Dja Faunal Reserve
The Dja Wildlife Reserve is a national park in Cameroon and is located within a 5260 km ² large loop on the upper reaches of the River Dja Dja in the districts -et- Lobo ( Southern Province ) and Haut- Nyong ( Eastern Province ). The Dja is a tributary of the Sangha, a right tributary of the Congo.
The reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981 and Biosphere Reserve since 1987.
There are three ways the Dja area to visit. On the northern edge of the reserve there is the small village Somalomo.
At the eastern edge of the area is Lomié. The park is five kilometers west of Lomié. However, the road is after Lomié by its proximity to the Dja difficult in the criticism.
In the far south of the reserve is the village Djoum which represents a further opportunity to explore Dja. However, a visit to the village is extremely time consuming.
Flora and Fauna
The park is one of the largest and best preserved rainforests in Africa. 90 % of the area are still original rainforest. He is in height from 400 to 800 m in the transition zone between the coastal forests on the Sanaga and those of the Congo basin. Hence the outstanding biodiversity, which is one of the largest in Africa. The rain forest for a rather low rainfall of 1570 mm per year means that the plant diversity is slightly lower than that of the Korup National Park. One of the trees in the park is the mighty moabi ( Baillonella toxisperma ).
Regarding the diversity of vertebrates Dja is unsurpassed. At least 109 species of mammals live in the park, possibly even up to 176, including a variety of primates. Among the endangered species occurring include forest elephants, chimpanzees and lowland gorillas. Other primates are various monkeys and mangabeys. The three most common monkeys are Great White nose guenon ( Cercopithecus nictitans ), blue mouth monkey ( Cercopithecus cephus ) and crown guenon ( Cercopithecus pogonias ). Of the mangabeys you see is most likely the Mantelmangabe ( Lophocebus albigena ). Sometimes it is also observed Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii ) or the Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus ), a rare large antelope.
For birdwatchers the Dja Wildlife Reserve is a paradise. An inventory from the years 1994-1995 revealed 349 native bird species and about 80 species of migratory birds. Three endangered species were observed: the brown cheeks Weaver (Ploceus batesi ), the Gabon Buschsänger ( Bradypterus grandis), Buntkopf - Felshüpfer ( Picathartes oreas ). According to BirdLife International, one also finds the Marmorfischeule ( Scotopelia bouvieri ).
Within the reserve there is also an exceptional herpetofauna. Among the amphibians and reptiles include two endangered crocodile species, the armored crocodile ( Crocodylus cataphractus ) and the dwarf crocodile ( Osteolaemus tetraspis ). The African forest turtle ( Pelusios gabonensis ) was seen here. The dangerous Black White Hutschlange (Naja melanoleuca ) is also present in Dja area.
Within the reserve live small groups of pygmies. They belong to the ethnic group of the Baka. Been allowed the traditional hunting.
The vast majority of the population consists of ethnic group of Bantu.
ECOsystèmes Forestier d' Afrique Central ( Ecofac ) is an environmental group which is funded by EU funds. The group's programs work by two coordinated principles. Firstly, there is the principle of conservation of the tropical rainforest, and the other is the Maxim of further development. Six countries are involved in the program (Congo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe ). The Dja Reserve is also part of the Ecofac program. However, there are also critical voices on projects around the Dja Wildlife Reserve. In particular, a road construction project is criticized because it could lead, according to studies of independent conservation organization Rainforest Foundation to increased logging, increase in poaching etc..
Who wants to visit the Dja area should contact in Yaoundé Ecofac. Ecofac can serve you with information, give prescribed guides and porters or organize accommodation.