Zakouma National Park is situated in the southeast of Chad and covers 3054 square kilometers. It protects the last intact example of the Sudano Sahaelean ecosystem and within its boundaries are an amazing diversity of important Central and West African Wildlife that includes Kordofan giraffe and populations of the West African race of lion.
Without any doubt, Zakouma is one of the wildest and most incredible protected areas remaining on the African continent and words do not adequately describe the intensity of the game viewing and bird watching experience that is had. Litterally thousands upon thousands of waterbirds of numerous species fill the flood plains between vast herds of buffalo, kob, reedbuck, roan and Kordofan giraffe's. Rivers attract a rich variety of birdlife and crocdiles bask on the banks as large herds of elephant come down to drink and bathe. African Parks successfully manages the Park under agreement from the government of Chad and this has resulted in the further recovery of this amazing wild area.
1 of 15: A beautiful lioness of the West African race, gets up to move to lie in the early morning light.
2 of 15: The arid bushveld of the Zakouma National Park clearly showing the Sudano Sahaelean influences. During the wet season around 1000mm of rain falls and the the entire area floods, closing access.
3 of 15: Red-Throated Bee-Eaters are common along the watercourses in Zakouma and also around the Tinga Camp.
4 of 15: A stunning Abyssnian Roller takes to fligh, clearly showing its long outer tail feathers.
5 of 15:The bizzare looking Northern Ground Hornbill is regulalry viewed in small family groupings amongst the vast open wetland areas.
6 of 15: A Kordofan Girrafe crosses a vast open wetland area. Compared to most other subspecies, the Kordofan giraffe is relatively small at 5 to 6 meters, with more irregular spots on the inner legs. Its English name is a reference to Kordofan in Sudan. There are onbly around 2,000 individuals living in the wild.
7 of 15: Every morning troops of Grivets Monkeys feed in the rich leafy undergrowth around Tinga Camp.
8 of 15: Rampant poaching between 2002 and 2010 decimated the Zakouma elephant population from 4000 individuals down to 450. Since African Parks assumed management of Zakouma, effective law enforcement measures have practically eliminated poaching and the elephant population is again on the rise and now numbers around 550 individuals.
9 of 15: A Little Green Bee-Eater perches in the shade of a leafy tree and uses the branch to launch after aerial insect prey.
10 of 15: Birdlife is prolific at Zakouma National Park and small pools of water attract vast flocks of a variety of small seed-eaters that include African Silverbill, Red-cheeked Cordonbleu and Black-Rumped Waxbills.
11 of 15: Recently fledged African Silverbill chicks solicit for food from one of their parents.
12 of 15: A female Boomslang suns herself in the late afternoon sunlight.
13 of 15: Black Crowned Cranes flocks criss-cross the skyways at dusk in their hundreds - an incredible sight taken in together with their penetrating and evocative calls.
14 of 15: A male Kordofan Giraffe browzes from an acaccia tree as the sun sets over the horizon.
15 of 15: Incredibly, African elephant bulls that were not so long ago heavily persecuted by ivory poachers, come to drink daily from a handheld hosepipe at one of the buildings in the Zakouma administrative center. There is a small waterhole nearby for the elephants to drink and bathe from but they seem to enjoy the socialising but remain wild and will happily chase anyone they meet away from this verandah.