Forgotten gems from Africa

Valuable parks that need extra attention.

From the 365 National Parks in Africa, 205 are daily threatened by poaching (Private parks, game reserves, forest reserves, marine reserves, national reserves NOT included...) And ONLY 2 parks in Africa are on the IUCN Green list.

Major national parks and wildlife reserves across Africa lost up to 60% of their lions, giraffes, buffalo and other large wild animals. Animal population changes continuously at 78 protected areas across Africa and found the steepest falls in west Africa, where up to 85% of wildlife has been lost in the last 35 years, and in east Africa, where nearly 50% of all wildlife has disappeared. Though it is still sad, fortunately thanks to the booming game farming business in southern Africa only 15 percent of the game has disappeared. The cause of the continent-wide decline has been attributed mainly to the lack of money and people needed to police parks, as well as the encroachment of humans on animal habitats. In addition, as we know, war, the increasing demand for bush meat and Asian traditional medicine have also decimated populations.

African Parks urgently need your help! You can help by traveling more often. Not only at the most popular parks, but also to the many forgotten gems. Through this way, we want to promote some parks.

Cross River National Park of Nigeria and Cameroon.

Established in 1991 from four former forest reserves, Cross River National Park consists of two separate divisions: Oban and Okwangwo. Covering an area of 640km2 of mostly lowland and submontane closed canopy forest, Okwangwo is contiguous with Takamanda National Park in Cameroon. Located at the headwaters of the River Cross, topography is rugged and elevations range from 150m in the southern lowlands to around 1,700m on the edge of the Obudu plateau in the north. This transboundary site is the main stronghold for the Cross River gorilla Gorilla gorilla diehli, known from two separate areas in Okwangwo: the former Boshi Extension Forest Reserve and the Okwa Hills. Okwangwo also contains a number of other important species such as the Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee Pan troglodytes ellioti, the drill Mandrillus leucophaeus, Preuss’s guenon Allochrocebus preussi, the forest elephant Loxodonta cyclotis and the grey-necked rockfowl Picathartes or rockfowlPicathartes oreas.

Bandingalo National Park of South Sudan

In the start of the the wet season April, May, the herds are migrating into Bandingalo National Park from Boma National Park, stay in the park June, July August and then start to migrate out in September and October. See our home page of this web site for an animated map of the migration movement. The major animals that migrate in and out of the park, are white-eared kob antelope, Tiang antelope, Mongalla gazelle and Elephant. The animals congregate in this park during the European Summer vacation time, making it an excellent time to see wildlife in South Sudan

Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on the border of Uganda and Rwanda. Virunga is Africa’s oldest national park and is also the continent’s most biologically diverse protected area. The park’s 7800 square kilometers (3000 square miles) includes forests, savannas, lava plains, swamps, erosion valleys, active volcanoes, and the glaciated peaks of the Rwenzori mountains. Virunga is home to about a quarter of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas. The park’s two other Great Ape species, eastern lowland Grauer’s gorillas and chimpanzees, make Virunga the only park in the world to host three taxa of Great Apes. Another prominent inhabitant of the park is the Okapi, an endangered species that resembles a zebra but is more closely related to the giraffe. Large colonies of hippopotami, forest and savanna elephants, lions, and numerous rare bird species can also be found in the park.

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Boma National Park of South Sudan

As water sources dry up after the seasonal rains, and then again when the seasonal rains return, enormous herds of animals migrate in Boma National Park, South Sudan. It is estimated that the migration is far greater than the famous migration of the Serengeti, where nearly 2,000,000 animals search for grazing.

Southern National Park of South Sudan

Currently Fauna & Flora International a non-profit based in the United Kingdom, is supporting the re-creation of the park infrastructure. They have created a base of operations just south of the park at Yambio. They are searching the vast park for the possibility of the Northern White Rhino still existing here.

National Parks managed by AFRICAN PARKS CONSERVATION

The parks they manage include; Akagera (Rwanda), Bangweulu (Zambia), Garamba (DR Congo), Liuwa Plain (Zambia), Majete (Malawi), Odzala (Rep. Congo), Zakouma (Chad)

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Obo Natural Parks

Covering about 30% of the country's surface and includes examples of all the different biotopes – the lowland and mountain forests, mangroves and a savanna area -, the protected area of the Obo National Park (Parque Natural Ôbo de São Tomé e Príncipe) was created on both Sao Tome and Principe islands to protect the country unique natural heritage.

Madagascar National Parks

The protected areas network of Madagascar is managed by the Madagascar National Parks Association (PNM-ANGAP). The network includes three types of protected areas: Strict Nature Reserves (IUCN category Ia), National Parks (IUCN category II) and Wildlife Reserves (IUCN category IV). At the 2003 IUCN World Parks Congress in Durban, the Malagasy President, Marc Ravalomanana, announced an initiative to more than triple the area under protection from approximately 17,000 km2 (6,600 sq mi) to over 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) (from 3% to 10% of Madagascar's area). This "Durban Vision", as it has been dubbed, involves broadening the definition of protected areas in the country and legislation has been passed to allow the creation of four new categories of protected area: Natural Parks (IUCN category II), Natural Monuments (IUCN category III), Protected Landscapes (IUCN category V), and Natural Resource Reserves (IUCN category VI). As well as allowing these new objectives for protected areas management, the new legislation also provides for entities other than PNM-ANGAP to manage protected areas. Other governmental agencies such as the forestry and fisheries departments now manage some sites in addition to PNM-ANGAP. It is planned that private and community-run parks and reserves will also be created within the next few years. In December 2005, the first extra 10,000 km2 (3,900 sq mi) of the new Protected Areas System of Madagascar were granted protection status.


The parks they manage include; Maiko (DR Congo), Bale Mountains (Ethiopia), North Luangwa (Zambia), Virunga (DR Congo), Serengeti (Tanzania), Selous (Tanzania), Guassa (Ethiopia), Upemba (DR Congo), Gonarezhou (Zimbabwe), Mahale (Tanzania)

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