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Republic of South Sudan

Red-throated Bee-eater Merops bulocki ©Nigel Blake Website

South Sudan is situated in northern Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. It is dominated by the River Nile and its tributaries. The terrain is generally flat plains, broken by several mountain ranges; the highest mountain is Mount Kinyeti Imatong, near the border with Uganda.

The amount of rainfall increases towards the south where there are swamps and rain forest. Sudan’s rainy season lasts for up to six months (June to November) in the south.

The dry regions are plagued by sand storms, known as haboob, which can completely block out the sun. In the northern and western semi-desert areas, people rely on the scant rainfall for basic agriculture and many are nomadic, traveling with their herds of sheep and camels. Nearer the River Nile, there are well-irrigated farms growing cash crops.

Rich mineral resources are available in South Sudan including: petroleum, natural gas, gold, silver, chromite, asbestos, manganese, gypsum, mica, zinc, iron, lead, uranium, copper, kaolin, cobalt, granite, nickel and tin.

There is concern over soil erosion. Agricultural expansion, both public and private, has proceeded without conservation measures. The consequences have manifested themselves in the form of deforestation, soil desiccation, and the lowering of soil fertility and the water table.

The nation's wildlife is threatened by hunting. As of 2001, twenty-one mammal species and nine bird species are endangered, as well as two types of plants. Endangered species include: the waldrapp, northern white rhinoceros, tora hartebeest and the slender-horned gazelle. In May 2007, it was announced that hundreds of wild elephants had been located on a previously unknown, treeless island in the Sudd swampland region of southern Sudan. The exact location being kept secret to protect the animals from poachers.

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 1022

(Includes North Sudan too)


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Useful Reading

Birds of the Sudan: Their identification and distribution

by Francis Oswin Cave - Hardcover - Oliver & Boyd 1955

Field Guide to Birds of East Africa Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi

Terry Stevenson and John Fanshawe Series: HELM FIELD GUIDES 604 pages, 287 col plates, distrib maps. Christopher Helm

ISBN: 0713673478

Buy this book from NHBS.com


African Bird Club


There is plenty to attract the keen birdwatcher to Sudan were it not for major concerns over safety. One can only hope that the situation improves sufficiently to allow greater travel in this country. Sudan is not a country where you will see the huge range of species on offer in East Africa but the Nile which flows through the capital Khartoum is a major migration corridor and birdwatching in this area will provide a good range of species and some surprises…


Abbreviations Key

Boma National Park


Satellite View

Boma National Park (2,280,000 ha) was established in 1977 but has not been gazetted….



The enormous range of latitudes supports portions of 6 biomes: Saharan-Sindian in the north; Sahel; much of the south is within Sudan-Guinea Savanna; Guinea-Congo Forests in the south-west; Somali-Masai in the south-east; the southern mountains lie within the Afrotropical Highlands biome. Inland wetlands dominated by the Sudd are significant for large numbers of waterbirds and some of Sudan’s Red Sea islands support breeding colonies of seabirds…

Sudd Wetland & Southern National Park


Satellite View

he Sudd stretches from Mongalla to just outside the Sobat confluence with the White Nile just upstream of Malakal as well as westwards along the Bahr el Ghazal. The shallow and flat inland delta lays between 5.5 and 9.5 degrees latitude North and covers an area of 500 km south to north and 200 km east to west between Mongalla in the south and Malakal in the north…

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