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Wau - A view from our expert author
Please note There has been a serious deterioration in security in South Sudan since these pages were compiled, and some of the practical information here will now be out of date. In particular, many areas are currently not safe to travel. You are advised to contact your embassy and local agents prior to travelling.
South Sudan’s second city, Wau is home to a remarkable cathedral that can boast to be one of the largest solid structures in the country.
Wau is the main city of Bahr el Ghazal and South Sudan’s largest city after Juba, with a population a little over 150,000 people (2011 estimate). It sits on the western banks of the Jur River and, due to the prevalence of colonial-era buildings, including the unexpectedly impressive cathedral, the urban landscape and resulting atmosphere feels somewhat different from other cities in the country. Wau has a pleasant climate, with a maximum temperature of 38˚C, and a rainy season that lasts from May to October. It is driest at the start of the year. There is no one dominant ethnic group in the city, and this, combined with the large number of UN agencies and national and international NGOs with offices and personnel in Wau, gives it an almost cosmopolitan feel. The aid presence has also ensured that there are a handful of decent places to stay.