Although there are quite a number of places that animal lovers can visit in Nigeria, very few people know where to go to satisfy their urges to explore the wild. They will rather travel to Kruger National Park in South Africa, Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya or Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to have this close encounter.
Why travel to other parts of Africa when you can have a fierce, and animate animal encounter in Nigeria? Aside from having an unforgettable time, you will save cash. In line with this, we identify 4 places animal lovers can visit in Nigeria.
Yankari Games Reserve
The Gashaka Gumti National Park may be the largest park in the country but the Yankari Games Reserve will always top the list of parks to visit in Nigeria. The park was established in 1956 and opened to the public in 1962. It is located around Gagi River, approximately 11/2 hours by road, SouthEast of Bauchi Town. The reserve covers 2,058 sq. km. of savanna woodland and is well-stocked with elephants, baboons, waterbucks, bushbucks, oribi, crocodile, hippopotamus, roan antelope, buffalo and various types of monkeys.
Jos Wildlife park
The Jos wildlife park came to the consciousness of Nigerians when a lion which escaped from the park was shot dead. At least, the park made headlines, even though for the wrong reasons. Despite this, the park attracts inter- and intra-visitors yearly.The park is located in the Rantya area of Jos. It is home to species of rare animals like elephants, lions, hyenas, birds, Chimpanzees, Baboons and Monkeys. You are guaranteed a swell time in Jos as the park is only one of many tourist destinations in the state.
Ogba Zoo and Nature park
This is one of the few parks that is managed and run via a public-private partnership. It is owned by the Edo State government. It is a one-stop center not only for animal lovers but also for anyone that wants to indulge. The Ogba Zoo covers about 750 acres and was established in 1966 and sits comfortably on Airport Road in the ancient Benin Kingdom. You will see the king of animals, Lions, Chimpanzees, Giant Tortoises, rock python, pea fowls and much more.
Gashaka Gumti National Park
If you are looking for a park with international recognition, then the Gashaka-Gumti National Park is the place to go. The park has the title of being the largest National Park in Nigeria covering about 6,402 Km2 and it is situated in between Taraba (Gashaka and Adamawa (Gumti). This natural habitat is home to a wide range of plant and animal life from the leopard to elephants, lions, wild dogs, antelope, forest hogs, golden cats, bird life, insects, reptiles and aquatic life. After exploring this National Park, you can also visit the Chappal Waddi, which is Nigeria’s highest mountain. The mountain is a stone throw from the Gashaka-Gumti National Park.