7 Things to do in South Sudan

7 Things to do in South Sudan

It’s the newest country in the world and one that a lot of people haven’t even heard of. Those who have, usually associate it with the military conflict that has been tearing up the region for decades. But behind all of that, lies a country of ancient cultural rituals, a myriad of colorful local tribes and raw natural beauty.
It is still the most challenging destinations for the intrepid traveler. However, in the last few years, a handful of travel agencies have been organizing tours to South Sudan, making its natural and cultural wonders accessible to travelers from all over the world. You can check out our South Sudan itinerary here and below you will find our recommendations for top 7 things to do in South Sudan:

1.Explore Juba

Although the city doesn’t have a lot of traditional tourist sites, there are a few places worth visiting, like the Main Mosque, the memorial of John Garang – the leader of Sudan People's Liberation Movement and the tomb of Jubek – a leader of the Bari people, who is widely considered to be the person after whom Juba was names. Visiting the city you can feel the atmosphere of a country just building itself with massive construction projects happening all over the city.

2. Visit a Mundari village

The Mundari are indigenous Nilotic ethnic group, known for their facial scarring and traditional rituals. As part of the traditional initiation rites, boys must live three months with a village elder away from the community. They are then scarred with a V mark on their foreheads to complete their transition into adulthood. This is a distinctive feature of their look. The Mundari are pastoralists, whose culture, beliefs and everyday life are centered on their livestock consisting of horned Ankole-Watusi cattle. Spending time in one of their villages provides a glimpse into an unusual and distinctive way of life, very different from the one most of us have.

3. Visit a Dinka Cattle Camp

Similar to the Mundari, the Dinka are another pastoralist tribe, moving their herds of cattle to riverine pastures during the dry season (December to April) and back to permanent settlements in the savanna forest during the rains, when their food crops, principally millet, are grown. Spending a few days with them and seeing firsthand how the special bond they have with their cattle is expressed in their everyday life is a highlight of a visit to the country . The Dinka are also known to be the tallest people in the world, together with the Tutsi of Rwanda. The average height of both men and women is over 180 cm.

 South Sudan

 4. Sail around the Sudd

The Sudd (as-Sudd or al-Sudd) is a vast swamp, formed by the White Nile's Baḥr al-Jabal section. The Arabic word “sudd “is derived from sadd (سد), meaning "barrier" or "obstruction". The area which the swamp covers is one of the world's largest wetlands and the largest freshwater wetland in the Nile basin. Its size is highly variable, averaging over 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 sq mi) . During the wet season it may extend to over 130,000 square kilometers. Sailing around the Sudd by a canoe or small boat is one of the best ways to explore the vast wetland and learn more about its ecosystems.

5. Watch a wrestling match

Wrestling is taken very seriously in South Sudan. Locals from all different ethnicities, often even rival ones, participate in the numerous tournaments organized throughout the country. The sport is particularly popular in the city of Bor in the southeastern part of the country, where wrestling events are organized every weekend.

Wrestling match in South Sudan

 6. See the sunset over the White Nile

The longest river in the world is an impressive sight to see at any time, but it becomes especially mighty when illuminated by the sunset colors. Over 90% of the country’s territory is located near the White Nile basin, so you will have many opportunities to enjoy the sunset and take amazing shots.

7. Explore South Sudan’s wildlife

South Sudan boasts an incredible diversity of wildlife species – giraffes, elephants, elands, lions, antelopes, baboons, hippos and many more. In the Boma National Park, every year over a million of antelopes migrate across the park in search of fresh grazing grounds, creating an astonishing nature spectacle that can even be compared to the Great Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti. The country has a total of six national parks and 13 game reserves, each of them offering a distinctive wildlife experience.

 

South Sudan - Land of the Cattle Herders

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