South Sudan
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Khatmiyya Mosque

At the base of the Taka Mountains is this spectacular mosque, centre of the Khatmiyya or Khatmiyah  Sufi sect. It's a lovely mudbrick building with a pointed octagonal minaret and a photogenic arcade of columns in the main prayer hall. Non-Muslims are quite welcome to take a peek about. Afterwards have a little scramble around the bizarre peaks of the mountains. It's about 4km southeast of Kassala's centre.

Get there by taxior minibus.

Kassala, Sudan

National Museum

This museum, the best in Sudan, has some breathtaking exhibits. The ground floor covers the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Kerma, Kush and Meroe. There's some stunning royal statues and perfectly preserved 3500-year-old artefacts from Kerma. Upstairs are numerous medieval Christian frescos removed from the ruined churches of Old Dongola and elsewhere. Outside are some temples rescued, Abu Simbel–style, from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. Allow at least 1½ to two hours for a visit.

Khartoum, Sudan


A little south of Abri, for many travellers the wonderfully evocative Egyptian temple of Soleb is the highlight of the journey between Dongola and Wadi Halfa. It was built in the 14th century BC by Amenhotep III, the same pharaoh who gave us Luxor in Egypt, and the design and carvings are similar. It features a sanctuary and a hypostyle hall that consists of massive columns with elaborately carved capitals and splendid relief carvings.

Wawa, Sudan

Hamed El-nil Tomb

Every Friday afternoon you can see an incredible Sufi ritual, where a colourful local troupe of whirling dervishes belonging to the Sufi community stirs up the dust in worship of Allah, at this imposing mausoleum located in a large Islamic cemetery. Things start around 4.30pm (5pm in winter), but it doesn't really get going until about 5.30pm and they don't dance during Ramadan. If you're used to the dour colours of Arabian Islam, you'll find the circus-like atmosphere here refreshingly colourful and laid-back – don't miss it!

Khartoum, Sudan

Meroe Pyramids

Seemingly lost under the folds of giant apricot-coloured dunes, this ancient royal cemetery, with its clusters of narrow pyramids blanketing the sand-swept hills, is one of the most spectacular sights in eastern Africa. The pyramids range from six metres to 30 metres high and were built in the Nubian style, which is characterised by narrow bases and steep slopes. Like the pyramids of ancient Egypt, the Meroe structures served as tombs for kings and queens.

In total there are around 100 pyramids in various states of repair (some have been decapitated), divided in two main groups that are separated by several hundred metres of sandy desert. 

Meroe, Sudan


Nimule is located in Magwi County, Eastern Equatoria State, South Sudan, immediately north of the International border with the Republic of Uganda. This location lies approximately 197 kilometres (122 mi), by road, southeast of Juba, the capital of South Sudan and the largest city in that country. This location lies approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi), by road, north of Gulu, Uganda, the nearest large city. The coordinates of Nimule are:3°35'46.0"N, 32°03'49.0"E (Latitude:3.596111; Longitude:32.063611).

The population of Nimule was estimated at about 45,000 in 2006.

To date there are no hotels that we would recommend in Nimule.

Nimule, South Sudan


Bentiu is located in Rubkona County, Unity State, in northern South Sudan, near the International border with the Republic of Sudan. This location lies approximately 654 kilometres (406 mi), by road, northwest of Juba, the capital and largest city in the country. Bentiu sits on the southern bank of the Bahr al-Ghazal River, that separates it from the town of Rubkona, which sits on the river's northern bank. The two towns are joined by the El Salaam Bridge that spans the river. This bridge was bombed and partially damaged by Sudanese MiG 29 bomber airplanes on April 23, 2012, along with a market in Bentiu.

As of 2006, the population of Bentiu was estimated at about 9,700.

The town is the administrative, political and commercial center of Unity State in South Sudan. The State Governor maintains the headquarters of the state in the town. However the County Headquarters for Rubkona County, in which Bentiu is located are situated in the town of Rubkona, across the river.

During the South Sudanese conflict that began in December 2013, the national government lost control of the town to a commander loyal to Riek Machar, although Machar denied this. Violence in the area continued, and on 17 January 2014 a UN official was quoted as saying that the town “simply did not exist anymore”, and that “it was completely burnt down”. In April 2014, hundreds of Bentiu civilians were massacred by the “Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition Army” led by former vice president Riek Machar.

Unity State is the location of some of the largest oil deposits in South Sudan. The Heglig Oilfield to the north of Bentiu, straddles the border between Sudan and South Sudan. The Greater Nile Oil Pipeline, begins in Unity Oil Field in Unity State and extends north into the Republic of Sudan, to the refinery at Port Sudan, on the Red Sea.Another oilfield sits near the township of Tarjath, about 60 km (35 miles) to the south of the town. A lot of petroleum related activity goes on in and around Bentiu.

Kenya Commercial Bank (South Sudan) maintains a branch in Bentiu

After the destruction during the Second Sudanese Civil War, infrastructure in and around Bentiu is now being rebuilt. 

Bentiu, South Sudan


It is located in Akobo County, Jonglei State, in the northeastern part of South Sudan, near the International border with Ethiopia. Its location lies approximately 450 kilometres (280 mi), by road, northeast of Juba, the capital and largest city in the country

Anywaa Kingdom Sub Tribes

Anywaa country is divided into eleven (11) sub tribes as follows:-

Ciro, Adongo, part of Ternam; Ojwaa and part of Nyikaani, are Sudanese Anywae (Anyuak), whereas, Openo, Lul, Joor, part of Thim, Rwanye, Piny-Udo and part of Nyikaani are Ethiopian Anywaae. Ciro Anywae Ciro Anywaa Sub Tribe, are inhabitants of Akobo Land. Dikony, Agwei and Dikon rivers give water to Akobo land which is the County of today. Akobo District was the first District to be recognized by the British Colonial rulers as the seat to administer Ciro Anyuak affairs and to oversee the Lou Nuer at Waat beyond Dwa-Achan. Akobo was established as a post in 1911 at the site known today as Akobo Gedim at the confluence of Dikony [Pibor] and River Akobo. Due to floods the town was moved to Agii on the other side of Dikony west of old Akobo in 1912. The Anywaa then occupied both sides of the Dikony from Wanga-Ading to Burmath just at the confluence with Agwei. From there the Dikony becomes Keng flowing from the Murle country.

The British did not make Akobo a strong post for their administrative convenience only but mainly to protect the Nuer from being slaughtered by the Anyuak. It was not possible to stop the raids while the British stayed at Malakal. The Anywaa of Ciro, including the Adongo people under King Akway Wa Cham, raided the Nuer for cattle, women and children which they brought back from Padoi and the country beyond near the Zaraf River.

As the British permanently settled at Akobo, borders were demarcated between Lou and Akobo at Dwa-Achan and Wanga-Ading; and between Murle and Anywaa at Biem. These borders are known as the 1956 borders recognized by the Sudan governments after the British left. Thus the Anywaa were administered with iron fist for taxation and free labor to clear the roads and scrutiny to protect the Nuer. The Arabs adopted the same policy of hard scrutiny of the Anywaa until the CPA was signed. At this time it is the Nuer showing the iron fist.

Akobo was a place of joyful life until the early 1960s. From this time line on, the Anywaa entered a gloomy period to the present day. This time line also marks the influx of the Lou Nuer migration and accelerated aggression.

As of July 2011, the population of Akobo, the town, is approximately 1,000. 

Akobo, South Sudan


Malakal is the capital of Upper Nile State, South Sudan . It also serves as the headquarters of Malakal County, in which it is located.

During the Second Sudanese Civil War, the town was a garrison town of the Khartoum-based Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). Following South Sudan's independence on 9 July 2011, the troops from the Republic of Sudan have retreated from Malakal. Malakal was the site of the November 2006 Battle of Malakal.

Beginning in 2013, Malakal has been the site of numerous battles between government SPLA forces and the Nuer White Army, loosely commanded by the SPLM-IO which is headed by Riek Machar. The city has been overrun on various occasions by both sides.

A major road linking Malakal with the town of Kurmuk at the border with Ethiopia is under repairs and renovations to asphalt surface. The road is expected to be ready for commissioning by May 2013. The city of Malakal is also served by Malakal International Airport, one of the two International airports in South Sudan, the other being Juba International Airport. Water traffic on the White Nile River can travel as far north as Khartoum in the Republic of Sudan, and as far south as Adok in Lakes State.

As of 2005 the population of Malakal was estimated at about 129,620. The 2008 Sudanese census, which was boycotted by the South Sudanese government, recorded a population of about 126,500. However, those results are disputed by the authorities in Juba. In 2010, it was estimated that the population of Malakal had grown to about 139,450

Malakal, South Sudan


Yei is a medium-sized city in South Sudan's southwest. It lies close to the borders of two of the country's trading partners,Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is a business hub, attracting traders and customers from all three countries. Ivory Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank maintain a branches in the city. Yei is served by Yei Airport.

The city of Yei is located in Yei County, Central Equatoria State, in southwestern South Sudan, close to the international borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Uganda. It is approximately 170 kilometres (110 mi), by road, southwest of Juba, the capital and largest city in South Sudan. The geographic coordinates of the city of Yei are: 4° 6' 0.00"N, 30° 40' 12.00"E (Latitude: 4.1000; Longitude: 30.6700).

The name Yei was given to the location where the current city stands by (traditional chiefs of Kakwa- Chief Gbongale Dada Southern Kakwa, Chief Banja Aligo- Central Kakwa people;; Chief Tombura Tumbura Eastern Kakwa people; Chief Baraba Minde- Western Kakwa people; Pojulu -Chief Ramadala Lomodo for Dimo Pojulu area; Chief Lungaju Ladu for Terepe, Pojulu people; Chief Kundu Lokule for Lokurubang Pojulu people; Mundu- Chief Mungwa for Mundu people; Makaraka- Chief Muktar for Makaraka people; Keliko - Chief Aluma Aligo for Keliko people; Avokaya - Chief Gada for Avokaya people and Baka- Chief Waraga Igbeke for Baka people. But not three traditional chiefs, from the mentioned communitiesPojulu, Gimunu and Azande ethnic groups. This very area was named so because it used to be a center for collection of food products which were contributed in form of taxes by the chiefs from all over the territory farmers for facilitation of administrative services in the district. People used to carry these collected food products from a long distances to take them to the main administrative center called 'Laliok' in current Lainya County. The Purspose of changing the district center from Laliok to Yei Town was due to lack of adequate water sources in Lainya County. The same chiefs also conferred the name to the river that flows through the area and is now called River Yei. The Kakwa ethnic group exists in the current three Countries namely Uganda, South Sudan and DRC. They were broken into these three countries by the colonial rulers interests. But they continue to co-exist because of cultural and traditional relationships. This coexistence is known as " Salia Musala" which means Tripartite relationship. The Kakwa lived in co-eexistance with other smaller ethnicities without conflicts until politicians got into games of divide and rule. It was because of instigators which caused the people from different ethnicities in Yei to rival from time to time. In 1917, British missionaries built a small medical clinic on the northern bank of River Yei and established elementary schools as well as the government head offices. That is how the town was born. After the end of the first civil (1955-1972), many people returned from exile back to Yei town. People coming from diaspora had different experiences and different world views. They started to implement what they collected from East Africa, particularly from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and also from Europe. The Yei people's behavior portrayed that of very civilized, social and religious persons. Very hard working and creative ethnic group of people developed in what became Greater Yei District. Most Yei people improved their subsistence agricultural farms and moved to cash crop farming. Coffee and Tea leaves were produced here and sold to the Arab world. Arab traders bring cars for sale in Yei, Kaya, Aboroto, and Baazi. This made business people and expatriates who likes Yei weather and its forests to call the zone as "Small London"

Before the onset of the Second Sudanese Civil War (1983 - 2005), Yei was a thriving urban, commercial center. Due to its location, at the borders of Uganda and DRC, the city handled a lot of commerce between the three neighboring countries. At that time, it attracted visitors, from as far away as Juba, about 170 kilometres (110 mi), by road, to the north of Yei. Civil servants and other Juba residents would flock to Yei on weekends to participate in the exchange of goods and services offered in the many bars, shops andhotels. Yei became known as Small London because of its cosmopolitan nature.

Yei was captured by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) on 10 March 1997. It remained in SPLA control until the end of the civil war. Following its capture in 1997, the SPLA fortified and turned Yei into a garrison town.

The presence of large numbers of SPLA in town attracted air raids and shelling from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF). The population fled and the SPLA brought in more troops, who started families and started to grow the population of the city again. As the city became safer, later during the civil war, South Sudanese displacesd from other parts of the country, particularly from the Bahr el Ghazal Region, began flocking to Yei for safety, and later for humanitarian assistance (food, medicine and housing).

Following the cessation of major hostilities and the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, South Sudanese who had fled to Uganda and DRC began to return, and many chose Yei as their entry point. Due to the relative safety in the city, and the ready availability of International humanitarian aid, many of the returnees from other South Sudanese states chose to stay in Yei, instead of proceeding to their respective states of origin. This has created tension between the returnees who are native to Yei on one hand, and the IDPs who are native to other areas in South Sudan on the other. Local authorities and international aid partners are still grappling with finding acceptable, equitable and permanent solutions to the land claims and counter-claims and the resulting wrangles. And more returnees were coming in 2011

The area around Yei receives adequate rainfall year-round, which allows for the cultivation of food and cash crops as well as the raising of domestic livestock. Coffee andcassava are some of the crops grown locally. Lush farmlands cover the landscape on the city outskirts. Three commercial banks maintain branches in the city: Equity Bank (South Sudan), Ivory Bank, and Kenya Commercial Bank (South Sudan).

The road network to neighbouring cities and towns is actively undergoing repairs. For example, the road between Yei and Kaya, on the Ugandan border, has been repaired. It was financed by HABITAT and WFP. With the improvements the travel time to Kaya was reduced from five hours to one. Yei is also served by Yei Airport. The civil war decimated the city's infrastructure. 

Yei, South Sudan