Group journey

South Sudan: Tribes and Highlands

Limited to 8 guests, our private journey is led by renowned Anthropologist Joan Riera and is intended to engage clients with the various ethnographic groups of South Sudan. This type of journey is not for everyone, accommodation will be mostly in a simple lightweight camp, roads are very rough and an exact itinerary hard to follow.

However, the rewards for embracing this style of travel are exceptional, offering a glimpse into worlds we would otherwise know little about. And in doing so we are able to connect with people far beyond the boundaries of traditional tourism’s increasingly choreographed encounters.

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8 Guests


13 Days


ABTOT 5409


South Sudan



Your Daily Itinerary

Click the tabs to see each day or click here to request the PDF version

Pickup in Juba

You will be met upon your arrival in Juba airport and transferred to your hotel, a short 25 minute trip through the city.

Today will serve as an introduction to both South Sudan and your guiding team. Depending on arrival time, there will be opportunities to take a walk around old Juba and the market area, take care of any necessary admin, before enjoying dinner in a local restaurant.

  • Guided by Joan Riera
  • Dinner in a local restaurant
  • Accommodation in the luxury Royal Palace Hotel, Juba

Camping with The Mundari

It is difficult to overstate the importance of cattle to The Mundari, far more than merely livestock, there exists a symbiotic relationship that whilst appearing peculiar to us, forms the cornerstone of their culture. A man’s wealth, strength, and therefore status within the community, are dictated by the number and standard of his cattle.

A man will often sleep among his cattle, paying particularly close attention to any favoured individuals, they will use the ash from the fires to keep them free from insects, will spend hours pruning and grooming them. Whilst this form of devotion to cattle is not entirely unique to The Mundari, it is the intensity and the level of commitment to it that is found here which draws our attention.


  • Guided by Joan Riera
  • Breakfast in our hotel, lunch, dinner at camp
  • Accommodation in a simple lightweight camp

Jiye & Toposa Territory

The Jiye and Toposa are small distinct tribal groups, closely related and sharing a language. They are well known for their scarification rituals, and body piercings, not unlike those found among tribal groups in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. The Jiye remain a minority with as little as 12,000 members of the remaining, facing increasing pressures from the surrounding Toposa who are approaching a population of approximately 800,000 and remain, along with the Murle, the dominant culture in the area.

To the outside observer, it may in fact be difficult to identify many clear differences between the Jiye and Toposa tribes, as the majority of these differences are political, economic and social, something we will be exploring further during our time here.


  • Guided by Joan Riera
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner in camp
  • Accommodation at a local lodge and simple camp

Larim Territory

The Larim, also referred to as Boya, are a smaller group found in a region known as the Boya Hills of Eastern Equatoria. Scarification is increasingly prevalent among the younger women of the community, believed to be an adopted practice from the neighbouring Toposa.

Additionally, they make use of fine beads to adorn themselves in elaborate jewellery. On occasion we are able to base the camp among the tribal villages itself, however sometimes this is not possible. Just to reiterate that this is not an orchestrated experience, as such we have to respond to events and practicalities as we find them.



  • Joan Riera
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner in camp
  • Accommodation in a simple lightweight tented camp

Lafit Mountains

Continuing our journey among the highland cultures of South Sudan, we will now continue on to the Lafit Mountains and camp among the Lopit Tribe. Little is known regarding Lopit history, however it is believed they travelled along with many other cultural groups, from Lake Turkana, likely as part of the larger Dongotono before eventually separating into their own defined culture.

The second group we would hope to encounter are the Tenet. Like the Lopit, they are agro-pastoralists, additionally they are well skilled in rearing livestock, mainly cattle but also sheep and goats. Their history is largely kept alive through oral traditions such as poetry, dance and storytelling.


  • Joan Riera
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner in camp
  • Accommodation in simple lightweight tented camp

Depart Juba

Today we depart Lafit Mountains, making our way to Kapoeta.

We will then board a short flight of around 1 hour to return to Juba in order to connect with our departure flights home.




  • Joan Riera
  • Breakfast in camp, lunch in a local restaurant
  • No accommodation is included on this day

Limited To 8 Guests

Book Now! This is a limited expedition, and with some guests booking for themselves and a partner, it will sell out quickly.

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Some of the amazing things you’ll experience

Meet Your Guide

Joan Riera spent his childhood between contrasting lives in both west Africa and Spain’s Catalan region. This unique combination led him to study anthropology at London’s Richmond University, part of a journey that has led him to continue his studies of traditional African cultures, and to become one of the best experts available on the region today.

It is this unique childhood and academic background that enables Joan to both understand and importantly,empathise with, indigenous cultures whilst his infectious personality enables him to operate as a guide. It would be fair to say, it is the fact that he did not train specifically as a guide that makes him such a great one.

Departure Dates

Due to demand we now offer various dates

3 January to 14 January 2022

$9,876.00£7,156.00 per person

  • (UK)
  • (USA)
  • (UK)
  • (USA)
This is why we travel, truly delighted to have spent the time planning and enjoying such a memorable journey.

Mr Shaun Haycross

Perth, Australia