Garamba National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo
Garamba National Park is a national park in the north eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo. The park is one of the oldest national park in the African continent designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 for its protection of the habitats of the northern white rhinos, elephants, giraffes and hippos.
Covering an area of approximately 5,200 square kilometers, Garamba National Park has been managed by the African parks in partnership with the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature since 2005. The park was established in 1938 and it is bounded by Gangala – Na – Bodio hunting Reserve on the west, south and east and then borders south Sudan on the north and northeast. It is part of the Sudano – Guinean savanna zone.
Garamba National Park is one of Africa’s oldest protected areas lying in the transition zone between the two centers of endemism – Guinea Congolian and Guinean Sudanese savanna. These two biogeographic zones support a variety of wildlife which has declined due to different factors including poaching.
Flora of the park
Garamba National Park’s savannah grasslands support low diversity of acacias and some of its grasslands grow as high as 3.0 m.
Wildlife of the park
Garamba national park is a home to a variety of wildlife including mammal species, bird species, reptiles and others.
Garamba national park hosts more than 138 mammal species including the various antelope species, buffalos, African bush elephants, giant forest hogs, giraffes, hyenas, hippos and lions. The park is a habitat to the country’s only remaining population of giraffes, the Kordofan subspecies, which are less than 60 in number, and also the largest remaining population of elephants. The elephants from Garamba national park are considered a hybrid of the African savanna and African forest subspecies. In the 2011, the survey estimated around 2,800 elephants in the park but the population has reduced to 2,000 due to poaching. A report showed that in 22 elephants were killed in 2012 and in 2014, the lives of about 68 elephants of the park was taken within two months by the poachers.
Poaching is the main threat to the population of the wildlife of Garamba National park since a number of giraffes in the park have also lost their lives.
Garamba national park is a home to more than 286 species of birds and some of these are endemic to the area. Some birds are migratory while others are residential. Among these include the fishing eagle, water thick knee, squaco heron, water thick knee, pied kingfisher, black crake, knob billed ducks, white backed pelicans, pink backed pelicans, spur winged plovers, white faced whistling and many others.
Safari activities in the park
Spot a variety of wildlife species in the park during activities like nature walks and game drives. Among the animals sighted in the park include the lions, hyenas, buffalos, hippos, kordofan giraffes, giant forest hogs, bush pigs, mongoose, de Brazza monkeys, golden cat, warthogs, waterbucks, African elephants, and others.
View a numerous bird species in the park which are both migratory and residential. Garamba national park is a home to more than 286 bird species including the pied kingfisher, the white backed pelicans, pink backed pelicans, spur winged plovers, white faced whistling, fishing eagle, knob billed ducks and others.
Guided nature walks
Walk through the different trails of the park by the lead of the park ranger. During the walk, spot different species in the park including the plants, animals, insects, butterflies and birds.
Have the best experience during your safari by taking part in the adventurous activity of a boat ride on the Garamba Rivers. During the experience, spot a variety of water birds and aquatic animals.
Accommodations at the park
The accommodation facilities at Garamba national park range from camping and luxurious hotels. They provide a comfortable stay at the park and among these include New Cosmos hotel, hotel Kisangani, La trompette hotel, Plaza hotel, Flat hotel Petit zoo and many others.