This park is located in the south- central part of Bauchi State in the north- eastern Nigeria, the park covers a land area of 2244km² its located also in the west African savannas and this has made it a great place for holiday makers who enjoy seeing wildlife. The park is a home to a vast fauna and floras. This was first created as a game reserve in 1956 but it was later turned into the largest park of Nigeria in 1991 and therefore the most popular destinations. The main entrance to the park is at Mainamaji village, about 29 km from Dindima.
The park is the most popular eco-destinations in West African geography; the park is mostly covered by savannah grassland with patches of woodland with rolling hills including the Kariyo Hill being the highest point with 640m above sea level. The park receives an annual rainfall of between 900-1000mm and the rainy season of the park is from may- September. The park’s temperatures range between 18-35ᵒC
At night the temperatures drop up to 12ᵒC due to the Harmattan winds that blow from the Sahara region hence forming dusty skies. The hottest period within the park is March- April where temperatures are seen rising to 40ᵒC. During the dry period animals are seen converging at Gaji River which is the only water source crossing the park and chances of seeing elephants during this period are high.
This park is gifted with wild animals of which some are refuge of around 50 mammal species, these include, African bush elephants, olive baboons, African buffaloes, bushbuck, roan antelopes, western hartebeest, cheetah waterbuck, patas monkey, hippopotamus. Yankari is recognized as having one of the largest populations of elephants in West Africa.
The park has got over 350 species of birds, 50 of these are Palaearctic migrants, 130 are residents and the rest are intra- African migrant within Nigeria that periodically visit the park. The most outstanding ones includes the grey hornbill, cattle egret, saddle-billed stork, guinea fowl and the white-backed vultures
Attraction physical Features
Yankari National Park has got over four warm water springs. The camp is named after the most well known of these, the Wikki Spring, from the local Duguri language with “Wikki” meaning “where are you?”. The Wikki Warm Spring is the largest spring and is about 13.0 metres wide and 1.9 metres deep. It daily flows 21,000,000 litres of clear, spring water into the Gaji River. The spring has a constant temperature of 31.1 °C through the year during both day and night and has been developed for recreation.
The other warm water springs are Dimmil, Gwan, and Nawulgo springs. A fifth spring, Tungan Naliki is the only cool spring in the park.
Evidence of early human settlements
Dukkey Wells- over 139 wells with interconnecting shafts representing an elaborate water storage system can also be seen within this park
Marshall Caves- these caves were dug into sandstone escarpments and they are about 59. These were discovered by P.J Marshall in 1980. These are associated with rock paintings and zigzag form paintings while others in a straight line
Tunga Dutse- this rock has got a number of engravings with legible writings covering an area on the sandstone rock embankment of about 4m in length found around Dwall River.
Iron Smelting- the Shau Shau iron smelting works has got over 60 standing shaft furnaces, all these are said to be the largest historical industrial complex during that period in the West Africa Sub-region.
Kalban Hill – this means a “flat place” a flat topped hill aids tourists to have a stunning view of the park, Kariyo Hill – located near the Marshal caves is a beautiful picnic ground for every visitors with breath taking area, Paliyaram Hill- a popular camp for poachers, located 10 km from Wikki and The Tonlong Gorge – a scenic gorge with associated hills, buttes and escarpments located in the west of the park.