Whereas South Sudan is a lovely country, the people are the true highlight of this trip. Beginning in Juba, we will make the journey through the country to isolated rural villages, where we will meet some of the country's various tribes. The Toposa villages, famous for their piercings and scarifications, the journey continues to the home of the Jiye tribe, before passing through Kapoeta territory on the way to meet the Mundari tribe in their livestock camp. A journey based primarily on getting to know people from the world's newest country. In an authentic experience between photography and personal ties, we will be staying next to their camps. Sudan is one of the world's youngest countries, home to the Mundari, Kapoeta, Jiye, and Toposa ethnic groups and tribes, who are among the world's most authentic and untouched ethnic groups and tribes.
It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit this scarcely populated country with professional guides who are intimately familiar with the tribes and their people.
The extraordinary plasticity of the images is what makes this Sudan photo tour a powerful and extraordinary adventure. In the camps we will live the unique experience of capturing mythical photographs of dust lifted by the cattle, sunrise smoke, as everything develops into an almost magical atmosphere. The haze of fire smoke and the dust of the plains provide a one-of-a-kind photographic moments.
While there is a massive cultural gap between us and the tribes we are visiting, they are friendly and welcoming. Curiosity draws the locals, who want to learn everything they can about the visitors.
It's an incredible photographic opportunity to be a part of this Sudan photographic experience. This is a Photography Expedition where we blend photography as well as the everyday experience of being next to an ancestral culture.
The group is small and we are all passionate travelers and photographers.
It's difficult to put into words how wonderful it is to spend time in a Mundari cattle camp. Mundari breeders, who are mainly herders and breeders, have a special bond with their animals. Between sunrise and sunset sessions with these amazing people, we will learn about the daily life of the camp and fell asleep at night listening to the cowbells and the Mundari people singing. It's a magical feeling to be out there.
Cattle are a symbol of their faith as well as their whole reason for being. The Mundaris' history, present, and future are all intertwined with their livestock to the point that men and cows are almost indistinguishable. They have a mutually beneficial friendship. The beasts are more than just a food source (milk, even blood, but not meat), a source of wealth, or a status symbol.
Two weeks after our arrival in the states, we are just now coming down from what was probably one of the best trips of our lives. As professionals in the photography business, we went into this experience open-minded and ready to explore. Harry’s energy and commitment not only matched ours, but exceeded it. You would think that a photographer who has been to a country numerous times would somehow let the cumulative effect of all his knowledge make him a complacent and a “dial it in” kind of leader. Harry was the very opposite. His energy and enthusiasm was infectious. His knowledge and compassion combined with his ability to adapt made our trip incredible. His thirst for humanity and ability to highlight what we would normally walk past, was phenomenal and for two people who are no strangers to the profession of street shooting, we learned and we grew immensely. Harry takes your hand when you want him to, and he will step to the side when you are ready to soar. He is an ally, a confidant and a true teacher.
Ami And Chris Riess (www.riesshill.com Santa Monica, California)
DAY 1.- ARRIVE IN JUBA (February 15)
Arrive by plane in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, the world's youngest country. Obtaining a visa at the airport upon arrival. The guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the Royal Palace hotel. Make travel arrangements (stamp in the passport).
The rest of the day is free for relaxation or exploration.
DAY 2.- JUBA – KAPOETA (February 16)
Transfer to the airport after breakfast in the morning.
Domestic flight to Kapoeta (2 hour flights). Kapoeta is an excellent starting point for discovering Toposa tribal territory.
We may be able to visit the first Toposa tribal village depending on our arrival time.
The Toposa are a Turkana-speaking cattle-rearing people who have so far resisted western influence. They have traditionally subsisted by herding cattle, sheep and goats and were once involved in the ivory trade.
DAY 3.- TRIBES OF TOPOSA (February 17)
Two full days to explore the tribal villages of Toposa and Jiye. The Toposa and Jiye are part of the "Karamojong cluster," which also includes the Karamojong of Uganda, the Nyangatom of southwestern Ethiopia and the Turkana of Kenya. They still wear traditional clothing (leather-beaded skirts), pierce their lips, and scarify their arms, chests, and faces.
The economy and social life of the Toposa are centered on herding livestock such as cattle, camels, donkeys, goats, and sheep. Boys are first taught to care for goats and sheep before progressing to cattle when they reach the age of 18. Possession of cattle is the primary indicator of status and wealth. Toposa culture is built around cattle. The Toposa have always been engaged in cattle rustling. In addition, the Toposa pan for gold and other precious minerals in the streambeds.
DAY 4.- KAPOETA-KIMATONG (February 18)
Early in the morning we will head west in search of the Boya Mountains. The granite massifs can be seen from the main road, but we will detour to these mountains where one of the most interesting and little visited ethnic groups of South Sudan lives: the Larim or Boya.
These large rocky blocks give a very attractive aspect to the territory, and the young Larim use these mountains as watchtowers from where they control part of their territory. Also the young women use these rocks to grind grain by joining in small groups and singing to the rhythm of grinding the sorghum grains.
DAY 5.- KIMATONG ( LARIM VILLAGES) (February 19)
The cattle acquire special importance in the Larim and their life revolves around it. They eat their meat, drink their blood and milk, sleep in their skins and it is used as dowry in the ceremonies of pairing between man and woman.
As in most of the ethnic groups of the region, the Larim are animists and believe in the spirits of their ancestors with whom they communicate in ceremonies in which calls are made with offerings. They protect their homes with fetishes such as conches, sacred stones, etc.
DAY 6.- KIMATONG-JUBA (February 20)
Long day of transit in which we will head towards the capital, Juba. We will have free time in which we can take a walk or rest at the hotel.
Royal Palace Hotel. A.D.
DAY 7.- JUBA-MUNDARI CATTLE CAMP (February 21)
We begin the last stage of the expedition, right in another place of great ethnographic value. On board the vehicles we will head north, in the vicinity of the banks of the Nile River.
Depending on the conditions due to the past rains, we will look for an area to set up our camp in Mundari territory, between Juba and Terakeka.
DAY 8.- MUNDARI CATTLE CAMP (February 22)
We will wake up on the banks of the Nile. During these days we will live directly with the Mundari and experience the daily life of this spectacular ethnic group.
The Mundaris are the only Nilotic group in South Sudan, together with the Dinkas. The Mundari territory is located on both sides of the Nile River and uses its waters both for crops (mainly sorghum and maize) and for their livestock.
In the dry season, the Mundari move to their "Cattle Camp" on the banks of the Nile River and even to some of the small islands that the river has. They give special importance to the cattle with which they live in total harmony. The young are born and grow up among the cattle, feed on their blood and milk, wash themselves with their urine and make small mounds of ashes with their feces to scare away the thousands of insects that live among them. Cattle, therefore, are a source of life and they understand them as a connection between them and their gods. They also use it in the ceremonies of union between a man and a woman, in which the husband's family will have to pay in heads of cattle to her family.
This ethnic group is also characterized by its scarifications. For example, when they reach adulthood, young Mundari scarify their foreheads with 3 well marked "uves".
DAY 9.- MUNDARI CATTLE CAMP-JUBA (February 23)
After watching the last sunrise by the Nile, we will return to Juba. Once in the capital, we will have free time for shopping or rest.
Royal Palace Hotel or similar. A.D.
DAY 10.- JUBA - DEPARTURE (February 24)
After breakfast, free time until transfer to Juba airport.
|Prices per person|
|8-10 Participants||4995 US$|
|Single Room Main Itinerary||450 US$|
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and depending on the number of travelers. A limited quantity of single-occupancy rooms is available for an additional charge.
8 people or more 4,995 $
6-7 people 5,700 $
The maximum number of participants is listed under "Maximum Group" in the Price section of each individual workshop. However, we reserve the right to add by up to two, the maximum number of participants per workshop at any time.
Comfort and Fitness Level:
Lodging: Best Available Hotel in Juba, Tents, Tented Camps
Moderate Fitness: A reasonable level of fitness is required. You will need to be able to walk for a few hours -most of the time taking pictures - at a gentle pace, remain standing, get on and off cars, planes, unassisted.
The schedule will /could change, frequently. We will be traveling on most decent and some rough roads and sometimes have very long days.
Road conditions vary greatly, especially in rural areas. Unexpected conditions (weather, government restrictions, etc.) can occur and make alternate routings necessary.
A flexible, adventurous attitude, good humor, and a good book are important things to bring with you.
There may be times when everything goes perfectly and without delay; other times you wonder if you will ever reach your destination. These comments are not meant to alarm you but only to forewarn you that travel in South Sudan can sometimes be frustrating.
The hotels are decent but not luxurious. Occasionally the hotel where we stay is the only acceptable alternative.
We are working with people in a country where the service industry is non-existent. We could face the frustration of not being able to photograph what we planned to achieve on the day.
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED