Odzala-Kokoua National Park Congo
Odzala-Kokoua National Park is a parade for nature lovers and nestled in the heart of the second largest tropical rainforest in the world. The park is game to over 22000 western lowland gorillas, elephants and almost 450 species of bird. The floral diversity beneath the canopy off the rainforest is astounding and is made up of some the rarest species of plant in the world. Ivory and bushmeat poaching however still continues to be threat and African Parks are working hard to protect this 13500 kmsq landscape. African Parks has trained over 100 eco-guards to protect the park and the monitor the salt licks where the animals congregate.
The long term sustainability of the park is dependent on working closely with local communities to curb poaching, introducing mobile health clinics and implementing gorilla habituation programmes. This in turn will increase tourism to the area.
- A successful 'poacher to protector' initiative has been implemented where firearms have been confiscated and poachers have been given the opportunity to become park rangers. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in poaching, transfer of information, arrests and convictions.
- A bushmeat crisis is rampant in Central Africa. In 2016 rangers confiscated 26 tonnes of bushmeat and 34810 rounds of ammunition.
- Following effective implementation of law enforcement, many forest animals have moved back to the area and 11 forest elephants have been collared and are being satellite tracked.
- A gorilla habituation programme is producing encouraging results
- A health clinic has been mobile sine 2016 delivering healthcare to 39 villages and treating 227 people.
- 40000 cocoa saplings have been planted outside the park to diversify livelihoods and provide and alternative to illegal bushmeat poaching.
- Tourism is growing with the additional of two more lodges.