The W National Park attained UNESCO World Heritage Site acclimation in 1996, awarded on account of its unique display of transitional habitats between the savannah and the Western African woods.
Just one fragment of the vast W Transborder Park that crosses into Burkina Faso and Benin is made up of untouched bushland, round a meander in the River Niger shaped like the letter W, where a medley of baboon families, African buffalo, giraffes, leopards and lions share this extreme habitat.
From a Historical view, this area has been at one time a significant area of human habitation, judging by the famous archaeological sites, mostly tombs, found in the area.
In the park, there are a total of 454 species of plants recorded, including two orchids found only in Niger. The park also constitutes the southern limit of tiger bush plateaus distribution in Niger providing a habitat for some of West Africa's last wild African elephants. Listed as one of the last strongholds for the Northwest African cheetah, a small population of twenty-five individuals is estimated to be resident across the W–Arli–Pendjari protected area complex.