African Parks assumed management of Pendjari National Park, Benin, in 2017  to revitalise the last large reserve in west and central Africa, and create a thriving wildlife destination. The park, with an area of 4,800 km2, is part of the W-Arly-Pendjari (WAP) complex which spans Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger, and is the largest remaining intact natural ecosystem in the whole of West Africa.

Pendjari is home to iconic species including elephant, cheetah, lion, buffalo, antelope and a host of other wildlife. including a rich diversity of small mammals, fish species, and important birdlife. Pendjari is one of the last strongholds for elephants in West Africa, although poaching has been on the rise  since 2010 and is key threat for the species.

Along with elephant poaching, bushmeat poaching, agricultural pressure along the park periphery, rising livestock numbers, illegal logging, and intensification of illegal fishing are all factors that threaten the stability and sustianabilty of the park and the region. However, the Pendjari Complex has a relatively healthy ecosystem in which effective management will ensure the conservation of biodiversity and the coexistence of humans and their environment.

 

Highlights

  • The Pendjari Complex has been nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Pendjari is one of the largest remaining strongholds for elephants in West Africa
  • The Presidency of the Republic of Benin entered into a long-term partnership with African Parks as one of its 45 flagship projects under its investment programme referred to as “Revealing Benin”.
  • Funding is being provided by the Government of Benin along with several other donors who are contributing initial start-up funds, including the Wyss Foundation who made a significant multi-year challenge grant to African Parks specifically to bring new parks under management.