Elephant in Selous Park Tanzania. (Photo/Julian S).

Want To Avoid Coups And Maybe Have A Chance At Democracy In Africa? Then Have Big National Parks!

THIS was published  nearly six years ago, as a bit of delightful, but nonsensical, coincidence. It was worth revisiting.

This is a mystery. The majority of the top 50 largest national parks are in Southern Africa. The rest are in East Africa.

Seems unusual that there are no large parks in west Africa and central Africa, although they are some of the biggest countries in size.

Even more intriguing, the countries that have Africa’s largest parks also have among the continent’s longest records of elective politics and democracy. In fact, of all big-park nations, only one, Uganda, has ever had a military coup.

This would suggest that there is some bizarre link between military rule, democracy, and national parks. I don’t see it, but it might be hidden somewhere. Maybe someone smarter can find it.

Couldn’t help notice that “park poor” central Africa, also has some of  the worst governed nations on the continent.

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