A Travellerspoint blog

The back of beyond

then further...

semi-overcast 27 °C

I have returned from the boondocks for a week now and my stomach seems to be settling after a month of eating food which I wasn’t used to eating so much and so often. It’s not that the food was bad, just that in Arua, we are able to supplement our African diet of heavy starchy foods with a bit more variety that is more palatable to me (like fruit or bread). The only really ‘bad’ meal was our last meal consisting of bushrat which stank badly because it was off – the evidence was the presence of little white grubs. Bushrat (which isn’t actually a rat) and antelope meat are the more common meats to be found in Lobone (pronounced Low-bo-neh), indicating how much forest and wilderness surrounds the place.
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I have no stamp in my passport to prove I have been to another country, the newest country in the world. The border post closest to Lobone is the most sketchy I have ever past through. Wooden poles across the road are the only evidence of crossing a border at all. At the South Sudanese border 'control', we found lovely healthy bushes of marijauna growing.
Old anti-aircraft gun at sketchy border post

Old anti-aircraft gun at sketchy border post

Rusted machine gun at border post

Rusted machine gun at border post

Travelling carefully

Travelling carefully

Not carefully enough...

Not carefully enough...


Lobone is a unique village. It nestles in a beautiful location surrounded by picturesque, forested mountains. Its remoteness and difficult access made it a refuge for many south Sudanese fleeing the war and there were many thousands of refugees at one time. The population of the area was 60,000 in its heyday. Now, there must be around 5,000 or so people.
Scenery around Lobone

Scenery around Lobone


It is really strange to be in a place that has had so much recent history of turbulence. The YWAM base is close to a concrete bunker built to escape the Arab army as well as abandoned metallic structures used as hospitals to treat refugees given by the Norwegian People’s Aid. I found bayonet knives in peoples’ homesteads used as tools. Hearing landmines being cleared in nearby northern Uganda increased my sense of excitement/thrill… As well as the Sudanese civil war, this area was a hideout and playground for Joseph Kony, the crazed leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Abandoned War Hospitals

Abandoned War Hospitals


This small place in South Sudan is definitely the most remote and draining experience of my life so far despite growing up in one of the most isolated countries in the world in Congo DR as well as staying in Kenya and Malawi for significant periods. When Emma and I visited the town where I grew up in Congo in 2008, a place surrounded by rainforest, there was a huge mobile phone mast. In Lobone, a phone is virtually useless, apart from the presence of several bamboo sticks which act as telephone ‘boxes’. Only be placing your phone on top of such a stick allows you to use it.
Phone 'box'

Phone 'box'

Benjamin peruses Lobone town centre

Benjamin peruses Lobone town centre


I hope the few photographs will give a taste of the place, the views, typical housing and how tricky it is to travel in and out of.
Kids around and about

Kids around and about

Grinding maize

Grinding maize

Sunset after the rain

Sunset after the rain

Hoes outside a Lobone home

Hoes outside a Lobone home

Typical wee homestead

Typical wee homestead

Doors were made of old USA donated tin cans

Doors were made of old USA donated tin cans


More will follow…

Posted by africraigs 10:11

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Comments

Hiya!
What an amazing place you visited. The photos tell many stories. Can you expand on why you were there and how the locals responded to your presence? Love to you all! P&Pxx

by Peter Phillips

for you to say that....it must be out a there!!!

you are now truly africraigs!!!
well done!
xx

by corne

Great to read all this Dave - we were praying for you every day while you were away, and will continue to. It would be good to hear of what you were up to when you weren't sitting on anthills or messing around with bamboo canes!

by Andy Cumming

Wow, what an amazing look into the world's newest country!

by Tash

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