One of the oldest natural reserves in Burkina Faso is Deux Balés National Park. It was established in 1937 by the French government in order to protect the precious forest, maybe the only real green region of the Country. Because of the many baobab trees, these forests were also a great tourist attraction, already in the past. When the former colony became the Republic of Upper Volta, the new government kept the protected area and turned it into a real National Park in 1967. From that first year to the 1990s, though, the National Park had to face wild hunting, poaching and also mining which endangered the territory and the animal species. Today Deux Bales is protected both by the government and by international boards, but it keeps having troubles every now and then.
About the Forest
This region in the central-east Burkina Faso is one of the very few green spots of the nation. But it still has sparse vegetation, mainly bushy or savannah. There are some baobab forests, though, which are the real treasure of the place. These big, large trees with a weird shape are the symbol of Africa and here you can find many. Other trees that are part of the Deux Balés forests are: Anogeissus Leiocarpus, Isoberlinia Doka, Terminalia Laxiflora. They mainly grow along the banks of the Bale river crossing the Park.
About Deux Balés’ animals
The fauna in Deux Balés is interesting, especially as for antelopes and elephants are concerned. While Burkina Faso is home to the largest number of elephants in West Africa, the forest of Deux Balés only hosts 400 of them. This is due to the wild hunting of the past years, so today these elephants are a very protected group. It is a privilege for tourists to admire them.
Also antelopes are protagonists of the Park’s life. In Deux Balés live the largest number of antelopes of the area, and the survival or disappearing of the species depends on how long the National Park‘s group will live in the future. Besides antelopes and elephants, this reserve is home to crocodiles, hippopotami and buffalos, plus many species of birds.
More information about Deux Balés
Over 810 sq km of land surface, this park is a small paradise keeping the historical traces of Burkina Faso’s flora and fauna. It covers a large part of Bale Province and the reference town is Bobo-Dioulasso, also home to the famous “mud mosque” – a great palace made of a special material mixed with mud and wood. If you want to visit Deux Balés National Park you can also visit Bobo-Dioulasso and you will easily get there by bus or train.
Many bus companies connect the capital city Ouagadougou with Bobo-Dioulasso. Twice a week, the train connecting the capital to Abidjan makes a stop at Bobo-Dioulasso station. In this town you can look for tour operators that organize trips to the National Park, which is one of the main attraction of the region.