The Chréa National Park is one of Algeria’s smaller conservation areas. It is mainly comprised of undulating rugged hills and mountains of the Blidean atlas that stretch from the Tell Atlas mountain ranges of northern Algeria.
The Tell Atlas is basically renowned for the grotto of Chiffa besides its splendid glaciated foot hills and snow skiing adventures…it is the best place to go snow skiing in Africa.
Other features of this Algerian National park include the Atlas cedar forests, abundant flora, fauna and so much more. Besides the cedar forest, there are also cork oak trees, holm oak, pine and more than 1100 different species of plants growing as forest undergrowth and on the rugged mountain slopes. This park and the entire Bildean region make a water catchment for surrounding towns like Algiers, Medea and Blida. An estimated 36,985ha of land are occupied by the park and the bio-sphere reserve.
Chrea national park is one of the smallest protected areas and national parks in Algeria the boasts plenty of unique flora and fauna. There are a few primates in the Altas Cedar forest such as the Barbary Macaque. This part of Africa is one of the few places where the Barbary primates an old world primate species survives in an unspoilt habitat. The Barbary Macaque is listed on the IUCN Red List of endangered species. The park has thus been classified as a UNESCO Bio-sphere.
Bats in Chréa National Park include the common pipistrelle, greater horseshoe bat and lesser horseshoe bat. As its name suggests, the common pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) has a wide range of distribution and is considered to be of ‘least concern’ from a conservation viewpoint. They have an average wingspan of between 180 and 240 mm, measure between 35 and 45 mm in length and weigh between 3 and 8 grams. Their flight pattern is fast and erratic, with each individual bat eating up to 3,000 insects (mosquitoes, lacewings and small moths) every night.
The greater horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum) gets it common name from the horseshoe shape of its nose-leaf which forms part of its echolocation system. Contrary to popular belief, bats have good eyesight, but nonetheless use echolocation to navigate and detect their insect prey. Their ears are leaf-shaped and pointed, and soft brown fur covers their bodies. Greater horseshoe bats are thought to have the longest lifespan of any bat species, with some living up to 30 years. They have a wingspan of between 350 and 400 mm, body length of between 57 and 71 mm and weigh up to 30 grams. Their preferred food is large moths, large beetles and caddis flies.
The national park is located 50km from the capital Algiers. It can be reached on road from the airport in Algiers. There are airport shuttles and car hire for Chrea Algeria tours.