Today the territory where Staś and Nel travelled after the escape from the kidnappers is Sudan, South Sudan, and Uganda. Since ancient times, the territory was inhabited by settled peoples dealing primarily with agriculture and animal breeding.
We don’t know much, however, about the earliest history of the area, and more precise information dates back to the time when the Egyptian state took over control over it, that is, since the 19th century. The southern expanses of Sudan and northern Uganda are among the highest in Africa. They may be richer in water than the northern part of the continent, yet even today many people suffer from a lack of water there. This is primarily the result of badly polluted rivers and lack of access to wells. The area where Staś and Nel travel is a transition zone between the very dry tropical climate, which changes gradually into the subtropical with dry and rainy seasons alternating.
The area, taken up primarily by the vast expanses of grassland savanna and tropical equatorial forests, is home to plenty of plant and animal species. They all must adjust to the environmental conditions in various manners: stock up on water for the dry periods of the year and cope with the high insolation and heat.