Garamba National Park
Garamba National Park is one of Africa’s oldest national parks that was established in 1938. The Park is located in Orientale Province in the north-eastern park of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980 for its great biodiversity and immense wildlife. Garamba National Park covers an area size of 5200 square kilometres and is governed by African Parks, a non-profit organization, alongside the Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). Garamba National Park borders South Sudan.
The Park is renowned for the vast herds of elephants roaming the park, as well as the Kordofan giraffe that can only be found here in the Congo. The Park was in the past a place where travellers could see the white rhinos for they were habituated in the park. Due to extensive poaching during the Congo civil wars however, the then numerous white rhinos reduced over time that by 2008 the very last white rhinos in Garamba National Park were killed by poachers.
The park is however still rich in biodiversity despite the civil unrests. The Park is characterised by savannah grasslands, tropical rainforests, papyrus, rocky outcrops, and marshlands with dotted inselbergs. The Garamba Rivers including River Dungu and River Garamba are a sight to behold while in the park. The park has a variety of wildlife including among others large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giant forest hogs, vervet monkeys, golden cats, and the famous Kordofan giraffes, with over 1000 tree species of which about 5% are endemic to the park. There are also about 550 species of birds in Garamba National Park with some endemics. All these can be enjoyed by tourists visiting Garamba National Park.
Activities in Garamba National Park
Wildlife viewing in Garamba National Park is one of the most fascinating activities that travellers can take on not with the abundant wildlife in the park. Travellers are sure to see large herds of bush elephants, buffaloes, Kordofan giraffes, hippos, forest hogs, antelopes, mongoose, golden cats, warthogs, vervet monkeys among so many others and if lucky, lions as well.
Garamba National Park has about 550 species of birds that bird enthusiast can set out to spot along with their binoculars and a bird guide. The park has migratory birds as well as endemics that would make one’s bird watching experience in Garamba Park. Some of the birds travellers are sure to encounter include the pled kingfisher, knob billed ducks, white backed pelicans, wattled plovers, black crake, long tailed cormorants, and spur winged plovers among so many others.
Guided nature walks
The National Park is a very diverse park with about 1000 tree species and loads of other inhabitants like wildlife and birds all of which are best explored on foot while on a guided nature walking safari in the park. There are well developed trails that travellers can take along with a guide for an opportunity to learn and see more of Garamba National Park. Guided nature walks in the Park take travellers through amazing vegetation cover, forests and rivers in the park. Guided nature walks in Garamba will have travellers being rewarded with great sightings and views and also encounter various primates like mongoose, butterflies and different plant species and hippos and other water animals in the rivers as you pass them.
Boat safaris in Garamba Park offer a thrilling experience to any traveller that takes them. Boat safaris in the Congo basin wilderness are a very adventurous and rewarding venture that has travellers cruising in one of the Garamba River or River Dungu, whilst enjoying the aquatic life like hippos and birds, as well as the ever abundant flora in the surrounding places.
Fishing in Garamba is in a few designated areas of the Garamba Rivers. Travellers are advised to carry their own fishing gear.
The Park is a beautiful place that travellers can opt to visit while on a Congo safari tour. Most Congo safaris take travellers to Garamba National Park to do among others view the very large herds of elephants. Garamba National Park can be visited year-round but it is during the dry season that travellers are most encouraged to visit for the roads are more passable and the vegetation is not so thick that it could hinder proper viewing of wildlife. The dry season usually runs through the months of January to June.
The Park can be reached by both air and road. Transferring by air to the park is the most common and recommended to be opted for given that roads are rather hard drive on. Travellers need to charter domestic flight to Aru and then again proceed to Nagero which is the launch point for expeditions to the park.
There are a number of accommodation facilities in and around Garamba that travellers can opt to stay in while visiting the park. The accommodation facilities range from luxury to basic. Some of the facilities that travellers may be interested to stay in include La Trompette hotel, New Cosmos hotel, among others.
Get in touch with a reputable and very knowledgeable tour operator to help you plan a visit to Garamba National Park.