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Gondokoro island is located in Jubek State and was located in the erstwhile state of Central Equatoria before 2015.[1] The island was a trading-station on the east bank of the White Nile in Southern Sudan, 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) south of Khartoum. Its importance lay in the fact that it was within a few kilometres of the limit of navigability of the Nile from Khartoum upstream. From this point the journey south to Uganda was continued overland.

Gondokoro is located in South Sudan
Location in South Sudan
Coordinates: 4°54′26″N 31°39′41″E / 4.90722°N 31.66139°E / 4.90722; 31.66139Coordinates: 4°54′26″N 31°39′41″E / 4.90722°N 31.66139°E / 4.90722; 31.66139
Country South Sudan
StateJubek State

The Austrian Catholic missionary Ignatius Knoblecher set up a mission there in 1852.[2] It was abandoned in 1859. Gondokoro was the scene for the arrival of John Hanning Speke and James Augustus Grant after their two years and five months long journey through Central Africa from Zanzibar. They arrived exhausted on February 13, 1863 and expected to be met by the British consul John Petherick and his rescue party. As Petherick was away, hunting in the countryside the two explorers instead were welcomed by Samuel Baker and his "wife" Florence Baker, who greeted them with a cup of tea.[3]

A passage from Alan Moorehead´s The White Nile (p. 61) describes it thus: "The sportsman Samuel Baker and his wife had come up the Nile to look for them, and there had been others as well who had arrived at Gondokoro on the same mission, three Dutch ladies, the Baroness van Capellan and Mrs and Miss Tinne, but they had been forced to return to Khartoum through sickness. ... 'Speke', Baker says, 'appeared the more worn of the two: he was excessively lean, but in reality he was in good tough condition; he had walked the whole way from Zanzibar, never having once ridden during that wearying march. Grant was in honourable rags; his bare knees projecting through the remnants of trousers that were an exhibition of rough industry tailor's work.'"

Theodore Roosevelt passed through Gondokoro on the Smithsonian–Roosevelt African Expedition with his son, Kermit Roosevelt, Edgar Alexander Mearns, Edmund Heller, and John Alden Loring.[4][5]

The site of Gondokoro is near to the modern-day city of Juba. Other notable nearby settlements include Lado and Rejaf (Rageef).


  1. ^ Juba City: Infrastructure, Services and Environment African Executive (June 21, 2016)
  2. ^   Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ignatius Knoblecher" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  3. ^ To The Heart Of The Nile: Lady Florence Baker and the Exploration of Central Africa, by Pat Shipman
  4. ^ George A. Cevasco & Richard P. Harmond (2009). Modern American Environmentalists: A Biographical Encyclopedia. JHU Press. p. 444.
  5. ^ "ROOSEVELT SAILS DOWN NILE.; Leaves Gondokoro for Khartoum -- Scientific Expedition Ended". New York Times. March 1, 1910. Retrieved December 16, 2016.