BOMA NATIONAL PARK, Sudan — Boma National Park, stretching across 5 million acres of African savanna, is home to one of the world's great wildlife migrations where an estimated 1.3 million antelope move across the landscape in search of good grazing.
After years of war and rampant poaching, wildlife conservationists were delighted to discover that the park boasts ample wildlife and has one of the world's great migrations.
“When we first came up here after the war there was a real sense of discovery,” said Paul Elkan of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a USAID-funded organization working with the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) to protect the animals and establish this vast and remote chunk of southern Sudan as a tourist destination.
“People were saying there were no elephants, that there was nothing left, but on the first day we saw a bull elephant, giraffe, oryx ..."
The big discovery, however, was one of the world’s largest animal migrations as more than a million antelope follow a continuous circuit across the landscape.
Experts say the movement is on a par with Tanzania’s famed Serengeti wildlife migration and the government here hopes that tourists will be drawn this undiscovered wilderness bringing in much-needed income to one of the poorest countries on earth.
“If we manage and plan it well tourism can inject a lot of money — maybe more than oil — into the economy of southern Sudan,” said Daniel Wani, undersecretary of the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism in the southern capital Juba.