In South Sudan, a country located north of the Equator which was born in 2011 as a result of the division of Sudan, the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with a hot, dry winter (which may be considered as the real summer) and a rainy summer, which is a bit less hot than winter but it's more humid.
The country is covered by a plateau, which has an altitude between 400 and 700 meters (1,300 and 2,300 feet) in the center-north and between 700 and 1,000 meters (2,300 and 3,300 feet) in the south.
The predominant vegetation is the savannah, more or less arid depending on area, while in the south-west, there are also forests, and in some areas crossed by rivers, there are wetlands, including the Sudd. The Sudd is largest swamp in the world, and it's situated in the north, along the course of the White Nile River and its tributaries, which are lost in a myriad of lakes, canals, lagoons, which are covered with aquatic plants and inhabited by a large number of species of land animals and birds. The summer rains increase the surface of the flooded areas.

Sudd, a vast marshy area

Other areas rich in biodiversity are the Bandingilo National Park, the Boma National Park and the Southern National Park.
In much of the country, precipitation is around 800/1,100 millimeters (31/40 inches) per year, with a minimum in winter, when it almost never rains, and a maximum in summer, usually in August.
The driest areas are the extreme south-east, on the border with Kenya (where we find the Ilemi triangle, an area disputed with Kenya and Ethiopia) and the extreme north-east, on the border with Sudan; in both areas, rainfall drops below 700 mm (27.5 in) per year.
On the contrary, in the far south-west, near the border with Congo, there's a rainier area, where precipitation reaches 1,500 mm (60 in) per year.
In addition to some isolated mountains in the far east on the border with Ethiopia, which reach 1,700/2,000 meters (5,600/6,500 feet), the only mountain range of some importance are the Imatong Mountains, which are located in the south, near the border with Uganda, and whose highest point is Mount Kinyeti, 3,187 meters (10,456 feet) high. This is the rainiest area in the country, and it's covered with mountain forests. The temperature drops with increasing altitude, and on the summit, it's pretty cold all year round.

During winter, a wind full of dust can blow in the country, especially in the north. Sometimes, it can be very hot during the day, with peaks of 40 °C (104 °F), especially at the lowest altitudes, while in other circumstances, it can get quite cold at night, with peaks about 8/10 °C (46/50 °F).
Between February and April, there is an increase in temperature, before the summer rains: during this period, the temperature can easily reach 40 °C (104 °F), with peaks of 45 °C (113 °F). In the south, where the rains arrive earlier, and especially in the south-west, where the altitude is also higher, this increase in temperature is less pronounced.


Juba, the capital, is located in the south, at about 500 meters (1,600 feet) above sea level. Here are the average temperatures.
Juba - Average temperatures
Min (°C)202224232322212121212120
Max (°C)373838353432313233343536
Min (°F)687275737372707070707068
Max (°F)99100100959390889091939597

Rainfall in Juba amounts to 955 millimeters (38 inches) per year. Between December and February, it almost never rains; it rains more than 100 mm (4 in) per month from Avril to October, and the rainiest month is July with 145 mm (5.7 in). Here is the average precipitation.
Juba - Average precipitation

The sun in Juba regularly shines in the dry season, while in the rainy season, the sunshine hours decrease a little. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.
Juba - Sunshine


As mentioned, in the far south-west, the temperatures are more uniform throughout the year, in particular, the heat is less intense in the period from February to April, also because the rains arrive earlier.
Here are the average temperatures of Yambio, located at 650 meters (2,100 ft) above sea level, in the state of Western Equatoria, a short distance from the border with Congo.
Yambio - Average temperatures
Min (°C)161719191919181818181817
Max (°C)333433313130282830303132
Min (°F)616366666666646464646463
Max (°F)919391888886828286868890

In this area, the rains are abundant, around 1,400 mm (55 in) per year; the rainy season is long, and precipitation exceeds 150 mm (6 in) per month from April to October. Here is the average precipitation.
Yambio - Average precipitation

Best Time

It's hard to find the best time to visit South Sudan, since hot winter in winter is followed by a rainy summer. However, given the risk of flooding in large areas in the period of the summer rains, you can choose the winter, and in particular, the months of December and January. The weather is sunny, but it is hot during the day, while at night, it can sometimes be a bit cold. Between February and April, the heat increases even more, and becomes really intense, except in the south-west and in the mountains.

What to pack

In winter: bring light clothes for the day, loose-fitting and of natural fabric (cotton or linen), a turban for the wind from the desert, a jacket and a sweater for the evening, and comfortable boots.

In summer: bring light clothes, an umbrella or a light raincoat for the rain showers, a light sweater. For the highest areas of the plateau, around a thousand meters (3,300 feet), you can add a light jacket.
It's better for women to avoid shorts and miniskirts.

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