Yankari National Park is the largest wildlife park in Nigeria, covering an area of about 2,244 km² (870 mi²) and is home to several natural warm water springs, as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is in Bauchi State in North Central Nigeria.
Its location in the heartland of the West African savanna makes it a unique way for tourists to watch wildlife in its natural habitat.
It is the most popular destination for tourists in Nigeria and, as such, plays a crucial role in the development and promotion of tourism and ecotourism in Nigeria. It is also one of the most popular eco-destinations in West Africa.
Yankari National Park lies in the southern part of the Sudan Savannah. It is composed of savannah grassland with well-developed patches of woodland. It is also a region of rolling hills, mostly between 200m and 400m. Kariyo Hill, is the highest point at 640m.
Due to underground geothermal activity, the also features four warm water springs
Flora and fauna
The park is an important refuge for over 50 species of mammal including African Bush Elephant, Olive Baboon, African Buffalo and Hippopotamus. There are also over 350 species of bird found in the Park.
Yankari is recognized as having one of the largest populations of elephants in West Africa, estimated at more than 300 in 2005. The growth of the elephant population has become a problem for surrounding villages at times as the animals enter local farms during the rainy season.
The park is normally approached from the city of Bauchi, and it is about a five hour bus ride from there.
Fees and permits
Buses drop you at the Mainamaji gate. The camp is a long way from there and taxis are usually on hand to ferry you.
- Wikki Camp. The tourist centre of the park, about 42 km from the main entrance gate beside the Wikki warm spring. There are 110 furnished chalets with varying size and quality, ranging from suites to a youth hostel, all of which are being upgraded in phases. The camp also has a restaurant and bar.
While at the park or its vicinities, you should be able to connect to the 2G/3G/4G mobile network coverage. But be aware that service may be disrupted and you might occasionally experience network outage for all or some of the mobile phone service providers while in some locations. Different networks also tend to be more stable and reliable in different locations at different times.
If you are planning a visit to the park, you should probably consider having multiple SIM cards preferably for all the mobile service providers, since you can't tell which will be more stable and reliable at a time in your location during your visit. And if you will risk not having any of them, you might be better off not risking the MTN network, because, from indications, it seems to perform well than the others, though its rates may be high and its offers and services might be stringent, but you are less likely to be concerned of erratic voice and data connection compared to others.
Airtel is another service provider which is fairly satisfactory for all you might need to connect to the world, including rates and network stability. Of course, Glo (or Globacom) boasts of fast network speed for internet browsing activities, but that might not be enjoyable in some locations. And 9Mobile usually also performs well in internet browsing speed but not without locational limitations.