South Sudan is also home to the world's second largest migration of animals and birds.
Following a decades long war that resulted in the destruction of its infrastructure and the death of two million people, South Sudan gained its independence on Saturday 9 July 2011. Massive celebrations were planned.
Badingilo National Park
With large herds of antelope, cheetah, elephants, giraffes, and lions – as well as lots and lots of birds – South Sudan hopes to develop a travel industry based on ecotourism.
As one of the nascent nation's first steps in this direction, it launched Badingilo National Park just four days before independence.
The vast 10,000 square kilometre – or 2,470 square mile – park is part of the largest intact savannah in East Africa. Several other nature preserves dot the East African country.
According to Gurtang Trust, the "hospitality industry in Southern Sudan is “very much basic compared to the standards set within the region”, and hotels in Juba, the nascent nation's capital, are “not for the faint hearted, as South Sudan is engaged in full-scale building and construction of residential as well as visitors’ facilities”.
For intrepid travelers, of course, that will be much of South Sudan's allure. Jaded backpackers tired of “been there, done that” destinations will want to be able to post pictures of themselves on Facebook with something you don't see every day in the background.
And speaking of Facebook, when we last checked, the South Sudan Tourist Board's website was not fully functional. But a South Sudan Tourist Board page has been set up on Facebook. We logged on and showed our support by “liking” the site. We were number 32 . . .
Regarding the site, there is not much there – yet!!! Do your part!!! You could be number 33 or 34!
Show Your Support!
You can show your support for this fledgling nation – and its aspirations as a destination for ecotourism – by clicking on the following link:
For more on Sudan (North and South), scroll down and check out some of the books that Amazon.com has on the subject.
Copyright: Michael Taylor Pictured: national flag of the newly independent Republic of South Sudan Photo Credit: Not needed! This is in the Public Domain!!!