It is part of the WAP (W-Arli-Pendjari ecosystem) and is one of the largest protected areas of West Africa. Other protected areas include the RBP, Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of Niger W (shared between Benin, Niger and Burkina Faso), and various other places in Burkina Faso (Pama Reserve Totale Arli, Singou) and in Togo (Oti, Keran, Mandouri) and in combination the protected areas are called WAPOK.
The WAP is approximately 50,000 km ² in which 12,500 km ² is in Benin. A tenth of the Benin side of the WAP accounts for about 5000 km2 of the RBP. In West Africa, only the Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire is a protected ecosystem of comparable size.
Pendjari National Park was established with the original purpose of protecting the hunting areas during the colonial administration, the Pendjari Biosphere Reserves is nowadays part of the best preserved area of WAPOK. In 1986, the change in status as a MAB Biosphere Reserve made the park one of the first Biosphere Reserves around the world.
Northern Benin and the mountain areas have always attracted people and the movement of goods. There are two major south - north roads across the country. Coastal cities are connected by paved roads that connect to capitals of neighbouring countries.
Pendjari Biosphere Reserve can be access on paved roads from Niamey, Ouagadougou and Cotonou. The two towns on a pave road before entering the park are Tanguiéta (45 km) and Porga (7 km).