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Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

Old Jan 25th 2007, 10:40 pm
  #1  
Julian Smith
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Default Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

Is is possible to travel overland from northern Uganda to southern
Sudan? I'm planning to trace a historic route this summer that would go
as far as Juba, Sudan. I know the situation is dicey in both regions of
those countries. But is it possible? And how? Should I try and get a
Sudanese visa (as an American) first? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Old Jan 26th 2007, 4:51 am
  #2  
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Default Re: Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

Good luck.

Unless there's someone in the NG with experience in this specific
region/conflict, I'd advise you to identify some of the NGOs, UN
agencies, relief charities (+ missionaries) and media organisations in
the area (both sides of the border), then try to get a referral
internally within those organisations to someone who is now or has been
recently on the ground (don't listen to an office bureaucrat in DC or
NYC). Photojournalists are excellent advisors in this regard (and make
for interesting travel companions).

Otherwise, if you have sufficient time to go to Uganda and begin asking
around, being patient, befriending locals and essentially doing the
same thing I advise above but there on the ground in person, then you
stand a fair chance of being able to make it work. Right now, the major
conflict is more or less on hold from what I understand.

If something bad happens, you're most likely to get robbed or taken
hostage for ransom, from what I know of these kind of conflict zones
(banditry being more a threat than armies or militias), so you really,
really need local guidance and protection. Buy good insurance (!) and
have a backup plan in case you end up robbed blind and dumped in the
Sahel. Make sure you let the embassies know you're in the country and
what your route will be. Keep ID separate from your wallet and
passport, etc., etc.

Maybe I'm trying to advise a seasoned hand -- have you travelled
through any other conflict zones before?

Kurt

----

http://afrikatourism.blogspot.com
 
Old Jan 26th 2007, 5:22 am
  #3  
Marc Lurie
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Default Re: Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

I was up in Northern Uganda in 2002. The border between Uganda and
Sudan at Nimule was closed and there was no legal way into Sudan.

The LRAand Sudanese rebels were quite active at that stage, and I
received DIRE warnings from everyone I spoke to about being hacked up
into little bitty pieces by the LRA. The thing is, none of the people
issuing the warnings had ever been even as far north as Gulu.

When I got to Gulu I asked around, and people seemed resigned to the
LRA doing sporadic attacks etc.

I was in the area for about two weeks, and didn't see any evidence of
people who wanted to slice and dice anyone. :-) Maybe I was just
lucky.

However, situations in Africa are very fluid, and you MUST do some
reseasrch before you get there.

Marc
On 25 Jan 2007 15:40:08 -0800, "Julian Smith"
<[email protected]> wrote:

>Is is possible to travel overland from northern Uganda to southern
>Sudan? I'm planning to trace a historic route this summer that would go
>as far as Juba, Sudan. I know the situation is dicey in both regions of
>those countries. But is it possible? And how? Should I try and get a
>Sudanese visa (as an American) first? Any advice would be appreciated.
 
Old Apr 3rd 2007, 9:08 pm
  #4  
Jean-Marc Liotier
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Default Re: Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

On Fri, 26 Jan 2007 08:22:03 +0200, Marc Lurie wrote:
>
> However, situations in Africa are very fluid, and you MUST do some
> reseasrch before you get there.

I would add that you must also do some research once you get there. It is
often interesting to see how the local point of view often diverges from
the international one. I have seen a situation making international
headlines and only barely mentioned by locals after much insistence. And
on the contrary, tour operators would happily book me to a tense zone and
only after interviewing locals did I realize that something bad was about
to happen - I did not go there and it actually did happen a week later.

So when Marc is talking about situations in Africa being very fluid he is
not kidding.

About Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan, try to get hold of someone from
one all one of the NGOs operating from Arua.
 
Old Apr 4th 2007, 10:21 am
  #5  
Marc Lurie
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Default Re: Travel from northern Uganda to southern Sudan

On Tue, 03 Apr 2007 23:08:20 +0200, Jean-Marc Liotier
<[email protected]> wrote:

SNIP
>So when Marc is talking about situations in Africa being very fluid he is
>not kidding.
>
>About Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan, try to get hold of someone from
>one all one of the NGOs operating from Arua.

It's not only the political situations that can change at the drop of
a hat. There's nothing quite like driving for three days to get to the
ferry across the Rovuma to find that it sank the week before, and
it'll take an extra week to get across the river :-0

Good people to talk to are Medicins sans Frontieres, World Food
Program, Halo Trust, World Vision, if they're active in the area.

Marc
 

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