Exploring Africa: swampland in South Sudan

Let us be honest, South Sudan has very few probabilities to be part of your upcoming trip across Africa due to the civil war in the region, a genuine scourge since the independence on July 9, 2011. This being said, this brand new country remains a natural treasure that is undoubtedly worth being visited in times of peace, and its swamps are a hint of the treasure.

The largest swamps in the whole world

Called “Sudd”, the swamp region of South Sudan is famous for being the biggest one on earth with 130 000 square kilometers of surface area, which is approximately the size of Louisiana. These swamps come from the White Nile, one of the two main affluents of the notorious Egyptian Nile (the other one being the Blue Nile) and are filled up with papyrus and various water plants.

This area is not only a luxuriant flora: both animals and human beings live there. You can find a bunch of crocodiles and hippopotami hidden in the deep mud, as well as more than four hundred species of birds! People also decided to have their villages built in the region, which can seem risky for diverse reasons such as the stability of the ground or the dangerousness of certain animals.

Boats often navigate on these swamps, and building canals was once suggested to help navigation and make it easier, but the operation was given up because it would be a danger for the sustainability of this natural site, without mentioning the fact that villagers would have to leave their lands.

True masterpiece of the nature, the Sudd is located not so far away from another African jewel, the African Great Lakes and Lake Victoria. Provided the region is safe enough, a touristic get away there could be somewhat unforgettable.

Sources: Atlas Obscura, Hachette Livre, département Marabout (2016)

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