Beautiful nature is one thing that Nigeria can boast of. Yankari National Park also known as Yankari Games Reserve provides preserved wildlife heritage. So many unique games are present in there and proves to be a thing of pride to Northern Nigeria.
Yankari Game Reserve is a large wildlife park located in Bauchi State, in northeastern Nigeria. It covers about 2,244 square-kilometers. It is home to several natural warm-water springs and a wide variety of flora and fauna. The game reserve lies in the south of Sudan Savannah. It is composed of savannah grassland with well-developed patches of woodland. It is also a region of rolling hills, mostly between n 200m and 400m. Kariyo Hill is the highest point at 640m.
In 1934, Northern Regional Committee made a recommendation to the Executive Council to establish a pilot-game-reserve in Bauchi Emirate.
Yankari was created in 1956, it was opened to the public in December, 1962. It was later designated Nigeria’s biggest national park in 1991. It’s one of the most popular destination for tourists in Nigeria. It is important in the development and promotion of tourism and ecotourism in Nigeria.
In 2000, the Park hosted over 20,000 tourists from over 100 countries.
Yankari National Park is the natural home of over 50 mammal species. This includes African bush elephant, Olive baboon, patas monkeys, West African lion, African buffalo, hippopotamus and other majestic wildlife. Other top attractions include the Wikki, Dimmil, Mawulgo, and Gwana Warm Springs, the Marshall Caves, and the Dukkey Wells.
The lion population is on the verge of extinction. Only 2 lions remained in the park as at 2011. Leopard was also presumed extinct in the park until in April 2017, when an adult-male was captured on WCS camera-trap. There are over 350 species of bird found in the park.
The Gaji river and its tributaries provide a source of water for the larger wildlife in the park during the dry season, hence, aiding their survival. There is a higher probability of seeing the elephants at the river in this period. This river is the only watershed and cuts the park in two.
Yankari is said to have one of the largest populations of elephants in West Africa, more than 300 in 2005.
The growth of the elephant population has become a problem for surrounding villages. At times as the animals enter local farms during the rainy season. The elephants have also stripped the park of many of its baobab trees.
It is also home to some of the earliest examples of human settlement, dating back millennia. Paintings and engravings on rocks such as the Tunga Dutse are some of the park’s must-see attractions.
Due to underground geothermal activity, Yankari National Park features four warm water springs. There’s a camp named after the Wikki Spring. “Wikki” was gotten from the local Duguri language, it means “where are you?”. The Wikki Warm Spring is the largest spring at about 13m wide and 1.9m deep. It daily flows 21,000,000 litres of clear, spring water into the Gaji river. The spring has a constant temperature of 31.1 °C throughout the year during both day and night. The other warm water springs are Dimmil, Gwana, and Mawulgo springs. A fifth spring, Tungan Maliki, is the only cool spring in the park.
Visit Yankari to experience the beauty of nature
Nigeria’s culture and tourism sector is one of the most underutilized sectors of the economy. Bar recent security crisis, Nigeria should be a place where tourists would troop in frequently to witness natures beauty. It’s advisable that we look to develop this sector properly cos it puts us on the map for holiday destinations. It is a wise investment. Ire oo 🌹