Republic of Cameroon
Lobéké National Park (PNL)
The Lobéké National Park, which is mainly constituted of equatorial forest is part of the Congo Basin in the extreme south-eastern Cameroon. It covers an area of 217,854 hectares surrounded by industrial and artisanal logging concessions as well as hunting sport concessions that form the peripheral area, all are integral parts of the first Category Operational Technical Unit, UTO Southeast, covering an area of about 2.3 million ha.
Created in March 19 2001, the Park’s management is laid within the context of cross border conservation initiative, known as the Sangha Tri-National (TNS). Lobéké has a swampy clearings network especially on the eastern side of the park. PNL has a varied biodiversity rich in wildlife and plant resources. Many of these species are endemic and the park has one of the highest concentrations of African elephants and gorillas.
Whether in eco-tourism, or ethno-tourism, Lobéké National Park does not lack charm.
Lobéké National Park has been the subject of many investments to convert it into an eco-tourism site. We can thus find several bases with built bungalows and trained guides to escort tourists in the forest and even availability of Internet and GSM. In 2011 the number of tourists thus doubled (about 111 tourists). But this is far from reflecting the park’s potential and the investments made.
That’s why at the end of 2011, an assessment mission was dispatched to the scene to try to find practical solutions to better promote this destination.
Because of its rich wildlife, the park is a favourite hunting ground for heavily armed poachers who organize shipments from the Democratic Republic of Congo (Kinshasa) or the Republic of Congo Republic (Brazzaville). Eco-guards with their rudimentary materials are far from being able to withstand this threat. Public authorities have retaliated through arrangements with security forces detachments including the Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR) to better secure the park.