Sapo National Park

Sapo National Park is of special significance, 505 square miles (1,308 km2) bounded on the west by the Sinoe River and on the north by the Putu mountains, with all the major wildlife species of the Upper Guinea forests. Mammals include water chevrotains—primitive, tusked, rabbit-sized, looking half-pig-half-deer—golden cats, big, forest-dwelling drill baboons, seven species of monkeys, seven species of duiker antelopes, three kinds of armored pangolins, as well as river otters, giant forest hogs, and African civets. There are hundreds of kinds of butterflies. Birds include African fish eagles, Senegalese kingfishers, great blue turacos, African gray parrots— largest parrot in Africa—bee-eaters, sunbirds, rollers, egrets.

While conditions remain difficult, tourism has been resumed. It remains more than a 10-hour drive along a coastal road to Sapo. The trip itself can be interesting, but for non-Liberians a guide is essential.

Threats include logging, mining, slash-and-burn agriculture, and poaching, all exacerbated by the country’s grinding poverty which affects both population and government agencies set up both to help them and protect natural resources.

Six other areas have been proposed as nature preserves, including Mount Nimba, with fine birds and wildlife but a center of iron mining.

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SAPO NATIONAL PARK as well as...

Mount Nimba