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The Zakouma Ecosystem lies just south of the Sahara Desert, and just above the fertile rainforest regions of central Africa. Zakouma National Park is a safe haven for the wildlife of Central and West Africa. But this hasn’t always been the case.
For many years, poaching was rife within the park. Consequently this led to a huge drop in elephant numbers which fell from 4,000 individuals to just 450. African Parks assumed management of Zakouma in 2010. They set up networks within the communities and applied stringent law enforcement… all of which all had an immediate positive affect. Furthermore, by 2016, elephant numbers had risen to 550, the first rise in over 10 years!
Today, elephant are fitted with satellite collars so the ranger teams can monitor movement. In addition, local communities are working with African Parks to protect the wildlife, and if they see any suspicious activity they inform the park authorities. As a result there’s also been a rise in giraffe, roan antelope, Lelwel’s Hartebeest and buffalo numbers.
Why go on safari to Zakouma…
The park is a major conservation area for wildlife. For those serious adventurers among you who like to push the boundaries and rave about it… We rave about Zakouma because …
- it’s virtually unexplored with few visitors
- it’s the last remaining savannah ecosystem of Central Africa
- it has excellent wildlife concentrations with the Big 4 – although the re-introduction of rhino will make this a big 5 destination soon
- there are large elephant herds of more than 500 individuals – before African Parks’ involvement poaching was a huge issue with 95% loss. Elephant numbers fell from 4,000 in 2002 to 450 in 2010. However, satellite collars fitted to the individuals now allow the Park’s team to monitor the elephant, and therefore protect them
- 50% of the Kordofan giraffe population lives in Zakouma
- finally, we recommend the park for birding enthusiasts – the pans attract thousands of birds including black-crowned cranes
The future of Zakouma Chad
The future of Zakouma’s elephant and other wildlife is inextricably linked to the local communities.
- Plans are afoot to make improvements to education within the park by extending the Elephant and Secko school programme. This concentrates on the dispersed, rural population around the park and the challenges they face
- African Parks have built new ‘Elephant Schools’, which, in 2016 saw 1,267 children in education
- The reintroduction of black rhino and the creation of an elephant corridor beyond the park are priority conservation projects. Both are underway and soon to be fully implemented
- Secure mamba patrol units protect the wildlife and have created jobs
- Extra security in the park has led to better security for the local villages and towns
Drop us a line if you’d like to talk to one of our safari specialists.
- Find out more about Zakouma from our 2014 safari update
- More about the dozen African Parks’ wilderness areas across Africa (2017)
- Zakouma on Facebook – Hot and intense with few visitors
- More about Chad
(Image courtesy Michael Viljoen African Parks)
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