5 Reasons To Visit Nigeria’s Yankari National Park

Yankari National Park is a wildlife park that is home to the flora and fauna of the West African savanna. Yankari National Park is remembered by the older generation of Nigerians and tourists as Yankari Game Reserve. This is because the park was initially designated as a game reserve but became a national park in 1991 subject to a decree.

Yankari National Park houses a plethora of different animals, from mammals like the African bush elephant, the tantalus monkey, hippopotamus to carnivores like lions and an exotic array of birds from the grey hornbill to the cattle egret.

There are different reasons to visit Yankari National Park which ranges from tourism purposes to planning the perfect getaway in the numerous chalets on the site. Yankari National Park is extremely rich in history making it the most visited tourist destination in Nigeria.

These are the five reasons to visit Yankari National Park:

1. Sightseeing

The paramount reason people visit Yankari National Park is because of the varieties of animals and birds along with the scenic landscapes on display in their natural habitat. The lush green of the grass, the colourful and vibrant hues of the flowers, the melodious chirping of wild birds in the backdrop of the gushing sound of warm water springs while being bathed in the glow of sunshine stimulates all senses. Numerous animals can be found in Yankari National Park. These animals include hyenas, lions, the African bush elephant (over 300 of them), baboons, crocodiles and an exotic array of birds ranging from the white-backed vulture, the cattle egret, hornbill, storks amidst other interesting birds.

2. Ecotourism and Excursions

Yankari National Park, located in the northeastern state of Bauchi, as said earlier is rich in history. Prior to the area being earmarked as the designated site for what would later become Yankari Game Reserve, the location had been previously inhabited by blacksmiths and hunters. This was confirmed by the discovery of an elaborate water storage system of interconnected wells, cave markings, engravings and paintings, and an iron smelting workshop that is believed to be the largest historical industry in sub-Saharan Africa. The area was chosen, by the Northern Regional Committee, because of the large number of wild animals that were already in their natural habitats. It opened as a game reserve on the 1st of December, 1962, as a state-owned game reserve. In 1991, what was formerly known as Yankari Game Reserve became Yankari National Park, and has since been controlled by the Federal Government of Nigeria. This historical fact and more is why Yankari National Park is a suitable place for excursions and educational activities.

3. Camera-worthy Moments

It isn’t every day you get to take pictures with elephants or roaring lions in the background. There are numerous sights in Yankari National Park, waiting to be captured and preserved forever with just a single click of your camera. Yankari National Park features the Kalban Hill, Kariyo Hill, Tonglong Gorge, Paliyaram Hill, Tunga Dutse, the Marshall Caves (discovered in 1980 by British historian P.J Marshall and subsequently named after him), the warm water springs and one cold water spring.

4. Unique Experience of Nature

The fun in visiting a national park like Yankari lies in seeing animals, and nature in general. With the wide range of animals Yankari houses, you’re sure to sight interesting animals at more than regular intervals. You’ll be forgiven though, if you’ve forgotten about the wide expanse of landscapes. Yankari National Park has a savanna grassland and woodland. Taking a long walk in the woods is a good way to get in touch with nature (under the supervision of a tour guide, of course). The warm water springs, four in total, have been developed for recreational purposes. The Wikki Warm Spring, whose constant temperature of 31.1 °C all year long makes it very suitable to bathe in.

5. Relaxation

What else could be more important than rest after the year-round stress of work? Yankari National Park provides facilities for tourists looking to get away from the hectic bustling of city life. The national park, which is located in the rural area of Mainamaji village, has a hundred and ten chalets that aren’t so rural. Chalets are cabins used by vacationers. A hundred and ten furnished chalets are on site. The cabins come in different sizes and comfort levels accordingly. The warm water springs are also open to the guests at any time of the day or night. There are eateries on-site, of course, along with a museum that displays local artefacts. 

Yankari National Park is a fun place to go to for both educational and relaxation purposes. It’s rich in history and wildlife, what’s not to like? 

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