – in town all the shops and gas stations were closed and all kind of traffic limited.









In order to get to the Celebration square one had to pass separate security check. And i was asked to turn on the camera , and it was studied from every side and rayed by a device unknown to me.  

Only – 22 years of civil war (1983 – 2005) preceded their independance. Almost 2 million people were killed during that war. Read more in Wikipedia. Second Sudanese Civil War







The first plan was to go and look for tourist information on Monday, but who knows how this will be understood. Must practise the pronunciation before, just in any case.

As to overnight places - in this town there is no classic overlanders camping place well, to come by your own car and sleep at night at the roof tent. No this kind of things, because there are no tourists by their own transport either. The main users of accomodation are the workers of UN and of various different organizations , and thanks to them the prices are high. After having visited four different overnight places I found a campsite which accepted sleeping in the car.

Of course the town is full of hotels of different price levels.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello Tarmo. Glad to see you are well and now in Central Africa. I am back in England and getting a new vehicle, a Toyota Troopie whioch I am building from scratch so can go for another 10 years. Proper Job after travelling around Africa is showing signs of stress !! My email is

Simon Lawrence