Simba Safari Camps

Welcome to Simba Sapo Camp - Liberia

 

Sapo National Park (SNP), located in the south-central portion of Liberia, East of the Sinoe river, encompasses 325,760 acres of lowland tropical rainforest, including swampy areas, dryland and riparian forests, and breathtaking waterfalls, and represents the most important intact Upper Guinea forest ecosystem in Liberia. Notable fauna within the park include the West African Forest Elephant, Jentink’s and Zebra Duiker and large primate populations, including the Diana monkey, red Colobus, black and white Colobus and the western Chimpanzee. Also found within the park are several populations of the endangered pygmy Hippopotamus

Known to the indigenous Sapo people who live around the park as Nin-gben, the pygmy hippo is a very secretive animal hiding during the day in swamps or in streams, and coming out at night to feed on fallen fruits and leaves and roots of a variety of forest plants. Unlike the Sapo people’s taboos surrounding chimpanzees, which if hunted incurs a high penalty, the hippo is targeted by hunters for its meat and teeth (the teeth being used for decoration such as necklaces). However, it is said in Sapo that if a hunter kills Nin-gben, he must cut off and burry the tail. If not, anyone that the hunter meets while he carries the tail will die, as the tail is believed to be very powerful.

Although the main threat to pygmy hippos in the region is habitat destruction, hunting has been the key threat to these animals in Sapo National Park where the lowland forest remains intact. During the civil war thousands of hunters and gold miners inhabited the park, and although the amount of wildlife killed is unknown, pygmy hippos were said to be targeted by hunters, along with elephants and a variety of duiker and primate species. However, these days the wildlife populations of Sapo National Park are healthier than they have ever been.