Trekkers are “first organised expedition” to world’s newest country
A group of eight tourists has pioneered an expedition into South Sudan. Led by the global expedition outfitter Secret Compass, the group spent two weeks exploring the Imatong Mountains on the border with Uganda and rafting down the white water rapids of the Nile, south of the new capital Juba. Formerly a rebel stronghold, the mountains have until recently been a haven for gun runners, plagued by mines, but after independence from the north in July last year the scenic area has stabilised.
“South Sudan has become synonymous for violence, but the reality is that it is very localised,” explained Secret Compass founder Tom Bodkin. “Yes, there are issues along the border with the north, especially over oil, and there is regional insecurity because of tribal violence stemming from cattle wars. But there is no specific threat to foreigners and the people are actually very friendly.”
[photo courtesy USAID]