Advantages A haven of peace where nature is at peace with itself
Disadvantages a few bad roads in bauchi leading to the Park
|Value for Money|
|Ease of getting around|
The premier game reserve started as a game reserve in 1956 before being upgraded to a national park in 1991. Situated in the Alkaleri local government area of Bauchi State, Nigeria, 115 Km from bauchi town, it covers an area of 2250.10 sq. km. It is located around the Gagi River, approximately one and a half hours by road, southeast of Bauchi town.
Set up in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962, the main game viewing areas of the reserve are open all year round. Japanese, Western Europeans, Americans and Southeast Asian tourists visit the park in abundance.
But the resort is not just all round about providing people a haven to go away to but it also gives the animals there an even more needed haven. One of the main objectives of the national park existence is the purpose of protecting, conserving and managing all the biophysical, historical, cultural and archaeological attributes found therein for posterity, education, research and recreation and it is certainly up to the task. With about 2058sq. km. of savanna woodland, it is spacious enough to accommodate its large number of animals including more than fifty species of monkeys including the Anubis baboon, patas monkey, tantalus monkey, warthogs, hippotamus; for the brave hearted, there are the lions, leopards, caracals, spotted hyenas, Jackals, elephants, buffalos, Roan antelopes, bubal hartebeest, waterbucks, bushbucks Grimm’s duiker, oribi and red flanked duiker. I learnt that seven species of mammals have become extinct since the place was created as a game reserve. These include African hunting dog, Cheetah, Giraffe, western Kob, Korrigum, red fronted gazelle and bohor reedbuck. For serious bird watchers, more than 350 species of birds have been recorded in the park. Of this 130 are resident, 50 are palertic migrants and the rest are intra-African migrants or those who move locally within Nigeria. Other birds include the huge saddle bill stork, goliath heron, bateleur eagle, vultures, kingfishers, bee eaters and more
There have been few studies of fishes, amphibians, insects and reptiles. Nevertheless, 26 fishes, seven species of amphibians and 17 species of reptiles have been identified so far. The African rock python, the Nile crocodile and the Nile monitor are quite common
One of the dampening factors that can ruin anybody’s vacation is being caught in rather unfavorable weather conditions. So follow my tips, the best time to visit the park is between November and May…even though you might be passing up the chance of seeing some aquatic habitats. The harmattan period lasts from November to February during which night temperatures could be as low as 12 degrees Celsius. The hottest period is March and April when daytime temperatures average between 30 degrees C and 42 degrees C.
The dense vegetation is usually dries out during this period and the animals conglomerate around the rivers.
Another dampening factor is not being able to go just when you are good and ready to! So it is advisable, you make reservations during the weekends and holidays with Easter a particularly busy season.
Now for people who cannot keep up the adrenalin of staying so close to the wild life, there are other attractions like the Wikki warm springs, one of the best features of the park and my favorite and many others. It is wonderful after a warm day’s game viewing to relax in the warm water. The spring gushes out from under a cliff where the water is at least 6ft deep with a bathing area that extends to about 600 sq. ft. to an open area. Its real beauty is seen when the flood lights are switched on at night. There are other facilities like tennis courts, squash courts, a small museum in the reception area plus gas stations with convenience stores at Wikki camp and Bauchi. There are guided park tours to view wildlife and other interesting features either from the park’s open trucks or visitors’ private vehicles. Swimming as well as fishing can be enjoyed in the Wikki Springs, which is the source of the Wikki River. Wildlife can also be viewed and photographed from a hideway at Daban Maje natural saltlick. There is a campground at Wikki Camp. There is also a museum and organized free lectures on conservation. Yankari national park also houses many archaeological, historical and cultural sites of great significance. The Dukkey wells are 132 shallow wells sunk into a bedrock exposure of red sandstone 2.5m to 3.5m deep and the Ampara and shanshau iron smelting works and furnace drafts dating back many centuries. Visitors accommodations are provided in traditionally styled and modestly furnished air-conditioned chalets. Don’t forget to lock the door to your chalets whenever leaving or else the friendly baboon will help themselves to your food and drinks. Low-income student’s accommodation is also available. There are conference facilities, a modern restaurant, a bar as well as a discotheque. There is potable water, electricity and satellite television. Intending visitors are encouraged to book accommodations in advance, particularly during public holidays.
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