Expeditions to Zakouma typically include 7 nights in the park (accessed via charter flights from/to N’Djamena) staying at the African Parks operated Camp Nomade. This simple and charming tented camp, influenced in design by the Sahel’s nomadic culture, is perfectly located on the Rigueik Pan – the epicenter of animal and bird congregations in the park. Camp Nomade is an intentional use and invitation-only camp, for those seeking to be more deeply involved in philanthropy and African conservation.
In addition we also have access to a small, well-equipped fly camp which we use to explore remote corners of the park. Typically we’ll choose a spot along the Salamat river or find a remote pan to base ourselves. It really is an adventure in the true sense of the word.
Notable mammals in this sanctuary for West and Central African biodiversity include the Kordofan giraffe, red-fronted gazelle, Lelwel’s hartebeest, tiang, patas monkey and pale fox.
Herds of orange tinted Central African Savannah buffalo are often seen together with cattle egrets on the edges of the pans and swamps. A healthy population of roan antelope means that herds of over 50 can be seen grazing alongside Tiang and Lelwel’s hartebeest. Seeing the elephant herd is a highlight and the numbers have now recovered to over 500.
The birdlife in Zakouma is by far one of the highlights of any trip to the park. Species that one is accustomed to seeing only in pairs elsewhere in Africa are found here in flocks of well over 500.The Black crowned crane is seen in groups of over 2000, pelicans move in lines through fish infested pools, and the array of raptors include Beaudouins snake eagle and Grasshopper buzzard.
Night drives in Zakouma reveal an abundance of Africa’s smaller predators and one is almost guaranteed of regularly seeing serval, pale fox, civet and African wild cat during ones stay. This said, all the main predators are found in the park with lion common, leopard, cheetah and caracal seen occasionally, and striped hyena and aardwolf also occurring.