South Sudan: Ethnographic Expedition

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Trip Duration Days - 17 Days

South Sudan: Ethnographic Expedition

Price Starts from € 0

Expedition to 3 isolated regions of South Sudan. First we will explore the floodplains of Bandingilo where herds of antelopes still cross, it is the most untamed Africa ... We will continue to the remote Ddinga mountains to meet animistic mountain villages. Finally we will enter the last tribal frontier of South Sudan, Mount Natinga, refuge of the nomadic Tid people, of which very little is known to this day. We will move in 4x4 vehicles and we will camp in comfortable canvas tents with mats. A unique opportunity to discover a fading Africa...
20 February 2022 - 8 March 2022

Duration: 17 days - 15 nights


Guide: Joan Riera, anthropoplogist specializing on South Sudan tribes

Group of 10 travellers.

The price includes:
All transfers
- Specialist anthropologist guide
- Lodging as specified in the itinerary
- Meals as specified in the itinerary
- 2 bottles of mineral water of 1,5 litres per person and day
- Entrance fees in the places described in the itinerary (muesums, natural parks, villages)
- Basic travel insurance

Price does not include:
- International flights and its fees
- Meals not specified and beverages in the meals
- Visa + its management (Must managed 3 months in advance. The agency will help)
- Cancellation fees
- PCR test

Day 1 (Sunday February 20th) : EUROPE/WORLD - JUBA

International flight to South Sudan. Night flight

Arrival in Juba. Airport procedures and lunch. We will continue to a Mundari cattle camp, an eth- nic group influenced by the Dinkas (Nilotic) and who live along the White Nile River. The Mundari are characterized by their intimate relationship with the cattle that they pamper as if they were dear relatives. We will spend the afternoon and morning (times of most activity in the camps) to enjoy a unique show in Africa. Lodging in tents (HB, dinner)

Before dawn we will wake up and go to the center of the camp where cows, bulls, sheep and humans still sleep. We will have the privilege of seeing the awakening of a unique world that will soon disappear due to the collateral effects of Globalization. Photo session between cattle and Mundari ... after this, we will have breakfast and at the indicated time we will go to Juba to continue to the old colonial capital of Equatoria, Torit. Stops en route. Arrival and lodging in Torit Hotel (FB)

Day 4: TORIT – LAFON (3h)
Breakfast and route to one of the most unknown tribal areas in South Sudan. This is the ‘Lafon country’ tribe of Ugandan origin that found refuge in the floodplains of Bandingilo some 300 years ago. The Lafon have built labyrinthine villages for defensive purposes and live from tradi- tional hunting, fishing, gathering wild fruits and subsistence agriculture. We will greet the head of the village and settle in to enjoy some intense days in the wildest and most authentic Africa. Lodging in tents (FB)

Day 5: LAFON
Breakfast. Whole day to spend with the Lafon. In the morning we will go hunting (if they allow us) in the plains of Bandingilo (theoretically protected area). We will also accompany the Lafon women during fishing in the streams and ponds near the town. In the afternoon we will meet with the council of elders who will organize traditional dances to see the traditional clothing of this ancient warrior people. Lodging in tents (FB)

Day 6: LAFON – LOTUKO (2h)
Breakfast. farewell to the Lafon people and route to the Lopit Mountains to meet another ethnic group culturally different from the Lafon despite being neighbors and sharing in part the same style of economy. The Lotuko prefer to live close to the mountains. We will walk to one of the small mountain kingdoms and spend the night there to learn about the Lotuko way of life. Lodging in tents (FB)

Breakfast. Farewell to the Lotuko kingdom and route east to explore the most important moun- tain range in South Sudan after Kinyeti. Here we will look for the Didinga, a traditional mountain tribe that resists modernity, living in mobile villages high up in the mountains. We will start the trek from Faraksika, crossing a river and walking to the first traditional Didinga settlement of the massif. Lodging in tents (FB)

Breakfast. Trekking day through the Didinga Mountains to reach remote Didingas villages and learn about the mountain lifestyle of this last 100% animist tribe. Lodging in tents (FB)


Breakfast. Farewell to the Didinga and route to the capital of East Ecuatoria. The city is revealed to us as a sea of tin shacks and a great dusty avenue that divides the central market from the administrative area with buildings from the British era (1916-1956) and the era of Muslim rule (1956-2005). Walk through the market where we can see people from the Toposa tribe and other regional ethnic groups. Lodging in Hotel Kuleu (FB)

Breakfast. Route to one of the last wild places in Africa. The border between South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda. There we will look for the Tid tribe (not much is known about them). Related to the Ugandan Teuso (Kidepo), the Tids are the last hunters-gatherers in South Sudan. Trekking to the most isolated villages of Mount Natinga. Lodging in tents (FB)

Breakfast. Full day to explore this remote forested mountain and habitat of the Tid. We will spend time with the tribe learning about their unique way of life. Lodging in tents (FB)

Breakfast. Farewell to this wild world and route to Kapoeta for a shower and cold drink. Kapoeta will seem like a great modern city compared to the world we leave behind. Free afternoon. Lo- dging in Hotel Kuleu (FB)

Day 13: KAPOETA – LARIM (3h)
Breakfast. Route to the Boya Mountains to meet the Larim people, of the Murle-Surma group. Originally from Ethiopia they settled in these granite mountains to protect themselves from Nilotic (mole) invasions. The Larim stand out for being great artisans: engraved gourds, pipes, head rests and, above all, their spectacular decorated houses. Lodging in tents (FB)

Day 14: LARIM - TORIT (4h)
Breakfast and last activities with the Larim. Visit more remote villages and chat with the local people. At the indicated time we will move to Torit. Lodging in Torit Hotel (FB)

Day 15: TORIT – JUBA (5h)
Breakfast. Route to Juba. PCR test. Visit to Konyo Market, Murle Refugee Camp (if we get permis- sion). Farewell dinner. Lodging in Hotel Royal Palace or similar. (HB, lunch)

Day 16 (Monday, Mach 7th): JUBA – FLIGHT BACK HOME

Breakfast. Last visits to the colonial center and shopping. At the indicated time, transfer to the airport for an international flight home. (B&B)

Day 17 (Tuesday, March 8th): ARRIVAL AT HOME



South Sudan Visa
A valid passport and a visa are required for travel to South Sudan. Applications for visas can be made in advance in the travelers’ home country or in the nearest South Sudan Embassy: London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Rome, Oslo, Geneva, Moscow, Washington, New York, Tel Aviv, Ankara, Beijing, New Delhi, and Pretoria. There is also the possibility of obtaining the Visa upon arrival.  Last Places assists all travelers that need any type of help applying for the visa upon arrival or at the embassy. We recommend that passports be valid for six months from date of arrival.

Vaccines and Travel Health in South Sudan
A valid yellow fever vaccination certificate is essential for entry to South Sudan. Malaria is prevalent in the country. It is wise to take Malaria prophylaxis when travelling through South Sudan. Water supply is unsafe to drink, visitors should drink bottle water. Visitors should also avoid eating unpeeled, unwashed fruit and vegetables. The milk in South Sudan is unpasteurized and should be boiled; alternatively use tinned milk reconstituted with bottle water.

Security in South Sudan
Last Places opened an office in Juba, South Sudan, in 2015 during the conflict between Dinka and Nuer tribes. The area affected by this civil conflict was near the Sudan border, far from the areas we visit. A Peace Agreement has been signed in May 2019 between the Dinka and the Nuer, we hope it lasts long but are also conscious that this part of Africa has never seen complete calmness. We spoke before in this site about the history of what was known as Equatoria, a tribal land where cattle pastoralist tribes have an essential feuding culture. Cattle, water, grazing lands, honour, and tribal affiliation…mixed with petrol and Globalization make almost impossible the state of complete peace. The essence of South Sudan is precisely its ethnographic reality. In Last Places we visit tribal people we have been working with for the last 7 years, that we support (water, food, and cultural revival projects) and that we know they are in conflict with other groups. It also happens in Southern Ethiopia’s touristic Omo Valley, in tourist areas of Northern Uganda and Kenya... it is a social, political, cultural and economic reality of Africa’s pastoralist societies. Said all this, Last Places is permanently monitoring the socio-political situation of this nation we are passionate for and we avoid any risks when we organise the trips with clients all around the country. Having an office in Juba and knowing many people in the country facilitates this monitoring and having first hand objective information.

When to go to South Sudan
Travelers can visit South Sudan all year around. Last Places offers trips to South Sudan all year around. Said this, dry season –from mid-November to mid-April - allows the traveller visit all tribal areas while whet season – from June to October- may limit the visit to certain remote regions such as Boma Plateau.

Currency in South Sudan
The unit of currency is the South Sudanese Pound. Visitors should bring enough cash for their needs. Money can be exchanged at currency exchange houses. Newly issued (2013 onwards) 100 note US dollars are changed without any problem. Other than this will be a problem or you will get worse change. Credit cards are only accepted in larger hotels, and cash withdrawals are not possible.

Time in South Sudan
GMT +1

Electricity in South Sudan
In South Sudan the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. You can use your electric appliances in South Sudan, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 - 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa).

Communications in South Sudan
The international dialing code for South Sudan is +211. There are many more mobile telephones than fixed lines and the mobile coverage around Juba and other main centers is much more reliable than fixed lines. Internet access is available at most major hotels in Juba. Also in Mango Camp, Kapoeta (2019).

Language in South Sudan
The official languages of South Sudan are Arabic (known as Juba Arabic) and English. About 60 other African languages are spoken.

Prohibitions in South Sudan
Do not take photographs of government buildings, or use binoculars near them, as this could lead to arrest.

South Sudan is a secular country, however it is a conservative country in many ways. It is recommend for both women and men to wear long trousers. For women it is recommended to wear long sleeved shirts.