South Sudan Bucket List: Things To Do in South Sudan

There is a lot of undiscovered gems in South Sudan. The best Tourist attractions in South Sudan include Boma National Park , Mundari Tribe, Toposa Tribe, Bandigiri National Park, White Nile, Wrestling in Bor etc. Its good experience to explore places that only very few people have had a chance to visit– Pristine wilderness, isolated and rare cultural groups that have not been affected by technology. You would be visiting places which will one day be so popular that you will be smiling (in your advanced age) knowing that you were among the very first to experience it.

Back to security. For those who want to do something different, love adventure and taking risks in order to discover the best that nature has to offer, we don’t recommend that you wait until total peace returns in order to make a decision to visit South Sudan. It is just a matter of time.

Juba and other Cities

Juba is the capital of South Sudan and one of the fastest growing cities in Africa. It has relatively good accommodation facilities. The Juba international airport is also a busy one and has Daily flights from most Major Cities of Africa and the middle east.

The roads within and outside the city are getting better and large companies have established base to take advantage of the business opportunities available. Juba can be explored in a day or two. There are a number of interesting things and places to visit while in the capital. Some of them will be covered as attractions of their own in later chapters.

The University of Juba is one of the largest public universities in the young country and an excellent place to visit. The University was founded in 1977 but was later relocated to Khartoum (Sudan) due to civil unrest in the 1980s. Students are taught in English. After visiting the University, you can also stop at the new presidential palace which was opened in 2011, three months after the country got independence.

Boma National Park

At about 22,800 square kilometers, it is one of Africa’s largest national parks. Its location is in the Jonglei state, close to the border with Ethiopia.Among the world’s most spectacular wildlife migrations takes place in the park from March to April and again from November to January. From the Sudds and Bandingilo National Park to Boma National Park and finally to Ethiopia, some two million animals, including gazelle, kobs, and other antelope species, make the journey. When it rains, the animals know just where to go. The animals return to the lush, verdant meadows that were flooded out by the Nile during the dry months of November through January. Elephants, baboons, and giraffes number more than seven thousand at Boma National Park.

White-Eared Kobs in Boma National Park, South Sudan

Sudd Wetland

At nearly 30,000 square kilometers, this wetland dwarfs all others. You won’t find a better place to go birdwatching than here. The soils are rich and home to a wide variety of plants, animals, and birds due to the wetland’s proximity to water. Among the more than four hundred and fifty bird species found here are the shoebill stork, the black-crowned crane, and the enormous white pelican. Additionally, the Sudd is a great place to go fishing.

The variety of birds and animals seen on a safari in South Sudan will astound tourists. There is a massive wildlife movement in South Sudan, including millions of gazelles, white-eared kobs, mongala gazelles, and other species.

A safari in South Sudan From January to June, you can see gazelles, kobs, and topis making their way from the wetlands on the White Nile’s eastern bank to Boma and Gambella National Parks in Ethiopia, which are just across the border. You will need a very nice 4×4 or to fly above the parks because the roads are so awful and inadequately maintained by the government. This is the only downside to a safari in South Sudan.

Mundari Tribe

The Mundari people, like many others in the Nilotic region, place a high value on cattle for many reasons, including sustenance, trade, and social standing. The potential groom would sometimes provide cattle to the bride’s family in order to arrange a marriage. Husbands were allowed to take as many wives as they could provide for. Whenever it’s dry season, the Mundari and the adjacent Dinka tribes go on cattle raiding wars. The Mundari people go into the woods at night armed with spears and spearheads to protect their cattle. Scarification is an important part of the Mundari culture, particularly for young men when they enter manhood. Two sets of three parallel lines, one on each side of the forehead, continuing downward slope and unconnected in the middle, characterize the characteristic Mundari scar pattern.

As an aesthetic practice, Mundari women dye their hair a reddish brown color with cow urine and burned cow dung.

Visit a Dinka Cattle Camp

South Sudan’s largest and most powerful tribal group is the Dinka. Most are still pastoral nomads, even if some have settled in administrative states or even the capital. In some cultures, the value of a bride might reach 400 cattle because of the significant role cattle play in determining social prestige. More than 600 cattle can be housed in their camps. Going to one of the camps will show you how they live, which is based on taking care of their animals. Cattle offer nearly all of a person’s basic necessities. You can observe cattle being sold at the central livestock market in Juba if you are unable to reach the cattle camps outside the city. A fully developed long-horned white bull is an impressive sight in South Sudan, where cows carry great symbolic value.

Wau Zoo

Bahrel Ghazal is home to the Wau zoo, which is situated beside a river. The stripped hyena, the biggest kind of hyena, is the main attraction at the zoo. Primates such as baboons and antelopes coexist with crocodiles, warthogs, ostriches, and other wild creatures in the zoo.

Bandingilo National Park

Situated in the country’s equatorial zone, Bandigilo National Park is surprisingly under-visited. It encompasses around 10,000 square kilometers and was gazetted in 1992. Due of its prominence in luring migratory animals, it ranks among South Sudan’s most significant national parks. Animals such as gazelles, elephants, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and reedbuck call this park home. Additionally, I recommend reading the post regarding things to do in Dar es Salaam.

Nimule National Park

Located in the country’s southern region, close to the Ugandan border, the park was gazetted in 1954. Consequently, it is accessible from Uganda. Approximately 540 square kilometers make it up. Several antelope species, leopards, baboons, zebras, and warthogs call Nimule National Park home. The park’s proximity to the capital makes it reasonably well-developed. Guests can arrange to be escorted by park rangers on tours of the park or to Opekoloe Island, home to big herds of elephants and occasional predators, via boat.

The park is home to a wide variety of creatures, including primates, hyrax, warthogs, baboons, crocodiles, leopards, hippos, and the Uganda kob. This post about the best places to hang out in Nairobi can be useful if you are planning a trip to Kenya soon.

South Sudan’s Massive Wildlife Migration

Nyakuron Cultural Center

If you want to learn about the rich cultural heritage of South Sudan, this is probably the place to go. South Sudanese tribal tribes, like those in most African countries, place a premium on performing traditional musical and storytelling performances to showcase their culture’s best qualities. In 1976, the people of Southern Sudan had the Nyakuron Cultural Center constructed so that their legacy could be showcased. A nightclub, an outdoor stage, an auditorium, and a spacious garden make up its structure.

White Nile

A smaller river that flows into the larger Nile is the White Nile. Jinja in Uganda is where it all begins. South Sudan is one of the several countries it passes through.The White Nile and the Blue Nile are the two primary tributaries of the Nile River. The river’s hue was the inspiration for its name. Here, the clay soil causes the Nile to change hue. Visitors visiting Juba can enjoy a scenic view of the White Nile without having to endure a lengthy drive because the river flows through the capital. Knowing that the river flows through numerous nations makes a trip to the Juba bridge all the more worthwhile. While going about your day, keep an eye out for transport boats and fishers. There is a lot of peace and quiet on the White Nile as it flows.

Mount Kinyeti and the Imatong Mountains

This is a strenuous trek for those who enjoy mountain trekking. Mount Kinyeti is the tallest peak in South Sudan, standing at 3,187 meters. It is located in the seldom-visited Imatong Mountains, not far from the Ugandan border. The Imatong Forest Reserve is home to a variety of wildlife, including leopards, buffalo, and elephants, and reaching the peak offers a glimpse into this untouched environment as well as the forested slopes below.

Whitewater rafting

Wait, so you believed whitewater rafting could only happen in Uganda? Then you might want to reconsider. Adventuresome tourists can now join a whitewater rafting crew near Nimule and row the treacherous Nile rapids from Nimule to Juba, the capital of Sudan. The fact that you will be whitewater rafting through habitats inhabited by elephants, primates, crocodiles, antelopes, and hippos makes the trip all the more thrilling. On the islands, you can enjoy sport fishing or go birdwatching on calmer waters. Whitewater rafting trips can be arranged through African Rivers if you happen to be in Juba for a weekend. You can arrange to be picked up from the capital and transported to Nimule National Park, where you can find Fola Falls. It all begins with a bang first thing in the morning. Grade 4 rapids can be nerve-wracking for novice rafters in the first eight kilometers. Once the rapids reach grades 3 and 2, things start to get easier.

Visit the John Garang Mausoleum

Dr. John Garang, a revered former South Sudanese leader, tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash while returning from a meeting in Uganda. The Sudanese people looked to him as their leader during their fight for independence from the Sudanese government. The Avenue of Nations, site of independence celebrations, is where the mausoleum is constructed. The mausoleum is a fitting place to pay respects to a figure widely regarded as South Sudan’s founding father. There are a lot of security guards at the site, therefore it’s important to be polite when signing the visitor’s books. Photos of the former president and South Sudanese flags adorn the walls of the building. There are a lot of guards and a separate enclosure around the real tomb.

The All Saints Cathedral

For Christians, this is the primary place of worship in Juba. You can find it on the corner of Lanya and Gombura streets. Being present at the Sunday prayers in Juba, which draw many powerful people, might be an intriguing experience. On Sundays, you can choose between an English, Zande, or Arabic service. Plans are in the works to construct a substantially larger church to house the anticipated influx of worshippers.

Eat out

Some excellent eateries have sprung up in Juba as a result of the city’s substantial expatriate and humanitarian population. In the evenings, you can find restaurants that are both pricey and more affordable. One way to get to know the locals better is to eat at one of the more affordable eateries serving traditional cuisine. Tell me, which eateries in Juba are the best. Da Vinci is a good place to start because they provide vegetarian, Italian, and international options. Notos Lounge Bar and Grill serves Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. The Indian, Chinese, and Italian cuisine at Spice ‘n Herbs is second to none. If you’re looking for Thai or other Asian cuisine, Home and Away is another option. If you’re looking for restaurants serving African cuisine, specifically Ethiopian, I recommend Il Paradiso and the Juba Bridge Hotel Restaurant. Stop into Le Bistro if you’re looking for top-notch burgers, soups, pies, cakes, and fresh salads. Istanbul, which serves Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine, and Villa Marvella, which is perfect for a late-night snack, are two more places that deserve notice.

Wau Cathedral

Constructed in 1913, the Wau Catholic Cathedral stands as a testament to the significant impact of Christian missionary groups on the nation’s progress. It stands out from the other smaller churches in the neighborhood thanks to its remarkable architectural designs, which include unusual glass windows and stone decorations.

Watch Wrestling at Bor’s Freedom square

Many South Sudanese communities still use wrestling as a kind of athletic competition. In front of onlookers, competitors strip down to their underwear and challenge one another to a duel. The winners pay a price, which can be a certain amount or even a number of cattle heads. On weekends, you may catch this at the square.