With a size of about 4900km² Garamba National Park is a pure Africa wildlife safari beauty situated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Garamba National Park Congo has been under the management of the African parks limited (APL) since 2005 and the Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN). This park is a perfect destination for tourists interested in Congo wildlife safaris during their Congo safaris.
The National Park is among the oldest notable Africa safari national parks standing as one of the wilderness areas still occurring in Africa. Garamba National Park is a vast protected area with rolling savannah grasslands that give amazing scenes with rewarding encounters during your Congo wildlife tour. During your game drive, you will encounter with Africa’s wildlife like African elephant herds, buffalo herds, Uganda Kobs, Giraffe and Roan Antelopes.
Where is Garamba National Park located?
Garamba National Park is strategically located in the Haut-Uélé district in the Northeastern of Democratic Republic of Congo’s close to the Sudanese border. This park connects to the Lantoto National Park in southern Sudan and is neighbored by Gangala- Na Bodio in the southern part, Mondo Missa in the Eastern region and Azande in the west all of which are recorded hunting areas. The northern border of this national park is a watershed for the Congo River and River Nile River that is famous as the world’s longest river.
History of Garamba National Park
Garamba National Park was officially gazetted by a Belgian Royal Decree in 1938 making it one of the oldest National Parks of Africa and was once home to the world`s biggest number of northern white rhinos. Garamba National Park was later declared a Heritage site in 1980 and listed on the danger list in 1996 as a result of White Rhino Species being threatened and apparently extinct in this park. Wildlife in this national park suffered immense pressure from the Commercial Sudanese Poachers between the years 1976-1980. The efforts to recover the white Rhinos were enhanced in the southern region and by 1991; the number had increased to 30 white rhinos.
In 1980s, Garamba Park was put among the list of World Heritage in Danger after the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources(IUCN) projected that only 15 northern white rhinos remained because of poaching of rhinos that had become rampant. UNESCO to take the initiative to rehabilitate the park and by 1992, the park had already been removed from the danger list.
The park experienced heavy poaching by both foreign and local people with the political unrest marked by the civil wars, undisciplined Congolese soldiers, Sudan rebels and Lord’s Resistance Army who occupied the park running away from Uganda army pressure. On November 12th 2005 the African Parks Limited (APL) and the Institute Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) took over the administration of Garamba National Park.
How to get there
Garamba can be accessed by vehicle using eastern approach through Uganda however if quite hectic as it will need you to traverse 200km on awful roads using this route. In the rainy season, it becomes worse as roads get completely drenched especially from May to December.
This road has no specific travel time; it can be a day or a week depending on the season and prevailing weather conditions. It is better to acquire updated information regarding the road before you embark on this route.
By Road: There are many unclear routes and roads that can take you to Garamba National Park. We emphasize checking on the weather condition before you travel.
If you connect from Uganda, drive via Arua and cross the border to Congo. The road is clear from Kampala to Aura. Its however rough, a 4×4 safari vehicle is highly recommended.
By Air: Connect using Entebbe international airport in Uganda from all over the world, then drive to the northeast via Arua and cross to Congo, from here, you will drive again for about 10 minutes up to where you will get a domestic flight to Garamba National park.
Alternatively, Qwik flight is a commercial flight from Kinshasa to Beni and Dungu, relatively near to Garamba.
Quick Facts about Garamba National Park
- Garamba is one of the oldest national parks in Africa! The DRC was colonised by Belgium and Garamba National Park was established in 1938 by Royal Decree, making it one of the oldest conservation areas in Africa.
- Garamba is home to a subspecies of giraffe known as the Congo giraffe. The Congo giraffe forms the symbol of the park as Garamba’s giraffes are the only known giraffe population in the DRC. In 2012 Fundación Biodiversidad sponsored the collaring of five giraffes for scientific research.
- Did you know that it is speculated that the elephants that occur in Garamba are hybrids of the savannah and forest elephants?
- On the darker side of Garamba’s history: In 1920 the Elephant Domestication Centre was created by Belgium colonial rule in Garamba where 100 elephants were trained to work in agricultural fields.
- Garamba is home to the charismatic sausage tree. The sausage tree is one of Africa’s iconic trees. It has a large over-bearing fruit that is used to treat skin conditions as well as form a red dye used in traditional practices. A mature ‘sausage’ fruit can be up to 0.6m long and weigh a whopping 6.8kg. The blood-moon red flowers of this tree are also easy on the eye and their scent is attractive to many pollinators but its smell is not very appealing to humans.
After your Congo wildlife tours, you can extent your Congo tour to around Virunga national park or Kahuzi Biega National Park for a Congo gorilla safari tour. It is also possible to extend it to other near by countries like Uganda and Rwanda. You can enjoy a 6 days Uganda gorilla trekking safari or 6 days’ gorilla safari Rwanda to Bwindi impenetrable national park and Volcanoes national park respectively. In conclusion, if you have time, you can combine your gorilla safari in Congo in Virunga National Park with a Rwanda safari. Rwanda gorilla trekking safari, Uganda safaris, short Uganda wildlife safaris, Uganda gorilla safaris, Uganda chimpanzee safaris, Uganda adrenaline adventures, Kampala city tours, Jinja city tours and many more.