Nigeria, officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a 356,667 square miles country in West Africa with a population of approximately 188 million. It is the 32nd largest country in the world and borders Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger with its coast lying in the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean. The country has varying topography as well as climates throughout the country like the valleys of Niger River and the tropical rainforest climate in the southern part of the country. Due to its biodiversity, there are many national parks in the country.
Nigeria's National Parks
Gashaka Gumti National Park
Gashaka Gumti National Park is the largest national park in Nigeria covering an area of 2,599 square miles and is located in the Taraba and Adamawa provinces. The northern part of the park is savannah grassland while the southern part is mountainous and home to the montane forests. Over 103 mammal species have been recorded in the park like the elephants, cats, buffalos among others. More than I million birds have been recorded and are divided into 500 species. Various species of plants and bushes have also been identified in the park.
Kainji National Park is the second largest national park in Nigeria with an area coverage of 2,078 square miles. It is divided into three distinct areas, part of Kainji Lake, Borgu Game Reserve, and Zugurma Game Reserve. It was established in 1978 at the Niger state, the largest state in the country, and Kwara state, in Central and Northern Nigeria respectively.
Cross River National Park
The Cross River National Park, established in 1991, is the third largest park in Nigeria with an area coverage of 1,544 square miles. It is located in the Cross River State with most of the northern and central parts covered by the humid tropical rainforests whereas the Mangrove covers the coastal regions. More than 1,500 plant species have been recorded in the park some endemic only to Nigeria, 600 butterfly species also been recorded as well as over 350 bird species. Some parts of the park have remained untouched due to its inaccessibility.
Chad Basin National Park
The Chad Basin National Park covers a total area of 872 square miles in the Chad Basin, Borno State, Nigeria. It is divided into three major sectors, the Chingurmi-Duguma sector in Borno state, the Bade-Nguru Wetlands sector, and the Bulatura sector both in Sahel regions. There are only a few tourists recorded in the park yearly due to the lack of extraordinary wildlife; this has led to the use of the park by the farmers, grazers, and fishermen.
Okomu National Park
Okomu National Park is a 70 square miles park within the Okomu Forest Reserve in the Ovia South-West, Edo State, Nigeria established in 1935. The once a block of forest now holds only a fragment of it because of the encroachment and deforestation for expansion of villages and development of plantations. It is home to the various endangered species and has a Guinea-Congo lowland rain- forest. It is a biodiverse though Small Park with 33 species of mammals, 150 bird species, and more than 700 species of butterflies.
|Nigeria's National Parks||Area|
|Chad Basin||872 square miles|
|Cross River||1,544 square miles|
|Gashaka Gumti||2,599 square miles|
|Kainji||2,078 square miles|
|Kamuku||433 square miles|
|Okomu||70 square miles|
|Old Oyo||970 square miles|
|Yankari||866 square miles|