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