As water sources dry up after the seasonal rains, and then again when the seasonal rains return, enormous herds of animals migrate in Boma National Park, South Sudan. It is estimated that the migration is far greater than the famous migration of the Serengeti, where nearly 2,000,000 animals search for grazing. See the map on the home page of this web site to locate Boma National Park and an animated movement of the migration.
Every year the movement takes place at different times depending on the rains.
Elephant herd from the air in Boma National Park. Some of the elephants have been radio collared so that they can be tracked. See the November 2010 issue of National Georgraphic about elephants being radio collared in Boma.
Boma National Park is the largest park or reserve in all of Africa. Many people say Kruger or Ruaha or Virunga are the largest, but no it is Boma at 22,800 square kilometers. Boma National Park is 2,280,000 hectareas (5,631,600 acres) in size. This vast park has virtually no roads or park ranger outposts. Mostly flat it is crossed by many small streams and swamps.
White-eared Kob and Zebra in Boma National Park before the civil war began. Today there are few zebra, but 800,000 to 1 million Kob are estimated in the park.
In South Sudan, as in the Serengeti, the migration takes place all year, it is a slow movement dependant on the grass and the rains. In March/April/May/June the animals are moving from North to South and West to East, from the Sudd flood plains and Bandigalo National Park, back into Boma National Park and Gambela Park in Ethiopia, because the rains will have started. In November/December/January the animals are moving from South to North and East to West as the dry season is well under way and the animals are searching for grass. In November/December/January the white-eared kob will be calving as they migrate north into the Sudd flood plain and west into Bandigalo National Park. The major migrating species involved are: white-eared Kob antelope, Tiang Antelope,and Mongalla Gazelle. Prior to the the war with the north there were huge herds of Zebra, these animals were considerable reduced in number. A 2008 survey estimated that there were 6,850 Elephants in the park and surrounding area adjacent to the park. The Elephants and Zebra also migrate with the water and grass.
In 1982 it was estimated there were about 6000 Giraffe in the Boma Park area, by 2007 it was estimated there were only 404 Giraffe remaining. The armies used the animal to feed their soldiers during the 25 years of war with Khartoum.
Woman of the Suri Tribe living in Boma National Park
The tribal people in the area are the Murle, Anyuah, Suri/Kachipo, Jie and Toposa. There will be many opportunities to visit them and view how they have retained their traditional dress, housing, adornment, tools, religious beliefs.
Major Species of Wildlife in Boma National Park
In 22,800 square kilometer (2,280,000 Hectareas or 5,631,600 acres) Boma National Park the major species are: Elephant, Giraffe, Hippopotamus, Nile Crocodile, White-eared Kob, Tiang, Mongalla Gazelle, Lion, Leopard, Caracal, Serval, Cheetah, Wild Dog, Jackal, Hyaena, Nile Buffalo, Zebra, Topi, Ostrich, Grant’s Gazelle, Roan, Lesser Kudu, Lelwel Hartebeest, Beisa Oryx, Derby’s Eland, Bohor Reedbuck, Warthog, Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey.