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AFRICA

ADVENTURE ATLAS
Regions National Parks Adventures Touring Maps Town Plans References

Contents

Exploring Africa........................................................................................4 How To Navigate Through This Atlas............................................6 Countries of Africa by Region...........................................................8
THE MAGHREB...............................................................................................................................10 THE SAHARA...................................................................................................................................12 THE NILE VALLEY................................................................................................................................14 THE TAOUDENNI BASIN..................................................................................................................16 THE IVORY COAST..............................................................................................................................18 THE EQUATORIAL INTERIOR...........................................................................................................20 THE HORN OF AFRICA......................................................................................................................22 THE CONGO BASIN...........................................................................................................................24 THE GREAT LAKES..............................................................................................................................26 THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY..................................................................................................................28 THE GREAT ZAMBEZI........................................................................................................................30 THE MOZAMBIQUE COAST.............................................................................................................32 THE INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS.......................................................................................................34 THE SKELETON COAST......................................................................................................................36 SOUTHERN AFRICA...........................................................................................................................38

National Parks Contents....................................................................40 National Parks Overview...................................................................42 National Parks by Region..................................................................44 National Park & Key Tourist Maps...............................................74 Adventure Activities Contents.....................................................114 Adventure Activities Overview....................................................116 Adventure Activities Maps by Region.....................................118 Touring Maps Contents...................................................................148 Touring Maps Route Planner........................................................150 Touring Maps........................................................................................152 Gear for Africa.....................................................................................269 Town Maps Contents........................................................................270 Town Maps Overview.......................................................................272 Town Maps.............................................................................................274 Tourism & Travel Information......................................................316 Index of Regions, Parks and Adventures................................319 Index Touring Maps..........................................................................320 Picture Credits & Imprint...............................................................335

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

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The Horn of Africa

ERITREA

ETHIOPIA

SOMALIA

DJIBOUTI

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although its once impressive numbers of buffalo herds have now been reduced to little more than 400 head. Mago may well be Ethiopias 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 countrys protected areas have been upgraded.

Eritrea
THE REGION

With the exception of Ethiopia, which has nine national parks, 10 wildlife sanctuaries and no fewer than 13 controlled hunting areas, plus the Simien World Heritage Site covering a total of nearly 19 million hectares (7 million acres) the nations that make up the Horn of Africa are largely devoid of national parks. Tracts of conservation land here are few and are restricted to smaller wildlife sanctuaries and reserves.
ERITREA Key

Gash-Setit Wildlife Reserve Nakfa Wildlife Reserve Yob Wildlife Reserve


ETHIOPIA

3 2 1

Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park Awash National Park Bale Mountains National Park Gambella National Park Mago National Park Nechisar National Park Omo National Park Simien Mountains National Park Yangudi Rassa National Park Babile Elephant Sanctuary Yabelo Sanctuary 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 Chercher & Arba Gugu Controlled Hunting Area Dabus Valley Controlled Hunting Area Eastern Hararghe (Harar-Wabi Shebelle) Hunting Controlled Area Erer-Gota Controlled Hunting Area Jikao Controlled Hunting Area Murle Controlled Hunting Area Omo West Controlled Hunting Area Tedo Controlled Hunting Area Alledeghi Wildlife Reserve Bale Wildlife Reserve Chew Bahr Wildlife Reserve Gewane Wildlife Reserve Mille-Sardo Wildlife Reserve Shire Wildlife Reserve Tama Wildlife Reserve Simien Mountains World Heritage Site
SOMALIA

F G I B D E C A H 15 9 17 4 10 G I 8 16 2 18 14 3 6 5 4 11 I 7 12 13 1 7 A

Considering that the State of Eritrea is no more than a decade old and is still struggling to counter years of famine, drought, poverty and political dissension, it is little wonder that this semiarid country has cast no more than a cursory glance at the issues of environmental conservation. Its tourism industry, although growing, remains but a fledgling enterprise that is still to prove its potential for government coffers. The dry landscape has no permanent river systems and no inland water sources of any consequence, so it should come as no surprise that Eritrea has only three wildlife sanctuaries and no national parks. State officials have shown little enthusiasm for the few but generally promising ecological programmes established by nongovernmental organizations and international environmental agencies. Priority, it seems, is given to economic development within or around existing urban settlements and, to some degree, to the mostly impoverished rural areas that depend on agriculture. Although these elements of Eritreas sociopolitical development do indeed demand dedicated attention and resources, it would do the national government well to consider the potential of the nations unexplored wilderness and the wealth of endemic wildlife it harbours.

Somalia
Like Eritrea, Somalia has no national parks, and conservation efforts are restricted to the Alifuuto (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 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. Large tracts of land that were once dotted with acacia species have, for example, been denuded in favour of charcoal production, which has proved to be an important export albeit unofficially with vast quantities shipped out to neighbouring countries where wood fuels are equally rare. Despite the ecological importance of the marine and coastal environment off Somalias shores, the exploitation of these resources is equally important to the national economy. The waters off the coast are extraordinarily rich and cant yet be seen as threatened by the existing levels of human activity, but they are nevertheless affected mostly adversely by the harvesting of marine life that is currently taking place. 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 to the country.
ADV 130 NA 89

Ethiopia
Although Ethiopia must be one of the most ravaged of all African nations, still suffering from drought and famine, poverty and political uncertainty, its conservation efforts meagre as they are are the most commendable in the entire region, with the state having set aside more than 18 million hectares (45 million acres) as protected sanctuaries for the nations flora and fauna. No less than 20,756km2 (8,014 sq. miles) of the country has been allocated for national parks and, in addition, Ethiopia has a remarkably rich bird life, yet the country is not particularly well known for the abundance and diversity of its wildlife. The small animal population is primarily restricted to out-of-the-way places further inland. Much of Ethiopias faunal resources are today threatened 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, tragically, huge numbers of people are starving because not enough food is grown for domestic use. At the same time, thousands and thousands of indigenous trees are being systematically cut down for domestic fuel as well as to accommodate the timber requirements of both the agricultural sector and the construction industry. Statistics show that more than two-thirds of Ethiopias trees have been felled in less than 30 years. Government departments and the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organization have at least taken some responsibility for the countrys wildlife resources. However, the preservation and maintenance of Ethiopias natural ecosystems, the conservation 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 specialized organizations such as the Ethiopian Wildlife & Natural History Society. The Societys 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 plight of the Ethiopian wolf, a fox-like mammal previously known as the Simien wolf that, although once fairly common, is now one of the most endangered canine predators in the world. Flag-bearer of this cause is the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, an offshoot of Oxford Universitys Wildlife Conservation Research Unit that is funded in part by the UK-based Born Free Foundation. Endemic to the highlands, the Ethiopian species is the only wolf to be found naturally in Africa, and most recent records indicate that there are fewer than 600 individuals left in Ethiopias wilds. The area that can lay claim to the greatest number of these canines is the spectacular Simien Mountains National Park which, although it has plenty of gelada baboon, ibex and, most notably, a number of birds of prey, is perhaps best known as a popular hiking destination. Like Simien Mountains, Bale Mountains National Park also designated a Controlled Hunting Area and Wildlife Reserve serves as a haven for these and a number of other creatures, but its greatest attraction for visitors is its 2,400km2 (925 sq. miles) of scenic splendour, which includes the Sanetti Plateau and the 4,377m (14,360ft) peak of Tullu Demtu. Although Simien and Bale parks both boast some good populations of endemic animals, it is the rugged terrain of the mountain landscape and the series of hiking trails that enjoy more attention than the limited wildlife. While parks such as the Abijatta-Shalla Lakes National Park have very little to offer the safari-goer, the other three parks in the Rift Valley Yangudi Rassa, Awash and Nechisar and even remote areas such as the great Omo Valley and the adjoining Mago National Park, report significant numbers of birds, game such as gazelle and zebra, and even elephants and other large mammals, including predators. Despite its rather parched wilderness and its thinly spread animal life, the 2,162km2 (7,100-sq.-mile) Mago also counts waterbuck, gerenuk, black-backed jackal, lesser kudu, and bushbuck among its 100 species,

Alifuuto (Arbowerow) Nature Reserve Bushbush Game Reserve


DJIBOUTI

2 1

Fret du Day

Bordering the ecologically diverse Red Sea and the highly sensitive ecosystems of the African hinterland, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti hold custodianship of a vast stretch of land that has seen considerable environmental destruction over the last few decades.

Wildlife that once found its home on the parched hinterland has 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 populations. While jackal, hyena, oryx, dik-dik, warthog, ostrich and other bird life are indeed fairly common, and 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 worlds most threatened mammals.

Djibouti
The tiny city-state of Djibouti comprises little more than the urban settlement that is its capital, bordering the Gulf of Aden at the southern end of the Red Sea. The dry and wild landscape that makes up the state of Djiboutis 23,200km2 (9,000 sq. miles) of coastal plain and mountainous plateau is renowned more for its leisure and adventure activities than for the wildlife that inhabits the interior. Apart from the scenic beauty of the land and the ecological importance of certain areas, such as its lakes Lake Assal, Lac Goubet and Lac Abb there is little to distinguish a terrain that is mostly a simple westerly extension of neighbouring Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Djibouti has no national parks, no game or nature reserve either state-owned or private and no wildlife sanctuaries. It is mostly a wasteland of arid, inhospitable land, and its sole contribution to the protection of the regions ecological status is to be found its only protected area, the unremarkable Fret du Day, which skirts the bay on which the entire nation is focused.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

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

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The Congo Basin

GABON

CONGO

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

ANGOLA

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Gabon
THE REGION

Democratic Republic of the Congo


Much maligned and one of the most recent victims of the world view that Africa is dark, dangerous and unpredictable in both terrain and temperament, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) formerly Zare is nevertheless a magnificent country. It boasts many hidden treasures, not the least of which are the diamonds that form one of the mainstays of the national economy. Like Gabon and Congo, the DRC, which falls largely within the forest-bedecked basin of the river from which it takes its name, is rich in an indigenous wildlife that 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 devastation. According to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the volcanic eruption resulted in a crisis of tremendous proportions and it will take decades for the rehabilitation programmes to restore the landscape here to its former glory. Despite the magnificent natural beauty of the country, it would be foolish to disregard the volatility of the nations political situation, which has been responsible for so much of the destruction inflicted upon the environment here. Whereas the stable tourist trade of the mid- to late 20th century ensured that the biodiversity of the local ecosystem remained relatively unscathed by either development or human settlement, the growing tensions and resultant civil unrest that followed in the 1990s and beyond meant that this soon dwindled to virtually nothing, and environmental concerns have little significance in the modern nation. The thickly wooded rainforest was rampantly raped and pillaged by both the militia and unchecked trophy hunters, poachers and subsistence hunters despite the survival in even latter-day DRC of controlled hunting areas. This, together with activities of the ever-present mining and logging industries, has resulted in a number of plant and animal species, most notably primates, emerging on the endangered list.
While some nations in Africa have made valiant attempts to protect their wildlife heritage, much of Central Africa has a less than impressive conservation record, with vast tracts of land decimated by the legacy of degradation left by military forces in recent years.

Both in its varied history and in its rather precarious present, Central Africa has been the centre of much turmoil that has seen its people suffer at the hands of civil war along with the rape of large tracts of land considered by many to be some of the most remarkable on the continent. While some 8 million hectares of Angolas acaciadotted plains have now been set aside as protected land, less than 2 million hectares of Congos equatorial rainforest is under official protection.
GABON Key

Ipassa-Makokou Strict Nature Reserve Lop Faunal Reserve Moukalaba-Dougoua Faunal Reserve Ouanga Plain Faunal Reserve Petit Loango Faunal Reserve Iguela Hunting Reserve Moukalaba Hunting Reserve Ngov-Ndogo Hunting Reserve Sett-Cama Hunting Reserve Wonga-Wongu Presidential Reserve Ipassa-Makokou Biosphere Reserve Petit Loango Ramsar Wetland Sett-Cama Ramsar Wetland Wonga-Wongu Ramsar Wetland
CONGO

1 3 5 6 5 4 5 4 6 2 1 5 6 2

Nouabal-Ndoki National Park Odzala National Park Conkouati Faunal Reserve Lefini Faunal Reserve Lekoli-Pandaka Faunal Reserve Mont Fouari Faunal Reserve Tsoulou Faunal Reserve Mboko Hunting Reserve Mont Mavoumbou Hunting Reserve Nyanga Sud Hunting Reserve Dimonika-Mayombe Biosphere Reserve Odzala Biosphere Reserve
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (DRC)

A B 4 2 B 5 3 B 5 5 1 B

Garamba National Park Kahuzi-Biega National Park Kundelungu National Park Maiko National Park Okapi National Park Salonga National Park Upemba National Park Virunga National Park Bili-Uere Hunting Reserve Bombo-Lumene Hunting Reserve Bushimaie Hunting Reserve Luama Hunting Reserve Maika-Penge Hunting Reserve Mangai Hunting Reserve Mondo Missa Hunting Reserve Rutshuru Hunting Reserve Swa-Kibula Hunting Reserve Valle De La Lufira Biosphere Reserve Luki Forest Reserve Yangambi Forest Floral Reserve Garamba World Heritage Site Kahuzi-Biega World Heritage Site Salonga World Heritage Site Virunga World Heritage Site
ANGOLA

F C A D H G B E 2 4 5 1 G 6 F 7 8 9 10 11 F C 3 E

Of the nations that fall within the equatorial band of Central Africa, Gabon is perhaps the shining light, largely because it is blessed with a growing economy, an abundance of indigenous resources and a relatively sophisticated infrastructure. With the burgeoning economy, however, 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 3,000mm (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 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 remains a concern, as does the trade in bush meat. Logging is nevertheless one of the nations most vital income-producers and its importance has grown with the decline in the oil price. Whereas tree-felling was once limited to land within 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 considerable profits in the foreseeable future, and the alarming growth in the industry affects not only Gabons woodlands, but also animal populations. The expanding road network has, in turn, meant an increase in poaching of hitherto unaffected areas, and nearly 50 per cent of the Lop 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 650km2 (250 sq. miles) of Lop and, in return, about 400km2 (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 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 Lop, which not only keeps an eye over the wildlife sanctuary, but also promotes sustainable development.

ADV 132 NP 91

Congo
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 slopes, the river remains relatively unblemished by the human population on its banks. Although there is evidence of some degradation sited here is the massive Inga Dam 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 of families, most notably in and around the Nouabl-Ndoki National 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 that vast areas of farming land have been lost and areas that were once inaccessible have now been opened by the development of logging routes. The animals of the forest itself in danger of being lost to development are killed, dismembered, 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 continents 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 canopy is slowly being whittled away, and with it the natural habitat of the countrys primate population. Congos wooded landscape provides outstanding opportunities for gorilla watching, and Odzala National Park is one of the worlds finest parks of its kind, with reports of no fewer than 100 of these beasts spotted during a single visit. The gorilla industry remains one of the nations few lifelines and is slowly re-establishing itself following the political turbulence of the late 20th century, which saw the decimation of any sort of safe travel within the Congo. For decades, Ugandas Bwindi Impenetrable Forest provided the only viable option to see Africas 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.

There are, nonetheless, no fewer than four World Heritage Sites in the DRC, surely one of the most impressive records in Africa. Principal among these is the 8,000km2 (3,000-sq.-mile) Virunga National Park and World Heritage Site, the nations first park established some 80 years ago. Sadly, however, many of the parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation areas saw untold destruction during the civil war, and very little remains of the once thriving wildlife populations of lion, elephant, giraffe, hippo, hyena, buffalo and antelope. Although some areas today may well have been re-opened to visitors such as the breathtaking mountains of the Ruwenzoris at the time of writing, the military retain a significant presence and matters remain somewhat tenuous, so travellers are advised to make extensive enquiries before venturing in and around the DRC.

Bikuar National Park Cangandala National Park Iona National Park Kameia National Park Quiama National Park Mupa National Park Luando Integral Nature Reserve Bufalo Partial Reserve Luiana Partial Reserve Mavinga Partial Reserve Mocamedes Partial Reserve Chimalavera Regional Nature Park

C E A F D B 4 2 6 5 1 3

Angola
Although some two-thirds of Angola is covered by stark but magnificent plateau, and much of the remaining land consists largely of coastal desert, the extraordinary splendour of the countryside has seen little tourism, embroiled as it has been in years of political insecurity. Sadly, Angola is one of the casualties of instability and uncertainty that continues to bedevil Africa. This is all the more pitiful considering 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, desperate to capitalize on the meagre tourist trade. Unfortunately, the wholly inadequate response to the hospitality industry means that even promising holiday destinations are plagued with litter, inefficient bureaucracy, a lack of security and poor service. Only time will tell whether Angola will be able to emerge from the quagmire of ineptitude in which it finds itself in the 21st century, but a small number of conservation bodies and non-profit environmental organizations continue to hold out hope for the future of this country. In an attempt to bring about rehabilitation in Angola, conservationists in 2000 relocated to the Kissama Reserve a number of elephants from Tuli in Botswana, where they had been mistreated. The operation took more than two years to 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 established to facilitate the relocation of animals to Angola and to rebuild populations decimated during the years of military action and rampant poaching. It has been the driving force behind not only the introduction of the Tuli elephants, but also the reintroduction of other wildlife that was once common in these parts, including ostriches, zebra herds and even camels.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

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

60

The Great Lakes

RWANDA

BURUNDI

UGANDA

61
Uganda
Once hailed as one of the finest wildlife havens in Africa, Uganda reeled under the scourge of dictator Idi Amin, and its much vaunted wildlife experience and conservation record began to falter to such a degree that vast populations of its fauna were decimated, and along with them tracts of indigenous vegetation, from semidesert brush to verdant plains. Fortunately, however, decades later and despite the fact that some 25 per cent of its 236,580km2 (91,320 sq. miles) of land cover is considered arable Uganda is slowly regaining some of its scenic glory and along with it restocking its wildlife heritage. The road may still prove to be long and arduous, but there is evidence (albeit sporadic) that at last something right is being done, and for every annoyance from the tsetse fly to the destructive water hyacinth choking the life out of Lake Victoria there is a heart-warming success story, no matter how apparently insignificant it may be. Today, Uganda boasts no fewer than 35 gazetted conservation areas, from national parks and reserves to game sanctuaries and controlled hunting areas. In fact, despite the protestations of staunch conservationists, there are a number of hunting areas, all of which are in theory, at least regulated by government, with limited access to the tourist market. The country seems, however, to have successfully skirted the controversy, and leaned toward the potential of the ecotourist rather than the casual holiday-maker. As a result, the sustainability of the environment and even indigenous culture are not sacrificed for the needs of the tourism industry. Although some of Ugandas reserves are still susceptible to the legacy of recent years, many have become acclaimed wildlife destinations, most noticeably the majestic Murchison Falls. Desperadoes still work some of the roads that snake through Murchison Falls National Park, yet despite this it remains the showpiece of all of Ugandas parks, its largest (at 3,900km2 / 1,500 sq.

Rwanda
THE REGION

Considered by many to be the most volatile region in all of Africa, the central area of the continent that includes Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda is also one of the most picturesque, an extraordinary landscape of lush forest and fertile savanna that is slowly re-emerging as one of Africas great treasures. Today, the three nations together boast no less than five million hectares of officially protected land, a promising indication for the economic stability of the broader region.
RWANDA Key

Akagera National Park Volcans National Park Mukura Hunting Reserve Volcans Biosphere Reserve Nyungwe Forest Reserve
BURUNDI

B A 1 A 2

Kibira National Park Rusizi National Park Ruvubu National Park Gisagara Nature Reserve Makamba Nature Reserve Rusizi Ramsar Wetland
UGANDA

A B C 1 2 B

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park H Gorilla (Mgahinga) National Park E Kibale National Park F Kidepo Valley National Park A Lake Mburo National Park C Mgahinga Gorilla National Park E Mount Elgon National Park G Murchison Falls National Park B Queen Elizabeth National Park D Ruwenzori Mountains National Park I Kasagala Nature Reserve 16 Ajai Game Reserve 14 Bokora Game Reserve 5 Bugungu Game Reserve 17 Karuma Game Reserve 15 Katonga Game Reserve 22 Kigezi Game Reserve 1 Kyambura Game Reserve 22 Matheniko Game Reserve 7 Pian Upe Game Reserve 3 Toro Game Reserve 19 Mount Kei White Rhino Sanctuary 11 Otze Forest White Rhino Sanctuary 10 Zoka Nature Reserve 23 Central Karamoja Controlled Hunting Area 4 East Madi Controlled Hunting Area 13 Kaiso Tonya Controlled Hunting Area 18 Karuma Controlled Hunting Area 15 Katonga Controlled Hunting Area 21 Lipan Controlled Hunting Area 9 North Karamoja Controlled Hunting Area 8 Sebei Controlled Hunting Area 2 Semliki Controlled Hunting Area 20 South Karamoja Controlled Hunting Area 6 North Teso Controlled Hunting Area 24 West Madi Controlled Hunting Area 12 Queen Elizabeth / Ruwenzori Biosphere Reserve D Lake George Ramsar Wetland D

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 itself and is today as safe as anywhere else in Africa. Following years of carnage, crime levels are gratifyingly low, the sociopolitical situation relatively stable, and the all-important tourism steadily re-establishing itself as a cornerstone of the national economy. In fact, the contribution of the hospitality industry may prove to be the great saviour of a country intent on reconstruction and development as it emerges in the 21st century. In the years that preceded the internal conflict in which more than a million Rwandans lost their lives, Rwanda was hailed as one of the continents favoured destinations, not the least of which was for the attraction of its mountain gorillas. Today, the forested mountain slopes, which occupy the 26,500km2 (10,000 sq. miles) of the country, are one of the last remaining sanctuaries of gorillas and, as a result, tourists on a quest to see these primates once formed Rwandas third-largest source of foreign capital. Today, following the stability that has settled since the mid-1990s, it is not difficult to trek to see at least two of the five significant family groups thriving here. In fact, given the recent history of the place, it is remarkable that it is the breathtaking landscape of forest, mountain, lakes and savanna and an impressive array of wildlife that are now 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 countrys parks and reserves is slowly re-establishing its foothold, and parks such as Akagera, Nyungwe and Volcans National Park are enjoying a higher priority than ever before. As Rwandas 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 countrys 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 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 970km2 (375 sq. miles) is one of the largest mountain rainforest protectorates on the continent, is Rwandas top wildlife drawcard. It was, however, also the centre of an important conservation effort, established here in 1988 to help preserve the forest habitat. Known as the Nyungwe Forest Conservation Project 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 Nyungwes colobus monkeys. Once acknowledged as the best of Rwandas protected parks and the centre of the gorilla-spotting industry, the slopes of Volcans National Park covered with rainforest are home to four of the surviving troops of mountain gorilla and the park was re-opened to the public at the turn of the new millennium. Conservationists based here still, however, face an ongoing 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.

ADV 134 NP 94

Given the political volatility in recent years of the region that includes Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, it is the foreign revenue of its national parks, other protected areas and tourist attractions that promises to help alleviate the strife of war-torn communities and indeed wildlife populations that have also suffered as a result.

Burundi
All of Burundi suffered greatly during the wars, the national economy and sociopolitical climate plunging into complete disarray. Today, the society and, indeed, the government is still trying to pick up the pieces, with only limited success. Although parts of Burundi are indeed 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 countrys 27,835km2 (10,750 sq. miles) is covered by mountain, and it boasts a variable climate and a high rainfall. Despite the fact that Burundi covers some magnificent landscape, the risks may be too many for the casual visitor. Although the nations three national parks Kibira, Rusizi and Ruvubu and the Gisagara and Makamba nature reserves cover some 0.14 million hectares, resources are limited and conservation is, in practice, hardly a priority. In the years of political turmoil, even the mountain gorilla suffered enormously, populations severely affected by the movement of 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 nations greatest drawcard albeit little more than a rather disappointing brook is the southernmost source of the Nile is disputed. Burundi is, thus, one of the unfortunate casualties of war-torn Africa and its woodland and tropical climes remain, for the most part, lost to adventurers.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

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

miles) and its most impressive, harbouring a diversity of wildlife from endangered birds to chimpanzees. Whereas the latter half of the 20th century saw untold damage to reserves thousands of animals met their fate here during these years of mismanagement and political instability Murchison Falls and other national parks, such as the 34km2 (13-sq.-mile) Mgahinga and the 2,000km2 (770-sq.-mile) Queen Elizabeth, are steadily recovering from declining tourist numbers, and some of the upmarket lodges may even be considered too crowded during the peak holiday seasons. Fortunately, wildlife populations are now seeing the fruits of the most recent conservation projects and, whereas poaching once helped the local environment to recover from the natural damage executed by elephants in their foraging, it is now the efforts of conservationists that have helped rebuild faunal populations. The population numbers 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 many of the safari lodges on the outskirts of the reserves were virtually destroyed during the unrest, most have now recovered to become some of Africas most luxurious. A small number of parks and reserves also act as the base for conservation efforts aimed at preserving what remains of the countrys natural resources, most notably the regions chimp population. Ngamba Island in Lake Victoria is the home of the chimpanzee orphanage established by the Born Free Foundation as part of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust, while the rainforests of Gorilla (Mgahinga) National Park that (together with Rwandas Volcans National Park and Congos Virunga National Park) form the 420km2 (162-sq.-mile) Virunga Conservation Area, are home to nearly 650 individuals. In addition, recent plans to focus attention on Ugandas extensive wetlands saw fruit when the National Wetlands Programme (NWP) spearheaded the launch of the Wetlands Sector Strategic Plan with the nations government. With political backing and through careful management, the environmental programme will help to assure this treasure house labelled the Pearl of Africa by Sir Winston Churchill remains one of the continents most enduring assets.

82

Nile Delta & pyramids at Giza

EGYPT

Nile Valley, Luxor & Thebes

EGYPT

83

TO ISNA

TO FERRY TO LUXOR

SHARIA COR

NICH E

EL N

IL

SHA RIA

MO

HA

ME D
R FA

SH

AR IA D ME AH I AB OR

EL MA

DINA

EL MN

ORA

SHAR IA EL

KA

I SIY EL
D

YU SEF

RN

AK

SHAR IA E L KA RNA K

ID

LUXOR AND KARNAK

84

Central African Parks

NIGER/BENIN/BURKINA FASO

A RG BA S AM LIFF T C

S DE TE PIS

ROUTE P AGE

Tangui ta

NTS PHA EL
TO NATITINGOU

PENDJARI NATIONAL PARK

Como National Park

CTE DIVOIRE

85

86

Mole & Kakum National Parks

GHANA

TO BOLE

Damongo

TO KUMASI

Eastern Nigerian Highlands


Obudu

NIGERIA

87

Ogoja

Otak

SO

NK

LA WA

MTS

TS

GO

TEL M TS

illa Mamb

a Pl

te

ADA

MA OU A
20

MT S

ADVENTURE ATLAS
Weve shown you the wonders of the world.

AFRICA
Now we provide directions.

The rst 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 airelds, 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 nely 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.

TRAVEL

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

Printed in Singapore by Tien Wah Press (Pte) Ltd Cover image: Elephants in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, overlooked by Kilimanjaro, Africas most famous mountain. Photo by: Daryl Balfour, www.imagesofafrica.co.za

MapStudio, South Africa www.mapstudio.co.za +27 21 462 4360