Location: Latitude 8°12’0.40″N and longitude 13°38’30.03″E for the access door to Banda.
Former private hunting estate of Lamido de Rey Bouba, Bénoué Park became a wildlife reserve on November 11, 1932 before being transformed into a national park on December 5, 1968. Covering an area of 180,000 hectares, it is currently managed by a curator assisted by game wardens.
Its fauna is relatively diversified even if one can regret a tendency to the reduction of the species. Buffon’s cobs, defassa cobs, hartebeests, hypotragues, giraffes, duikers, hippopotamuses and many monkeys are quite easily found. With luck you can see lions, buffaloes, elephants, Derby elands. There are also 300 species of birds and 75 species of fish.
The park has 3 state-run camps. The Grand Capitaine camp has 8 rooms but the restaurant is currently closed. The Bel Elan hunting camp with 2 rooms and the Buffle Noir camp with 32 rooms and a restaurant bar. Attention for the latter, the electricity only works 3 hours a day (6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.) which makes air conditioning useless but also makes it possible to ask questions about the preservation of food. In general, the camps are very rustic but have the merit of being located in the heart of the park.
Payment for access rights is made to the curator at the Buffle Noir camp. Per day the rates are as follows:
1500 FCFA for Nationals
3000 FCFA for Residents
5000 FCFA for Non-residents
2000 FCFA for a Camera
2000 FCFA for the Vehicle
3000 FCFA for the Guide/Tracker
More information on the Bénoué Park website.
How To Get There:
You have to take the N1 and count 124 km from Ngaoundéré or 169 km from Garoua to arrive at Banda, the only recommended access point for visitors. The other 3 entrances are not recommended given the very poor condition of the slopes. You then have to cover 34 km of track in 45 minutes, before arriving at the Buffle Noir camp.
It is regrettable that the tracks open to the public are in very poor condition and above all reduced to only 40 km. This does not encourage encounters with the many animal species in the park.
Although it has the status of a national park, it suffers from a flagrant lack of maintenance both in terms of the camps and the development of the park for tourists. The Bénoué is especially interesting for its many hippopotamus ponds which allow you to observe them very closely. The rest is luck.
Only the Buffle Noir camp offers the minimum of comfort, but the comparison with Bouba Ndjida is clear! The cleanliness of the site is rough and the services minimal.
Finally, if you are a cell phone addict, no network available on the camp. However, a point under a tree makes it possible to episodically capture a connection. This tree known as the “call box” will be indicated to you by the camp staff.
The camp is open from November to May.
Call/WhatsApp: +237 (679) 748 824
E-mail: [email protected]