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The Yankari National Park In Bauchi State, Nigeria

Yankari National Park is Nigeria’s biggest game reserve which boast of a wide varieties of plants and animal species. Yankari National Park can be found in south-central Bauchi state in north eastern Nigeria.

It is located on the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri railway line.

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It is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Nigeria; attracting large number of local and foreign tourists.

Bauchi City, Nigeria

Bauchi City formerly known as Yakoba is a city found in north eastern Nigeria. It is the state capital of Bauchi state.

Bauchi city as at the 2012 population census had a population of 301,284. It can be found on the north edge of the Jos Plateau.

Transportation in Bauchi is done by road, rail and air. The rail transport is served by a normal gauge of 1,067 mm. It has two main airports; the Bauchi Airport and the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport.


A Brief Origin Of Bauchi

Bauchi was founded by a non-fulani named; Yaqub ibn Dadi. The name Bauchi was derived from a man named as Baushe. Baushe was the one who advised Yaqub ibn Dadi to build the city west of the Warinje mountain.

In appreciation for his advice, Yaqub ibn Dadi named the city after him.


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Quick Facts About Yankari National Park

  • It was originally created as a game reserve in 1956
  • Yankari was upgraded to a national park in 1991
  • It was managed by the National Parks Service until 2006
  • It is presently managed by the Bauchi State Government
  • There are 52 species of animals found in the park
  • Yankari Game Reserve contains the largest surviving Elephant population in Nigeria, there are about 350 elephants.
  • It also has a large population of lion, buffalo, hippo, roan and hartebeest.


Some Important Places In Yankari National park

  • Cave at yankari games reserve
  • Natural warm spring
  • Yankari park
  • Yankari games reserve


Cave At The Park

This is one of the most serene location in the park. Caves leading in deep and cavernous holes are littered around this national park.


Natural Spring

Here water of pure form gush out from rocks surrounded by vegetation lashing onto the ground.

This scene provides one of natural beauty found in the park. There are several warm springs scattered around the park but the most popular of these is the Wikki warm spring.

It is a very good location to relax after a long safari. The spring is naturally warm with a constant temperature of 31 degrees all year round. It is also available all day and night for tourist who cherish swimming.


Game Reserve

Here animals are found in their natural undisturbed state. The most popular species of animals found at the reserve include Buffalo, Elephant, Lion, Baboon, Hippo, Nile Crocodile, Spotted Hyena, Striped Hyena, Martial Eagle, Secretary Bird Huge Sad­dlebill Stork, Golliath Heron, Bateleur Eagle, Vultures, Kingflshers, Bee-Eaters, and a host of others.

The main game-viewing areas of the reserve are open all year round. Tourists are advised to visit this park between November and May when the thick vegetation would have dried out due to the immense heat during this period.

As a result, most animals like to come out and congregate near the rivers to take in water and cool themselves.


Yankari Park

This includes all other facilities that exist in the Yankari National Park. Some of the facilities present include; tennis courts, squash courts, a small museum in the reception area plus gas stations with convenience stores at Wikki Camp.

The park also provides accommodation for tourist seeking to spend some days in the form of suites, double rooms and family chalets containing kitchens.


Management Of The Park

At the moment the Yankari National Park is been managed by the Bauchi state government, whose activities include collaboration with other agencies, organization in protecting the wildlife, taking proper records of the number of wildlife; monitoring their birth and death rate.

It also oversees the day-to-day running of the park for greater efficiency. The Ministry of Environment in Bauchi is directly responsible for protecting the game reserve from illegal poachers.

It provides the rangers force with arms for fighting off these illegal poachers who are usually armed themselves.


Bookings And Reservation

The best time to make a booking is during the holidays and weekends when a lot of tourist gather to enjoy the scenery of the park.

Reservations can be made at Durbar Hotel in Kaduna, Bauchi State House in Lagos and at the Zaranda Hotel in Bauchi.

The park can be accessed by road. Visitors coming from far distance can take a stop in Abuja and continue the journey the next day.

Tourist can also fly directly into the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport in Bauchi or through Jos Intenational Airport and continue the journey from there, which usually takes about two hours to get to Bauchi.


Challenges Facing the Yankari National Park

The Yankari National Park is one of the most visited tourist attraction in Nigeria but it has not come with its own challenges. Below are some of the challenges faced in the park;

  1. Rangers are poorly paid, ill-equipped and lack training and adequate supervision; this affects their ability to protects the reserve effectively
  2. Yankari suffers from widespread grazing of livestock within its boundaries.
  3. The management of the game reserve are not adequately funded, this reduces their ability to run the day to day activities of the reserve the way they are supposed to.
  4. The constant destruction of lands of border communities by elephants has caused nearby communities to support illegal poachers.

All these challenges have led to an increase in the number of poaching. This has an effect on reducing the animal population even endangering the lives of some animals especially the elephants, who are usually killed for their tusk. The tusk commands a very huge prize in the international markets, making it an irresistible trade for criminals.

All in all, the Yankari National park provides tourist with rare beauty and an open splendour of one of Nigeria most visited tourist attraction.

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  1. Pls I just want to know if it is safe to visit the Yankari Game Reserve now, considering the Boko Haram attacks. I intend to bring some students down for an educational visit. Pls can you reply me promptly?

    1. Hi Edward Bolaji, We currently do not know the security situation of Yankari Game Reserve. I think you should involve the security agencies. They should be in a better position to brief you more about the security situation of that location. Thanks

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