Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape
Year of Research
The Ecosystem and Relict Cultural Landscape of Lopé-Okanda shows an unusual link among dense and well-conserved tropical rain forest and relict Savannah surroundings with a great diversity of species, including endangered large mammals, and species.
The site pictures an ecological and biological processes in terms of species and habitat adaptation to post-glacial climatic changes.
It has evidence of the successive passages of different peoples who have left broad and comparatively well-preserved remains of habitation around hilltops, caves and shelters, evidence of iron-working and a remarkable collection of some 1,800 petroglyphs (rock carvings).
The property’s collection of Neolithic and Iron Age sites, together with the rock art found there, it shows a major migration route of Bantu and other peoples from West Africa along the River Ogooué valley to the north of the dense evergreen Congo forests and to central east and southern Africa, that has shaped the development of the whole of sub-Saharan Africa.
The Lopé-Okanda National Park has the oldest dates for the extension of the Tshitolien culture towards the Atlantic and it has revealed evidence of the early domestication of plants and animals and the use of forest resources.