Parc National de la Pendjari
Parc National de la Pendjari, Benin, West Africa.
Here, there are less animals and they're harder to find than in East or Southern Africa (where I would love to go one day). Many animals run away from cars and can be very difficult to photograph. Not many people visit the park and tourists visiting Benin usually ignore it, as it is remote and not as spectacular as East Africa. But still, to me it is a very special and beautiful place, especially since I grew up in this part of the world.

Four of the "big five" can be found in the park (lions, elephants, buffalos and leopards, although spotting a leopard is almost impossible). There are also cheetahs and wild dogs, but in very few numbers and again, spotting them is a mircale. Hyenas are also difficult to observe, as they are nocturnal.

Buffaloes (Syncerus caffer brachyceros) are a mix between Cape Buffalos (S.c. caffer) and Forest Buffalos (S.c. nanus : smaller, red or black, different horns...).

Elephants are a different species (DNA studies suggest the West African animals are sufficiently different genetically to be classified as a third species of African elephant).

Lions have no mane and it is a privilege to encounter them, as they are elusive and quite rare out here.

With over 460 species of birds, the park is also a great place for birders.

So sit back, relax, and take a moment to discover this remote, beautiful wilderness...

See a longer description of the park in the discussions of the great "Born Free, Living Free" group :
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