Yankari National Park: A Historical Site You Need To Visit
Yankari National Park is a large wildlife park located in the south-central part of Bauchi State. It covers an area of about 2,244 square kilometres and is home to several natural warm water spring. But this park has much more to it than meets the eye.
Yankari, initially created in 1959 as a game reserve, later became Nigeria’s biggest national park in 1991. But it took a complicated process for this to occur
In 1934, the Northern Regional Committee recommended the establishment of a pilot game reserve in the Bauchi Emirate to the Executive Council. This got the support of Alhaji Muhammadu Ngeleruma, a minister in the former northern Nigeria Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
In 1956, the Northern Nigeria Government approved the plans for the creation of a Game Preservation area.
Yankari then became identified as a region in the south of the Bauchi Province where large numbers of wild animals existed and could be protected. A game preservation area was carved out in 1957. This area was constituted as a Bauchi Native Authority Forest Reserve.
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Yankari first opened to the public as a premier game reserve on 1st December 1962. The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Park Service, manages the park.
In 2000, Yankari National Park hosted over 20,000 tourists from over 100 countries. This makes it the most popular tourist destination in Nigeria. Yankari National Park provides an important refuge for over 50 mammal species. This includes the African bush elephant, olive baboon, patas monkey, and Tantalus monkey.
Also found in the Yankari National Park are the roan antelope, western hartebeest, West African lion, African buffalo, waterbuck, bushbuck and hippopotamus.
In the Park, there are also over 350 species of birds. Of these, 130 are resident, 50 are Palearctic migrants and the rest are intra-African migrants that move within Nigeria. These birds include the saddle-billed stork, guinea fowl, grey hornbill, and the cattle egret.
If managed, it could become a significant part in the development and promotion of tourism throughout Nigeria. It is one of a few remaining areas left in West Africa where wild animals are protected in their natural habitat.
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