Korup National Park --- Bio-diversity
This page is dedicated to the people in the Johnson City Hikers - Ed, Sam, Rita, Gabriel, and Sandra, etc. - who have tried to teach Tom about all the beautiful flowers and ferns in East Tennessee. But all Tom learned is the love of nature, not one name has stayed with him.
This National Park is known as the one with the highest number of species in one area in Africa. Over 1000 species totally are collected in a restricted area of only 1260 square kilometers (311acres). Sixty of the species occur no where else in the world, they are unique only to this park. There are 400 known species of trees, 327 species of birds, 174 types of reptiles, 140 kinds of fishes and 25% of all known primates in the world. In addition, the park has 90 species of medicinal plants, and 170 endangered species. It is quite an impressive list of statistics.
The park borders with Nigeria's Cross River National Park. There are four camps in the park for visitors to stay in, but everything must be carried in. There is no transportation of any kind to haul stuff. (At least in the Smokies there are animals to do the carrying!) The camps are quite nice with wood fire kitchens available for some cooking. There are totally about 100km (65 miles) of trails, reasonable maintained. We did not see any one there when we were in the park. This time of the year is too close to the rainy season so very few visitors were there in the park. It is famous with chimpanzees, but that requires another twelve or more miles to hike. We did not attempt to try it.
There are plenty of edible plants in the park - bush mango, bush carrots, and bitter nuts are just a few examples. According to our guide, who is a chief in his village, there are no snakes on the ground, as they are cold blooded animals. The rain forest grounds are just too cold for them, they stay on top of the trees to derive warmth from the sun. Talking about the guides, they have to worked pretty hard on every trip. Since plants grow so well in the rain forest, it is necessary for the guide to constantly clear the trail with a long machete.
Unusual flowers were everywhere! You can see pictures of some of them in our display of pictures We also saw many butterflies but it was hard to take pictures of them as they were in constant motion. They did make us think of our friend, the former ETSU biology graduate student Ellen, who worked with the butterfly exhibit in the Taipei City Zoo for several years! Now she works with chimpanzees and we know that she would really enjoy this park!