The park born in the 50's is part of the W-Arli-Pendjari Ecosystem (WAP), which is an important project aiming to protect the biosphere in Western Africa.
The reserve of the Pendjari is covering 275,000 hectares spreading through Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Tanongou village is at the border of the park and benefits from this touristic asset.
Babio El-Kir Moudachirou, responsible for geographic tourism and adviser for GTZ for the program of conservation and management points out the lack of touristic infrastructures and organisation around the park. "It would be possible to open the park 365 days a year, but there is no real desire from the government to extend the period of opening."
The Benin government owns a hotel inside the park, which is closed during the rainy season. "We have also realised that tourists spend an average of two days in the reserve. Once they see monkeys, elephants, lions and hippos, etc they get bored and leave. So, we decided to create more activities," explained El-Kir Moudachirou. At the moment, they are working with the park on creating a pirogue tour. "The park took its name from the Pendjari river, which runs right through it. We are currently working on some infrastructures."
Tanougou and the Park
Pendjari's Park attracts thousands of tourists each year. The village of Tanongou used to be a refreshing stop on the way to the park for tourists, who wanted to enjoy the waterfall. But it is only these last years that the community of the village has benefited from a touristic income. Working close in the development of the park, the Tinfi association predicts a flourishing future.