Nigeria has distinct national parks where tourists can spot different varieties of animals. Below is a list of national parks you can visit.
OKOMU NATIONAL PARK
Okomu national park formerly regarded as Okomu wildlife sanctuary is a forest reserve located in the Ovia southwest Local Government Area of Edo state and it is about 60km northwest of Benin city (the capital of Edo state). The park has 33 species of mammals including the endangered African forest Elephants and Buffalo. It also harbors the world’s rarest white throated guenon. Other animals present there are dwarf crocodiles, hornbill, fish eagle, chimpanzees and so on. The park has two tree houses that make it easy for tourists to do bird watching and view the park.
GASHAKA GUMTI NATIONAL PARK
This national park is the largest and most scenic national park in Nigeria. It is located in the mountainous region of the north-east. The park derived its name from the region’s oldest and historic settlements (Gashaka village in Taraba state and Gumti village in Adamawa state). The park harbors over 500 species of birds, leopard, yellow beaked ducker, giant forest hog, buffalo, lion, elephants, antelope crocodiles and hippopotamus and so on.
AFI MOUNTAIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
This is a forest reserve located in Cross rivers state with the aim of securing various endangered species found in Nigeria. It is an abode of different varieties of chimpanzee, gorilla and drill monkeys.
KAMUKU NATIONAL PARK
The national park is located in Kaduna state and it is adjacent to the Kwiambana game reserve in Zamfara state. They are separated by River Mariga. The park houses elephant, antelope, bushbuck, reedbuck, green monkey, baboon, warthog, and different varieties of birds.
YANKARI NATIONAL PARK
This is the largest game reserve with several species of plants and animals. It is located in the south-central region of Bauchi state in North eastern part of Nigeria. Places of attraction include natural warm spring, game reserve and caves. Animals found in the reserve are lion, elephant, buffalo, crocodile, hippopotamus, vultures, and baboon and so on. The national park has accommodation facilities for tourists, a museum in the reception area, tennis courts and squash courts.
OLD OYO NATIONAL PARK
The national park is situated about 51km north of Ibadan. The top attractions are the historical and archaeological sites located at the northern side of the park. They include the Agbaku cave, old city walls of Oyo Ile, and Kosomonu hill. The wildlife park covers large hectares of land. The park harbors lions, buffalo, elephant, Nile crocodile, antelope, baboons, spotted hyena. More than 30 species of birds are documented to be present in the park.
CROSS RIVER NATIONAL PARK
The park is situated in Cross river state. It is the abode of 119 species of mammals including 23 species of monkeys, 900 species of butterflies and 48 species of fish. The park exists in two distinct division- Oban and Okwurago divisions. The Oban division consists of about 1,568 plant species, 75 mammals including elephant, drill, buffalo, chimpanzee; 42 species of snakes and 382 bird species. Okwango division has about 1,545 species of plants in 98 families. Two species of plants with high medicinal properties are present there: Anceistocladus korupensis which is effective against HIV/AIDS and Pronus africana which is effective against prostate cancer. Other tourist attractions are the Kwa fall and the Agbokim waterfalls.
KAINJI LAKE NATIONAL PARK
The national park is located in Kwara state and Niger state. The park is divided into three distinct sections. A part of the Kainji Lake in which there is fishing restriction; Borgu game reserve and Zugurma game reserve. Tour guides are available to take you round the park to spot animals like lion, hippopotamus, monkey, and antelope and so on.
CHAD BASIN NATIONAL PARKS
It is situated in the north eastern part of Nigeria. It has three divisions including the Chingunmi-Duguma in Borno state, Bade- Nguru wetlands and Bulatura sectors in Yobe state. The park houses different varieties of wildlife and birds.