Introducing Parc National de la Pendjari
Amid the majestic landscape of the Atakora's rugged cliffs and wooded savannah live lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, baboons, hippos, myriad birds and countless antelopes. The 275,000-hectare Parc National de la Pendjari, the main entrance of which is 100km north of Natitingou, is one of the best in West Africa. The best viewing time is near the end of the dry season, when animals start to hover around waterholes.
To maximise your chances of seeing animals, go for an accredited guide (graded as 'A' or 'B'). The list of accredited guides can be found on the park's website, at park entrances and in Nati's better hotels. It costs CFA10,000 for a 'A' guide and CFA8000 for a 'B' guide.
The main entrances to Pendjari are roughly 100km north of Natitingou, in Porga (near the border with Burkina Faso) and Batia (41km northeast of Tanguiéta, on a good track).
On the park's periphery, some 11km before Batia in Tanougou, you can take a dip in the lovely natural pools at the bottom of the Tanougou Falls.