Quicama National Park, also known as Kissama National Park, this national park is located in northwestern Angola.
It is the only functioning national park in all of Angola, with the others being in disrepair due to the Angolan Civil War.
The park is approximately 70 km from Luanda, the Angolan capital. The park covers 3 million acres (12,000 km²), more than twice the size of the U.S. state of Rhode Island.
The Portuguese name Quiçama is spelled in English and other languages as Kissama, Kisama or Quicama. The spelling Kissama in English is the closest to the Portuguese phonetic.
What is now Quiçama National Park was formed as a game reserve in 1938. In January 1957, it was proclaimed a national park by the Portuguese administration of the Overseas Province of Angola.
The park once was home to an abundance of large game animals such as elephants and Giant Sable, but after wide-scale poaching during 25 years of civil war, the animal population was virtually eliminated.
In 2001, the Kissama Foundation, a group of Angolans and South Africans, initiated ‘Operation Noah’s Ark’ to transport animals, especially elephants, from neighbouring Botswana and South Africa.
These animals which were from over populated parks in their home countries, adapted well to the move. Noah’s Ark was the largest animal transplant of its kind in history and has given the park momentum to be restored to its natural state.
Attributes of the park
The park is bordered on the west by 120 km of the Atlantic Ocean’s coast. The Cuanza River forms the northern boundary, while the Longa River constitutes the southern border.