Amazing Wildlife Parks in West Africa
To many wildlife parks are only known mainly in the East and Southern Africa. Whereas, West Africa is the home of some amazing wildlife parks. We have been able to identify few of them across the region.
Park National de la Pendjari in Benin
Park National de la Pendjari in Benin is an interesting one. The park, being surrounded by the beautiful Atakora Mountains, qualifies it as one of the best parks on the West Africa coast. Its ‘big-ticket’ possession of wildlife is highly appreciable. In its caves are animals like: lions, elephants, cheetahs, baboons – and plenty more for those with the patience to seek it. The park’s infrastructures are quite fantastic with sensational guides and accommodation right at the heart of the park to enjoy drives at sunrise and sunset.
Makasutu Culture Forest, the Gambia
The Gambia is known far and wide for its outstanding birdlife and many seasoned birdwatchers come back here year after year. Makasutu Culture Forest is certainly one of the choice picks in the country – although we’re talking shades of superlatives here. This small reserve is a kaleidoscope of The Gambia’s varied landscape and birdlife. You could easily visit from Banjul on a daytrip.
RÉSERVE DE NAZINGA, BURKINA FASO
It may not be a national park, but it certainly looks like one. The star attractions at Nazinga are its elephants, which you have a good chance of seeing year-round: they love roaming through Ranch de Nazinga, the reserve’s main hotel, and wallowing in the nearby lake (they’ve also been known to swim in the deep lake). Elsewhere in the reserve, you’ll see monkeys, antelope, crocodiles, and a profusion of birds.
MOLE NATIONAL PARK, GHANA
The most amazing thing about Mole is how cheap and accessible it is: independent travelers can easily get here by public transport from Tamale, admission fees are under US$10 and walking safaris are standard (although if you did want to go on a game drive, the park has a 4×4 for hire). And then of course there is the Mole Motel, a little overpriced but in an unbeatable location overlooking the park plains, with premium views of what the animals – elephants, warthogs, baboons, antelope, birds – are up to. There is even a swimming pool for a refreshing dip in between outings.
TIWAI ISLAND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, SIERRA LEONE
This small island on the Moa River in Sierra Leone is unlike any other reserve or park in West Africa: with 11 species of primate present in the sanctuary, it is one of the very few places in West Africa where you are virtually guaranteed to see chimpanzees and other endangered primates such as the beautiful Colobus and Diana monkeys. There are other rare species such as the endemic pygmy hippopotamus, river otters and more than 130 species of bird. There are guided excursions on the islands and nearby villages, and you can stay the night on a simple, covered platform. The sanctuary is easily reached by taxi from Bo or Kenema but do stay the night in Tiwai if you are using public transport.