The African nation of South Sudan is only a decade old and its tourism sector has yet to boom. The landlocked nation still has limited to poor tourist infrastructure, making it one of the least visited countries on the continent.
However, those who are curious enough to visit this young republic will be amazed by the potential of its attractions, mainly its national parks and protected areas. It is an exciting prospect to visit South Sudan as it has the second largest animal migration in the world. It is also home to Sudd, one of the largest wetlands on the planet. With such magnificent features, it is only a matter of time before the country rivals other great national parks in Africa. The country is not yet on the list of the safest countries in the region, but in South Sudan the surprises are big.
9 Boma National Park
Boma is a paradise for wildlife watchers as it is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the countryside. It is an important migration route since the park is as big as Rwanda. Its floodplains and grasslands are home to buffaloes, lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, antelopes, zebras and gazelles, among others. The most common residents of Boma are the white-eared kobs. Birdwatchers will also be delighted, as they might come across black-breasted serpent eagles and Ruppell’s vultures in the area. With this abundance of wildlife, Boma awaits curious travellers.
8 Bandingilo National Park
For a great presentation of one of Mother Nature’s best shows, Bandingilo is the place to be. This should be on a wildlife lover’s wish list because this is where the real deal happens: the second largest animal migration on the planet. Just imagining or looking at photos of the migration is already beautiful, what more could you ask for seeing them firsthand. Bellows and movement sounds work with the majestic views of the Serengeti to deliver a breathtaking spectacle. Migratory antelopes await their audience.
7 Lantoto National Park
Those who want to see elephants in their natural habitat should visit Lantoto as the gentle giants pass through this park on their way to a nearby park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park includes open grasslands, perfect for scenic photos. Lantoto is also home to woods and forests, where buffaloes, baboons, antelopes and ostriches thrive. A mountain also rests in the park, the Jabal Mbangi, which adds an accent to the already perfect landscape. Lantoto may not be as big as Boma, but it’s not short of surprises.
6 Nimule National Park
South Nimule sits on the banks of the White Nile, one of the tributaries of the Great Nile. A safari experience in this park is unique as tourists have the chance to observe animals splashing in the river. Eager guests might even spot hippos in the distance. The park is popular for anglers who want to feast on catfish. Whitewater rafters are also welcome thanks to the river’s welcoming rapids. From wildlife viewing to filling the adrenaline cup with aquatic adventures, Nimule is all about business.
5 Shambe National Park
Also located near the White Nile, Shambe National Park is another attraction that offers interesting safari experiences. It’s perfect for birdwatchers because, thanks to the lakes and wetlands, migrating birds frequent the place. Apart from the feathered friends, Shambe is also home to elephants, ostriches, foxes, giraffes, lions, monkeys and gazelles. It’s a big cornucopia of furry ambassadors of Mother Nature, and it’s a shame Shambe isn’t on anyone’s travel itinerary. The water is good and the landscape is welcoming, so tourists only have to choose where to go.
4 southern national park
The swampy southern national park teems with wildlife, thanks to three rivers that flow here: Jur, Gel and Ibba. These waterways make the park an ideal habitat for catfish, tilapia, bichir, lungfish, and aba (a type of electric fish). Crocodiles are also spotted in the area. This national park has woodlands, forests and grasslands where antelopes, buffaloes, giraffes, lions and pigs thrive. If they are lucky and patient, tourists may also come across white rhinos, colobus monkeys and galagos. In Sudan, going south means excitement.
There are some great beaches in Africa, but if tourists are looking for a wet and wild experience like no other, they should visit Sudd, one of the largest freshwater areas in the world. It is a conglomeration of different vegetation – from lakes and rivers to grass and woods. As such it is a biodiversity area and is tentatively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sudd is known for its floating plant life like the great common reed, wild rice, papyrus, southern cattail, and many types of grass. As expected, fish thrive in the area such as lungfish, bichirs, Nile arowana, carp, tilapia, catfish, and tigerfish, among others. Many species of birds also frequent the area, and for mammals there are migrating antelopes, hippos and painted hunting dogs. The marshes have never been so beautiful.
2 Imatong Mountains
For a change of scenery from the plains to the mountains, tourists must conquer the Imatong Mountains. Located in this overflowing area is the the highest peak in the country, Kinyeti. The mountain is remote, making it the perfect place to test anyone’s trekking skills. The greenery of Imatong is beautiful and home to species such as pigs, monkeys, bushbuck, leopards, hyenas, buffaloes and elephants. Birdwatchers, meanwhile, might get lucky recording their sightings of songbirds and ground thrushes. When the call of nature is strong, it may be the Imatong.
1 Game reserves
South Sudan has many game reserves and tourists just have to choose where to explore. The savannah areas of Ashana, Chelkou and Numatina are home to elephants and giant elands. Bengangai and Juba are famous for its birds, while Fanikang is proud of its Nile lechwe. Additionally, Bire Kpatuos is teeming with antelope, African golden cats, elephants, badger bats, and buffaloes. Kidepo, on the other hand, has wild dogs, big cats, hyenas and giraffes. Mbarizunga is home to antelopes and bongos, while hippos reign in Ez Zeraf. Wherever tourists go, South Sudan’s reserves know how to impress.
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