The decision to travel to Sudan

If it's good enough for explanatory poster at the embassy

If it's good enough for Rooney...the famous footballer is put to use on explanatory posters by Sudanese Embassy staff

Yesterday morning we walked out of the Sudanese embassy in Cairo for the third time in three days – this time with a shiny new Sudan entry visa affixed to our passports.

It took less time than we thought it would – having heard stories of people forced to wait sometimes up to a fortnight. The unexpected speed in which we’ve gained the visa opens up the possibility of rushing down to Khartoum and then to Juba as fast as we can in the hope of arriving before 9 July in time to witness the birth of a new nation – Southern Sudan.

But we have decided not to take the risk of entering Sudan before this huge, potentially volatile event takes place.

We do not have the forces of CNN or the Washington Post at our disposal and so to others will be left the task of covering the historic moment of independence and whatever jubilation, chaos, war or peace it brings.

Instead we will travel down the Nile relatively slowly, aiming to catch the ferry across the Egypt-Sudan border on the 11th of July – two days after secession. By the time we reach Khartoum we hope the dust will have settled and most important of all the territorial war in the disputed oil-rich border area of South Kordofan ceased.

As the Egyptians say, inshAllah, If the forces of optimism and peace have prevailed we can then continue as planned from Khartoum to Juba – arriving in the newest capital in the world to document the mood and the people’s aspirations a few weeks into their independence.

Just as exciting as the prospect of arriving in Juba is the fact that to get there we plan to forsake the usual method of air travel and take a river barge down the Nile. This method of transport – used extensively by the many Southern Sudanese refugees who have been leaving the north in advance of secession – passes through The Sudd, a huge marsh area the size of a small European country, which was a no-go zone during the decades-long civil war and which, partly as a result of the lack of human habitation during the war, is now described in our Lonely Planet as ‘the most spectacular wildlife show on earth’.

Despite both these inducements it wasn’t an easy decision to travel to Sudan. My conviction almost faltered as we read the official Australian government travel advice in Cairo’s tiny Australian Embassy. We were there to get a ‘letter of introduction’ to ease our passage through for the Sudanese visa. Because the Australian government advises us not to travel to Sudan we had to sign a statutory declaration (and pay anAus$50 fee to have it witnessed) basically saying that we understood we were endangering our lives against official warnings.

I found the resolve to ignore the government’s warningsand sign the document when flipping through the travel advice for Egypt – although the government did not issue the stark ‘do not travel’ advice which it does for Sudan it did suggest that people reconsider their travel to this country.

I would not have missed this last week in Cairo for anything.


Travel Trip

Sudan, I have heard about this place. There are some places which are really very beautiful but people are don't know about this places and they are aware about its beauty. I think tourist should visit this place at once and only think about the beauty of this place. Hope, You really like this place.
Jahaz Mahal