List of Nigerian Game Reserves & National Parks

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Nigeria has eight beautiful national parks.
Nigeria has eight beautiful national parks. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Nigeria has eight national parks and game reserves spread throughout the country. The parks make up about 3 percent of Nigeria's total land area. Collectively they contain an abundant diversity of fauna like buffaloes, roan antelopes, chimpanzees, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, hyenas, giant forest hogs, lions and leopards, as well as flora.

Chad Basin

Established in 1991, Chad Basin is located in the Borno and Yobe States. The park includes the Sambisa game reserve and parts of the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands. It is an important sanctuary for migratory birds and a total of 377 species of birds have been recorded.

Cross River

The largest rain forest in Nigeria and the oldest surviving one in Africa is located in Cross River National Park. Sharing its name with the state, Cross River also was established in 1991 and has the highest tropical biodiversity in Africa. Twenty percent of the world’s total known species of butterflies reside in Cross River.

Gashaka Gumti

The largest national park in Nigeria, established in 1991, is located in the Taraba and Adamawa states and along the Cameroon border. It contains grasslands as well as the country's highest peak, Chappal Waddii known as the “Mountain of Death,” with an elevation of 7,936 feet.

Kainji

Establish in 1979, Kainji is the oldest national park. The second largest park can be found in the Niger and Kwara states. Inside the park, visitors will find the Kainji Lake, the Borgu and Zugurma game reserves.

Kamuku

Founded in 1999, Kamuku is in the Kaduna State, the park is easily accessible thanks to the Kaduna International Airport situated close by. The vegetation is a savannah woodland populated with a large variety of birds, as well as elephants, roan antelopes, mountain reedbucks, side stripped hyenas and jackals.

Okomu

This small park, totaling only 44,726 acres, is part of the larger Okomu forest reserve. It is the second largest rain forest in Nigeria and a great place for bird and primate watching as it is largely undisturbed. Okomu is located in the state Edo and was established in 1999.

Old Oyo

Found in the states Oyo and Kwara, Old Oyo was established in 1991. The largest collection of archaeological and cultural sites of Nigeria are located in Old Oyo including the royal cemeteries and the walls that surrounded the former ancient capital city.

Yankari

Situated in the state of Bauchi, Yankari is the premier game reserve, which first opened to the public in 1962. It boasts the largest population of elephants in West Africa as well as several endangered species like the leopard.

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