Transport in South Sudan

Transport in South Sudan plays a crucial role in connecting communities and facilitating the movement of goods and people across the country. With a challenging terrain that includes vast distances, poor road infrastructure, and limited access to transportation services, the need for efficient and reliable transport networks is more pressing than ever.

Since gaining independence in 2011, South Sudan has been grappling with the task of rebuilding and expanding its transportation infrastructure. The civil war that broke out shortly after independence further hindered progress in this area, resulting in a lack of adequate roads, railways, and air transport systems. As a result, many parts of the country remain isolated and underserved in terms of transportation options.

One of the most significant challenges facing transport in South Sudan is the lack of funding for infrastructure development and maintenance. According to the World Bank, only 4% of South Sudan’s road network is paved, making it difficult for vehicles to navigate the rough terrain and causing delays in the delivery of essential goods and services. This issue has led to increased transportation costs and limited access to markets, further exacerbating the country’s economic woes.

Despite these challenges, there have been efforts to improve the transport sector in South Sudan. The government has signed agreements with neighboring countries to improve regional connectivity and boost trade opportunities. Additionally, non-governmental organizations and international donors have been providing support for road rehabilitation projects and other transportation initiatives aimed at enhancing access and mobility for the population.

With the ongoing efforts to address the transportation challenges in South Sudan, there is hope for a brighter future where communities are better connected, trade is facilitated, and economic development is supported. By investing in sustainable transport infrastructure and promoting greater collaboration between stakeholders, South Sudan can overcome its current obstacles and build a more efficient and inclusive transport network for the benefit of all its citizens.

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Transport in South Sudan refers to the various ways in which people and goods are moved from one place to another within the country. This includes roads, railways, waterways, and air transport. The transportation sector plays a crucial role in facilitating trade, connecting remote communities, and supporting economic development in South Sudan. If you are interested in learning more about the transportation infrastructure in South Sudan and how it impacts the daily lives of its citizens, continue reading to explore the challenges and opportunities in the country’s transport sector.

Overview of Transport in South Sudan

Transport plays a crucial role in the economic development of South Sudan, a landlocked country located in East-Central Africa. The country faces numerous challenges in terms of transport infrastructure, which hinders its overall growth and development.

Road Transport

In South Sudan, road transport is the most common mode of transportation. However, the road network is underdeveloped and poorly maintained, which makes it difficult for people and goods to move efficiently across the country. The lack of paved roads and bridges further exacerbates the situation, especially during the rainy season.

Rail Transport

South Sudan has a limited railway system, with only a few operational tracks connecting major cities like Juba and Wau. The rail infrastructure is in dire need of expansion and modernization to improve connectivity and facilitate the movement of goods and people.

Water Transport

Given its abundant rivers and swamps, water transport has great potential in South Sudan. The White Nile and its tributaries offer opportunities for the development of a viable water transport system. However, the country lacks adequate infrastructure and vessels to fully utilize its waterways for transportation purposes.

Air Transport

Air transport is critical in connecting remote areas of South Sudan due to the country’s challenging terrain and underdeveloped road network. Juba International Airport serves as the main gateway to the country, with domestic flights operated by several local airlines. However, the high cost of air travel remains a barrier for many residents.

Challenges and Opportunities

  • Poor road infrastructure
  • Lack of maintenance
  • Inadequate rail network
  • Underdeveloped water transport
  • High cost of air travel


According to the World Bank, only 13% of roads in South Sudan are paved, highlighting the urgent need for investment in transport infrastructure to support the country’s economic growth and development.

1. What types of transportation are available in South Sudan?

Transportation in South Sudan includes road transport, air transport, river transport, and walking.

2. How developed is the road infrastructure in South Sudan?

The road infrastructure in South Sudan is limited and underdeveloped, with many roads being in poor condition and impassable during the rainy season.

3. Are there any public transportation options in South Sudan?

Public transportation in South Sudan is limited, with minibuses and shared taxis being the most common mode of transport in urban areas.

4. How safe is it to travel by road in South Sudan?

Traveling by road in South Sudan can be dangerous due to poor road conditions, lack of road signage, and the risk of crime and insecurity.

5. What are the main airlines operating in South Sudan?

The main airlines operating in South Sudan include South Sudan Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and Kenya Airways.

6. How reliable is air travel in South Sudan?

Air travel in South Sudan can be unreliable due to factors such as limited flight schedules, weather conditions, and political instability.

7. Can I travel by boat in South Sudan?

Traveling by boat is a common mode of transport in South Sudan, especially in regions with waterways such as the White Nile and Sobat River.

8. Are there any restrictions on foreign travelers using public transportation in South Sudan?

Foreign travelers may encounter restrictions or security checks when using public transportation in South Sudan, especially in areas with high levels of conflict or instability.

9. Are there any special considerations for traveling in South Sudan?

Travelers to South Sudan should be aware of the country’s political situation, health risks, and travel advisories issued by their home country before planning a trip.

10. What is the best way to get around South Sudan?

The best way to get around South Sudan depends on your destination and travel preferences. It is recommended to use a combination of road, air, and river transport to reach different parts of the country.


Overall, the transport infrastructure in South Sudan faces numerous challenges due to the country’s turbulent history, ongoing conflict, lack of investment, and poor maintenance. The road network is limited and poorly developed, making it difficult to reach remote areas and hindering economic development. Additionally, the railway system is virtually non-existent, further exacerbating the transportation difficulties in the country.

Despite these challenges, there have been efforts to improve transport infrastructure in South Sudan, such as the construction of new roads and bridges with support from international partners. There is also potential for further development, including expanding the road network, modernizing existing infrastructure, and improving maintenance practices. By addressing these issues, South Sudan can enhance connectivity, promote economic growth, and improve the overall quality of life for its citizens. It is essential for the government and stakeholders to prioritize investment in transport infrastructure to overcome the current challenges and unlock the country’s full potential.

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