Old Oyo National Park
Straddling northern Oyo and Kwara is the Old Oyo National Park, with a total land mass of 2512 square kilometres (970 square miles). With its abundant expansion, the park not only has a diverse range of wildlife – which includes elephants, buffaloes and a wide variety of birds – it also has a rich cultural and historical background emanating from the Old Oyo Empire. Hotels in Ibadan near the park include the Carlton Gate Hotel, the Owu Crown Hotel, and the SDM Tavern Hotel.
Kainji Lake National Park
Kainji Lake National Park, located between the states of Niger and Kwara, was established in 1976 and has an inselberg landscape with wide plains in between. Some of the rivers within the park include Oli Menei, Doro and Manyara. Some of the animals to be found here are monkeys, lions, pythons, the Nile crocodile, leopards, and hyenas. It also has a wide variety of birds that are a delight for ornithologists and bird watchers.
Gashaka Gumti National Park
Located between Taraba and Adamawa States, Gashaka Gumti National Park is one of the most scenic places in Nigeria. It is a sanctuary for wild animals, like the red river hog, yellow backed duiker and the golden cat, while there are also rare animals like the Adamawa mountain reedbuck, the putty-nosed monkey, and the mona monkey. The rivers contain a wide range of fish, as well as hippos and crocodiles.
The Cross River National Park
The merging of four game reserves resulted in the Cross River National Park, described by UNESCO in 1979 as the most amazing place in the world. Aside from a wide range of flora unique to the rainforest, it is also home to a great amount of fauna, some of which are protected species. It is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Yankari National Park
The largest and most popular park in Nigeria, Yankari National Park is not only rich in plants and wildlife, it is also home to protected species of animals and birds. It contains one of the largest elephant herds in Africa, estimated at 350 individuals, and populations of lion, buffalo, hippo, roan and hartebeest.
The Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve
The Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve contains a stand of rare dry montane land, and is home to a population of the rare and endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzee. Other primates that can be found in the park are the putty-nosed monkey, the mona monkey, and tantalus monkey. It has been classified as an Important Bird ad Biodiversity Area by BirdLife International and is home to 158 bird species.