National Parks and Reserves in South Sudan
Southern Sudan was one of the best kept wilderness zones of northern Africa until 1983’s civil war. The protected areas in present day south Sudan as a country are home to many endangered species and dry weather species of both flora and fauna. The population of wildlife in this area is regarded as second largest in the world with an important migratory route crossing through the park.
Boma National Park and Southern National Park are only a few of the wildlife zones in South Sudan. The best wildlife zones in South Sudan include the River Nile floodplain, wetlands, high plateau regions, open savannah grasslands and escarpments.
Some of the notable species of mammals in South Sudan include white-eared kob and Nile lechwe, as well as elephants, giraffes, common eland, giant eland, oryx, lions, wild dogs, buffalo, and topi (locally called tiang).
Surveys in the preceding years revealed that Boma National Park, west of the Ethiopian border, as well as the Sudd wetland and Southern National Park near the border with Congo, provided habitat for large populations of kob and topis, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, hartebeests and lions.
South Sudan also has a number of forest reserves that create a lush habitat for forest hog, elephants, monkeys, river hog and bongo among other forest woodland species.
Other national parks and wildlife zones in South Sudan include Bandingilo National Park, Zeraf Wildlife reserve and the Nimule National Park. Nimule Park is famous for its large herd of elephants, baboons, warthogs, waterbuck, bush buck, Hippos, Nile Crocodiles, Uganda Kob, Duiker, Leopard, vervet monkey, hyrax, common jackal, Oribi, and abundant river bird life. The park straddles the Nile River and is right on the border with Uganda.
The best time to travel to South Sudan for game viewing is during the months of October to May occasionally interrupted by storms and heavy rains. April to May is great for game viewing as animals are found near the water pool, holes and near the river banks. The rainy season covers the rest of the months. The roads to parks and reserves such as Boma National Park and Nimule National park are flooded during the heavy rains of June and July.
Travel to the parks is recommended for 4X4 vehicles
Some of the parks in South Sudan have accommodation in temporary tented camps. Such accommodation can be prepared before arrival at the park or reserve. Some parks have designated camping areas with showers, self catering kitchens, well furnished dining areas and also offer adventure tours
Due to increase exploitation of land in South Sudan, wildlife and protected area are under great threat of destruction. Oil exploration is on the rise in southern Sudan region of the White Nile yet more and more people are looking at occupying the regions near the banks of the river.
Land near the river is also demanded for grazing, private hunting grounds, refugee settlement and agriculture to mention a few needs. Road construction and water diversion projects are under way and thus inevitably eat away sections of the protected areas