Lopé National Park

Lopé National Park is a national park in central Gabon. Although the terrain is mostly rain forest, in the north the park contains the last remnants of grass savannas created in Central Africa during the last Ice Age, 15,000 years ago. It was the first protected area in Gabon when the Lopé-Okanda Wildlife Reserve was created in 1946. In 2007, the Lopé-Okanda landscape was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO.

Lopé National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Panorama of Lopé National Park.JPG
Panorama of the northern savanna-dominated part Lopé National Park, shortly after the annual burning of the grasses
LocationGabon
Coordinates0°30′00″S 11°30′00″E / 0.500°S 11.500°E / -0.500; 11.500Coordinates: 0°30′00″S 11°30′00″E / 0.500°S 11.500°E / -0.500; 11.500
Area4,910 km2 (1,900 sq mi)
Established2002
Governing bodyNational Agency for National Parks
Official nameEcosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda
TypeMixed
Criteriaiii, iv, ix, x
Designated2007 (31st session)
Reference no.1147
State PartyGabon
RegionAfrica
Lopé and the Ogooué River.
Forest elephants in park savannah
Wasmannia auropunctata (fire ant) is an invasive alien species blamed for reducing species diversity, tree dwelling insects, and eliminating arachnid populations.

The park contains a small research station, named as Mikongo and run by the Zoological Society London, based in the village known as Mikongo, from which it gets its name. There exists infrastructure to cater for tourists at the base, including several chalets and a large open air dining room, from which the rainforest is a mere five meters away.[1] The park also hosts CEDAMM Training Centre, a Wildlife Conservation Society-run international conservation education center.

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