Garamba National Park is 4,900km² of pure beauty, located in the Haut-Uélé district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The region is a biological treasure trove and, as a result, was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Here are nine fast facts on Garamba
1. Garamba is one of the oldest national parks in Africa! Belgium colonised the DRC, and Garamba National Park was established in 1938 by Royal Decree, making it one of the oldest conservation areas in Africa.
2. Garamba is home to a subspecies of the northern giraffe known as the Kordofan giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis antiquorum. The Kordofan giraffe forms the park’s symbol, as Garamba’s giraffes are the only known giraffe population in the DRC. In 2012 Fundación Biodiversidad sponsored the collaring of five giraffes for scientific research. Read more about giraffes here.
3. Sadly, one of the collared giraffes was killed. The poachers kept the satellite collar, and officials could track the collar over the border. The good news is the South Sudanese authorities later apprehended the poachers.
4. Did you know that it is speculated that the elephants that occur in Garamba are hybrids of the savannah and forest elephants?
5. On the darker side of Garamba’s history: In 1920, the Elephant Domestication Centre was created by Belgium colonial rule in Garamba, where 100 elephants were trained to work in agricultural fields.
6. Coups, ceasefires, colonial wars and civil wars have plagued DRC’s wildlife and conservation areas, a reality for many African conservation areas. Although, with African Park’s involvement from 2005, Garamba’s general biodiversity is rising!
7. Garamba was home to the northern white rhino, with Southern Chad, the Central African Republic, Southwestern Sudan, and Northwestern Uganda. The park was one of the last strongholds of this subspecies of rhino in the late 1900s and early 2000s until they became regionally extinct.
8. Garamba is home to the charismatic sausage tree, one of Africa’s iconic trees. It has a large sausage-shaped fruit used to treat skin conditions and make a red dye used in traditional practices. Mature fruit can be up to 0.6m long and weigh a whopping 6.8kg. This tree’s attractive blood-moon red flowers have a strong scent that attracts many pollinators but is not appealing to humans.
9. Through African Parks community initiatives, thousands of schoolchildren on the periphery of Garamba have been educated about the importance of their natural heritage and conservation via documentaries, environmental lessons and school outings to the park.
African Parks offers safari camps and lodges in their protected areas – and your stay generates revenue that goes DIRECTLY to wildlife conservation and local community upliftment. Book your stay in one of their parks.
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