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A mountain rain forest, Idanre, Ondo state, Nigeria.
A mountain rain forest, Idanre, Ondo state, Nigeria. | © Ivan Kuzmin / Alamy
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National Parks in Nigeria You Shouldn’t Miss

Picture of Adejoke Adeboyejo
Updated: 10 October 2018
As diverse as its people are, so is Nigeria’s geographical location. With a landmass spanning over 923,768 square kilometres (356,669 square miles) the country is wide and varied. Within it are tropical rain forests, highlands, islands and deserts, each one rich with diverse flora and fauna. Here are the national parks and nature reserves that have been carved out of Nigeria’s various regions, all of them a delight to the senses.

Old Oyo National Park

Natural Feature
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The elephant baby sucks milk - Africa.
The elephant baby sucks milk - Africa. | © David Havel / Alamy
Straddling northern Oyo and Kwara is the Old Oyo National Park with a total land mass of 2,512 square kilometres (970 square miles). With this abundant landmass the park not only has a diverse range of wildlife, which includes elephants, buffalo and a wide variety of birds, it also has a rich cultural and historical background emanating from the Old Oyo Empire. Hotels near the park include Carlton Gate Hotel, Ibadan; Owu Crown Hotel, Ibadan; and SDM Tavern Hotel, Ibadan.
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Sun - Sat:
12:00 am

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee, Picnic Tables

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity, Scenic, Peaceful

The Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve

Forest, Park
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Portrait of drill monkey in rain forest of Nigeria.
Portrait of drill monkey in rain forest of Nigeria. | © Fabian Plock / Alamy Stock Photo
The Ngel Nyaki Forest Reserve contains a stand of rare, dry montane land, and is home to a population of the 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 and Biodiversity Area by BirdLife International and is home to 158 bird species.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity, Scenic, Peaceful, Outdoors

Lekki Conservation Centre

Botanical Garden, Hiking Trail, Park
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A cow grazing and accompanied by Egrets within the same ecosystem along Lekki free trade zone road in Lagos, Nigeria.
A cow grazing and accompanied by Egrets within the same ecosystem along Lekki free trade zone road in Lagos, Nigeria. | © Olumide Awoderu / Alamy Stock Photo
Located in Lagos, the Lekki Conservation Centre is an urban park – a jungle within a bustling city. The park boasts a 401-metre-long (1,300-foot) canopy walkway, which is said to be the longest canopy walkway in Africa. The entry and exit points of the walkway connect six towers from which visitors can have a full view of the wildlife in the park and the habitat types. The park is home to animals such as monkeys, crocodiles, snakes and different species of birds. The park is especially suitable for bird watching, with a tree house and bird hide erected within the park.
More Info
Sun:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Mon:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Tue:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Wed:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Thu:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Sat:
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Kid Friendly

Services & Activities:

Picnic Tables, Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Touristy, Scenic, Instagrammable, Photo Opportunity

IITA Forest Reserve

Botanical Garden
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rainforest-78516_1280
Tropical forest | © rosinakaiser / Pixabay
This exquisite tropical forest hosts many species of migratory and resident birds. A three-kilometre (two-mile) lake and other ponds within the reserve are also home to several fish species (which attract the migratory birds). More than 200 butterfly species can also be found in the park, fluttering among a rich array of over 440 species of botanical plants, most of which are believed to hold medicinal qualities. The reserve is a great spot for tourists and biologists interested in wetlands wildlife. Other recreational activities visitors can enjoy include golfing and swimming, and the reserve also has safe playing areas for children.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly, Kid Friendly

Atmosphere:

Outdoors

Cross River National Park

Natural Feature
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Sankwala mountains Cross River State Nigeria
Sankwala mountains Cross River State Nigeria | Christopher Scott / Alamy Stock Photo
Home to the critically-endangered Cross River gorilla and other animals such as chimpanzees, drills, baboons, leopards and forest elephants, the Cross River National Park is located in the south-eastern part of Nigeria. Tourists can access the two major sections of the park, Oban and Okwangwo, which are separated by 50 kilometres (30 miles) of disturbed forest. The Oban region is the only site where the red colobus monkey can be found in Nigeria. The park, which has been referred to as the ‘African Amazon’, has the densest rainforest in the country, with more than 350 bird species found in the park. It is also reputed to be the richest site in Africa for butterflies. Two waterfalls, Agbokim and Qua falls, form part of the park and are a must-see for nature lovers.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Outdoors

Yankari National Park

Park
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Male Lion on the plains of the Masi Mara
Male Lion on the plains of the Masi Mara | Gillian Lloyd / Alamy Stock Photo
Yankari National Park is the most diverse spot in Nigeria and is a delight to any wildlife enthusiast. It has the largest-surviving elephant population in the country (estimated at about 100–150 elephants) and it also supports the critically-endangered West African Lion, which is one of the four known populations that still exist. Other animal populations within the park include buffalo, hippopotamus, roan antelopes, western hartebeest and several monkey species. Visitors can also enjoy a dip in the warm springs, take expeditions into caves or visit the park museum that houses historical artefacts.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic, Touristy, Photo Opportunity

Gashaka Gumti National Park

Park
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Africa, South Luangwa National Park. Hippopotamus in pool (WILD: Hippopotamus amphibius) with Yellow-billed oxpeckers.
Africa, South Luangwa National Park. Hippopotamus in pool (WILD: Hippopotamus amphibius) with Yellow-billed oxpeckers. | © Cindy Hopkins / Alamy Stock Photo
The Gashaka-Gumti National Park, named for the two villages in which the park is located, provides an exquisite experience for nature lovers as well as many other recreational activities. The park consists of the ‘bat forest’, which is so-called due to the large number of fruit bats that roost there at certain times of the year; the hippo pool, which is located upstream the River Kam and where tourists and researchers alike can see and study the hippos at close range. The park has many mountainous areas, one of which is covered by flora unique to Nigeria. Other activities for visitors include horse riding, and sport fishing in the park’s numerous rivers that are well stocked with fish, such as the Nile perch, the tiger fish and the electric fish.
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Services & Activities:

Guided Tours

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Photo Opportunity, Scenic

Jos Wildlife Park

Park
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A bird observed at jabi lake during the Ramadan period
A bird observed at jabi lake during the Ramadan period | © sombo sombo / Alamy Stock Photo
Jos Wildlife Park is one of the largest manmade wildlife sanctuaries in Nigeria. Located at the hilly Rantya area in Jos, Plateau state, the park was established in 1972 and it extends into the pine forest and the Vongnifwel Hill. It is home to a variety of animals such as monkeys, elephants, lions and exotic birds. The park continually maintains its animal population and variety through exchange programs with other zoos. Visitors can also visit the museum, and engage in activities such as picnics while on the grounds of the park.
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Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Entrance Fee

Atmosphere:

Outdoors, Scenic, Photo Opportunity

Kainji Lake National Park

Natural Feature, Park
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Herd of cattle on the banks of the River Niger, Kogi, Nigeria
Herd of cattle on the banks of the River Niger, Kogi, Nigeria | © Mike Greenslade / Alamy Stock Photo
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. The park also has a wide variety of birds that are a delight for ornithologists and bird watchers.
More Info
Mon:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Tue:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wed:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thu:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Fri:
8:00 am - 4:00 pm