Waza Overview

Waza National Park, located in the Far North Region of Cameroon, is one of the country’s premier wildlife reserves and a significant conservation area in West Africa. Encompassing an area of approximately 1,700 square kilometers (656 square miles), Waza National Park was established in 1934 and later declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1979, reflecting its importance for biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources.

Situated near the border with Nigeria, Waza National Park is characterized by its unique landscape, which includes open savannahs, acacia woodlands, and patches of dense forest. This diverse habitat supports a wide variety of flora and fauna, making it a vital sanctuary for both resident and migratory species. The park’s terrain is relatively flat, with some seasonal floodplains that play a crucial role in sustaining the park’s biodiversity, especially during the dry season.

Waza National Park is renowned for its impressive array of wildlife. It hosts large populations of mammals such as elephants, lions, giraffes, antelopes (including the critically endangered West African giraffe), and various species of primates. It is also a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 379 bird species recorded, including many that are rare or endangered.

One of the park’s key features is its significant role as a habitat for migratory birds, serving as a crucial stopover point on their trans-Saharan migration routes. This aspect not only contributes to its biodiversity but also highlights the park’s importance in global bird conservation efforts.

Despite facing challenges such as poaching and habitat degradation, Waza National Park remains a critical area for conservation and eco-tourism. Efforts by the Cameroonian government and international conservation organizations continue to focus on protecting and preserving the park’s unique biodiversity. For visitors, Waza offers an opportunity to experience the beauty and diversity of African wildlife in a relatively untouched and remote setting, providing a glimpse into the natural heritage of Cameroon’s savannah ecosystem.

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Park Map
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Waza National Park Highlights


Waza National Park harbors a diverse array of predators, crucial for maintaining ecological balance. These carnivores play a vital role in regulating herbivore populations and ensuring ecosystem health.

Lion: Majestic and powerful, lions reign over the savannas of Waza National Park, hunting cooperatively in prides to bring down large prey like antelope and buffalo.

African Wild Dog: Highly social and efficient hunters, African wild dogs roam the grasslands of Waza National Park in packs, using teamwork to chase down and overpower their prey.

Leopard: Stealthy and elusive, leopards stalk the woodlands and rocky outcrops of Waza National Park, relying on ambush tactics to catch unsuspecting prey like antelope and smaller mammals.


Waza National Park boasts an abundance of diverse wildlife, captivating visitors with its rich biodiversity and unique species.

Elephant: Majestic and gentle giants, elephants roam the savannas and woodlands of Waza National Park, browsing on vegetation and playing a vital role in shaping their ecosystem.

Buffalo: Forming massive herds, African buffalo traverse the grasslands of Waza National Park, grazing on grasses and sedges while keeping a wary eye out for predators.

Giraffe: Towering over the savanna, giraffes gracefully roam the open plains of Waza National Park, feeding on acacia leaves with their elongated necks and observing the surroundings from above.

Hippo: Spending most of their days submerged in water, hippos inhabit the rivers and waterholes of Waza National Park, surfacing occasionally to bask in the sun or graze on nearby vegetation.

Warthog: Recognizable by their distinctive tusks and wart-like protrusions, warthogs are common sights in Waza National Park, foraging for roots, tubers, and other vegetation with their snouts.

Antelope: Various antelope species, such as the kob, hartebeest, and waterbuck, roam the grasslands and woodlands of Waza National Park, grazing on grasses and herbs while staying vigilant against predators.

Monkey: Waza National Park is home to several monkey species, including patas monkeys and green monkeys, which traverse the trees and shrubs in search of fruits, seeds, and insects.

Reptiles: From crocodiles lurking in the rivers to lizards basking in the sun, Waza National Park is teeming with reptilian life, showcasing the diversity of its ecosystems.


Waza National Park is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, offering a diverse array of avian species that grace its skies and landscapes.

African Fish Eagle: With its striking plumage and piercing call, the African fish eagle is a symbol of Africa’s waterways, often seen soaring over rivers and lakes in search of prey.

Secretary Bird: Named for its crest of feathers that resembles quill pens tucked behind the ear of a 19th-century office worker, the secretary bird is a formidable hunter of snakes and other small prey.

Vulturine Guineafowl: Sporting vibrant blue plumage accented with black and white stripes, the vulturine guineafowl is a striking sight as it forages on the savanna floor in large flocks.

Northern Carmine Bee-eater: These colorful birds are a delight to observe as they swoop and dive in pursuit of flying insects, displaying their vibrant crimson plumage against the blue sky.

Yellow-billed Kite: Agile and acrobatic in flight, the yellow-billed kite is a common sight in Waza National Park, where it scavenges for scraps and opportunistically hunts small prey.

Red-billed Hornbill: With its distinctive silhouette and vibrant red bill, the red-billed hornbill is a familiar sight in the woodlands and savannas of Waza National Park, where it forages for insects and fruits.

African Grey Hornbill: These charismatic birds are often seen perched on branches or hopping along the ground in search of food, their distinctive calls echoing through the forest canopy.

Marabou Stork: Towering and ungainly on the ground but graceful in flight, the marabou stork is a scavenger often found near water bodies, where it feeds on carrion and small animals.

Saddle-billed Stork: With its colorful plumage and distinctive saddle-shaped bill, the saddle-billed stork is a majestic sight as it wades through shallow waters in search of fish and amphibians.

African Jacana: Known for its oversized feet and lily-pad-hopping antics, the African jacana is a charming waterbird found in the wetlands and shallow marshes of Waza National Park.

Waza National Park Pictures

Engaging Waza

Embark on exhilarating safari game drives through the vast wilderness of Waza National Park, renowned for its abundant wildlife population. Traverse rugged terrain in open safari vehicles accompanied by experienced guides who will lead you to prime wildlife viewing spots.

Keep your eyes peeled for iconic African species such as elephants, lions, giraffes, antelopes, and more as they roam freely in their natural habitat.

With its diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity, Waza National Park offers unforgettable game viewing experiences for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the African bush with guided nature walks through Waza National Park. Accompanied by knowledgeable guides, explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, including woodlands, grasslands, and seasonal floodplains.

Learn about the region’s flora and fauna as you encounter various plants, insects, and small mammals along the way.

Guided nature walks offer a unique perspective on the park’s natural beauty, allowing you to appreciate its intricate ecological balance and discover hidden gems that may be missed during game drives.

Waza National Park Trails

Kousséri Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, typically 2-5 miles (3.2-8 km) with minimal elevation gain

Description: The Kousséri Trail allows hikers to explore the park’s savanna and woodland habitats, accompanied by knowledgeable guides.

Along the way, hikers may encounter various wildlife species, including elephants, giraffes, and antelopes, while learning about the park’s conservation efforts.

Gobozi Trail

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, typically 3-6 miles (4.8-9.7 km) with moderate elevation gain

Description: The Gobozi Trail offers a more challenging hike through Waza’s diverse landscapes, including grasslands and marshes.

Hikers may have the opportunity to spot rare bird species and observe wildlife behavior up close, making for an immersive safari experience.

Mora Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, typically 2-4 miles (3.2-6.4 km) with minimal elevation gain

Description: The Mora Trail leads hikers along the park’s perimeter, providing opportunities to observe wildlife from a safe distance.

Hikers can expect sightings of elephants, lions, and various bird species while enjoying the scenic beauty of Waza National Park.

Kolofata Trail

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, typically 1-3 miles (1.6-4.8 km) with minimal to moderate elevation gain

Description: The Kolofata Trail offers a leisurely hike through Waza’s grasslands, where hikers can appreciate the park’s natural diversity and abundance of wildlife.

Guided by experienced trackers, visitors may encounter iconic African species such as zebras, gazelles, and buffalo.

Mokolo Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: Varies, typically 1-2 miles (1.6-3.2 km) with minimal elevation gain

Description: The Mokolo Trail provides a gentle introduction to Waza’s wilderness, suitable for all fitness levels.

Hikers can expect sightings of smaller mammals, such as monkeys and warthogs, as well as a variety of birdlife amidst the park’s scenic landscapes.

Related National Parks

  • Afrito, Waza National Park,, retrieved March 2024.
  • Britannica, Waza National Park,, retrieved March 2024.
  • Famous Wonders, Waza National Park,, retrieved March 2024.
  • Pilot Guides, Waza National Park, Cameroon,, retrieved March 2024.
  • UNESCO, Waza,, retrieved March 2024.