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This Benin National park is found in the north western border of Benin with Burkina Faso. It thus shares an eco-system with Arli National Park on the other side of the border in Burkina Faso which is only a section of the greater WAP complex (W of Niger National Park-Arli and Pendjari National Parks), a large protected area in Western Africa. The park gets its name from the meandering river Pendjari that crosses through the park.
More than 2755 square kilometers are covered by this Benin Park. The landscape is largely made of rocky cliffs with sparsely wooded areas. The valleys have fertile soils that boost lush savannah and several species of trees and plants.
The Pendjari river is a major player in the park’s eco-system attracting several birds and herds of wild animals especially during the hot summer months. The banks of the river are filled with dense forests, savannah grasslands and thickets.
This park attracts several herds of western Africa savannah game freely crossing from Burkina Faso. Notable species in the park include the rare Northwest African cheetah which is only found in this park and W National Park. Other animals found in Pendjari National park include the west African lions, leopard, side stripped jackal, African civet, spotted hyena, Sudanese buffalo, hippos, elephants, western hartebeests, olive baboon, red duiker, reedbuck, bush buck, oribi, kob, roan, waterbuck, warthog and the endangered painted hunting dog among others. Game hunting is a major adventure in Pendjari Benin National park only done under strict rules and authorization
More than 300 species of water birds and forest woodland endemics’ are found in this park. These include the lesser kestrel, pallid harrier, African, swallow tailed kite, European white stork, African fish eagle, Pel’s fishing owl, Senegal Eremomela, Common Rock Thrush, white throated greenbul, Grey tit flycatcher and many others. Special birding programs and conservation plans are handled at the Park with more than 110 species introduced into the bird habitat.
The park can be visited all through the year although the best time to visit is during the summer months of December to May. The rest of the year is rainy season often characterized by heavy rains and slippery roads and trucks within the park