Safari in Nimule National Park, South Sudan

by Sheri_Oz

Still underdeveloped, the safari in Nimule, South Sudan, offers a unique experience for the adventurous tourist looking for a nonconventional tour.

The wild animals are repopulating South Sudan after the warfare of the past 50 years scared them away.

Adjacent to the town of Nimule, near the Ugandan border, you cross the Nile River in a small motorboat to a landing site from which to begin a trek of a few hours into the bush. On foot. There are no roads here.

It was an enchanting day even if the park is still too undeveloped and the guide not knowledgeable. It will only get better - who know: by the time you get there it may already be perfect!

First Animal Sighting - On the Road from Juba to Nimule

We saw this spectacular cat but it was too dark to take a photo so I'm showing you someone else's.
Serval
Serval

Nimule Park: The Smallest and Most Easily Accessible Park in South Sudan

I do not recommend going out of your way to visit Nimule National Park. But if you are either entering or leaving South Sudan by motor vehicle via the border crossing with Uganda at Nimule, then making the time to visit this site may be a worthwhile venture.

This is safari at its most "virginal". The park has no roads and therefore no special tourist vans with removable tops drive there. You walk in the bush with however many people happen to gather at the starting point at the same time, following a guide wearing a camoflage army uniform who seems to know very little about the flora and fauna - but he is carrying a gun "just in case" there may be a need for it.

I thought perhaps that might mean that we might see lions, but there are no lions in this part of Africa.

 

Serval 12" by Leosco

Soft cuddly stuffed Serval - 12 Inches long.

View on Amazon

Location of Nimule, South Sudan

Our Safari Group and the Cost of Everything

I wanted so much to see elephants while in Africa. Dudu, my colleague here with me on a project for IsraAID, and I decided to use a Sunday and drive out to Nimule. We took the car and driver that our organization had hired, but his employment did not cover the trip to Nimule. It cost us $200 for the day.

When we got to the park, we were informed that the safari walk would cost us $70 each but the driver got in at no cost. We were joined by a group of about 8 UN workers from various countries.

We waited about an hour for the motor boat that would carry us across the Nile River to the place at which our safari walk would begin.

Waiting for the Boat to Take Us Across the Nile

Fisherman on the Nile
Fisherman on the Nile
Photograph by: Sheri Oz

Motorboat That Will Carry Us Across the Nile

Our Trusted Motorboat
Our Trusted Motorboat
Photograph by: Sheri Oz

National Geographic Magazines

National Geographic Traveler

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER is a resource for active, curious travelers. It uses storytelling and you-are-there photography. Features focus on domestic and foreign destinations...

View on Amazon

National Geographic Little Kids

An innovative new magazine full of learning and fun for today’s preschoolers and their parents! Bursting with lively photographs, engaging stories, and interactive picture games...

View on Amazon

First Wildlife Sighting at the Park

Hippo in the Nile
Hippo in the Nile
Photographer: Sheri oz

The Nile at Nimule is quiet but flows fast. There were spots that were just magical.

Second Wildlife Sighting

African Jacana
African Jacana
Photographed by: Sheri Oz

Turning a Corner on the Nile

Nile Reflections
Nile Reflections
Photographer: Sheri Oz

Our Guide Looks for Wild Animals

Armed Safari Guide
Armed Safari Guide
Photographed by: Sheri Oz

Our guide walked quickly through the bush. There were many different kinds of plants and birds, but he did not slow down to explain to us any of what we were seeing. It appears that people only come to see the large animals. That is unfortunate because on foot you cannot get far and so there is the unique opportunity to look at what is close at hand. It would have been great were he to explain the different piles of dung to us and show us how to tell how long ago the animals who left them had been there. He could also have explained to us the many tracks that we saw and told stories about the animals, large and small. I suspect that he did not know anything other than to just find and point to the larger animals.

Best Animal Sighting of the Day - The Hippo at 30 Meters

Hippo
Hippo
Photographer: Sheri Oz

Our guide was very excited when we came upon this creature.  At first his backside was facing us. I took photos, but they weren't very nice.

Then he started to turn to the side, promising us a wonderful side view of him in all his glory. And we were so close to him. Apparently we were a bit too close. Suddenly, he noticed us and jumped a few centimeters into the air - all feet off the ground. At that moment, our brave soldier-guide started to take off in the other direction!!!  That is the last thing one should do when spotted by a hippo!!

I managed to get this shot of him as he darted away and deeper into the bush. (To the great relief of our brave guide.)

Other Animals We Saw

No Elelphants or Lions

There were lots of antelope that we saw from far off and some wildebeest.

The best sighting was a warthog that was close to us and at one point in perfect position for a wonderful photograph. Unfortunately, he did not stand still long enough for me to take his picture!

Safari's Over - Walking Back to the Boat

Doddling Back to the Boat on the Nile
Doddling Back to the Boat on the Nile
Photographer: Sheri oz

And Then, Of Course, There are the Tukuls on the Drive Home

I never tire of seeing the tukuls and villages along the way.

Tukul Compound Along the Nimule-Juba Road
Tukul Compound Along the Nimule-Juba Road
Photographer: Sheri Oz

Want to Make a Safari Theme Party?

Jungle Safari Cake Pans
Great selection of products to help you make the best safari themed party ever!

Impressive Safari Photographs

Safari

For thousand of travelers, "safari" means vacation memories of a lifetime. This stunning, 200-page tour brings the reader through the greatest safari regions of Africa. Animals,...

View on Amazon

Give Your Child a Cuddly Little Hippo

miYim Organic Plush Storybook Collection - 11" Andrew the Hippo

MiYim’s Andrew Plush Hippo is a soft and cuddly plush beige hippo made with certified organic and natural cotton.

View on Amazon

Updated: on 05/12/2014, Sheri_Oz
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
3

I Hope You Enjoyed Coming Along with Me On This Short Safari Walk


   Login
Sheri_Oz on 10/23/2012

Thanks, Katie. The funniest thing was how the guard started to take off - it's funny now, but if the hippo had been in a cantankerous mood, he would have charged us all just for the fun of it, probably chasing most earnestly after the guard who left his charges defenseless.
I am very very pleased at the photo I managed to get of him before he lumbered off into the forest.

katiem2 on 10/23/2012

What an amazing picture of the Hippo, WOW those creatures are huge. I once heard, on a nature show, that Hippos are more dangerous than the huge crocs. I think I remember them to be among (if not the most) dangerous creatures on the planet. They do look frightening and yet cute all the same. What an amazing adventure you've had. Much enjoyed reading of your adventures and enjoying the amazing snap shots of the landscape and animals. Great article! :)K

Sheri_Oz on 08/21/2012

I really am disappointed I wasn't able to get that shot of the warthog. That and the hippo have got to be the ugliest things around. And they both run SO FAST!

Dustytoes on 08/21/2012

Sounds like you had a spectacular day of viewing amazing African wildlife. Taking photos of animals is difficult - they never want to cooperate I've found. I have seen a Serval cat at the zoo in Florida - they are so beautiful. I don't know if I would have felt too safe with that guide who would run off and leave you to face a hippo. Great shot of it by the way. At least you weren't running away!



Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...
Error!