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Congo

Where incredible biodiversity meets easily accessible beauty

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Nimule

Land

  • Quick Facts:

    Area

    171,600 hectares (663 square miles)

  • Key Landmarks

    1. Nimule National Park
    2. Nile River
    3. Illungwa Mountains
    4. Kayu River

Overview

The Nimule landscape is a small region located on the border of South Sudan and Uganda, with the majority of the landscape lying on the South Sudan side. Here is where you’ll find Nimule National Park, the only place in the country where elephants are easily seen.

This narrow, picturesque park boasts a topography of hills and low-lying areas, which are dissected by seasonal streams and perennial rivers. The Nile River, which marks the eastern boundary of the park, and is an important feature of the beautiful landscape. 

Tags: Uganda, Elephant, South Sudan

Challenges

The park’s buffer zone is being exploited.

The biggest threat to Nimule National Park is human encroachment into its critical buffer zone. The extraction of wood and stone for building materials is degrading the natural environment, while cultivation activities have blocked off essential elephant corridors. Poaching also poses a serious threat — especially to the park’s 150 elephants — as does illegal fishing in the Nile.

Tourism is a ripe, but missed opportunity.

Given the park’s proximity to Juba, and its location on a key road, Nimule National Park is poised to benefit greatly from sustainable, well-managed tourism operations. The beautiful landscape and the ease with which visitors are able to see wildlife underscore this potential, however lack of proper management has prohibited its realization. 

Solutions

Our solutions to safeguard one of South Sudan’s ecological jewels:

  • Designate the park a World Heritage Site.

    The outstanding natural beauty of Nimule National Park, its rich biodiversity and the convenience of its location have earned it a spot on African Wildlife Foundation’s proposed list of sites for World Heritage designation.

    Achieving this status would not only raise awareness about the importance of protecting this critical area, it would also bring much needed financial assistance, technical support and training from the World Heritage Committee. South Sudan is currently working on ratifying the 1972 World Heritage Convention, after which it can begin proposing sites for this invaluable recognition.

  • Establish proper park management.

    At the request of South Sudan’s Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, AWF created a General Management Plan (GMP) that outlines the conservation strategies, management activities and overall operations necessary to maintain the park and to allow its wildlife to thrive.

    The completed GMP articulates the purpose of the park and buffer zone and the exceptional resource values therein. It prescribes actions in the areas of conservation and ecology management; community partnership and livelihood management; park operations, administration and infrastructure management; and tourism management.

    The draft GMP was first presented to the Ministry in July 2014 and received overwhelming support from both the Ministry and stakeholders. It was officially signed by the Ministry in November 2014, becoming South Sudan’s first-ever approved general management plan.

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