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Niokolo-Koba Biosphere Reserve, Senegal

Located in a well-watered area along the banks of the Gambia river, in south-eastern Senegal, the gallery forests and savannahs of Niokolo-Koba National Park have a great diversity of ecosystems and a very rich fauna, which includes Derby elands (largest of the antelopes), chimpanzees, lions, leopards and a large population of elephants, as well as many birds, reptiles and amphibians.

Designation date: 1981


Regional network:  AfriMAB

Ecosystem-based network: Savanna




    Surface :  2,043,921 ha

    • Core area(s): 913,000 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 365,725 ha
    • Transition area(s): 765,196

    Location: N/A

    Administrative Authorities

    Direction des Parcs Nationaux

    Commandant Malle Gueye
    37 Tambacouda
    Senegal 26000

    Tel.: +221 33 981 10 97


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    Ecological Characteristics

    Located in the Sudano-Guinean zone, Niokolo-Koba National Park is characterized by its group of ecosystems typical of this region, over an area of 913 000ha. Watered by large waterways (the Gambia, Sereko, Niokolo, Koulountou), it comprises gallery forests, savannah grass floodplains, ponds, dry forests -- dense or with clearings -- rocky slopes and hills and barren Bowés. This remarkable plant diversity justifies the presence of a rich fauna characterized by: the Derby Eland (the largest of African antelopes), chimpanzees, lions, leopards, a large population of elephants as well as many species of birds, reptiles and amphibians.





    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Agriculture is based on shifting cultivation of crops, like peanuts, cotton, cowpea, maize and rice. The Group for the Promotion of Women have carried out several projects to foster the cultivation of vegetables in the Biosphere Reserve, which are partially consumed and partially sold in local markets (loumas). Other income-generating activities that the Biosphere Reserve authorities have been fostering with various forms of microcredit include apiculture, guinea fowl breeding and ecotourism.

    However, an ever-growing population in the buffer zone is a challenge in terms of conservation. Another challenge is posed by mining. Besides industrial mining activities in the Kedougoi region, traditional gold panning has been attracting an increasing number of people, including foreigners from Guine, Mali and Burkina Faso. 



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    Last updated: December 2018