South Sudan: 12 Surprising Facts You May Not Know

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With large swamps and the tallest people, this eastern African nation is the newest country in the world, recognized in 2011.

You might have come across some unpleasant news about South Sudan. But what the media need to publicize is the beauty of this African country residing along the longest river, the Nile.

Continue reading to know interesting facts about South Sudan that you might have missed!

1. South Sudan Is the Youngest Country In The World

On 9th July 2011, South Sudan declared itself an independent state from its mother country after decades of civil war. The sacrifice of millions of citizens for a sovereign state plagued the country’s foundation, leaving it hollow.

Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo border this landlocked country. It entered the United Nations as the 193rd member that year.

2. The First Boy Of South Sudan Was Named Independent

After South Sudan gained independence, a boy was born in this newly liberated country. People named him Independent.

While the masses were dancing and celebrating, Independent’s mother gave birth to him in the capital city of free South Sudan.

3. South Sudan Is A Country Diverse In Culture

South Sudan is a country that amalgamates the cultures and traditions of various ethnic groups with languages exclusive to them. It is one of the most linguistically diverse nations, with English as its official language.

The Dinka tribe is the dominant group among other ethnicities of Nuer, Bari, Shilluk, and Zande, to name a few.

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The Zande tribe are artisans, and you can find various cultural handicrafts on your visit to the market. Tattooing and face scarring are rituals followed by the Nuba tribe.

4. The More The Livestock, the Wealthier Are South Sudanese

The people of South Sudan depend majorly on livestock raising and agriculture for their livelihood. More than half of the population lives in rural areas and survives on subsistence farming in the country.

The wealth or stature of a person is measured by the livestock he owns. The more cattle he has, the richer he will be in society.

5. South Sudan Is Known For Having The Tallest People In The World

The largest ethnic group of South Sudan, the Dinka tribe, has the tallest people in Africa.

Do you know Manute Bol? He was the tallest NBA player from the Dinka tribe.

You will be amazed to see the sturdy, tall, and beautiful black-skinned people of South Sudan and how welcoming they are despite all the struggles they have been through.

6. This African Country Is Home To Many National Parks

South Sudan has six national parks and more than ten game reserves with flourishing African wildlife. Boma National Park witnesses one of the largest mammal migrations, with various species of antelopes. Giraffes, elephants, and African lions are among other fauna found in these parks.

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Lantoto National Park, Nimule National Park, Shambe National Park, Southern National Park, and Bandingilo National Park are the other five conservation areas.

A safari ride to these reserves with let you experience the wilderness of the country.

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7. Decades Of Civil War Have Disturbed The Country Economically

Despite being rich in natural resources, the decades-long civil war has caused the economy to be disrupted. In 2005, the country finally signed a peace treaty with its mother country, but by then, it had already hit bottom.

Another reason for the failing economy is the corruption that prevails in the country. South Sudan is the most corrupt country in the world after Brunei.

8. Communal Eating Is A Prevalent Tradition In South Sudan

Sudanese people believe in living in close ties with their families and relatives. Buro is the communal food-sharing tradition passed on from elders to their younger generation.

Buro is practiced to date by several tribes in South Sudan, where all the family members eat together from a common pot.

Maybe this is why the traditions and bonds of the community are still intact!

9. Petroleum Is The Backbone Of South Sudan’s Economy

Endowed with rich mineral deposits, South Sudan’s economy thrives on crude oil, its major export. The oil reserves bring about 90% of the revenue to the country.

Marble, Uranium, Zinc, and Copper are other minerals found in this African country.

10. Visit Wau In South Sudan For A Multicultural Experience

Do you want a taste of the markets, colonial architecture, and the local tribes of South Sudan, all in one place?

Plan a trip to the city of Wau when you are in South Sudan to experience the South Sudanese culture at its best. There is plenty to explore, from cathedrals made during European colonization to marketplaces with stuff from the woods of Africa.

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This place, populated with large tribal groups, will give you a glimpse of the country.

11. The President Has A Unique Fashion Statement

Have you seen Salva Kiir Mayardit and his cowboy hat? The president of South Sudan has an iconic fashion sense where he always wears a hat.


The story behind this style statement is that it is a tribute to Geoge W. Bush as he gifted him the Stetson Hat. Geoge Bush played a pivotal role in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan.

12. Hike To The Highest Point Or Canoe On The Largest Marshlands

You can trek to Mount Kinyeti, the highest point in South Sudan. The breathtaking forests and animal kingdom views will make you feel lively.

The Nile river flows through the country, forming the largest swamp Sudd. You can enjoy canoeing along it while watching hippos swim.


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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