Elephant crossing path

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Parc National de la Pendjari


This 2750-sq-km national park is one of West Africa's best for wildlife. Visitors may spot lions, leopards, elephants, baboons and hippos. The best viewing time is near the end of the dry season (November to February), when the animals congregate at water holes. With waterfalls, a woody landscape and good tracks, it's a pleasure to drive around. The park adjoins the Parc National d'Arli in Burkina Faso and is bordered to the west, north and east by the Pendjari River.

To maximise your chances of seeing animals, go for an accredited guide with the highest grade (grade 'A'). The list of accredited guides can be found on the park's website, at park entrances and in Nati's better hotels. 'A' guides will have the most in-depth knowledge, have a number of years of experience in the park and can be trusted to handle the terrain and conduct a tour that is both informative and safe.

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).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Benin attractions

1. Tanougou Falls

23.48 MILES

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 these falls.