Boma National Park

Boma National Park

Boma National Park contains the second largest land mammal migration in Africa and sustains the livelihoods of millions of people.

Boma National Park is situated in south east South Sudan and is an integral component of a larger 200,000 km2 ecosystem that stretches west through the Jonglei corridor to Badingilo National Park and north to the Sudd, an inland delta bordering the White Nile, one of two primary tributaries of the Nile River. This area contains the second largest land mammal migration in Africa, where each year hundreds of thousands of white-eared kob, Mongalla gazelle, tiang and reedbuck move north and east from the wetlands on the bank of the White Nile towards Boma and Gambella National Park in Ethiopia. But this area supports far more than just wildlife, various White Nile tributaries drain throughout the landscape creating rich black cotton soil that sustains the livelihoods of millions of people.  

At 19,189 km2, Boma serves as the largest national park in this globally significant system. However, continuous armed conflict has severely impacted the lives of communities in and around protected areas in South Sudan, and as such, has resulted in a major pressure on the country’s wildlife and their habitats, including Boma. In order to ensure the long-term ecological, social, and economic sustainability of this globally significant park, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan signed a 10-year agreement with African Parks on 25 August, 2022. Boma and Badingilo National Parks are the first to join the African Parks portfolio in South Sudan and bring the total number of parks under our management to 22 in 12 countries across Africa.    

Boma Highlights

  • Boma supports part of the second-largest land-mammal migration in Africa, where hundreds of thousands of white-eared kob, Mongalla gazelle, tiang and reedbuck on move through the landscape on an annual basis.
  • The park is a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site and is an Important Bird Area (IBA) that hosts approximately 400 bird species, including shoebills and the black-crowned cranes.
  • In addition to white-eared kob, Mongalla gazelle, tiang and reedbuck, the park also supports populations of elephant, Nubian giraffe (sub-species of northern giraffe), buffalo and Lelwel hartebeest and small populations of lion, cheetah, wild dog and leopard.
  • Boma has a significant number of people living inside its boundary who are composed of different ethnic groups, including the Murle, Jie, Kichepo, Toposa, Anuyak and Nuer. Each group has distinct traditions, culture, and livelihood activities.

On the Horizon

In Boma National Park an opportunity exists to protect and develop this unique park to support both people and wildlife. Through effective management, infrastructure, law enforcement and engagement with local communities, the park has the potential to become a premier tourism destination for South Sudan. 


On 25 August, 2022, African Parks signed a 10-year management agreement with the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism to restore and develop Boma National Park, to become one of the leading wildlife sanctuaries in South Sudan. 


Boma, South Sudan

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.

See following link to an excellent video about collaring of elephants, Kob and Tiang in Boma National Park, by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the South Sudan Wildlife Service-

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.


 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.

Tiang migrating across Boma Park


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