Zakouma National Park, Chad
About the Park
Zakouma National Park is located in the Salamat Region of south-eastern Chad, to the west of the town of Am Timan, approximately 800km by road south east of N'djaména. It has been described as one of the last strongholds for Central African wildlife and is considered a major conservation success story.
Zakouma was proclaimed a national park in 1963 and African Parks formally took on the management in October 2010. The European Union has funded Zakouma since 1989 with about €20 million expended for park management during this time. Through a joint decision by the European Union and the Government of Chad, African Parks was approached to take over the management of the park with the mandate agreement being signed in June 2010. The park covers an area of 3,054km2 and forms a crucial part of a greater ecosystem of approximately 25,000km2. This includes the Bahr Salamat Faunal Reserve which surrounds Zakouma. It falls within the Sudano-Sahelian vegetation zone and represents a vast, flat plain crisscrossed by meandering seasonal watercourses and interspersed with rocky hills and inselbergs in places.
The annual rainfall received ranges between 700 – 1,100mm (average 850mm), the majority of which falls between the months June to October. The high rainfall in such a relatively short period of time coupled with the relatively flat terrain (elevation is an average of 410m above sea level) renders much of the park inundated during the wet season.
Since African Parks' involvement, most species of larger mammals, including buffalo, giraffe, roan antelope and Lelwel's hartebeest have increased in number. Elephant numbers however have dropped from an estimated 4,300 in 2002 to 454 in April 2011, with the vast majority of animals killed between 2006 and 2009. An enormous effort is now being put into protecting this unique Central African population of elephant. Through the protection of this flagship species, countless other species of fauna and flora are also being protected within this unique Sudano-Sahelian ecosystem.
Fauna & Flora