Exploring Africa How To Navigate Through This Atlas Countries of Africa by Region

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National National National

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A weary 4x4 enthusiast trudges upstream through a lonely forest river in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in search of clean water for hi5 vehicle's radiator can.


although to counter years of famine, drought, poverty and

its once impressive numbers of buffalo herds have now been

Considering that the State of Eritrea is no more than a decade old and is still struggling political dissension, it is little wonder that this semiarid country has Its tourism industry, although growing, remains but a for government

reduced to little more than 400 head. Mago may well be Ethiopia's

With the ~R~ption of Ethiopia, whleh has nine national parks, 10 wildlife sanctuaries and no fewer than 13 ccnttolled hunting areas, plus the Simien World Heritage Site - ronring a total of n~arly 19 million hectares (7 million acresl - the nations that make up the Horn of Afril=a are larg~ly devoid of national parks. Tracts of censervation land here are few and are restrleted to smaller wildlife sanctuaries and reserves. ERITREA Bash-Setlt Wildlif~ geserse Key

single most important national park when it comes to tourism potential, but many of the smaller reserves have highlights of their own that may only be accessible to visitors once facilities across the country's protected areas have been upgraded.

cast no more than a cursory glance at the issuesof environmental
conservation. fledgling enterprise that is still to prove its potential

coffers. The dry landscape has no permanent prise that Eritrea has only three wildlife parks. State officials generally promising ecological

river systems and no

Like Eritrea, Somalia has no national are restricted to the Alifuuto parks, and conservation efforts (Arbowerow) Nature Reserve and the Bushbush Game Reserve, both of which are to be found in the southern reaches of the country. Covering the very 'horn' that gives its name to the broader region, this sliver of land - like much of the wider area

inland water sources of any consequence, so it should come as no sursanctuaries and no national have shown little enthusiasm for the few but programmes established by nonwithin or around

Nakfa Wildlif~ Reserve Yob Wildlif~ geserse ETHIOPIA Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park Awash National Park Bale Mountains National Park Gamb~lIa National Park Mago National Park Nechisat National Park A 15 --" 17 10 G Omo National Park Simien Mountains National Park Yangudi Rassa National Park Babil_eElep_hant Sanctuary Yabelo Sanrtuary'Afdem-Gewane Controlled Hunting Area Akobo Controlled Hunting Area Arsi Controlled Hunting Area Awash West Controlled Hunting Area Bale Controlled Hunting Area Borana Controlled Hunting Area Ch~rrh~r El:Arba Gugu Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Dabus Vall~ Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Sh~b~II~) 18 14 Eastern Harargh~ (Harar-Wabi Hunting Controll~d Ar~a Er~r-Gota Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Jikao Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Murl~ Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Omo west Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Tede Controll~d Hunting Ar~a AII~d~ghi Wildlif~ Bale Wildlifr Reserve 11 I

governmental organizations and international environmental agencies.
Priority, it seems, is given to economic development existing urban settlements erished rural areas that depend on agriculture. elements of Eritrea's sociopolitical dedicated attention ment well to consider the potential development and, to some degree, to the mostly impovAlthough these governdo indeed demand

- once teemed with an extraordinary variety of indigenous animal life.
Sadly, forces of nature and the encroachment of human settlement have taken their toll on Somalia and the landscape it covers today. Desertification is as prolific here as it is further inland, and is exacerbated by escalating deforestation. of charcoal production, albeit unofficially Large tracts of land that were once export dotted with acacia species have, for example, been denuded in favour which has proved to be an important - with vast quantities importance shipped out to neighbouring

and resources, it would do the national it harbours.

of the nation's unexplored wilder-

ness and the wealth of endemic wildlife

Although Ethiopia must be one of the most ravaged of all African from drought and famine, poverty and political efforts - meagre as they are - are the hectares (45 million acres) as protected ....... its conservation nations, still suffering uncertainty, most commendable

countries where wood fuels are equally rare. Despite the ecological equally important of the marine and coastal enviof these resources is economy. The waters off the ronment off Somalia's shores, the exploitation to the national coast are extraordinarily

in the entire region, with the state having set

rich and can't yet be seen as threat- mostly adversely - by the hartaking place.

aside more than 1B million 20,756km' for national

ened by the existing levels of human activity, but they are '--: nevertheless affected vesting of marine life that is currently

sanctuaries for the nation's flora and fauna. No less than (B,01 4 sq. miles) of the country has been allocated parks and, in addition, Ethiopia has a remarkably well known The small ani.• is not particularly restricted


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Diving and fishing for lobster and the hunting of sharks for their fins are widespread in these waters, and the export of these items contributes enormously to the local economy, ~draWing huge amounts of foreign capital


rich bird life, yet the country mal population places further is primarily inland.

for the abundance and diversity of its wildlife.

to out-of-the-way

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Much of Ethiopia's faunal resources are today threat-

ened by a series of environmental concerns, ranging
from the rapidly growing human population and the steady decline of its existing forests and woodlands to the day-to-day demands of agriculture and a massive foreign debt. This debt burden has driven the nation to grow and export flowers while, tragicalIy, huge numbers of people are starving because not enough food is grown for domestic use. At the same time, thousands and thousands of

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indigenous trees are being systematically cut down for domestic fuel as well as to accommo-... date the timber requirements of both the agricultural sector and the construction industry. Statistics show that more than two-thirds

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been felled in less than 30 years. Government departments and the Ethiopian Wildlife


Conservation Organization have at least taken some responsibility for the country's wildlife tion and maintenance resources. However, the preserva-


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of Ethiopia's natural ecosystems, the conserva-

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tion of the indigenous vegetation and wild animal species they harbour, and the education of the masses - including farmers, students and other non-governmental organizations - is left largely to special-


ized organizations such as the Ethiopian Wildlife H Natural History
Society. The Society's volunteers continue to green a countryside that is now considerably damaged by alien species such as the Australian eucalyptus. Other wildlife organizations have now also taken up the mammal previously known as plight of the Ethiopian wolf, a fox-like the Simien wolf that, although



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Bordering the ecologically diverse Red Sea and the highly seasitive ecosystems of the African hinterland, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti hold custodianshIp of a vast stretch of land that has "en considerable envlTOnmen'al destrucNon over the last few decades.


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once fairly common, is now one of the Wildlife that once found its home on the parched hinterland has

most endangered canine predators in the world. Flag-bearer of this cause is the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, an offshoot of Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit that is funded in part by the UK-based Born Free Foundation. Endemic to the highin lands, the Ethiopian species is the only wolf to be found naturally individuals left in Ethiopia's wilds. Simien Mountains National Park which, although Like it now, for all intents and purposes, long disappeared, leaving only selected species to roam the dry and dusty terrain. Of those wild animals that do remain, however, there are still healthy and, in some isolated areas, thriving warthog, populations. While jackal, hyena, oryx, dik-dik, ostrich and other bird life are indeed fairly common, and

Africa, and most recent records indicate that there are fewer than 600 The area that can lay claim to the greatest number of these canines is the spectacular has plenty of gelada baboon, ibex and, most notably, a number of birds of prey, is perhaps best known as a popular hiking destination. Simien Mountains, Controlled Bale Mountains National Hunting Area and Wildlife Park - also designated a

there are good numbers of elephant, buffalo, antelope and even, to some degree, big cats such as cheetah, Somalia has already lost a number of species - most notably its wild ass, which is today one of the world's most threatened mammals.

Reserve - serves as a haven for for

The tiny city-state settlement of Djibouti comprises little more than the urban that is its capital, bordering the Gulf of Aden at the south23,200km' (9,000 sq. miles) of coastal plain and that inhabits the interior. Apart from the importance of certain ern end of the Red Sea. The dry and wild landscape that makes up the state of Djibouti's activities

these and a number of other creatures, but its greatest attraction

visitors is its 2,400km' (925 sq. miles) of scenic splendour, which includes the Sanetti Plateau and the 4,377m (14,360ft) peak ofTullu

Demtu. Although

Simien and Bale parks both boast some good populathan

Blue Nile Falls, Ethiopia. Ethiopian wolf, Simien Mountains, Ethiopia. Simien Mountains, Ethiopia. Lobelia, Bale Mountains, Ethiopia.

tions of endemic animals, it is the rugged terrain of the mountain
landscape and the series of hiking trails that enjoy more attention the limited wildlife. While parks such as the Abijatta-Shalla very little to offer the safari-goer, Lakes National

mountainous plateau is renowned more for its leisure and adventure
than for the wildlife scenic beauty of the land and the ecological

Park have

areas, such as its lakes - Lake Assai, Lac Goubet and Lac Abbe - there is little to distinguish sion of neighbouring vate - and no wildlife a terrain that is mostly a simple westerly extenEritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Djibouti sanctuaries. It is mostly a wasteland has no of arid,

the other three parks in the Rift Mago National Park,

Valley - Yangudi Rassa, Awash and Nechisar - and even remote areas such as the great Omo Valley and the adjoining report significant numbers of birds, game such as gazelle and zebra, predators. gerenuk,

national parks, no game or nature reserve - either state-owned or priinhospitable land, and its sole contribution to the protection of the region's ecological status is to be found its only protected area, the unremarkable Foret du Day, which skirts the bay on which the entire

and even elephants and other large mammals, including the 2,162km' black-backed (7,100-sq.-mile)

Despite its rather parched wilderness and its thinly spread animal life, Mago also counts waterbuck, jackal, lesser kudu, and bush buck among its 100 species,

nation is focused.


Democratic Republic of the Congo
the equatorial band of Central Africa, resources and a relaeconomy, howMuch maligned and one of the most recent victims of the world view that Africa is dark, dangerous and unpredictable temperament, the Democratic zaire - is nevertheless a magnificent in both terrain and Republic of the Congo (ORC) - formerly country. It boasts many hidden economy, an abundance of indigenous infrastructure.

Of the nations that fall within growing

Botn in its vari~d nistory and in its rather precarfeus present, Cl:ntral Afrira has been the centre of mUl:n turmoil that has seen its people suffer at the nands of civil war along with the rape of larg~ tracts of land considerl:d - by many - to be some of the most r~markabl~ on the eentlnent. Whil~ some B million hectares of Angola's acari anetted plains have now been set aside as protected land,less than 2 million hectares of Congo's equatorial rainforest is under cfflelal ereteetlen. GABON lJ:!assa-Makokou Strid Lop~ Faunal Resetve Moukalaba-Dougoua Faunal Reserve Ouanga Plain Faunal geserve ~go Fa~unalR~s~rv~ Igu~la Hunting Reserve Moukalaba Hunting Resetve Ngov~-Ndogo Hunting Reserve Sette-Cama Hunting Reserve Wonga-W_o~gue Presid_l:ntial Rl:sl:rvl: Ipassa-Makokou Biospnerl: Reserve Petit Loango RamsarWetland Sette-Cama Ramsar Wetland Wonga-Wongue CONGO Nouabale-Ndoki National Park A Ramsar Wetland Natur~ R~s~rv~

Gabon is perhaps the shining light, largely because it is blessed with a tively sophisticated With the burgeoning

ever, come the responsibilities of a developing nation and Gabon is still struggling to maintain an adequate balance, the timber industry - and the accompanying logging activities - taking its toll on the fragile ecosystems. The thickly wooded forests see as much as 3,OOOmm (118in) of rain in a year, giving rise to a diversity of plant and animal life. Because its human population remains relatively low, species such as gorillas, chimps, leopard, mandrills, monkeys, buffalo, antelope and

treasures, not the least of which are the diamonds that form one of the mainstays of the national economy. Like Gabon and Congo, the ORC, which falls largely within the forest-bedecked basin of the river that from which it takes its name, is rich in an indigenous wildlife roams its grass plains and vast mountain

slopes. But nature has also

taken its toll here and in early 2002, Mount Nyiragongo, which overlooks the town of Goma, erupted, causing not only untold human suffering but also catastrophic environmental the Oian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, resulted in a crisis of tremendous for the rehabilitation devastation. According the volcanic eruption to


elephant thrive here. Gabon once enjoyed extensive protection from government and non-profit conservation bodies, but the activity on the logging concessions in the interior vital income-producers remains a concern, as does the has grown with the decline trade in bush meat Logging is nevertheless one of the nation's most and its importance in the oil price. Whereas tree-felling was once limited to land within


and it will take decades

programmes to restore the landscape here to its natural beauty of the country, it of the nation's political

former glory. Oespite the magnificent situation, inflicted

would be foolish to disregard the volatility upon the environment here.

easy reach of industry, the Trans-Gabon Express has meant that more areas are now accessible, with an increasing number of roads - many exclusively for logging vehicles - crisscrossing areas that were once virtually uninhabited. Timber concessions show signs of making considgrowth in the erable profits in the foreseeable future, and the alarming tions. The expanding poaching of hitherto road network unaffected

which has been responsible for so much of the destruction

Whereas the stable tourist trade of the mid- to late 20th century ensured that the biodiversity tensions and resultant environmental of the local ecosystem remained relatively or human settlement, the growing in the 1990s and nothing, and was rampantly in the modern nation. unscathed by either development

industry affects not only Gabon's woodlands, but also animal populahas, in turn, meant an increase in areas, and nearly 50 per cent of the

civil unrest that followed

beyond meant that this soon dwindled to virtually concerns have little significance -,~

Lope Faunal Reserve has fallen victim to the chain saws as a result of its negotiations and land-swap agreements with logging companies. Environmental custodians of the Wildlife Conservation Society arranged in 2000 for a logging operation to work some 650km' (250 sq. miles) of Lope and'~'n return, about 400km' (155 sq. miles) reserved for the timber industry were incorporated into the reserve. This has meant that some areas remain untouched by bulldozers, and the government has proclaimed certain areas ., . ~. .

The thickly wooded rainforest

~:~:u~t~t~::~la~~:=:,:::"v:::,'----';; Lefini Faunal Reserve Lekoli-Pandaka Faunal Reserve Mont Fouari Faunal geserve Tsoulou Faunal Reserve M'boko Hunting Reservl: Mont Mavoumbou Hunting geserse Nyanga Sud Hunting Reserve Dimonika-Mayomb~ Blesphere Resetve Odzala Biospn~r~ geserse DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC) Baramba National Park A


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raped and pillaged by both the militia and unchecked trophy hunters,

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poachers and subsistence - despite the survival in even latter-day ORC of controlled


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'f hunting areas. This, together with J activities of the ever-present mining
most notably primates, emerging on


'inviolate: The concession areas have, however, not been favourably received by all parties. Some conservationists have expressed concern that the compromise is too lenient. others have rejected it outright. while others have been spurred on to establish formal programmes. One such operation is the ECOFAC (the Programme for Conservation and Rational Utilization of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa), founded largely as a result of a grant from the European Union in the early 1990s. Operating in at least five other countries in Central Africa, ECOFAC has a research station in Lope, which not only keeps an eye over the wildlife sanctuary, but also promotes sustainable development"

Kahuzi-Bi~ga National Park Kund~lungu National Park Maiko National Park Okapi National Park Salonga National Park Upemba National Park Virunga National Park Bili-Ilere Hunting geserve Bombo-Lumene Hunting Resl:rvl: Bushimaie Hunting Reserve Luama Hunting Reserve Maika-Penge Hunting Resl:rvl: Mangai Hunting Reserve Mondo Missa Hunting Rl:sl:rvl: Rutsnuru Hunting Reserve Swa-Kibula Hunting Reserve Vall~ D~ La Lufira Blesphere Reserve Luki Forest geserve Yangambi Forl:st Floral Rl:serve Baramba World Heritage Slte Kahuzi-Bi~ga World Herltaqe Slte Salonga World Herltaqe Slte Virunga World Heritage Slte ANGOLA Bikuar National Park Cangandala National Park Ion a National Park Kamela National Park Ouit;ama National Park Mupa National Park Luando Intl:gral Nature Reserve Bufalo Partial Reserve Luiana Partial Reserve Mavinga Partial Rl:serve Moraml:des Partial Reserve Cnimalavera Rl:gional Nature Park A

t record, With vast tracts ofmilitarydeCimated recent legacy land the (it JIo 1Ifli~ 01\: .-- .. ~~ of degradation left in years. m1.~;D.IJj".U"!! "" V!l.J!'"lrQ ~li~~:--.r~ IfI.\l +.~ -1-"'" r :;,L~~et~~ (I . There are, nonetheless, no fewer ~N~m.t..... r than four World Heritage Sites in the ORC, surely f 0 ' ., II'i!l!h~: cJ. one of the most impressive records in Africa. Principal

IRSPUBUlC, l the endangered list ·--.'KJ<.\f~H"'.R'" tI .'._ . • ms~-.j~ -;,,,...;-,,:,_ ... Ill" TlIE \. \ ~~ l (jONGO' ..dJ. While some nations in Africa have made valiant ULMliDA i I~· attrmpt~ protect their Wi.'d'ife he_"tage, =. of . 01, s.~~ e: Central ~frica has a than conservation
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'~among these is the 8,OOOkm' (3,OOO-sq.-mile) Virunga National Park and World Heritage Site, the nation's first sanctuaries and conservation populations areas saw untold destruction

park established some 80 years ago. Sadly, however, many of the parks,

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The Congo River boasts a watershed of more than 4 million square kilometres (15,5 million square miles) and comprises a series of tributaries with no less than 12,500km (7,750 miles) of navigable inland waters. Flanked by forested mountain tively unblemished there is evidence of some degradation slopes, the river remains relaon its banks. Although - sited here is the massive Inga by the human population

during the civil war, and very little remains of the once thriving of lion, elephant, giraffe, hippo, hyena, buffalo and some areas today may well have been re-opened to mountains of the Ruwenzoris - at presence and the military retain a significant antelope. Although the time of writing,

visitors - such as the breathtaking matters remain somewhat

tenuous, so travellers are advised to make in and around the ORC.

Oam and hydroelectricity scheme, and certain regions do suffer as a result of isolated pollution issues - a more serious problem in Congo is the growing reliance on the trade in bush meat A distressing number National of families, most notably in and around the Nouable-Ndoki

extensive enquiries before venturing

Although some two-thirds of Angola is covered by stark but magnifiland consists largely of has seen insecurity. considering splendour of the countryside cent plateau, and much of the remaining coastal desert, the extraordinary

Park, depend on bush meat for daily sustenance and even income. For many, the trade in primates and other small mammals is the primary source of income, especially considering been opened by the development that vast areas of farming land have been lost and areas that were once inaccessible have now of logging routes. The animals of the - are killed, disforest - itself in danger of being lost to development

little tourism, embroiled as it has been in years of political Sadly, Angola is one of the casualties of instability that continues to bedevil Africa. This is all the more pitiful

and uncertainty

the location and natural beauty of this African republic, which only recently saw the backs of its colonial occupiers. The arid desert sands are golden, sparsely populated and rich in unique fauna and flora, the seas a splendid blue and the offshore islands lined with spectacular beaches dotted with inexpensive hotels and restaurants, capitalize on the meagre tourist trade. Unfortunately, are plagued with litter, inefficient equate response to the hospitality holiday destinations desperate to the wholly inadbureaucracy, a in which it to hold

membered, smoked and cured, and then sold on local streets to be eaten, their skins sold to traders and body parts used to make traditional medicines and potions. The growing human population and increasing urbanization have also meant that the activity has stretched beyond subsistence hunting, the traps and snares - some horrifically brutal - earning millions of US dollars in local and urban communities. Although Africa boasts no temperate rainforests, the Congo Basin lays claim to the continent's largest tropical rainforest Congo, with its high-lying grasslands and forested plateaux, also continues to wrestle with the issue of tree-felling for commercial purposes, and the forest

industry means that even promising

lack of security and poor service. Only time will tell whether Angola will be able to emerge from the quagmire of ineptitude bodies and non-profit rehabilitation environmental organizations finds itself in the 21st century, but a small number of conservation continue out hope for the future of this country. In an attempt in Angola, conservationists The operation to bring about




canopy is slowly being whittled vides outstanding National opportunities

away, and with it the natural habitat Congo's wooded landscape proand Odzala for gorilla watching,

Gabon turtle, Gabon. Nouabale-Ndoki Congo. Okapi, DRC. Makao Forest, Congo. National Park,

of the country's primate population.

in 2000 relocated to the took more than two years to

Park is one of the world's finest parks of its kind, with reports

Kissama Reserve a number of elephants from Tuli in Botswana, where they had been mistreated. be finalized, and their presence in Angola has been hailed as a symbol of peace, hope and renewal in a country in the throes of civil war. The Kissama Foundation was specifically ing the years of military established to facilitate the relodurcation of animals to Angola and to rebuild populations driving force behind not only the introduction but also the reintroduction these parts, including of other wildlife decimated

of no fewer than 100 of these beasts spotted during a single visit The 'gorilla industry' remains one of the nation's few 'lifelines' and is slowly re-establishing within itself following the political turbulence of the late Forest 20th century, which saw the decimation of any sort of safe travel

the Congo. For decades, Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable

provided the only viable option to see Africa's wild gorillas, but matters have changed in recent years. Although there is still a long road ahead, the economic potential of ecotourism is slowly being realised and certain areas are being opened to adventure travellers and naturalists.

action and rampant poaching. It has been the of the Tuli elephants, that was once common in

ostriches, zebra herds and even camels.


Once hailed as one of the finest wildlife reeled under the scourge of dictator wildlife experience and conservation degree that vast populations verdant plains. Fortunately, havens in Africa, Uganda Idi Amin, and its much vaunted record began to falter to such a from semidesert brush to (91,320 sq. miles) of land heritage. The road itself and is today as safe as anywhere else in low, the tourism economy. relatively stable, and the all-important itself as a cornerstone of the hospitality of the national

For a nation that has only in recent years emerged from one of the most sickening genocides in living history, Rwanda is slowly but most assuredly rebuilding sociopolitical Africa. Following years of carnage, crime levels are gratifyingly situation steadily re-establishing In fact, the contribution

Consid~r~d by many to be the most vefatlle rl:gion in all ofAfrit:a,thl: central area of the continent that lneludes Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda is also nne of the most pleturesque, an 9:traordinary landscap~ of lush forest and fertile savanna that is slowly r~-~m~rging as nne of Afrit:a's gr~at treasures. Today, the three nations togl:thl:r boast no 1~5S than fin million hectares of officially protected land, a promising indication for the eccnemfc stability of the broader r~gion. RWANDA Akag~ra National Park veleans National Park A A Mukura Hunting R~s~rvr veleans Biospn~r~ Reserve Nyungw~ Forest geserse BURUNDI Kibira National Park Rusizi National Park Ruvubu National Park Gisagara Nature Reserve Makamba Nature Reserve Rusizi RamsarWl:tland UGANDA Bwindi lmpenetrae!e National Park Gorilla (Mganinga) National Park A C Kibale National Park Kidepo Valll:Y National Park Lake Mburo National Park Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Mount Eigon National Park Murc=hison Falls National Park Qu~~n Elizab~th National Park Ruw~nzori Mountains National Park Kasagala Nature R~s~rvr Ajai name R~s~rvr Bokora name R~s~rvr Bugungu name geserve Karuma name geserve Katonga name Reserve Kig~zi name Reserve Kyambura Game Reservl: Matheniko Bame Reserve Pian Upe Game geserve Toro Game Reservl: Mount Kl:i Whitl: Rnino Sant:tuary Otze Forl:s_tWni_te Rhi~o Sant:tuary Zoka Nature Reservl: East Madi Controlll:d Hunting Arl:a Kaiso Tonya Controlled Hunting Area Karuma Controlll:d Hunting Arl:a Katonga Controlled Hunting Area Lipan Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Nortn Karamoja Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Sebel Controll~d Hunting Ar~a S~mliki Controll~d Hunting Ar~a South Karamoja Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Nortn Tesc Controll~d Hunting Ar~a W~st Madi Controll~d Hunting Ar~a Qu~~n Elizab~th I Ruw~nzori Biosph~r~ geserve Lake G~org~ Ramsar W~tland 8 2 20 6 24 ,9 22 16 14 17 15 22 A Key

of its fauna were decimated, and along however, decades later - and despite the

with them tracts of indigenous vegetation,

industry may prove to be the and development

fact that some 25 per cent of its 236,580km'

great saviour of a country intent on reconstruction nal conflict in which more than a million

cover is considered arable - Uganda is slowly regaining some of its scenic glory and along with it restocking its wildlife sporadic) that at last something may still prove to be long and arduous, but there is evidence (albeit right is being done, and for every water hyacinth sueareas, it may be. - there is a heart-warming insignificant annoyance - from the tsetse fly to the destructive choking the life out of Lake Victoria cess story, no matter how apparently from national it is

as it emerges in the 21st century. In the years that preceded the interRwandans lost their lives, favoured destinations, of its mountain gorillas. sanctuRwanda was hailed as one of the continent's not the least of which was for the attraction Today, the forested mountain

slopes, which occupy the 26,500km'

(10,000 sq. miles) of the country, are one of the last remaining mates once formed Rwanda's third-largest Today, following not difficult groups thriving the stability

aries of gorillas and, as a result, tourists on a quest to see these prisource of foreign capital. family that has settled since the mid-1990s,

Today, Uganda boasts no fewer than 35 gazetted conservation hunting areas. In fact, despite the protestations theory, at least - regulated by government, tourist

parks and reserves to game sanctuaries and controlled of staunch conserva-

to trek to see at least two of the five significant

tionists, there are a number of hunting areas, all of which are - in with limited access to the of the ecotourist of market. The country seems, however, to have successfully skirtAs a result, the sustainability

here. In fact, given the recent history of the place, it is landscape of forest, mountain, that are now

remarkable that it is the breathtaking

lakes and savanna and an impressive array of wildlife

ed the controversy, and leaned toward the potential rather than the casual holiday-maker.

drawing the visitors back - if not in droves then, certainly, in far greater numbers than seen towards the end of the 1900s. In the new era of economic growth and reconstruction, the importance of the country's foothold, parks and reserves is slowly re-establishing its and parks such as Akagera, Nyungwe and Volcans National

the environment and even indigenous culture are not sacrificed for the needs of the tourism industry. Although some of Uganda's reserves are still susceptible to the destinathe majestic Murchison Falls. Desperadoes still Falls National legacy of recent years, many have become acclaimed wildlife tions, most noticeably work some of the roads that snake through its largest (at 3,900km' /1 ,500 sq. Murchison

Park are enjoying a higher priority than ever before. As Rwanda's only savanna reserve, gazetted in 1932, Akagera National Park - a wide stretch of savanna punctuated with lakes and swamps - is best known for its mammal and bird life, the latter numbering nearly 700 species, including great flocks of storks and pelicans and other water-based avifauna. Although some 60 per cent of the plains that formed part of the original national park were reclaimed in order to settle refugees returning after the genocide (a trend that put paid to Gishwati Forest Reserve, which was once acclaimed as the) second-largest rainforest in Rwanda), the breeding herds of the big game that remained now form the nucleus of the park, and Akagera is the setting for some of the country's best wildlife experiences. Great herds of buffalo, zebra, eland and duiker graze the grasslands, and pods of hippo have re-established themselves in local waters, while sitatunga, giant forest hogs, spotted hyena and side-striped jackal, and

Park, yet despite this it remains the showpiece of all of Uganda's parks,


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Given the political volatility in rereat years of the "gion that

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1 andincludes Rwanda, Burundi Uganda, it is the foreign

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revenue of its national parks, other pTore,red areas and tourist attrac-








tions that promi'" to help alleviate the strife of war-torn communities - and indeed


even Masai giraffe and leopard, have made their home here. Equally impressive are the 270-plus bird species and equal number of tree species, a prolific insect life and the apes of Nyungwe Forest, which is said to harbour no fewer than 500, and possibly as many as 1,000, of the of the nearly 200,000 wild primates of Central Africa, and boasts more than a dozen species of monkey, many of which are considered endangered. Consequently, the forest reserve, which at 970km' (375 sq. miles) protectorates


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wildlife populations that have also suffered as a result.

Cl:ntral Karamoja Controlll:d Hunting Area 4

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one of the largest mountain is Rwanda's top wildlife

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card. It was, however, also the centre of an important

conserva-1"& ".~~

tion effort, established here in 1988 to help preserve the forest.,' habitat. Known as the Nyungwe Forest Conservation Project f'PJ. and supported financially by the Rwandan government as ~ well as by both the US Peace Corps and the New York Zoological Society, the future of the project is uncertain, ~.but there are still tours to see Nyungwe's colobus monkeys. Once acknowledged Volcans National as the best of Rwanda's protected parks and the centre of the 'gorilla-spotting industry', the slopes of - are home to gorilla and the park


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II ~~_..., impressive, harbourf""1."~£-r'- ing a diversity of 'lr'-' I wildlife from endangered
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miles) and its most

the latter half of the 20th century saw untold damage to reserves - thousands of animals met their fate here during these years of mismanagement - Murchison Falls and other national

Park - covered with rainforest

instability (770-sq.-mile)

four of the surviving troops of mountain Conservationists

was re-opened to the public at the turn of the new millennium. based here still, however, face an ongoing


such as the 34km' (13-sq.-mile) tourist

Mgahinga and the 2,000km' lodges may even

Queen Elizabeth, are steadily recovering from numbers, and some of the upmarket


struggle with hunters and poachers, and constantly have to square up against government bureaucrats. As a result, the number of adventurers allowed to visit the home pockets of the gorillas is limited and visitors need a special permit.

be considered too crowded during the peak holiday seasons. Fortunately, wildlife populations are now seeing the fruits of the most recent conservation local environment projects and, whereas poaching once helped the to recover from the natural damage executed by it is now the efforts of conservationists The population numbers

elephants in their foraging,

All of Burundi suffered greatly during the wars, the national and sociopolitical climate plunging society - and, indeed, the government economy into complete disarray. Today, the - is still trying to pick up the parts of Burundi are indeed

that have helped rebuild faunal populations.

are still a lot fewer than during the early 1900s, but parks such as Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth are now in fairly good ecological shape, which bodes well for the future of ecotourism. Although of the safari lodges on the outskirts of the reserves were virtually destroyed during the unrest, most have now recovered to become some of Africa's most luxurious. A small number of parks and reserves also act as the base for conservation efforts aimed at preserving what remains of the country's natural resources, most notably the region's chimp population. Island in Lake Victoria Sanctuary and Wildlife Gorilla (Mgahinga) National (162-sq.-mile) individuals. Ngamba is the home of the chimpanzee orphanage Conservation Trust, while the rainforests of many

pieces, with only limited success. Although

safe to visit, notably some urban centres that remain relatively stable, tribal factions mean that the country remains unstable and ecotourism is virtually non-existent. Much of the country's 27,835km' (10,750 sq. miles) is covered by mountain, high rainfall.

and it boasts a variable climate and a

Despite the fact that Burundi covers some magnificent parks - Kibira, Rusizi and Ruvubu - and is, in practice, hardly a gorilla by the movement of

landscape, the risks may be too many for the casual visitor. Although the nation's three national the Gisagara and Makamba nature reserves cover some 0.14 million hectares, resources are limited and conservation priority. In the years of political suffered enormously, populations turmoil, even the mountain


Falls, Uganda.

established by the Born Free Foundation as part of the Chimpanzee National Park that (together with Rwanda's Volcans Park) form the 420km' on Uganda's

Hippo, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda. Hiker, Nyungwe Forest, Rwanda. Butterflies, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.

Park and Congo's Virunga National In addition,

severely affected

Virunga Conservation Area, are home to nearly 650 recent plans to focus attention

troops and the blood that bathed the forests. In fact, even the claim that Source du Nil [The Source of the Nile) near Rutana, which is perhaps the nation's greatest drawcard - albeit little more than a rather disappointing brook - is the southernmost source of the Nile is disputcasualties of war-torn ed. Burundi is, thus, one of the unfortunate Africa and its woodland and tropical lost to adventurers.

extensive wetlands saw fruit when the National Wetlands Programme (NWP) spearheaded the launch of the Wetlands Sector Strategic Plan with the nation's government. careful management, Churchill With political backing and through the environmental programme will help to assure most enduring assets.

climes remain, for the most part,

this treasure house - labelled the 'Pearl of Africa' by Sir Winston remains one of the continent's












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We've shown you the wonders of the world.

Now we provide directions.

The first of its kind, we present in 336 glorious full-colour pages a large format illustrated Adventure Atlas of the African Continent, featuring all the regions and the diverse cultures of Africa. Regional Section Africa is divided into 15 geographical regions which are introduced over 30 pages and serve to lead the reader into the different sections of the atlas, with the aid of colour-coding. National Parks Introduction Section Features 30 pages which introduce the 15 geographical regions in more detail through text and photographs, and includes a numbered list of all the parks and reserves for the corresponding regional map. National Park Map Section This section has 40 pages of detailed large-scale maps covering selected national park and conservation areas throughout Africa. Each map highlights airfields, park camps and facilities, entrance gates, driving routes, and places of interest. Adventure Activity Section In this section six adventure activities are explored for each of the 15 geographical regions, from river-rafting to hot-air ballooning, and rail journeys to hiking and pony trekking. Each activity is accompanied by a map indicating the route and duration of the adventure. Main Map Touring Section Contains 116 pages of contiguous maps of the entire African continent. These finely crafted maps (at scales of 1 million and 3,5 million) contain shaded relief and include border posts, airports, all major and minor routes and their distances, points of interest, 4WD routes, trails, national parks and reserves. Town Plan Section Features street plans of selected major African cities and towns, each with its own street index. Town plans feature buildings and sites of interest, plus options for accommodation. Reference Section Contains Tourism and Travel Information, with contact numbers, embassy details and listings of local tourist authorities. A concise text and map Index, with a distance chart and driving map follow at the end of the book.


Visit the official website and purchase products online at: To become a member of the National Geographic Society call 1.800.NGS.LlNE USA/Canada & 813.979.6845 International Continue your African adventure with the National Geographic Channel. Available in 166 countries and in 34 languagescontact your local cable operator to subscribe.

Printed In Singapore by Tlen Wah Press (Pte) Ltd Caver image: ElephantsinJlmboseli Ncrtional Park,KerJYa, averiookedbyKilimanjaro,Africa'smostfamousmourJtain POOtoby: Daryl Ba~our.W\WI,imagesofafrica,co,za

MapStudio™, South Africa +27 21 462 4360

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