WHY VISIT SOUTH SUDAN
There’s off-piste, and then there’s South Sudan. Officially the world’s newest nation, its poor infrastructure, and volatile political climate will deter most from visiting this fledgling nation. But the intrepid few who do visit will discover some of the least known and most extreme natural phenomena on Earth.
After a messy divorce from Sudan in 2011, the South Sudanese people are fiercely proud of their hard-fought independence and are both surprised and pleased when someone chooses to visit.
Somewhat chaotic, and growing rapidly, the capital, Juba, has a superb location on the banks of the White Nile. Founded in the 1920s, it exhibits some excellent examples of British colonial architecture around the Hai Jalaba district, though most visitors will want to leave man-made structures behind and head for the country’s natural wonders.
The vast swampy Sudd region, known locally as Bahr el Jebel or “Mountain Sea” is where the Nile forms one of the world’s largest inland wetlands. A habitat safe from poachers for large populations of hippos, it is a unique experience to explore its vast islands of reeds by canoe.
Boma National Park not only boasts large populations of Africa’s most iconic wildlife species, including elephant, giraffe, and lion, but also the greatest migration of mammals on Earth when an estimated two million grazing animals flee en mass for pastures new. The region is also renowned for its traditional tribal homesteads, which dot the plains.
Not content with rivers, swamps, and savannah, South Sudan’s natural prowess extends to the Imatong Mountains, and the star attraction here is Kinyeti, the highest mountain in the country at 3,200m (10,500ft).
The South Sudanese consider their homeland blessed and it’s hard to disagree when you see the sheer diversity of natural landscapes the country has to offer. Road travel can be uncomfortable, but the result is certainly well worth any hardship.
WHAT TO SEE IN SOUTH SUDAN
- Dinka tribe cattle camp
- White Nile Basin and the Sudd
- Imatong Mountains
- Boma National Park
- Nimule National Park, Opekoloe Island & Fola Falls
WHEN TO GO TO SOUTH SUDAN
The best period to visit South Sudan is from November to February.
South Sudan has a tropical savanna climate. Within the tropical climate, there is still room for higher temperatures. Before the rainy season begins, the temperatures are rising to a maximum of 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. The rainy season starts in mid-April / May and both maximum and minimum temperatures drop in this period. However, because of the increased humidity, it can even feel hotter.
South Sudan has a very dry winter with almost no rain. In April (sometimes in May) the weather changes and the sun will make way for clouds and the number of rainy days per month will rise. August and September are the wettest months. In November, the dry season starts again.
Following is a list of typical festivals and celebrations of South Sudan.
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HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH SOUTH SUDAN
by plane, the main airports are:
- Juba International Airport
- Malakal International Airport
GENERAL INFORMATION ON SOUTH SUDAN
health tips & vaccination:
local currency: South Sudanese Pound
local time zone: GMT+3
electricity: type C and type D (230 V – 50 Hz)
WHAT TO DO IN SOUTH SUDAN
typical food in South Sudan
- Kisra: flatbread made from sorghum flour.
- Wala-wala: thick, starchy and plain tasting balls of millet flour that typically make up a meal’s carbohydrate quota.
- Combo: stewed spinach, peanut butter, and tomato sometimes served with meat.
- Ful: Arabic stewed fava beans.
- Tamia: balls of deep-fried ground chickpeas, in other words, falafel.
- Tomato Salad: basic salad majoring in tomato, with onion and chili. The best is served with peanut butter and lime dressing.
- Goat stew: a mildly-flavored concoction of chunks of goat meat, onion, and a touch of chili.
- Salaat zabadi: vegetables including carrot, cucumber, and tomato in locally-produced yogurt.
- Perch: smoked or deep-fried pieces of fish served with a chili relish.
- Baseema: a cake made with yogurt, sesame oil, and sugar.
- Miris: a stew containing sheep’s fat, onion, and dried okra.
souvenirs from South Sudan
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