Tazekka National Park – Experience Morocco’s Wildlife
There are a number of great national parks in Morocco where you can experience the country’s wildlife to the fullest degree possible. The Tazekka National Park is one of them. Created in 1950 with only 580 hectares of land, it was hoped that the park would help to protect the many natural resources that could be found at Jbel Tazekka in the Middle Atlas mountain range. The park has certainly proved to be a successful venture and today it covers an area of approximately 12,800 hectares of land.
The Tazekka National Park in Morocco was created by ‘Arrête viziriel’ with the main goal of protecting a grove of cedar trees (Cedrus atlantica) found in the Jbel Tazekka area. The park has since been extended on more than one occasion to include a variety of natural habitats. It now features forests of cork oak and holm oak, caves, canyons, rural landscapes, cascades and a mountain – Jbel Tazekka – which is some 1 980 meters high. The interesting variety of altitudes and resulting flora is home to a variety of wildlife and the national park has become a haven for bird watchers. The park was first extended in 1989 and now includes a central core zone of 2,500 hectares and a cork-oak production zone of 6,000 hectares. The original parcel of land is a tourist zone and features a number of excellent forests that make for particularly good nature hikes.
The fact that the area is protected by law has not put a damper on local citizens who have long used the region to raise their livestock and grow a variety of agricultural products. As a result the eastern slopes of Jbel Tazekka have been overgrazed. However, the local population fully supports conservation efforts and they work together with forest-conservation authorities to ensure the continued survival of this massive natural area. Recent years have seen a drastic improvement in tourist facilities with the development of tourist circuits, picnic areas and even an ecological museum. This has resulted in great numbers of tourists visiting the Tazekka National Park. If you should wish to visit this park yourself, please take care not to disturb the natural way of things to the greatest degree possible and so contribute to the continued survival of this incredible national park.