Greater Upper Nile Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, and local culture of Greater Upper Nile with our comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Greater Upper Nile

Located in South Sudan, Greater Upper Nile is a region known for its vast oil reserves, diverse cultures, and natural beauty. This travel guide will help you explore the various destinations and activities that this region has to offer.

List of Places to Visit in Greater Upper Nile

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

If you are a history buff or love exploring museums, then Greater Upper Nile has a rich cultural heritage to offer. Some of the must-visit museums and historical sites are:

  • The Juba National Museum: This museum showcases the various cultures and traditions of South Sudan.
  • The Malakal Museum: This museum preserves the history and traditions of the Shilluk Kingdom.
  • The Nasir Palace: This historical site is the former residence of the Sultan of Funj and has a rich history.

Natural Attractions of Greater Upper Nile: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Greater Upper Nile also has several natural attractions that offer stunning scenery and exciting outdoor activities. Some of these attractions are:

  • The Sudd Swamps: One of the largest wetlands in the world, the Sudd Swamps are home to several bird and wildlife species.
  • The Boma National Park: This park is a wildlife lover’s paradise and is home to diverse species of animals and birds.
  • The White Nile: For adventurous travelers, the White Nile offers thrilling rafting experiences.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Greater Upper Nile

The natural terrain of Greater Upper Nile makes it an ideal destination for hiking and biking enthusiasts. Some of the popular routes for hiking and biking are:

  • The Tonga Hills: These hills offer scenic views and challenging trails for advanced hikers.
  • The Rift Valley Trail: This trail runs through the lush green vegetation of the Nile and offers a unique biking experience.

Best Things to Do in Greater Upper Nile: Activities and Tours

Apart from the cultural and natural attractions, Greater Upper Nile offers many activities and tours that are worth experiencing. Some of the best things to do in Greater Upper Nile are:

  • Boat ride on the White Nile: This offers a unique perspective of the river and surrounding wildlife.
  • Visit the local markets: This is the perfect opportunity to interact with locals and buy unique souvenirs.
  • Attend a local festival: Several festivals take place throughout the year, which offers a chance to experience the local culture and traditions.

Week-Long Itinerary for Greater Upper Nile

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a week-long trip to Greater Upper Nile:

Day Activity
1 Visit the Juba National Museum
2 Explore the Malakal Museum
3 Rafting in the White Nile
4 Hike the Tonga Hills
5 Tour the Boma National Park
6 Attend a local festival
7 Relax and unwind by the Sudd Swamps

Food and Drink Scene of Greater Upper Nile

Must-Try Dishes

South Sudanese cuisine is a mix of African and Arab influences, and some of the must-try dishes in Greater Upper Nile are:

  • Kisra: A staple food made from sorghum flour.
  • Bamia: A stew made with okra.
  • Shai: A sweet tea with a unique blend of spices.

Local Beverages

For those who love to have a drink, there are several local beverages to try in Greater Upper Nile, such as:

  • Marisa: A fermented drink made from sorghum.
  • Poyo: A non-alcoholic drink made from palm tree sap.

Where to Stay in Greater Upper Nile: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Greater Upper Nile offers several options for accommodation, ranging from budget hostels to luxurious hotels. Some of the best options for accommodation are:

  • Juba Grand Hotel: Located in the capital city of Juba, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, good service, and a central location.
  • Maduru Eco Lodge: This lodge is perfect for those looking for an eco-friendly, off-the-grid experience in the wild.
  • Malek Lodge: Located in the Boma National Park, Malek Lodge offers scenic views and excellent service.

What to Buy in Greater Upper Nile: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Some of the best souvenirs and local products to buy in Greater Upper Nile are:

  • Basketry and Weaving: The region is known for its excellent craftsmanship in basketry and weaving.
  • Leather Products: There are several local shops that sell leather products such as bags, wallets, and belts.
  • Wooden Handicrafts: Handmade wooden carvings and figurines make for great souvenirs.

Local Culture and Customs of Greater Upper Nile

South Sudanese culture is a mix of several ethnic groups and is deeply rooted in family values and traditions. Some customs and practices to be aware of as a visitor are:

  • It is customary to remove shoes when entering someone’s home.
  • It is important to respect elders and authority figures.
  • Dress modestly when visiting religious or cultural sites.

Best Time to Visit Greater Upper Nile

The dry season from December to May is the best time to visit Greater Upper Nile. The wet season from June to November can be challenging due to roads and activities being inaccessible.

Do’s and Don’ts of Greater Upper Nile


  • Respect the local customs and traditions.
  • Bargain at local markets.
  • Be respectful and courteous to locals.


  • Take photographs of locals without their permission.
  • Show public displays of affection.
  • Drink alcohol in public places.

Safety and Health

Safety in Greater Upper Nile

South Sudan is known for its civil unrest and security concerns. It is advisable to check current travel advisories before visiting Greater Upper Nile or its nearby areas.

Health in Greater Upper Nile

Malaria and other tropical diseases are prevalent in Greater Upper Nile. It is advisable to have a consultation with a travel doctor before visiting or taking malaria prophylaxis.

Getting to Greater Upper Nile: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Greater Upper Nile

  • Juba International Airport: This airport is the main gateway to Greater Upper Nile and is well-connected to major African cities.
  • Malakal Airport: This airport serves the eastern region of Upper Nile state.

Bus Stations Near Greater Upper Nile

  • Juba Bus Station: This is the central bus station in Juba and offers routes to different destinations in Sudan.

Other Options

  • Private Cars: Hiring private cars is a good option for tourists to move around and visit different attractions.

How to Get Around in Greater Upper Nile

Private cars, shared taxis, and buses are the most convenient options to move around Greater Upper Nile. It is advisable to only use licensed taxis.

Where to Go Next from Greater Upper Nile: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Some of the nearby destinations and excursions from Greater Upper Nile are:

  • Yei: A town on the southwestern part of South Sudan, known for its natural beauty and waterfalls.
  • Nimule National Park: Located in the southern part of South Sudan, this park is a known habitat for giraffes and elephants.


Greater Upper Nile is a unique travel destination that has something to offer for everyone, from cultural landmarks to natural beauty, and exciting adventures. With proper planning and precautions, travelers can have a memorable experience of this part of Africa.