South Sudan (Southern Sudan) is a landlocked country in East Africa, bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Central African Republic, Kenya, Uganda and the D.R. Congo. This is one of the endowed countries in Africa when it comes to biodiversity but remains not fully explored. South Sudan boasts of its lush savannas, rainforests and swamplands that offer refuge to diversity of faunal species.

Originally, Southern Sudan was part of Sudan which neighbors it to the North and in 2011, it gained its independence. Unlike Sudan, Southern Sudan is dominated by Christians and Juba is its capital city.

Brief History

South Sudan was occupied by most of its current ethnic groups, especially around the 15th to 19th centuries. The tribal migration from Bahr el Ghazal to South Sudan attracted tribal groups (the Nilotic people) such as Shilluk, Kaligi, Dinka, Anyuka, Acholi, Bari, and Nuer. Around the 16th century, the Baka, Zande, Avukaya and Mundu migrated to South Sudan and settled at the Equatoria state.

The Dinka are the biggest tribal group, followed by the Nuer, Zande and lastly the Bari. These tribal groups dominate parts of Tombura, Yambio, and Maridi districts along the tropical forest belt of Western Equatoria, Adio of Azande, & Central Equator, etc.

Relief of South Sudan

South Sudan features a unique landscape characterized by extensive plains and plateaus. These are drained by the Nile River and its tributaries. The Nile River system runs from South to North, across the whole of the East-central South Sudan. At the central part of South Sudan, you can find mainly the clay plain also dominated by the swampy area, most popular as the Sudd.

South Sudan also consists of 2 contrasting upland areas- the Ironstone Plateau which is located between the Nile Congo watershed and the clay plains. This is an area marked by inselbergs. The massive ranges with peaks standing up to 3000m exist on the Ugandan border with South Sudan. The country’s highest points include the Imatong Mountains where Mt Kinyeti lies rising at an altitude of 3187m.

South Sudan tourism -What is the climate of South Sudan like?

South Sudan experiences a tropical kind of climate. Each year, it records both wet and dry seasons characterized by the oscillation, north & south of the boundary between moist Southerly air and dry northerly air. The country experiences the seasonal migration and pulsation of the Northern tropical continental air mass and the Southern maritime continental air mass. These are divided by the inter tropical convergence zone. During winter, the North winds of the tropical air mass blow across South Sudan toward the front and these are cool and dry winds with no rain.

In April, the front starts to move northward and the moist southerly air of the maritime air mass blows in from the South Atlantic Ocean. This happens to be the rainy/wet season in South Sudan. The rainy season can run from April to late December.

Flora and fauna species

South Sudan is a beautiful country, with most vegetation belts dominating the Northwest and Southeast. These consist of grassland, inland floodplains and mountain vegetation regions. The low rainfall savannas comprise of thorny trees and grasses, while high rainfall savannas dominate the South-Central South Sudan.

Fauna/animals in South Sudan- the diverse wildlife to see include elephants, hippos, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, cheetahs, lions, warthogs, crocodiles, leopards, antelope families (hartebeests, elands, gazelles); primates likes baboons, chimpanzees, monkeys, and others. Bird species –these include cranes, pelicans, ostriches, weaver birds, shrikes, plovers and more.

There are many National Parks and Game Reserves include Southern & Bandingilo National Parks –these are situated in the Southern side of the country. Boma National Park –located in the Eastern part of South Sudan where the biggest mammal migrations occurs.

People, Religion, ethnic groups & languages

South Sudan is dominated by Christians/follow traditional African religion. The Dinka make up the largest population, about two 5th of the country’s population and they are the cattle herders. Other ethnic groups include the Bari, Shilluk, Nuer, Zande, Anywa and others.

What is unique about South Sudan?

South Sudan is the newest nation in the world, located in Eastern Africa. It is one country with one of the lowest life expectancies in the world and also youngest population. South Sudan has a rich culture although doesn’t have UNESCO World Heritage Sites.