The Niokolo-Kaba National Park is where you will see some of the best of the wildlife and natural landscape that Senegal has to offer. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The park is at the southeast sector of Senegal. It is close to the Guinea-Bissau border.
What to See
The park is renowned for its diverse wildlife. There are 80 mammal species, 60 species of fish and 80 reptile species. Four of the reptile species are tortoises. There are more than 2000 common duiker (Sylvicapra grimmia), 3000 waterbuck and 150 chimpanzees.
The Niokolo-Kaba National Park is also home to 120 lions, 50 elephants and 400 western giant eland. There are also 6000 hippopotomii and 11000 buffaloes. There is also an undetermined number of red colobus in the park.
The park is comprised of semi-arid Soudanese forest and woodland savannah. There are large parts which are seasonal and wooded wetlands.
The park is situated in a region that is upland. The upper portion is the part where the River Gambia flows. This goes into the Guinea northwestern border. The Biosphere park takes up around 9,130 square kilometers.
It is set in an arc from the Upper Casamance/Kolda Region to the Tambacounda Region. It goes inside a few hundred km of the Guinean border. This is close to the Senegal southeast border. The altitude is 16 meters up to 311 meters.
The area was declared a national park on January 1 1954. The park was subsequently expanded in 1969. In 1981 it was inscribed as a World Heritage Site and a UNESCO-MAB Biosphere Reserve. In 2007, the site was included in the UNESCO List of Endangered World Heritage Sites.
However, the government has been taking steps to protect the site. Since it was established the place has become one of the most famous tourist destinations in the country. The place has remained intact in spite of the number of tourists that visit.
The guide to the park costs 10000 CFA per day.
Visitors to the park may also come across some African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) and leopards. There are over 330 bird species in the park. Some of the most notable are the White-faced Duck, Bateleur, the Martial Eagle and the Southern Ground-hornbill. The Black Crowned Crane and the Arabian bustard are also there.
The Niokolo-Kaba National Park also has more than 1600 plant species. Almost 80% of the gallery forest in Senegal is here.