Nyakuron Cultural center
This is a must see. It is a very expansive Government owned cultural center and shops which hosts live bands, beauty competitions and many other open air events. Nyakuron has wide and beautiful gardens and compound. It is located between customs bus park and Juba University. When there are functions there are banners all over town, so you will be aware beforehand. I attended Miss Juba beauty pageant, Juba band of the Year competition, and the Kenyan independence celebration drew a large crowd.
There is a cinema hall that will soon show modern movies. A Casino is now in operation, and Panache Hotel are serving drinks and food.
There are many large sculptures in the grounds: .
These are pictures inside the Casino, the computerised roulette and slot machines: I gambled 30 pounds and came out with 47 pounds! So see you there.
From Wednesday to Saturday Bro’s camp have a Ugandan band singing in Luganda. There was a large crowd when I went there last time, since most places are not ‘kicking’ on a Wednesday. There were lots of ladies and even more guys. Bro’s is lively on mid week days evenings.
If you have not been to Mango, you have not been to Juba. Period. This was a riverside hotel but every weekend it changes into the noisiest and busiest place in town. The small dance floor coupled with the large number of patrons, some in very short skirts, and not much else, makes it an interesting, exciting and eventful place. If you book one of the ‘hut’ designed cottages which are cheap and negotiable prices you can have ‘extended’ fun. This is where to go to ‘let it all hang out’. Make sure you get there full, they normally serve inebriated patrons so the food is basic roast goat meat and fries, but edible. They sell drinks so fast by one a.m. the cold beer is over from their many big fridges but don’t worry, switch to warm. Location – Everyone knows. Just tell the taxi to take you to “Mango”.
This is the original Disco on the river bank. The entrance has a very big car park. After the car park is a wide sandy garden with huge speakers and a band stand. There is a small bar for those sitting on the plastic chairs dotted around in the garden. Further on is the large enclosed bar with a long counter, TV and two pool tables. By the river is a paved area with simple grass thatch umbrellas over plastic chairs and a good river view. There is disco music in the hall and in the two gardens, with Karaoke on the bandstand from Wednesday to Sunday, followed by disco. There is a simple kitchen for snacks like chicken and chips at around 20 pounds or Kenyan style roasted meat (Nyama Choma) for the many foreign and local beer drinkers. It is located immediately next to the barge port on the river.
Cabaret Show at New York Hotel
The best show in town, It is a very tasteful show with lovely Eritrian beauties doing what could be a New York show. It is exclusive, only respectable patrons are allowed in and good behavior is encouraged. There is a barbeque with marinated chicken and goat meat, well spiced.
Live Band at Nile Comfort Hotel
“Comfort” have a live band playing Congolese music from Wednesday to Sunday. Its relaxing and classy. There is one of the lady dancers who is amazing, looks like 100 kilos but shapely, pretty, very agile, and has a great voice. She is accompanied by five other dancers. “Comfort” have divided their enormous compound into two, the right side is a very large beer garden with a huge bandstand. No taxis park outside here, every client has their Hummer or Land Cruiser ‘VX”. The patrons are the ‘who’s who’ of Juba, some come with around ten bodyguards and chase cars. “Comfort” is on the river behind the football stadium. They have very good barbeque roast chicken and roast goat meat.
Smart Camp is one of the older night entertainment spots, it used to be well known and rowdy, however it has now changed to an orderly restaurant and bar mainly for Kenyans serving Kenyan food. There is a dark, enclosed bar where there is a Kenyan buffet more or less all day, and a tree shaded open seating area at the back lined with canvas animal paintings. The chairs and tables are plastic, the floor is sandy and there is loud music in the afternoon and evening, making it simple but relaxing and a good place to meet friends and hang out if you speak Kiswahili. The Kenya Association in Southern Sudan meet here every first Sunday of the month. There are large screens for news and football. There is a continental menu, buffet or ‘nyama choma’ at around 25 pounds per meal. Four nights a week there is a Kenyan dance and comedy act with around six youths called the ‘Kariukis’ Located along the main Tong Ping road.
There is also a barber and hair salon, two travel agents and other offices in a double story wooden log office block at the entrance.
Juba Safari Resort
Their Kenyan style roast, fried or boiled meat on order draws people across town. It has a round open sided dance floor and a DJ belts out disco music after 10 p.m. It was really kicking last year, but the crowd has reduced now. There are now several tables placed in the dance floor. Around the dance hall is an open tree shaded area with plastic chairs and tables where beer drinkers relax and enjoy the music, awaiting the action which starts around midnight when more patrons come from the neighboring bars. Located behind Tong Pi ng road next to the airport.
Royal Garden Hotel
There is a disco every Friday and Saturday and once a month there is a live band from Kenya performing. There are several islands just in front of the bar. A very large snake lives in one, it can be seen crossing from Island to Island in the water in the evening and morning. Beyond is a larger island where all the Egrets in Juba sleep. In the evening large flocks of the large white birds swoop in over the Nile, with a sunset behind. They come in to the island in waves, until you can not see the bushes or trees, the Island becomes a spectacular white. I go there just to see the snakes and birds. The Ny ama choma (roast goat meat) is also good.
Green Rokon (ROCK-ON!!!)
Green Rokon Has a long perimeter wall painted bright yellow and is on the Main Malakal/Malakia road, you can’t miss it. I went there first in 2005 when it was an Indian restaurant. Then the large beer garden and huge disco hall opened later. It is normally very loud and packed due to the prime location. They have just completed the one year long renovation. There are lots of statues, fountains, new disco lights and equipment.
Immediately next is the small Green Rokon hotel is for budget accommodation, which will is handy if you meet a friend in the club and feel sleepy, or have had too much to drink.
The owner was constructing a hotel on the UNMIS Road. He started by constructing the dining, restaurant and bar. He also constructed the verandah, car park and renovated the garden. He furnished the kitchen, dining, bar and verandah. To test the equipment and the arrangement, he invited a well known Congolese band and hired some temporary staff and a DJ. The DJ put his lighting and sound equipment and the Congolese band put on a great show for several weeks. So the place became the latest place to hang out in Juba! After the musician left, the bar continued operating on weekends only from Friday to Sunday as the construction of the hotel rooms continued at the back. The owner has said he will not name the place until the rooms are complete. So everybody goes there but they say “Let’s meet at the place with no name”, otherwise known as “Nameless”! When I visited in October 2010, the kitchen staff had all gone back to their normal places so there was no food. But there was a lively crowd in the four sitting areas, the bar, the lounge, the restaurant and the verandah. The DJ was belting out great disco music and people were dancing in the garden.
24 Hour Bar
There is only one, Sahara Hotel bar. It has a very classy open sided bar with two rock fountains, large screen satellite TV, wide selection of wines, spirits, American and European beer in addition to local and East African beer. The barman has the number for several 24 hour taxis. He does not serve cocktails, but tells good stories at 2 to 4 am. There are rooms available if you feel you can not stagger back to your Hotel in the wee hours.
24 Hour Taxis
Call any of the following numbers for more inquiries and reservations: (+211) 977-114235, 977-109079, 977-110882, 955-028720, 955-155534; 927-314177.