South Sudan Country Profile – Geography

Last updated: 12 November 2020

Peter Fitzgerald / CC BY (

From Cia Factbook (Page last updated on October 09, 2020)

Location: East-Central Africa; south of Sudan, north of Uganda and Kenya, west of Ethiopia


  • total: 644,329 sq km
  • land: NA
  • water: NA

Land boundaries:

  • total: 6,018 km
  • border countries (6): Central African Republic 1055 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 714 km, Ethiopia 1299 km, Kenya 317 km, Sudan 2158 km, Uganda 475 km
  • note: South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment; final alignment pending negotiations and demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: none (landlocked)

Climate: hot with seasonal rainfall influenced by the annual shift of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone; rainfall heaviest in upland areas of the south and diminishes to the north

Terrain: plains in the north and center rise to southern highlands along the border with Uganda and Kenya; the White Nile, flowing north out of the uplands of Central Africa, is the major geographic feature of the country; The Sudd (a name derived from floating vegetation that hinders navigation) is a large swampy area of more than 100,000 sq km fed by the waters of the White Nile that dominates the center of the country


  • lowest point: White Nile 381 m
  • highest point: Kinyeti 3,187 m

Natural resources: hydropower, fertile agricultural land, gold, diamonds, petroleum, hardwoods, limestone, iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver

Land use:

  • agricultural land: 100% – arable land: 0% / permanent crops: 0% / permanent pasture: 100%
  • forest: 0%
  • other: 0%
  • irrigated land: 1,000 sq km (2012)

Population distribution: clusters found in urban areas, particularly in the western interior and around the White Nile as shown in this population distribution map

Environment – current issues: water pollution; inadequate supplies of potable water; wildlife conservation and loss of biodiversity; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; periodic drought

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