South Sudan is the newest country in Africa, bringing the continent’s country count to 54.
On July 9, 2011, the country broke away
from Sudan and gained its independence. Since then, relations with its northern neighbor have been shaky. Over the past year, violent conflicts have bubbled up, particularly on South Sudan’s northern border. In late April 2012, Sudan bombed South Sudan, further heightening border conflicts. As of May 2012, the countries seem on the brink of war. South Sudan's abundance of natural resources, including oil reserves, is pinpointed as one of the major reasons for Sudan's hostility towards its independence-seeking neighbor.
With seven national parks and 12 game reserves, the landscape of South Sudan is rich in both beauty and wildlife. South Sudan h
as an abundance of wildlife habitats, including wooded and grassy savannas, wetlands, grasslands, floodplains, high-altitude plateaus, and bluffs. Bandingilo National Park, established in 1992, stretches over 10,000 square kilometers. Bandingilo sits in a wooded area in the Equatoria region of South Sudan, near the White Nile River. Due to South Sudan's poverty, this park is one of the least visited in the world. However, it is home to large bird and wildlife populations. In fact, the second-largest annual animal migration on Earth takes place here, involving various species of antelope, including the reedbuck, white-eared kob, and tiang.
Though the game reserves are a must-see while in South Sudan, traveling around much of the country outside of the capital is not recommended due to civil unrest and crime. If visiting, Juba is advised as the least dangerous place to go. Juba is the capital city of South Sudan, positioned right on the White Nile River. The town is swarming with ex- pats, who support local restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Be extremely cautious, however, because the risk of violent crime is still high.
When to Go
You should plan your trip depending on your weather preferences. Due to its proximity to the equator in the tropics, South Sudan has a mostly tropical climate. The heat is prevalent year-round, usually hitting highs in March and lows in July. South Sudan's capital, Juba, has a mean annual high temperature of 94.1 degrees Fahrenheit (34.5 degrees Celsius), while the average annual low temperature is 70.9 degrees Fahrenheit (21.6 degrees Celsius). The months April through October are mainly rainy for the country; May is the wettest month. On average, South Sudan receives 37.54 inches (953.7 mm) annually. December through February is a dry period.