Best things to do in South Sudan
Find out more about those top places in South Sudan
Recognized as one of the youngest capitals in Africa – Juba is the capital and largest city of South Sudan and it is located on the White Nile. There is no shortage of attractions and activities to do in Juba – it has a rich blend of old and modern sites worthy of visiting. Some of those sites include the John Garang Mausoleum, White Nile and Nyakuron Cultural Center.
It is advisable to put off visiting Juba for a while as South Sudan is currently experiencing some internal conflicts.
The outstanding mausoleum is the final resting place of Dr. John Garang de Mabior the founding father of South Sudan. He was a chief protagonist in the fight for South Sudan’s Independence, leading the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLR) from 1983 up to 2005, when the peace accords leading to the country’s independence was signed. He died shortly after but the mausoleum was set up in his honor, the actual grave is locked behind a gate and heavy guarded - the mausoleum remains a key location for the city often being a venue for various public events.
Undoubtedly the most important natural attraction South Sudan has to offer is the White Nile - it is one of the two main tributaries of the River Nile, with the other being the Blue Nile. The river which gets its name from its coloration caused by the clay it carries, spreads across several countries including Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania and Sudan and has a length of over 3,700 kilometers. The White Nile true source wasn't discovered until 1937 when it was traced by German explorer Burkhart Waldecker who followed it to a stream at the base of Mount Kikizi in Burundi.
Also, referred to as the Juba Nile Bridge, it is the only bridge that goes across the Nile in all of South Sudan, pending the completion of the New Freedom Bridge. The Juba Bridge with 252 meters long was constructed during the General Gaafa Al-Nimery regime in 1972 from two World War II bridges. Having gone through some damage, the bridge was restored extensively in 2011 – it is an important route for the importation of valuable goods from neighboring countries.
The South Sudanese culture is very much diverse and the best place to get a taste of it in Juba is at the Nyakuron Cultural Center. Built in 1976 it is a vast complex that contains an outdoor stage, a night club, an auditorium and large gardens - its primary attraction however is it cultural performances and festivals.
Visible from most parts of the city, the Jebel Kujur is a mountain that rises to 684 meters above sea level. Originally named Korok, the mountain’s name was changed to Kujur which means witchcraft in Arabic due to the claims that it was a popular spot for ritual practices. It is a good spot for outdoor enthusiasts but most especially mountain climbers.