Waza National Park

Travel Guide Africa Cameroon Waza National Park

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Introduction

Waza National Park is located in northern Cameroon and with a total area of around 1,700 square kilometres it is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve since 1979. Unfortunately, both numbers of wildlife and park rangers have declined in recent years and poachers have become active again, hunting for bush meat for both local use and trade, as is the case with many parks in Central Africa. Still, it probably is one of the better parks to enjoy a safari. Recently several more park rangers were added to guard the park. Wildlife includes elephant and giraffe, species of antelope, several predators and numerous birds.

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Geography

The park is bounded by the town of Waza to its west, the border with Nigeria, and Chad is only 10 kilometres away. The seasonally-flooded "Yaéré" floodplain marks the east and north-east, and the Maroua–Kousséri road is to the west. The park’s habitat is mainly in the “Chad depression” with average elevation in the range of a 300–320 metres, thought the highest ground goes up to 500 metres near Waza village. The topography of the park, however, is generally flat. Sand dunes in the western area of the park denote past desert conditions. The Chad depression was originally covered by Lake Chad. The land classification consists of terrestrial landscapes to the extent of 88%, and the park has 7% shrub land and 5% grassland

The climate is mostly semi-arid as the average annual precipitation is only 700 millimetres and erratic in its incidence. The rainy months are June to October and the dry season is from November to May. The dry season lasts from October to May. Mean annual temperature is 28 °C. The coolest month is December recording a mean monthly minimum temperature of 16 °C and maximum of 33 °C. In April, just prior to start of rainy season, the mean monthly minimum is 21 °C and maximum is 41 °C.

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Sights and Activities

The mammal population in the park is one of the largest in central West Africa. There are 30 species of mammals in the park. Some of the species of interest from the conservation angle are the Red-fronted gazelle, whose population is on the rise, and the Korrigum, which is stable.

Waza harbours a dwindling population of lions. A recent survey counted only 14-21 of these big cats. Waza is also home for elephants and in particular for one of the last populations of the Kordofan giraffe.

Kob-antelopes have increased to 5,000 in the 1990s since a strong decline in the 1980s. Other large ungulate are warthog, roan, red-fronted gazelle and korrigum. and fast moving ostriches have been recorded. Elephants congregate at Mare aux Éléphants, a famous watering hole. Other species noted are giraffe, hartebeest, tsessebe, lyre-horned cob, olive baboon, patas and vervet monkey, leopard, cheetah and nocturnal aardvark.

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This is version 1. Last edited at 8:10 on Dec 29, 15 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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