TRIDOM National Park
The Congo Basin is home to the second biggest rainforest in the world after the Amazon and is of extreme importance to global conservation - acting as an essential carbon dioxide "sink".
On the 7th February 2005 a treaty was signed by most of the presidents from the Central African states. It recognised the Central African Forests Commission (COMIFAC) as the only decision-making body on forests for the region.
At the same time a trilateral agreement was made between Cameroon, Gabon and Congo Brazzaville (TRIDOM) which protects 14.6 million hectares of forests including Dja, Odzala and Minkebe National Park. This is equivalent to just over 7% of the entire Congo Basin.
At present Zambezi only manages safaris to Odzala-Kokoua National Park as the security situation is uncertain in the other parks.
Return to Congo Tri-Basin National Park
The treaty was formed to protect the area from mining, illegal logging and the illicit bush meat industry, as well as to protect the Batwa pygmy population whose existence is threatened by these activities. The conservation group WWF was approved to manage the Congo-Tri Basin Park and is funded by the Global Environment Facility.
The area is home to many species of mammals including the western lowland gorilla, forest elephant, forest buffalo and many endemic birds, fish, amphibians and swallowtail butterflies. It is also home to some of the last remaining Congo Basin lions and is botanically one of Africa’s most diverse areas. Chimpanzees, the Congo clawless otter, slender snouted crocodile, African soft-shell turtle, crowned eagle and hippopotamus are some of the other species found in the Congo Basin. This area also provides shelter, food and materials for nearly 20 million humans and is important for processing carbon dioxide.
Dja Faunal Reserve is located in Cameroon and includes a diversity of species. There are more than 1,500 known plant species, over 107 mammals and more than 320 bird species in the park. The Dja Faunal Reserve covers 5,260km².
Odzala-Kokoua National Park is located in Congo Brazzaville and extends some 13,600km. 40 metre high trees lies much unexplored territories and truly marvelous opportunities for seeing forest species, including large forest mammals. The forest clearings are known as "salines" and animals are attracted by the mineral salts in the soil and the tasty plants; sitatunga are often seen in plentitude.
The Maya North and Lokoue clearings are heavily used by western lowland gorillas, red river hog, forest elephant and giant forest hog. The bongo is also found in these forests along with other more common species of mammals like hyena. It goes without saying these are superb spots for bird watching and the river trip up the Mambili River in motorized dug out canoes provides deep access into the forest.
Minkébé National park in north east Gabon protects one of the most intact forests left in Central Africa. The thick forests protect the populations of animals and they have been left largely undisturbed for many years. Human activity has been low in this area, although it is next to the second biggest iron ore deposit in the world and will inevitably change in future. Parrots, pythons, bongos, buffalo and elephant are found in the large swampy bais and this is where they’re best observed.