Garamba National Park

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White rhinocerii

Garamba National Park is a 1900 square mile national park located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Consisting of a large, undulating plateau of long-grass and bush savannah, it slopes southwest from the watershed between the River Nile and Congo River, dotted with granitic inselbergs, small gallery forests, and large marshland depressions.[1]

Flora and fauna

The location of the park covers covers three biomes:

  • gallery forest with forest clumps and marshland
  • aquatic and semi-aquatic sections
  • savannah, ranging from dense savannah woodland to almost treeless grassland[2]

The park contains the last viable natural population of Northern White rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) in the world. The rhino population has fallen from approximately 1,000 animals in 1960 to 490 in 1976, to 20 in 1983, and 15 in 1984. The decrease was all as a result of poaching. In 1996 there were 30 left.[3] The elephant (Loxodonta africana) population was reduced from over 20,000 in the late 1970s to 11,175 in 1995, again due to intensive poaching. Other mammals inhabiting the park include the Northern Savanna giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis congoensis), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), buffalo, hartebeest, waterbuck, chimpanzee, baboon, antelope, leopard, and lion.

Indigenous population

There is no human population in the park area itself, but the previously sparse population outside it has been inflated by refugees from neighbouring Sudan.

World heritage

As it contains "superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance" and is an "important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation" [4] the site was inscribed onto the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1980.

Further reading

  • Biodiversity Conservation in Regions of Armed Conflict: Protecting World Heritage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo UNESCO. Accessed 19 January 2008.

External links

  • UNESCO Site entry. Accessed 19 January 2008


  1. Garamba National Park UNEP/WCMC. Accessed 19 January 2008
  2. Garamba National Park UNEP/WCMC op cit
  3. Garamba National Park UNESCO. Accessed 19 January 2008
  4. Criteria for selection UNESCO. Accessed 19 January 2008